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As Countdown to Grand Finale Begins, Break Down of 133 Days


Warning: The following story contains material that may not of importance to reality show critics. This space is dedicated to all the Bigg Boss 16 fans, who’ve been through highs and lows in the last four months, and are on the verge of an existential crisis with just a few hours left to grand finale.

Controversial for some, the much-talked about show was finally back in its 16th season. While there was no break, the previous two seasons failed to keep the viewers hooked. The falling TRPs ultimately forced makers to reintroduce their popular faces — Vikas Gupta, Rakhi Sawant, Rashmi Desai and Rahul Mahajan.

Choreographer and director Farah Khan rightly said, “This season and Sidharth Shukla’s season (13th) are on par.” You love it or hate it, but Bigg Boss 16 has tiptoed into your life — may be in form of news articles, reels on social media, hashtag trends, memes, GIFs, WhatsApp stickers or through family members who ‘walk, talk and breathe’ Bigg Boss.

ALSO READ | From Shehnaaz Gill to His Fans: If Only We Could Meet Sidharth Shukla Once…

A popular TV anchor and actor was among this team of ‘dislikers’, but he too couldn’t stay away from season 16. Hosting a ‘Weekly Bulletin’ on the show, Shekhar Suman was blunt in accepting that he was hesitant about accepting the offer from the makers of Bigg Boss as the show isn’t of his “taste”.

So What Made Bigg Boss 16 Work?

👁‍🗨‍ The Approachable Dad, Bigg Boss

Every year the show returns with a special theme like ‘heaven and hell’, jungle, museum and aircraft. For the 16th season, the makers decided to design the house as a ‘circus’, with Bigg Boss being the circus master.

The season broke Bigg Boss’ stereotyped image of a typical Bollywood dad. For all these years, the ‘Boss’ has been Yashvardhan Raichand (Amitabh Bachchan) from ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’. After “keh diya na, bas keh diya”, dare the man of the house say a word.

The contestants can scream, cry, verbally abuse, hit each other with frying, the ‘Boss’ will stay silent until the situation goes out of hand.

In the 16th season, we saw a changed dad, a glimpse of which was seen in the previous when Bigg Boss helped struggling Tejasswi pronounce ‘khushmijaaz’ (good-tempered). A clipping of the segment instantly became viral with fans calling it “best moment in history of Bigg Boss” and “bestest scene ever”.

Perhaps, pumped up by the reactions, Bigg Boss bounced back in the 16th season as a “player”, frequently betting with director Sajid Khan, teasing Shalin Bhanot over ‘buzzer’ and taking a jibe at Priyanka Chahar Choudhary over her “unfair, biased” remarks.

This reminded us of a father-son duo who are known for their fun banter, similar to fathers we may have seen around us. It was one of the best episodes of ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’ when singer Udit Narayan came along with his son Aditya Narayan and wife Deepa. From tales of “modelling” inside the house in vest and towel to telling Aditya’s girlfriend that his “son had attained maturity”, Udit Narayan’s day-to-day activities left us in splits. CLICK TO WATCH

ALSO READ | The Kashmir Files, The Kapil Sharma Show And The Unanswered Questions. Aren’t We Done Yet?

👁‍🗨‍ Scream Team vs Peace Party

Bigg Boss has often been slammed for its “bickering and belligerent” contestants. Every season there are participant who are known for their aggressive behaviour, including brothers Asim and Umar Riaz, Imam Siddique and Dolly Bindra.

This season the ‘scream team’ includes Archana Gautam, Priyanka Chahar Choudhary and Shiv Thackare, while MC Stan and Shalin Bhanot keep appearing in guest role.

The ‘Peace Party’, however, has been the highlight of the show, making season 16 stand out. This indeed also sends out a message to future contestants that picking fights over everything hasn’t helped anyone. You may manage to win the game, but learning the art of ‘winning despite losing’ can be a catalyst for your career.

Tajikistan social media sensation Abdu Rozik and television actor Ankit Gupta were flag bearers of the ‘Peace Party’. Abdu was one of the most loved contestants inside the house and outside. While his hugs were often dubbed as ‘therapy’ for the troubled housemates, audiences couldn’t help but go ‘aww’ over his equation with the ‘mandali’. Gupta, who was often bashed for being lazy and unresponsive to situations, brought the much-needed calm in forever-screaming Priyanka’s moments inside the house.

