Her lenient attitude towards contestants on TV show Nach Baliye 7 has drawn criticism from fans but Preity Zinta says she is not on the judge's chair to discourage participants.
The 40-year-old actor, who earlier hosted TV shows like Up Close and Personal with Preity Zinta and Guinness World Records, said she is not bothered by people's notion about her. "Being on the judge's seat is a huge responsibility because the results are not decided by public voting. I feel personally liable if anybody exits the show."
"The whole concept is to be fair and in such shows the difference between a winner and loser is one mark. So, I thought why not give them eight or nine instead of giving them five or six. And it's completely unfair to call me lenient if I am trying to boost the morale of a non-dancer. People should watch the full episodes before passing such judgements." Preity said.
The Star Plus celebrity dance reality show, where stars participate with their real-life partners, has aired two episodes. It is also being co-judged by author Chetan Bhagat and choreographer Marzi Pestonji.
The Kal Ho Naa Ho actor feels it requires a lot of courage for people who have no connection with showbiz to display their dancing skills on television. "We were told in the first episode that we can mark them but the marking won't be of any consequence. From second episode their marks were counted. On this show, there are many celebrities who have never danced before and I want to encourage them," she said.
The dimpled-beauty said she is often reminded of her early days in Bollywood when she judges amateur dancing couples. "When I came in this industry I did not know how to do anything. Every time I got encouraged I did amazing. If someone screamed at me I shut everything out."
"I feel you should not forget who you are and where you have come from. I always remember that the biggest people I have worked with in the industry have always made me feel good about me," she said.
Preity said she has been receiving offers to judge dance reality shows for quite some time. "After getting into IPL, I took a bigger break. I have been offered these dance reality shows for years but I really never wanted to do because I had no time. But this time when I got the offer, I could not say no because it is about real-life couples and their journey from being non-dancers to performers. And above all, my dates match. They decided to shoot only on those days when my team is not having any match," she said.
The seventh season of the reality show took off with 11 celebrity couples and is now left with seven pairs of TV stars.