'We deserved to win Nach Baliye!'
Several long weeks of hard work finally paid off when Jay Bhanushali and Mahhi Vij won the television reality dance show Nach Baliye 5 over the weekend.
The couple walked away with the trophy and Rs 50 lakh prize money.
Jay and Mahhi talk to Rajul Hegde about their big win.
How has your journey been on Nach Baliye?
Mahhi: It has been an extraordinary experience. Jai always told me don't think of being in the finals, just think of winning the trophy. He wouldn't let me go home until I perfected my dance steps. He has a creative mind and his inputs really worked on the show.
After our hard work and the fans' support, we deserved to win!
Jay: We will take home a lot of fond memories and friends for a lifetime. Nach Baliye has made me do things I hadn't done earlier. I have worn costumes I've never worn before, like shinny clothes.
When the offer came to us, I rejected it thrice because I was happy anchoring shows. But Mahhi convinced me because she was keen to take part in the show. I am glad I agreed.
Image: Jay Bhanushali and Mahhi Vij
'Every performance is difficult for a non-dancer like me'
Do you think it worked as an advantage that Jay and you had more time for dance rehearsals unlike other celebrity participants who were part of a daily soap?
Mahhi: I don't think so. We would practice for just two days in a week and perform well. Actually those doing daily shows had an advantage as their fan following transferred in the form of votes (smiles).
Which was your best and the difficult performance on Nach Baliye?
Mahhi: The performance where we dressed up as Sunny and Bobby Deol was the best! The difficult one was the statue act because I barely slept for three hours before the performance.
Jay: Our best performance would be the Maa performance that we did for Govinda. That was really touching.
Every performance is difficult for a non-dancer like me. But still, the most difficult would be the Kathakali performance where I had to wear a headgear of three kilos and a costume of 45 kilos.
Image: Jay Bhanushali and Mahhi Vij
'When we started off with Nach Baliye, I was a better dancer than Mahhi'
Mahhi and you were a part of dance reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa earlier. Did that work to your favour?
Jay: I wasn't the best dancer when I participated in Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, so I wasn't affected when I lost to (finalists) Sandya Mridul and Prachi Desai.
When we started off with Nach Baliye, I was a better dancer than Mahhi but at the end of the show, I wanted both of us to be at par with each other. I am not a good dancer but I am hardworking and a perfectionist. Mahhi and I rehearsed every single step for hours till we got it right. Sometimes Mahhi would get irritated. The hard work has really paid off.
Image: Sajid Khan, Mahhi Vij, Jay Bhanushali, Terrance Lewis, Shilpa Shetty and Tamannah
'I like Shilpa Shetty. She was like an elder sister'
What do you have to say about the judges?
Mahhi: I like Shilpa Shetty. She was like an elder sister. Forever smiling, she would balance it so well without hurting anyone.
Sajid Khan is blunt and transparent. He likes people who gives cent percent and not fool around. Slowly he started liking our performances.
Terence Lewis is a dancer so he appreciates your hard work, dedication and a good dance performance.
Jay: Shilpa is so down-to-earth, with no airs at all. I always got the feeling that I was talking to a friend or a neighbour.
You cannot manipulate Sajid. He either likes or dislikes your performance. There are no sugarcoated words. He had predicted long back that we would win the show.
Terence is a friend and I have worked with him in Dance India Dance, as an anchor. The best part about him is he was fair in his comments.
Image: Shilpa Shetty at the finale
'We will use the money to pay off our home loan'
What will you do with the prize money of Rs 50 lakh?
Mahhi: We will use the money to pay off our home loan. Jay doesn't want a financial burden on his head.
We might also go to Spain or London for a vacation after we're free from the Shriman vs Shrimati dance reality show.
Image: Ajay Devgn at the finale
'Right now, we want to get a good body massage!'
How will you celebrate your win?
Mahhi: We will have a big party on my birthday in April.
Jay: We will celebrate with our family and friends, within a month. But right now, we want to just relax and get a good body massage!
Image: Ajay Devgn and Tamannah at the finale