As Zee TV’s Dance India Dance Season Two is nearing its finale, the promos of Dance India Dance Li’l Masters are all over the channel, inviting children to participate in the auditions being held at over 18 cities.
With their tight work schedules, Dance India Dance mentors, Terrence Lewis, Geeta Kapoor and Remo D’Souza are unable to continue on the show. However, they would be around to judge the initial auditions for the contest. But the channel was undecided as to who would take over as the judges till even a month ago.
Now, buzz is that filmmaker-choreographer Farah Khan and ballroom dancer-choreographer Sandip Soparrkar have been finalised to judge the show, that is expected to take over the current weekend slot from Dance India Dance Season Two in the last week of April.
When asked, Ashish Golwalkar, programming head, non-fiction content for Zee TV, confirms that Soparkar has signed the dotted line and is already on board.
“Farah is shooting for Tees Maar Khan at Malshej Ghat with Akshay Kumar. She will be back in the city by this weekend. We should be able to complete the paperwork with her. She has liked the concept of the show,” he says.
According to industry insiders, the channel had decided to extend the show into a children’s version because there were several kiddie contestants at various city auditions who came, auditioned, were applauded, but couldn’t make it to the show because of their age. One has to be over 18 years to participate in any reality show unless it’s meant for kids.
Another viewpoint that analysts seem to make is that the show is being launched to compete with Chak Dhoom Dhoom, a kids’ dance contest on their rival channel, Colors, which will be judged by Ahmed Khan, Saroj Khan and Vindu Dara Singh.
Golwalkar believes it was a natural progression for his channel because they have created kiddie formats for shows like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, that have existed for many years on the
“We had created Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs, which has run into two seasons so far. Neither did we copy anyone there, nor were we trying to compete with rival channels. Colors is formidable competition for every channel in the Hindi general entertainment space. But I can’t comment on what Chak Dhoom Dhoom will be like. Ultimately, it’s the audience who will decide. I’m confident my show will get thumbs up from the audience,” says Golwalkar.
Would Mithun Chakraborthy be part of the kiddie show too?
Ajay Golwalkar from Zee TV says that Chakraborty will continue on the Li’l Masters too, but may not be present in every episode. “He is very busy. He is shooting for Golmaal Three. So, he can’t devote too much time for our show. But he will be seen on a few episodes in the beginning, then some in the middle of the season and a few closer to the finale. He will be supervising the entire show, even when he is not around because he is close to the format and to the channel,” he informs.
Golwalkar adds, “Geeta, Remo and Terrence sacrifice all their work to accommodate our show. They often opt out of other assignments because they have committed time to us. So, on Little Masters, we’ll just have our senior judges for the initial episodes.”
Here’s some quick info on the new mentors
Has triplets- Czar, Diva and Anya-with husband Shirish Kunder
Has judged shows like Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega, Nach Baliye and Jo Jeeta Wohi Superstar
Is currently directing Tees Maar Khan top lining Akshay Kumar
Ballroom dancer, choreographer
Introduced professional salsa dance courses in Mumbai.
Choreographed for Zubeida (2001) and Kyun Ho Gaya Na (2004).
Also choreographed the dances for Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai’s wedding in April 2007.
Judged Chak De- a singing and dancing competition on 9X.