The Biggest Losers of Reality TV
There is a theory that the real winners on reality television aren't the people who win the grand prize, but the ones who come very near before finally losing out. This week, as we saw a Kaun Banega Crorepati contestant lose Rs 97 lakh with one questio. Here's a look at 10 of India's biggest, and most memorable, reality show losers:
Prashant Batar on KBC4
It was one of the most impressive performances in all of Kaun Banega Crorepati history.
Playing very smartly indeed, Prashant Batar reached the Rs 6,40,000 question with all his lifelines intact. Audiences were riveted as he crossed the Rs 1 crore question and decided to go for the jackpot of Rs 5 crore.
The country egged him on but KBC threw him a nearly impossible question -- to name the first person born on the Antarctic mainland. The correct answer is Emilio Marcos Palma, and Batar -- who wanted to buy his parents a BMW and take Deepika Padukone on a holiday -- got it wrong, bringing his prize winnings to Rs 3,20,000.
Image: Prashant Batar from KBC
Dharmesh Yelande on Dance India Dance 2
27-year-old Vadodara resident Dharmesh was arguably the star of the second season of Dance India Dance.
Yet, while audiences felt he might have danced rings around the opposition, the main prize went to 24-year-old Shakti Mohan, from Mumbai. So impressed was director Farah Khan with Dharmesh that she gave him a song to choreograph in her upcoming Tees Maar Khan.
Image: Dharmesh Yelande on Dance India Dance 2
Rakhi Sawant on Bigg Boss 1
People started watching Bigg Boss in India largely because of Rakhi Sawant.
The catastrophically candid item-girl became the toast of primetime television with her crass conversations and her often hilarious fearlessness, and she drew eyeballs like few others could manage.
So it was a major shocker when Rakhi got eliminated from the reality show, the final crown going to forgotten 1990s actor Rahul Roy.
Image: Rakhi Sawant on Bigg Boss 1
Shweta Salve on Jhalak Dikhla Jaa
An adaptation of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa's first season -- judged by Shilpa Shetty, Farah Khan and Sanjay Leela Bhansali -- was a big success featuring a varied mix of celebrities, from Pooja Bedi to ex-cricketer Ajay Jadeja.
From the very start, proceedings seemed dominated by the graceful and strikingly hot Shweta Salve. But the television starlet surprisingly lost it all in the final round, the audience voting for chunky Jassi actress Mona Singh instead. The judges expressed surprise but the decision stood.
Image: Shweta Salve on Jhalak Dikhla Jaa
Rakhi Sawant and Abhishek Awasthi on Nach Baliye 3
Clearly we like watching Rakhi lose. Maybe it's sadism, maybe it's just that she looks funny crying. Either way, Rakhi and then-boyfriend Abhishek led the charge on Nach Baliye's third season -- judged by David Dhawan, Vaibhavi Merchant and Isha Koppikar -- easily the only couple casual observers of the show were talking about.
Yet once the finals came around, the trophy went to Aamir Ali and Sanjeeda Sheikh, leaving the queen of reality television empty-handed yet again.
Image: Rakhi Sawant and Abhishek Awasthi on Nach Baliye 3
Amit Sana on Indian Idol, season 1
Bhilai-boy Amit Sana was the critical favourite during the first season of Indian Idol, judged by Farah Khan, Anu Malik and Sonu Nigam.
But that was a time when being from Mumbai meant a significant advantage in any audience-voted show. Abhijeet Sawant, a likeable yet unimpressive vocalist, took the title during the final round while Sana was relegated to a few editorial eulogies.
Image: Amit Sana on Indian Idol, season 1
Yana Gupta in Khatron Ke Khiladi, season 1
Akshay Kumar might have been the main man leading a bevy of attractive women through unfamiliar paths of peril. But right from the first couple of episodes it was clear that his leading lady could be no other than Yana Gupta.
The Czech actress came, stunned and dazzled with her athletic prowess and extreme gutsiness.
Audiences rooted for her but to no avail, as she crashed out twice during the show, in weeks eight and 14, while Nethra Raghuraman, unimpressive in the first half of the show, emerged the final winner.
Image: Yana Gupta in Khatron Ke Khiladi, season 1
Sandhya Mridul in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, season 2
Actress Sandhya Mridul was more impressive in the second season of this Dancing With The Stars adaptation than she has been in most of her movies. The show gave us a peek at a strong-willed, determined, fiercely competitive woman with the hunger to win.
And she would have won, had not Prachi Desai suddenly made her way back to the contest with a wildcard, and eventually usurped the trophy many consider rightfully Sandhya's.
Image: Sandhya Mridul in Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, season 2
Amit Paul and Meiyang Chang in Indian Idol, season 3
Most people, who watched the finale of the third season of this phenomenally popular show, were devastated to see the victory go to Prashant Tamang, a very nice guy considered absolutely tuneless.
Meanwhile, Amit Paul from Shillong and Meiyang Chang from Jharkhand lost out, even though Bollywood gave them breaks soon enough: Paul sang Pyaar Ki Dastaan in Luck By Chance and Chang, who hosted the 2009 IPL, got an acting job in Yashraj Films' Badmash Company.
Image: Amit Paul and Meiyang Chang in Indian Idol, season 3
Ritwik Bhattacharya in Khatron Ke Khiladi, season 3
Priyanka Chopra took on hosting duties from Akshay Kumar this year, and while the actress strutted excitably about in hotpants, a ragtag group of men -- from model Milind Soman to director Abhishek Kapoor to funnyman Cyrus Broacha -- got ready for the action.
Squash champ Ritwik Bhattacharya was the frontrunner throughout the show, easily the most athletic of the bunch, and a true audience favourite.
But being a natural wasn't enough as luck also plays a part, and TV actor Shabbit Ahluwalia eventually pipped him to the post.
Image: Ritwik Bhattacharya in Khatron Ke Khiladi, season 3