Vasantham’s Yaar Antha Star 2020 crowns 20-year-old singer Meenakshy as winner

Vasantham’s popular youth singing competition Yaar Antha Star (YAS) 2020 has a winner!

20-year-old Meenakshy Jyothish was crowned as the next youth singing sensation in a much awaited season finale episode aired on March 29.

Meenakshy, a 3rd year Environmental Engineering student at NUS, will now get the opportunity to sing a special composition by music director Shabir for a Kollywood film. 

Meenakshy bagged a cash prize of SGD 10,000 and signed in on an opportunity to sing a special composition by music director Shabir for a Kollywood film.  Photo Courtesy: Vasantham
Meenakshy bagged a cash prize of SGD 10,000 and signed in on an opportunity to sing a special composition by music director Shabir for a Kollywood film. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham

Her rendition of Ezhu Swarangalukkul Ethanai Paadal, originally sung by the mellifluous Vani Jayaram, in the penultimate round received great praise. 

Meenakshy’s mom and sister Pallavi - who was among the top  7 contestants in Vijay TV''s Super Singer Junior 2016 - were with her. 

Meenakshy’s father who is in Dubai couldn't make it to Singapore for the final due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. 

Meenakshy's winning moment with her mom and sister turned emotional as her dad couldn't make it from Dubai to Singapore due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham
Meenakshy's winning moment with her mom and sister turned emotional as her dad couldn't make it from Dubai to Singapore due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham

A visibly overcome Meenkshy said, “I am indebted to my family, friends and well-wishers for their love and support for me throughout this journey. I have worked really hard, and with all of your blessings, it has paid off in the end. But this is only the beginning of the next chapter, so please keep showing your love and support throughout.” 

Meenakshy's rendition of Ezhu Swarangalukkul Ethanai Paadal, originally sung by the mellifluous Vani Jayaram, in the penultimate round received very positive comments. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham
Meenakshy's rendition of Ezhu Swarangalukkul Ethanai Paadal, originally sung by the mellifluous Vani Jayaram, in the penultimate round received very positive comments. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham

Meenakshy has also bagged the first place cash prize of SGD 10,000 with 17-year-old Durgashini, the first runner-up and 16-year-old Sneha Mahesh,the second runner-up, winning SGD 5,000 and SGD 2,000 respectively. 

More than 200 singers auditioned for the show in December last year, of which only 15 made it to the competition.

Durgashini, the first runner-up (right) and Sneha Mahesh,the second runner-up (left) of Yaar Antha Star 2020. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham
Durgashini, the first runner-up (right) and Sneha Mahesh,the second runner-up (left) of Yaar Antha Star 2020. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham

After 10 gruelling weeks of competition  which included melody, folk and classical genres,Durgashini, Meenakshy, Sathya and Sneha emerged as the four finalists.  The fifth finalist Sugirthanjali was earlier eliminated but reentered through a wildcard round, determined by online voting. 

Popular Vasantham personalities Elamaran, Eswari and Karthikeyan, hosted the show which is the 7th instalment of the YAS series. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham
Popular Vasantham personalities Karthikeyan, Eswari and Elamaran hosted the show which is the 7th instalment of the YAS series. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham

Popular Vasantham personalities Elamaran, Eswari and Karthikeyan, hosted the show which is the 7th instalment of the YAS series. 

Resident judges who evaluated the contestants included prolific Indian playback singer KS Chithra, Vasantham Star winner and music director Shabir, veteran singer and entrepreneur Murali Krishnan, as well as Sabanitha Shanmugasundram, Head of Indian Audience, Mediacorp. 

The confetti shower as Meenakshy is crowned winner of YAS 2020. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham
The confetti shower as Meenakshy is crowned winner of YAS 2020. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham

"Yaar Antha Star has established itself as a platform to unearth new young talents. For all our contestants, this is certainly not the end of their journey, but marks the beginning of a new adventure as they become part of Vasantham's entertainment scene”, said Sabanitha. 

The final of Yaar Antha Star this year reached out to viewers beyond the traditional medium of television. It was simulcast live on meWATCH to viewers around the world while engaging them extensively on social media through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

The winner of YAS 2020 Meenakshy with her family, judges, hosts, mentors and the team of Yaar Antha Star. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham
The winner of YAS 2020 Meenakshy with her family, judges, hosts, mentors and the team of Yaar Antha Star. Photo Courtesy: Vasantham

“It is heartening to see the format evolve this year with an emphasis on digital and social media engagement, catering to a new breed of audience who want to consume entertainment on the go. Through talent discovery platforms such as Yaar Antha Star, Mediacorp will continue to invest in nurturing talent by providing them with the environment and resources to prime them for the main stage," said Sabanitha. 

Author
Lakshmy Iyer
Lakshmy Iyer – Senior Correspondent, ASEAN & Entertainment

Lakshmy has been contributing regularly as a freelance writer since 2012. Her writing has been an amalgamation of the language, literature and rich cultural experiences of India as well as South East Asia. An Instructional Designer by profession she is passionate about lifelong learning. Art is her medium of reflection. She participates in art exhibitions thus contributing to the local art scene and using this platform, supports social causes in Singapore as well.

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