Rannvijay Singha was the winner of the first ever season of MTV Roadies, and continues to be a major part of the reality show till today. The show has undergone changes year on year, but Rannvijay has remained constant, a fact that he is extremely proud of.
People have often asked the actor and show host why he returns to the show every year. He says, “I don't return to the show. I am part of the show. There is not one single individual who has been part of every day of Roadies. People return to me when they come to Roadies.”
He has acted in films like London Dreams and Action Replayy, and taken on several other projects. But Roadies has always been part of his career.
“Many a times, irrespective of the success of the films I did, people have told me, now you have become a hero, tujhe Roadies kyun karni hai, chhod de. I don’t understand this. Roadies is not the same show every year. We’ve been changing things since we own the IP of the show. It is registered in 19 other countries, when they make it they call us. There is no other show in India which can boast of this. It’s the biggest show made or owned by an Indian company.
“It also takes us to different parts of the country where we don’t just do tasks, we also experience the local culture. There is so much to see and learn every year that I am growing and evolving with the show. One day, when I'm not current and we're not vibing, we won't do it together,” Rannvijay says.
The 17th season of the adventure reality show has been conducting Live auditions for the first time ever on social media this year. The virtual auditions on MTV Roadies Facebook page will give one lucky contestant a chance to join the official journey this year.
Rannvijay calls this the quality of adaptability of the show. “Doing things online is not an alien concept for Roadies. We have had something called the Roadies Battleground for several years now, where I give out tasks and the contestants do them and send in their entries. So we had the understanding of how to interact with people online, how to take it further and get entries,” he says.
He also points out the bright side of conducting auditions online. “This is also a big advantage for all those people who did not get the chance of actually appearing in front of us to audition. They can do it from the comfort of their homes. Some of them said that they have been trying to meet us for 10 years and have finally gotten the opportunity to audition online.”
But Rannvijay is not ready to credit the live auditions with increasing the reach of Roadies. “We are talking about a show that has been on for 17 years. We have built a certain following over these years which grows every season. So it’s not fair to say one thing or another has led to the increase of its reach. Television and live auditions are two separate things and we have nothing to compare this situation with since we haven’t done this earlier.”
The online auditions cannot replace the on-ground experience and hysteria, though. “The on-ground experience is exhilarating. You're standing in line with 10,000 people, feeling the pressure. You keep doing different activities, push-ups, pull-ups, singing, dancing, being on stage, group discussions. We see how people interact with each other or react to hostile situations. Online auditions can’t replace that. Human interaction is very important, but for the time being I don’t think there can be a better option,” he says.
Rannvijay regrets that the schedule of Roadies and Splitsvilla has gone for a toss because of the lockdown, but he is glad to be home safe with his wife and daughter.
“By April 15 we would have finished the Roadies journey, and Splitsvilla was supposed to be shot in June, so that is also pushed. For now we are counting our blessings that we are home and safe and doing as much as we can. My dad was in the army, and he spent a lot of time away from home. When we were kids, many a times we’d be waiting for a call for like six, seven days. There were times when my mom, my brother and I would live under a curfew and could not go out. Sometimes we didn’t even have electricity. So we look at the situation today - we have communication, video calls, we have chats, internet, so much content, and our family with us – and we are just grateful for whatever we have.”
The way content is being created and consumed is changing due to this lockdown, and Rannvijay is hopeful that creators will find a way to keep their audience entertained.
“I just finished reading a script, which is 10 minutes long. I have about 6-7 minutes of screen time. I'm supposed to be shooting it myself and interact with people on the side of the screen who are obviously not there. It will be difficult in a way. People in the creative industry are called creators because they figure out a situation and come out with the best possible way. I think people will adapt to it and those are the ones who would actually survive, because content will be consumed.”
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