Review: Bigg Boss 6 starts with a bang!
It's that time of the year again when Bollywood bad boy-turned-indomitable superstar Salman Khan gets to admonish warring, scheming, abusive celebrities battling for survival within Bigg Boss's home.
For 90 days, around 63 cameras will be at work for our viewing (voyeuristic) pleasure as we watch celebrity inmates live in the Bigg Boss house without any connection to the outside world.
Following a successful stint as the host of Colors' popular reality show in its fourth season, previously anchored by the likes of Arshad Warsi, Shilpa Shetty and Amitabh Bachchan, the Wanted star made a limited return to co-host some of season five's (most entertaining) episodes with primary presenter Sanjay Dutt.
While Dutt's lacklustre approach was considered too feeble to handle the sensationalist, hostile spirit of the show, Khan's blunt style and cheeky humour got unanimously lauded making him the ideal choice for taking charge of season 6.
Like every past season, the 46-year-old actor has a mega hit to boast this season too. Changing up between a studded military blazer with jeans and snazzy three-piece suit, Khan performs to a medley of his popular songs from Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger and finally the official theme song of Bigg Boss 6 aka Alag Che.
The actor is in his element as usual and makes up for the opening act's lack of chutzpah with his brand of spontaneity. He rides a cycle rickshaw, blares into the microphone, fools around with contestants, tells silly jokes, makes crazy faces and gamely matches steps with Aiyyaa heroine Rani Mukerji over Dreamum Wakepum.
But more importantly, he'll make not one but three appearances in a week.
Following his jig, Khan, in all his blockbuster avatars -- Radhe (Wanted), Chulbul Pandey (Dabangg), Tiger (Ek Tha Tiger), Lovely Singh (Bodyguard) and Prem (Ready) offers us a tour of the Lonavala-based Bigg Boss abode designed by Sabu Cyril.
Everything about the house from the kitchen, hall, garden area, gym, swimming pool, smoking zone, bedrooms, a deceitful aquarium (wherein the housemates do not know they're visible to the other side) and confession room looks more flamboyant than before. Another novelty is a talking Macaw parrot who promises to pass information from here to there.
They've also placed three Monkey figures in the outdoor symbolising the classic maxim: See No Evil. Say No Evil. Hear No Evil. Given the history of showdowns in Bigg Boss courtesy the likes of Dolly Bindra, Akashdeep, Pooja Missra and Rakhi Sawant, it seems more of a gibe and less of a reminder.
Still Khan emphasises throughout the first episode that the contents will be more family-oriented this time before going on to acquaint us with its 15 notorious contestants.
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Image: Salman Khan with Nirahua and Monalisa
Navjot Singh Sidhu
There's an attempt to confuse the viewer in the beginning with pop sensation Daler Mehdi showing up in a jazzy costume and crooning Jhoom barabar jhoom.
The portly singer looks all set to go in with his 'Ek, ek ko dho daloonga' aggression before he's interrupted by fellow Sardar and cricketer/anchor Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Turns out the whole Daler bit was merely an act whereas Sidhuisms like 'I can walk reality, I can talk reality, I can rock reality' are what television sets should brace themselves for through the next few months.
If the first few glimpses are any indication, loquacious Sidhu will not waste any opportunity to spew gyaan on any suspecting or unsuspecting candidate.
Best known for her modelling assignment in a Amul Macho commercial wherein she uttered the infamous punch-line, 'Yeh toh bada toing hai,' Sana picks hot item songs like Chikni Chameli and Halkat Jawani to boogie on.
Up next, the curvy lass openly flirts with a bemused Salman admitting how she's a big fan and would love to become closely related to Bollywood's oldest eligible bachelor.
Revealing a flair for nautanki, Sana is poised to create a stir or two.
Image: Navjot Singh Sidhu
Whether you remember him as Hrithik Roshan's bumbling buddy in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai or a constant fixture in the Golmaal franchise, Hirjee is a recognised face. But in Bigg Boss, there's no one to write funny lines for him.
He makes his entry as a demure bride in ghoongat so that no one knows it's him but the revelation is hardly the stuff gasps are made of.
