The new show Bollywood Star is set to cash in on the immense success of reality competition shows. There is, however, an important distinction between Bollywood Star and the likes of Australia’s Got Talent and The Voice.
Instead of a recording contract to work in Australia, the winner of Bollywood Star will enjoy the opportunity to achieve the same as Brett Lee and Tania Zaetta: Bollywood success!
The show, to air on SBS in early June, follows the trials and tribulations of Sydney and Melbourne hopefuls as they attempt to impress filmmaker Anupam Sharma, Bollywood talent-spotter Raj Suri and Bollywood choreographer Dipti Patil.
Michael Ebeid, SBS Managing Director, explained that, "Hundreds of hopefuls... will audition for a part in a Bollywood movie, as they’re whittled down to six finalists who will travel to Mumbai to immerse themselves in Indian culture and experience the glitz and glamour of the Bollywood movie scene.
"The final winner will be selected by Mahesh himself and take away the prize of a role in his next feature film."
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the audition process, as usual, got tough. During the auditions, Anupam, tired of the wannabes, started testing whether people even knew any Bollywood flicks. Those who failed to name one were automatically kicked.
To be sure, it makes sense that Australian reality competition shows are starting to look in the direction of Bollywood. Famed cricketer Brett Lee is loved in India not simply because of his sporting past. In 2008 he appeared in the Bollywood sporting flick Victory. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the film was about a struggling cricketer achieving success.
Brett has also asserted his presence in India’s music scene, having written and recorded "You're the One For Me" with stalwart Bollywood star Asha Bhosle.
Meanwhile, Tania Zaetta -- the "villain" in the recent series of Celebrity Apprentice -- has garnered movie success in the sub-continent. Her career began with a supporting role in Bollywood hit Bunty aur Babli in 2005. More recently she appeared in the action flick Mr. White Mr. Black, herself an action character kicking and flipping.
It seems reasonable to expect that another Australian will soon be making waves in Bollywood.
Image courtesy of Robert Wallace/ WENN