Former Indian Idol Judge Salim Merchant Talks On Fake Praising
Salim Merchant Gets Candid About Being Asked To Praise Contestants Amidst The Indian Idol Row (Photo Credit: Instagram & Firstcry)

Indian Idol 12 has been making the headlines for not so good reasons ever since singer Amit Kumar visited as a guest judge during the Kishore Kumar tribute episode. Post his appearance, Kumar revealed he ‘did not enjoy’ it but praised everyone as he was asked to do so. Since then, many have spoken about it, and the latest to join the list is Salim Merchant.


Merchant, in a recent conversation, got candid about facing similar situations but never giving in. While talking about it, he also added how he pointed out contestants mistakes while still praising them – though they were never faked. Read all he said below.


During a recent interview with RJ Siddharth Kanna, Salim Merchant was asked if he was ever told to praise contestants of a show he was judging. While revealing that he was asked to do so, he never gave in to it. The singer said, “Yes, mere saath bhi hua hai. But honestly, maine kabhi nahi suna unki baat. Shayad aaj main koi judge ki seat pe nahi baitha hoon because of that (Yes, it has happened to me too. But honestly, I never listened to them. Maybe that is why I am not judging a show right now).”

For those who do not know, Salim Merchant featured as a judge alongside Anu Malik and Sunidhi Chauhan in Indian Idol 5 and 6. He also judged Indian Idol Junior 2 with Vishal Dadlani and Sonakshi Sinha. Salim also featured as one of the four coaches on The Voice India.

In the same conversation, Salim Merchant added that there been times where he praised a contestant – even when they made mistakes – but never faked it. Talking about it, he said, “Main isliye nahi karta hoon because mujhe kaha gaya hai taareef karna. Main taareef isliye karta hoon ki kisi ki khaamiyaan nikaalne ke bajaay main khoobi dekhta hoon. Agar main uski khoobi ki taareef karoon toh shayad, main aisa maanta hoon ki, woh singer behtar kar sakta hai (I don’t praise them because I have been told to. I praise them because I believe in looking at the positives instead of the negatives. According to me, if I praise someone’s strengths, it might help them become a better singer).”

The former Indian Idol judge also revealed that even established singers make mistakes. Adding that it’s best to point out one’s flaws nicely while praising their strengths, the singer said, “Mere saath aisa bohot baar hua hai ki the show directors have told me ki please aap log negative mat baniye. Lekin main na, thoda sa smart hoon iss maamle mein. Main humesha khaamiyaan nikaal hi deta hoon par achchi tarah se nikaalta hoon (It has happened to me many times that the show directors have told me to not be negative. I was smart about this. I did point out mistakes but in a nice way). I don’t get crazy about anybody’s faults. I do it nicely,” he said.

What are your thoughts on this ongoing row about fake praising on Indian Idol and other reality talent shows?

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