So it’s been about a year since Channel Five debuted its version of Big Brother with a celebrity version featuring such luminaries as Bobby Sabel, Sally Bercow and Lucien Laviscount, though I am mocking both of the shows featuring somewhat famous faces, they have more than eclipsed the first civilian run which passed without incident last autumn. Personally I found that the house was packed with far too many model types who were just put in there to sleep with each other so I hoped that that wouldn’t be the case again in 2012, unfortunately for me the first housemate turned out to be the current Miss India UK but we’ll get to her in a moment.
This was my first time watching Big Brother in HD which allowed me to see how much work Brian Dowling had had done on his face since becoming presenter of the Channel 5 version. I gave Dowling the benefit of the doubt when he first started hosting the show however this in essence is his fourth series now and he doesn’t seem to be getting any better pitching his voice in a weird half shouty tone. It seems that the producers don’t trust him to present a tour of the house, like Davina did, instead giving us a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it snapshot of what has been billed as the biggest Big Brother house yet. One thing Davina was always good at was promoting the twists and turns that made the reality show great back in the day, however twelve years on it seems that we have seen everything already. This was especially true of this year’s opening night twist which saw randomly selected housemate, and the aforementioned Miss India UK, Deana having to nominate three housemates live with herself also being immune from the first vote. I felt that the random selection of Deana, complete with independent adjudicator, was a mistake as she came across as fairly dull and I certainly felt there was more interesting housemates among the sixteen we were presented throughout the night.
Interesting wasn’t an adjective that could be applied to Manchester-based model Arron, a man who doesn’t even know how to spell his name properly, apparently the best thing about his job is staying in hotels while I’m also told he looks like a member of One Direction. Housemate number three was ditzy daddy’s girl Caroline a Made in Chelsea reject who has been on two gap years, including one in which she was beat up in Thailand though it doesn’t seem to have phased her, her main feature seems to be her hair which looks like she’s been dragged through a hedge backwards. She was followed by the first intriguing character 28 year old Shievonne a former Playboy Bunny whose only beverages of choice are fizzy drinks and coffee however her teeth look perfect. In her opening video she tells us that bunnies never die so obviously she’s never heard of myxomatosis and I just hope nobody shows her Watership Down. Irish Connor was up next his opening introduction was that incomprehensible that I didn’t hear if he told us that he was a sexist or he was the sexiest man in his country whatever he said he came across as an arrogant beefcake with no redeemable features.
Housemate number six Lauren seemed fairly interesting as she had grown up on a potato farm, had got her tractor license as well as being a black belt in karate in addition to this she was incredibly pretty. 31 year old chef Luke seemed to have lived a fantastic life journeying over to this country from South Africa as well as being born a woman a secret that he may or may not reveal during the show. We then seemed to be transported to the world of The Wire with Dudley-born Adam who moved over to LA and got in with the gang life eventually ended up in prison. Adam’s job was now to help rehabilitate drug addicts and alcoholics a job that I’m sure he’ll be able to carry out while on the programme. He was followed by yet another model, Miss Scotland UK runner-up Sara, as well as another Made in Chelsea cast-off newly outed gay Scott who got bonus points for me when he used the word ruffian. The Towie quota was filled by Essex girl Ashleigh who told us she was a bunny boiler, Shievonne best look out, I really didn’t warm to her at all especially when she started swearing like a sailor on leave. Then there was Scouser Luke who described himself as an entrepreneur though it turned out he was nothing more than a pompous club promoter.
The Z-Lister among this bunch was Lydia who was engaged to be married to Andy Scott-Lee, the brother of Lisa from Steps, as well as appearing in several reality talent shows and also becoming a member of The Saturdays. The final three were classic Big Brother oddballs kicking off with Benedict a former secondary school teacher who became a male stripper and porn star who went by the name Johnny Anglais. Interestingly Benedict was the first housemate not to receive any boos from the baying crowd even getting a laugh when he said he would come down hard on any rebellious members of the group. Then there was bailiff Chris who had the physique of Phil Mitchell and the voice of a toddler his opening video did include him telling us that he’d once been held hostage a traumatic event that he’d passed off as if it were a day at the zoo. The final housemate was vintage glamour model 41 year old Victoria who the producers obviously put in as the stereotypical cougar but when she revealed she liked older men there was a spanner put in the works luckily she’ll probably be out come Friday.
That’s because Victoria was nominated for eviction, along with Connor and Lydia, by Deana in the big twist that Brian Dowling had been banging on about all night like it was the best thing since sliced bread. The whole live nomination process was a massive let down as Deana was asked to give reasons to nominate and as she had just met the housemates she really didn’t have any. After Big Brother banged on about her having to give valid reasons for her first two nominations they’d given up when she picked a shocked Lydia and after this farce they quickly cut back to Dowling who informed us that we’d get yet another wildcard housemate this Friday, like we really need another one.
Overall there were some interesting characters in there and I really liked, or was at least intrigued by, Adam, Luke, Benedict, Chris and Victoria however the majority of this year’s bunch have blatantly been cast through various deals struck with modelling agencies. I really don’t understand the choice of Brian Dowling as host I know he tries his best but he drags down the overall quality of the show and until he’s replaced it will always seem like a poor equivalent to the Channel 4 original. It does seem like the show is going in the right direction however Channel Five needs to realise that not all of us watch Big Brother to see young models smooch and get naked. In fact a twist I’d like to see would be that every housemate promised to keep their hands off each other and stay fully clothed all summer something I could never see happening.
What did you think of this year’s housemates? Will you be watching Big Brother all summer long? Leave Your Comments Below.