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Review: Bigg Boss 5 is less grand this time around

Last updated on: October 3, 2011 15:22 IST

Review: Bigg Boss 5 is less grand this time around

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Sukanya Verma in Mumbai
Once again, it's the season to be bitchy, gossipy, judgmental and voyeuristic. We've have witnessed many a beeps, back-biting sessions, petty to horrid fights and flirtatious encounters  on Colors' controversy-ridden yet hugely popular reality television series. The fifth edition promises to offer enough vicarious pleasures of its own with last year's groovy host, Salman Khan revisiting the madhouse alongside a woefully miscast Sanjay Dutt. The hunky pair makes a stylish entry in coordinated leather jackets and bikes.

Nothing's really changed for the 45-year-old superstar. During the previous season, he was high on the success of Wanted and Dabangg. This year, he's roaring on the strength of two blockbusters -- Ready and Bodyguard. One would have thought his on-screen chemistry and real-life bonhomie with co-star of films like Saajan and Chal Mere Bhai would translate to playful camaraderie on television as well. But Dutt aka Baba's too self-conscious, passive and dull to match the spontaneous zing of Khan aka Bhai. Reduced to a willing subordinate, he rarely makes any impression. Let's hope, he opens up and lives up to his 'Munnabhai' candor in the subsequent episodes. Salman, on the other hand, ribs the participants, throws in an in-joke and isn't afraid to mock himself or his partner. On spotting a prison inside the house, one of the newly-introduced features, he's witty enough to quip,'Yeh jaana pehchana lagta hai.'

Coming to the opening episode, it wasn't nearly as grand as its predecessor with hurried introductions, lackluster performances and almost zero turn out from previous seasons. Unless you count former contestant Sameer Soni's brief appearance to promote his upcoming wedding in on-going Colors serial, Parichay. And since Dutt's Rascals is ready for release, co-stars Ajay Devgn and Lisa Haydon show up to plug the David Dhawan comedy. The men collaborate to pull a fast one on Lisa but her inability to play along makes this one a flat prank.  

Ah yes, participants. Sorry folks, no Jonty Rhodes, Mike Tyson, Shakira yet. Curiously enough, there's an overwhelming presence of girl power inside the Bigg Boss zoo this time -- 11 girls, 1 guy and a eunuch. It's a tedious ploy that could both - work or fizzle. Either it will result in catfights galore or become too monotonous for its own good. Here's what to expect from this lineup of 14:

Image: Bigg Boss host Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt

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Raageshwari Loomba

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What's Little Miss Sunshine doing in a crazy show like this? The star of Aankhen and Main Khiladi Tu Anari is here to spread positivity by teaching her inmates the rewards of magnifying happiness and tossing sadness under the microscope, 'Just be happy, easy,' she believes.

Her attitude is refreshing and warmly received by the hosts.

Let's see how long decency thrives in the topsy-turvy world of Bigg Boss.

Image: Raageshwari Loomba

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Mahek Chahal

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Claim to fame? A sardarni from Norway who made her debut in Telugu and went on to play a gangster's moll in Salman Khan starrer, Wanted.

She's also the winner of a Miss Movie International.

The leggy starlet believes everyone falls in love with her easily. Let's see if her faith is unfounded on this show. As of now, she's playing the safe, silent observer. 

Image: Mahek Chahal

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Pooja Bedi

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For someone who famously ridiculed this show, during the second season, the outspoken starlet packs in quite some fervor. Be it the interior decoration or inmates, Bedi cannot curb her enthusiasm while directing her approval at one and all.

The Pehla Nasha girl meets just about everyone with a cheerful squeal and tight hug. Whether she's genuine or one of those chirpy, diplomatic souls that don't waste any time in changing colours, only time will tell.

Image: Pooja Bedi

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Shonali Nagrani

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Before sending her off inside her new address for the next few months, Dutt tries to play matchmaker between model Shonali and Bollywood's leading eligible bachelor, Salman, 'because Bhaijaan is single and ready to tingle.' The pretty girl is too busy breaking down in front of her parents to lap it up.

Once inside, she's decidedly at ease. More importantly, she looks great without make-up too. Still, don't think Her Highness will last too long against this cutthroat scenario.

Image: Shonali Nagrani

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Nihita Biswas

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Being married to the notorious criminal Charles Sobhraj is Nihita Biswas's greatest accomplishment. And she's anything but apologetic. Instead she tells Salman how her husband is a huge fan of the star and encouraged her to take part in the show for the experience.

