Big Brother. Why bother?

When Big Brother first started ten years ago, it was groundbreaking reality TV. It was our chance to peek into the ways other people live, and the British public LOVED it. Following people we loved, and those we loved to hate; through all the “relationships” and all the arguments, even through the totally crazy characters, the Big Brother house has, each year, held the attention of millions. But it seems to me that this year’s show has taken a serious turn for the worse, and all my favourite things about the show have become downsides. Was the tenth series one too many?

The launch show introduced a typical group of contestants, but the twist of their ‘non housemate’ status just didn’t thrill. I still don’t really see how they can be called ‘non-housemates’ – having entered the house, they ARE housemates. No matter how many times Davina said ‘non housemates’ in an excited tone of voice, I just wasn’t impressed by this new idea.

In the least popular launch show ever, the assorted weirdos and wannabes stood about in a grim, empty house covered in giant insect wallpaper. I felt like they were as bored as I was. In fact, even Davina, who is usually deeply interested in the lives of the housemates, sounds completely flat this year. It seems like she isn’t convinced that the show is that thrilling, either. (As an aside, it is ridiculous to have BB without Dermot O’Leary. They definitely need to steal him back from the X-factor to up ratings again).

Since the launch, none of the contestants have really held much of a spark for me. It seems like Big Brother is simply torturing innocent victims who are too stupid to realise how ridiculous his tasks are, but instead of this creating sympathy most of them have completely alienated the voting public. Despite nine seasons, the contestants have still failed to realise that essentially, since they have entered a popularity contest, making the public hate them is NOT what they should be aiming to do.

The men (Kris, Siavash and Marcus) have been openly vain and sexist, while the girls take pleasure in boasting of their superficiality and bitchiness. Saffia admitted, “I really try not to be bitchy but I can’t see good or nice things in anybody.” Luckily, she couldn’t see much good in the house, either, so she quit before she annoyed us all too much.

With quite a few already gone, I pay passing tribute to American wannabe rapper Cairon and lupus-sufferer Sophia, who in the launch seemed like the most appealing contestants. After a few days, however, it became clear they were both annoying and arrogant and despite originally thinking he was the epitome of cool, Cairon’s eviction was definitely a huge positive. His bullying behaviour and condescending remarks had to go.

The only contestant who, despite being slightly annoying, seems to have much potential is bisexual Brazilian, Rodrigo. With a gorgeous smile and an accent like Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno, he claims “I love about the UK everything,” and, my favourite line, “I think England is turning me gay!” His infectious enthusiasm has been great, and I’m sad that the show doesn’t seem to be focussing on him enough.

This is probably because the cameras are far too busy stalking Sophie and Kris to find out exactly what is going on in their apparently ‘fake’ romance. Kris, who claims that he has “never charmed a girl in [his] life,” was the obvious candidate for a Big Brother romance and it seemed most of the girls immediately wanted to try and secure their lifeline in the house by having that ‘interesting’ romance for us to enjoy. After a brief moment when I thought Saffia would make it into the limelight, Kris showed he had a couple of extra brain cells by settling with glamour model Sophie. The happy couple do seem rather fake, and it definitely looks like it’s more about popularity than any true feelings.

We also have the typically stupid blondes. The worst, Carly, claims that the similarity between the English and German language only emerged after World War II and has something to do with the Nazis. Wow, Sophie (aka Dogface) will have to work hard to beat that level of idiocy.

So, although the house does have most of the typical elements that have kept series going before, it seems boring and contrived. After ten series, maybe this should be the end of the road for Big Brother.

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