FOG competitions show up youth talent

All the FOG Idol finalists on stage
Amy Stanley web1
Winner of the FOG Reflections Contest, Amy Stanley, receiving her trophy from judge Jona Jha

FREMONT: This year, the Festival of Globe (FOG) had a variety of competitions that were open to people of different ages such as FOG Dance Competition, FOG Idol singing contest, and FOG Freedom Fighters Reflections Contest.

Anita Karwal and Alka Bhatnagar were the Co-Chairs of the FOG Idol singing contest.

The auditions – preliminary rounds of the contest – started in June and four such rounds were held on weekends and the last one was during the first weekend of July. All the audition rounds were held at the Fremont Hindu Temple. The contest had three age groups: 5-11 years, 12-17 years and 18+ years.

Five contestants from each age group were selected for the finals on August 13 at the ‘mela’ fairgrounds in Fremont. Some contestants were not available on that day, so the total number was 13 instead of 15.

After many years, FOG Freedom Fighters’ Reflections contest was renewed. This contest requires the contestants to personify a freedom fighter and speak as him/her. Bonus points are awarded if the contestant also dresses up as the personality that he/she is representing.

Shohini Chakraborty web2
Winner of the FOG Idol 5-11 category, Shohini Chakraborty, receiving her prize from judge Ranu Sinha

The contest was open to youngsters from the age of 6 until 14. Ritu Khurana was the Chair and emcee for this event. Preliminary rounds were held for this contest, too, in the first week of August at the Fremont Hindu Temple.

Contestants represented Indian and international freedom fighters and leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Roosevelt and Malala Yusufzai. Ayetra Sarkar won the third prize for her portrayal of Indira Gandhi, Arnav Bansal took second place and Amy Stanley who personified Malala Yusufzai, won the first prize.

The judges for the Idol and Reflections contest finals were:
Alka Bhatnagar, Shuba Gunapu, Varun Tiwari, Ranu Sinha, Jona Jha, Jaya Bhatnagar and Samrat.

Idol finals
FOG Idol finals were held simultaneously on stage with the Reflections contest. The finalists were:
5-11 age group – Kaavya Patel, Ayush Pareek, Samvi Ranka, Shohini Chakraborty and Saumya Anand
12-17 age group – Navyaa Vemuri, Iha Saxena, Rajvi Ranka and Anisha Chatterjee
18+ age group – Dhaval Shah, Bhawna Saxena, Arpita Chattopadhyay and Roopa

The winners from each group were:

5-11 age group:
First Place – Shohini Chakraborty; Second Place – Saumya Anand
Shohini walked away with the first prize with her mellifluous rendition of “Beeti na beetaye raina…” from the film, “Parichay”.

Saumya Anand sang a challenging English number from Disney’s “Moana”.

12-17 age group:
First Place – Anisha Chatterjee; Second Place – Navyaa Vemuri
In a contest that had predominantly Hindi song performances, Anisha Chatterjee sang Sia’s “Titanium” beautifully, bringing out the pop number’s surprisingly delicate melody. Navyaa Vemuri rendered the soulful “Lag Ja Gale…” from the film, “Woh Kaun Thi”.


FOG Idol Finalists web3
All the FOG Idol finalists on stage

18+ age group:
First Place – Dhaval Shah; Second Place – Bhawna Saxena
Dhaval Shah, winner of the first prize, sang the number, “O Mere dil ke chain…”
All finalists received certificates and medals from the judges, and the winners received trophies in addition.

Lakshmi Iyer
India Post News Service

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