Fans of Indian actress and model Shilpa Shetty turned up in their numbers at the Providence Stadium last evening but were disappointed after her much-anticipated `headlining’ performance failed to happen.
She did not sing or dance and remained seated for about half of her 45 minutes on stage. Patrons were left bewildered since they were expecting quite a performance from the Bollywood star after this impression was given by promoters. During a previous press conference, coordinator for the event Joel Ghansham had told the media that one of the reasons for choosing Shetty was her ability to adjust to the liking of Guyanese as she is very “flexible” in the sense of her selections in her stage performances.
Though Shetty’s performance fizzled, the mere appearance of the radiant young woman, who made her entrance during a performance by the Shiv Shakti Dance troupe out of Trinidad and Tobago, dressed in a simple yet beautiful baby pink sari, pleased fans.
As she gracefully strolled across the stage, greeting her many screaming fans, the dancers moved to the sound of “I’m in love”, a popular song from a movie Shetty has starred in. Shetty spoke of how pleasant the Guyanese people have been to her. “I have to say, east to west, Guyana is the best,” she exclaimed.
“Look at that hair, look at that sari, look at that figure, isn’t she the most beautiful woman,” hostess Bindu Kohli gushed, praising Shetty as the breath-taking beauty made her way over to a well-decorated seat placed in the corner of the stage.
Kohli, at this point, told the audience that Shilpa was looking forward to interacting with the audience as she added “It’s all about you and Shilpa tonight”.
The “headlining act” was then entertained by Chutney singer Hitman, who, during his performance, attempted to sing the film song ‘Tere Naam’ but was interrupted by the actress with a much appreciated question: “You want people to dance or to sleep”. Hitman quickly responded as he belted out Chutney tunes like ‘Don’t hold me back’, ‘Bring de rum’ and ‘Firewater’ which sent the audience rocking.
After Hitman exited the stage, 16-year-old Nicketa, who performed at the beginning of the show, returned and sang for the Bollywood siren. Shetty appeared pleased with both these performances as she walked over to the teenager after her presentation and had a brief chat with her.
Following this, a few short clips in which Shetty performed some jaw dropping moves was shown. Sadly the audience was not given the privilege to see such a performance live.
Three fans were also selected to join Shetty onstage: a little girl named Bibi, a 16-year-old boy and another who said he hopes to become an actor as well. The aspiring actor was challenged to portray the best proposal and many would opine that he aced this as the youngster got down on one knee and sweetly asked Shetty to marry him. The actress later humorously said if she was not married then “yes, definitely”.
While interacting with little Bibi, Shetty had requested a track to be played but was notified by Ghansham that the selection was not available. “That is very poor organization,” the Bollywood actress responded.
Shetty, who has been acting for 18 years, described Guyana as very beautiful and noted that she was honoured being among such “warm people”.
Before leaving, Shetty was presented with a packet of Demerara Gold sugar as Ghansham shared a conversation he recently had with the superstar. He said she had asked him what Guyana was famous for, to which he said lots of things, including the export of rice, bauxite and sugar. This, he said, caught her attention and prompted her to enquire what kind of sugar. When he responded “Demerara sugar” the star excitedly revealed that the local sugar was the only sweetener she would use in her tea.
After receiving her sugar, the glowing Shetty was asked to perform just a few lines of a song of her choice. She admitted to being a terrible singer and said she had never sung on stage before. She then sang two lines of a song from her movie ‘Dhadkan’ and subsequently gave the translation as “you live in my heart and you will continue to live in my heart”.
Before exiting the stage, Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Telegraph and Telephone Company, Yog Mahadeo, and Kerwin Bollers of Hits and Jams Entertainment joined the reality TV star on stage to make a few remarks. Shetty then left at approximately 12:30am.