Kaun Banega Crorepati 12 is back on our television screens, braving COVID-19 pandemic. Its magnanimous host, Amitabh Bachchan, has himself battled COVID-19 and emerged a survivor. The shoot of the series has been done with utmost precautions and keeping the lockdown rules in mind. But even with the precautions, Kaun Banega Crorepati 12 arrives with its first episode on Sony TV with changes that were clearly driven by COVID-19. Kaun Banega Crorepati 12 Premiere: Amitabh Bachchan’s Quiz Show Pays Tribute to Sushant Singh Rajput Through This Question on Dil Bechara.

From the questions to how Amitabh Bachchan behaved with the contestants, there has been significant changes in how the episode played out. There is a new lifeline, which is actually a modified lifeline of something KBC used to have in the past. So how has the pandemic affected the reality quiz show? Take a look below:

The Opening Poem

The episode begins with Amitabh Bachchan reciting a powerful poem, which went viral much earlier even before the episode was telecast. The poem is titled 'Wapas Aana Padta Hai' - an obvious allegory for restarting the world and returning to work.

Watch the Video below:

No Audience

For the first time in 20 years and in 12 editions, there is no live audience cheering the contestants. Due to social distancing rules, the audiences have been kept away, with only the contestants and their guests comprising of the members watching Amitabh Bachchan asking the tough questions. As for the claps and cheers, KBC12 borrows this year's IPL idea of adding pre-recorded sounds.

No Audience Poll

Without the audience, how can we have an audience poll? One of the earliest lifelines is now given a break. Instead, another popular lifeline, that was dropped a couple of seasons back, makes a return in a new avatar. So we have Video-Call a Friend, where the contestant can call their friends through video conferencing. The rest of the lifelines like 50:50, Flip the Question and Ask The Expert persist.

No Escorting Contestant to Seat

Amitabh Bachchan (and even Shah Rukh Khan, during his brief stint as a host) followed the tradition of escorting the contestant to the hot seat. Because of the social distancing rules (which Big B kept mentioning), the host couldn't do so this year.

The First Question

The first question of KBC12's 'Fastest Finger First' was all about 2020! It had Amitabh Bachchan ask the contestants to arrange these major events of 2020 in ascending order - Namaste Trump, Janta Curfew, Lockdown and Cyclone Amphan. An apt start to a reality show played in a world, very much affected by this adverse year!

How Lockdown Has Affected The Contestants

One of the features of Kaun Banega Crorepati 12 was giving us a glimpse of the contestants' background. This continues to happen in Kaun Banega Crorepati 12. But this time, we also learn how the pandemic has affected the contestants, with the first contestant Arati Jagtap revealing how the lockdown affected her family financially, which add more impetus to win more money on the show. She quit winning Rs 6,40,000.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Sep 28, 2020 10:35 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).