It's finally decided! After a neck to neck contest between the two finalists in a surprise turn-around of expectations Sandeep won over Karunya, the popular and discernibly better singer.
Sandeep was surprisingly confident throughout. "I was confident of winning, though I wished all the best for my competitor and friend Karunya. Even if I had lost I wouldn't have regretted. But having won I feel a terrific sense of satisfaction. I'm too dazed to decide what I want to do next. But yes, an album is definitely going to happen immediately."
Sandeep confidently sang Mohd Rafi's 'Gulabi aankhen', Udit Narayan (whom Sandeep idolizes)'s 'Ruk ja ae dil deewane' and the Sonu Nigam 'Qawwalli Tumse milkar'.
But no one suspected that defeat awaited Karunya who stunned the judges and star guest Kajol with his impeccable rendering of 'Sayoni', 'Badan pe sitare lapete huey' and 'One love'.
When the results came, there was a look of stunned disbelief on everyone's face. But the audience poll triumphed over qualitative evaluations. In fact, Karunya had expressed his misgivings to me earlier during the evening. "The voting from Sandeep's home state Rajasthan shows a clear partiality towards him. I believe it's like 90: 10. Of course I'm confident of winning. But if I don't, it won't be a blow. I'll continue doing what I am here to do. Sing."
The show had innumerable highlights. The two finalists put up a brave fight against each other as the three judges, joined by star-judge Kajol (who, for some strange reason, squinted her eyes throughout to catch the razzmatazz) cheered, clapped and even wept.
Farah Khan's eyes turned moist when all the twelve contestants from over the months came on stage to sing the Indian Idol theme 'Woh pehli baar'.
Karunya dedicated his performances to his mother, who celebrated her 50th birthday during the finals. The visibly confident Karunya was finally felled by popular voting.
After Abhijeet Sawant, the second Idol is Sandeep Acharya.