After the lockdown halted the shooting of MTV Roadies Revolution, the makers decided to hunt for fresh contestants through an online audition. Everyday, the gang leaders – Neha Dhupia, Prince Narula. Nikhil Chinapa, Raftaar along with ring master Rannvijay Singha interact with Roadies enthusiasts through a video call. They also give them tasks to perform, and each week, a couple of winners move ahead in the competition. Post the finale. one among these winners will get a chance to join the Roadies journey this season.
In an exclusive interaction with indianexpress.com, Neha Dhupia shared more about the new format of audience, her association with Roadies and dealing with trolls.
Here are excerpts from the conversation:
How has the experience been interacting with contestants on live audition?
It has been an amazing opportunity to come face to face with these youngsters. Also, they too are getting to interact with their most preferred and loved gang leaders. The show is such that it really gets tough to cross that line. And people are so passionate about Roadies that it came as a big thing for them.
Usually in the personal rounds, contestants are in the Roadies den. Now that they are in the comfort of their homes, do you see a change in their attitude?
The contestants still have the same kind of pressure. Yes, you are far more comfortable in your own space but then you have people watching you live. There are no retakes and you want to make an impression there and then. Also, the time we give them is just 10 minutes, and one has to shine in that. Usually, when we do the show, the contestants get about an hour to interact with us. So there are pros and cons to it. I remember, there was this guy from Chandigarh, who has been trying to be on the show for 13 years. He started off when he was single, and now has a wife and kid. Through the online audition, he finally got a chance to reach the interview round.
What was your first reaction when you got to know about the online auditions?
I was like really, we are not even taking a break (laughs). We had just started the journey when the lockdown halted the shoot. While on television, the interviews were still being aired. So literally in just a week, we revived the show, and are now airing new episodes. The fans of Roadies are really excited about it. We too are trying to make as much of a difference as we can through the show.
You have been associated with Roadies for a long time now. How has it changed you as a person?
The show has the ability to bring out my competitive side. And I don’t think it’s bad as it only pushes one to give their best. Through the show, apart from testing my physical and mental strength, I also got to learn a lot, especially how to be a fair leader. Also, Roadies has made me travel to places that we might never got to know. And I love the adventure that comes along. It has given me the opportunity to meet and work with such cool people. Overall, it has been an amazing association.
Apart from the love, you are often subjected to trolls. How do you deal with that?
That’s a completely different side. Sometimes you don’t even comprehend anything that they say, and there are times you feel it’s just a byproduct of being a public figure. The controversy that kickstarted was about me speaking against domestic violence. Under no circumstances I took a stand for adultery, that’s also a wrong practice. Adultery could lead to breakup, emotional pain, separation or divorce. However, domestic violence could lead to a lot more dangerous stuff. And it is just not okay to raise your hand at anyone.
We are seeing a lot of your posts with daughter Mehr these days. Is she keeping you busy during the lockdown?
Well, Roadies keeps me busy twice a week. Otherwise, we stay as much away from the phone as we can, and spend time with Mehr. She is learning her basics – alphabets and numbers, and it’s a beautiful experience to see her grow. Angad (husband Angad Bedi) and I signed up for equal parenting from the word go, and there is nothing that both of us can’t do. From building dollhouses to staging puppetry shows with oversized socks, we have a fun time together with her.
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