There will be no movie role with Shah Rukh Khan or in fact in any Bollywood movie for the winner of the Miss Bollywood IPL 2009 contest being run by the Indian Premier League (IPL). But she will get a chance to visit India.
Commentators interviewing winners at each game had been asking finalists how they would feel about a role with Shah Rukh and as late as Monday, press releases issued on behalf of the IPL were still saying that 'the winner would receive a role in a Bollywood movie, 50,000 rands in cash, a business class trip to India and other prizes'.
But IPL spokesperson Trevor Jones, who initially denied that this had ever been said, confirmed to IANS that there had been some confusion around the Bollywood movie role: "The launch press release said the winner 'stands to win a role in a Bollywood movie', although subsequent releases should have been clearer on this."
"The initial release did not say the person would win such a role because such a thing could never be guaranteed in advance; neither did the announcement refer to starring with Shah Rukh Khan.
"We're sorry if there's been any confusion on this. We still believe the overall prize is a worthy one for the ultimate winner."
At each IPL game, a finalist is selected from the crowd, as a measure to create a further element of fun and excitement at the matches.
Asked about the criteria used in selection of the finalists, Jones said: "In keeping with the emphasis on fun and excitement, these criteria are different from the rigid score sheet format of a typical beauty pageant."
Jones also said that Bollywood stars Shah Rukh and Preity Zinta provided their input and some ideas before the launch, but have had no direct involvement since they spend most of their time travelling with their respective teams while in South Africa.
Jones dispelled any concern about potential unfairnesses in the selection process by saying that anonymous 'spotters' made choices, after which the project leader of the programme made the final choice.
"Cameramen do not have the final choice, they can make suggestions, which may or may not be useful. There are adequate measures built into the process to prevent abuse. Disclosing the nature of these measures would defeat their object," Jones added.
"If there were to be any structural weakness in the initiative, it would have come from people such as model agents trying to identify our Miss Bollywood spotters and influence them. We believe we have avoided this potential problem."
On the question of why finalists selected had been almost exclusively Indian or white women so far, and whether this was because there were very few Black women attending IPL games, Jones said: "There is no quota system in operation.
"We believe it is neither desirable nor practical to try to operate a quota system at individual matches or in terms of the overall Miss Bollywood IPL SA initiative."
After the last entrants are decided, a web-based voting process will open on the iplt20.com web site for about 48 hours to reduce the total entrants from 48 to a short list of finalists. Details will be announced in a general release closer to the time.
"The finalists will be brought to Johannesburg at IPL cost," Jones concluded.
"The format of the final event will be made known closer to the time in a general media announcement. At this stage, the intention is to crown Miss Bollywood IPL SA before the final, and then have the winner and all finalists also present at that match."