D. Sathyaprakash might have lost out on Vijay TV’s “Super Singer 3” title, but the lad from Coimbatore has won many hearts, and possibly a chance to sing in films too. There’s a wave of sympathy for arguably the better of the four finalists, who lost out due to fewer public votes.

The judges loved him, giving him top billing for both his performances during the finals, telecast live on Vijay TV. “That,” says the show’s second runner-up, “is what keeps me going. I’m happy for that recognition”.

The difference between Sathyaprakash, the second runner-up, and Sai Charan, the winner, was more than two lakh votes. In introspection mode, the young singer wonders if his song selection made the difference. “I chose songs that were complicated, had technical content, and would showcase my skill. But, I never wondered if it would reach the masses.”

Now, back in his hometown, the singer says he is grateful to the show for the opportunities it provided. “Here, I was shuttling among sabhas. Super Singer was a huge opportunity. I learnt so much during the past year and three months. I learnt how to adapt from Carnatic to light music; how to use my vocal chords better…”

All this would not have happened but for Chitra, a development officer with LIC. About 12 years ago, she heard him perform at a school contest where she was judge, and put him under the tutelage of the revered Chandrasekhar Bhagavathar. Soon, T. Satish Kumar of Rajalakshmi Fine Arts chipped in, funding Sathyaprakash’s education. “I don’t know what I would be but for people like them,” he says.

Sathyaprakash was in his final year Mechanical Engineering, Maharaja Engineering College, Avanashi, when he took part in the contest. “My college has been so supportive. I could not have managed otherwise. I worked on my project alongside the show. They allowed me to take up pending theory and lab classes during the holidays,” he says.

So, does he feel bitter at the turn of events? “No. All four finalists had our strong points. The format has come in for criticism this time around. Probably, we could have a ‘popular singer’ selected by public voting and a ‘super singer” chosen by the judges. But, this wave of sympathy is gratifying,” he says.

Says Singer Srinivas, one of the judges: “Sathyaprakash was incredible at the finals. Every single judge gave him a standing ovation. I wonder why he did not get that many public votes. But, that’s the sad part of the format.”

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Actor Dhanush, who gave away the awards, has already tweeted that he would get Sathyaprakash to sing in his “3”. “On stage, he told me he was shocked I did not win, and promised to give me a chance in films. I heard about his tweet the next day,” says the singer.

What about his engineering dreams? “They are alive. But, I am in a dilemma now. I will work, but music is my calling. I want to learn all I can — Hindustani, Western, instruments…”

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