BiggBoss Season 9 (BB9) came to an end yesterday night. Prince was declared a fitting winner among a host of miscast participants. Many viewers including me have been voicing dis-satisfaction. We pledged not to watch if unfriendly Mandana seemingly anti-Indian attitude wins. Her reaching the last 3 stage was a statement on her PR team ad Indian voters with their swinging loyalties.
This season was a nightmare for Production, Channel and the audience. The fool proof combination of Political acclaimed person, reality show winner, LGBT representative, Pageant winner, Wrong side of the law, Item girl (or a just to be launched heroine or a porn star), International foreign element, Seasoned model, TV star, Singer or musician, sportsperson, Film star, comedian was no longer working. The initial casting went completely wrong.
Double-trouble did not add to excitement. Groups formed well in advance. Bad words flew widely. BiggBoss left it to the participants to define rules. If seen from audience point of view, BiggBoss failed to act in clear violation of the norms.
Salman picked up his favourites and was seen as openly biased in the initial episodes. He was like judging the pitch and seeing the ball through. Towards the end he was in form and was the only one that kept the viewers glued on. So, no doubt that the press reports many time called BB9 as Salman Khan show.
This led for many acts to push for the much-wanted TRP. First time ever- opening of the gate. The forced decision-making. The sand task- where clear hitting went on. The mid-money offer. But nothing was moving. Rimi remained dull. Keith remained the mannequin. Prince continued with his soft easy to melt heart. Priya kept cribbing and Mandana kept succeeding in becoming the target. There was nothing new or innovative for the audience to engage.
BiggBoss had to fall back on old trick of wild card entry (which was good), Task that were manipulative and Instigators like Imam. The 3 answering booths with options and buzzer to press was engaging. The 5 crore case by Eekta on Mandana was a crap ploy that never interested viewers. Salman SRK patch up was a booster. Finale Katrina and Salman romance was a high point. Notice there were no high points of participants- other than the wild card Rishab and Prince with his relationships. So, it was natural for them to be the choice among rotten apples.
While all were busy targeting and downplaying BB9, the strategic and planning team within the show was busy thinking for the next season. The audience and the participants were clearly hoodwinked to think that ‘INDIA ISEY AAPNA HI GHAR SAMJHO’ was a message for Mandana. She was seen shouting and misbehaving through out the show. Her fights with Priya, Prince and Rochelle were legendary. As was her completely negative attitude.
Even I did not see that coming. Somewhere as a strategist I was aware that the franchise was running out of steam. It was becoming tough to find the right celebrity cast for the show. BB9 cast was more of wannabe celebrities.
I was fed up with a season going nowhere. As an audience I have invested eight seasons of viewing time. I was one of the stakeholders in the franchise. I spoke about the possibility of having all non-celebrity BB10. The initial reaction at home was ‘who will watch unknowns’. I am sure that our DNA and ingrown reflexes will take not more than 120 hours or max 2 evictions before we pick our favourites on region, language, style or religion. In the finale I found out that the channel was thinking in the same line
Things were clearly not working in BB9. The problem was not the format. Time was running out for the franchise to do something out or in the box. One of the not-so-obvious answers was to deep dive into Indian diversity and pick common people. It was thinking outside the unsaid format guidelines. But then programme like ‘India Got Talent, ‘Indian Idol’, ‘Dance India Dance’ have shown that the mixture of talent skill with n regional and religious cues is a success formula. So, why not do a success transfer. Go the way in BB10.
So, it was not more like par-amnesia when Salman explained the context of ‘India Isey Aapna Hi Ghar Samjho’. The launch of audition for BB10. I am nowhere suggesting that Colors stole my Idea but yes ‘great mind think alike’. This gives a new vigour to the programme. Keeps it alive for longer period. And in the social media – will lead to many viral videos.
Now the question remain on the composition will the casting directors look at.
Will it be in the line of religion Hindu, Shia, Sunni, , Sikh, Jains, Vohra…. Will it be cut along the regional area like Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP, Tamilnadu etc… and slightly flavoured with religion or language links. Will it follow none of them but create a mix of profession- a Doctor, lawyer, start-up, engineer, magician, Porn star, Politician etc. My bet is to see a khichadi (natural uncontrolled mixture) of above, where no clear pattern is apparent.
Maybe we will see Raju Chai wala from Ramnagar, Chatterjee accountant Babu from Mursidnagar, Patel Angadiawala from Rajkot, Limeyeh Jweller from Akola, Suriendra Jhawar from Udaipur, Mandeep Tractorwala from Patiala, Masood Mohanad from Srinagar, Rajesher Rao from Karnataka and Kurien from Chennai… making to the BiggBoss Season 10. The list of participants may sound like people doing the song request on Radio Ceylon. Or maybe it will not be so good.
Can we expect more innovative steps from the channel?
Like BiggBoss go the complete way. Think of a different Anchor every week or every 2 weeks. Will ditching Salman be too much of a risk? Can the channel even think of that? Will BiggBoss team consider having a female BiggBoss – this male authoritative empowered dictatorial baritone voice- can that be replaced?
At the same time, Colors having opened the house for public audition gives me the opportunity to take the first step and announce my candidature for the BIGGBOSS Season 10.