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Akshat Singh: ‘Ellen was my Valentine’

Akshat Singh, the eight-year-old Indian dance prodigy who charmed Ellen DeGeneres and her audience on her hit show last Friday, may never have heard about her show until he received an invite but he describes her as a “lovely person who made him comfortable”.

“It was ek dum mast [amazing]. I went to America on Valentine’s Day and met Ellen on that day. She was my Valentine,” said Singh in a telephone interview with tabloid!.

The cherubic dancing sensation from India’s Got Talent, who emulates Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in his dancing style, busted some Bollywood moves on the show and proclaimed that his act proved that “motu [fat people] can dance”

“I was fat and many just poked fun at my size. But at that time I had made up my mind that I would show all those people who made fun of me by dancing well … But I never dreamt that my dancing would take me to America,” said Singh in Hindi.

While his pelvis thrusts and chest thumping have won him thousands of fans, some watchers of the viral video have commented that his moves had sexual undertones. Ask him about it and he proves to be critic-proof.

“I danced a lot and I dance to make people happy … what made me happy was to hear Indians in America introduce me to their Western friends that I am that kid who dances like Salman Khan,” said Singh.

The Kolkota boy might be basking in the glory of his first foreign adventure and having those “tasty chicken burgers” in the US, but his biggest dream is to meet his idol Khan, whose role in the film Dabbang, playing cheerfully corrupt cop Chulbul Pandey, inspired Singh’s policeman uniform.

India’s Got Talent judge Malaika Arora Khan has promised that one day she would make me meet Salman Khan. I can’t wait for that day. He’s my biggest hero,” said Singh. Arora Khan is married to Salman Khan’s brother Arbaaz.

It’s yet to be seen if Khan will deign to meet him, but Singh, the son of a tea-leaf trader, already appears to be a hit at home. The dancing wonder is swatting commercial offers ranging from biscuits to cell phones. However, the focus has been as much on his shape than on his dance skills.

“Why should I [lose weight]? Just eat and dance. And remember if there’s no petrol in my body how will this car run?” said Singh. The last line was regurgitated from his Ellen DeGeneres Show appearance.

“I don’t feel bad about it. It’s the way I am and I am happy. I am ekdum jhakaas [fabulous],” says Singh, who has made it to the semi-finals of India’s Got Talent. The results of the audience-voted show will be revealed this Saturday on Colors. Voting has now closed.

“I don’t feel any pressure about winning or losing because everybody has been complimenting me on my dancing skills. Remember, never be the one to be tense on stage and always make others around you tense,” said Singh, rattling off lines from Khan’s hit films. His father, Abhay Singh, who is accompanying him as he takes a shot at India’s Got Talent Season 5, says he’s proud of his son.

“Akshat has made us so happy. I still remember him as this four-year-old who danced to Salman Khan’s hit from Wanted. And for him to come so far, it feels like a dream and a fairy tale. But the best part was when Akshat asked Ellen if he could be her valentine and whether she wanted to hop on the bike that she gave him and travel to India with him,” said Singh Sr in Hindi.

“I would love to come to Dubai. On my way to America, we passed through Dubai airport and I liked the city from my plane window,” added Singh.

Don’t miss it

India’s Got Talent airs on Saturday and Sunday, 9pm on Colors.