The auditions for India’s Got Talent on Colors have rolled. One of the two resident judges on the show, Sonali Bendre, returns with oodles of oomph. The buzz making the rounds is that before her show goes on air in the end of the month of August, Sony Entertainment’s Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega’s Third Season will be on air, just the way it was in the last season.
Bring this up and Bendre, without mincing words, says that her show was always better. “No offence to anyone involved but we had better TRP ratings, we made better money I’m sure. In terms of talent also, we were infinitely better than that show. I’d like to believe that they copied us in that season and took off three weeks before us. They ended quite abruptly if I’m not mistaken. I wouldn’t be surprised if they came before us this time too,” she adds.
Would she watch it? “I don’t know because I don’t know anyone else who’d watch it either! Jokes apart, I would just like to focus on my show and make it the best that’s on air in that genre,” asserts Bendre.
Rumours have it that before she gave the nod to the second season of the Got Talent format in India, actresses Sonam Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut were being considered to fill in her place on the show. Bendre doesn’t deny the possibility. “It’s the channel’s call. I cannot stop them from talking to anyone. I’m sure they may have because they have the sole right to decide who stays and goes from their shows. But I’d like to admit that they were talking about season two to me even before season one had ended. I’m sure this clears a lot of the speculation, right?” she states, rhetorically.
Shekhar Kapur, one of the three judges on the first season of India’s Got Talent, is no longer on the show and Bendre’s friend director-anchor Sajid Khan has been roped in. “We’ll miss Shekhar for sure. He was a very emotional man. He got teary-eyed when a performance was honest and straight from the heart. Sajid and I have been friends for years now. Since we’re almost the same age, I’m looking forward to having a lot more fun this time,” she beams.
Where would that leave the much-older Kirron Kher? Bendre says, “She’s just as old as us, mentally. And that’s what will keep her and us on the same page. Besides, Sajid and she have a great sense of humour too.”
Sonali Bendre speaks up
You must be proud of Prince Group that won the contest last year and are on their way to the Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony.
Completely in awe of them. It’s going to be difficult to find another group or individual as gifted as they were. They didn’t have the money to get costumes, so they’d paint on their body and hair. They were all daily-wage workers from a small village in Orissa.
Is that why the show goes into several smaller cities and villages this season?
Yeah! A documentary on Indian culture wouldn’t find too many buyers, but a show like this that presents the varied culture of our country will. And who says that talent is only found in cities?
Does your son Ranveer watch the show?
He saw it in the last season. I do one show at a time and only shows like India’s Got Talent and Indian Idol. I don’t want him to feel bad about seeing his mother on a show that’s laughed at.
Do you see him as a participant?
He’s still young. So, I can’t say whether he’d participate but I’d support him if he wants to.
You just mentioned Indian Idol. Have you been watching season five?
I haven’t had the time. But I enjoyed myself on season four. Many loudmouths attempted to silence me but I managed to float on the surface. And I was happy that a girl had won that year.
Your home production banner also has another show on Colors, which is apparently inspired by your parents.
No, no. Shrishti (Arya) and Goldie (Behl) have grown up on a certain kind of culture. They’ve had a very middle class upbringing. They were running a business at 16 and 17 after their father expired. So, this show actually brings out their understanding of their culture and family. It’s not inspired by my parents’ life at all.