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The boom of TV Reality Shows

Reality TV shows are the buzzword in the world of entertainment today. They have captured audiences with their refreshing concepts, inflow of different people, their lives in situations real or simulated and their daily dose of drama, anticipation, and intrigue. They are of all kinds, talent shows, game shows, hidden camera shows, talk shows, hoax based shows, social experiments, sports and all kinds of competition. In the land of Bollywood, nothing sells like good cheap entertainment. Therefore dance reality shows are the most loved among Indian viewers giving the audiences a few months of ardent following to do. People tune in religiously to watch the supremely popular dance-reality shows. They are such crowd pullers as they have a bit of everything; from good dance moves, music, an element of drama and all reasons to remain engrossed.  Jhalak Dikhla Jaa and Nach Baliye, Dance India Dance are loved because they host a horde of popular TV and film stars that add to the people’s interest. While Jhalak teams up a celebrity with a professional dancer, Nach Baliye brings together celebrity jodis as well as real life couples. And the fact that not all of them can dance makes it all the more interesting. The Commonwealth Heavyweight Champ Sangram Singh was seen in a dance show with his wife Payal Rohtagi and even though he was a terrible dancer, he was a good sport and his participation was still amusing.

These shows have grand sets, Bollywood numbers, glittering costumes and celebrity judges, all of which the audiences love. Often these are made a stage for film promotions and viewers get to see their favourite stars in candid appearances. It is the judges who get most of the attention, even more than the competitors sometimes and they tend to maintain the melodramatic emotional appeal of the show with tart comments, disagreements, dramatic narratives etc. The way they present scores, crack jokes and poke fun at each other makes for good entertainment.

Nothing can beat this interesting mix of drama, emotion and dance. shows

Nach Baliye routinely has more drama. Personal stories, struggles of the participants sell more than dance itself. Real life couple Nandish Sandhu and Rashmi Desai (the famous lead pair of Uttaran) got a chance to work on their marriage through this platform, a journey the audience thoroughly devoured.

As a more directed and no non-sense show, Dance Plus on Star Plus brings together participants who are professional or aspiring professionals only. The show’s format involves a group of young dancers being rigorously trained by three professionals, judged by the producer Remo D’souza.

Lauren Gottlieb judge on Jhalak received a career boost and national recognition through the show.

Unexpected talent often emerges in these shows. National footballer Baichung Bhutia won the sixth season of Jhalak, winning the audiences’ hearts and exploring and expanding a new talent of his through a popular public domain.

With big sponsors and extensive large viewership, the show affords the participants a great opportunity to showcase their talent and with the huge prize money and winning prizes – work in a film, dancing or choreography stints etc, they have proved to a be a total game changer for many.


In the past, people from smaller economic backgrounds have made a good and winning show at these junctures and people have loved to witness the ‘human interest’ story of their struggles and the transformation of their lives.


Dharmesh Yelande, known as Dharmesh sir, used to own a tea stall in Vadodara. In his fight for life’s basics, he made time for his passion and participating in D.I.D. transformed his life completely. Today he’s a mentor to young dancers while he also works as a choreographer in Bollywood; he has worked for two films and planned to mentor in Dance +.

Other reality show contestants are now working on TV shows. Children who took part in the shows are doing TVCs, dance shows, soaps, so everybody gets something out of these shows.

These contestants, with the amount of public voting (great money making scheme as well as for audience participation) require to get them through, begin to command their own fan following. They often inspire youngsters. The son of an auto rickshaw driver from Mumbai, for 12 year old Faisal Khan, winning the second season of DID Li’l Masters in 2012 landed him the role of the child lead in, Maharana Pratap.

These shows are a good platform for emerging talent, a place for promotions, provide “celebritydom” to unknown celebrities, but the fact is not to  be overlooked that often a times, they  deviate from reality, magnify and shrink certain aspects for interest generation and provide fame that can very easily be fickle and short . Like it or hate it, but Dance shows are here to stay and will continue to gain popularity with time for the reasons mentioned above. Because it is takes a performer and a platform to every dream.

Eshita Tiwari

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