Knowing What You’re Getting Yourself Into

So after a third celebrity walkout from Big Brother this time around, I’m left wondering whether any of the celebs actually bothered to look at tapes of the series before they went in, or read their contracts.

I’ve just watched the latest highlights show, which includes the actual walkout, with Leo Sayer storming out by breaking open a fire door. What was most amazing about it though was quite what a hatchet job the producers did on Sayer. There always seems to be an assumption amongst the celebrities that the show won’t be edited to show them in a bad light, and that they will be treated as celebrities, something that Leo had previously argued with the producers over, even asking to see a copy of his contract. However, the programme shows an awful lot that the celebs don’t expect. For example, although there isn’t a camera in the toilet or shower (there is in the non-celeb version of the show incidentally) there are microphones, so the moments when various celebs head off to the bathroom for what they thing is a private chat, turns up in the highlights show. I’m assuming that Sayer probably thought that his contract arguments in the diary room weren’t going to be shown, but they were there as well. However in a big break with tradition, the highlights show well and truly broke with only showing the world inside the house, and we got quite a long sequence of footage of Sayer outside the house, including him arguing with the producers, and the security guards having to physically restrain him on a number of occasions. Usually on a walkout or escape, aside from maybe a brief shot of the security guards, you don’t see much. This time we saw a lot more, and certianly more than I think Sayer will expect, or appreciate!

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Anyway, back to the beginning of tonight’s hatchet job. Towards the start of the show, there was a discussion amongst some of the other celebs about how those celebrities with real talent didn’t discuss it, but those who didn’t have real talent, tended to keep loudly discussing their talent and achievements in order to keep attention. Then within minutes we have more footage of Sayer discussing his various hit records with Jack. There were then also various other sequences of Sayer getting annoyed, before the discussion over clean underwear in the diary room where he said that he wouldn’t be seen washing his underwear on national television, and that he was going to leave through the fire doors. He then stormed out of the diary room, and had two goes at getting the fire doors in the garden open, before taking a broom to prise them open. Then was the most unexpected sequences. Inter-cut with footage of the other housemates discussing his exit you saw Sayer shouting and swearing at the security staff, with the security staff calling for backup from the production team whilst trying to restrain Sayer. The production team then appearing with a camera – that Sayer then went for as he lost it again. He was then taken to stand by a car a short distance from the house, whilst a producer discussed what had happened, however he still had his microphone on, and thanks to the zoom on one of the house cameras, the programme got the whole discussion on tape, including a moment when one of the producers asked him how other of the celebrities were feeling, when Sayer kicked off yet again. Even in the post watershed slot where most of the swearing is left in, there were some things that he said to the various staff involved that were bleeped out. The full, non-bleeped version is now available on YouTube

So why did they go so far this time? Perhaps because they’re expecting a lot of fallout from angry viewers who spent money trying to vote Leo out? However, it might well be more to do with the previous nights show. Sayer agreed to give an exit interview on the programme – I assume because his management team had advised him how bad he had looked over the past few days. So Davina made various jokes about Leo leaving in a row over underpants, and then Sayer gives a totally calm, collected interview where he jokes that he still had clean underwear, and complains that the towels were too fluffy. He also admits to ‘not watching much TV’ at home – hence why he hasn’t seen the even more controversial Aussie version of the show, and then apologises if he has been a bit rude to any Big Brother staff – until tonight we’d seen him complain in the diary room, and be restrained on his initial exit from the house. Tonight I think was the producers showing as much as they could of what he was apologising for!

Needless to say, from being a favourite to win the show before it began, within the space of a few days, Leo Sayer has probably caused his career no end of difficulties in the future. Some former stars enjoy a bit of a renaissance through the show, Sayer will probably get exactly the opposite. He’s also caused decided problems for the future of the show, since amongst other things his exit has left some of the other celebs in the show – Jermaine Jackson, Dirk Benedict and Shilpa Shetty in particular becoming increasingly uncomfortable, and all of them discussing the possibility of following Sayer out of the show. Alongside this there is witches coven that seems to be forming between Jo, Danielle and Jade, that is squaring up against Shilpa. Behind the coven you have Jack stirring things up (and not much else aside from one notable Big Brother first), and Jermaine giving support to Shilpa.

So are they going to get more walkouts? I’m not sure, if things get out of control between Shilpa and the coven, I can see both Shilpa and Jermaine heading for the exit – and quite how long Dirk the one other non-British celeb stays around if those two go will be difficult to judge too. It will certainly be interesting to see how things go from here as we’re not even halfway through, and especially interesting to see if the producers modify the programme to try and keep the remaining celebs sweet…

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