Geeta Phogat on being part of Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 8: 'My only phobia is Rohit Shetty'
As Khatron Ke Khiladi (KKK) Season 8 contestants reveal their fears and phobias (water, heights, lizards/cockroaches and creepy crawlies are the top few), there is one contestant who has agreed to do the show only to fight her fears — Geeta Phogat, the internationally acclaimed wrestler and winner of India’s first gold medal at 2010 Commonwealth games.
“At present, my only phobia is Rohit Shetty (laughs). I didn’t have it earlier but now after meeting him, I fear him. But otherwise, I have overcome my most of my fears. I was scared of water so I learnt swimming to get rid of it. I don’t think I will be scared of snakes or creepy crawlies. I have seen few episodes of Khatron Ke Khiladi. I took up the challenge because I wanted to fight my fears and I said ‘yes’ immediately,” says Phogat.
Besides Phogat, the handpicked khiladis include, Bigg Boss 10 winner Manveer Gurjar, Shibani Dandekar, Lopamudra Raut, Monica Dogra and Nia Sharma, popular actors Ravi Dubey, Karan Wahi and Rithvik Dhanjani, also television beauties Hina Khan and Shiny Doshi, and hip-hop king Shantanu Maheshwari.
An adaptation of the American television show Fear Factor, where celebrities/contestants are made to face their fears through different stunts, the KKK team leaves for Spain on 18 May and the show is scheduled to be telecast next month.
“I don’t know how it will all work out because I have been shooting day and night for Golmaal Again, but I am excited about the way stunts have been designed and the variety of animals that we have chosen to shoot with. I also am excited about the choice of contestants as well. It is going to be fun,” says host Rohit Shetty, adding, "I’m personally associated with the stunts and that works for me as well as the show in a big way. If you are not involved in the stunts, then it’s just another show where you give your comments and sit quietly," he reasons.
He further says, "I haven’t interacted with any of the contestants yet. I want them to be surprised with what we have planned in Spain."
Shetty feels that it is a proud moment for the show to have Phogat as a participant. “I am looking forward to her performing the stunts. There is Karan Wahi, Ritwik, Ravi, Nia ...these are the celebrities that TV audiences really love. It is not just stunts, entertainment is also the core factor of the show,” says Shetty.
Will the other contestants feel threatened by Phogat? Manveer Gurjar was heard saying that she (Phogat) would be the tough competition for most of them.
“Not really, because sports technique is different, action technique is different. Obviously, Geeta has the power and personality, she may be tough competition for others but our formatting is not done in a manner that whatever task she performs the others have to perform the same task. They will perform other stunts and there will be different combinations," clarifies Shetty.
Meanwhile Phogat, who apparently is the highest paid celebrity on the show, says “Rohit has lot of hopes from me and now the nation will be watching me perform stunts so I will have to give my best." She adds, “Sometimes I watch their shows. I am familiar with Hina, Rithwik , Nia, Ravi. But I don’t have any insecurity because of their popularity. I am very confident about myself."
However, she considers Rithwik to be a strong competitor, “But I have will power and I am not scared of anything."
Rohit Shetty is delighted to be back on the show after skipping the last season. He has previously hosted the two seasons of the stunt-adventure show (Season 5 and 6). Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Kapoor have been the other hosts. “It is like home-coming. I was approached last season but it didn’t work out. Every year, they shoot in April, May or June but for the last season they shot in November 2015 because of some change in programming. I was shooting for Dilwale then, so I had to skip.”
While it is an exciting time for Shetty, who’s known for his logic-defying stunts, he reveals that there are times when he gets disappointed during the KKK shoot. “Sometimes we plan a big scale stunt and later realise that the contestants are not able to do it after preparing for two days. I recall preparing a stunt for two days but even I was not able to do it. It was a leap from building to building but there was wind blowing and we were on the 18th floor,” says Shetty.
After shooting in South Africa and Argentina, the reality show is moving to the picturesque Spain with the theme, ‘Pain in Spain’.
Since Shetty mentioned that many new animals will be introduced in this season, one wonders if there would be bull stunts. “I can’t comment on that, but yes, if we go to Spain and don’t shoot with bulls then people will wonder. We are planning bull stunts but it is too early to talk about it," he reveals.
What does he have to say about Suniel Shetty also hosting a reality stunt show, India's Asli Champion…Hai Dum? “I am happy, now it has become a Shetty family business,” he guffaws.