Jhalak Dikhla Ja 3: Mediocrity Creeps In

Yes, I watch two reality shows: Jhalak Dikhla Ja and Roadies. This post is about Jhalak Dikhla Ja, which is a dance show on the lines of American show Dancing with the Stars.

I love watching dance performances like Rumba, Salsa, Samba, Cha cha cha, Hip Hop, Twist, Disco, etc. on this show, sitting right there in my drawing room. After a hard day at work, I can simply unwind watching dance-and-glitz on a Friday evening. I am your regular live dance performance audience too.


Monica Bedi dances to standing ovation in this one

I have written about Jhalak Dikhla Ja before and that post still gets me some hits. I had also crticized the show for celebrity contestants making voter appeals based on region/religion and caste that divide the nation on these lines. Surprisingly, after I wrote this, I haven’t had any reason to complain on this front. (I promptly wrote a victory post as well.) This season as well,  no celebrity so far has asked for votes based on region/religion/caste, instead I remember some of them asking for votes from their teachers, classmates, fans and so on. Fair enough, ladies and gentleman! 😀

So what am I writing about this time? Bias (that is what it looks to me) and lapping up mediocrity.

This show has a history where medicre contestants like Mona Singh have won over far superior contestants like Shveta Salve. In season 2 as well, Prachi Desai won over Sandhya Mridul who was a much better dancer.

The show has reached its semi-finals with football player Baichung Bhutia, TV actor Karan, pop-singer Hardcore and model Gauhar Khan. Karan (He survives solely because he is a hot dude and his female fans vote in plenty for him) and Gauhar Khan are the mediocres on the show.

Thumbs Up on the show

Footballer Baichung Bhutia, who is certainly not a natural dancer. Yet his performances with his talented choreographer Sonia are commendable. I was fascinated by their dance performance about domestic abuse. I found this video for you to watch. Since video isn’t of good quality, you cant see the moves neatly for yourselves. Start at 4.14 minute in the video.

Baichung Bhutia is the dark horse of the show.

Hard Kaur too always has some scintillating performces. Though she can be very tom-boyish, she does manage to be graceful while she dances.

Thumbs down

Hosts taking up Gauhar Khan’s cause! To explain this I must write a bit about this celebrity contestant.

Gauhar is a beautiful, stunning-looking chic model. She has unique capabilities of an actor: she can turn teary-eyed at the drop of hat. She cries when she is spouting malice (which she does a lot), she is happy,  appreciated or written off.

It seems that because audiences dont vote for her, the hosts of the show have appointed themselves to champion Gauhar’s case as if she is the most worthy celebrity around!! They even go ahead and question the judge’s scores which were pretty decent. It was as if hosts were telling the judges, why didnt you give her highest scores! I wonder why judges went on defensive instead of saying directly that there were better performances around.

First Ms. Khan got rid of her flamboyant choreographer Haneef on charges that he wasn’t good at his job. (Funny no one else  realised that on last 2 seasons ).  I can’t comment how good Haneef was as a choerographer, but he was a great dancer. He shined through while dancing beside Gauhar. The new choreographer comes across like a mere fly (his small build adds to it) in Gauhar’s entire dance performance, his role is only to support or enhance Gauhar’s performance. There is no desired equation on display, rather its subordination. And perhaps this what Ms. Khan wanted.

It comes as no surprise that audience doesnt like Gauhar or her performances and doesn’t vote for her. So why do the host of the show kick all that fuss around every week when it becomes clear that Gauhar is the weakest contestant of all? When will show/channel stop lapping up mediocre performers? Gauhar is OK dancer, she is certainly not the BEST. May the best win, without any biases or manipulations. Period.

Image courtsey Jhalak Dikhla Ja official site

38 Responses to “Jhalak Dikhla Ja 3: Mediocrity Creeps In”

  1. 1 Nita May 15, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    I have never watched a dance reality show in my life but I enjoy the music shows like American Idol and Indian Idol. Not that I watch them regularly. But it’s fun when there are just 3 left. Like now on American Idol. But no girl this time! 😦

  2. 2 Chikki May 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I hate this dance show and also the Judges in here.:-(

  3. 3 Harsh May 16, 2009 at 2:22 am

    I have been really addicted to “Roadies” …. but never watched this show …. 😦

  4. 4 Smita May 16, 2009 at 8:31 am

    I have always been a regular follower of All Dance Based shows and like you have watched all the editions of JDJ as well and I strongly agree with you.

    This time what has been dished out is totally mediocre and the focus is more on what’s happening besides dance. Even the judges are bad. So many a times I have seen them gushing on a plain average performance. “I had goosebumps, too good, fantastic, ur performance made my cry” are the normal phrases used.

