Indian Idol Winner List Of All Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Written By Ahmed Raza
Reviewed By Diary Trend Staff

Indian Idol is one of India’s most popular singing reality competitions. Thousands audition for the chance to become the next singing sensation and win the coveted title. The show has run for over a decade, crowning 13 winners so far. Here is a look at all the winners from each season of Indian Idol and some of the memories along the way.

Season 1

The first season aired in 2004-2005 on Sony TV. Over 100,000 contestants showed up for auditions in different cities. The judges were Annu Malik, Farah Khan, and Sonu Nigam. The top 12 finalists moved into a house in Mumbai where viewers followed their journeys each episode.

Winner: Abhijeet Sawant

Abhijeet Sawant

Abhijeet Sawant, a Mumbai native, was the first winner. His soulful and strong voice impressed the judges and connected with the public. After the win, he released some albums that were popular for a time. But he faded from the spotlight after a few years.

1st Runner Up: Rahul Vaidya

Rahul Vaidya finished in second place but found greater success after the show. He released albums that sold well and appeared in several other TV shows over the years, keeping him in the public eye. Recently in 2022, he was a contestant on Bigg Boss 14, coming in second place again.


The first season held auditions in various Indian cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Lucknow. Enormous crowds turned up, often waiting overnight, for just a chance to audition for a few seconds. There was a lot of raw talent on display in those early seasons without grooming or training. It was an exciting introduction to reality singing contests for India.

Season 2

After the massive response to the first season, Indian Idol returned for Season 2 in 2005. The judging panel changed a bit with Javed Akhtar replacing Sonu Nigam. The auditions drew over 200,000 contestants hoping to make the top 12.

Winner: Sandeep Acharya

Sandeep Acharya, a contestant from Bikaner, was the Season 2 winner. His singing style was soulful, clear and classically trained, making every performance special. After Idol, Sandeep performed in shows around India. But sadly, he passed away in 2013 after a battle with jaundice.

1st Runner Up: Antara Mitra

Antara Mitra

Antara Mitra provided tough competition for Sandeep during Season 2. Originally from Kolkata, her classical Indian singing mesmerized the judges and audience every time. She released albums after the show and also sang playback in a few films like Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Life Partner and Golmaal Returns.


For Season 2, the producers held auditions in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. But they also expanded to other cities like Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Guwahati to discover hidden talents across India. The turnout was bigger than ever before with people clamoring for one shot at fame.

Season 3

Indian Idol launched its third season in 2007, leading to auditions in 9 Indian cities. Amit Paul and Abhishek Kumar emerged as finalists alongside northeast India contestant Prashant Tamang who would make history.

Winner: Prashant Tamang

Prashant Tamang

Prashant Tamang, a 24-year-old policeman from Darjeeling, won Season 3 with his unconventional yet heartwarming style. It was groundbreaking to have a contestant from the northeast region with an indigenous background win. His songs mixed Hindi with Nepali lyrics that resonated with audiences seeking authenticity. He later released several hit albums capitalizing on his popularity. His song “Mera Jahaan” is an anthem for the people of Sikkim.

1st Runner Up: Amit Paul

Amit Paul

Amit Paul, a trained dentist, was the first runner up that season. Originally from Shillong, his soulful voice impressed the judges. He later moved to Australia and still performs using the name Dr Amit Paul. He’s known for songs like “Aisa Jaadu” and “Bachna Ae Hasino.”


To reach singers beyond big metro cities, Indian Idol held auditions in Kochi, Bhopal and Guwahati for the first time. This uncovered talents like Prashant who would have otherwise been overlooked. Small town contestants brought diversity to Season 3. The competitive spirit also led to some amazing performances.

Season 4

Season 4 aired in 2008-2009 and considerably changed the show’s format. New judge Sonali Bendre joined Javed Akhtar and Anu Malik on the panel while Hussain Kuwajerwala debuted as host replacing Aman Verma. It shifted focus from finding raw talent to packaging contestants as commercial performers.

Winner: Sourabhee Debbarma

Sourabhee Debbarma

Sourabhee Debbarma was the first female winner, beating out fellow finalist Torsha Sarkar. Originally from Tripura, the 16-year old impressed early on with her strong classical vocals. Post-win, she made albums with a Bollywood music style that didn’t take off. She later participated in other singing reality shows seeking to revive her career.

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1st Runner Up: Torsha Sarkar

Young singer Torsha Sarkar from Kolkata gave Sourabhee tough competition as runner up. Despite her potential and powerful voice, success eluded her after Indian Idol. She later alleged inappropriate behavior from judges during filming leading to controversy and a lack of good opportunities.


