Since I'm such a laggard and Mind Rush's terrific column is awaiting - I'll keep this short. Last week's Nach Baliye raised the interesting question: how strict should the judges be without crossing the line? And its a question that begs closer examination.
With the contestants on NB clearly raising their level with each passing week, the newly inserted jodi of Barkha and Indraniel stuck out like sore thumbs. On the first show two weeks ago, the judges dug into the newbies with relish. So on last week's show all eyes were on that particular train.
And bhais-ki-pooch if the two didn't come out and do a curiously amusing circus-like routine where Barkha got lifted and twirled around like a trapeze artist. It wasn't that they didn't try hard. Barkha looked all pumped up and ready to go and executed some promising moves. Her partner Indraniel on the other hand has a bit of a hangdog aura. And his laid back demeanor during the dance pissed Vaibhavi Merchant off no end.
So it was that the judges railed on Barkhaniel. And sent poor Barkha into the crying room. Funnily enough, although I felt terrible for the fresh jodi - imagine bombing after such hoopla - I felt that the judges handled it rather well. So how did they do it?
For one, no matter how much they pretend on screen, they tend to vote en masse. Its hard to tell if they compare notes during the performance because on NB more than any other show the camera stays focussed on the performers throughout. But this block voting seems to keep one judge from collecting all the bad vibes and sends consistent messages.
Second, Vaibhavi does a terrific job of explaining why she's marking people down. You don't always agree with her (especially in the case of Karan-Amita) but she isn't afraid to pull someone up and more importantly, does it clearly and concisely without any co-dependent beating around the bush.
In all of this Madhuri's presence was a winning one - I like how she goes for the drama in a hugely game fashion (Saritha's observation also on VoI). For her to take Vaibhavi on in the opening dance sequence was bold. Measured against Vaibhavi's wonderful compactness but somewhat over-rehearsed jhatkas, the duet showcased her unhurried grace.