Haryana’s Salman Ali won the 10th edition of reality show ‘Indian Idol’ on Sunday.
“I would like to thank the audience and the judges for making me the winner. People from my village are very happy. I am getting lots of calls. They are distributing sweets there and bursting crackers,” Ali, who hails from Mewat, said.
Ali was awarded a cheque of Rs2.5 million (Dh130,849) from Sony Entertainment Television and a Datsun car during the finale.
The first runner-up Ankush Bhardwaj was awarded Rs500,000. The second runner-up Neelanjana Ray also took home Rs500,000.
The other finalists — Nitin Kumar and Vibhor Parashar — were given Rs300,000 each.
“We are all like a family. We used to crack jokes, help each other and have fun so, there was no competition. As far as being a winner is concerned, everyone comes here to win. But I had thought that even if I didn’t win, at least I got a lot of love from the audience,” Ali said.
Asked how he will use the prize money, the 20-year-old said: “I come from a very poor family. My house is also not in a good condition. The roof of my house needs to be fixed. We had taken loan also. So, I would like to use the money for all this. I want to take my life forward with this money.”
But if he gets a chance, he would also like to help the underprivileged.
Ali has previously participated in another reality shows. His journey in music started early.
“I have just studied until 9th or 10th grade. We have our family business which is singing. So, I started earning when I was just seven years old,” he said.
The singer now has dreams of a career in Bollywood.
“I want to do a lot of things in my life. I want to do something in Bollywood. A lot of people from Bollywood had come on the set of ‘Indian Idol’. A lot of them even praised me. So, I am sure they will give me a chance and I will prove myself,” he added.
He has already sung a song for Varun Dhawan-led ‘Sui Dhaaga: Made In India’ and TV show ‘Chandragupta Maurya’.
Ali even shared the stage with superstar Shah Rukh Khan during the grand finale.
Khan was accompanied by actresses Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, his co-stars in the film ‘Zero’.
The finale also saw the show’s judges Neha Kakkar, Vishal Dadlani and Javed Ali perform.
“It has been a wonderful emotional journey for me and ‘Indian Idol 10’ has been special in many ways. Salman Ali has showcased immense growth this season and I am extremely happy for his win,” Kakkar said.
Dadlani added: “‘Indian Idol Season 10’ has been one of the greatest seasons of any reality show on Indian television ever. It’s been truly hard fought, right from the beginning. The top 20 were incredible and the top 5 that we ended up with, are at a global level. Certainly, the best top 5 any show has ever had and to win amongst all of these is an achievement that will remembered by Indian television audiences for a long time.”
Singer Anu Malik, who had to step down from the jury panel of the show in October after being accused of sexual misconduct, was not part of the finale.