The audition process for Season 4 aimed to be bigger than ever covering more than 12 cities. Young singers turned up in even bigger numbers for their shot at fame. The merit pool expanded significantly, especially outside metros. Small town contestants brought greater diversity to the top talent.

Season 5

Season 5 launched in 2010 amidst huge excitement from loyal fans. Sony TV changed up the judging panel again, bringing on popular singer Suresh Wadkar alongside Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant. Mini Mathur took over as host from Hussain. The show reverted back to finding raw talent rather than packaged performers.

Winner: Sreeram Chandra

Sreeram Chandra, a 25-year old contestant from Hyderabad, emerged as the Season 5 champion. His soulful, youthful voice won over the judges and fans week after week. Post his historic win, he landed a singing role in the hit film Agent Vinod with Saif Ali Khan. He also released many successful albums cementing his status as an accomplished playback singer.

1st Runner Up: Bhoomi Trivedi

Bhoomi Trivedi

Bhoomi Trivedi, a 23-year old girl from a small town Gujarat family, was the first runner up. She impressed the judges with her powerful classical singing style. She later sang in films like Ram-Leela, Ungli and Secret Superstar.


Auditions in Season 5 allowed contestants aged 16-30 to participate, leading to incredibly talented individuals. Small town youngsters made up 50% of contestants unlike earlier seasons focused on metros. This unearthed gems like Sreeram who brought unconventional styles to the stage.

Season 6

Season 6 came back in 2012 with more changes – the show shifted to Colors TV with new host Manish Paul. Popular singers Anu Malik, Sunidhi Chauhan and Salim Merchant were on the judging panel. A notable theme this season was finding contestants with not just good voices but also good looks to package them as music performers.

Winner: Vipul Mehta

Vipul Mehta, a young street vendor from Amritsar, was the underdog winner. Initially rejected from auditions, the judges asked him to return seeing his smiling persistence. His raw, amateur voice had an addictive passion and joy that stole hearts. Post-win, he landed a few acting roles but faded away after initial fame.

1st Runner Up: Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar

Amit Kumar, a trained classical singer, was touted to win. While not as unconventional as Vipul, he impressed consistently with technical skill. Originally from UP, he later sang in Bollywood movies like Phantom, Do Lafzon Ki Kahani and Machine. But he hasn’t been able to recreate the magic of Idol fame as a mainstream singer.


The Season 6 audition tour covered small towns like Ranchi and Allahabad to find undiscovered gems. The crew faced massive turnout in each location especially from young singers hoping to get noticed. Seeing Vipul’s success revived interest among amateur singers rather than just trained professionals.

Season 7

In 2015, Indian Idol returned for a star-studded Season 7 with soundtracks by acclaimed music director Anu Malik. The popular trio of Malik, Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam returned as judges. Long-time host Mini Mathur was replaced by Karan Wahi but the soul of the show remained intact – discovering extraordinary singers across India.

Winner: Anwesha Datta Gupta

Anwesha Datta Gupta

Anwesha Datta Gupta was the Season 7 champion. Hailing from Shillong, the talented 16-year old impressed early on with her booming voice and charming persona. Her finale performance of “Phir Le Aya Dil” brought the house down. Post her win, she cut albums and gave stage performances riding her fame. But mainstream success proved elusive after some initial years.

1st Runner Up: Priyanka Vinchurkar

Priyanka Vinchurkar from Nashik gave Anwesha close competition with her versatile singing ranging from Lata Mangeshkar songs to western numbers. After Idol, she released a few devotional albums but shifted focus away from Bollywood style music. She continues to do live shows with her band across India.


Season 7 aimed for nationwide reach with auditions held in 12 major cities including Lucknow, Kolkata and Chandigarh where talent scouts uncovered several gem contestants. Small town youngsters brought fresh energy and diversity that resonated with people seeking authenticity over glamour.

Season 8

Indian Idol came back with Season 8 in 2016 with the dream of finding ordinary Indians with extraordinary talent. Popular actor Parthiv Gohil co-hosted alongside Karan Wahi. Ace musician Vishal Dadlani joined the judging panel with Farah Khan and Anu Malik. The focus remained finding amateur singers rather than polished professionals.

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Winner: Ankit Tiwari

Ankit Tiwari, a little-known contestant from Kanpur, emerged as the underdog Season 8 winner. His deep, soulful singing style lacked professional polish but brimmed with raw talent. After Idol, he sang popular Bollywood movie soundtracks like “Sunn Raha Hai” and “Galliyan” establishing his cred in the film world.

