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Thursday, February 7, 2008

Introduction of Challengers in reality shows

Introduction of Challengers in reality shows is a new concept that the viewers are still unaccustomed to. Get to know what our reality show participants, judges, and other celebrities feel about it...

“Challenger” – this word is the talk of the reality show world these days. Not so long ago, the participants had to put up with the wild card entries, but these days, a brand new participant gets introduced in the middle as a “Challenger”, challenging the show toppers. The concept was introduced in SRGMP with Aneek Dhar and Abhijit Kosambi entering the fray after the top ten got selected. The Sony show K for Kishore followed the same when Milind Ingle was introduced as the Challenger. Now Amit Paul, a finalist of Indian Idol 3 is all set to rock the stage of K for Kishore, as its next challenger. Star Plus Voice of India has been advertising vociferously, the Challenger round for some time now.

While the viewers are still new to the concept and consequences, Telly Buzz team decided to check out the opinions of few past participants/esteemed judges from various shows to know what they feel about this new fad that has hit the reality shows. Are they comfortable with it, does it affect them, do they like the idea? Let’s find out.

Sumedha Karmahe:

In fact, this challenger thing happened even in SRGMP, when Aneek and Abhijeet got a direct entry. See, when I was there in the contest, I definitely felt it was very unfair. But now, when I see it with a clear mindset, I find that it’s not that they made an easy entry. They too had worked hard to win the regional contest and only then got this entry. As far as SRGMP is concerned, I would say now that it was not unfair.


Controversies regarding wild card entry were there in VOI, but it was justified in one way or the other. But entry of a challenger is one step further, and I feel that it has its own pros and cons. It can be unfair too but my personal opinion is that the contestants should be prepared for all such eventuality, because it is finally a contest. Directors and producers of the show take such steps for TRP’s, but contestants need not worry much with that. They are also striving hard to stay in the race, so they should be mentally strong to face such a challenge.

Sonu Nigam:

I feel this challenger thing is very unfair. The other contestants have toiled so hard to get to the level they are in, and now a completely unknown figure is put up in front of them.. This should not be followed. But then you know it could be the show format. These days every such act can always be covered under the word “Format”

Rahul Vaidya:

This concept is more like a double edged sword. When the challenger is added, usually it is done by bringing some other winners, like it happened in SRGMP when Aneek and Abhijit were brought in and now the contest gets tougher. They also have worked hard but when you see the participants’ side, it is slightly unfair. They have slogged for so many weeks and faced challenges to finally reach the stage, and here someone gets entry directly. That way it is bit unfair, that’s what I feel personally.


This challenger part is beyond my understanding. When you have chosen the top contestants of that year and suddenly find someone good, then better to give him a chance in the next season and carry on with the ones you selected earlier. I feel this is done more to maybe break the monotony of the show. Week after week, we see eliminations, so this challenger concept brings in an excitement and a buzz is created. See, we are also forced to talk on the issue. However, I feel more than the participants; it is the challenger who is at a disadvantage here. Others are already popular, so have a better chance to win than him.

Sudesh Bhosle:

I don’t see anything wrong with such a practice. I’ll stick to K for Kishore and say that it is not the same as other shows. We now have the cream of the lot left. The challengers now will give them the urge to do better in order to stay in the contest. This show is more of celebrating Kishore rather than just a contest. So now when we get more talented Kishore fans added to the lot, well I would say more the merrier.


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