‘Welcome 2’ back with ‘zaikedar dilli’

MUMBAI: As things heat up in the national capital with the political parties battling it out for aam admi’s attention, Life OK’s second season of the reality show Welcome 2- Baazi Mehmaan Nawaazi is all set to add more spice to the existing drama!

The ‘desi’ version of the international reality series, Come Dine with Me, will now explore the Delhi cuisine and culture with common man, this time around.

Unlike the first season which was hosted by actor Ram Kapoor, this one will be sans a host and celebrities. The previous season featured actors hosting dinner at their places and will bring together a bunch of New Delhi-based strangers from different walks of life. They will be seen bonding over food, entertainment and 'mehmaan nawaazi' (hospitality) with one specific theme each week.

Produced by Miditech, the series started from 17 March and is aired every week Monday to Friday at 10:00 pm and will run for eight weeks.

India Gate Basmati Rice continues to be the presenting sponsor of the show. Moreover, the channel has roped in Pantene 6 Oil Nourish as the powered by sponsor.

The reason behind having no host this time around is, the makers wanted to focus on the five contestants. “This time we just wanted to focus on the five contestants each week. The show concentrates on Dilwalon Ki Dilli, the melting pot of cultures offered with a dash of masala, drama and entertainment. This season is all about laughter, food, excitement, drama and different personalities,” echoes Miditech co-founder Niret Alva.

Fifteen episodes have been canned till now. The makers and the channel believe that it is going to be a fun ride. Celebrities are expected to come in but much later. “This time we are keeping this season more on the lines of the international format. Some celebs will definitely join in every now and then to pep up the drama and entertainment quotient, but that will come much later,” reveals Alva.

Life OK general manager Ajit Thakur expounds: "It is our endeavor to introduce clutter-breaking content and our reality shows are always served with a twist. As five contestants from culturally diverse backgrounds come together, the show moves away from the run of the mill kitchen politics and takes you into the actual kitchen conversations.”

Alva revealed that selecting the contestants was very tough. “We were looking for the characters from different walks of life. We needed permissions to invade their homes. Apart from this, we also needed the contestants for five days without even telling them what’s going around.”

In its first season, the show aired from 21 January to 23 March 2013. There were nine groups that involved 45 celebrities, with five celebrities featuring in the show every week.

While the channel has pinned high hopes on this series, whether they will succeed it or not is a different story altogether. Says a highly placed media planner (name withheld on request): “The channel has been innovating and launching new shows time and again to sustain viewership and maintain numbers. But according to me, they should not try content which has not worked for them in the past. The first season did not work well for the channel and that was the clear indication that audiences are not interested in such content.”

The media planner further goes on to say that: “To fill the vacant slot, they could have extended the shows which are doing well for the channel like Mahadev and Shapath. This strategy would have got them a few numbers.”

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