MUMBAI: As Rakhi Ka Swayamvar on NDTV Imagine comes to a closure this weekend, Businessofcinema.com, takes a look at the similarity between the show and ABC Television Network’s popular reality show The Bachelorette, which airs in the US.
Pertinent to note here is that recently, there was a court case and then a criminal case filed against the show by a person who runs a swayamvar website. A case of forgery and violation of Copyright Act was filed. However, the District Court passed a detailed interim order on the merits of the case and refused to grant him any relief. Later an appeal was also filed in the High Court but to no avail.
Coming to The Bachelorette… the show premiered in January 2003 and is hosted by Chris Harrison. In the first season it featured Trista Reha – a physical therapist who chose Ryan Sutter from the 25 suitors. The two tied the knot in December 2003 and are happily married. They have two children, Maxwell and Blakesley.
Currently The Bachelorette is in its fifth season with Jallian Harris, a restaurant interior designer who successfully supervising projects in both Canada and the US. The fifth season premiered on ABC Television Network on 18 May, 2009. Once again eligible men arrived from all over the country to try and win her heart. Jillian will be the first person in the history The Bachelorette to have 30 suitors to select from.
Besides the choice of suitors, there are a lot of similarities between The Bachelorette and our very own Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. In The Bachelorette, the final four prospective grooms had to perform tasks and home visits. Similarly in Rakhi Ka Swayamvar, the contestants had to perform tasks and Rakhi visited the homes of the final four contestants.
However, speaking to Businessofcinema.com, NDTV Imagine executive vice-president content Shailaja Kejriwal said that she was unaware of The Bachelorette and its similarity to Rakhi Ka Swayamvar. She said, "I have never heard of it. It was the director who along with Rakhi approached us with the idea and we thought it was interesting and that’s how we went ahead with it."
According to Kejriwal, the show has worked for the channel and the TRPs so far have been good. "Whenever something different and unique is done, it changes the image of the brand so yes the show has helped us in that sense," says Kejriwal.
Since Rakhi Ka Swayamvar is coming to an end now and everyone is waiting for the grand finale, Kejriwal is hoping for TRPs above 3.5. She says, "Right now all of us are busy with the swayamvar, it’s like getting your daughter married!"
The only difference between The Bachelorette and Rakhi Ka Swayamvar is that every week during eliminations, the selected grooms in The Bachelorette get a rose pinned on their jackets whereas in Rakhi Ka Swayamvar the selected grooms get a box of sweets.
The Bachelorette is in its fifth season now and going by the history of the show in the US, only the first season saw the couple getting married happily while the rest of the three seasons the couples split. Season two saw Meredith Phillips choose Ian Mckee. They were engaged but ended there relationship in February 2005. Season three had Jennifer Schefft, a publicist, who rejected all the suitors. Jennifer finally chose Jerry Ferris – an art gallery director, over fellow finalist John Paul Merritt in a first live final rose ceremony. However, when Jerry proposed to Jennifer, she rejected his proposal stating that there was no chemistry between them. After last airing on 28 February, 2005, the series returned to ABC with its fourth season during spring 2008 after a hiatus of three years. DeAnna Pappas, a real estate broker chose Jesse Csincsak from the 30 suitors. Their wedding was set for May 9, 2009 but they broke up in November 2008. The result of the fifth season is awaited.
We sure hope that Rakhi Ka Swayamvar also sees Rakhi finally settling down with the man of her choice and hope they live happily ever after!