(April 26, Many TV stations of Sri Lanka run various kinds of Super Star programmes. Tens of thousands of ambitious youth take part in them and many of them toil for the TV channels without any kind of payment for around a year. However, the finalists get a good training and an experience in entertainment industry while one or two Super Stars become instant millionaires.
Many of these Super Stars have failed to continue their career as creative artists. But many of them sing other artists' songs appearing as the original singers and earn some money before they disappear into nowhere where they came from.
Upeka Nirmani Silva, the Derana Dream Star of the Season 2 is a highly talented young girl from Negambo. She is the daughter of Chandu de Silva, a singer popular as Jolly Seeya (grandfather).
Her stardom is significant since she is the first young woman in Sri Lanka to crown as a Super Star. In Derana Dream Star Season 1 as well, a brilliant female vocalist was among the finalists. But this girl Nilupuli Dilhara failed to secure her place in the grand finale through short messages of the TV fans. The Super Star was a brilliant guy but the runner-up was no match to Dilahara's talent.
Similar phenomenon took place this year as well. Upeka sang very nicely while Nimesh Chamika performed in his Sinhala rock style brilliantly giving her a good fight. However, Nimesh failed to become the runner-up. The runner-up Udesh Manoj was far back compared to the vocal skills of the other duo.
Udesh marketed his identity as an Army soldier to come this far. He had brought a set of aggressive fans into Sugathadasa Stadium. Even Defense Secretary and President's brother Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was also in the audience giving a powerful impression to the SMS senders. However, Upeka won the crown. Otherwise, I would have written about militarization of performing art in Sri Lanka.