A glimpse of how calmer contestants can also sail through the show was seen season 15 when Simba Nagpal, who some thought would be among the first evictions, stayed inside until voted out by fellow housemates. He even managed to bag ‘Naagin 6’.

👁‍🗨‍ Undoing the Misinterpretation of ‘Content’

👁 It’s high time that contestants realise ‘screaming’ is not content. Priyanka, who is often praised by the show host Salman Khan for her ‘right stand’, was bashed by the Bollywood superstar himself for being “irritating”, unnecessarily getting into issues and raking it up.

👁 Archana Gautam, the actor-politician, brought out the ugly side of every contestant. She didn’t even spare the calm Abdu Rozik, who too was seen screaming. But this same Archana has a funny side to her, which has been acknowledged by both the contestants as well as the audience.

Her randoms chats are laced with effortless jokes. Her attempt to speak in English is equally funny, including her conversation with contestant Shreejita De’s beau Michael Blohm-Pape. And Archana does not even shy away from making fun of herself.

👁 Sajid Khan and Abdu Rozik’s self-created one-minute chat show ‘The Long Son, Short Son Show’ has been a hit. While seldom they could get some juicy content from the fellow housemates, their on-spot comic timing won accolades.

Not to forget MC Stan as contestant Sumbul Khan’s father, Touqeer, had us rolling on the floor laughing.

👁 Another contestant, Shalin Bhanot, whose bitter divorce became a weapon for some contestants, is in the top five. His love interest in the house, Tina Datta called him a “wife beater” in interviews post eviction. She was quoted by an online portal as saying Shalin used to “beat up and bash his ex-wife Dalljiet Kaur”. Yet Shalin is in the top five, and Tina Datta along with Priyanka was called “evil twins”.

Whether Shalin is “faking it” or is really a victim of heart break and bullying, the “poor chap” image got him to finale.

You may disagree but Shalin’s popularity on the show brought his ex-wife back to limelight. While Dalljiet too has been a contestant on Bigg Boss 13, she was among the firsts to be eliminated. Post Shalin’s entry in this season, paparazzi are even covering Dalljiet’s marriage. You may have even come across headlines saying, “Shalin Bhanot’s ex-wife Dalljiet Kaur to marry fiancé Nikhil Patel.”

ALSO READ | Angry Karan Kundrra, Crying Shehnaaz Gill & Uneasy Rhea Chakraborty: Click-By-Click, How Paparazzi Came in Spotlight | EXPLAINED

👁‍🗨‍ Centre Shifts from Kitchen to Gym Area

For the first time, we saw the gym area in focus than the kitchen. In earlier seasons, housemates have fought to stay in the kitchen where most of the politics was cooked, and gave them a chance to make it to television screens in the prime slot. But this time the focus was on health. From Abdu, Stan, Shiv, Priyanka and Archana, all were spotted working out. The exercising space saw housemates connecting with each other, taunting or simply focusing on their bodies.

👁‍🗨‍ The Bigg Boss Anthem

Another shift was a special anthem. Earlier we saw housemates dancing to the popular Bollywood numbers, this time Bigg Boss had his own song. And we just can’t get it out of out, no matter how cringeworthy it may sound.

👁‍🗨‍ Who Will Win Bigg Boss 16?

We can’t end by raising a toast to ‘mandali’. Audiences have always appreciated true bonds. That’s the reason why all fans still remember season 13 trio — Sidharth Shukla, Shehnaaz Gill and Asim Riaz. Bigg Boss couples have gained immense popularity too, like Tejasswi Prakash and Karan Kundra and Prince Narula and Yuvika Chaudhary. But this season has an unforgettable ‘breakup couple’ — Shalin Bhanot and Tina Dutta, and short-lived love tale of Soundarya Sharma and Gautam Vij.

ALSO READ | A Drenched Asim Riaz Sends Us into Thought Spirals. Remembering the Trio That Sums Up Bigg Boss 13

This season also had popular faces like director Farah Khan and actor Fahmaan Khan, who has a massive fan following, staying inside the house for a day.

As season 16 is about to end, we are brimming with emotions. We have so much to say but are restrained by word limit. Our eyes are now set on the grand finale that will be aired at 7 pm tonight. But before that let’s have an ‘exit poll’ of sorts, and see who would win this season.

I initially rooted for Shiv Thakre and Priyanka Choudhary as top two. However, after the ‘journey throwback’ episode, I feel Priyanka could emerge as the winner, followed by either Shiv or Archana. What’s your take? Let us know @news18dotcom.

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