The world’s one and only reality show, Sri Lanka’s ‘Ranaviru Real Star Mission - II’, the year’s most popular singing competition, close to the heart of every serviceman in the armed forces, went on the boards Friday (6) evening at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium, blended with scintillating performances of tri-service artistes.
The packed crowd of spectators, including none other than the President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, First Lady Mrs Shiranthi Rajapaksa, Secretary Defence and Urban Development, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Roshan Goonetillake, Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral D.W.A.S Dissanayake, Commander of the Air Force, Air Marshal H.D Abeywickrema, spouses of service chiefs, Mr Luxman Hulugalle, Director General, Media Centre for National Security, Chief Executive Officer, Dialog, Dr Hans Wijesuriya, Chairman, Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, Mr Mohan Samaranayake, Senior Officers of tri-services, added special significance and dignity to the mega extravaganza. A sea of heads with fans and family members of finalists made the occasion warmer.
The five finalists of the Real Ranaviru Star Night included Sergeant Asela Manukulasooriya (Sri Lanka Army), Lance Corporal Krishan Dumindaraj (Sri Lanka Army), Ayomi Perera (Sri Lanka Army), Gayan Arunapriya (Sri Lanka Navy) and Imali Anuruddika (Sri Lanka Air Force).
Ayomi Perera of the Sri Lanka Army receiving the highest number of points from both the panel and the SMS count became the ‘Ranaviru Real Star’ as the evening reached its climax.
The popular programme, which saw its birth as a novel concept of Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa, had its inaugural ‘Ranaviru Real Star Mission - I’ show in October 2010 and ended in May 2011, giving recognition to more than 15 talented Ranaviru vocalists.
The final spectacle of the most popular ‘Ranaviru Real Star - II’ which elicited hidden artistic talents of tri-service personnel remains a novel experience to every segment of officers and other ranks in all three services, evoking an overwhelming interest and enthusiasm.
As one of the most watched musical programmes that showcased singing talents in soldiers, Dialog Mobile Network Company Ltd sponsored it as in the previous programme. The country’s National Television, ‘Rupavahini’, allocated its precious broadcast time at the request of the organizers.
While bringing many untapped musical talents of our soldiers to the fore, the event simultaneously serves a tribute to members of all tri-service personnel serving across the country.
An eminent panel of reputed musicians in the industry judged their merits, giving 60% of the marks while the remainder, 40% was selected on the basis of SMS votes.
The winner of the ‘Ranaviru Real Star - II’ received a fully-furnished new house, worth about Rs 17 million as the first prize amidst thundering applause while the first runner-up got a brand new car plus and Rs 1 million in cash. The third place carried a cash prize of Rs 2 million. In addition, fourth and fifth finalists received Rs 5 lakhs each.