So far he's playing his image. Let's see how soon the mask falls off.
Image: Vrajesh Hirjee
As the founder of a group of women vigilantes, known as Gulabi Gang, in Uttar Pradesh's Banda district, Sampat Pal Devi is expectedly feisty and stresses on her cause that fights for gender equality.
Draped in a bright pink sari, the lady breaks into a thematic song to convey her beliefs even as Salman awkwardly lends support.
Although once inside the house, Devi appears a bit conscious and out of place. Having said that, you don't want to rub her the wrong way.
Image: Sampat Lal
Urvashi Dholakia and Aashka Goradia
The Bad Bahus of Soap Operas make a combo entry in glittery saris and coordinated bling.
While Urvashi, better known as Kasauti Zindagi Kay's Komolika, promises the viewers she won't disappoint and hints spicy days ahead.
If those haughty expressions are any indication, watch out for multiple cat fights.
Meanwhile, Aashka appears content to play second fiddle. For now, that is.
Image: Urvashi Dholakia and Aashka Goradia
Dinesh Lal Yadav
Bhojpuri Singer and actor Dinesh Lal Yadav marches to beats of Gangs of Wasseypur's Hunter and Bol Bachchan's Jaan Le lo with item girl Monalisa before a brief chit chat with Salman revealing his plans to wear his gamcha inside the house so that people know he's from UP/Bihar.
While certainly not as flashy as his previous housemates, Yadav fails to make an impression in the opening episode.
Image: Dinesh Lal Yadav with Monalisa
Quite easily the most conspicuous contestant of the season, star hair dresser Sapna Bhavnani with her platinum blonde look, zillion tattoos and truckloads of attitude is introduced in video bytes of her celebrity clients like Bipasha Basu and Mandira Bedi.
Wild and bindaas, Sapna hands Salman a black tee-shirt that reads: Teri Maa Ki Youth (So much for being a family show).
One encounter with her is enough for the star to remark, 'Duniya mein bhin bhin prakaar ke log.' Clearly, one can count on SB to ruffle quite a few hoity-toity feathers inside.
Image: Sapna Bhavnani with Salman Khan
Political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, 25, was recently in the news after he was arrested by the Mumbai police for his controversial comic strips.
Clad in a statement kurta and scarf, the bearded fella hopes to 'wake up the sleepy folk of India' from within the house and support democracy.
How will he achieve that? Let's see. Can't you already picture him sitting in a corner by the pool and plotting against the 'lofty' members of the house with Sidhu?
Image: Aseem Trivedi
Delnaaz and Rajeev Paul
According to Delnaaz, who played Sweetu in Kal Ho Naa Ho, there are three reasons Bigg Boss will click this season. 'Entertainment. Entertainment. Entertainment. Aur main entertainment hoon.' The genial comedian is also the recipient of the warmest welcome inside the house.
Her happiness seems short-lived after television actor Rajeev Paul comes inside the house.
The duo was married for 14 long years before separating in 2010.
Neither are aware of the other's presence in the show but are shown to handle 'that awkward moment' in a dignified manner.
Image: Delnaaz Paul
Apparently TV actress Sayantani Ghosh's brief so far is to look pretty and smile all the time.
After jiggling her belly to Guru's Maiya Maiya, Ghosh steps into the house taking Salman's advice to give back as good as she gets.
Niketan Madhok and Karishma Kotak
Filling in the supermodel slot, Niketan and Karishma make for quite a leggy addition.
While Niketan vows to find Salman a nice girl when he comes out of the house, Karishma hopes to enjoy and not over think. Salman cannot resist breaking into a chuckle on hearing about the latter's plan to seek fun in what is infamous for its hellish environment.
The final contestant is a non-celebrity picked from three finalists -- Radio Jockey Divya Vasudev, Voice artist Rohin Robert and martial artist Kashif Qureshi.
Qureshi is the chosen one even as he reveals how he looks at Bigg Boss as a platform for recognition.
He's friendly but sharp. Right after he enters the house, the lad begins to lay it thick for Sidhu.
Exciting times lie ahead!
Image: Sayantani Ghosh