The inaugural episode was full of pomp and an attempt to familiarise the viewers about what’s at stake for the contestants.

Bigg Boss Telugu takes off in style with NTR Jr in the pilot seat
Flix Entertainment Monday, July 17, 2017 - 17:50

During the inaugural episode of Bigg Boss Telugu, NTR Jr, one of the most popular Telugu film actors who turned host for the first time, reminded the viewers that the contestants on the show will have to do seemingly mundane tasks, like washing clothes, cooking, doing dishes and even cleaning the toilets, on their own.

The statements were met with a gasp, followed by gentle laughter from the audience on the show. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the price that the contestants have to pay to be part of a reality show where the very concept of privacy doesn’t exist.

Equipped with 60 cameras, the Bigg Boss house is an accentuated version of what it’s like to live under the scanner of an all-seeing eye, aka Bigg Boss, apart from the viewers on TV, of course.

Ever since Star MAA, which brought the show to the Telugu audience, announced its plans to rope in NTR Jr as a host for this reality show, there has been plenty of speculation about how it’s going to turn out.

Also, social media has witnessed debates about the relevance of such a show in Telugu compared to its enormous success in Hindi, where the show is hosted by Salman Khan. While it remains to be seen if Bigg Boss Telugu matches up to the expectations set by its Hindi equivalent, the premiere of season 1 of Bigg Boss took off in style with NTR Jr in the pilot seat.

Right from NTR’s entry on to the stage, where he danced to the tunes of ‘Khelo Khelo Re’ from Nannaku Prematho, to introducing the contestants, the show was full of splendour. NTR, who seemed in a particularly happy mood, thanked the Bigg Boss team for giving him an opportunity to interact with TV viewers on a weekly basis.

“I’ve always wanted to do something and show my gratitude to the millions of people who have showered me with love and affection all these days. This hosting gig gives me that chance to be a step closer to you. Although the dimensions of the screen might have changed, the relationship between you (viewers) and me hasn’t changed,” NTR said.

After a quick tour across the Bigg Boss house, NTR introduced the 14 contestants to the viewers.

The contestants, predominantly, hail from the film industry. While most of them are actors, the show also has a couple of singers. The first season will see Siva Balaji, Sameer, Sampoornesh Babu, Adarsh Balakrishna, Prince, Jyothi, Kathi Karthika, Hari Teja, Mumait Khan, Mahesh Kathi, Dhanraj, Madhu Priya, Kalpana, and Archana Veda competing with each other to win the reality show.

Although some of these celebrities are far from being controversial figures in general, the show could see some fireworks flying soon.

Let’s take a look at the contestants, who’re going to spend 70 days in the Bigg Boss House:

Siva Balaji was in the news a few months ago when he approached the cyber crime officials in Hyderabad to lodge a complaint on a few trolls on Twitter; Sampoornesh Babu is a popular comedian and actor in Telugu films, who’s known as ‘Burning Star’; Dhanraj too is another comedian, who has made quite a name for himself on TV with shows like Jabardasth and Desamudurlu; Prince and Adarsh Balakrishna are actors who are often seen in supporting roles, just like Sameer, who’s been in the industry for more than 20 years.

Then, there’s Mahesh Kathi, film critic and filmmaker, who regularly appears on TV as a panelist on several topics related to cinema. Among the women, Mumait Khan is a noted dancer, who ruled the roost for several years in the film industry before an injury forced her to take a break. Archana Veda has acted in a few films, although she has been lying low for quite sometime now.

Kathi Karthika is a TV anchor, who became infamous following an interview with Ram Gopal Verma; Madhu Priya, a popular singer, too was in the news when she was entangled in a tussle between her husband and her parents, which got plenty of media attention.

Kalpana is a singer, who told NTR that she was thrilled to receive a call from Lata Mangeshkar, who, apparently, praised her a lot.

The profiles of the contestants might sound far from inspiring; however, given the penchant for drama that has become a mainstay in reality shows, there’ll be no dearth of fireworks amongst the contestants.

In a teaser towards the end of the inaugural episode, there were plenty of hints that a section of the contestants have already cornered Sampoornesh Babu and it would be interesting to see how the drama unfolds in the next few days.

The contestants are expected to wear their sound-boxes at all times and no one is allowed to sleep unless the lights are completely switched off. Will the constant camera surveillance get the better of the contestants or will we see teams forming to forge their place in the show for a longer duration?

Whatever it might be, with NTR in the front seat, the show could draw huge numbers to the silver screen and give TV audiences their daily dose of drama for the next few weeks.