The finale of Comedy Ka Mahamuqabla that airs on Star Plus may be rigged, say sources connected to the show.
Apparently the decision to hand over the winners’ cheques to judge-mentor actor Shreyas Talpade’s team Shreyas Chi Mandli was made a day before the finale was shot on Sunday. Actors Shekhar Suman, Arshad Warsi and Raveena Tandon Thadani were his competitors on the show. The winners, as per the rules, were to be arrived at, on the basis of their scores and audience votes.
According to an insider, the channel’s officials had been interfering with the script from the outset. “The writing team was asked to come up with better lines for one team,” recalls our source, adding that this behaviour forced the group of writers to exit the show.
Bharat Kukreti, who was the head of content when it took off, admits he left after 15 episodes. “The current team will be in a better position to talk about this issue,” he says, adding that creative differences with the channel led to his exit. “Our perspectives with respect to the show didn’t match. So, we decided to amicably step aside.”
A former crewmember, however, confirms that he exited with his team because they were unhappy with the way things were being handled.
He says, “We’ve worked on a successful format called Comedy Circus (Sony Entertainment). We didn’t want to be associated with manipulations. Those who will see the final episode will know that Arshad’s team actually performed better.” However, Monica Shergill, senior creative director, Star Plus, terms these reports ‘ridiculous’.
“Why would we have a panel to collectively judge the show, with the studio audience also voting, if the winner is to be decided in advance,” she countered. “It’s a competitive show and the claims made are preposterous. If people are sure about what they’re saying, why do they hide behind the garb of anonymity?”