Writer Chetan Bhagat is looking forward to sharing judging duties on reality dance show "Nach Baliye" with Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, on whom he had a huge crush in college.
The 41-year-old "2 States" author said Preity has been a huge influence on the female characters in his books and he is thrilled to sit next to the "Kal Ho Na Ho" actress.
"It is great to work with her. She has been my crush, since I first saw in "Dil Se". There was no actress like her at that time. In fact she has almost shaped the female characters in my books. She has been a huge influence. The women in my novels are all bubbly, talkative and bold, like Preity.
"And she makes for a great reality show judge because she talks a lot. I, sometimes, also feel she is too lenient with the contestants," Chetan told PTI.
When asked what prompted the self-confessed non-dancer author to become a judge on a reality dance show, Chetan said, "To me it all makes sense. I have opinions on national and world issues so I want maximum people to read my thoughts and listen to my opinions. Through this show, I can reach maximum people, even those who don’t read my books or columns.
"After this show, if they ever come across any of my write-up, they would remember me as the guy, who was on ‘Nach Baliye’ and get interested in reading it. So be a rickshaw driver or anyone else, people will know me. I just want my voice to be heard. Otherwise, there is no desire to be on screen" Chetan said.
The writer said he would judge the compatibility of couples on the basis of different tasks and challenges on the seventh season of the show.
"They wanted a person, who could see how real these couples are. It is not a solo dance competition, it’s a couple show. But I have been a reality show sceptic, I have often thought if they are real after a certain point.
"So I am there as a sceptic, I am there to make sure they are on track and they are the real couples and not reality show couples. There have been rumours during previous seasons that some people just pretend to be couple on the show, so I will see to it that audience gets what is real. It will be interesting to see how these couples are beyond their two-minute act on stage," he said.
When asked if "Nach Baliye" will give way to more TV shows for him, the "Kai Po Che!" writer said, "There is a novelty attached to this season as makers have revamped it and added interesting things but after this do I want to make a career out of reality TV? I am not sure. But if people like me this time, I would love to come back for the next season.
Choreographer Marzi Pestonji will be third judge on the show, which will premiere tomorrow.
The show will see celebrity couples Jay Soni-Pooja Shah, Smiley Suri-Vineet Bangera, Mrunal Thakur-Sharad Chandra, Neha Saxena-Shakti Arora, Himmanshoo Malhotra-Amruta Khanvilkar, Rashami Desai-Nandish Sandhu, Sana Saeed-Dipesh Patel, Nidhi-Arpit Ranka, Karishma Tanna-Upen Patel, Aishwarya Sakhuja-Rohit Nag and Payal Rohtagi and Sangram Singh competing for the coveted title.