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You may just get hooked
Sukanya Verma

Jade Goody and Shilpa Shetty
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August 18, 2008 14:25 IST

You know the best thing about these reality shows? They beg you to be judgmental. They go out of their way to grab your attention, have an opinion, however harsh, about them. Even if briefly, it puts the viewer in a powerful spot.The ones out to seek attention aren't doing it for charity either. They make their own money, an attractive amount too.

And so whether you enjoy it, feel apathetic or plain disgusted, reality TV, for the time being is here to stay.

Welcome to yet another show and its star-anchor. This time it is Shilpa Shetty [Images]. After what Big Brother did for her career, she has every reason to promote the cause, as the glamorous hostess of the second season of Big Boss.

The series, which kick-started Sunday on Colors, had a perky Ms Shetty in a flashy red sari, announcing its 14 participants to the viewers. Sorry guys, no Sherlyn Chopra [Images] or Mithun Chakravarthy on board.

Coming back to Shilpa, she isn't half bad. Despite a hideous sari, her confidence remains intact as she excitedly takes you inside the spacious yet strictly functional albeit claustrophobic Big Boss house or playfully introduces the anxious contestants. Often that constant smirk on her face appears to be mocking the unsuspecting participants with a 'Been there, done that. Your turn now!' If only, she wouldn't keep repeating, 'I am luvin' it'. It might make McDonalds happy but it gets annoyingly tiresome after a while.

The idea is simple. Fourteen folks, thrown in together, forced to co-exist and perform assigned tasks for 84 days with the camera, 32 of them, documenting each and every move. If you enjoyed Ravi Kisshen's gyaan and Rakhi Sawant's drama queen act in the first season, chances are you may get hooked on second time as well.  

For one, it's a truly assorted bunch of celebrities and controversial newsmakers. The outcome could either be TRP-boosting brilliance or boredom to the point-of-no-return. For one, these folks appear to have nothing in common -- dramatically diverse personalities hailing from different walks of life and circumstances; sooner or later intolerance is bound to slip in. That's what Big Boss, the desi version of UK's Big Brother, is counting on anyway. As for the entertainment-challenged viewer, unleash the voyeur within.

While the chemistry (read fireworks) between the contestants remains to be seen in the episodes to follow, here's what we thought of Day One and its contestants.

Kyunki... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi's Ar ra ra ra-spewing Daksha -- Ketaki Dave -- was expectedly pleasant and buoyant. Even though her attempt to do a Rekha [Images], shaking a sexy leg to Parineeta's [Images] Kaisi paheli was mostly awkward, hubby Rasik smilingly looked on. The two later even exchanged a lip to lip. Ketaki, a self-confessed cleanliness freak, addressed everyone to follow with motherly hugs and palpable warmth. She seems completely out of place though.

Jade GoodyDitto for model turned actor, Zulfi Syed [Images]. The shy, ever-smiling hunk is mostly interested in fulfilling his 'single and ready to mingle' aspiration, which is quite unlikely to happen. Remember no Anupama Verma [Images] this time?

Zulfi and Ketaki come across as the most harmless of the lot. The infamous Bollywood starlet Monica Bedi [Images], who was acquitted from a case of passport forgery last year is next to show up. She romps around in a jazzy gold and blue outfit ready to take on a new chapter in her life. Previous Big Boss winner, Rahul Roy places his bets on Monica explaining how after what she has been through (jail-time); this should be a 'piece of cake'. Inside the house, however, Monica appears to be a tad self-conscious. 
Up next, Hum Paanch's bird-brained Sweetie aka Rakhi, formerly married to Raveena Tandon's [Images] brother, makes a comeback in an unimpressively glittery ensemble. 'I am here to have a blast, chill out and enjoy a paid-holiday,' coos the lady. Obviously, she hasn't heard that the house isn't a sea-facing resort or of the cook-your-own-meals funda.

Soap star Shweta Tiwari's estranged hubby, Raja Chaudhry continues to display his love for the theatrical, as witnessed earlier on in Nach Baliye, by dedicating his presence on the show for daughter, Palak. 'I wish you could see that a beautiful girl (Shetty) is standing next to me.' How 'huh' is that? Later, he brags about his non-existent jig with the leggy beauty on stage much to Shilpa's amusement and his house-mates disbelief.

There is no dearth of 'Oh my God, him too?' on this show. That's exactly how you feel when late politcian Pramod Mahajan's recently divorced son Rahul makes his entry. At first he looks both lost and at loss of words. Soon, we notice, he appoints himself the official guide of the house, showing everybody around the rooms, the transparent partition between the His & Her bedrooms or the absence of cameras in the washroom. There are times when he could almost pass off as the butler in the house. But when fellow participant Congressman Sanjay Nirupam quizzes him about food, Rahul is quick to suggest there are enough 'ladkiyan' or the Dhaba guy to do the needful.

Dhaba guy would be Ashutosh Kaushik, the fast-talking Jat who recently won the MTV Roadies. Post-win confidence seems to have affected his earthiness considerably. And then there is comedian Ehsaan Qureshi of Great Indian Laughter Challenge fame -- 'Kavita ke naam pe pakata hoon (I get on your nerves in the name of poetry)'. Indeed he does. Surprisingly, the man goes on silent mode after he enters the house. Perhaps he hasn't found any takers. Yet.

Maybe the hot-headed Bhojpuri films item girl, Sambhavna Seth [Images] will oblige him. Or maybe not. If her tasteless shimmy on UP Bihar lootne and 'bash 'em up' slogan is any indication, this one is as fiery as it gets. Another item hotshot from Bollywood, Payal Rohatgi [Images] aims to make her presence felt. But neither can match singer and Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2005 winner Debojit Saha's zeal. 

There's a non-celebrity in the form of 21-year-old Elena Wadia. She seems to have plenty of accent and attitude to last her through the show.

Or maybe she can take a few lessons from Shilpa Shetty's worse nightmare during the Big Brother stint, Jade Goody. The much maligned Goody is dignified enough to admit, 'What happened with Shilpa is a thing of the past and I am not proud of it. She insists there is more to her than racist remarks. How genuine is that, the coming few months will let you know.

As I mentioned earlier, it's a wild ensemble. Just imagine the intensity of insults that will ensue if the controversial folks rub off the razor-sharp tongues the wrong way. Petty, isn't it?  That's Big Boss 2 for you.

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