Honest Indian Talent shows

Abinav Ravi
4 min readFeb 18, 2022

Inspired by All India Bakchod a defunct comedy group in India and their honest series. This is an attempt to keep their honesty alive. This time we will be seeing Honest Indian Talent shows

Representative image from google images Creative commons license

There are many components that go into making Indian Talent shows that air on TV.

  • Judges
  • Contestants
  • Hosts
  • Special Guests

Let us delve deep into each component and dissect what goes into making the perfect Talent show


Judges are an important part of these shows, they contribute to the culture and their word is considered as the word of god, sometimes the judges disagree but mostly this is staged and promos build up drawing feeble people to view this fight in the episode thereby garnering more views. In the youtube world this is called clickbait since you are not clicking but choosing to watch the content lets call this just the bait

Now coming to the representation of these judges, depending on the show the composition of judges varies, but in general these judges are from the cinema industry of the respective language the show is made in. There might be other people who are better, but reference to some work in the movies is the key. They need to have been part of some project doesn't matter how long ago or how relevant it is to the show at hand.

These judges are then handed over key phrases and key actions that they are meant to repeat once they see a wonderful performance. These key phrases are generally varying from superlatives that don't exist in the language, to nonsensical phrases which only the audience who are fans of such shows can recognize. Any normal human being with a decent command over the language will consider these phrases as alien and people uttering them as a part of a mental asylum.

Another key component is that judges can act in some capacity, emotions can flow very easily and people get moved so easily that they can laugh, cry and also get angry in moments upon the director’s command.


The hosts of these shows generally tend to be people who have very good entertaining value, they can crack jokes, introduce people and induce emotion. The main job I would say for the host is to come up with puns, innuendos and linkups that people can buy as jokes and reality.

The host also invites and makes the family of contestants so uncomfortable that they blurt out some comic material that can be used for making fun of either the contestant or the family itself, Fundamentally the host is something each stand-up comic hopes not to become, a punch down comedian.

The host aims at entering the cinema industry one fine day and considers all this as an audition for the various comedic and family-friendly roles that they aim to perform in the future. It is also to be added that some don't have the aim to reach cinema and are happy at their job and do multiple of such reality and talent shows on the side.


The contestants are of many types in the talent show, since most shows are reality-based (which means they lack reality for reality’s sake) the contestants are chosen to represent the diverse society they represent and not on the basis of talent alone. They are talented nevertheless.

It is also true since almost all other parts are kind of directed these performances are also directed. It takes a certain skill to be directed and take directions from and also do the cringy stuff that is required for television. The people who don't fit the mould or are slightly less performing get booted off earlier in the show.

It is also to be said that the contestants mostly disappear after the show ends only to show their faces in the same show in future versions as a special guests. It is also true that some contestants who have been deemed as not fit for winning the show go on to rule the industry due to talent. At the same time, the winners have vanished into nothingness, but that is not for us to comment upon.

Special Guests:

It is also not to be forgotten that these talent shows are a platform of marketing for the new films, series and songs of existing artists, sometimes an entire round is based on the special guests. These special rounds are meaningless in terms of competition if there was a competition at all in the first place.

Special Guests act as an interim judge and the round with special guests is generally elimination free, meaning the contestants have to just perform and if the performance is of some credibility they get a chance to get picked up by the special guest. In simple words, it is also an audition for a gig in the cinema industry.


These components come together to run a talent show, which in its true form acts as an audition stage for everyone involved whilst promoting cringe content across television channels. These shows keep the melodramatic flair of the Indian spirit alive and are very much a part of the cultural fabric.

Year on year there are millions of people who want to be part of the culture and take part in the shows and some people waste years of their life attempting to do so. Sometimes these people get their 2 minutes of fame on television by showing emotions in front of judges or by performing acts of anger and disappointment in front of the camera. All these components come together to produce the talent show in its true form.