On Indian television, nothing sells like reality shows. They not only break the monotony of drama series, but also serve as the perfect tool to satisfy voyeurism and, for some others, the irrepressible temptation to get their 60 seconds of fame. Though various shows have various formats, some of them have had their fair share of controversies and their credibility has occasionally been questioned with allegations that they are not as real as they claim to be — they are often premeditated and well rehearsed to grab more eyeballs and, in turn, higher TRPs.
Mallika Sherawat featured in 'The Bachelorette India', 'Mere Khayalonki Malika' to find love on national television. However, once the show ended, the actress and the winner Vijay Singh went their separate ways. One of the finalists, Vinay Jhamb, also claimed that the show was scripted; (left) Sana Saeed
An industry source says, "Most reality shows are rigged and the contestants are told what to do. Production houses go to any extent to get the maximum TRPs for their shows. Sadly, there's no element of reality. Everything is stage-managed."
Amita Chandekar and Karan Patel took part in 'Nach Baliye' as a "couple", but post eviction, Karan dismissed rumours about them having ever been together
Now, it is alleged that the makers of celebrity dance reality show 'Nach Baliye', which is supposed to feature real-life couples, have been auditioning several men to be paired opposite actress Sana Saeed. She, however, denies the buzz. "I already do have a boyfriend and as far as 'Nach Baliye' is concerned, we are only in talks right now," she adds.
hitlist recalls some reality shows that have often reeked of pretension and orchestrated drama...
Television actors Naman Shaw and Megha Gupta teamed up for a dance reality show, but went their separate ways soon after it ended
Telly actors Megha Gupta and Naman Shaw teamed up for the fourth season of Nach Baliye and managed to win the runners-up title. The hit jodi, which seemed to be madly in love while performing together on stage, parted ways soon after the show. Later, rumours rolled out that the duo had faked their relationship to participate in the celeb reality show as Megha was then apparently involved with a director.
Veena Malik spoke about an "emotional connect" with 'Bigg Boss' co-contestant Ashmit Patel, but it all came to a naught when the show got over
Co-stars of TV show 'Kasturi', Karan Patel and Amita Chandekar took part in the same dance show as a "couple". But soon after their eviction, Karan's claim that Amita was never his girlfriend set tongues wagging. He said their relationship was "a misunderstanding that had been allowed to go on for too long".
Close friends of TV actors Sara Khan and Ali Merchant alleged that their wedding in 'Bigg Boss' house was stage managed and the couple had been paid Rs 50 lakh for it
True or false?
Ashmit Patel and Veena Malik's PDA bordering on obscenity on 'Bigg Boss 4' became the talk of the town. The Pakistani actress would often claim that her love for Ashmit was real. However, when the show ended, they went their separate ways. However, in an interview, Veena was quoted saying that they had both decided to take their "friendship" to another level, but things didn't work out and she was the one who decided to call it quits. "If I had given massage to Ashmit, he did the same for me. I washed his clothes too. What we had was emotional connect and never did anything for the camera," she had said.
Rakhi Sawant found a 'prospective partner' on national television but never made it to the altar. Pic/Khushnum Bhandari. TV actress Ratan Rajput (below) featured on the same show and after getting 'engaged' to Delhi boy Abhinav Sharma, she called off the relationship
The same edition had a lot more drama to offer to the audience. TV actress Sara Khan's beau Ali Merchant, also an actor, made a sudden entry into the Bigg Boss house after she was linked to Ashmit. The duo then got married on the show, which their close friends said was done at a payment of Rs 50 lakh to up the show's TRP, but the channel denied the allegations. Two months later, when Sara was eliminated, news trickled in about them getting divorced. Interestingly, Ali confirmed the "wedding farce" saying, "I got married on TV for publicity." However, Sara said: "That marriage may be for publicity for him, but not for me."
Celebs like Mallika Sherawat and Rakhi Sawant found 'prospective partners' on national television, courtesy 'The Bachelorette India', 'Mere Khayalon Ki Mallika' and 'Rakhi Ka Swayamvar'. Though they never made it to the altar, the show opened the doors for many grooms to-be to gain instant fame. Ratan Rajput, best known as Laali from the TV serial 'Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo', featured in Swayamvar season 3, and got engaged to Delhi boy Abhinav Sharma, with the promise to marry later, but later called off the relationship. Of all three contestants, who have appeared in the Swayamvar series, Rahul Mahajan got married to contestant Dimpy Ganguly, though they separated just a year later.
'Emotional Atyachaar', a reality TV show based on the theme of testing the loyalty and infidelity of relationship partners, was much criticised for alleged orchestrated drama. Some of the participants claimed that they had been paid by the channel to appear on the show. The portrayal of incidents and the dialogues caught the attention of the Broadcasting Content Complaints Commission, an industry watchdog. The channel was ordered it to run an apology every two hours for four consecutive days for airing 'questionable content'. Emotional Atyachaar was reportedly based on Cheaters, a US show that started in 2000. Two years later, in an exposé, several participants claimed that they were paid $400 to act in the show.