Interviews Maldivian Idol

Fremantle is skeptical no more!

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Like every isolated island nation, the Maldives has long been skeptical about change. Whether it is in terms of new policies hindered by geographical challenges or opportunities that die out on the brink of possibilities; the Maldives has been very reserved in accepting the new. The Maldivian media, thriving in the face of modern development, was no exception when it came to this. The notion of revolutionary reality projects on Maldivian media has remained a blissful dream; until Fremantle Media’s Vice President, Ron Crasto dreamt of introducing the “Idol” franchise to the Maldives.

Though his initial idea faced unprecedented challenges, Ron has been able to successfully launch the “Idol” franchise in the Maldives – along with the assistance of Public Service Media and its Managing Director, Ibrahim Khaleel. Ron first shared his ideas with Khaleel during his vacation in the Maldives back in 2013. Fast forward three years, Ron’s “fairy tale” dream is the reality Maldivians await come weekends.

According to Ron, Maldivian Idol is “as good as what you watch on a typical Indian Idol”, emphasizing on the success of Idol in the Maldives. With the Maldivian population being significantly low in comparison to other countries, it was a bold move by Fremantle Media to launch one of their biggest signature shows in the Maldives. Tempted to try out something new, Fremantle’s decision has definitely proven to be fruitful as the show has made history in the island nation.

“When we met the people from PSM, there was some kind of very positive energy, vibes and vision from these guys. They were all looking to make this show, and they were very clear we have to [make] the show. We do understand that there are a lot of limitations, whether the show is going to be a hit or a flop we are taking a step. That gave me the first inspirational confidence. With that movement, I thought let’s do it with the same passion and vision. And today, we have made history. Yes I was skeptical, but today it has turned into optimism”

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With the aim of creating international stars from the Maldives, Fremantle’s decision to launch “Maldivian Idol” has proven to be a stepping stone towards new horizons. In Ron’s words, “PSM has opened up the music industry by launching idol, and created a benchmark which has become an industry”.

Pointing out the fact that people will always like and dislike the show, Ron stressed that the judges had – to a great extent – lived up to the expectations of Fremantle. Thanking the Idol team, Ron further added that they were doing justice to what they have been tasked with.

Having faced a truly difficult time during production, “Maldivian Idol” has done justice to Fremantle’s expectations. With the Idol team evolving from episode to episode, their creativity in making a smaller space look larger and grander was indeed worthy of compliment.

Idol’s launch not only creates a new era in Maldivian music, but it has also opened up the Maldives to more reality shows. Maldivian reality television is to experience groundbreaking changes in the near future, as Fremantle and PSM are already in the talks of introducing another format of reality television. But we are yet to discover what Fremantle has in store for us, though one thing is for sure; it will be a gateway to new horizons.

“This is really one of the biggest success, at least in the last so many months I have come across” – Ron

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