Television persona Raghu Ram auditioned for the primary season of Indian Idol, in 2003, however was told that he ‘can’t sing’ and rejected by judges Anu Malik, Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam. He had told Anu that he didn’t admire his ‘rude’ tone. Interestingly, Raghu is known for his unstable mood and tearing contestants aside through the auditions of MTV Roadies.
In a video of Raghu’s Indian Idol audition shared on YouTube, he was seen stretching earlier than singing. “I need to do this before I sing. Some people do alaap and all,” he defined. Farah appears to be irked, as every contestant is allotted two minutes. “You have already wasted 30 seconds,” she told him.
Raghu sang Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo however the judges have been unimpressed. “Bohot kharab gaaya aapne. Yeh kya best hai aapka, jo gaana chuna hai (You sang very badly. Was this song your best performance)?” Sonu requested, to which he replied within the detrimental however added that he thought that the judges would admire the selection of tune.
On being requested about his stretching earlier than singing, Raghu stated that he has a ‘problem’. Farah requested if it was a ‘singing ki problem’, to which he retorted, “It’s a problem in my body, please don’t make fun of it.”
“Achcha, lekin aapne jo stretching ki, uske bavajood bhi aapki stretching aapke sur tak nahi pohochi (But even though you stretched, the warm-up didn’t do anything to improve your singing),” Anu stated, as Raghu requested if he didn’t like his tune. “Mere kehne ka matlab yeh hai ki aap gaa nahi sakte, mere hisaab se Mumbai nahi aa sakte (I mean that you cannot sing and according to me, you cannot come to Mumbai),” Anu replied.
Raghu took umbrage at Anu’s tone and told him, “Toh aap yeh baat tameez se bhi bol sakte hai (You could have said this politely as well).” He added, “I thought he was rude. I don’t like people being rude to me. I am sure you don’t like people being rude to you.”
Sonu defended his co-judge and stated, “You have been rude too. Jab se aap andar aaye hai, aapka attitude aisa hai jaise ki aap star hai already (You came in with the attitude that you are already a star).” Farah added that they have been ‘kind’ to him, and gave him time to stretch earlier than his audition.
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Anu then stated, “I am not being personal. You can’t sing.” Raghu made a finger gun and exited the room. Outside, he complained to host Mini Mathur. “Everybody is opening themselves up to get rejected. Uska faayda uthana aur unko beizzat karna (Taking advantage of that and belittling people) is not cool.”
Reportedly, Raghu later stated in his memoir, Rearview: My Roadies Journey, that his Indian Idol audition was a prank.