'I have fallen in love and been dumped several times, so I learnt not to break anyone’s heart. I liked some of the housemates but someone else developed feelings for them.'
Rishabh Sinha may have lost out on the Bigg Boss title but he's very content with what he has achieved so far. The first runner-up of the ninth season, Rishabh beat the show's strongest contenders Mandana Karimi and Rochelle Rao but could not defeat Prince Narula.
"I have always used three words throughout the show: It doesn't matter. I stand by that. I am so glad to see the audience response. They have been praising me a lot. They told me that even if I didn’t win the show, I have won their hearts and that's what matters to me. I am happy to become the people’s champion and not the trophy champion," Rishabh says.
The line, he says, came from his mother.
"My mother was a radio jockey for 15 years; she worked with AIR FM Rainbow. Now, they have settled down in the US. Plus, I read a lot. But I know it doesn’t look like I read books," Rishabh says with a laugh.
Rishabh got a lot of flak in the house, and he admits that he was never Mr Favourite.
"From Day One, everyone was against me. Whatever you saw on the show -- the good, bad and ugly -- it was all me. I never tried to fake it. The format does not allow you to lie, as cameras follow us 24/7. And I have no regrets."
Suyyash Rai had called him childish after he came out of the house but Rishabh has no ill-meaning towards him. "I don’t want to speak badly about the housemates because that’s not me," he says with a smile.
Winning the tasks was not his only requisite on the show, he says.
"I wanted to enjoy the experience to the fullest. I s****ed up a few of the tasks because I did not want to compromise on the entertainment value," he says.
Unlike Prince, Rishabh did not romance any of the contestants.
"I have fallen in love and been dumped several times, so I learnt not to break anyone’s heart. If my flirting makes people smile, I will do it 24/7. I liked some of the housemates but someone else developed feelings for them. So there was no love angle," he says.
But there is someone special in his life.
"There is someone special, yes, but we are not in love yet," Rishabd says. "We like each other a lot and have to see how it goes."
Rishabh says he has made some good friendships on Bigg Boss, and would like to meet them even after the show.
"Priya (Malik) has been my favourite. I love her for being so sweet to me. She played the game to a different level. I would like to be in touch with Keith (Sequeira), Kishwer (Merchant), Rochelle (Rao) and Suyyash," he says.
Rishabh is full of praise for host Salman Khan.
"Salman was our guiding light. He talks in riddles, like Sherlock Holmes, but always gives you signs. I could easily read what he was trying to say," Rishabh concludes.