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Colors brings back ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ with new twists

MUMBAI: After hosting an action-packed ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ and aiming to return to the No. 2 ranking, Hindi general entertainment channel Colors has brought back the seventh season of its popular dance reality show ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ in a new avatar and with numerous twists.

Jhalak Dikhhla JaPremiering on 7 June, the show will air at 9 pm on weekends (Sat–Sun). It will have 13 contestants presenting various dance forms from across the globe. The opening episode will be telecast on both Colors and its sister channel Rishtey.

It will be hosted by Season 6 winner Drashti Dhami and actor Ranvir Shorey.

The celebrity contestants in this season include actors Karan Tacker, Kiku Sharda (Palak from ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’), Purab Kohli, Akshat Singh, Ashish Sharma, Mouni Roy, Puja Bannerjee, Kritika Kamra, singers Sukhwinder Singh, Sophie Choudry, VJ Andy, cricketer Sreesanth and dancer Shakti Mohan.

Taking the show a notch higher, numerous special elements and twists are in store for the contestants this season. The aim is to take them out of their comfort zone and present something new to the audiences. As the stakes go up, contestants will be seen grooving to new dance forms like Capoeira, Zouk, Bolero and others.

Colors CEO Raj Nayak said, “One of the things we have managed very well this year is the casting. We wanted to get the contestants and choreographers out of their comfort zone, so we threw in a lot of surprises to make it wholesome entertainment.”

Joining Bollywood actor Madhuri Dixit Nene, choreographer Remo D’Souza and director Karan Johar on the judges panel will be Ukrainian dance expert and winner of ‘Dancing with the Stars 2014’ Maksim Chmerkovskiy.

The judges too will be seen in a new avatar with Dixit Nene getting a new look by designer Anaita Shroff Adjania and shaking a leg to newer dance forms, Johar assuming a stricter persona and D’Souza sporting a grunge look.

BBC Worldwide SVP and GM India and content head Asia Myleeta Aga said, “From the very first week, we are going with the never seen before. It has been a consistent challenge, but the show gives you a platform to push the limits. Our creative team looks at the best practices from all over the world and we adapt it. It is a challenge to maintain the bar and raise the quality of standard and production as a package. Owning the format, we have access to various ideas and that is why it was easier to bring in Maksim from ‘Dancing with the Stars’.”

Apart from that, the show will feature a ‘Jhooter’ representing a lie-o-meter which judges will use against contestants who try to get on their good books with uncalled-for compliments. It has been introduced to some fun to the show, which will also be provided by comedian Sudesh Lahiri who will act as the comic relief in between the acts. Even for contestants who want to shake a leg with Dixit Nene, they will have to ‘Earn it to Learn It’ and a good performance will see Dixit teaching them a new step.

A good performance on the show can earn the contestants a special golden pair of ‘Dancing Shoes’ and the immunity ball, which will be on the behest of the judges.

Colors weekend programming head Manisha Sharma stated, “The creative team at Colors is expanding their horizons to bring about some new and interesting elements. The judges have been given the power of granting immunity which will ensure that the most deserving contestants continue to present spectacular performances.”

A special international contestant named Elli will be paired with a current choreographer to challenge them. Moreover, the jury will also take one choreographer and pair them with different artists to bring them out of their comfort zone. All the dance forms will be fixed by the judges only.

The show will also go outdoors where choreographer Salman Yusuff Khan and former contestant Lauren Gottleib will take on the role of adversaries and challenge contestants to a dance combat.

In its seventh year, the show will also witness a lot of activity on digital where the aim this year is to connect people with the stars. To this end, the channel has designed a special contest where viewers can perform to a song and send their videos across. The winner will then get to perform with their favourite star on the set. The contest will run for one month from the commencement of the show.

Additionally, Snapchat and Twitter Mirror will be utilised to highlight background stories and behind-the-scenes trivia to create engagement with the viewers. The campaign will run across TV, radio, cinema, cable, digital, outdoor and ground activations across markets.

Colors digital head Vivek Srivastava said, “A lot of activity this time around is connecting people with the stars. So a lot of background stories and behind-the-scenes information will be disseminated through the Twitter Mirror. Our aim is to create a two-way conversation. The special elements of the show will be introduced once the show starts in our social media campaign.”

Cadbury Bournvita has associated as the title sponsor for the show for the third season in a row, while Gionee has come on board as the powered-by sponsor after a successful season with ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’. Other associate sponsors include Ultratech Cement, Liberty Shoes, Ruchi Soya Industries, and Clean & Clear.

When asked if all this has increased the cost substantially, Nayak answered, “Colors is a very profitable channel and we have learnt where to cut costs and how to do it without compromising on the quality of the show. Bournvita is with us for the third year in a row, and Gionee came for the first time in ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ and now they are on board ‘Jhalak’.”

Having been sold to over 50 countries worldwide, ‘Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa’ has also travelled to other parts of India and has seen one season each in Bangla and Kannada on ETV Bangla and ETV Kannada respectively. BBC Worldwide is looking to expand the show in as many languages as possible and is exploring the viability of various markets.