What were your immediate thoughts when you were announced the winner?
Honestly, I don’t remember what happened, I was in another zone. My family came up on stage, my brother lifted me, but for some 30 seconds, I was completely lost! Of course, I am glad that my hard work paid off. There was a point when I wanted to quit. My scores were low, my body had given up, I was completely exhausted juggling between the shoot for Madhubala and Jhalak... But Salman (Yusuff Khan – partner-choreographer) encouraged and motivated me.
At some point your co-contestants felt that you were being favoured...
I don’t know about that because nobody said anything to me on my face. And if I was being favoured, I would have just come for a couple of hours for the shoot and gone. Instead, I used to be on the sets for more than six hours, rehearsing, performing and then rushing off for my Madhubala shoot!
How was your journey on the show?
It’s been interesting and something I will cherish forever. Especially the judge’s comments like Karan (Johar) saying I was better than Kareena when I performed Halkat Jawani (Heroine), or the one where they said I am meant to be the brand ambassador for Jhalak, (she started as a non-dancer) or that I look like a movie star! I remember in the beginning, everybody was saying good things, I was looking nice and generally running on adrenaline. I also remember the Egyptian act which got a lot of appreciation.
When I was rehearsing for it everything was going wrong, but the performance turned out well. The same happened with Humko Aaj Kal Hai (Madhuri Dixit’s hit song from Sailaab)! I was really nervous about performing the song in front of Madhuri.
Tell us about your last performance on the Rangeela song?
The 3D mapping graphics act (where she had to match the steps with the graphics on LED and the floor) was something nobody has attempted on TV before. It was difficult and I myself didn’t know what I was doing. Finally, when I saw it I was amazed that it turned out so well.
Now that Jhalak.. is over, I want to put myself completely into the character of Madhubala. She is a strong, independent girl but these past few days I haven’t been able to concentrate on her.
If not you, who would you have liked to see as the winner?
Lauren and the kids are dancers, so it would have to be Shaan because like me he started from scratch.