Shillong, Oct 3 : Shillong erupted in wild celebrations Saturday night after Shillong Chamber Choir won the reality TV show “India’s Got Talent Khoj 2” at the grand finale in Mumbai.
People chanted “Ka jingjop! ka jingjop! (We won! We Won!)” on the main thoroughfares in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, after the results were announced Saturday.
The group won the title after defeating Teji Toko, a drummer from Arunachal Pradesh who came second and Bir Khalsa, a Sikh Martial Arts Group from Punjab that came third. It received Rs.50 lakhs in prize money and a Kawasaki 250cc Ninja bike.
Fireworks lit up the sky in Shillong, dubbed as “India’s Rock Capital”, as people herded out onto the streets. Supporters honked their car horns before gathering at a place in downtown Shillong.
The finale, aired on Colors, consisted of nine acts, including by Fictitious Dance Group from Mumbai, Harihar Das – the popping and locking professional from Orissa, Sonjoy Mondol group from Kolkata, Manas Sahoo and group – sand artists from Orissa, Diwakar and Sonia – the dancing twosome from Mumbai and a rock band from Kolkata – the Underground Authority.
People from all walks of life watched the show in their respective homes and on giant screens put up at several places in the city.
The show, which went on air about three months ago, was judged by actresses Kirron Kher and Sonali Bendre along with director Sajid Khan.
Congratulating the victorious choral group, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, said: “It is a big achievement for Meghalaya. We have created history and this achievement has shown to the world of our potential.”
Sangma, who attended the finale in Mumbai to cheer for the group, told IANS that the youth from Meghalaya have enormous talent and “we just need opportunities or platforms to reveal such talent”.
Conrad K. Sangma, leader of opposition in Meghalaya Legislative Assembly, said: “They (Shillong Chamber Choir) truly deserved to win and they have made every Meghalayan proud.”
“Shillong Chamber Choir’s victory is testimony to the inherent musical talent of the people of Meghalaya. The victory is also a tribute to the unified spirit of the people of the state,” said Larsing Ming Sawyan, owner of Shillong Lajong Football Club.
Patricia Mukhim, editor of The Shillong Times, the largest circulated daily in Meghalaya, said: “They have shown they are not only talented but versatile. They are a pride of India and have shown the country something new.”
Earlier, the Shillong Chamber Choir had won India’s first gold at the World Choir Olympics held in July at Shaoxing in China. The group made their debut at Shillong’s Pine Wood Hotel in January 2001. Their repertoire includes works of western classical greats like Handel, Bach, Gershwin and Mozart, as well as Khasi folk songs.
The group, mentored by its pianist Neil Nongkynrih, was formed in 2001. The singers are Ibarisha, Donna, Jessica, Patricia Doren Kevi, Sandon, Daman, Riewbankit, Johanan, Kynsai, Ryan and Banlam. Nongkynrih’s composition “Sohlyngngem”, earned rave reviews in several European nations.