After a long wait, television’s most popular reality show Bigg Boss is back with its fourteenth season. The grand premiere aired on Saturday with host Salman Khan taking charge and introducing the new lot of housemates. The Bollywood superstar shared how the team had been working extra hard during the pandemic, to bring to the audience their daily dose of drama.
The new season opened up with Salman promising that Bigg Boss 14 will give 2020 a befitting reply. Giving the viewers a shock, the channel used old footage from award shows to give a feel of the in-studio audience. One could see Anil Kapoor, Karan Johar, Farah Khan, Diljit Dosanjh among others cheering for Salman. The host also took the opportunity to talk about the importance of taking precautionary measures. As he promised a bigger, better and more entertaining season, he also gave a glimpse of the empty studio, informing the audience that this time, he would be connecting with some of them digitally.
Host Salman Khan then welcomed the ‘Toofani Seniors’ – Hina Khan, Sidharth Shukla and Gauahar Khan. The trio promised to make the season more challenging for the contestants. While Gauahar is in charge of the kitchen, Hina is responsible for everyone’s personal belongings. Sidharth will look after the bedroom this season. After 14 days, the ‘Toofani Seniors’ will decide which housemate (all the housemates’ status is now TBC or To Be Confirmed) gets to continue the game.
The former contestants also had a fun time with Salman Khan on stage. The over-hyped teaser of the fight between Sidharth and Gauahar remained a tease, as there was no masala in the confrontation. The celebrities also opened up about what they are looking for in the housemates. While Gauahar picked leadership quality, Hina and Sidharth shared that they want ‘real personalities’. It was rather cute to see Salman keeping a distance from the actors and sticking to namaste and adaab. However, once these celebs informed him that they tested negative in their individual coronavirus tests, he hugged them before they stepped inside the house.
Soon the housemates were introduced one by one. First entered Eijaz Khan, who is touted to be the ‘Gabbar’, followed by the bubbly Nikki Tamboli. Both of them managed to get the ‘select’ tag from the seniors by passing the ‘BBQ’ test. Real-life couple Rubina Dilaik and Abhinav Shukla came in next. They spoke about their relationship and the challenges they faced during the lockdown. Few journalists also joined in to virtually grill them. Given Rubina is more popular than Abhinav, the seniors rejected her, and allowed Abhinav to enter the house. They were followed by television’s popular face Jasmin Bhasin who was instantly given the ‘select’ tag.
The other contestants that entered the house were TV actor Nishant Singh Malkhani, model Shehzad Deol and singer-actor Sara Gurpal. While Shehzad was sent to the house, the other two joined Rubina in the ‘reject’ area. Jaan Kumar Sanu, who was introduced in the digital press meet, walked in next, followed by Pavitra Punia. While the actor got selected, the young singer had to experience the ‘walk of shame’ after being rejected. The last celeb to join Salman Khan on the stage was Indian Idol fame Rahul Vaidya. The singer managed to get selected for the house. He got a chance to say a final goodbye to his parents through a video call before joining the show.
The grand premiere episode aired for more than three hours, and became tedious after a point. While it was fun to see the new housemates interacting with Salman Khan, the interactions sometimes just went on and on, especially when it came to Nikki-Eijaz and Nishant-Sara-Shehzad. There was hardly also any footage from the house, where the contestants were starting to break the ice. That would have been more fun than seeing these housemates sugarcoating their words, trying to win brownie points from Salman. Many viewers watching the show at home would have switched off their television or gone off to sleep waiting for the episode to end.
Also, what really didn’t work for me was the ‘Toofani Seniors’ addition. Hina Khan, Sidharth Shukla and Gauahar Khan might have done wonders in their individual seasons, however, their presence did not add anything to Bigg Boss 14’s premiere. The tasks they played with the contestants seemed forced and childish. The trio seemingly have an irksome superiority complex, and will surely try to hog more limelight than the housemates during their stay. Other unnecessary inclusions were Pandit Janardhan and Radhe Maa’s guest appearances.
The contestants who stood out in the premiere episode were Pavitra Punia, Eijaz Khan, Nikki Tamboli and Rahul Vaidya. The ones who also seem to have potential are Rubina Dilaik, Abhinav Shukla, Jasmin Bhasin and Shehzad Deol. As for Nishant Singh Malkhani and Sara Gurpal, the two came across as fake, but given it’s the first episode, we will give them the benefit of doubt.
Overall, while initially the Bigg Boss 14 list of contestants seemed a bit ‘thanda’, the inmates, who have all come prepared and trained, do look promising. How long the josh lasts is something we will have to see in the coming days.
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