Khatron ke Khiladi: Where the big and the beefy fail

Rajyasree Sen

Apr 04, 2014 13:30:27 IST

Why has it taken me two weeks to write about the new season of Khatron Ke Khiladi, the Indian version of Fear Factor? Because it’s taken them that long to make the first elimination, making sure they can squeeze as much TRPs as they can out of the first round. And the culling has begun with the least famous of the lot. But I’ll get to that later. This time’s Fear Factor which began two weekends back, is hosted not by Akshay Kumar but by Rohit Shetty – who seems to have a strange predilection for blowing up cars in his films. This clearly qualifies him to be the host. Till date, I haven’t noticed him showing any stunt other than Ajay Devgn standing on those moving bikes.

So big beefy perpetually dark glasses wearing Rohit Shetty is the host. Even though I wrinkle my nose every time he appears on screen, the contestants look most pleased because I’m sure they’re hoping he’ll make them a film offer once the show ends. Now I’m actually a big fan of Fear Factor – the original and the Indian. I think it’s very cool to swim with sharks, jump off 100 storey buildings after you’ve been set on fire, be locked in a pitch-black coffin which keeps filling up with water.

Khatron ke Khiladi: Where the big and the beefy fail

The cast of Khatron ke Khiladi 5 during the launch of the show. Sachin Gokhale/Firstpost

It’s always great to face up to your fears and phobias. This is one of the few shows where there is little room for starry shenanigans and the usual reality show rubbish, and is more focused on testing yourself physically and mentally. The American one was far more strenuous – with contestants being made to drink, eat and do horribly revolting things.

This time’s contestants are a mix of unknowns to knowns to aspiring-to-be-knowns. So we have actor and erstwhile Channel V host Ranvir Shorey, Gauhar Khan and her boyfriend Kushal Tandon, model Mugdha Godse, TV actors and career reality stars Debina and Gurmeet, stunt girl Geeta Tandon, model and actor Rajneish Duggal, CID’s Dayanand Shetty, model Rochelle, TV star Pooja Gor, choreographer Salman and actor Nikitin Dheer. Of the lot, after four episodes, Pooja Gor finally got eliminated.

The show is shot in South Africa, which most probably means there’ll be a stunt with a lion and a great white shark – or at least I’m hoping so. Till now, the contestants have been zipped into a plastic bag and dropped into a swimming pool, had to unzip themselves and swim to the edge. Balance walking on a thin rotating structure which has been constructed high above a water body.

Grab a rope hanging from a chopper - while floating in the water - climb up the rope to the flying chopper, take a key, climb down the rope and then finish the stunt. All of which were interesting because they were performed by people who had hydrophobia or vertigo or both or didn’t know how to swim. There were some useless stunts like jumping into an aquarium and throwing out what looked like little gharials, whose mouths were tied, and catfish. But the women seemed to freak out at the sight of the gharials. There’s one stunt coming up which would test me, which is that the contestants are made to lie down and covered with hundreds of cockroaches.

Some of the female contestants do weep and create a bit of a scene, but I suppose they have to provide some drama for the cameras. Otherwise all in all, this is one of the few reality shows where no one is screaming at anyone else or bawling or getting into fisticuffs. Rohit Shetty, to me, is the weakest link. Akshay Kumar’s charm was that he could do all the stunts and fit the Khiladi tag. Shetty seems like a beefy film director/producer that’s all. Which is what he is. The girls seem to have taken a shine to him, though. Especially Rochelle. Ranvir Sheorey is shown to be having a frisson of sorts with Mugdha Godse. A bit of a strange side story to go with considering he’s married. But hey, this is Bollywood. Give the people what they want, even if it is a married man hitting on another woman.

This weekend, you get to see Gauhar Khan flipping out because she’s covered in cockroaches. It seemed quite fun. There’s also a new wild card entry couple who are TV stars, joining the group from this weekend.

Should you watch it? I’d say yes. It’s a good way to see how people can stretch themselves mentally and physically. It’s also a great example of the fact that size doesn’t matter. The biggest and beefiest of the lot seem incapable of completing stunts, while the seemingly unfit like Ranvir seem to do so with élan as do the very slight women. Also, if you’re like me, you keep hoping that you’ll see one of the gators take a piece out of one of the contestants. Which is enough of a motivator to keep watching.

HoweveriIf you’re a fool who is going to try and grab on to the next helicopter you see flying above you or the next alligator swimming by you – because you saw Gauhar Khan do so on TV - then you deserve to say bye bye to this world.

You can watch Khatron Ke Khiladi on Colors at 9pm every Saturday and Sunday night.

Updated Date: Apr 04, 2014 13:30:28 IST

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