190715 iqra aziz
Iqra Aziz with her two Best Actress awards (Critics’ and Viewers’ Choice) at the Lux Style Awards Image Credit: Supplied

It won’t be hyperbole to say that this year’s LUX Style Awards, held recently in Karachi, attracted more than their share of controversy. Be it the entire brouhaha around Ali Zafar’s nomination prior to the show, or TV industry’s new favourite Iqra Aziz being proposed smack in the middle of the show by a seemingly mawkish Yasir Hussain who showered her with kisses.

Certain quarters of the media also alleged that the award results had been tampered with at the last minute, especially in the case of Aziz who walked away with two Best Actress trophies — Viewers’ Choice as well as Critics’ — for the rom-com ‘Suno Chanda’. This seemed to make some sense considering the Ramadan special serial became the ‘phenomenon’ that it did because of a host of characters such as Nadia Afghan and child artist Sami, and not just because of Aziz. Some of the jury members were even found complaining that Aziz wasn’t who they had voted for.

Fareshteh Aslam, Awards Office Manager at LSA, spoke exclusively to Gulf News tabloid!, to clear the air. “I have heard there is a lot of speculation around the winners, but that’s how it’s always been. We do not change results, jo bhi ho jaye [no matter what],” she said.

“We have a system whereby no one jury member would know who the other members voted for. We start with a group meeting, in which the judges discuss and shortlist who should be nominated and why. If the opinion is divided — for instance, if one judge likes nominee X and the other likes nominee Z — we ask them to let that be reflected in the marking. The marked sheets are then sent to the auditors who tabulate, verify, and send the results to us. We announce the results on the Awards night.”

As a former LSA juror, I can surmise that because Aziz is very popular, even if the judges had other preferences, their votes got divided and Aziz earned consistently medium marks from all of them.

So when the marks were tallied, she came out tops.