13 Reality show stars of India who didn’t win initially, but made it big in life later!

A look into the progress of Indian television’s reality show stars who didn’t win their show, but made it big in life later.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

India has had gazillion reality shows until now and lakhs of hopeful Indians took part in them to try showcasing their talents ranging from dancing, singing, standup-comedy, daredevilry and what not!

While most contestants got their 15 minutes of fame by winning their respective show, there are a few other contestants who didn’t win but who’ve stood the test of time and made it really big in life!

Here are some of the ‘losers’ of reality shows who stole the limelight due to their sheer dedication and hard work:

Arijit Singh

The most famous ‘loser’ of an Indian reality show is now the current heartthrob of millions of fans!

Arijit Singh started his career as an 18-year old contestant on singing reality show Fame Gurukul but didn’t make it to top-5 finalists of the show. Nonetheless, he kept working hard and rose to fame with Tum Hi Ho from Aashiqui 2.

Later, he went on to sing in famous movies like Hate Story 2, Jackpot, Citylights, Ek Paheli Leela, ABCD2, Tamasha, Bajirao Mastani, Dilwale, Dangal, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Dear Zindagi, Raees, Padmaavat, etc.

He has crooned for almost all of the biggies of Bollywood including Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Aamir Khan, etc. He has also sung many songs in Bengali, Telegu, Assamese, Kannada Telegu, Tamil, and Gujarati!

Raja Hassan

Raja was the 1st runner of SaReGaMaPa in the year 2007.

He is famous for songs like ‘Aali Re’ (No One Killed Jessica), Wallah Re Wallah (Tees Maar Khan) Billo Rani (Me Mamu and 7), Khuadaaya and Morcha (Shanghai), Lucky Boy (Bachna Ae Haseeno) and Sharabi (Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2)

Raju Srivastav

Does he need any introduction at all?

He was already part of the entertainment industry as a side-actor in many movies and he also did parts in various TV shows like Shaktiman as Dhurandar Singh, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Tea Time Manoranjan, etc.

He rose to fame after he took part in the Great Indian Laughter Challenge Season 2 where he came as the 2nd Runner-up after Sunil Pal and Ahsaan Qureshi. He eventually went on to win the Great Indian Laughter Challenge – Champions and then there was no stopping for him!

Sunil and Ahsaan still do stand-up comedy shows worldwide, but the fan following of Raju is the most amongst all stand-up comedians from India of recent times. He also featured in Bigg Boss 3 and others shows like Comedy Ka Maha Muqabla, Gangs of Haseepur, Comedy Nights with Kapil and Mazaak Mazaak Mein.

Ayushman Khurana

Ayushmann Khurrana took part in Channel V’s PopStars in 2002 initially but didn’t make it big there. Later, he won Roadies 2 at the age of 20! After that, he got a job as a radio jockey at BIG FM, Delhi were his show Big Chai – Maan Na Maan, Main Tera Ayushmann became very popular.

He won the Young Achievers Award in 2007 and is also the youngest-ever recipient of the Bharat Nirman Award!

After foraying into Bollywood, he gained immense critical acclaim with movies Vicky Donor, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Bareilly Ki Barfi and Shubh Mangal Savdhaan. He has also lent his voice to some of the iconic songs in these movies!

Dharmesh Yelande

He was the runner-up of Dance India Dance (season 2) and lost to Shakti Mohan. Later on, due to his immensely popular choreography skills, he assisted Farah Khan in choreographing the movie Tees Maar Khan.

He has also acted in movies like ABCD – Anybody Can Dance, its sequel ABCD 2 and Banjo. He has been a regular mentor in the first three seasons of dance reality show Dance plus with his DID season 2’s counterparts Shakti Mohan and Punit Pathak.

Neha Kakkar

One of the most versatile singers of today, this bubbly lady participated in the Indian Idol season 2 in the year 2006 but didn’t win it. Now, she is a social media celebrity (with 9 Million followers on Instagram she is the most followed Indian Singer on Instagram)!

She has also lent her voice to various hit songs like Blue Theme, Second Hand Jawaani, Botal Khol, Dhating Naach, London Thumaukda, Manali Trance, Aao Raja, Tukur Tukur, Kar Gayi Chull, Kala Chashma, Maahi Ve, Naina, Cheezi Badi and songs of Judwaa 2.

Bani J

Gurbani Judge also known as Bani J has been associated with the reality show Roadies for a long time now! She was part of the fourth season of Roadies where she won the runner-up title.

Since then, she has been a really popular VJ, anchor of Roadies, fitness motivator, female rights activist and was also part of the show Bigg Boss 10 where she gained immense popularity.

Monali Thakur

Monali Thakur whose father Shakti Thakur is a renowned Bengali singer participated in Indian Idol 2. She didn’t win the show but gained instant stardom from songs like Khwab Dekhe and Zara Zara Touch Me from the movie Race in 2008.

She won the Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer for singing Sawaar Loon (Lootera) and the National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer for Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha). She has sung various songs in many Indian languages as well!

She is regularly seen as a celebrity judge on many reality shows and has also played prominent roles in movies like Lakshmi, PK, Secret Superstar, etc.

Shekhar Ravjiani

Shekhar is the part of the famous music director duo of Vishal-Shekhar who have given music to a plethora of Bollywood movies! Shekhar was initially a contestant on SaReGaMaPa in the year 1997.

He has also acted in a central role in the movie Neerja.

Mohammed Irfan

He was a contestant on Amul STAR Voice of India as well as SaReGaMaPa Challenge 2005 and won the title of Jo Jeeta Wohi Super Star 2. Irfan got his big break when veteran singer SP Balasubramaniam recommended him to AR Rahman who in turn offered him the song Behene De from the film Raavan.

He rose to even greater fame with songs like Banjaara (Aashiqui 2), Baarish (Yaariyan), Muskurane (Citylights), Tu Hi Tu (Kick), Dard Dilo Ke (The Xpose), Jab Tum Chaho (Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo), etc.

Ranjeet Rajwada

Ranjeet was a participant in SaReGaMaPa but rose to fame when his immersive ghazals started being compared to stalwarts like Ghulam Ali and Pankaj Udhas.

Recently, he became a part of the Forbes India’s 30 Under 30 list.

Sniti Mishra

Sniti was part of SaReGaMaPa in the year 2010. Since then, she has worked a lot in the capacity of a fusion musician and has performed worldwide with Grammy award winner Louis Banks, and the Indo-Swedish fusion band called Mynta.

Kunal Ganjawala

The iconic voice behind Emraan Hashmi’s songs, Kunal Ganjwala was originally a contestant on SaReGaMa many years back. He has lent his voice to many famous ad jingles and Bollywood songs too.



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