The Nepal native is mindful of what to expect inside the house, 'Lafda honewala hai.' And yet she cannot offer anything beyond a tame response to fellow contestant, Mandeep Belvi's outrageous query,'Charles ke saath sex kiya tumne? (Did you have sex with Charles Sobhraj?)' 

Image: Nihita Biswas

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Shradha Sharma

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The Bermuda triangle is complete with the inclusion of Shradha Sharma in the new season, following boyfriend Raja Chaudhary and his estranged wife as well as last year's winner Shweta Tiwari.

Nothing like her fiery quotes in print, Sharma appears too meek and lackluster to hold her own. No wonder Salman cannot resist asking her how she would deal with someone like Dolly Bindra, responsible for most of the quarrels in Bigg Boss 4; turns out Ms Docile is a brown belt in Judo. Brace yourself for similar such surprises in the weeks to come.  

Image: Shradha Sharma

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Mandeep Bevli

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What's a reality show without a troublemaker? From the looks of it, the nasty anchor from Headlines Today is all set to play this season's Dolly Bindra.

After a brief chat, high on double entendres, with its star hosts, a constantly grimacing Mandeep shows her overbearing side to the inmates. Her in-your-face curiosity, constant grilling and brusque demeanor, while laying it thick for Shakti Kapoor, is happily captured by the prying cameras.

Even the otherwise friendly Pooja Bedi cannot help commenting, 'She's so rude.' Looks like Mandeep's going to be regular at the nominations.

Image: Mandeep Bevli

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Vida Samdajai

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From Kabul to US to Mumbai, winning beauty pageants and fighting for women's rights is what mostly preoccupies this towering beauty's attention.

So what's her aim behind taking part in Bigg Boss? 'I am here to win Indian hearts,' is her typically beauty queen-like reply. Bottom-line: Vida is pretty. And that's about it.

Image: Vida Samdajai

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Sonika Kaliraman Malik

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Last season, soap star Sara Khan raised quite a few eyebrows when she got married to her beau Ali on air. This time, Bigg Boss plans to pay midwife what with a six-month pregnant Sonika, India's first female wrestler now sports consultant, appearing on the show.

Judge her for all she cares, the lady appears to be thrilled to bits and prefers to be among strangers than family during this significant phase.

Image: Sonika Kaliraman Malik

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Pooja Misrra

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It's kapow time, folks! Model, VJ Pooja Misrra talks about testing her adaptability but appears too grouchy and unfriendly to fine-tune into the trying conditions of the house.

If her recurring glares are any indication, the claws will come out sooner than expected.

Image: Pooja Misrra

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Gulabo Sapera

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Lending the show some ethnic value and variety is Kalbeliya dancer Gulabo Sapera.

The folk artist from Rajasthan floors everyone with her moves and doesn't see Bigg Boss anything except a stage to showcase her talents. Yet. 


Image: Gulabo Sapera

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Juhi Parmar

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The titular bahu of TV series Kumkum is said to be dominating.

Juhi Parmar would like to believe what it really means is that she's honest enough to call a spade a spade.


Image: Juhi Parmar

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Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

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And there's celebrity transgender Laxmi bringing in the flirtatious vibe and naughty natter ('Let's see who'll boss me inside.' 'Main aurat se bhi badi auarat hoon') that leaves both Dutt and Khan somewhat flustered.

Laxmi is chatty, affable but not to mince words when opportunity arises. How long will the pleasantries last? Wait and watch
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Image: Laxmi Narayan Tripathi

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Shakti Kapoor

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Finally, there's Shakti Kapoor. Bollywood's prolific villain was the first to enter Bigg Boss's characteristically bright abode with interiors done up in vibrant shades of pink, yellow, lime, purple, red and green. Considering his lascivious on-screen reputation, being the only male surrounded among a bevy of beauties is stuff ultimate fantasies are made of.

Only this one's being watched by a million others. Instead of having a sense of humour about it, our reluctant 'Kishan kanhaiya' looks visibly hassled. Unlike his man-handling ways in the movies,

Crime Master Gogo is quite the 'gentleman extraordinaire' helping out every single contestant by dragging their trolley inside the house, which earns him the title of Bagwati. The effort pays off and he's announced Captain with a private room, privileges and immunity from this week's nominations.  

Well, my dear, the Bigg Boss house is one place where you'll learn extensively about spades, spears and swords.

What say, readers? Let the fireworks begin.

Image: Shakti Kapoor

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