Remember the time when Bollywood actress and international celebrity Shilpa Shetty was racially insulted by a few contestants in the reality show Celebrity Big Brother? She was the target of racism and bullying by Jade Goody, Jo O'Meara and Danielle Lloyd. How she held herself during the controversy and later she and Goody made truce was a sensational story. This and her way of handling the tricky and potentially traumatic situation helped her win the show. This made her an international celebrity and resurrected her second wind of a career.
Come the 2010s, the same Big Brother became Bigg Boss and invaded the Indian television arena. One of the highly watched and discussed media reality show, Bigg Boss has been running for more than 10 years in Hindi. And the regional versions like Bigg Boss Telugu and Bigg Boss Tamil have generated higher level TRPs and captured the popular imagination. There's no one in the television watching audience who can say what's Bigg Boss.
As a rule of thumb, Bigg Boss and similar shows winners/participants are expected to make a career out of it. At least for a few years. Like Oviya Helen who participated in Bigg Boss (Tamil) season 1. She made a splash on the big screen and her stardom increased multifold. Whether she made use of the limelight is another topic of discussion.
But unfortunately, none of the winners in Bigg Boss (Telugu) have utilized the fame they attained by winning the show. Take, for example, the case of the winner of the first season. Shiva Balaji. Everyone expected that his fledgling career will turn bright after his win. But except for the Prize Money of Rs. 50 lakhs, he gained nothing from the show. None of those who participated that season too gained much from the show.
Coming to the second season, Kaushal Manda created ripples across the internet courtesy Kaushal Army. Not going into the controversy surrounding the so-called army and how Kaushal conducted himself, he too was expected to win offers from media/films at least and will make use of his newfound celeb status. But just like Shiva Balaji, he too fast faded out of public memory.
There is another angle to this Bigg Boss and celeb issues. The celebs who are loved till the time of their participation in the show got trolled and lost a bit of their fan-base like in the case of Geetha Madhuri. Some of the negative vibes she experienced during the show still continue to haunt her. As of now, she and Season 3 participant (and now runner-up) Sree Mukhi are the biggest names to be associated with the show. People associated the oft-orchestrated and generally show-related behavior of the celebs as their real-life selves.
If we look at Season 3 winner, Rahul Sipligunj is already a known name amongst the music lovers. Will his winning of Bigg Boss 3 help him make larger strides? Same with Sree Mukhi. Is she going to make most of her 15-week long limelight courtesy Bigg Boss 3? Only time will tell us.