TV’s live audience, reality shows innovate to cheer contestants, connect with viewers: Life size cut-outs, live video chats, banging thalis, and more

Actors, producers and hosts of The Kapil Sharma Show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs, Indian Idol and India’s Best Dancer, share how they are making the most of the new normal and how the audiences response from the audience.
Jury members of the singing reality show on TV, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il, Champs are seen banging thalis and spoons to encourage contestants.
Jury members of the singing reality show on TV, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il, Champs are seen banging thalis and spoons to encourage contestants.
Updated on Jul 31, 2020 10:03 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByShreya Mukherjee

One of actor-comedian Kapil Sharma’s latest post — a photo from the sets of his comedy show, featuring actor Archana Puran Singh and an audience largely made up of life-sized human cut-outs — caught everyone’s attention. This is one of the many ways in which TV’s live audience and reality shows are innovating to pep up artistes and contestants, and also entertain viewers amid the Covid-19 restrictions.

“We do miss our studio audience, whose laughter and claps would cheer us up. Now these cut-outs and whatever less people we’ve on the sets motivate us. Waise Archana ji akeli bhi kaafi hai. But, yes it’s a different feeling altogether to perform in front of a live audience. Surely they too are missing being on the sets,” says actor-comedian Kiku Sharda, who’s a part of The Kapil Sharma Show that is planning to interact with the audience live through video calls.

“Apart from our fans in India, those who stay abroad always wanted to participate in our show, now they can do that. This live video-calling can connect us to the entire family who usually sit together and watch our show. Looking forward to the response once we go on air,” he adds.


Singing-based reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs, too, has found an interesting replacement for audience’s applause. The show’s 15-member jury bangs spoons and thalis to laud top performers. “Audience’s claps and whistles motivated these kids. We are trying to create that kind of atmosphere. Also, a token amount for a good performance is now put in the thali or given using an accordion extension arm,” says singer Debojit Saha, one of the jury members.

The innovations don’t end here. Neeraj Sharma, producer of the show, tells us, “We recently got family members of Covid-19 warriors and an ambulance driver on the show. For Independence Day, we’re bringing family members of the martyrs of Galwan Valley. Live video sessions with families of our contestants are also done. Ananya Sharma (a contestant) recently connected with her father, who’s in the army and is posted in Kashmir.”


Sharma is also a co-producer for Indian Idol, which is conducting online auditions this time. “For Indian Idol, we might have large screens on the sets, through which audiences will be able to enjoy the show and give live reactions via zoom calls,” he adds..

Writer-producer Haarsh Limbachiyaa, who’s hosting dance reality show India’s Best Dancer, talks about one of their recent live video calling sessions. “Our contestant Raj Sharma’s uncle flirts with Geeta Kapur (choreographer-judge) a lot, and when we connected with him through a video call, he did a live dance performance. Fun, emotional interactions with contestants’ family members are loved. All these innovations are adding a new dimension,” he says.

Follow @htshowbiz for more

Author tweets @Shreya_MJ

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Thursday, December 09, 2021