Iulia Vantur dances to Salman Khan’s songs at awards

What are the chances that a rank outsider, a Romanian national in fact, would in a matter of months gently break into Bollywood, and even give away a Best Director award at a top awards night? They are very high, if you happen to be Salman Khan’s girlfriend (yes, fine, rumoured!)

Iulia Vantur performed to three Salman numbers — ‘Main Hoon Hero Tera’, ‘Jumme Ki Raat’ and ‘Teri Meri Prem Kahaani Hai Mushkil’ — at this season’s second Bollywood awards gala. She followed it with ‘Aap Se Mausiiquii’, a single on which she has collaborated with composer Himesh Reshammiya.

What the audience didn’t expect was to see her return to stage, this time with Shah Rukh Khan, no less. The two gave away the Best Director trophy to Karan Johar for ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’. Salman decided to make a quiet entry even as the paparazzi couldn’t catch him at first go. Was it a last minute plan to attend the show for Iulia? Our guess is as good as yours.

Abhishek Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh made for wild hosts. From taking a dig at Donald Trump (“If he can become Prez, we can win an award tonight”) to Pakistani artistes returning home (“The sequel to Airlift will carry all Pakistani artistes back home”), and demonetisation (asked the audience to maintain a minute of silence in honour of the dead R500 and R1000 notes), they referenced global events to keep the audience engaged.

Cracking a joke at Aamir Khan’s expense, Riteish said, “Aamir is such a perfectionist that by the time he practices how to stand in an ATM queue, the new currency note will also be demonetised.” Manish Paul monkeyed around, looking for a lipstick for Farah Khan, checking the pockets and purses of Shabana Azmi, Kajol and Rishi Kapoor before finding it on Ranbir Kapoor.

Parineeti Chopra paid a performance tribute to cousin Priyanka, and Jacqueline Fernandez danced to Asha Bhosle songs. On the awards front, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil pipped Neerja and Pink to pick up six trophies.

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