Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Melodrama behind reality TV

Reality shows are getting a bad reputation for allegedly rigging results. Whether it was Rakhi Sawant’s outcry after losing Nach Baliye 3, Sandhya Mridul getting shortchanged on Jhalak Dikhla Jaa or even Raja Hasan losing out to Aneek Dhar on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007, there have been complaints on all the shows. Lashing out at Star Plus, the producers and even the votemeter, Rakhi claims that everything was fixed, rigged and planned on Nach. She and her partner Abhishek Awasthi lost in the final round to rival couple Aamir Ali and Sanjeeda Sheikh. Rakhi-Abhishek have now declared the award a fake, and sworn never to work with Star again. Is this a case of sour grapes or is there any truth in her claims? Are reality shows rigged?

Rakhi is just a poor loser, says Star Plus GM Keertan Adyanthaya. "As soon as she lost, she decided the whole show is a farce. This is just a publicity stunt by the couple to remain in the news even after the show ended. If she had any real complaints, she should have approached us, but she is just talking to the media," he points out. "And as far as the police complaint is concerned, it is not actually against the channel, but we are happy to co-operate with any investigation," he adds.

This is just another one of her attempts to create some controversy, agrees Aamir Ali. "We should just stop listening to her. She is insulting the winners, the audience and the channel. The two of them need to stop crying and accept that they’ve lost," he says, adding, "It’s like losing a match and then blaming the umpire, the other players and even the pitch." As for not working with Star again, "After this behaviour, do you think they’ll want to work with her again?" asks Aamir.

But not everyone is convinced. Aamir and Sanjeeda had everyone on their side, feels Tejaswini P., a BA student of Loyola Academy who followed the show. "Rakhi-Abhishek were the better dancers and they deserved to win. But the judges were partial towards Aamir-Sanjeeda. I don’t think the result is correct," she says. Speaking of talent, even on Sony’s Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, the judges were all praise for Sandhya Mridul, but Prachi Desai ended up winning. The young actress had been eliminated earlier in the show, but she was brought back via a wild card entry. Rumour has it that Ekta Kapoor pulled a few strings to make her blue-eyed girl win the show.

Prachi, of course is thrilled to bits. "I really enjoyed myself a lot throughout the show and also worked very hard. My re-entry was an unexpected surprise and I had my fingers crossed till the last moment," she says. "I’m extremely happy that I won, but I would have taken it gracefully had I lost. Right now Rakhi is claiming that her show was rigged. I wonder, would she be saying this if she had won? I just feel bad for the winners, who are really good dancers and deserve the credit," Prachi adds.

Aamir-Sanjeeda fan T.N. Priya, a student of GRIET, agrees that Rakhi’s outcry is unfair to the winners. "It’s so stupid of her to protest now. If she knew the results beforehand, why didn’t she do something then," says Priya. But she doesn’t rule out foul play on the show. "If the participants were ordinary people, there would be no reason to manipulate the results, but with celebs involved, it’s a different ball game," she adds. Another youngster, Asma Khan of St. George’s Girls Degree College, feels there’s definitely something going on. "On Jhalak, Sandhya was definitely the better dancer, but with Nach, you really can’t say ‘coz Rakhi is a drama queen," she concludes.