While you might not have noticed, Jhalak Dikhla Jaa 7 has completed seven whole episodes while Mumbai moped about the missing monsoons, Luis Suarez ruined Alok Nath’s meme career and Riteish Desmukh had two back to back movie releases.
In this time, the dance show has replaced the female host, Drashti Dhami, with Manish Paul, who used to host the show. In the process, the sequin budget for Jhalak… has been cut down by half. The eighth episode was an important one, because the golden shoe made a comeback on the show.
Football fans, calm down. The haloed golden shoes are no Golden Boot rip-off, although they are very shiny (and possibly very unwearable). The golden shoe is given to the most enthralling performers on the show. This time, this prize went to the young boy Akshat and his partner Vaishnavi for their stunning Michael Jackson impersonation.
However, this was not all that episode eight had in store for its dedicated viewers. Sporting a mushroom-inspired hairstyle, Sreesanth appeared on Jhalak… and was almost likeable despite appearing a little smug and tainted with the indelible memory of him in tears after being slapped by Harbhajan Singh.
Purists may argue Sreesanth has no place on Jhalak… but then again, if you’re really a purist, then you have to first explain why on earth you were watching this show to begin with. But we who have been numbed by what the idiot box chucks at us, we were quite happy to see Sreesanth. Here’s why:
1. The guy can dance. His first performance on Jhalak… was a parkour-based act and he managed to lug his frame rather gracefully around props and his choreographer. Though Ranveer Singh fans might have decided to dislike him – he most audaciously destroyed our delicious memory of Tattad Tattad in the trailer to the show – Sreesanth’s performances have been quite good. He is perhaps the only one among the men who seems to care about dancing. This time he danced to Whistle Baja from Heropanti,which originally saw Tiger Shroff resurrecting the long forgotten Urmila Matondkar-pout. The choreography was a mix of hip-hop and freestyle.
While one might say that the ex-cricketer’s shoulders are a little too stiff still for fluid hip hop steps, you can see him trying. Also, his footwork is great. His performance began with him jumping off a make-shift balcony, and he transitioned from jumping to dancing to jumping and without one misstep. His performance had elements of street dance, locking and popping and a variety of a hand-stand, all of which looked mighty impressive because he managed to do all this without skipping a beat.
2. Anyone who watches Indian television regularly knows the deep sense of responsibility the medium feels towards the audience’s patience – there isn’t anything TV shows won’t do to test your patience. With Sreesanth in the show, we expected a tearful retelling of the former cricketer’s love for the sport, complete with “Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz” playing as a background track. However, thankfully, the cricketer steered clear of moping and kept himself to dancing. Good show.
3. Sreesanth doesn’t laugh at stupid jokes. That might be out of boredom, but he is one of the few guests on Jhalak… who doesn’t break into bouts of patently fake laughter in response to anything the hosts say or because a chubby kid is on stage.
So far, Sreesanth has also displayed good sense by steering clear of the impromptu and insanely annoying skits that the show throws up between performances.
Now let us say a prayer that we can continue to find silver linings in coming episodes.