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I bring international credibility to Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa: Lauren Gottlieb

Published Jul 20, 2015, 3:58 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 12:01 pm IST
Dancer turned actress was a contestant earlier on the show and has now turned into judge
Lauren Gottlieb
 Lauren Gottlieb

Lauren Gottlieb, who first appeared on Indian television as a contestant in a dance reality show, is now a judge on a celebrity dance show Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. We spoke to the dancer-turned-actress about the transition and more.

How does it feel to judge a dance show as opposed to be a contestant on one?
Once I enter a family, I never leave. Whether it’s So You Think You Can Dance, All-Star, ABCD, ABCD2 or Jhalak. For me, that just proves hard work and loyalty. Last year was when I first entertained the idea of judging but I felt that it wasn’t the right time. This year all the stars aligned. I feel a responsibility to help the contestants through this journey just as the judges helped me on mine.

What do you bring to the show that others don’t?
I have dedicated my life to dance. I have years of serious training in over 15 different dance styles. People may see me as new in the industry since I’ve been in Bollywood for just two years, but I had a full career back in Hollywood where I danced in movies, TV shows and would give dance lessons to Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Tobey Maguire and performed with artists such as Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Britney Spears and Shakira. I bring a lot of international credibility to the show.

Tell us about your look on the show
After getting to know that I was going to be the only female judge on the show, the first word I screamed out loud was diva  that’s exactly what I’m going for. A very glamorous look.

How has your interaction been with co-hosts Shahid, Karan and Ganesh?
We all love to have a good time. We come to the sets ready to have fun and put on a good show. Everyone on the panel can dance superbly and as a lover of dance reality shows, I’m glad to see that finally happen. During commercial breaks we all hang out in our judges’ zone and chat about this, that and everything.


Why did you opt to speak Hindi instead of having a translator or subtitles?  
I’m trying my best to give a mix of Hindi and English. JDJ being a Hindi show, I want to be able to connect with everyone around the world who doesn’t know English.

Who according to you are the promising contestants this season?
There is some crazy talent this year! Each contestant brings different qualities to the show. I don’t see one weak link. Scarlet, Faisal and Raftaar stand out for me as the best dancers though. Non dancers such as Sanaya, Ashish, and Vivian will impress you as they are improving week by week.