© LiveMint In case you’d still like to watch MTV Splitsvilla, you can do so at 7pm every Saturday. Photo: AP Sunny Leone is a Queen. Rannvijay Singh is her Knight. Leone is wearing a bustier and riding a horse down a beach. Like all queens do. No, this isn’t a new erotica or porn film, although it seems to have all the creative storytelling of one. This is MTV Splitsvilla Season 9. The reason I watched the first episode was not just owing to the absurd image of Sunny Leone as a queen with Rannvijay, dressed not as a knight but as Dharmendra from Dharam Veer, holding a spear next to her. It was because of Splitsvilla being positioned as a feminist show, with the theme of “Where Women Rule”, no less!
According to a news report announcing the show, “Hailing female power in every sense, MTV Splitsvilla 9, an amalgam of love and power-play, gives more power to women with its new theme, ‘Where Women Rule’. Giving the reins of the kingdom to six princesses, fifteen warriors will set out to fend off rival suitors, ensuring survival of the fittest in the kingdom of love.”
This could well be Bear Grylls’ The Island meets The Bachelorette. But is it?
I stopped by the website first, in an attempt at in-depth journalism. And this was the “eligible criteria”:
1) Contestants should be 18+ years of Age.
2) Relationship status is single. you have not any girlfriend/Boyfriend outside show. If you have in relationship, then you can’t participate in show.
3) Physically and Mentally Strong. If you have physically problem then you can’t participate in show.
4) Have Passport.
5) Compulsory to complete two task. (Check Two Task details).
I would like to take this moment to give full points to MTV for crucifying the English language.
What is this “Two Task” that people who aspire to be on MTV Splitsvilla must complete, I wondered. Brace yourselves, not just for the tasks but also for the further castration of the English language.
Introduction of yourself
Introduction yourself in 3-4 minute video and tell us why you should be on splitsvilla. Upload your video on youtube and Submit it here (we’ll publish link very soon).
Second Task: Dance at Public place
Your second task on Karbon MTV Splitsvilla presented by Airtel is to connivance a person of the opposite sex to dance with you in Public place. Record your video and upload on youtube and submit the URL below(we’ll publish link very soon).”
Oh MTV. Convince and “connivance” are two very different words. But “A” for effort.
As you can imagine, by now I couldn’t control my excitement at finally being able to watch this show, which gives “more power to women” and less power to words.
The first episode had a bevy of young men with waxed chests and greased hair riding in three open jeeps. The men didn’t sit in these jeeps, they kept standing for some reason. Then they started walking through a clearing in a jungle. Very purposefully. Finally, they reached a clearance in which Rannvijay met them, followed by the horse-riding Leone.
The six women then arrived. There was what can only be called a social where everyone dances with each other. Based on this dancing, the women then have to choose the boys they will save and keep in the Splitsvilla house. One of the boys gets criticized for feeling up one of the women while dancing with her and touching her inappropriately. That woman then chooses and “saves” the said-manhandler, by this time I could only raise my eyebrows.
Sunny then tells them, “Rannvijay aur I, aapko ek aur marker dete hain.” This does not mean that they will give these contestants a new felt pen. This means she will give them another opportunity. It’s all sorts of bizarre.
What I realized is that working in reality TV is a lot like every other profession. Most of the contestants on this show have already participated in earlier seasons of Roadies. A recent Bigg Boss contestant, Prince Narula, first took part in Roadies. He won there, then joined Bigg Boss, then returned to a new season of Roadies as a “mentor”. Rannvijay was also a Roadies winner, then he became a Roadies anchor, now he anchors other reality shows. Much in the same vein, many of the Splitsvilla contestants, have interned as contestants at Roadies and will soon become senior managers at the next reality contest. Which is why when many of them said, “I’ve always wanted to be on Splitsvilla”, you realize that this is a new career model. Some want to be artists, others doctors, and others want to be reality TV stars. Wonderful.
Yet, the question remains, should you watch Splitsvilla or not? The next episode will have a “Kiss Or Smash” competition, where the girls will either smash a pie on the guys’ faces or kiss them. Before that all the guys will be standing in a line in the shallow side of the swimming pool, while the girls will walk in bikinis—but not get in the pool—and question them about their behaviour. While Sunny stands under an umbrella, safe from the sun and smiles at them. This is truly thrilling stuff.
I’d say, read the MTV Splitsvilla 9 website instead. It promises to be far more entertaining.
In case you’d still like to watch MTV Splitsvilla, you can do so at 7pm every Saturday.
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