So as one high-profile reality show draws to a close, with the Apprentice being announced next week, another, Big Brother, began it’s ninth run this week. Once again, The Times Online is blogging about the whole thing, which as before is an entertaining read, and if you don’t want to watch the whole thing is the ideal place to keep up to date with key events so you don’t get totally left behind in the water cooler gossip. The W.H.Auden rip off with which they began the blog this year about sums up their take on the whole thing:
Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the freaks, let the viewers come!
Looking at the selection who went into the house there were the usual stereotypical mix of Big Brother contestants, in fact you could almost tick off some of them. We have nineteen year old Stephanie wanting to be the most famous housemate ever – I fear she’ll be sadly disappointed in that wish though as very few of the later contestants have built any sort of major fame off the back of the programme. We do have the first couple to go into the house, Mario and Lisa, who are both a good ten years older than the rest of the contestants – as the first task, they are currently having to pretend not to be a couple, with Mario instead being required to pretend that Stephanie, the youngest person in the house is his girlfriend. It’s also worth highlighting that Mario presents himself as â€œthe Italian stallionâ€?, (he does look rather like a cross between Joey from Friends and Sylvester Stallone) despite the fact that his real name is Shaun, and he’s never been to Italy… .
As had been rumoured beforehand, there is a blind contestant this year, Mikey, a radio producer from Scotland. The main change to help him was that he had a member of the production staff who guided him into the house, and a verbal announcement that the door was open for him to enter, aside from that it looks like there will be no differences.
Amongst the contestants most like to get noticed, chief amongst them is Rebecca, a nursery nurse from Coventry, who sounded frighteningly like Vicky Pollard at times, when she wasn’t screaming her way through the rest of the show. Also high on the hyperactive scale is Thai massage therapist Kathreya who loves cookies. We also have Rex, who is an executive chef. Whether he takes over the kitchen or not will be interesting to see. Taking over is quite often a recipe for a swift eviction… Needless to say there are quite a few with apparently strong opinions, usually totally at odds with other contestants, although at least half the time the strong opinions seem to be a ploy to get through the selection process.
At this stage, a lot of the contestants don’t really seem to stand out – it really starts to come down to which differentiate themselves (or are differentiated by the producers) in the highlights shows before the front runners start to show themselves. Certainly I expect we’ll find some of the contestants that attract most attention will be the most swiftly voted out, as whatever the audience seems to think about who is the most watch-able contestants, they are usually the biggest pains to live with so are swiftly put up for nomination. Anyway, in three months it’ll all be over for another year. Ratings for the launch were down again, but invariably it takes a bit of controversy for most people to start watching – equally controversy is exactly what the sponsors don’t want… So it begins again…