She may have shot to fame with a reality show (Coke [V] Popstars in 2002), but Bollywood playback singer Anushka Manchanda claims she doesn’t really watch any of them “except if I come across VJ Andy on Dare 2 Date because he is pure entertainment!” Manchanda firmly believes that all said and done, reality shows are a great platform for people to display their talent. “I should know,” she says, “because I started off with one.”
However, she does feel that compared to the ‘sober’ shows of her day, shows today are completely ‘crazy’. “I think earlier, channels were experimenting to see if Indian viewers would accept reality shows. After they got a positive response, they started experimenting.”
Rahul Vaidya, the runner-up of the first season of Indian Idol, doesn’t think much of the reality shows airing today. “The reality of reality shows has vanished”, he says. “Nowadays, it’s all about stunts, controversies, skin show and unreal emotional moments.” As a contestant on Indian Idol in 2005, Vaidya says he doesn’t remember any controversies or stunts that were scripted just to grab eyeballs. “Even when we cried, it was natural and real,” he says.
Both Manchanda and Vaidya firmly state they would never participate in any reality show today. “Only talent-based shows make sense to me, which is the reason I am participating in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa,” Manchanda says. “Audiences do want to see some drama, but that is not the only thing that gets you ahead.”
- From HT Brunch, December 19
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