Bigg Boss 11 contestants Puneesh Sharma and Bandagi Kalra have managed to add themselves to the list of most disliked contestants of the reality TV show. Many who follow the show want either or both of them evicted. The reason being their display of intimacy which doesn’t care about or understand the presence of a hundred cameras in the house.
Not only is their affair being dissected by inmates and viewers, but it also caught the attention of the show’s host, Salman Khan. In the last Weekend Ka Vaar episode, Salman Khan reprimanded Bandagi and Puneesh and asked them to keep a check on their actions. He reminded them that their parents were watching the show and the pair agreed to be careful, nodding their heads in unison.
But did it have even the slightest effect? No. It looks like not only the inmates but even the channel Colors did not pay any heed to Salman’s words.
Of late, Bigg Boss 11 seems to be relying only on Bandagi and Puneesh for maximising viewership. In the beginning of this season, their affair seemed somewhat cute and adorable. By having each other’s back in the hostile environment of Bigg Boss, they could have easily become the ‘sweetheart’ couple that almost every season has, replicating how viewers loved the pair of Karishma Tanna-Upen Patel from Season 8. However, the romance quickly spiralled down to OTT displays of what feels like an enactment of ‘sexting’. From stealing kisses in presence of inmates, Puneesh and Bandagi went to describe intricate details about the things they wanted to do to each other.
In one of the many videos that have gone viral, Puneesh asked Bandagi to get rid off her shorts and top for a ‘better look’.
Bandagi and Puneesh’s actions recorded by the cameras are used by makers in the most peculiar manner. The clip is shown to viewers in the ‘Coming Up’ segment. The clip is usually aired either at the end or beginning of the show, along with subtitles. Puneesh asking for a kiss or saying they won’t be loud in their make-out is plastered on the TV screen for many minutes, leaving little to the imagination as to what goes on under the sheets.
Expecting any kind of sanity from contestants of Bigg Boss 11 would be foolish, to say the least. The contestants, who leave no opportunity to hurl cuss words at each other, demean one another or pass sexist remarks, cannot be expected to show improvement in their behaviour. In this scenario, the onus falls on the channel to show what is deemed fit for the family audience to see.
Bigg Boss is a TRP-hungry show, for sure. By pitting arch-rivals against each other in (for example the cushion-making task in which Vikas Gupta and Shilpa Shinde headed separate teams) or testing friendships (like asking Priyank Sharma to shave his head to save Hiten Tejwani from nominations), the makers ensure that there is no possibility of calm in the house. After all, Bigg Boss, since Season 1, relies on one mantra — the more the arguments, the more the TRP.
The makers have developed a habit of relying on the pair’s intimacy, hoping to retain the viewers. However, just like the show’s standards, the ratings have dropped drastically. BB11 didn’t even manage to find a spot in the top 10 shows being aired on Hindi television. When neither the hype nor dirty fights helped the show in the TRP race, the makers seem to have taken resort to broadcasting obscene content.
In almost all the weekend episodes, Salman Khan tries to emphasise that the show has been made for a family audience. But the makers clearly don’t seem to have gotten the memo. There is a difference between watching a love story unfold, and watching two people sexually engage on a reality show. Watching that on TV, with family for company, is not everyone’s cup of tea.
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