Bigg Boss is back in its sixth season, and if you thought the last season had a sorry line-up of “stars” – and I use the word very very loosely - you will be amazed at the House of the Unknowns which they’ve managed to line up this time around. Now I pride myself on knowing all the scum of the television and page three worlds. If they are alive, I’m pretty damn sure to have heard of them. But even I was left gob-smacked by the people trooping into the Bigg Boss house this season.
The season premiere began with a gala opening as usual. And if it wasn’t for Salman Khan, I would have definitely thought I’ve undergone a lobotomy after having to sit through the two-and-half-hour episode. He danced, he sang, he recited poetry. Full paisa vasool, especially for Salman fans, since you got to see six Salmans at one point – in each of his blockbuster avatars.
And then we were introduced to a goldfish called Fishy Kapoor. And statues of Gandhi’s three monkeys – who’ve most probably disintegrated by now after seeing the sorry crew they have to live with in that house. Once Fishy Kapoor made an appearance, the show started sinking faster than the Titanic.
The stellar line-up began with Daler Mehendi, wearing a puff-sleeve knee length velvet embossed jacket which would have made Sir Walter Raleigh proud and singing Jhoom Barabar Jhoom. But he wasn’t a contestant. He was simply on the show to introduce Navjot Singh Sidhu, who came on and said that he will, “Talk reality. Walk reality. Rock reality”. Oh the horror, the horror of it all. So why was Daler Mehendi introducing him? It made no sense. Why not a cricketer or someone from his comedy show? Did this mean that each contestant would be introduced by someone from the same community as them?
I guess I shouldn’t have been looking for method in the blah-ness that followed. The next contestant was a girl called Sana Khan whose claim to fame is that she acted in a male underwear ad with the tagline “Yeh to bada toing hai”. She seems like she’s the resident hotty for the season. She also spoke in third person and was followed by Vrajesh Hirjee, who’s a comedian and usually plays the role of the hero’s friend.
Then came one of the few impressive recruitments for the show. Every season there’s one activist or social worker who’s roped in. This season’s Gulabo Sapera is women's rights activist and Gulabi gang commander, Sampat Pal who works with women who are victims of domestic violence. One of the few silver linings in the grey cloud called Bigg Boss 6.
And just when you were thinking that things were looking up, a 10-foot large key appeared. The next two contestants, Urvashi Dholakia and Aashka Goradia enacted – very badly – a skit where they fought over the key. Who them, you ask? Vamps from television, enough said. The thespians were joined in the house by another actress, whom I’ve never heard of. A Bengali actress called Sayantani Ghosh.
Then a girl in a pink skirt and blouse called Monalisa, who looked like the main dancer from Topaz Dance Bar gyrated on to the stage to introduce this season’s Ravi Kishen – Bhojpuri star, Dinesh Lal Yadav (Nirahua). Nirahua cycled a rickshaw and Monalisa sat on the rod in front of him and made strange expressions. Gandhi’s monkeys must have passed out after seeing that. Then they both announced that they’re from Bengal which is when I almost passed out. Aah, the shame of it all.
Next were celebrity hairstylist, Sapna Bhavnani and actress Delnaaz Irani and her ex-husband Rajiv Paul who she got divorced from at the beginning of the year. The script-writers of the show obviously didn’t have a chat with the PR people. The PR folk had announced Delnaz and Rajiv being on the show at least a fortnight back. The script-writers made Delnaz and Rajiv look shocked to see each other in the house.
Then came the next contestant - Aseem Trivedi the cartoonist. He said that all government offices and ministers and officers should be kept under 24-hour camera surveillance like the Bigg Boss house. His post-arrest funky Farah Fawcett haircut was a tad distracting but quite becoming, I must say.
Suddenly, the resurrected Himesh Reshammiya made an appearance and sang and praised Salman Khan, plugged Surkshetra and left. It was bizarre because there wasn’t even an attempt to connect his appearance with the rest of the show.
And then, just to carry forward the Animal Planet theme which seems to be running through the show, a parrot called Radhe made an appearance. Radhe comes with its own voice-over artist and will stay in the Bigg Boss house. I really want to know which bird-brain’s idea this is. The sight of Radhe speaking to Salman took me back to that darned kabootar from Maine Pyar Kiya. My only hope is that it will peck one of the contestant’s eyes out. Or someone will wring its neck. That’s the only way Bigg Boss 6 can make for some riveting TV.
Just when my eyes and brain were glazing over, a waxed chest and erect nipples were shown on the screen. And model Niketan Madhok – who’s the classic example of someone who’s hot from far, but far from hot up close – made his appearance. And he was accompanied by an alliteratively-named “supermodel” who no one in the modelling industry has heard of, Karishma Kotak.
The last contestant – the common man/ aam aadmi entry – was chosen from a trio of applicants. A sweet and erudite martial arts practitioner, Kashif, looked more promising than any of the “star contestants”. He was sent into the house by Rani Mukherji, who seems to be Rakhi Sawant’s latest protégée. She gyrated, displayed a very bulgey paunch through her translucent saree, and made me feel a little sorry that this was what she’d been reduced to.
This season does not look promising, at all. At least the last season had some people we knew. Hell, it had porn star Sunny Leone. They did try for Kim Kardashian this time round – but even she refused. How sad can it get? Will things improve? Or will this remain a lesson in how not to choose contestants for a reality show? And how not to treat animals. There’s always the hope that like Animal Farm, the animals will rise up and revolt. Here’s hoping for a live revival of Birds. Radheradhe!
Bigg Boss 6 will be shown from Mon-Fri at 9pm on Colors.
Disclaimer: Colors is part of the Network18 group. Firstpost is owned by Network18