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Big Brother

Friday, June 9, 2006 by

If I’d found a golden ticket in a Kit-Kat, there’s no way in 1000 years I’d have contemplated entering the Big Brother house. My own skeletons shall stay private and I don’t fancy the idea of pompous, self-important twerps like, er, me pontificating over my every word, bowel movement or drunken giggle.

Still, the appeal was obviously too great to resist for Susie, a BB fanatic whose husband allegedly spent four grand on chocolate bars in order to uncover one of the tickets.

Now, you can easily find the cynicism bone within human structure, as the world’s quietest Liverpudlian, Mikey, had a point when he assessed the Susie situation while nattering to fellow housemates an hour or two after the Kentish mother waltzed in, golden top hat adorning her head. It’s a con. Mikey is sceptical, and he’s not alone.

After all, this was a woman whom shouty brat Nikki and Canuck camper man Richard had met at the auditions. Davina McCall revealed that Susie had also auditioned for previous BBs. And she’s from the south-east. And she’s a model. They’re always models, or in some form of narcissistic industry. Poor Glyn went into the Diary Room and, as the na├»ve teenage Welsh ruralite that he is, had a right good moan which we all echoed about how he yet again has to deal with a housemate who has literally nothing in common with him, playing especially on his notion that all south-east folk were models who drove Jaguars. In BB‘s eyes, they probably are.

The sixth former’s whinge was well-placed, as the PR exercise which came via the chocolate promotion still only allows one more new person into the house. The OTT attitude in the past has been that newbies shouldn’t be allowed in mid-broadcast anyway, unless replacing those who had walked or been ejected by the rule book (and nothing was suggested this time round that Aisleyne and Sam were direct replacements for Shahbaz and Dawn, and that Susie is in for the much-missed George). It isn’t fair, either on the viewer or the existing housemates. Just as they’re starting to get the measure of one another and daggers can be drawn as the pound signs begin to light up, some other upstart parades before them and it’s back to the opening night. And, as Glyn so succinctly pointed out, if the new arrival is especially unremarkable or just very different, it takes away the emphasis from the relationships which have been building or deteriorating in dramatic fashion over the previous days.

Glyn, who had just enjoyed a fabulous week on a personal level, decided he would be extra nice to Susie until Monday night, and then just get on with his normal BB routine. This is because she, with the knowledge of the housemates but not herself, is the only one who will make nominations in the week ahead. Two names, two votes, two before the public. Paranoia will now creep in among the others, as if Susie plays the game in the right way for her, it will give the other housemates their first real indication of who is regarded publicly as a big-hitter and who isn’t.

Susie will no doubt be told to decide her nominations on the basis of what she has seen in the house over the 72 hours between her arrival and her crucial call to the Diary Room. However, she’s clearly not stupid, and will surely give mere superficial reasons to satisfy such criteria as an excuse to get two big names up against one other so that one is cast aside. If the exquisite Pete is one of them, he’ll stay, no matter who is up against him. Glyn and, to a lesser extent, Mikey, don’t deserve this fate yet, and neither does Lea, the surgically enhanced single mum.

Given that the bitchiness among the female housemates is the most extreme it has ever been (Adele’s clash with Jade four years ago look like Itsy and Bitsy on Paperplay compared to this lot) it might do Susie some good to nominate Grace, the spectacularly self-unaware choreographer who has worn hotpants while accusing the others of flaunting their bodies and shared beds and bodily fluids with George and Mikey while claiming everyone else is using their sexualities. The cries of “Get Grace out!” may also influence the decision.

But, of course, she might try to be too clever. For all the rubbish which BB puts up with in its insistence on chucking new tenants into the house mid-run, they’ve spiced up the nomination rules beautifully by giving Susie sole power of voting without actually telling her. She may end up voting tactically rather than blindly, trying to suss out who the others will go for and thereby moving aside her own thoughts in the belief her opinion is largely pointless. The airheaded Aisleyne would be up for eviction if everyone was voting, unquestionably; so if Susie decides going for her would be a waste, then Aisleyne unwittingly survives. And, whoever is nominated and whoever goes, all swords will be aimed at Susie over the weeks ahead, and she will be completely at a loss as to why, unless she has the real intelligence, on hearing the nominations, to suss that she was entirely responsible.

Hence Glyn’s proclamation to be nice to her until she’s voted. It’s unlikely though that he will now go unless pitched against Pete, as the mollycoddled but treasured lifeguard completed one of the most richly entertaining weeks of BB thus far. The task was to give each housemate a job and set hours under the umbrella of “Big Brother’s Temping Agency”. After doing CVs on a blackboard and attending interviews in as appropriate a dress as they could find (Pete’s pudding bowl hair, geek specs and blue tie were a corker as he told of how he was once sacked from a job as a cloakroom attendant) each were given their roles – with BB deliberately choosing jobs to which each housemate was largely not suited.

While Mikey and Richard could cope with being lifeguards and Lisa proved a dab hand with a cloth and an iron as the early morning cleaner (though she didn’t half moan), the decisions to give petulant Nikki the PA’s job (sitting at a desk answering a BB intercom, filing makeshift papers and making coffee for the Diary Room counsellors) and notoriously unculinary Glyn the chef’s job proved especially fun. Nikki’s tantrums and her regular beetling to the bedroom to top her make-up earned BB’s chagrin, while Glyn proved disastrously spontaneous in the kitchen, overboiling pasta, dangerously undercooking sausages (to the point where BB confiscated the attempt so that nobody got food poisoning) and making scrambled eggs with pretty much an entire pack of butter. He had to do all the kitchen graft during his 12-hour shift, including the cups of tea which others wanted, and even struggled here. However, even though BB branded his food “disgusting” at the end of the week, he passed on effort and humour alone, which was more than could be said for the “sacked” Nikki.

Her failure, along with Mikey (who didn’t enforce the “no petting” rule when he indulged in a long kissing session with Grace during hours) and nocturnal security guards Lea and Sam (who didn’t patrol house and garden every half hour as instructed) meant the luxury shopping budget wasn’t to be theirs.

Sam ultimately wouldn’t care, as the teenage mid-op transsexual was on the receiving end of the nomination procedure (she tried a bit too hard and just didn’t fit in, generally, although Nikki’s description of her as a “beast” was woefully cruel, despite her instant retraction) and come Friday was given the heave-ho. Nikki survived (her subsequent inebriated rush to the Diary Room to say, “Look, I’m still here!” with a dim grin on her face was a gem) and, until the lottery-style No.14 ball was pulled by Aisleyne which got Susie on board, the house briefly was an occupant down. No more newbies now, please. Let’s start getting some of these misfits out – the public’s feeling of being short-changed is strengthening by the week. Three souls have been evicted, and yet only one – Sezer – actually left behind fewer people when he climbed the stairs. It could be a biggie who goes next – that depends on how genuine and astute Susie turns out to be. Breath held.

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