By | October 15, 2016

BIG BOSS is back this Sunday. ‘Season 10’ is testimony to the popularity, impact and connect the show with the audience. The format remained static for long. People like me cribbed and raised our voices to increase the non-celebrity quotient. I am happy that finally the AAM ADAMI (common man) will be making a honourable entry in this house of emotional fire. The unexpected roll of dice is happening.

9bad04e5-ccca-46b2-acaf-23a6fc7e0423There are media rumours, there are many list of contestant floating around. You can expect Colors, the channel giving you voyeuristic pleasure with a balanced celeb to no-celeb ratio. One could understand the nervousness and their need to play safe. I may be few rowdies, who are vocal in their support to this reality show format. However, I am aware of many BiggBoss supporters, who for reasons known to them refuse to acknowledge their love for the format. I am not sure what causes such masked statements.

I, on the other hand, see BiggBoss as a lesson in social group formation, behaviors shifts, emotion morphing, conflict management, determination scaling, passion grading and a test of will. I see each one of the contestants slowly but surely, consciously trying to create their ‘Brand-i’. Other than the cash prize, this possibility is what keeps then alive and playing the game.

I take pride in having rarely missed an episode. I am one of those who visited the BiggBoss house twice. It is like an annual outing. And if some people are kind enough, Insha’Allah we will be there again this year.

The fun to watch the show is in picking favourites. I certainly do. That is the fun. It then becomes like any league. You associate with the fortunes of the chosen contestant. This person’s role in following episodes is to prove you right.

This is where you start playing the game virtually. In your mind, you plan the moves you expect the person to make. You start predicting behavior changes, groups, alliances and politics within the house. The voting pattern analysis by you would put any Psephologist to shame.

The fun is in getting involved. This is not a show for light hearted. This is not a show that you can walk-in and walkout. Not a show where recap can fill you on what is happening. If it hooks you up, then it ends up defining a part of your life.

However, a question that remains unanswered. Will audience be interested seeing the Aam Aadami in the BiggBoss house? Let me rephrase it. Will I be interested in it?

The honest answer is ‘I am not sure’. However, the marketing person in me is divided in its evaluation. The outcome, interest and the TRP delivered are all dependent on few specific variables. Unfortunately, the channel and contestants have least control over them.

The final mix of contestants and the chemistry they share is what will make and break the show. The right attitude and the approach from them will keep the audience glued to sets. What is the final celeb and non-celeb mix? Will the divide be interesting or polarised? How fast will the channel be forced to push the wild cards entry? The fun is in these if’s, but’s and maybe.

Apart from this, is the contribution of the host Salman Khan. He has been a good binder and performer on stage. No doubt, he has great control of the situation and contestants. Nevertheless, one cannot predict the contestant and audience impressions and reactions. Salman as a host may be walking the toughest test.

He is known to speak without worrying. Many of his recent outbursts have not been politically correct and will it impact the show, only time will tell.

Finally, the creative content agenda set by the advisors defines’s the show. People who work behind the scenes and at the right moment introduces the tasks, testing the social web inside the house.

I have a gang of BIGG BOSS watchers. The excitement is palpable. It is understandable. At the same time, there is nervousness about the result. If I was to believe their understanding, it seems that midway the show is expected to silently morph into a celebrity show. They all are, in fact, unsure of the audience interest in AAM AADAMI. Sincerely speaking, the fun will be when the mask comes down and the AAM AADAMINESS of the celebrity becomes clear.

The past records show that there has been no gender bias in construction of the contestant group as well as the winner. Even so, the public wants an AAM AADAMI to win the format. I am betting against it. However, I have been proven wrong.

The Aam Aadami will end up fighting a losing battle against religion and region, the use of media and PR, the fan following and illogical voting, while the celebrity will sail through with skewed but nicely spread votes across the country.

In the process, this defeat will be an ultimate insult to the power of common man. I know it is a tough task for the Aam Aadami. Internally, I wish that season 10 goes to a common person.

It can happen when one of the smarter one decides to ride on the shoulder of a celebrity of opposite sex. A budding romance under the penetrating eyes of cameras and an unsaid unexpected commitment subtly delivered to the audience may change the balance. The AAM AADAMI will have to do a lot more. The table is loaded against them.

Anyway, one who could have won is not part of the show. Yours truly was rejected in the audition. I understand; they found my life creepily normal. My loud appreciation of the new generation and their outlook on life during the audition, unsettled their unstated agenda. There is hardly enough spice in the life to interest the audience. What is there to watch in a completely happy person fully supported by a loving family? One who is not seen as aggressive, has no polarity of expectations or emotions, no mixed-up stories in life and definitely overweight. I am sure that abundance of a simply balanced approach to life is not a canvas attractive enough for the channel.

Before, you get any ideas, let me say that in my view, the part of the audition process I participated ( Aam Aadami- Mumbai auditions) seemed unbiased.

I spent one-day sitting with the potential contestants in an unassuming motel in Mumbai. It was learning in itself. The huge multifaceted probing open-ended questionnaire was a study in self-revelation. Shamelessly, I have incorporated few of the questions in the ‘BRAND-i: Treating yourself like a brand’ workshop I conduct. The three that made to the next round from our group deserved their selection. I hope to catch one of them on TV.

Till then. Jai Maata Di. BiggBoss ko salaam.

Show Abhi baaki Hai, Wild card abhi baaki hai.

( there is lot to happen and wild cards are yet to get in )