Will he, won’t he?
After speculation over whether or not Salman Khan would return as the host for season 11 of Bigg Boss, Colors CEO Raj Nayak has confirmed that the Tubelight star is indeed on board.
On Tuesday, 6 June 2017, Nayak tweeted out that the registrations for season 11 were open, and interested individuals ca now audition for the same.
What this means is, Bigg Boss will be repeating its ‘commoners’ theme from season 10.
In Bigg Boss 10, which ran from 16 October 2016 to 28 January 2017, the show had opened its doors for the first time, to non-celebrity contestants. Dividing up the contenders into two teams — ‘Celebrities’ and ‘Indiawale’ — the reality show devised a system where artistes like Gaurav Chopra, VJ Bani, Karan Mehra, Mona Lisa (aka Antara Biswas), Lopamudra Raut and Rohan Mehra were placed in direct competition with ‘regular’ folks drawn from all walks of life, like Lokesh Kumari, Swami Om, Priyanka Jagga, Manveer Gurjar, Manu Punjabi, Akansha Sharma and Nitibha Kaul.
Each week, one of the teams — Celebrities or Indiawale — were declared to be masters or ‘sevaks’ in the Bigg Boss house; the designated ‘sevaks’ would have to carry out all the chores and demands made by the masters.
It was a system that built up conflicts betwen the two teams — and garnered TRPs.
At the end of season 10, there were some doubts about the theme being replicated in season 11.
For one, there had been two contestants among the commoners who had proven to be particularly troublesome: Priyanka Jagga and Swami Om. On a show noted for its controversies and ill-behaved contestants, Om and Priyanka Jagga were noted to be among the worst. Salman Khan took the unprecedented step of throwing out a contestant (Jagga) from the show during season 10. Om’s behaviour, on the other hand, had escalated to the point where he was banned from attending the Bigg Boss 10 finale — an event at which all ousted contenders are usually present.
Moreover, while there had been an overwhelming amount of public support for the non-celebrity contestants Manveer Gurjar (who eventually won season 10) and Manu Punjabi (one of the top-four finalists), the TRPs for Bigg Boss didn’t show as huge an improvement as might have been hoped for. The Bigg Boss 10 premiere garnered a TRP of 3.82, while it was 4.02 for the finale episode. That was far from the highest TRP a premiere episode (4.30 for season five, hosted by Sanjay Dutt) or finale (6.70 for season four, hosted by Salman Khan) of Bigg Boss has seen. Still, the average TRP for season 10 (3.54) was about the fifth-highest Bigg Boss has seen in its 10-season run thus far.
The gains must have outweighed the cons, for the Bigg Boss showrunners have thrown open the contest to non-celebrity contestants once again.
The registration forms are now available on Voot.
“This is the Bigg Boss Season 11 casting website,” a welcome message on the site reads. “Last year, for the first time in the history of Bigg Boss, we opened the gates of the house for the entire nation. Here’s an opportunity for you once again to be a part of Bigg Boss, showcase your talent and intelligence, and earn your way to name, fame and the prize money.”
A form below asks for details such as contact information, the applicant’s age, gender and weight, social media handles, and provides space for uploading an audition video.
Other sites have also included helpful advice on how to ‘crack’ the auditions process for Bigg Boss season 11, where the pro tip seems to be: ‘Watch the audition videos of season 10’s contestants’.
At the time of publishing this article, figures about how many applicants had already registered had not been released. It’s fair, however, to assume that this would be a sizeable number. Raj Nayak’s tweet had about 1,700 likes within a few hours of being posted.
There are bound to be many who think they can find a level of fame similar to the more successful non-celebrity contestants from Bigg Boss 10.
Which brings us to the question — where are they now?
Manveer, who won Bigg Boss 10 in the face of stiff competition from Gurbani Judghe (aka VJ Bani), returned to his Noida home, to a hero’s welcome. It was reported at the time that both the SP and BSP were wooing him to campaign for them in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh Assemble elections. Controversy broke out soon after, with it emerging that Manveer had been married before he entered the Bigg Boss house (a ‘romance’ with co-contestant Nitibha Kaul had been among the attention-grabbing factors of his stint). The row died down after a while, and Manveer is now a contestant on another reality show — Khatron ke Khiladi. A Hindi film is also in the pipeline, Manveer has said.
Manu Punjabi-Nitibha Kaul
Manu Punjabi was once pitched as the leading contender on Bigg Boss 10, before a family emergency took him out of the house for a while, and effectively rendered him out of the reckoning. He was the fourth finalist on the show. Manu, along with Nitibha Kaul, is now hosting a show on MTV called Date To Remember. At present, the duo is travelling to major Indian cities, for the auditions leg of the reality show. In addition to the show, Nitibha has also walked the ramp at some fashion events after her Bigg Boss stay.
Akansha had caused quite the buzz when she appeared on the show and told the audience that she was the estranged wife of Zorawar Singh, cricketer Yuvraj Singh’s brother. She also alleged cruelty at the hands of her mother-in-law Shabnam Singh.The Singh family refuted these claims. The latest is that Akansha has filed a domestic violence case against Zorawar, as of May 2017.
Swami Om has some respite from his legal troubles as a Delhi court granted anticipatory bail to the former Bigg Boss contestant in a molestation case.
Priyanka Jagga was last heard of denying that she was in a relationship with Swami Om, while there has been no news of Lokesh Kumari or Naveen Prakash since Bigg Boss 10 went off air in January 2017.
What interesting personalities will the auditions for Bigg Boss 11 throw up? We’ll soon find out.