Bigg Boss 11: From creative tasks to social media frenzy — everything that made this season unique
Bigg Boss 11 started with 18 contestants — 12 commoners and six celebrities — and these ‘characters’ managed to make the show extremely explosive
Bigg Boss 11 started with 18 contestants — including 12 commoners and six celebrities — and these ‘characters’ managed to make this season the most dramatic and explosive one. In fact, this edition of the controversial show is considered to be the most successful across its 11-year-long tenure. While the ardent fans of the show were of course hooked onto it, it is said that many of those who never cared about its existence also started following it this year and the show garnered 50 per cent higher ratings on the TRP charts, as compared to the previous season. As Bigg Boss 11 comes to an end today, we look at how different and unpredictable it was.
Individual players, less friendships
One did see little specks of friendships but Bigg Boss 11 was one of those seasons where you couldn’t tell who would stay friends for long. Throughout these three months, and almost on a daily basis, equations between the contestants kept changing. Other than the Puneesh-Bandgi affair there was nothing else that really stood out in terms of relationships or friendships in spite of being thrown in such unusual circumstances. Either the friendships did not last, or they changed, or the contestants who formed bonds got eliminated. Even the Hina-Priyank-Luv trio appeared as if they were together only for the game, just to show their majority and steer clear of nominations.
Fights from day one
Though there were no cringe-worthy fights in this season as compared to the previous ones, but intense arguments began right from the very first day as if everybody knew what had to be done for the camera, or what kind of footage will make them stay in the show. Says Suyyash Rai, Bigg Boss 9 contestant, “We took one or two weeks to settle down. We were meeting each other for the very first time and we took some time to understand people. But in this season they were arguing and fighting from day one. But definitely, it was an interesting season and people were talking about it.” Adds former contestant, Sambhavana Seth, “This year the contestants knew what and who should be shown more rather than being seen themselves. That way it was different. They knew a lot more about the game that if I do this way it will be seen this way. Not only from day one when Vikas and Shilpa started arguing in front of Salman on stage when he was introducing them, their fights had started from outside which was unique about this season.”
We have to give it to the creative team for coming up with some of the most innovative tasks this year. The ‘BB Lab’ task was simply brilliant. The contestants were divided into two teams, as the members of one team had to play robots, while the job of the opposite team members was to get a specified reaction from them depending upon the emotions. Also, the real personalities of the contestants came out in the ‘Ticket to Finale’ task where it appeared that they were actually strategising. And how can we forget the 'BB Court' task where a courtroom was set up for Arshi Khan and Hiten Tejwani’s fake divorce, and Vikas and Hina played their lawyers respectively.
Wild card entries given a miss
The casting team of Bigg Boss 11 also deserves kudos for getting a good mix of contestants on the show this year so much so that the show runners did not find the need to introduce wild cards on the show to garner more trps like the previous seasons. This indicates the season’s successful run. From Haryana’s stage performer, Sapna Choudhary and cringe-pop queen, Dhinchak Pooja to the controversial Arshi Khan, and of course, along with them celebrities like Shilpa Shinde and Hina Khan, the line-up of the contestants this year was one of the best. “In almost every season we see five to six wild card entries who are sent to change the game but there was no such requirement in this season as all the characters and casting was so apt. Dhinchak Pooja was sent just for the sake of fun and Priyank was re-entering the show probably due to his popularity. In my season quite a few wild card entries were sent inside to give us competition but no such need rose this time,” says Suyyash.
No celeb–commoner divide
Commoners and celebrities which was a very big theme in the previous season was not visible in this edition. While commoners like Arshi and Puneesh played extremely well with latter reaching the finale, celebrities were really out in the open. Vikas and Shilpa were at it right from the first day when they were with Salman on stage. “Usually celebrities hold themselves and open gradually because they have an image to maintain. This is the first season when celebrities got into the game immediately. There was no divide between commoners and celebrities which was good to watch and it worked for the show,” says former Bigg Boss contestant, Priya Malik.
Societal issues addressed
It was a big deal on national television when Salman Khan schooled contestant Jyoti Kumari about different sexual orientations. Jyoti had asked Vikas Gupta how gay men produce children. That weekend, Salman simply explained the meaning of metro-sexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality and alternative methods of having a child, to the young woman. Then there were the female contestants who didn't shirk and stood up against slut-shaming and body-shaming. Arshi Khan was applauded when she shut Priyank Sharma when he cast aspersions on her character after he read some news reports about her while he was outside. She questioned why can't she be respected and Salman supported her. And we have to laud Vikas for not taking homophobic remakrs lightly.
Social media craze
It is often seen that shows that fare well on social media are usually duds on BARC charts but Bigg Boss 11 proved this wrong. Contestants were seen ruling social media with Shilpa Shinde leading the pack. She has more than one million tweets in her name. For the first time in the history of Bigg Boss, a celebrity contestant has received unmatched support from public. Not only Shilpa, even Hina Khan, Vikas Gupta, Luv Tyagi, Arshi Khan and Puneesh Sharma created a stir online. It speaks volumes about the show's success and the craze that this season brought.
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