BiggBoss Season 11: Watch it for your advanced learning & entertainment

04 Oct,2017

By Sanjeev Kotnala


On September 30, while people were busy celebrating Dassera, I was watching Salman Khan at the ‘Bigg Boss 11’ set in Lonavala sending 18 contestants to the BiggBoss House, where everyone of them will try to be the last one to leave. Today, it is two days old.

There is no point hiding my addiction and love for Bigg Boss. It is a perfect voyeuristic peep-in into an adventurous sports called life.

This year is no different. The overpowering host commands an unasked for respect from participants. He tries to maintain house decorum and the balance by questioning actions, expressions and behaviour of the participants.

You can’t fault the participants, who in the absence of any entertainment, information and newness endup tracking their daily activity by following the Azaan from the nearby mosque, the trains whistling by the Lonavala station and the position of the sun.

This absence acts as a catalyst and instigator for all the games we watch on the show.

Participants have to create their own time-wasters. There is nothing new other than the differential tasks they have to do or a wildcard entry bringing in news from outside. All of them are in the lookout for the possible double bluffs that BiggBoss can run. The team at Colors and Endemol Shine is busy devising new ones. This act of Salman Khan being a temporary neighbour (audiences don’t believe it!) is one such surprise. The push for the four Padosi (neighbours) to create and master the story that they themselves are to weave around them is loaded with interesting possibilities and high entertainment potential.

One cannot discount housekeeping tasks. They are the prime source of irritation and fights among the group. The barter system of favours and obligation develops in no time. The situation is already ripe with open nomination in ‘BiggBoss Season 11’. Soon predictably trading of blames will be replaced with beeps in the telecast. Every possible emotion finds its expression in the house. You just have to watch and follow it.

This is the ripe ground for perceptions, biases, polarity, expectations and disappointment triggering the staple diet of volatile interaction that most of BiggBoss followers wait and die for. Opening the house to the commoner has added a new dimension; however, the channel has failed to exploit it. The commoners themselves have a kind of complex and the celebrity an air of unfounded superiority.

The fun is in playing the strategic game of human understanding. People in HR, marketing, strategy and direct people interaction should concentrate here.

The participants, celebrity or the commoner (as called by the channel, and I hate it) are not known to most of us. Definitely, we cannot claim to know them inside out, though we have our own perceptions that get further strengthened or weakened during the show, new ideas take shape, and we re-establish benchmarks. Our favourites change by episode and on the weekend show.

If you watch it religiously which I believe you should, there is fun in knowing how well one can read the churn of a fluid social lab called the BiggBoss House. For example, if you were to recruit one of them, who will it be? Which participant can best replace you in the organisation? Don’t forget to provide your flimsy reasons for it. Remember BiggBoss always wants to know why. With which participant will you want to go out for a coffee? Play this as an icebreaker or a way to understand your teams. In fact, the channel if they want- can start an outside poll for this and even arranges to meet the participants in the activity area.

The participant mix is standard. The teams need to think of the future possibilities in Indian context. The possibilities in the construct of the house, staying arrangements, newness of tasks, possible heightening glamour quotient across gender, punishment and the voting system are a hygiene factor. One is yet to see really disruptive creative thinking in the programme. I will be happy if the team soon proves me wrong.

Every participant promises to remain true to himself or herself, be open in their conversations and being a no-nonsense person with dignity! My experience of 10 seasons says none of them will be able to maintain it- other than possibly Hiten and Hina Khan. It is being human. Just like me wishing to see the house from inside.

The creative team is the indirect instigator of interaction between the participants. The opening night ‘Padosi Aarahey Bajane Baraha’ is an indication of the intent. However, at the end of the day, it is individuals who must decide how they will respond to the triggers. BiggBoss is where theory and practical class happen simultaneously.

The fun is in taking stance and putting your judgement in line. Fun is in watching and correcting your choices and alignments. Fun is in reading and sometime reacting to the uncalled comments made the followers on social platforms. It is a space to study growth of with time and action. It is interesting to see how it soars, stabilises and dips. The fan club swiftly coming into existence on strong personal, cultural and regional lines. I would love to collaborate in a study that can focus on this aspect of BiggBoss.

Looking from the managerial point of view, BiggBoss is a great learning workshop. The 90 cameras continuously capture every movement, but most of the audience take the purposive selected superbly edited 60 minutes of feed to base their judgement. There are few who watch the live feed too.

Is it an apt representation of managerial problems? There is always a dearth of information and yet decisions have to be made, sides need to be taken and reaction needs to be served. There is no sound, camera, and action in the house. You only hear ‘Cut’ when you are being evicted from the house. Till them – the act must go on. Tune in at 1030 PM on weekdays and 9 PM on the weekend. Free classes for everyone on Colors TV. Do share your comments with #BiggBoss11 or #BB11 and converse with me on twitter at S_kotnala

Meanwhile, I remain satisfied being a fan than a participant. Don’t think, the channel will call me after the brilliant experience at the last year auditions. Maybe this is one adventure I may miss out in. But then one can always hope….


P S:Do watch out for Akash Anil Dadlani, Hina Khan (saved from the nomination by the padosi a great plus), Hiten Tejwani, Sabyasachi Satpathy, Sapna Choudhary and Shivani Durga. I think Arshi Khan and Bandgi Kalra, both nominated by padosi and not the housemates have started their stay on a wrong foot. I predict that Benafesha Soonawala, Luv Tyagi, Priyank Sharma, Shilpa Shinde (Nominated), Puneesh Sharma and Vikas Gupta will fail to live to expectations. And finally, unless they have some unexplored magic; Jyoti Kumari (Nominated), Lucinda Nicholas, Mehjabi Siddiqui and Zubair Khan (Nominated) will be lost in no time. Bet on Akash Anil Dadlani, Arshi Khan, Benafesha Soonawala, Mehjabi Siddiqui and Sabyasachi Satpathy to deliver entertainment.


Sanjeev Kotnala is a senior marketing and strategy consultant, and an educator. The views here are his own.

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