The cardinal rule of playing a host is to be nice to your guests – looks like all the contestants forgot that one
Life Ok’s Welcome-Baazi Mehmaan Nawaazi Ki is taken off from the British show Come Dine With Me. The Indian version follows all the basic rules of the Brit programme, but the tadka and fire on Welcome… is very much original.
The show: Every week, five celebrities prepare a three-course meal in their respective homes without any professional help – No maid and no cooks for help. Every day, one contestant is judged on the food, entertainment quotient and an overall experience he/she provides. All the participants are expected to be critical and opinionated, but they bring their own flavour of bitchiness to it. The first week had popular stars like Sanaya Irani, Ragini Khanna, VJ Andy, Nigaar Khan and Manoj Tiwari.
What we liked: Every episode had a theme selected by each contestant. From the innovative menus to house decor to the variations in the food – it was a fresh sight. We like! Nigaar, Manoj and Andy successfully managed to make decent food close to their styles, which was indeed quite impressive. The fun element began with the inspection of the bedrooms, which unfortunately for Sanaya was in complete mess. A peep into the real lives and homes of some of the popular stars is indeed a novel and selling idea. Any Indian soap would be incomplete without fights, arguments, controversies, and a tad bit of bitchiness, which is in plenty on this show. The final episode has Ram Kapoor in his best element. So you won’t be disappointed.
What we disliked: It’s one thing to be opinionated and a whole another thing to get personal. Everyone got so critical and nitpicky about every small thing that at times it seemed a little over the top. And frankly, we wouldn’t hesitate to call the show a little fake or rather scripted. Hell, we’ve had unknown and uninvited guests over several times, but things have never been that bad ever. And if this is the idea of entertainment ke liye kuch bhi karega, then you can hardly blame them, no?
The show is based entirely on food; everything else is secondary. However, people still ignore their guest’s allergy issues. Like if Ragini is lactose intolerant wouldn’t the others make a note of it and avoid milk products, and if Manoj has an aversion to mushroom, why was everyone hell bent on stuffing it down the man’s throat?
In the process of this programme, five people surely got to know one another. But we wonder why everyone’s story was such a sob fest. It’s like people had no happy memories to share. Manoj starts talking about his divorce and his estranged daughter, Andy begins narrating about his bankruptcy days and losing his father to cancer. Not that we are trying to be insensitive, but would we really discuss these things with a random stranger we’ve met for the first time?
Our verdict: The show on the whole is entertaining, fresh and has a lot of scope for arguments, malicious comments and tadkedaar masala. It’s a complete package and will not disappoint you, but if you are here for food, then you are indeed knocking on the wrong door.Rating: out of 5
Reviewed by Letty Mariam Abraham
**** Very good