'Here comes the hotstepper - KBC 2'

MUMBAI: Its back for the last time.


Act Two; Scene One: Signature tune with logo. Jump cut to the Bollywood badshah dressed in a snazzy black jacket rapping all the way with the audience. Cut, again, to the hot seat, computerji and Amitabh Bachchan. Zoom to the buzzer round, which will decide the lucky individual who will be seated on the hot seat. (It’s an IIT Madras student)


That’s what millions of TV viewers will see in exactly 24 hours from now (5 August 9 pm).


So what's different this time round as Bachchan gazes intensely into the eyes of the contestant and in his baritone voice asks, “Lock kiya jaye?” Plenty.

KBC 2 is racy and spicy. The Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, for starters, has a hipper atmosphere with AB wearing the rapper’s hat and his attire --- courtesy a top fashion designer --- transformed from aristocratic to hip-hop.


What adds to the excitement is, of course, the doubled prize money that stands at Rs 20 million. What’s more, this time round Bachchan will pose a question in every episode right in the beginning for KBC viewers who could not reach the Fastest Finger First (FFF) or the Hot Seat.


The viewers have to rush in their answers either through the MTNL/BSNL landline or an Airtel number. This has to be done a few minutes before Bachchan reveals the answer of the said question just before the episode ends.


The viewer with the right answer and the quickest response time will be selected through a random computer draw to pocket Rs 200,000. The winner will be informed a few days after the episode.

That apart, the nine contestants who lose out in the FFF and don’t make it to the Hot Seat (HS) will get a fresh chance to play via Play Along. While the Big B asks questions to the HS player, the nine FFF participants can play along. At the end of the episode, one of the nine contestants who has got the maximum answers right in the least amount of time will win Rs 200,000 as well.


Hang on! There’s more in KBC 2. The show will also see the introduction of the fourth lifeline called Flip. This lifeline can only be activated by the participant in the HS after he/she crosses the first stage or the sixth question.


Flip can be used at any point in time if the participant in the Hot Seat finds the question tough and can ask to flip the question. This is in addition to the already existing three lifelines - audience poll, phone-a-friend and 50/50.


KBC 2's first schedule consists of 14 episodes. Interestingly, according to Star Plus, 77 per cent of KBC 2 respondents have come from small towns (population less than 1 million) . In 2000 when KBC hit the small screen, most of the respondents had come from metros. KBC 2 has received a total number of 50 million calls.


The first schedule sees a dominant presence of respondents from Madhya Pradesh and Kolkata; 16 each.


Looking at consolidating the weekend block, KBC 2 will get a lead in from serial major Kasautii Zindagi Kay on Friday and will be led out by Star Plus' new show debuting tomorrow, Ba, Bahoo Aur Baby at 10 pm on weekends. On Fridays at 10:30 pm, viewers will see Star Plus’ evergreen star Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi.


Sundays will see the launch of Shanno Ki Shaadi, 7 August onwards at 10:30 pm, taking the lead in from Ba, Bahoo Aur Baby.


Will KBC 2 script yet another leaf in the success book of Indian television and that of Star Plus, especially on the weekends? We also can't wait to 'unlock’ this verdict!


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