Riches to Rags

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SummaryThe fourth season of Big Switch will see spoilt, rich brats fight for survival in the biting cold of Himachal Pradesh

The fourth season of Big Switch will see spoilt, rich brats fight for survival in the biting cold of Himachal Pradesh

If its previous seasons made the rich, pampered youth trade in hard work and sacrifices for their luxuries, the fourth season of Bindaas’ Big Switch, which goes on air starting January 13, attempts to go more primal, by putting them in the middle of the tough terrains of Himachal Pradesh and denying them their basic needs. That would mean the big city brat, who is probably used to sleeping till late, would have to cut his own firewood or spend a night freezing without a blanket and so on.

“Unlike last seasons, this time, they are being made to do jobs that are most basic but tough, whose importance they ought to be taught, like cleaning the garbage or constructing a road with molten tar,” explains Gaurav Chopra, television actor and this season’s host for the show. His role is that of a mentor, a “big brother”, who will provoke them as much as he will protect them.

There have been changes in the pattern of participation too.

Instead of individuals, the show will have “gangs” from the cities of Mumbai, Delhi and Chandigarh, thus bringing in inter-and intra-group dynamics into play. “When you have groups fighting out within themselves, factors like ‘friendship’ and ‘romantic angles’ come into play, naturally making things more interesting,” says Chopra.

Its current setting (in camp tents amid the rough and picturesque mountains of Dharamshala), the group fights and survival tasks bring in a comparison with MTV’s Roadies, one of the first youth adventure reality shows. However, Chopra retorts, “Roadies contestants are desperate to perform tasks. Here, they are reluctant, ignorant and often forced.”

The contestants have been handpicked by audition teams that went looking for spoilt, rich youngsters across colleges and pubs. “They are into drinking, drug abuse, multiple partners and all kinds of things you can imagine. We have people who would get up at 4 pm everyday, and would call on their mother’s phones asking for breakfast to be sent to their rooms,” says Chopra. “The parents, who have given up on them, readily agreed when we requested their participation in our show,” he adds.

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