Foot-tapping fun

Foot-tapping fun

Tele review

Foot-tapping fun

Jhalak Dikhla Jaa ushers in its ninth season on Colors TV, with a fresh dose of dance, drama and dashing performances. Bringing in a tad newness to the judges cast is Jacqueline Fernandez.

 In a somewhat surprise selection, she joins filmmaker Karan Johar and ace choreographer Ganesh Hegde on the judges panel. The show has had sizzling divas like Malaika Arora Khan, Madhuri Dixit, Shilpa Shetty etc, lending oomph to earlier editions. As far as the glam quotient is concerned, Jacqueline does bring in freshness and sizzle to the judges panel as well as the stage. But her judging acumen does not match up to Malaika’s or Madhuri’s standards.

Ganesh, of course, brings his experience to the judges seat, with his critical as well as appreciative comments on the finer nuances of dancing. Director KJo lends authority as well as aplomb to the show, whether it’s with his ‘Mera Naam Mary Hai’ act or his wisecracks with host Manish Paul.

Coming to the host of the show, it is Manish Paul who is a known face on the small screen. His comic timing and his ‘fun’-tastic rapport with the judges and contestants lend an ease and elan to his anchoring. While his gags do tickle the funny bone most of the time, his sartorial preferences often leave much to be desired, as they take away from his act as a host.

What lends to the newness of the show is the cast of contestants, who are a mixed bag of some well-known names and some lesser-known performers of tinsel town. Among the actors and celebrities set to battle it out for the trophy are Shantanu Maheshwari, Arjun Bijlani, Karishma Tanna, Helly Shah, Surveen Chawla, Nora Fatehi, celebrity chef Harpal Singh Sokhi, Gaurav Gera and fusion dancing twins Priyanka and Poonam Shah. Though all the performers put their best foot forward, the twins, with their fusion dancing, infuse oodles of novelty into the new edition. For instance, fusing bharatnatyam and hip-hop, Priyanka-Poonam dished out a refreshing piece based on the song ‘Pinga’, and their superb synchronisation was further evidenced in their ‘Ramta Jogi’ act. 

The inaugural episode gave a taste of the sizzle and skill that lay in store for viewers in subsequent episodes. Putting aside the competitive spirit on the opening night, the participants grooved together. But the subsequent episodes saw the competitive spirits come alive.

An eye-catching opening performance came from actor Mouni Roy of the Naagin fame and her co-star Arjun Bijlani. Lending some drama to the episode was Karan Johar who, in his signature style, hosted Mouni’s swayamavar, infusing plenty of gimmickry to the show, which is what fuels the TRPs of reality shows. For, now not just the judges, but the audience too will get to judge and rate the performances. It is the combination of judges’ and audience’s scores that will decide which contestants will have to exit the dance floor. 

What remains to be seen is if the new format and the new face on the judges’ seat work in favour of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa 9.

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