Annu Malek called her a koel, but she feels she has miles to go before her singing can be termed fantastic. A dancer by passion, this petite beauty is determined to prove herself on the gala stage. We catch up with Ananya Mishra before the shooting for the galas begin.
How does it feel to be in the galas?
It feels really, really good. From the very first day of Indian Idol we’ve been waiting for this day because the galas is such a stage where you get this sense of confidence—if you have reached so far, then you have potential and ability as a singer. So I am very happy. But I am also tense because the competition is going to very fierce. The remaining 13 are very strong contestants.
Until now I’ve not been very satisfied with my singing or my performance. My rehearsals go off very well, but on the stage I see to lose control of my voice. I don’t know why. So as a singer I feel I need to work harder still.
Who is your toughest competitor?
If I look at my competition as far as singing, personality and performance goes, then I have to say that Bhavya is my toughest competition. I like her looks, how she sings and she is a fantastic performer.
Now that you''ve had a makeover, do you feel more confident?
I''ve never felt I look good. [Laughs.] Though everybody tells me otherwise, I’ve never believed it. But after they gave me my new haircut—they gave me a lot of layers and some new highlights—I feel I look much better.
How have you changed as a singer and as a person after you entered Indian Idol?
I am not a singer. I am a dancer. Until now I’ve only been a bathroom singer. So my experience on Idol has really changed me. Now I am totally focussed on my singing—I get time to think and reflect on it. I feel I am more dedicated towards it now.
I have changed as a person, too. I come from a very traditional family and this is the first time I am meeting with people from all over the country. At first, I never used to mingle with anyone, but now I bond with everyone so well. If I don’t see Bhavya or Remo, I go looking for them.
Who is your favourite judge? Why?
Everyone has supported me a lot. Especially Annuji. When he sang for me, it was a dream come true. Until then I had only seen him do that for others on TV. So he is my favourite.
You have become small celebrities already. Has that affected you in any way?
Honestly, this is not new to me. I’ve had this happen to me since childhood. At my concerts people would always chant my name. But now all of India knows me. And to have a name for yourself in a city like Mumbai, which is full of stars already, is amazing.
Also, my responsibility has doubled. I come from a well known family and I have to uphold their name.
The galas are going to be tough. How do you plan to tackle the competition and get more votes?
As I am a dancer, I can perform better. I haven’t been doing it so far, but come the galas I will try to be different. My voice is very thin and more suited for romantic songs. But I will try to sing different songs from now on.
Who do you get along with the best among the Top 14?
Bhavya. She is a very good person and she is very like me. Both of us are very serious about singing. But I enjoy the most with Remo. Though I talk to Bhavya, it is mostly about music. So when I want some masti, when I want to be like a child, I search out Remo.
Is there anyone here who you feel doesn''t belong in the Top 14? And if you could bring back an eliminated contestant in his/her place, who would it be?
I wouldn’t want to throw anyone out. But I would like to bring back some people—like Ali, Sourabh and Roshan. They were really good singers.
Why do you think we should vote for you?
The people have voted me into the galas because they think I have something in me. And in the galas they will see something even more. I will perform now as I did before Indian Idol. And, trust me, it will be really different from the rest.