When Amitabh Bachchan turns on the charm, you can’t help but fall for it like a ton of bricks. And when Amitabh Bachchan speaks, the world takes notice.
That is what makes Kaun Banega Crorepati so special. Not the quiz format; not the glitzy production
values; not even the pot loads of moolah to be won. The pièce de résistance of Sony TV’s KBC Season 11 is the blitzkrieg of the Bachchan charm. Just like every other KBC season when Big B was host. Every Goddamn Season.
Pardon the swear word, folks, but there’s no better way we can effectively convey our incredulity at the sheer force of the man’s personality. And the consistency with which he has held fort at KBC, season after season, year after year. If anything, he’s only gotten better with time, his beguiling baritone as mesmerizing as ever.
Charismatic doesn’t even come close to describing the magnetism and dynamism of Mr Amitabh Bachchan’s persona. The man’s a living, breathing dynamo, a brand unto himself; but then, you don’t need us to tell you that.
Gosh, enough of gushing over Mr Bachchan! We’ve got a review to write. So here goes….
Kaun Banega Crorepati has returned to Sony TV and our TV screens with Season 11, with all of its appeal and allure intact. The format is much the same. Each Monday, ten new contestants play the Fastest Finger First round. As the name suggests, the contestant that answers Mr Bachchan’s question in the fastest time possible makes it to the Hot Seat.
Once in the Hot Seat, contestants face a barrage of 15 questions, with each right answer doubling the prize money. The final question, that is the 16th one, is the Jackpot, with a grand prize of 7 cr rupees. Contestants get four lifelines, to be used judiciously, that help them crack difficult questions.
Three of the lifelines are the same as last season – Ask The Expert, 50:50 and Audience Poll. The fourth lifeline is one that makes a comeback from several previous seasons. It’s called Flip The Question, where contestants can get the question exchanged with one from their preferred choice of subject. This lifeline takes the place of the erstwhile ‘Jodidaar’ lifeline.
In keeping with the show’s penchant for serving up stirring taglines and themes every season, the tagline this year is Vishwaas Hai Toh Khade Raho #AdeyRaho. If that doesn’t inspire the masses at large, then what will?
The show is in its second week now and the season has already got us acquainted with some very interesting personalities; commoners no doubt, but interesting, nevertheless.
One of the most interesting of them was Nupur Chauhan, a girl who was taken for dead at birth and thrown into the bin at a Kanpur hospital. The negligence cost her dearly and she was paralysed on one side of her body. The gutsy girl rose above her setbacks, surmounted innumerable life-hurdles, and as luck would have it, landed on the Hot Seat. With her plucky combination of knowledge and
astuteness, she took home 12.5 lac rupees, warming the cockles of every heart in the audience, both in the studio, as well as of those of us watching at home.
KBC airs every week night, from Monday to Friday, with Fridays being reserved for the ‘KBC Karamveers’ segment of the show. This segment celebrates eminent personalities or social activists who have worked to improve the lot of the underprivileged in society – Karamveers, so to say. The Karamveers grace the Hot Seat, play the game and win a considerable amount for their pet cause.
Big B hosted the awe-inspiring Karamveer, Sindhutai Sapkal, a septuagenarian lady who runs multiple orphanages in Maharashtra and has nurtured upwards of a thousand orphans over the years. If there’s one thing that stood out from the episode – the lady has spunk. It was a sparkling episode, as Sindhutai recounted her life’s arduous adversities with twinkling eyes and guileless humour, dropped powerful shayaris and matched wits with Amitabh.
All said and done, one thing is quite apparent – KBC has managed to raise the bar with its every outing, surpassing its own standards, whenever it has graced the TV screens. And this season is no different. The quality of production is outstanding, the ambience, electric, and the standards – world class. The introduction of Augmented Reality (AR) has taken the production values of the show to
another plane altogether.
And Amitabh Bachchan is unquestionably the prized jewel in the crown of this glittering universe. His wardrobe can put even the boldest fashionista to shame. Only he has the panache to carry off those fancy silk suits in jazzy colours. His pocket squares are so attractive that one has a hard time focusing on anything else. Sprightly and stylish, AB is dressed to rock.
And this is not even the best part.
The best part is his people interaction. At 77 years of age, the man is still sexy as hell. As soon as the selected contestant is announced, he or she screams in delight. Not because they will now win bucket loads of money, but because they will sit in front of AB, the dreamboat. Men sprint across and try to touch his feet. Women come bouncing across in dizzy excitement and fall on his chest in a swoon.
After blushing bashfully at this display of love, AB guides them to the Hot Seat; and makes interesting conversation with the man; or looks deep into the eyes of the woman. Making them fall deeper in love with him.
He then steers the conversation towards their family and background.
And lovingly calls out his pranaam and namashkar to the ‘Matashri’ and ‘Pitashri’ of the contestant.
Most of the time, the parents of the contestant are at least 15 years younger than AB. But who cares when swayam Amitabhji is chitchatting with you in his tingling hot baritone?
And then he engages the contestants in humorous banter; unassumingly; unpretentiously. This season, he humbly asked a contestant to teach him how to create TikTok videos.
Yes, at 77, AB shows no signs of that legendary charm diminishing.
It is what keeps audiences returning to KBC, and helps the super show retain its popularity year after year.
The rest is all ‘by the way’.
In the meanwhile, 4 stars is our rating for Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 11.