    Watch Dance India Dance, it is any day better than all other dance based shows.

  5. 5 Reema May 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

    I had watched the first season of the dance show on star plus. Unable to recall name now. After no reality/dance/song shows for me.

  6. 6 pooja May 16, 2009 at 10:49 am

    i think baichung butia should win this competition. because SONIA is a fantastic choreographer..
    and also

    girls do not vote for karan .. he is definitely not a good dancer..

  7. 7 Arpit May 16, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    poonam, i thoroughly disagree with you in case of gauhar. though agreed, that in the past two seasons the mediocre dancer won because of public voting than actual dancing, but in case of gauhar i think she is a good dancer and deserves to be in finals. no doubt she has been crying a lot on the show, firstly due to the choreographer problem , than those cat fights between her and hard kaur but i think it would be wrong to categorize her as a mediocre. rather if you look t this way , i think karan singh grover should have been voted out much earlier because he is just surviving on votes and not performances. i had say shilpa shukla and parul were still better of than karan. and i think gauhar is a graceful dancer , no doubt the new choreographer seems invisible in performances but yes she can give a tough time to hard kaur and baichung bhutia.
    well my vote certainly go to hard kaur , but i just feel that this time no mediocre( like karan singh grover) should wim=n the show just becuase of mindless public voting

    • 8 Poonam May 17, 2009 at 12:30 am

      Gauhar is OK, but not best out there. She is certainly graceful, I give her that. But her dance moves aren’t certainly as sharp as her tongue.

      Even Baichung has performed better than her. And Hard Kaur usually gives superior performances. Out of current 4, I rate Gauhar at 3. Level of difficulty of Gauhar’s performances have been lower than that of Hard Kaur.

      Karan Grover, I refuse to discuss him a all for he has not been on the show by virtue of his dance at all. But then show hosts make him feel rotten about it on every episode, whenever they can. But I feel enrages, whenever same stupid hosts question judges why they scored her less? Simple answer is that on the day there were better performers than her.

  8. 9 Chittaranjan May 16, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I only watch their ads 😛 and the TV-wallahs are now churning out cheesy names as well! “Hans Baliye” is one upcoming such show 😐

  9. 10 sakhi May 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    I am not into watching these reality shows… so no comments! 🙂

  10. 12 Indyeah May 16, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I was a regular viewer of the first season…read your post yesterday and finally sat down and watched it yesterday…first impression of this season do force me to agree with you…

  11. 14 Indian Homemaker May 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    I haven’t got around to watching these … generally I am glued to Star Movies ..but I did once stop while chanel surfing Gauhar Khan and her partner, she had on a red scarf .. it looked very good, they were dressed in animals skin prints.

  12. 15 Amit May 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I have seen the first season and really liked it. I think sometimes the choreography is of international standards, like the video which you have uploaded.
    That is what I call a perfect blend of music and dance. Beautiful! And thanks for sharing this!

  13. 16 Pam May 17, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    I felt very bad for Karan yesterday, I feel the judges have chosen their favorites..and Gauhar is one of them..every week she gets voted out & they bring her back..

    Baichung is a non dancer ..I think Karan is a better dancer than him..yet they always put Karan down…

    Gauhar is a just plenty dramaville..

    the judges are idiots..going on a strike!!..

    I didn’t think that Paro should have gone last week..if they bring back, Hard Kaur..they should bring all the contestants back.

  14. 17 Md. Aminul Islam Sajib May 17, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Hmm. I only watched Roadies. I like it because it’s unpredictable and includes human politics. 😉 But this year’s Roadies ending was not fair. I think, Raghu and Rajeev indirectly forced Kiri to compete with Nauman instead of Palak. Those bloody bothers definitely knew that if Kiri competes with Nauman, he will be the loser. And as a result, Roadies Hell Down Under will get another “Stylish” winner instead of “Deserving”.

    Please check my blog for a related post to this topic. I’ll love to have your comments on that post.

  15. 18 Phoenixritu May 17, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I prefer watching You think you can Dance, and Dancing with the Stars. The quality is better, the judging is business-like. Those are slick shows not soppy like these ones

  16. 19 amreekandesi May 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    That’s an interesting dance in the clip you posted. In Dancing with the Stars they don’t have such theme based dances, though some teams sometimes try something different.

    I saw a clip from some Indian dance show whose name i don’t remember where this guy did some funky acrobatic stuff. It was pretty impressive.

    And dance shows are certainly better than your run of the mill reality shows – at least these people are showing off some skills, and not their histrionics.

