Gagan Gaonkar, a 13-year-old from Udupi, Karnataka, won the fifth season of "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs", it was announced in the finale episode of Zee TV’s singing reality TV show on Saturday. He says he wants to playback for superstar Shah Rukh Khan someday.
Apart from the L’il Champs trophy, the talented boy, who struck a chord with his melodious voice, also took home a Nissan Sunny car.
Elated by the victory, Gagan dedicated his award to his "parents" and "audience".
"I’m very happy and thankful to the audience for choosing me as the winner. It was a memorable journey. I would like to dedicate this win to my parents and to those who voted for me throughout the season," Gagan told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
"My parents have always encouraged me and have stood by my side. Ever since I joined the show, I just had one thing in my mind that I’ll learn a lot and that would help me make a better future for myself," he said.
Gagan was pitted against Keshav Tyohar, Ridham Kalyan, Aishwarya Saha and Arunita Kanjilal. Keshav and Aishwarya were the first and the second runner-up respectively.
The first runner-up took home a cash prize of Rs.300,000, while the second runner-up received Rs.200,000. Zee Music will also launch an album with the top five finalists. One lucky finalist will also get a Bollywood break. However, the name of the finalist, who will get that chance, is yet to be locked and announced.
In the finale episode, Gagan performed on songs like "Main toh superman", "Khali peeli rokne ka nahi" and "Jumme ki raat", which made the audience dance to his tunes.
The multi-faceted boy, whose father Gopal Krishna Gaonkar is a professor and mother Girija Hegde Gaonkar a lecturer, has been taking singing classes since the last seven years. He has also appeared in the Kannada film "Noorondu Bagilu".
Asked how he managed studies with the show, Gagan said: "I got lot of support from my teachers and friends. So thankfully, I didn’t missed out on studies. But now I’ll concentrate more on it. I’ll also continue my singing lessons. Both will go hand in hand."
He has his future plans quite set.
"I wish to pursue audio engineering and want to become a music composer. I want to assist one of the music composers in the industry in near future. Also, I would love to do playback singing for Shah Rukh Khan-ji. It will be a lifetime opportunity for me. It’s my dream to meet him once in my life."
The fifth season of the show was judged by singers Shaan and Monali Thakur with noted singer Alka Yagnik as ‘Maha Guru’. It was hosted by Aditya Narayan.
In the show, which went on air on December 27, contestants were divided into two groups with two captains — Monali and Shaan.
The highlight of the finale episode was the coming together of singers Sonu Nigam, Shaan and Aditya, for a performance. They brought the house down with their power-packed performance on a medley of chartbuster songs like "Tattad tattad", "Koi kahe", "All izz well" and then gave a grand culmination to their act by singing the original title track of the show "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa".