Bigg Boss 14 Challengers Rahul Mahajan, Kashmera Shah, Vikas Gupta discuss re-entering the reality show house
Bigg Boss 14 has brought a new twist to the show, with six former contestants (the Challengers) — Rakhi Sawant, Rahul Mahajan, Arshi Khan, Kashmera Shah, Manu Punjabi and Vikas Gupta — entering the house to spike the show's entertainment quotient.
Bigg Boss 14 created a lot of buzz when host Salman Khan, on a Weekend Ka Vaar episode, announced that the show will have an early finale segment. Many were left wondering whether the show was going off-air a month earlier than decided. Like the many other twists and turns this season has seen, it was soon revealed that this would just be a pre-finale week.
The makers have again brought something new into the mix, with six former contestants (the Challengers) — Rakhi Sawant, Rahul Mahajan, Arshi Khan, Kashmera Shah, Manu Punjabi and Vikas Gupta — entering the house to spike the show's entertainment quotient.
At this point of the game only four ‘original’ contestants, or the finalists will go ahead to compete with the challengers and other housemates will face eliminations if they fail tasks. However, it remains to be seen if the challengers will be given a chance to run in the finale race. With Rahul Vaidya and Nikki Tamboli's elimination this weekend, the final four are Eijaz Khan, Abhinav Shukla, Rubina Dilaik and Jasmin Bhasin who will fight the challengers. This was a surprise to the finalists who supposed that the show is nearing its end and they will only be competing against each other.
Rahul Mahajan, who feels that so far no single contestant was consistently held his attention, said that the challengers could also snatch away the trophy from the original housemates. “One can’t deny that possibility. The challengers are all very seasoned players who have done multiple shows and they know better what to do and when. We are much more capable. Winner could also be from the challengers’ team and not the original contestants. But you can’t say what will happen, it all depends upon the chemistry with the contestants, mood of the audience...this year people are also in a different mood due to the pandemic. But the contestants who are inside can do better and hence we are going inside the house,” said Mahajan. Mahajan will be entering the house for a third time after Bigg Boss 2 and Halla Bol, Bigg Boss season 8.
Putting things in perspective and explaining yet another competition that the finalists have to face now, Vikas Gupta, who is leading the team of challengers, said, “The challengers who are joining the four finalists have also played the game earlier but they didn’t win, and the four finalists have now covered more than 50 per cent of their journey, so now they have to fight it out with the challengers to win the trophy. They might be thinking that one of them will get the trophy but then they will realise that the show is not yet over establishing the theme this season — ‘Ab scene paltega’. But not everything is revealed to us so that we don’t go inside the house with proper planning. As of now the whole team will be competing for the trophy.”
Vikas may find the current lot — Rubina, Eijaz, Abhinav and Jasmin strong contenders but he also admitted that the timing of the challengers going inside the house could be wrong. “Look, you want to play with people who can give you good takkar (competition) but now when you go in the house, Rubina is already so damaged, Jasmin is feeling low since her friend Aly (Goni) has left, Eijaz is tired, Abhinav is caught between things, and tough players like Kavita and Aly have left. But I am really angry that Kavita walked out. Although she made a mistake the first time, she was really good when she came back, her walking out wasn’t right. If they were there with full energy and power then it would be more fun,” said Vikas, who is entering the house for the fourth time. “I am surprised that Kavita walked out. Why did she let go of her game for someone else?” adds Kashmera Shah, who was the show contestant in the very first season, in 2006-’07.
Vikas, however, accepts that Rubina is the strongest player. “The smartest game is that of Rubina, she has no competition right now. The only person who could have competed with her is Jasmin but she is an emotional person and not very smart at playing. I also liked Rahul Vaidya because he came out as very real, he is not fake. Eijaz, too, has done a lot for the show. Abhinav is suddenly in the limelight and people may want to see him more. Lot of things will change now."
Even as Kashmera is excited about entering the house, she feels the challengers have a bit of disadvantage competing with the contestants who have already spent two months inside the house and have a fan base. “Last year when I went inside the house, I wasn’t competing, I had gone to support Arti Singh. But this time I will be facing both competition and fear. Despite being nominated several times the four finalists have managed to stay. It will be very difficult for us and that is a scary place to be."
“But”, she furthered, “I’m sure these finalists will wake up and give a tough fight so that they don't lose the trophy to one of the challengers. I want them to appreciate what a big platform this show is. They have taken it for granted. I found that fire missing. They could have been a little more enthusiastic about the tasks, captaincy and nominations.” Interestingly, Mahajan fears the challengers and not the finalists. “I have competition more from the people who are going with me and not those in the house, they are bachhas (kids) for me. There is more danger from the challengers,” said Rahul.
While Shah would have liked to challenge Rahul Vaidya, Arshi would have loved to dare Nikki who got the entertainer tag in the current season. But then, both Rahul and Nikki got evicted this weekend. “The most fun challenge would have been with Nikki because she was the most entertaining and I was also known as an entertainer. But I also like Eijaz’s game. Rubina is good but she doesn’t let others speak. Jasmin is a cry baby which is affecting her game. Rahul (Vaidya) played very well. I am really excited to go in the house because last time I was evicted early and I learnt my lessons so this time I am not going to make any relations inside the house. And it is good that only four contestants will be left when we challengers go inside because now we can rule. The tough ones like Kavita, Aly, Pavitra..are gone,” said Arshi.
“I think Rahul (Vaidya) was tough and he would have been an interesting person to play against. But I don’t mind challenging Jasmin because her personality changed completely once her friend Aly Goni entered the house and I would like to expose her. I find Rubina and Abhinav so busy in their own life, their marriage..Taking care of your partner is not wrong but in a game show you can’t take the responsibility of the other person. Had they gone solo they would have played it differently. Eijaz really wants to win the show but he needs to be more active in the game,” said Kashmera.
Sounding critical of the contestants in the current season, Bigg Boss 10 finalist Manu bluntly stated that the contestants were dull and hence the former contestants are being taken inside the house. “I like only Eijaz’s game but I don’t like the others. Perhaps, Rubina and Jasmin are good for fiction. But I am not going to challenge anyone, I am just going to play the game. It is a great opportunity for me. When we participated we were more real and the audience connected to us. It is always great fun watching reality. The challengers have a lot of spice in them and now the game will completely change. Once we reach there this whole thing of sitting in corners and chatting is going to end. There will be some action and life in the game,” said Manu.
And none of the challengers are going in with any definite plan or strategy. “I would like to be honest, genuine and original. Be who you are. Actually it’s very difficult to fake it because after a few days you forget what is happening, you forget that there are cameras and mics and you can get caught if you are faking it,” said Rahul. “You have to show your real personality. How much ever you plan your game it doesn’t work because people judge you only for your natural persona. You can’t go in and decide that I want to be friends with this person or fight with this person only. The one who shows their real face is considered strong,” said Arshi.
Rather than strategising, Vikas, who was given the Mastermind tag by Salman (during season 11 in which Vikas was a participant) believes in being active and alert as things are happening. “I don’t have any game plan. I always believe that when you go inside the house you get suspicious about things and with your heart and mind you prioritise and play the game. You can’t plan in the Bigg Boss house because the entire team would always want to destroy your plans and on top of that there are so many insecurities in every human being. You have to play your own game in your way. Every time I go inside the house I get challenged and it is not about being clever but it is about being wise. A mastermind should play with both, heart and mind.
(All images from Twitter)
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Former contestant Rashami Desai also entered the Bigg Boss 14 house to support Vikas Gupta, as per the Weekend Ka Vaar promo
Rubina Dilaik, Abhinav Shukla, Jasmin Bhasin, and Aly Goni were nominated for eliminations this week by Bigg Boss.