Trauma, tantrum and the taming of the shrew

When you sign on Rakhi Sawant, you get some unpredictable behaviour as part
of the package. Star Plus, when it invited item girl Rakhi and beau Abhishek Awasthi to be a part of Nach Baliye, should have learnt from Sony‘s Bigg Boss experience.

Last year, the firebrand Rakhi had sought re-entry into Sony‘s reality show after being ousted by fellow celeb participants, claiming that the animosity between her and Amit Sadh had resulted in her being chucked out. Sawant, who carried the legacy of her tiff with singer Mika into the Bigg Boss house, was later re-called as a wild card entry, but didn‘t last long. This year, Star Plus apparently decided it could cash in on the Rakhi-Kashmera Shah spat that had its origins in the Bigg Boss house. Unfortunately, that manouvre fell flat with both girls professing everlasting affection for each other, publicly. But while Star couldn‘t capitalise on gossip and controversy (courtesy Rakhi in the initial episodes), it got more than what it bargained for, post the finale.

After last weekend‘s finale, in which Rakhi stormed off the sets without accepting the runner-up trophy and without heeding filmstar Salman Khan‘s pleas, Rakhi has been courting primetime footage on every second channel. Now cast in the role of a wronged heroine, clad in demure salwar kameezes and sporting scholarly glasses, Rakhi is campaigning for ‘justice‘ in the interest of the nation. Abhishek has had his share of the limelight too, claiming to have been given a raw deal by the channel, fellow participants and telecom companies.

Rakhi‘s statements have cast aspersions on the voting system across talent hunts on television channels, and Star Plus has now decided to call Rakhi‘s bluff by demanding an apology and promising to cooperate with the Crime Branch, to which Rakhi has filed for succour. Enough for the news channels to chew on the entire week.


K..K..Kishore....stumbling start

Sony‘s K for Kishore took off last Friday. The concept of mining the rich heritage of Kishore Kumar - the songs, the persona and the antics - is filled with exciting audio-visual potential. The first episode, however, turned out to be a bit of a drag. Although Sudesh Bhosle ( a competent Kishore mimic himself) as emcee was watchable, the proceedings turned into more of a sentimental obeisance to Kishoreda with son Amit Kumar and wife Leena, turning misty eyed at every turn. Leaving the Gangulys out of the proceedings may be an altogether better idea. Rajeshwari Sachdev as the host is engaging, but someone more knowledgeable (and one can‘t help thinking of Annu Kapoor in this role) could have done far more justice to such a show. The participants are amateur Kishores, who have sung in colleges and in orchestras, and are raring to prove their yodelling skills on screen. Some make the mark, some are pathetic. The magic of Kishore wasn‘t just his voice - it was his attitude that percolated into his vocal chords and defined his singing. Finding that quality through a TV hunt may not be that easy a task!

Aamir Khan too was all over the tube this week, but one didn‘t mind it so much, considering the fact that the star may not be open to the media again for a long time to come. He appeared with his child star Darsheel on Pogo‘s Mad, he judged a kids‘ talent show on NDTV, he chatted with sundry journalists on all possible channels - on his reading habits, his movie making skills and his parenting skills. Aamir probably hadn‘t spoken as much in the past decade as he did this week!

Kyunki Saas.... is getting ready to shed its baubles and go slumming in the coming weeks. Ekta Kapoor probably thinks this is a good way to counter the appearance of Smriti Irani on rival Zee‘s Teen Bahuraniyan. But doesn‘t she know that most womenfolk check out K serials for the variety of apparel and jewelry on display? Can Kyunki... afford to forgo the glitz and glamour for long?


Couch potato warning of the week - The end of the year and the spectre of
year-end specials on television looms large. Get ready for re-runs of award
ceremonies and award winning films....‘tis going to be a long weekend!

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