As per usual, I vowed not to watch Big Brother this year. I’ve vowed this every year it’s been on (well from season 2 because it wasn’t that important, season 1). I’ve always ended up watching it though. Last night was no different. My wife wanted to see it, I was doing the ironing. Ta da! I watched the launch show all the way through: I fell at the first hurdle. It’s a good job I’ve never had to give up smoking with willpower like that.
It’s usually a bit fashionable to say from the outset that this year’s contestants are the worst examples of humanity since the previous year’s contestants. I’m going to buck the trend and say, actually, they weren’t that bad. So here’s my potted take on all of them:
Bonnie: Got boos before she’d even got into the house, chiefly for sounding stupid/slutty/Northern (delete according to expected prejudices of the audience). Probably going to turn out to be extremely dull, judging by her reactions to the other housemates, suggesting her claims of getting naked at every possible moment might be overstated. At first glance, objectionable, but probably won’t be in practice.
Dawn: Claimed to have no friends or interest in friends. Clearly that was some other Dawn smiling and socialising with the other contestants then. Says she likes reading, spending time by herself, etc. Well that’s just awful, isn’t it? Actually, if anything’s going to put off the 15-21 year old voting public, it’s the reading bit, although given the lack of books in the house, that probably won’t come to the fore.
George: Typical ex-public schoolboy (smoking to look like a bad boy, etc). Probably quite nice, actually, although I have a conditioned visceral hatred of people like that. Could have some interesting tales to tell about his aristocratic relatives, but I wouldn’t want to share a house with him for any length of time. Will probably get loads of votes every week though.
Glyn: Oh, he’s from North Wales! That’s not proper Wales! They’re all a bit twp up there (allegedly. And it’s not me doing the alleging). Not sure exactly what he brings to the house since his personality seems to revolve mainly around swimming, being skinny and being Welsh. But seems nice enough at the moment.
Grace: Another posh person. This time, a Sloane dance teacher with negligible Sloane accent. Seems quite nice, but has amazingly poor dress sense for anyone other a French onion seller, despite claims to being a style goddess who loves designer clothes. This year’s “pleasant posh girl”.
Imogen: The other Welsh person in the BB village. Clearly thought she was going to be the only one until Glyn popped up. As my wife put it, “What do they think they’re doing, putting someone from South Wales in with someone from North Wales? Don’t they know what’s going to happen?” My favourite to win, provided there’s no North/South carnage, since pleasingly, rather than spend all her time droning on about just how wild she was going to be, she emphasised her A-levels and her degree as her best attributes.
Lea: Says she has the largest breast implants in the UK, which is entirely possible. Almost certainly has no chance in Hell of winning as a result. I’m not sure it’s the best idea in the world to put someone, who got the largest implants in the country to overcome her low self-esteem as a result of being bullied as a child, into the country’s largest bullying pit but maybe I’m just not getting this Big Brother thing.
Lisa: At the moment, seems to be emphasising the fact that she’s Chinese but has a Northern accent. Amazing! Unheard of! Not sure that’ll get her through the entire BB run, though. Nothing objectionable about her at the moment and seems to be one of the few people with a self-professed ‘bubbly personality’ that you don’t want to see dumped into a cesspit immediately.
Mikey: Really the only truly objectionable human being on the list, although I suspect his “all women should be subservient to men” line is really just a pulling posture. Will probably last a long time in the show, thanks to his good looks. (Did that sound gay?)
Nikki: Actually, I lied. Here’s the other objectionable human being. Says she wants nothing more in the world than to marry a rich man, preferably a footballer, so she can do nothing all day. Will never win the actual show, assuming she maintains this claim in the house, thanks to the morality-vetting voting public, but will get into Nuts, Zoo and FHM within seconds of leaving the house – which is presumably why she went in there in the first place.
Pete: A rock star with Tourette’s Syndrome. Interesting. This one’s a tricky one for me. On the one hand, it would be nice for a guy with Tourette’s to win the show, although “Big Brother as gateway to acceptance by society” is wearing a bit thin (Yes a man helping someone with Down’s Syndrome can win! Yes, a gay man can win! Yes, a woman can win! Yes a Scottish Christian can win! Yes a transsexual Portuguese woman can win! Yes, a self-loving twat from Newcastle can win! And so on). On the other hand, there’s too much of the Lee Evans about him for my liking.
Richard: Again a tricky one. A butch-gay Canadian with a phobia of pregnant women would be an entertaining winner. But I imagine he’s going to get irritating quickly, unless he finds some other personality aspects to expose. I think he’s likely to make it to the final few, barring the usual randomness of task results.
Sezer: Another posh boy. What’s up with all the posh people this year? This one’s a stockbroker or something. Came across as a bit of twannock and maybe he and George combined can bring about the long-awaited class uprising this country has been promised for so long. But not the utter chinless wonder/Thatcherite-lapdog you might have expected, so could turn out to be all right.
Shahbaz: A gay muslim from Scotland. Excellent. Again, seems like a reasonable person, although his high-pitched camping is turning him into this year’s Marco already. But he’s likeable enough that you still don’t want to punch him as a result, which is something Marco could never claim. Suspect he’s going to make it to the end of the series as well. Likes knitting apparently.
Those are the housemates so far. There’s a twist this year though: if you find a golden ticket in a Kit Kat bar, you too could appear in the house. Personally, that’s as good a reason as any not to buy any Kit Kats, although there’s obvious resale potential.