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     Volume 6 Issue 37 | September 21, 2007 |

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Elita Karim

Eclipse performing for the last time on the Drockstars 2 platform before the winning band is announced.

Balloons were bursting somewhere far away, with the audience screaming and laughing together. They were cheering the winners of the first ever Drockstars hunt for a rock band that had finally came to an end. For Powersurge, the winning band, it was a moment that the band would probably remember for a very long time. The members of this thrash metal band, always a little wary of making it to the next round because of a lack of audience response during the initial stages of the contest, were clearly overjoyed.

A memorable moment for Powersurge, the winning band.

On September 10, the much-awaited results were finally announced at Winter Garden, Hotel Sheraton. Drockstars, a talent hunt contest, was initiated by Djuice in the year 2006, when only rock vocals contested each other. This year, however, the brand went several steps ahead and decided to look for rock bands instead of just a vocalist. The organisers Bitopi teamed up with BAMBA and Red Dot, along with partners Channel i, Sony Ericsson, Radio Foorti, Hairobics and Trendz hunting for the perfect band with the right attitude.

Senior musicians and judges take to the stage, bidding farewell to the participating bands in the contest.

The Gala Night, as termed by all, was glittering with celebrities and musicians belonging to a series of generations. It was a reunion of sorts, where musicians from the yesteryears got together and watched yet another musical entity come into being. The six top bands, namely, Dreek, Bortoman, Dour, Eclipse, Radioactive and Powersurge showcased their compositions for the very last time on the Drockstars 2 platform, while the audience cheered on for their favourite bands.

Hamin Ahmed, from the famous band Miles and also the president of BAMBA give away a cheque for Tk 5,00,000 to Powersurge.

After several gruelling months filled with selections, eliminations, training and sessions, the bands seemed to have come to terms with the sound that they produced and even came up with a solid signature tone of their very own. From Radioactive's heart wrenching Shopno Kotha to Powersurge's head-banging, thrashing number Mithher Aggrashon, the self-created tracks played by the bands were proof enough of the months of hard work and the sleepless nights that these youngsters had to go through.

Questions do arise, however, regarding the audience support rendered through an SMS voting system. Grameen Phone users all over the country participated in the judging of the best band by sending in their votes accordingly. While 60% of the total points were considered, awarded by the senior musician-judges in the scene, 40% of the points comprised of the votes sent in by the audience.

In the audience: Chief Marketing Officer of Grameen Phone, Stein Naevdal and Rubaba Dowla, the Head of Brands, Grameen Phone.

According to some of the young competitors in the bands, the fact that an unlimited number of SMS votes could be sent in by a single user gave an unfair advantage to some over others. As with every other competition taking place in Bangladesh, starting from the Close Up talent hunt to the Beauty Pageants, the contestants' family members, friends and well wishers spent an enormous amount of money behind these SMS votes.

In fact, the top six bands, according to the judges' exclusive markings, were hardly a few points apart, which clearly proved their talents, defining new dimensions in the present music scene in the country. The two most popular bands in the contest, Powersurge and Radioactive were points apart according to the judges, with 55.63 and 55.33 respectively. However, their fates were decided with the number of SMS votes that they received the final week.

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