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Vivek Oberoi, Sonali Bendre, Anurag Basu to judge Zee TV’s ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’

New Delhi: Having celebrated the singing and dancing talents of the masses and made heroes out of India’s common man, Zee TV is all set to provide a national platform for India’s acting talent! A pioneer at introducing unique, homegrown non-fiction formats like ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ and ‘Dance India Dance’ that have captured the pulse of the audience, Zee TV announces a brand-new reality show with a differentiated concept. Aptly titled ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’, the talent hunt show will put children in the age range of 5-12 years through a series of tasks and challenges that will groom them as actors and test their creativity, spontaneity and acting capabilities.

Having hit home run after home run with the resounding success of both the seasons of ‘DID L’il Masters’ and ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs’ - two immensely popular reality talent hunt show formats centered around kids, Zee TV, is undoubtedly the ruler of this genre. Zee TV has proven time and again that it understands children like no one else does! The kids talent hunt show, ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’, does naturally hold a lot of promise!

And who better to judge the kids on their histrionic skills than popular actors Vivek Oberoi, Sonali Bendre and the much celebrated film-maker Anurag Basu? Fans of the Saathiya heartthrob will be delighted to know that the show marks Vivek’s debut on television and the actor is very excited about the same. The judges are in the city to interact with the short-listed contestants from the show’s auditions that were held in Delhi on Saturday, 12th January. The contestants hand-picked by them will make it to the final auditions to be held in Mumbai. Over two months ago, Zee TV began its countrywide search for the 18 brightest, spunkiest, the most mischievous and talented kids from across the country. Apart from Delhi, Zee TV’s talent scouts conducted auditions in Kolkata, Nagpur, Patna, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Pune, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Indore, Lucknow, Dehradun, Raipur and Allahabad.

About taking on the judge’s mantle, Sonali added, “The show concept is unique and Zee has always been a frontrunner in reality shows. It’s my first time on Zee TV and the show presents a win-win situation for me … I just love kids. I’m glad that India’s Best Dramebaaz provides an atmosphere that puts children at ease, allows them to come into their own and be themselves. The kind of talent we have seen so far is overwhelming … they’re such cute kids and they talk so much especially when they speak about their parents… their innocence is adorable and is bound to tug at one’s heartstrings!”

So what is it that the judges are looking for? Anurag said, “The format is new and a first on Indian television. I have worked with Zee TV before and it is difficult for me to turn down their offer. I am also selfish as I only do things from where I can take something back. With ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’, I am getting an opportunity to interact with so many talented children. We are not saying that we will create future superstars here. Our main objective will be to bring out the spontaneity of the kids where they will perform without being conscious. That is why apart from watching their performances, I am spending time with them personally to understand their creativity. I think naughty, mischievous kids will do better in this space! As a director, I will look into the technical aspects of every act and guide the contestants in that regard.”

Sonali Bendre and Anurag Basu announced the launch of India’s Best Dramebaaz at the recently held Zee Cine Awards 2013 in Mumbai. The show will replace Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2012 on Zee TV’s weekend primetime slot. ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’ is produced by Essel Vision, the in-house production arm of the Essel Group.

Here’s taking a look at the profiles of the judges:

Anurag Basu: His association with Zee dates back to the year 2000 when he directed Koshish Ek Asha, a show that made it to the top of the heap on Zee TV’s primetime. His stint as a director on television was quickly followed by an illustrious career as a film director as his work got noticed in the right quarters. He hit a home run and made headlines with the sensational thriller ‘Murder’ in 2004. His work in films like ‘Gangster’ and ‘Life in a Metro’ displayed his deftness and maturity as a director. His latest film Barfi has struck a golden balance between scoring critical acclaim and raking in a powerful 100 crore collection at the box office. Friends, without a doubt, he’s clearly the man of the moment and he is all set to make his debut as a judge on a reality show on television.

Sonali Bendre: Her radiant beauty and poise made her a supermodel at the very beginning of her career. She wowed the audience in her first film and walked away with the Most Promising Newcomer award across a number of award shows in 1994. Ever since, there has been no looking back for this stunning diva as she charmed millions of fans with her winsome smile and believable performances across blockbusters like Sarfarosh, Duplicate, Zakhm, Diljale and Hum Saath Saath Hain. Her riveting performance in the Marathi film Anahat got her wide critical acclaim and popular awards too. Her forays on television have been met with an overwhelming response from her fans who cannot seem to get enough of her.

Vivek Oberoi: Our third and final judge is a film heartthrob making his debut on television. His hard hitting performance in his initial films like Company, Road and Dum fetched him every Promising Newcomer award. But it was Saathiya that made him every Indian girl’s dream boy overnight. His villainous turn in Shootout at Lokhandwala fetched him a deluge of awards. He packed in punch after punch with bravura performances across films like Masti, Yuva, Kisna and Rakht Charitra. Vishal Bharadwaj’s Omkara saw him in his element as an actor and his performance drew rave reviews. Today he’s all set to make his mark on the small screen.