After consistently putting their best feet forward on stage in the past three months, last weekend, popular TV stars Jay Bhanushali and Mahii Vij were announced as the
winners of the popular dance reality show Nach Baliye. In the past, both actors have been part of other dance reality shows as solo contestants. Having won a whopping prize money of Rs 50 lakh, the couple is now looking to pay off their home loan with that sum.
Right from the beginning, both of you were the favourites on the show. But did you ever feel insecure?
Jay Bhanushali: It might have been a given for others that we would win, but we never felt that way. What happens in reality shows is that the dark horse wins while the favourites who are lauded for the best performances and get perfect scores end up as runner-ups. I didn’t want to leave with a ‘good-effort-pat’ on my back. I was scared before the finale as winning was my goal. After winning, I am overwhelmed.
Mahii Vij: It still hasn’t sunk in yet.
Between the two of you, who is more competitive?
JB: I’m a perfectionist and that irritates Mahii. I would push her to do better in each act. I think no one looks at guys in a dance act and everyone focuses on the girl, so I wanted her to look good and perform brilliantly.
MV: Jay is very competitive. He would push both of us to work harder and up the quotient of our act.
You’ve always been frank about needing the prize money to pay off your home loan. Did you ever feel awkward about admitting this on national TV?
JB: Money was one of the reasons why I participated in Nach Baliye. The other Mahii — she wanted to participate in the show. I never felt weird saying that I need the money for the loan as I was being frank and clear. No one is going to give me Rs 50 lakh for no reason. So it was important for me to win the sum through this show and pay off my debt. As TV is a dramatic medium, whenever I said that on the show, they added sad music and played it up. But what could I do? (Laughs)
MV: I think it was a courageous thing to do. Most actors live in a state of denial. They might be poor but project a rich lifestyle. Saying that (about the home loan) on national TV is a big deal. Everyone who has a loan wants to pay it off and thankfully we will do just that now.
Jay, while you are known for hosting shows, your wife is more popular on the tube thanks to her roles in serials.
JB: TV serial actors are indeed more popular as they have loyal fans. These fans vote for you and get you through to the next level. As for me, the connection is probably not that much as reality show audiences love me, but I haven’t done any roles which connect me with them. As for Mahii’s popularity, I am very happy for her. She’s an excellent actor, dancer and wife.
Mahii, have you ever felt him being insecure about your fame?
MV: Never. I have my fans and Jay has his own fan following from his various seasons of Dance India Dance.
We heard that you were trying to have a baby before Nach Baliye happened. True?
JB: You will hear some good news very soon.