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Warring for love on the beach

We report from the shores of Phuket, where MTV Splitsvilla 3 has set up a camp to shoot its new edition.

tv Updated: Dec 10, 2009 20:18 IST
Colin Rodrigues

The show has abandoned Goa and moved on to greener pastures or rather to the sandy locales of Phuket, Thailand, to be precise.

The 13 episodes are currently being shot in a sprawling 12,000 square foot property which belongs to a local American. Renamed Splitsvilla, the hilltop villa faces the Andaman Sea.

Room for more
One of the entrances to the house leads from the sea through a long stairway, carved into the rock. The surrounding area is densely forested and could form an ideal location for the picturisation of a Bollywoood song.

There are separate rooms for the king and queen, designed aesthetically keeping in mind the oriental feel. The contestants can dine either in a western-styled room or a Japanese chamber complete with a zataku table. The drawing room can accommodate the entire team. The basement comprises an open air swimming pool overlooking the massive expanse.


MTV Splitsvilla 3 features five couples and 10 singles fighting for the Rs 10 lakh purse. The show had been dragged into controversies in which the participants alleged that there was an involvement of sexual favours from the production unit.

The channel had vehemently denied it. Ashish Patil of MTV says, “The format of the show doesn’t allow influences on the outcome. I can’t bulletproof myself from a contestant going psycho.”

Precautions
A survey of the house confirms this. Close circuit cameras are fitted to keep a watch . No one is allowed to leave their rooms in the night. Security men are placed at specific locations to make sure that the regulations are followed by all the participants.


The Nai Yang beach was the location for an evening shoot. Hosts, Nikhil Chinappa and Deepti Gujral, arrived early along with a crew of 50 members flown in from India. Contestants, Rhea and Pavithra, challenged themselves for the Beach Rose Task.
About 50 sun bathers on the beach have been given roses. The girls are tied with a strap down their waits and they have to run the length of the beach and collect the roses.


Rain gods show up during the first shot. The crew is forced to take shelter in an adjoining massage parlour. The downpour refuses to die and the crew gets on with their job amidst light drizzle. Says Nikhil, “So far we managed to avoid the rains, but this time, we don’t have an option.” The contestants start from where they had left off. Nearly all the people with roses are Europeans. They’re visibly excited.


Towards the end of the shoot, it’s not clear who won. The shoot winds up at dusk and the contestants head back to the villa for another dose of the love battle.