SINGAPORE - A record number of television viewers on Sunday night (Oct 11) witnessed student Subashini Sundaram win the fifth edition of Vasantham Star, a Tamil singing contest on TV.
The 20-year-old mass communications student took home $15,000 cash along with the title at the MediaCorp Vasantham competition, which drew more than 200 hopefuls to the auditions. Sunday night's broadcast attracted the highest viewership in the 10-year history of Vasantham Star, with more than 192,000 viewers tuning in, according to the station.
Two other students made the final. Swaminathan Raja, 18, came in second, and Jayita Ashwini Ravindran, 19, claimed third place at the 90-minute final, which took place at MediaCorp TV theatre.
During the eight weeks of competition, hopefuls had to perform songs in a variety of genres, including folk and classical. The finalists on Sunday competed in two rounds. In the first, they each performed a song of their own choice: Subashini took on Enge Enathu Kavithai from the film Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000), Swami belted out Pattum Naane Bhavamum Naane from the film Thiruvilaiyadal (1965) and Jayita delivered Kannathil Muthamittal (2002) from the film of the same name.
In the other round, all three performed Vidu Kathaiya from Muthu (1995).
The winners were decided by the judges.
This year's panel of resident judges and singers - Erfanulla Khan, Vicknesvari Vadivalagan and Yugendran Vasudevan Nair - were joined by South Indian playback singer Vijay Prakash as a guest judge for the finals.
Prakash also performed a medley of hits at the show, which was hosted by Vasantham personalities Varman and Bharathi.
The four previous Vasantham Star winners are Shabir Tabare Alam, Ebi Shankara, Suthasini Rajendran and Vikneshwaran Veeran.