Known for their penchant for swag and drama, reality shows on Indian television, replete in histrionic brought a much-needed boom to the industry. The instant fame and overnight glory the winners earned caught the fancy of the nation and we had thousands of youngsters queuing for auditions for any and every reality show that happened on TV.
Nearly fifteen years down the lane, we track down the winners of the first season of some of the most popular shows to find out where they stand.
Rannvijay intended to join the Army and participated in the show to win a bike. "Following the show, I was offered more work by the channel," the suave presenter-turned-actor says. Twelve films old, Rannvijay's plate is full of offers. He says, "I was busy last year with my show Pukaar and two films. I have a few more films planned this year."
Bigg Boss, 2006
The heartthrob of Bollywood in 90s, Rahul Roy, went on to become the first winner of one of the most controversial television shows of the country. His motive in taking part in the show was to gain popularity among youngsters. "I decided to be a part of Bigg Boss as I wanted the younger generation to know about me," says the actor. Rahul has multiple projects in pipeline. "I am doing a film and I am also open to television offers. I feel my journey has been great," he says.
Kaun Banega Crorepati, 2000
Amitabh Bachchan at the launch of Kaun Banega Crorepati.
Winning a whopping amount of Rs 1 crore changed Harshvardhan's life forever. A student at that time, Harshvardhan is a married and father of two now. "I was living the life of a rockstar when I won the show. However, I am away from that life now. I am like any other Indian now, working with an insurance company," he says.
Fame Gurukul, 2005
Eyes loaded with winning dreams, Kashmir boy Qazi Touqueer landed in Mumbai. And no one would have believed he would actually nail the dream. "I was so surprised. I knew I wasn't a great singer but I guess people loved the way I sang and looked," says the singer. He signed a contract with a music label for two years, besides acting in a film, which did not release.
Indian Idol, 2004-2005
Who can forget the show that whipped frenzy in India, with every youngster living the perpetual dream of becoming a singer and its first winner whose first album was an overnight hit? There was never looking back for Abhijeet Sawant following the win. "After Indian Idol, life was great. I never thought I would get that kind of popularity," he says. The singer has lent his voice to a Marathi film, besides doing playback in Hindi movies. "I'm satisfied with life. I'm among the very few who've done three albums, plus I am playback singing too," says the crooner.
Prince Dance Group
India's Got Talent, 2009-2010
A platform like India's Got Talent was all that this dance group from Odisha had ever dreamt of. "Our reach became much bigger. We started performing pan India following the show and also became popular," says Vijay Bokadia, show director of the group. "It has been more than six years now. We even performed in front of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Bokadia says.