Karanvir Bohra and wife Teejay Sidhu are currently undefeated in the fifth season of ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ which will reach it’s climax this weekend. The couple have recently released their first Punjabi film production ‘Love Yoou Soniye’ earlier this year, which they were also acting in, and – on the whole – remain a popular duo to watch on screen and loveable to interact with off-screen.
BizAsia caught up with them ahead of this week’s season finale of ‘KKK’.
What made you both decide on KKK?
KV: KKK was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we couldn’t pass up! We were approached by Colors to be part of this show, after the successful run of our Punjabi film, Love Yoou Soniye. (Our movie played for two months in Mumbai and opened up a lot of doors for us.) KKK is one show that we watch on TV every year. You always see it and wonder if you could do those stunts. This year, we had a chance to face our fears and test our limits. Since it was supposed to a ‘Bollywood Darr ka Blockbuster’ type of show, it required action, drama, and romance. I guess that’s where we came in! Haha! We added the romance but also gave lots of drama! We laughed, we cried, we failed, we succeeded. It was a heart-stopping experience! This season, since ace action director Rohit Shetty was the host, they upped the ‘Fear Factor’ and made it even more scary!
TJ: I actually did the show for fun! 😉 I thought it would be wonderful to see South Africa since I’d never been there. I loved that KV and I were asked to be a part of it together. I have a sadistic love for adrenaline and fear, so I was excited about doing crazy, unusual, adventurous things. I actually had no expectations of myself. I thought since it’s girls versus guys, I’ll probably go out in a week or two. I surprised myself by performing well, and landing up at the Grand Finale Weekend! Haha! I’m kind of shocked that I made it this far. I’m thrilled that we both made it to the end together, though I always expected that KV would.
Are there any stunts that you were reluctant about doing?
KV: I was excited about each and every stunt! Though I never felt reluctant, climbing down from a chopper in mid-air, collecting flags did make my heart beat faster. I knew that I was harnessed, that I was safe, but the fact that you’re over 1000 feet in the air, hanging from a rope is a little scary. Still, there was no stunt that I would’ve said no to.
TJ: I had my first ‘what the heck am I doing here’ moment when I had to do the ‘Rasee tho Phasee’ stunt! My competitor was Deanna Uppal (Miss India-UK). She was the wild-card entry and I didn’t want to lose to a new entry. Our stunt was to do a rope crawl, from a ten story building, grab a flag and bunjee drop down. When I was hanging on the rope, and when Rohit Shetty yelled ACTION, I panicked for a moment. It looked so scary from the top, I was genuinely afraid and I thought my heart would explode in my chest!! I had no option but to do it, so I did, and I won the stunt! I could hear KV yelling and encouraging me, and that helped a lot. After the stunt, I was breathless from the adrenaline rush. I couldn’t speak!
What kind of training have you both had in preparation for the show?
KV: We didn’t have any kind of training. You don’t know what you’ll be doing until you get there. However, it helped that we do yoga because you learn good balance and core strength, which are required in many of the stunts.
TJ: We regularly go to the gym and do yoga. That helps because you need a certain ‘fit factor’ to be part of this show. Some stunts required physical strength and endurance so it’s good to have that kind of training. Other than that, we didn’t really do anything. Praying helped me during the show though! Haha! I would chant ‘Waheguru’ during a stunt – it would calm my mind, take my thoughts away from the fear, and help me perform better. I think that was my main secret! 😉
Why were your names not announced in the original line-up at the press conference?
KV: We were asked back in December, and we had said yes. However there was a mix-up with the channel, they thought I was interested in doing one of their other shows instead (Madhubala.) Once the misunderstanding got cleared up, Teejay and I were put on the next flight to South Africa.
Karanvir, you were tipped to be a part of Madhubala after the leap, what happened with that? Were you ever actually approached for the role or was it just a rumour?
