Whether you find it distasteful or not, item songs are the real money-spinners in Bollywood.
The stats have proven that it takes just one sleazy, dance track to change the box-office fate of a flop movie.
And, now these raunchy dances are also credited as deal-makers for actresses.
What most big daddies or film family connections can’t achieve, one hot dance track can.
B’town beauties, who had once refused to be “downgraded” as item girls are now unashamedly seeking item songs to spike up their market value.
From Katrina Kaif to Bipasha Basu, we take a look at how some leading ladies have piggy-backed on these raunchy dance moves to move up in their Bollywood career.
Once branded an ‘outsider’, Katrina Kaif has now stepped into the top league.
And, part of the credit for her stupendous success goes to her sizzling dance moves in ‘Chikni Chameli’ and ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’. That’s apart from her illustrious “link-up” with Salman Khan, of course.
Even her part in the hugely popular ‘Race’ focused mostly on her versatile body and less on her acting talent.
After her astonishing dancing accomplishment, she has now turned into a dancing mascot, whose odd-dancing parts salvages movies from tanking at the box-office.
There’s ‘Aaya Re Aaya Bodyguard’ in Salman’s ‘Bodyguard’ and even the belly dance ‘Masallah’ in their joint romance in ‘Ek The Tiger’.
In fact, Katrina is fast turning into a “item mascot” for filmmakers.
For an actress who had openly criticized the ‘item girl’ tag, it’s surprising how she’s now doing the same dancing routines that she had once shunned.
Her sudden desire to turn into an item queen evidently echoes Kareena’s insecurities and how she’s unwilling to let younger actresses race to the top.
Although her decision to do item numbers had upset seasoned item girls like Rakhi Sawant, Kareena isn’t going to stop now.
After her timid jig in ‘Chinta Ta Chita Chita’ in ‘Rowdy Rathore’ and a terrible ‘Halkat Jawani’ in ‘Heroine’, she’s hoping to redeem the item title with a crackling number in ‘Fevicol’.
After the sensational ‘Munni’ track in ‘Dabangg’, critics are eagerly waiting to see if she’ll be able to recreate the magic for the sequel, and hopefully for her career.
After a stunning debut with Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Om Shanti Om’, it took a while for Deepika Padukone to really hit it off.
Some movie analysts claimed that it’s her scorching moves in the remixed disco classic in ‘Dum Maro Dum’ that set the pace for her.
From then on, there has been no looking back. She went onto bag biggies like ‘Aarakshan’, ‘Desi Boyz’ and ‘Cocktail’.
In fact, her line-up for 2013 is also equally impressionable with ‘Race2’, ‘Chennai Express’ and ‘Ram Leela’.
The raunchy ‘Beedi Jalaile’ in the Shakespearean-adapatation ‘Omakara’ is what resurrected Bipasha from doom.
Up until then, she had done her fair share of item songs, but it was ‘Beedi Jalaile’ that turned lucky for her.
Big movies like ‘Race’, ‘Dhoom2’, ‘All The Best’, ‘Aakrosh’, and ‘Raaz3’ came her way after that.
In fact, she even went a step further and featured in an item song that was named after her in ‘Jodi Breakers’, with the lyrics reading; “Aaja main sikha doon tujhe pyaar ki bhasha, Bipasha, Bipasha”.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Although you’d think that someone as famous as the green-eyed Aishwarya Rai wouldn’t need an “item” push, it did come in the hugely successful ‘Kajra Re’ in ‘Bunty Aur Babli’.
Soon after she danced with then-lover and now-husband Abhishek Bachchan and senior Bachchan, her movie career accelerated.
She won ‘best actress nominations’ for ‘Dhoom2’, ‘Jodhaa Akbar’, and ‘Guzaarish’. And, won rave reviews for her performance in ‘Raavanan’, ‘Enthiran’ and ‘Guru’.
Considering she was touted for her suggestive, sexuality, Mallika soon abandoned her brash image and travelled abroad to pursue an honest acting career.
But, after the debacle called ‘Hisss’, the lady returned to Bollywood to do what she does best. Gyrate to inane songs.
There was ‘Razia’ in ‘Thank You’ and ‘Shalu Ke Thumke’ in ‘Bin Bulaye Baraati’.
She’s fairly new on the item track, but Chitrangada is also reaping the benefits of how a song can alter a career.
Considering she’s slowly making a comeback in mainstream Hindi cinema, after taking a sabbatical post marriage and baby, this gorgeous lady sure knows how to do it right.
After her dance in the box-office turkey ‘Joker’, she’s getting more movie mileage.
Now, she’s got ‘I, Me aur Main’ with John Abraham and a movie with Sudhir Mishra.
While all the other ladies in this item girl club went on to pursue serious acting jobs, she remains loyal to the dancing.
After debuting as an item girl in ‘Chaiya Chaiya’ in ‘Dil Se’, Malaika has always launched into a jig, almost every year.
She’s now following up her ‘Munni’ rage with ‘Pandey Ji’ in the sequel.