India’s Ultimate Warrior Is A Total Disruption In Reality TV And We Love It!

Hosted by Vidyut Jammwal, the show addresses what it truly means to be a warrior!

4 min read

Having watched four episodes of India’s Ultimate Warrior on discovery+, right off the bat let us get this out of the way - it is unlike any other combat-based reality show out there. And as we keep getting closer to finding out who India's Ultimate Warrior will be, we can't help but excited about how this season ends.

What is the show about?

Here's what you should know about India's Ultimate Warrior - action hero and Dojo Master Vidyut Jammwal is hosting a reality show in search of India’s Ultimate Warrior - not just someone who can display brute strength or combat prowess, but someone who is strong mentally as well. He’s doing it with the help of four renowned mentors who are masters of their own fields - 34 Gen Shaolin warrior and Master of seven martial arts Shifu Kanishka, MMA and Muay Thai fighter Bi Nguyen, Australian rugby player and ex-soldier Shaun Kober, and former Green Beret Mykel Hawke. The show has shortlisted 16 elite athletes from across India from different walks of life, who now have the opportunity to prove their mettle and see what they’re really made of. The line-up is actually interesting when compared with other combat-based shows because it even features people whose day job has nothing to do with fighting. There’s a parkourist, a marketing manager, an entrepreneur, and even a software engineer on this roster.

Why are we loving it so far?

Unlike most other reality programming based around combat or physical challenges where it’s all about winning, India’s Ultimate Warrior is more concerned with the foundations that shape warriors. In fact the episodes are named as such - Control, Determination, Focus, Survival, and so on. What we’re trying to say is if you’re expecting a typical reality show where fighters are ‘beefing’ with each other to hype the show, you’d be pleasantly surprised to see where this show takes you. This show addresses the idea of a warrior at a more philosophical level. Take for example, an incident in the first episode, where one of the tasks was to do a front-facing rappel down a cliff, and one of the athletes who was chosen to represent their team, was super scared as she had a daunting fear of heights. Any other show would have added unnecessary drama interspersed with unnatural background music, but this show actually highlighted a simple but poignant discussion between mentor Bi Nguyen and the athlete, which shined a light on the importance of leveraging fear of something to overcome it.

Great Selection of Athletes

Unlike most other combat-based reality shows, India's Ultimate Warrior boasts of a very eclectic line-up of contestants, which makes the show grittier, because these aren't your run-off-the-mill, made-for-camera reality contestants, but real people like you and me, who have their own stories or struggles and triumphs. Take for example, Halima, an Indian Muslim girl, who wouldn't be seen without her hijab, who's out to break stereotypes about how the world sees women, and that too one who wears her faith on her sleeve with pride. Then on the other end of the spectrum there's Prakram Dandona, a suave pro MMA fighter who has no qualms about conceding that he's in a profession where they pay him to beat people up for money. Then there's Raunak, a wrestler who displays extra aggression the first time you see her spar against another athlete on the show, which immediately makes Shifu Kanishka take notice. Later when she reveals to him that she grew up in an abusive household, you see her in a whole new light. We won't reveal too much here, but the show is filled with moments like these, which makes you really empathize with the people you see on screen.

The Jammwal Factor

While the format of the show is path-breaking and fairly disruptive when it comes to contemporary reality shows, another real ace up discovery+’s sleeve is the host - Vidyut Jammwal. It is pretty rare to find an action hero who isn’t one dimensional - but here we have one who seamlessly shifts from knowledge about martial arts to talking like a pal to the athletes, to even indulging in some banter with the mentors. As someone who is trained to keep his mind and body at sync, he is the perfect Dojo Master, which is not surprising at all, considering how he's a practitioner of the oldest martial art in India, Kalarippayattu.

Jammwal displays a rare gift of being able to make the show more appealing through his wit and charm without actually stealing the limelight from the contestants. And because he is who he is, a warrior at heart, you often get to see him exhibit actions which are expected of the athletes. How easily he rappeled down the cliff, where a few other athletes slipped, it shows why Vidyut Jammwal is the perfect host for a show such as this.

A Mid-Season Surprise

The third episode of the show takes the action to a whole new level as it features action legend and Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, who joins Vidyut Jammwal in his search for #IndiasUltimateWarrior.

Hosted by Vidyut Jammwal, the show addresses what it truly means to be a warrior!

India’s Ultimate Warrior started streaming on discovery+ from 4th March, and will be broadcast on Discovery Channel from 14th March.

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Topics:  Vidyut Jammwal   Discovery+