1st Runner Up: Maalavika Sundar

Maalavika Sundar

Maalavika Sundar from Bengaluru impressed judges and fans with her trained Carnatic style vocals. While she couldn’t beat Ankit’s appeal, her standout performances made her a finalist. She later released singles and devotional albums besides singing ad jingles. But she never found mainstream success to match her early promise.


Season 8 held auditions in 12 major Indian cities garnering applicants from remote towns too. Untrained amateurs turned up driven by Ankit Tiwari’s rags-to-fame story the previous season. The raw talents discovered expanded the conventional pool beyond polished professionals leading to the unconventional winner.

Season 9

Indian Idol 9 premiered in 2018, abbreviated to a shorter concert-style format. Vishal Dadlani and Anu Malik returned as judges with surprise assistance from other singers. Music composer Shekhar Ravjiani and India’s nightingale Lata Mangeshkar also made guest appearances guiding contestants. The focus remained discovering hidden talents across India.

Winner: LV Revanth

LV Revanth, a passionate contestant from Andhra Pradesh, was the Season 9 title winner. Despite lacking formal training, he impressed consistently with his modulated voice, versatility and unconventional song choices. Post his historic win, he’s collaborated with leading music directors and sang hits like “Premante Chinni Baadhaleni” establishing his credentials.

1st Runner Up: Khuda Baksh

Teenager Khuda Baksh (real name Rajdeep Chatterjee) finished runner up. He amazed audiences week after week with his beautifully trained, soul-touching vocals belying his young age. Originally from Kolkata, he became a household name across India during his Idol journey. Post-show, he’s cut multiple hit albums cementing his bright future as a playback singer.


To find hidden talents in remote pockets, the team held auditions in smaller cities like Guwahati, Jaipur and Lucknow besides metros. Small town youngsters turned up in big numbers spurred by dreams of making it big a la Revanth. Unconventional voices got unearthed that enhanced the merit pool significantly.

Season 10

Indian Idol 10 launched in 2018 to a thunderous response from loyal fans. The show reverted to its classic format with theatre stage auditions before live episodes. Popular Bollywood singer Neha Kakkar joined Vishal Dadlani and Anu Malik on the judging panel while Manish Paul returned as entertaining host. The core theme remained discovering amateur talents from humble origins.

Winner: Salman Ali

Salman Ali

Salman Ali, a 25-year old construction worker from Mewat, Haryana emerged as the inspirational Season 10 winner. He mesmerized viewers each week with his raw, soulful singing style marked by visible passion and enjoyment. Post his unexpected triumph, he’s released a couple of promising albums cementing his rise as a professional singer.

1st Runner Up: Ankush Bhardwaj

Ankush Bhardwaj

Young singer Ankush Bhardwaj from Delhi gave Salman stiff competition with his classically trained, emotionally resonating performances. While he couldn’t clinch the historic win, he won millions of fans with his versatility ranging from Sufi to folk songs. He continues to do stage shows post Idol.


Staying true to its roots, the show brought auditions to small cities like Bhatinda and Siliguri besides big metros. Small town contestants exceeded expectations, raising the level each round. Passionate unknowns like Salman emerged to not just participate but go all the way. It reinforced the show’s success at discovering stars in unlikely places.

Season 11

Indian Idol returned for an eleventh installment in 2019, shifting to Sony TV. Acclaimed musician Vishal Dadlani returned as judge joined by singers Neha Kakkar and Himesh Reshammiya on the panel. Host Aditya Narayan brought his exuberant energy while the essence remained finding extraordinary voices hidden across India.

Winner: Sunny Hindustani

Sunny Hindustani, a talented wedding singer from Punjab, emerged as the popular Season 11 winner. His earthy, energetic performances highlighted by inspired song choices made him a nationwide sensation during the show. Post his historic triumph, he’s delivered hits like “Mere Liye Tum Kaafi Ho” heralding a promising playback singing career.

1st Runner Up: Rohit Raut

Rohit Raut

Rohit Raut, a conservatory trained singer from Latur, kept pace with Sunny during the season with his classical purity and soulful presence. He clinched a recording deal after his second place finish, going on to release songs and devotional albums capitalizing on newfound fame. He continues touring India doing live shows.

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The audition tour visited Lucknow, Kolkata, Jaipur and other Tier 2 cities besides metros to uncover hidden talents. Small town contestants brought fresh perspectives that enhanced the competitive quality. The raw talents discovered expanded the merit pool, reinforced by eventual winner Sunny’s success story.

