We speak to MTV Roadies Xtreme gang leaders Nikhil Chinapa and Prince Narula who recently visited Sakal Times after Roadies audition in the city
MTV is back with the country’s longest running reality show’s 15th and most extreme season — Roadies Xtreme. The original Roadie, Rannvijay Singha will be ushering in the ‘unexpected’ this time around. Joining in the Roadies madness are girl boss Neha Dhupia, Prince Narula and seasoned Roadies judge Nikhil Chinapa who are geared to take you on a roller-coaster ride. Prince Narula and Nikhil Chinapa, who recently visited Sakal Times office, spoke about the Roadies journey, challenges and so on.
How did the auditions in Pune go? What impact has Roadies made on the youth of the country over the years?
Nikhil: Over the years, an increasing number of youngsters have become determined about getting on the show and winning it and as a result you tend to attract the best talent in. When someone doesn’t make it in one city, they want to go and try another city.
We have seen that people who are likely to succeed in life, irrespective of what they do, are the kind of people coming for Roadies. It is not just about people who are into body building, it is also about one’s smartness, mental strength and the attitude towards winning the competition. When people from small towns and cities watch the show, they say, ‘If s/he can do it, so can I’. When kids look at Prince who has a humble background, they feel inspired. They know that he didn’t have anything special besides his own ability, he worked his way out; so if he can do it, ‘maybe I can’.
Prince: The auditions went off really well. We always start with Pune and even my journey started with Pune. We get most number of promising people from Pune every year and we want that whoever wins the show should be from Pune. Roadies for me is a show which has transformed my life completely — from nobody, I went on to be called the ‘reality king’. When youngsters look up to me, and say that they want to be like Rannvijay, Nikhil or me, we feel responsible. We have to spread the message that it is a youth show and MTV always paves the way for youngsters. I admit, we do not always do the right thing but today’s youth is so sensible and mature that they can differentiate between good and bad. They think compassionately about family, are respectful to girls and do not believe in any form of discrimination.
Going by the name, it seems this season is going to be the most extreme season. Tell us about the twists, turns and challenges that are in store for the contestants?
Nikhil: It is so extreme that if I disclose it, they are going to shoot me in the head! (laughs). The first thing that happens this year is that it is meant to throw people off their comfort scale. Rannvijay is going to be a Roadie and not a gang leader.
Prince: Besides the tasks, the extreme weather, and the surprise about what we eat will also add to the twists on the show. Roadies has never been easy — each season comes with its own challenges and twists. However, with each season, the level of difficulty increases. We do not select a contestant only on the basis of physical strength but also on their mental strength.
Nikhil, you have often been vocal about equal rights for women. Tell us more on this.
Nikhil: I want boys to realise that girls are capable of doing everything that they can do. Parents need to stop saying that they’ve raised their daughters as their sons. Instead they should say that they’ve brought up their daughters as the daughters they’ve always wanted and that’s what I mean when I say we need to create a gender-neutral world. If you ask me, if Neha being a girl, brings something different, then no. Apart from the fact that she has an exceptionally well-developed sense of style and that she is the most fashionable gang leader, I don’t think she brings something different because she is a girl. She’s an extremely competitive person just like Rannvijay, Prince and myself. It would be great if girls look up to Neha and get motivated.
What makes a successful gang leader a great mentor? Prince, do you feel you have an advantage over others, given that you’ve already been a contestant on the show?
Nikhil: A good leader is like being a good coach for a sporting team. You don’t need to teach your players how to play — you need to trust your players and guide them in a way that brings out the best of their abilities. You create an environment where a person is able to thrive.
Prince: We exactly know how a contestant thinks and what move is s/he going to make. We understand the reason behind him/her making a particular choice. Gang leaders who haven’t been contestants will take some time to understand his/her gang member’s strategies, but having been a Roadie myself, I can sense what strategies they are making. This way, we are able to take decisions faster than others and apply our brains both as contestants and as gang leaders.