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Bigg Boss undoubtedly remains the biggest reality show to hit Indian TV screens. Since its very first season in 2006, it showed that it is here to stay. May be it was for the fights, may be it was for the outrageous contestants or maybe it was because of those jaw-dropping moments which instantly became talk of the town, everything contributed to its success. But the biggest factor was that Indian audiences never saw how celebrities (at least that’s what they claim to be) behave in their daily life – how ordinarily and extra-ordinarily they behave in varied situations. A group of people, practically unknown to each other locked down in a house for 3 months and boy you have got yourself some good television!
To all those who think that they know it all, here are 10 facts about the biggest reality show in India that probably slipped under other major stories. Here’s presenting 10 Bigg Boss stories you probably were not aware of!
1. The Reason Behind Hallah (Bol)
The conclusion of season 8 drew hufe criticism from fans of the show, as out of the seven remaining housemates, five of them were declared champions, unlike previous season, where there were only one winner. Although, the ranking of each of the champions was declared, where Gautam Gulati was the highest vote getter, but no further explanation was given. Then immediately, after this, the season was merged with a spin-off of Bigg Boss, known as “Bigg Boss – Hallah Bol’, where the five champions of season 8 would compete with five contestants from seasons past to be the winner.
Although the channel claimed that this spin-off and merge was done because of increasing popularity of the season, but inside story reveal something else. The show, which was supposed to air after the finale of season 8, ‘Chakravartin Ashoka Samrat’, had not completed filming by the end of season 8 of Bigg Boss. So, naturally, the channel had put on something on air for the time being. Thus, came up the idea for the spin-off. However, a very dull tactic by the producers made the spin-off very predictable and viewers could see through the producer’s game-play. All the contestants from seasons past were eliminated before the five champions of season 8, and ultimately, Gautam Gulati, the highest vote getter during the season 8 finale, was announced as the winner of the spin-off Hallah Bol. The producers, probably did this in order to not miff the audience, but their poor execution of their strategy, made for one of the biggest loop-holes in the history of the show.
2. When For The First Time They Said ‘I Do’
Season 4 of Bigg Boss became the first season of any Big Brother franchise to host a wedding. On day 38, housemate Sara Khan got married to boyfriend and houseguest Ali Merchant. Soon after the airing of the wedding, rumours started buzzing the internet that the two were already married and this whole wedding inside the Bigg Boss house was a gimmick to garner more ratings, although both Sara and Ali continued to deny such claims. Either ways, fake or real, this wedding surely made for some never before seen Bigg Boss moment!
3. Interfering Host!
With the inclusion of Salman Khan as a host of Bigg Boss since its fourth season, Bigg Boss went through ample number of changes. No host in any other versions of the Big Brother franchise can intimidate or reprimand contestants or ask them to behave or act in a particular manner. But Salman Khan from his very first season has been under controversy for favouring numerous contestants over other each season. His biasness is often the talk of the town when a season airs, to the point that sometimes he has been blamed to play a part in casting and evictions. His cinematic popularity has definitely managed him to continue his (Im) moral policing even after being centre of so many controversies. It’s a real shame the way this dictatorship continues in the Indian version of Big Brother, when compared to hosting duties of fellow Big Brother hosts Julie Chen, Davina McCall, Brian Dowling, etc
4. First Asian Big Brother UK Winner
No Big Brother season has been more controversial than the fifth season of UK’s Celebrity Big Brother in 2007. It was the season that received more than 44,500 Ofcom complaints regarding the racial slur received by Indian actor Shilpa Shetty from fellow housemates Jade Goody, Jo O’ Meara, Danielle Lloyd, Jack Tweed and Jackie Budden . It created uproars in both India and UK and even generated reactions from the British Parliament. But, after 26 days, it was Shilpa who emerged as the winner with 63% of the final votes. Shilpa went on to become a heroine for countless British public and garnered more praises and fans than any other Indian actor ever.
Interestingly, in Celebrity Big Brother 4, which aired in 2006, one of the housemates, Bangladeshi-British former Football Association secretary Faria Alam claimed that the British “public would never allow a black or Asian to win”. She would be proven wrong as the very next year, Shilpa became the first non-British and first Asian winner by winning the fifth season of celebrity Big Brother 5 and the same year, Brian Belo, became the first black winner when he won the regular Big Brother 8.
5. First Baby Bump In Big Brother!
Wrestler Sonika Kaliraman created history when she became the first pregnant contestant to participate in any version of the ‘Big Brother’ franchise. Sonika walked in on day 1 of season 5 of Bigg Boss with a baby bump, although she quit on day 8 due to fear over her health and her baby’s health due to the ental pressure going inside the house.
6. Bigg Boss Goes Kannada And Bangla
What most mainstream audiences are not aware of is the fact that Bigg Boss has two regional versions that it has been airing since 2013 – Bigg Boss Kannada and Bigg Boss Bangla. The former is hosted by Sudeep Sanjeev and the later was hosted by Mithun Chakraborty. Both the versions premiered in 2013. However, Bigg Boss Bangla hasn’t returned after one season, but the Kannada version has already aired two seasons with the third season being on the pipeline.
7. Captive For 117 Days
Even if you are evicted on week 1, you have to keep a total number of whopping 117 days free for the show, as per the current rules – 100 days for being inside the show and the rest of the 17 days for publicity, promotional and marketing purposes! So, no wonder, most of these celebs miss on major movie deals and TV show offers during that time!
8. When The Twin was Caught!
Big Brother franchise has in several versions included twin and triplet contestants together in the show. It has been seen in American, Israeli, Australian, French, German, Bulgarian, British, Philippine, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Argentine and Albanian version of the franchise. In the Indian version, it was seen in the second season, when housemate Alina Wadiwala was asked to switch her place Sana Wadiwala for some time. Had they been successful by not getting caught by other housemates, both of them would have been allowed to stay inside the house. But, unfortunately, within minutes of Sana’s arrival in the disguise of Alina, housemates caught the game, and Sana was not allowed to be a housemate.
9. Hush Hush Pregnancy Rumour
During season 4, housemate Sakshi Pradhan who came in 15th place and lasted 14 days in the show, was rumoured to have gone out of the house in between in order to get medically tested whether she is pregnant or not. Rumour has it that Sakshi was being paranoid about being pregnant and shared this with some of the contestants and decided to get tested, for which she left the house and after the test came back. Nothing more was heard about this story and the channel even decided to not broadcast this issue.
Similarly, in season 8, 10th placed housemate Diandra Soares, who lasted 84 days in the show, was eliminated despite her huge popularity. According to rumours, Diandra was said to be pregnant, after her bathroom sessions with fellow housemate Gautam Gulati and that is why both she and the production staged her eviction in order for her and the channel to avoid this issue. Diandra later on went to claim that kissing doesn’t lead to pregnancy rubbishing rumours that the two of them had sex in the bathroom.
10. You Are Not Invited To The Party!
Season five housemate Pooja Bedi, who came in 10th place and lasted 56 days, was barred from attending the season five finale. Although she was supposed to perform on the finale, but the production called her up two days ago and asked her not to attend the finale without much explanation. Although this matter was not discussed during the finale, but Pooja went on to claim that it is Salman Khan who took this decision to oust her from the finale, as Pooja had earlier blamed the host for being biased towards certain contestants. Well, going through Salman Khan’s histrionics, this rumour might very well be true.