“You are allowed to cheer, y’know!”

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 by

There shouldn’t be anything about Big Brother which should surprise us any more, really. In carefully tracking as much of it as I can for the weekly OTT reviews, the one thing that has irked me is the seeming lack of desire on behalf of the show’s paymasters to allow evicted housemates any benefit of doubt.

In past Big Brother series, it was an exception rather than a rule for a departing housemate to be greeted unfavourably by the gathered crowd, no matter what they had got up to in the house. In BB3, for example, only Adele and Tim picked up a poor welcome as they pushed the door open.

Now it’s commonplace. Of all the housemates dumped, only the latest one, Lea, managed to achieve anything resembling an appreciative audience when she left, and even then the most flattering word one can use to describe her reception is “mixed”. Bonnie, the first evictee, got horribly booed on the strength of an accent and the not unreasonable stink she caused when she wasn’t give her suitcase; Sezer was controversial but hardly dangerous, and certainly not boring; Sam barely got a chance to speak before the housemates allowed the crowd to get at her; Grace had cause for concern but ultimately was destroyed outside for having a relationship with the alpha male; and Lisa collected baying noises for little more than a prolifically sweary trap.

Voting folk out is one thing, but who are these people arriving at Borehamwood for little more than a shouting match and to laugh at Davina’s comic asides? Females, predominantly, aged 16 to 26, at a guess, and therefore the very, very jealous types. I want housemates to come out to cheers. They may have gone in to serve their own purposes, but they garner an audience and prompt folk to turn up at their ejection ceremony. Most deserve to be returned to their monosyllabic, eventless existences after doing the BB thing, but at least they deserve some mild appreciation for going through it in the first place. I remember when BB4‘s Jon Tickle came out of the house the first time (then went back in, then came out again) – now that was how to treat a housemate.

The only consolation is the knowledge that when Pete, Nikki, Glyn and – hopefully – Richard come out on the last day (in reverse of that order), the crowd will take the sky out with their noises of appreciation. I’m sure one of these days the reaction – be it booing or cheering – is going to prompt Davina’s growing baby to make a live entrance. Now that would be voyeuristic telly.


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