The much-hyped grand finale of the Mega Star reality show was marred by hostility and humiliation late on Saturday night after the irate audience at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium turned furious hurling empty bottles and stones on to the stage when the top management of the EAP Group including its chairperson Soma Edirisinghe were preparing to present the Mega Star Trophy to the winner Ajith Weerasinghe.
Angry fans said the whole country believed the trophy was a cakewalk for UNP parliamentarian Dayasiri Jayasekara who showed consistency right from the beginning of the programme. Dayasiri was placed second, Suresh Gamage third and parliamentarian Upeksha Swarnamali fourth.
A senior police officer who was at the scene claimed the main architect behind this mega programme was also manhandled by some angry fans and he had managed to flee the area with Ms. Edirisinghe.
The Mega Star contest itself took a shocking twist during the past few months amidst allegations of large-scale malpractice and manipulations within the reality singing programme which had 36 participants representing diverse fields. Besides actors and actresses there were three print media journalists, a doctor, a nurse, a police officer, a model and parliamentarians in the singing show.
Analysts said this was probably the first time in history that the finals of a reality programme came to such an embarassing end, with the channel abruptly abandoning its live coverage due to brawls that took place at the venue.
All 36 participants of the Mega Star show were not invited to the grand finale and the channel was unable to give a valid reason for this lapse.
The participants charged the whole show which went on for one year was manipulated by one individual who had the whole programme under his control.
Mega Star winner Ajith Weerasinghe was not reachable for his comments.
Informed sources said the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium had also suffered serious damage due to the commotion.
Earlier last week, a group of leading artistes protested that they had not been invited to the grand finale of the mega reality television event.
A globally renowned film actress who is also known for her singing prowess charged that she and several other participants were subjected to what she called unfair treatment because they spoke openly whenever they saw injustice.
Popular actress Damitha Abeyratne said all participants in this programme were popular figures representing diverse fields like cinema, tele drama, fashion, media, health, police and politics.
“It is therefore the responsibility of the organizers to ensure the dignity of the participants too. We did not even receive an invitation for the final, leave alone participating. We feel this is an injustice from the people’s point of view too. The people obviously expected the show to be a glamorous one with all the participants. Some of our colleagues were run down by the channel just because they spoke out against the unjust acts that were taking place. We can’t fathom the attitude of the organizers for trying to humiliate the very people who boosted their programme,” they said in a frustrating tone.
But the main players of the programme declined to respond to some queries posed at them over those allegations. We asked them if the 36 participants would be invited for the grand finale or not, whether they would be given any performances or not at the finals, whether they would be called up onto the stage and whether any prizes would be given to the 36 stars….
Film sources said instead of inviting the 36 participants, the organizers got senior film stars to take part in a filler event. But many film world personalities asked how the senior stars took part in a programme which blatantly let down and humiliated their junior colleagues.
Despite the final alcking credibility, many people asked why a panel member was praising the main architect of this show, insisting that he was a better organizer than those who organized Bollywood film festivals.