GET OUT OF MY HOUSE
I recently spoke with News.com.au about my thoughts on Big Brother this year so far.
See below for full article.
GET OUT OF MY HOUSE
I should have known it would be impossible to avoid watching Big Brother this year.
As soon as the promos started up, the anxiety kicked in. Simply hearing the voice of Big Brother gave me a nauseas feeling in my stomach so why would I put myself through that every night of the week?
As launch night drew near I began to get more and more nervous. I even had some horrible nightmare where I was running around the eviction auditorium but no one- not the fans or the Big Brother crew- could see or hear me. I was invisible! Irrelevant! My time was up and I was going to fade back into obscurity!
Eventually, Tim convinced me to come round to his place for pizza and wine with Jade and we all watched it together.
We got bitter and bitchy.
“GET OUT OF OUR HOUSE!”
“You can’t talk to Big Brother like that!”
“Why the hell didn’t we get a sauna?”
However as the credits started rolling, I breathed out a sigh of relief that I had been holding in, if I’m honest, since we attended this year’s Big Brother auditions.
It was going to be fine. This was fine. It wasn’t our house, our housemates. That wasn’t my bedroom. And although he was still our Big Brother (and probably always will be- love you Leon) this was a different show and it didn’t change our experience or what it meant to us.
My initial thoughts on the new lot of housemates was that they seemed a little ‘Channel 10 Big Brother’. By that- I mean they were almost caricatures of many of those typical Australian stereotypes.
The funny but self-deprecating gay guy.
The blonde bimbo.
The gym junkie.
Call me bias but our lot of housemates felt more genuine, almost naïve. We were real people with boring jobs and an eagerness to get stuck in.
These guys seemed too clued up. Too ready to play the game. Too ready to jump each other at the jugular.
That being said, on the eve of the second eviction there are some that are starting to grow on me more than others.
Sandra seems really genuine and down to earth.
Sunday night’s episode saw her upset because she didn’t feel special or pretty on party night in the house. I could not tell you how many similar nights we had last year!
During lockdown, all our measurements are taken and on various nights in the house, the production team will provide outfits or costumes.
The amount of times I’d get to the clothing rack only to discover Jade and Tahan had the ‘sexy’ dresses and I was to wear something that resembled a long sack…or poor Mikkayala trying to fit into certain outfits that were too small…
The Big Brother house amplifies every single little thing you know or think about yourself. Forget the actual mirrors, you have so much down time to think, reflect and fester on your own thoughts, you drive yourself crazy.
We called it ‘free therapy’ but it can also be quite confronting.
It’s also been interesting, as an ex-housemate, to see which housemates are getting most of the air time.
Skye seems to be an early favourite to take it home (according to both the public and, seemingly, the producers) whilst Ryan who I thought would be a crowd pleaser is struggling to get a word in.
David, who was painted as the bumbling buffoon with zero lady skills in the early days is now getting a makeover in more ways than one and Jake seems to have fallen by the wayside again despite appearing to be quite popular with the other housemates.
Someone I do think is very interesting and who we haven’t seen enough of yet is Priya. Up there with one of the most intelligent in the house, not only is she thinking strategically, she also has some very interesting and thoughtful insights about the other housemates and relationships in the house.
DRULLY GATE TAKE 2
Sunday night’s episode was basically ‘The Samdra Show’ and it was starting to feel all too familiar to me.
Boy meets girl.
Girl likes boy.
Except boy has girlfriend.
There is a lot I could say on this budding relationship but I might wait until we see how it plays out a little more first.
What I will say however is that human, emotional, physical connections in that house are rare and imperative.
Without your creature comforts, without your friends or your family, without music or books or social media…you go a little crazy. You crave affection. Why else do you think the housemates are always tangled up in cuddle huddles? Stroking each other’s hair? Giving each other massages? Making out in the spa?
I can empathies with Sandra’s situation whole heartedly however if there were one piece of advice I could give to both of them it would be “If it’s real, it can wait till the outside.”
With that being said, the lines between what is ‘real’ and what is ‘reality TV’ in there are so warped and contorted that they won’t know until it’s too late.
TWISTS, TURNS AND THUNDERSTORMS
I’m not going to lie; it’s hard to deny the amount of ‘surprises’ that have been dealt out so early in the game. A double eviction and intruder already? Whaaaaaa?
I’m not sure if it’s the later time slot, the combination of housemates or the new ‘game show’ feel but something just isn’t resonating with audiences like it has in the past.
The pairs stunt was very interesting and definitely had us 2014 housemates talking (“Oh my god imagine if we’d been paired up- nightmare!”) however as with the ‘Half Way House’ wall, it didn’t last very long and therefore had only a slight impact on the game overall.
The introduction of cold hard cash was also very, very interesting. Had I had to make Katie and Priya’s decision on that first night I probably would have vomited with anxiety.
At the end of the day, most people are in that house to win money. By introducing cash so early on in the game- making it tangible and accessible to more than just the last-standing housemate- it changed Big Brother as we know it.
Gemma’s eviction was awful and hard to watch- plain and simple. The general feeling about Gemma from the other housemates had been made (painfully) obvious, so the producers would have had a very strong idea how the eviction would have played out had Jake and Gemma been the pair with the least number of votes to save.
That being said- were they supposed to change the voting format last minute when the numbers came through? Trust me- the timings for an eviction episode are so tight, it would have been impossible.
And did it get them the ratings spike needed? Yes.
As cringe worthy as it was to watch- it made for good TV and that’s the aim of the game here people.
I almost wish someone had been secretly filming me when the text message came through from Tim letting me know he was hopping on a plane in an hour and heading back into the Big Brother house.
Was he stirring me? Was this one of his pranks, where he films my reaction for his YouTube channel? Am I about to get a call from Kyle and Jackie O at KIIS?
When it became clear that he was, in fact, telling the truth and would be back in the house in a matter of hours, a whole range of emotions flooded over me.
Betrayal. How could you go back into a new house? With new housemates?
Abandonment. Tim and I have become very close lately and we were supposed to be getting through this new series together!
Jealousy. Despite my tumultuous journey with Big Brother, I’d give almost anything to go back in.
I was also a bit sad. Sad for the Big Brother crew that things we’re obviously at such a lull that they needed to wheel out Tim again to spice things up.
The producers and crew at Big Brother, the housemates past and present, Channel 9 as a network…they will always be family to me and I only want success for the show.
Reality television as a genre is up there with the most popular on television in 2014.
Big Brother is one of the originals and, in my opinion, one of the best.
There is simply nothing else like it on TV and the fan base for it as a program is ginormous and strong. I have every faith that once it replaces The Block and settles back into a more ‘family friendly’ time slot those things will improve.
And I’ll be watching, every night, like the fan girl I always was.