Season 12

Indian Idol 12 premiered in 2020, quickly shifting online amidst pandemic lockdowns. Vishal Dadlani returned alongside Neha Kakkar and Himesh Reshammiya as judges. New host Aditya Narayan’s humorous presence entertained loyal fans. The main quest remained – discovering extraordinary singers from humble backgrounds across India.

Winner: Pawandeep Rajan

Pawandeep Rajan

Pawandeep Rajan, an underprivileged artist from Uttarakhand, was the popular Season 12 champion. Despite his challenging background, he impressed early on with a soul-stirring raw voice conveying deep emotions. Since his historic win, he’s delivered multiple hit songs like “Yaad Aa Rahi Hai” and “Mere Liye Tum Kaafi Ho” heralding a promising career ahead.

1st Runner Up: Arunita Kanjilal

Gifted vocalist Arunita Kanjilal from Kolkata kept pace with Pawandeep until the very end with her mellifluous classically-trained performances. She came agonizingly close to victory but won millions of admiring fans nationwide. She inked a valuable record deal post-show, already releasing songs and music videos marking a bright future.


Pandemic restrictions forced innovative online audition formats in Season 12. Yet talented singers sent videos from small towns and villages besides big cities. Unconventional voices like Pawandeep’s highlighted that stardom remains accessible to struggling artists from remote areas if talent shines through. His win reaffirmed Indian Idol’s mission.

Season 13

Indian Idol made an eagerly awaited return in 2022 for Season 13 – the first completely live version since the pandemic hit. Renowned singer Vishal Dadlani is back on the judging panel with powerhouse vocalists Neha Kakkar and Himesh Reshammiya. Host Aditya Narayan completes the entertaining team guiding aspiring contestants on their quest for fame.

Winner: Rishi Singh

Rishi Singh

Rishi Singh, a gifted singer from a small town in Rajasthan, emerged as the surprise Season 13 winner. His soulful, classically-trained vocals impressed judges and fans as he overcame odds to clinch the historic triumph. Since his win, he’s signed deals and released hit songs heralding a bright future ahead.

1st Runner Up: Debosmita Roy

Debosmita Roy

Talented vocalist Debosmita Roy from Kolkata gave Rishi tough competition till the end with her versatile performances ranging different musical styles. She came agonizingly close to victory but won millions of admiring fans nationwide with her memorable journey. She’s inked a promising recording contract post-show.


Pandemic impacts led to innovative online and decentralized audition formats for Season 13. Yet talented singers sent entries from small towns and villages besides big cities. Authentic new voices like Rishi’s highlighted that unconventional doesn’t mean unworthy of fame. His win reaffirmed Indian Idol’s enduring success.


Over a memorable 13 season journey, Indian Idol has captivated the nation each year with its simple formula – discovering extraordinary singing talents hidden in ordinary Indian towns, villages and streets. Raw voices brimming with passion and surprises have outshined polished professionals, highlighting that unconventional does not mean unworthy of fame.

Against odds and challenges, contestants like Abhijeet, Sandeep, Prashant and Sreeram emerged from obscurity on the national stage delivering timeless performances. Their inspiring wins built foundations for rewarding music careers, guiding followers on their own quests later.

As new episodes play out through another unpredictable season, the magic is set to enthrall fans again. Another sensational voice will be uncovered beyond expectations. Hearts will break and mend as contestants give their all striving towards triumph and stardom. The Indian Idol dream remains well and truly alive!


How many winners have emerged from Indian Idol so far?

There have been 12 winners of Indian Idol so far over 13 completed seasons of the popular show since 2005. The 13th season is currently underway.

Which was the first female winner and what season?

Sourabhee Debbarma was the first female winner in Season 4 of Indian Idol back in 2009.

Who has judged the most Indian Idol seasons?

Acclaimed musician Vishal Dadlani has been a judge in 8 out of 13 Indian Idol seasons so far, the highest among any panel member.

How many runner ups have later found more success than winners?

At least 2 runner ups – Rahul Vaidya and Bhoomi Trivedi have achieved more commercial success than the winners of their respective seasons.

Which small town contestant’s win was most unconventional but inspirational?

Prashant Tamang, a policeman from Darjeeling creating history by winning Season 3 with his unique fusion style marked a groundbreaking moment on Indian Idol.

Ahmed Raza

Ahmed Raza is a versatile writer featured on and notable sites like He excels in crafting insightful content across various sectors, enriching readers with his diverse expertise.

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