(From left) Terence Lewis, Shilpa Shetty and Sajid Khan at the Nach Baliye launch in Mehboob Studios, Mumbai, on Monday evening
Put your hands up, put your hands up, like you just don’t care, it’s Nach Baliye!
A four-year break later, Nach Baliye — the celebrity dance show that pits television’s real-life couples against one another –– is back to spice up weekend viewing.
“Unlike other dance shows, Nach Baliye is not only about showing off your individual dance skills, but about how coordinated you are with your partner and the chemistry you share. At STAR Plus, we are proud to be associated with a show like Nach Baliye that is not only a platform for dance but also a test of relationships,” said Nachiket Pantvaidya, general manager, STAR Plus.
In a glittering launch held at the Mehboob Studios in Bandra on Monday evening, Nach Baliye 5 got off to a promising start with hosts and TV men Gautam Rode and Karan Wahi introducing the participating couples, all of whom did a minute-long jig as a warm-up for the two-month face-off ahead.
While maximum cheers were reserved for Rahul Mahajan and Calcutta girl Dimpy, TV stars like Kushal Tandon (of Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai), who will partner his Bulgarian girlfriend Elena, Karan Mehra (Naitik of Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai) and wife Nisha, and Jay and Mahhi Bhanushali seemed to be crowd favourites. The ones to watch out for are Kaanta laga siren Shefali Jariwala with her TV star partner Parag Tyagi, Ravi Dubey (of Saas Bina Sasural) and girlfriend Sargun Mehta, and Suhasi Goradia (Abha of Yahan Main Ghar Ghar Kheli) with her engineer husband Jaisheel Dhami. Neelu Vaghela (Bhabo of Diya Aur Baati Hum) and her film actor-husband Arvind are the senior-most couple this season and –– quite evident at the launch — the most sporting.
Rahul Mahajan, who had met and married model Dimpy on the Imagine reality show Swayamvar was the crowd favourite, his awkward moves drawing wolf-whistles and catcalls from the audience.
“Rahul has never been much of a dancer, but I really appreciate that he is putting in so much effort into this show because he knows that I love dancing,” Dimpy told t2 at the launch.
The contestants gave way to the three judges of the season — choreographer Terence Lewis, who made an action-packed entry to The disco song, filmmaker Sajid Khan, who jammed to Apni toh jaise taise from his film Housefull and Shilpa Shetty, who moved to Shut up and bounce from Dostana (the two-piece in the film gave way to an off-white top and black sequinned pants for the mum of seven-month-old Viaan).
“It feels good to be back at work after so long! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have missed this and with Nach Baliye as the first stop, I hope to take baby steps in going back to my first love — acting,” smiled Shilpa.
Viaan is already dropping in between shots, but husband Raj Kundra isn’t ready to take the Nach Baliye stage anytime soon. “The channel can’t afford him!” quipped Shilpa with that trademark full-throated laugh.
For Sajid, judging Nach Baliye fits well into his schedule, most of which is now taken up with directing Himmatwala, the remake of the ’80s blockbuster that sees Ajay Devgn slipping into Jeetendra’s (white) shoes. “I can guarantee that you will not get tickets for the first three days,” smiled Sajid, choosing to talk more about his pet project than the dance show.
Even as the 11 couples fight it out for the Nach Baliye crown, guess who might give them a run for their dancing shoes mid-season? Tennis star Sania Mirza who may just step in with her baliye Shoaib Malik!
Neelu Vaghela & Arvind Kumar
Shefali Jariwala & Parag Tyagi
Kushal Tandon & Elena Boeva
Rahul & Dimpy Mahajan
Ankush Mohla & Smita Bansal
Deepshikha & Kaishav Arora
Karan Mehra & Nisha Rawal
Suhasi Goradia & Jaisheel Dhami
Kunwar Amar & Charlie Chauhan
Ravi Dubey & Sargun Mehta
Jay & Mahhi Bhanushali
Which Nach Baliye couple are you rooting for? Tell firstname.lastname@example.org
Nach Baliye 5 will air on STAR Plus every Saturday at 9pm from December 29