Monday, November 15, 2010

KBC Kings & Queens


As Amitabh Bachchan visits my living room and welcomes me to KBC (TV show 'Kaun Banega Crorepati' - Indian version of 'Who wants to be a Millionaire'), I sit up on my favourite couch with a teenager's enthu matched only by his - be it the earlier season or this! Getting selected is like squaring the circle, so I've given up trying. But once you are there, the chances of making it to the hot seat has increased from 10% to about 50% this season!

I enjoy playing along from home - starting from the Fastest Finger First - you'll be surprised that there have been occasions when I would have made it to the hot seat (that's what my timer says) - had I been there. You may tell me it's different as I am not seated at the mouth of the volatile volcano ready to erupt - I agree. But I must say that some contstants do get set ablaze at the hot seat and get nervous to the core making a dash for a lifeline even for the easiest of questions! I've evolved a set of useful tips for contestants to come - in case they didn't know it already.

Firstly, keep panic at arms length. Cool the hot seat with confidence and level-headedness and sail through the first five questions refraining from using a lifeline, if posible. But if you must, go for 'audience poll' - it's the best time to use it. Remember don't give away your guess about the option - the audience will go like a sniffer dog towards it & misguide you!

The recent 'Crorepati' Prashant episode is a good lesson-provider. With a confident, logical and studied steadiness, our Mr. Cool collects accolades from everyone as he cruises to the 50 lac question with all his lifelines intact! Good! He clears that too with a lifeline. Very good!! Next the 'one crore' question - expectedly a tough one. The best option is for expert opinion but it has already been availed. Still Prashant is at an advantage as he seems to be oscillating between two options. "Best time to use 'double dip', silly!" I scream in a bid to reach his ears. He goes for audience poll - with no luck! He phones a friend but the latter lets the timer overtake him! May be Prashant feels guilty about using two lifelines for one question, so he decides to depend on his logic - zooms in on Afghanistan head's name. But when our amiable host asks for a customary reiteration before locking the option, he does a somersault and opts for Nepal PM! Before we can bat an eyelid or wonder at the 12th hour change, there is jubilation - right answer - ONE CRORE for Prashant! I expected Amtji to ask for a clarification but he doesn't. Does a trace of doubt creep in my mind (in spite of my adulation for Amitji ) - is there a trace of 'give-away-tone' as he repeats the options - some stress here or pause there? How else does one expect such a rash move by cool dude Prashant? By the way, other contestants too have been seen harping on one option but deciding on another - a last minute change - and a successful one at that!

All's well that ends well but that is a close shave! Now from the frying pan into the fire - the 5 crore question - "Who was the 1st person to be born in the continent of Antarctica in 1978?" I would have taken my bow with "Not me, Sir!" Others would have done the same too. Not this guy. Does he know the answer? "No", he says. Big B gives his statuatory warning on 'double dip' and gives his usual cue - "Quit if you are not sure...". Prashant dashes forward with double dip lifeline - first answer is wrong. As Amitji repeats the options, I scrutinise his intonation - na - no clues at all ! (How mean of me to suspect! Sorry Amitji - blame it on 'Slumdog Millionaire'!)

Second option - wrong again! Prashant crashlands and has to be content with Rs.3, 20,000. No pity for him. Once lucky, forever lucky? Having won Ganesha's favour for an earlier question, he hopes for another - that too so soon! God helps those who help themselves - and He has - already! But Prashant becomes overconfident and reckless and like a fool rushes in where angels fear to tread. As Big B sums up this is a game of knowledge and not of guesses. Yes, if I were in his shoes I would have used 'double dip' for the one crore question to be safe and walked off with a convincing win of one crore.

After him comes the down-to-earth Jyoti who plays well for a neat sum of 12, 50,000. Then comes Ms. 'Smartysuit' - cool, confident, self-reliant Sapna who marches ahead with all lifelines intact. But her overconfidence blinds her inadequacy and she also crashlands - to win 3,20,000. What's the use of having the key when the thief has made good with your jewel box?

So learn from the contestants. Use lifelines wisely. Audience poll for easy questions - but without voicing your guess. The tougher ones should be posed to the expert or the chosen friend whoever is well-versed in the field. Double dip is to be used only when you have eliminated two options. Of course your luck plays a BIG role too! And the 'HOT' seat is sure to burn out the coolest of heads!! Good luck, contestants!!

P.S. This season - I mean 2012 - the pattern of performance remains the same. Most of the KBC Kings and Queens are from the masses, yes. But we all know who is the EMPEROR - the svelte, savvy, seventy-plus, debonair, dashing, and never-looked better (as all the contestants vouch and make him 'blush') BIG B! Thank you Sir! Keep going Sir!!

© Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.

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