MTV Roadies Revolution had just started its journey when the lockdown was announced. While the shoot for the adventure reality show had to be called off, the makers decided to introduce online auditions. For a couple of weeks now, the gang leaders — Neha Dhupia, Prince Narula, Raftaar and Nikhil Chinapa, along with ringleader Rannvijay Singha, have been interacting with contestants live. And one among the lot would get a chance to join the journey, whenever it commences.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Rannvijay Singha opens up about the live auditions, what the lockdown could mean to Roadies and why he is happy being at home.
Excerpts from the conversation.
Roadies had already started its journey when the lockdown was announced. When did you all decide it was time to halt it?
I was in the US with my brother at the end of January, and the entire time, we were wearing masks and gloves. So very early on, we were conscious of this, even during the audition. Way before the lockdown, when we started the journey, we were particular about social distancing and following hygiene protocols. We also made sure not to allow any stranger on the set. A few days before the janta curfew happened, we decided that it was time to head home. Just like me, there were a few others in the team who needed to be with their family. In hindsight, we pretty much took stock of things early.
How has the experience been with the live auditions?
For the past 17 years, during my association with Roadies, every year, we have experienced something new. Be it tasks, locations, change in format or gang leaders, there is something different always. So it never shocks me when we come up with something innovative. When the team decided on live auditions, it seemed normal, as it was the need of the hour. The experience has been amazing. These contestants are all in their own comfort zone, and expressing themselves from their bedroom. It has been quite fun interacting with them.
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Roadies tasks require a lot of physical activities and proximity. Once the lockdown is lifted and shoot commences, will the show see some changes?
Not just the show, the world is going to change. I think the reason that Roadies has survived so long is because we (MTV) own the show. It’s an original format and we don’t need to call an international company to tweak anything. We can definitely change the format in accordance with the requirements. If it’s not safe to go out, we will commence the journey online. Even before social media became big, we have been having ‘Battleground’ (online tasks) for the last 10 years. I have given tasks to people without even meeting them, and they have all completed it in their neighbourhood. If it’s safe to travel, we will go to places where there are less people, which we always kind of do. We also might have a closed-set of people, who can go through a medical check and shoot with all precaution. We have a great team, and we are all eager to adapt. However, I am a firm believer that one should think of crossing the bridge, only when you reach the river. So we will figure out things when the time comes.
You love the outdoors. How much are you missing that?
I think cribbing in such a situation of not being able to go to restaurant or ride a bike is lame and selfish. I feel I am so grateful and blessed that I am in my house, with my family. My parents are in a different city but they are also safe. And that’s all I care about, other things are just bonuses. I am shocked when I see people say that it’s such hard time for them that they need to cook for themselves. Make the best of the time, spend time with your family. Read that book you wanted to, or just spend time with yourself.
So it’s a happy family time for you during the lockdown?
I have grown up in an army background, and we wouldn’t get much time as a family together. So we never to be together for granted. We believe in enjoying every minute together. Also, my grandfather used to always say that there is a silver lining in every dark cloud. I thus look at the lockdown in a positive manner, as I have my wonderful wife and daughter for company.
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