Mumbai, Sept. 22 -- As the eighth season of a popular reality show kicks off, we find that most of the winners from the last seven seasons are now out of the limelight.
He made his debut with Mahesh Bhatt's cult film, Aashiqui (1990), and was last seen in a lead role on the big screen around 15 years back. While he won the first season of Bigg Boss in 2006, it's only now that he's making his comeback with three films in the offing. Rahul is also turning producer and director with an adaptation of Ketan Bhagat's novel, Complete/ Convenient.
"I was part of the show when it was a new concept, so thankfully I was saved of all the controversies," he jokes, while adding that if not a career boost, winning the show definitely gave him a confidence boost. "It's like, when you're in the limelight, people can't ignore you," he says. So, any survival strategies? "Think before you open your mouth because you cannot fool the audience, and they are watching everything," he says.
The former Roadies winner, Kaushik won this show in 2008, and, so far, is the youngest contestant to have won it (at 28). Besides doing a few small TV roles, he was last seen in films like Zila Ghaziabad (2013) and Shortcut Romeo (2013).
Vindu Dara Singh
After winning the show in 2009, Vindu was spotted in a few Bollywood films including Housefull (2010), Son Of Sardaar (2012) and Himmatwala (2013). Last year, he got embroiled in an IPL betting scandal. "I'm acting in a film with singers Mika (Singh) and Shaan, and I am also exploring theatre. I'm doing a Punjabi play and I am very kicked about it," says Vindu, who believes that winning or losing aside, the show definitely puts one in the spotlight. "If you're in that show, your life is made. Look at Sunny Leone. She is a star now," says Vindu, adding that self-control is the thing that every contestant must swear by, if one wants to stick around in this show. "Don't abuse, don't react... you can't escape the cameras," he says.
After winning in 2010, this popular TV star not only bagged the lead role in the brand new tele drama, Parvarrish - Kuchh Khattee Kuchh Meethi, but was also a popular contestant on several comedy shows. Tiwari participated in the dance reality show Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa, last season, after which she tied the knot with her boyfriend of three years, Abhinav Kohli. Talking about her latest projects, her spokesperson says, "She's currently shooting for a Bollywood film, and has just delivered a hit film, Sultanat, in Pakistan."
Best known for portraying the lead role in the TV drama, Kumkum - Ek Pyara Sa Bandhan, Juhi chose to go the family way post her win in 2011. "Winning does give you instant popularity but my aim was never to use the platform as a career boost. If that was on my mind, I'd not have planned a family soon after," says Parmar, who has a daughter aged one year and seven months with actorhusband, Sachin Shroff. "I've been getting a lot of offers but I always follow my instincts, and right now I want to give priority to my daughter," she says.
Known to speak her mind, both on and off screen, Urvashi says that she chose to take it slow after winning the show in 2012. "I wanted to consciously give time to my family. In fact, I have often taken breaks through my career whenever I thought they were needed," she says. Best known for her role as Komolika in Kasautii Zindagii Kay, she says she's not interested in such roles anymore. "I've been getting offers of similar roles, but I'm not too keen to take them up. I'm waiting for something that'll excite me as an actor," she says.
Often touted as one of the most popular and controversial contestants of the show, Gauahar has been part of several Bollywood films in the past. Surprisingly, however, after winning the show last season, she has not been seen in any other film. Her relationship with co-contestant Kushal Tandon has been making more news than her career. She appeared in a music album, and is currently hosting a music reality show on TV.