KV: Yes, it’s true, I was asked to be part of Madhubala. I initially said I’d consider it, because I was told it would be a new story, with a new lead pair. Then there was a change – I was informed that Drashti was to remain and Vivian was to be replaced. That put me in an awkward situation since Vivian is a very close friend of mine. It wouldn’t be worth spoiling my friendship for a TV show. The news of me replacing my best friend created a lot of controversy, but I had actually never confirmed this news. The other thing is, that the Madhubala leap was happening the same time as ‘Khatron ke Khiladi.’ I would’ve had to choose one show. Teejay and I were very keen to do KKK, and wouldn’t have missed it for anything!
Karanvir, you’ve been performing well on KKK. What do you think your chances are like in winning compared to the other celebs?
KV: I felt from the beginning that my chances of winning would be good. I don’t have any major fears, I work hard, I’m not afraid to try dangerous stunts, I am mentally and physically strong. At the same time, it’s also very important to take God’s help, which I kept doing! I would even take Teejay’s blessings, which proved to be very lucky for me! 🙂 Having said that, I would have to say that the other contestants are also strong. Sometimes someone has better luck than someone else, so we have to keep our prayers strong, as well as our mental and physical endurance!
You were tipped to be one of the favourites for winning. Rohit Shetty himself said that the competition was between ‘Salman, Gurmeet and KV.’ Did that put extra pressure on you?
KV: Yes it did! I remember that day, it was after I had performed the ‘Swing is King’ stunt. Myself, Gurmeet and Deanna did that one. I was the only one able to complete it successfully. Rohit-sir was so proud of me, he told me I was outstanding! I touched his feet because It was the first time I felt I made my ‘teacher’ proud. Rohit Sir said until then, Salman and Gurmeet had been the best performers but now I was also in the race. I’ll never forget that day. After that, I wanted to continue performing well, so there was added pressure, but I didn’t mind it.
Teejay, Rohit Shetty also said that you were the dark horse in the race, that you were a top-scorer, week after week. He mentioned that you never went into elimination, and had a strong chance of winning?
TJ: Yes! He did say that, and it felt great! 🙂 I would give my best to the stunts, and managed to keep myself out of the elimination zone. In the semi-finale episode, Rohit sir gave out numbers according to our performances – Gurmeet was number one, Salman was number two, I was given number three and KV was number four. It was added pressure that he had such high expectations of us. I felt like I would disappoint him if I didn’t keep up. Having said that, I did feel I stood a chance of winning, since I had come this far. Besides hard work and mental toughness, there is a bit of luck factor, too. Never know which way it’ll go for me! 😉
What did you learn from the show about yourself?
KV: My attitude in life is to not think too much – just do. Whether it’s towards acting or towards a stunt, I am very spontaneous. However I do feel it’s wise to sometimes stop and think. This show has taught me that. Sometimes it’s prudent to have a plan. I’ve also learned that Teejay and I are a fantastic support for each other. We balance and complement each other very well, and can accomplish anything together.
TJ: I tend to underestimate myself a lot. I’ve learned that I’m much stronger than I give myself credit for. I’ve learned that I’m not a quitter. If I’m faced with a challenge, no matter how scary it might seem, I will face it, I will do it. After doing this show, I feel completely fearless. I feel unafraid, uninhibited – like there’s nothing I can’t do!
What did you learn about each other?
KV: I feel so proud of Teejay! I never thought she’d follow me all the way to the final episode! 😉 She really impressed me. She’s a true Punjaban – my wife’s a fighter!
TJ: I’ve discovered that KV is so brave! He would never panic, he wouldn’t get nervous and he wouldn’t be afraid of going first. There was one dangerous underwater stunt, where he got to choose the order. He saw that Nikitin and Ranvir looked a little nervous so he put himself first. (It’s easier to go last, and learn from other people’s mistakes.) Rohit Sir told KV, ‘Kya baat hai, I salute your spirit.’ I felt so proud of him, and I loved him even more for being an unselfish player.
BizAsia would like to thank the couple for taking the time out of their busy schedule to talk to us. ‘Khatron Ke Khiladi’ season 5 will see it’s final episodes broadcast over this coming weekend on Colors.