  17. 20 ava May 18, 2009 at 8:32 am

    I dont like any of the singing dancing shows. But Star World will soon have some dance show – by the makers of American Idol – that has an Indian Kathak Performance as well. If the dance shows are there to showcase dance, you like them, not to produce drama and TRP’s. Most celebrities cant dance well and its easy to see. Their performance will have a lot of embellishments – good music and fancy clothes – but very few steps.

  18. 21 sakhi May 18, 2009 at 9:42 am

    @ Anshul

    To get a comment from you 😛 😛

  19. 22 ur well wisher May 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    hey.. u should also watch MTV splitsvilla. U will have lot of stuff to write on…

  20. 23 manushee May 19, 2009 at 4:33 am

    @ ur well wisher…hahaha how true! how true! mtv splitsvilla sucks!…@poonam…about the show…the last time i watched was when shweta salve was there and since then the level of performance and even contestants for that matter has gone so so mediocre that i have stopped watching the show…i definitely prefer boogie woogie..some awesome kids perform in there.

  21. 24 Solilo May 19, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Poonam, the truth is in these reality shows whether one does good or bad, votes are mostly based on region or religion. I mean even when Bhaichung is good or bad he gets votes from North-East, with Karan it is young girls, with Hard Kaur she asks votes in Punjabi and Gauhar I don’t know. But that’s the trend I saw in Indian Idol too.

    So what’s our grouse? Is it that there is votes based on relgion/region or is it that people are sending votes for undeserving candidates.

  22. 25 Nikki May 20, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Gauhar is good. It is the TV ‘drama’ that is making her look bad. Hard Kaur good in lifts but not graceful at all. Gauhar is very very graceful, even with different props!

  23. 26 rhea pasricha May 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    sonia ur the best ull win

  24. 27 rhea May 21, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    ill vote for u best of luck please cum in jhalak dikh laja 4 please be my choreographer im 12 yrs

  25. 28 rhea May 21, 2009 at 1:34 pm

    ill vote for u
    please cum in jhalak dikh laja 4 please be my choreographer im 12 yrs dont worry

  26. 29 praneshk4 May 22, 2009 at 6:30 am

    any reality show if meant to showcase the art etc., it is gr8. but u can see in our country these are used as money spinning events, lot of commercials, sponsoros, SMS business and mad mad world around. even though i have not seen many of this particular I believe hype here is too much. take indian idol or any ohter reality show people are becoming crazy he is from my area I must vote then they start canvassing making groups etc. etc., this is one thing I hate hate and hate always. let the deserving come out the talents which were not nurtured be bloosmed and not a forum to express individual views, fights show of anger etc. etc.
    Thanks Poonam for sharing your open views unbiased on the show kudos to you for this committment keep up

  27. 30 Ashish May 23, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Ek baar aja aja aja aaaaaja!

    Oh wait wrong post. 😛

  28. 31 Alex Thomas May 23, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Buddies !

    Start watching “Dance India Dance”. You will soon realize how mediocre “Jhalak Dikhla Jaa” is. I dont want to force it on you. Just watch a single episode, you will see what crap you are watching in JDJ.

  29. 32 Man of Roma May 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve read your previous posts you’re linking to in order to get a clearer idea of what you’re talking about.

    I realised similar dance shows occur here a lot too, with judges and all the rest, though not mixed with celebrities. I’m sure they will arrive, since we copy many things American. One of my daughters loves these shows and has been a dancer for a while herself. I cannot relate to an Indian context, but here mediocrity *really* creeps. We don’t have a caste problem here, but only regional ones, with a totally negative additional feature: our prime minister OWNS the TV companies that produce these shows; there is also gossip the he sleeps with some of the starlets of this show. No idea if true or not, but possible.

    On another note, Twist and Cha Cha Cha were THE popular dances here when I was 14-16 (Twist, especially.)

  30. 33 shreya May 25, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    karan u rock,u r d best dude

  31. 34 shreya May 25, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    karan dude,u rock,u r d best,luv u

  32. 35 vishesh unni raghunathan May 25, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    I have no clue about these shows ,I son’t have the patience to watch 😛

  33. 36 Solilo May 26, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Poonam, Mediocrity and popularity won again. Baichung Bhutia won JDJ because of regional votes. He was as good as a wood dancing with Sonia.

  34. 37 bela May 26, 2009 at 7:17 pm


    Judges specially Juhi acting too smart.Jealous because karan was voted.If Baichung is voted he is voted more for sport personality and not dancer.No doubt he made an attempt than if karan is voted why he is always to blame?Judges forcebly made him let down and requesting indirectly audience not to vote him.Judges where so insulting that made karan loose and only appear that he makes mistakes.As such he deserved some good marks.Karan made mistake of being obedient to Judges.

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