Nach Baliye 8 winners Divyanka Tripathi, Vivek Dahiya: 'Worth it, after four months of hard work'
Divyanka Tripathi and Vivek Dahiya’s Nach Baliye 8 win has got mixed reactions from Twitterati, with many accusations being hurled around, ranging from the scores being rigged to phones for votes and even that the other finalists were better performers. But it is because of their immense popularity and fan base that the Yeh Hai Mohabbatein couple walked home with the coveted trophy.
Says Divyanka indignantly, “Why blame popularity votes? The show is based on popularity and audience voting. Everybody, every contestant and judge knows the format, so what is the fuss all about? Lots of people are speculating unnecessarily. It’s a fair game.” She further adds, “And then, we were not just standing on stage; we were dancing and people did like our performances. It is a case of sour grapes.” Vivek says, “Fan wars are inevitable and it happens during every reality show. But we know our fans, our supporters.”
The competition was definitely intense for Divyanka and Vivek, especially from trained dancer Sanam Johar and his beau, Abigail Pande, whose performances have been phenomenal, according to dance maestro and show judge Terence Lewis. Sanaya Irani, too, had proved to be as a good dancer within no time, and she and Mohit Sehgal also had immense support from their fans. Says Vivek, “To begin with, when we started, we weren't thinking about winning. But we just wanted to remain on the show and give something new to our fans, as well as learn something new. Hence, all our performances were different, whether it was our costumes, the dance form, hair, make-up — we wanted to give a unique flavour to everything. We wanted to keep entertaining and make our presence justified. We wanted to do justice to our hard work, put up a good show, as our audience had huge expectations from us.”
Vivek went on to say, “We are still numb and the feeling hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s so beautiful to wake up to the trophy; we will always cherish it and think that it was worth it after four months of dedication and hard work. Divyanka is used to extreme shooting schedules, but not me.” Divyanka, who suffered health issues with a slipped disc and ligament tear in the foot even missed one episode, as she was advised bed rest for a week. “I have done lot of work in my career, but this was really different. It was on a different level and was a big challenge for me. Whenever I would lie down, I would be in pain and I wondered how am I doing the show. I would spend an hour with the physio everyday after dance practice for nearly four months,” she said. “That is the best part of reality shows — they test your limits and patience. These shows also make us realise that nothing’s impossible and that we have the power to do what we want,” adds Vivek.
Futher speaking about the physical toll the show took on her, Divyanka said, “I know my limits and I have always pushed myself. I have had fractures in the past, but I completed my work by attending shoots on a wheel-chair and crutches. I always try my luck to see how far I can go. In between, Vivek would lose his cool and he didn’t want me to continue because he feared that I might jeopardise my health if I continued. At one point of time he did ask me not to continue, but I always try my best. In the beginning, I didn’t know how far we would go because of my health issues, but when we crossed the sixth week, we got into the competitive spirit and tried different dance forms. Our fans wouldn’t sleep the entire night so that they could vote for us. That’s when we felt the pressure.” It may be recalled that the couple picked up their game in the later stages of the show and gave some solid performances.
Divyanka and Vivek are essentially actors, so how difficult was the journey of non-dancers in such a competitive dance reality show? “Anything that you undertake which you don’t excel at and have to challenge yourself is difficult, and so was dancing for us. But we had each other’s support, the choreographer was patient and had designed the choreography smartly, as he knew our limitations. We only had to do the execution bit. We felt if the choreographer can do it, why can’t we? Then there was tremendous support from the audience and fans,” says Vivek.
From sweet actress to a dancer, what is the reaction of Divyanka’s fans? “They are so proud of me. The fan following was always there, but I could now give them something different. I could do justice to their love,” says Divyanka.