Mumbai: There was a time when watching Bollywood superstar Salman Khan as host during the weekend episodes of Bigg Boss was fun. He would, by turns, be in the mood for jokes and in the mood to tease the housemates. He would come down with admonition, too, once in a while, but things never turned dour, to the point of being off-putting.
On the ongoing season 14 of the show, Salman has mostly been angry and irritated, clearly unhappy with the way things are going on. In a season that should rank among the most boring in the brief history of Bigg Boss, Salman perhaps cannot be blamed.
There’s more. Over the past few years, faced with bad box office for films like Tubelight (2017), Race 3 (2018) and Bharat (2019), Salman would invariably fall back on his immense popularity as host of Bigg Boss to maintain a connect with fans, who won’t settle for anything less than rockstar form from their favourite star.
On Season 14, however, that has hardly happened. A house full of contestants is lost for a plot for controversies and the show is going nowhere despite star contestants of past seasons being randomly planted as toofani seniors and challengers. In a year when he had no release owing to pandemic-induced closure of cinema halls, Salman probably realises the no-show season 14 is no fall-back option to regale his fans.
In the recent Weekend Ka Vaar episode, Salman’s irritation was clearly showing, as he went about explaining to contestant Abhinav Shukla that Rakhi Sawant’s grotesque acts such as pulling his pant strings are “benefitting” him.
When Abhinav tries to clear his stance, Salman is heard saying: “Let me finish Abhinav. You don’t need to over-react to things this way.”
If you are a seasoned fan of the show, you could sense Salman was trying to generate some drama out of nothing by reacting to Abhinav that way. Clearly, it would seem like he is not happy with the current season’s housemates.
Salman has often been seen pulling up Abhinav’s wife and actress Rubina Dilaik, too. The superstar also reprimanded contestant Nikki Tamboli for the uncouth behaviour she has been showing for no reason, towards other housemates.
An interesting aspect about Salman’s behaviour this season is his overt supoort for Rakhi. He seems to overlook the mistakes she makes in the name of “entertainment”. Challengers Vikas Gupta and Arshi Khan have also never faced his ire.
For instance, despite the fact that Vikas had pushed Arshi into the pool, he was brought back into the show. This, despite the fact that physical altercations are not allowed in the Bigg Boss house. However, original season 14 housemates Rahul Vaidya and Abhinav Shukla have faced Salman’s wrath for much less.
Salman seems to realise the survival of the season could depend on the older challengers rather than the core original housemates of the season.
Social media, too, has noted Salman’s biased behaviour that seems to be born out of his irritation towards the current season’s original contestants.
A user wrote: “@BeingSalmanKhan be original. #aligoni and #RahulVaidya should be scolded for their actions and reactions given in previous two weeks. Please #RakhiSawant ka entertainment , entertainment and #NikkiTomboli ka batemeezi. Stop being biased. The way abhinav joined his hands multiple times, tears rolled down his face, expressed that it’s his lowest phase, gave time to rahul and rakhi to mock him during the task.”
“I HATE IT. ABSOLUTELY HATE IT. #AbhinavShukla,” said another.
A user said: “Let’s see what does #Salman Khan when he will be accused of harrasment.”
A regular watcher called it the worst of Bigg Boss history: “yes you are absolutely right this is the worst of big boss history. how could #salman khan bashed rubina abhinav throughout the whole http://episod.it seems that there was only only rubi and abhinav in all the tasks.”
Salman Khan’s pique is showing. But does the channel have ample time to salvage the show this year?