BB7: Where Did It All Go Wrong?
And so, plagued with accusations of vote rigging, unwise housemate selections, and a healthy lack of respect for its audience, Big Brother 7 has at last whimpered to its predictable conclusion.
Pete's victory was assured the minute he staggered, gurning and spewing expletives, into the house 13 weeks ago, despite barely-disguised attempts to con the public into voting for Nikki. This, of course, had nothing to do with the fact that she'd already been signed up for her own E4 show, in which she 'attempts to hold down a job'.
What next? Monosyllabic Neanderthal Mikey presents an educational film in which he 'attempts to string a coherent sentence together'? Shahbaz 'attempts to convince men in white coats that he's sane'? Glyn 'attempts to wipe his own backside'?
I can think of a hundred reasons why this was the worst ever Big Brother (yes, worse even than the Big Brother 4 snooze-fest won by Orkney virgin Cameron in 2003), among them the Golden Ticket fiasco and the desperate ratings drive that was the decision to vote housemates back in. I'm sure the Golden Ticket ploy seemed like a good idea at the time; certainly the joint revenue it will have raised for Endemol and KitKat is probably more than you or I will earn in our lifetimes, but it was a disaster for the show thanks to the winner.
Boring, self-absorbed, silicone heavy, boobs in different postcodes, 40-something 'model' Snoozy Susie takes the prize for being Big Brother's dullest housemate of all time. She had already auditioned for the show and been rejected several times in the past, and with good reason. Her sole contribution for the next seven weeks was to make infinite cups of tea, complain about the mess, and hide toilet paper behind her bed.
Had BB replaced her with a piece of two-by-four with a couple of balloons and a wig stuck on, I doubt if anyone would've noticed. She even achieved the unachievable in making Imogen, look interesting by comparison.
The Housemates From Hell
But Susie wasn't the first (or indeed the last) poor choice of housemate this series. Whatever happened to Big Brother's much-touted 'rigorous selection process'? This year it threw up at least two borderline breakdown cases and innumerable slack-jawed bullies and bottom feeders with nothing – absolutely nothing – to contribute. Let's take a look back at some of those housemates because, God knows, by this time next week we'll have forgotten the lot of them.
In Richard's audition tape, he described himself as a "sexual terrorist"; so much of a "sexual terrorist" is he that, in his words, he'd even "seduce a corpse" (which, to be fair, is probably about the only thing he could seduce). In reality, Richard floated around the house, a bald, leather-glove wearing bore who did little more than emit an annoying nasal drone for the entire 13 weeks.
His main ally Lea (or Leer, Old Mother Hubbard, Le-aaarrrrghh! - take your pick) was the oldest looking 35-year-old I've ever seen in my life. There aren't many people on this planet who can make Jackie Stallone look human in comparison, but Lea is one of them. And what a sad, self-pitying old crone; she looked like she'd been made out of balloons – two for breasts and another with some eyebrows and lips painted crudely on by a particularly short-sighted three-year-old. The scenes in which she slobbered all over innocent children Glyn and Pete during a game of spin the bottle were among the most vomit-inducing and objectionable in TV history.
Speaking of objectionable, both national disgrace (diss)Grace and vapid cretin Sezer the geezer entered the house with the wholly misguided belief that they would sail through to the final. They didn't, and here's why.
Lets start with (diss)Grace – a vile, lemon-sucking Sloane Ranger with a face like Ermintrude from The Magic Roundabout after going a few rounds with Mike Tyson. She preyed on the weak, engineering Shahbaz and Sam's downfall/breakdown and driving a wedge between Richard and Lea by spreading he said/she said misinformation throughout the house.
Even the shock of the jeering crowd during Sam's eviction ("Get Grace out! Get Grace out!) wasn't enough to shake her out of her inherent bitchiness. Her relationship with Mikey, who was often to be seen slumped in a corner trying to remember his own name, drool cascading down his chin with the sheer effort of concentration, was one of convenience, her sole ally in a world of hate.
Meanwhile Sezer the geezer slimed his way around the house like some sort of idiotic walking erection, quickly targeting exceptionally impressionable/thick prey Imogen (Dimogen, more like) with his vile smarm offensive. In one memorable episode, he promised to keep his hands to himself as she drew closer to his bed, like a particularly stupid moth to a particularly cheap and nasty 40 watt light bulb. He lied of course, and was all over her like a particularly chronic bout of dermatitis. Sezer the geezer spent most of his last week in the house (week 3) laughing off the idea that he'd be evicted because, he thought, girls would want to keep him in the house. Girls didn't. He was booted out with a record 91.6% of the public vote, to everyone's amusement; I don't think I've laughed so hard since Pete Doherty was voted Sexiest Male by NME readers.
Runner-up Glyn was this year's token 'boy-becoming-man' story. This despite the fact that the only skills he appeared to have added to his limited repertoire by the end of the show were a) boiling an egg, and b) making a sandwich. (he's yet to master speech). Even Mikey was able to get away with calling Glyn 'dopey', which is no mean feat. But 'dopey' didn't even come close.
Astonishingly Aisleyne – the real-life female equivalent of Ali G; the self-styled ghetto princess who thought that saying things like "off the shizzle," or referring to the house as her "yard", didn't make her look like a complete imbecile – made it to the final three. Her finest moments (other than looking exactly like a cheap blow-up sex doll on final night) were her scenes with rubbish Irish 'rapper' Spiral (Shpoiral), one of this year's more interesting characters (so you voted him out at the first available opportunity, obviously).
Following the eviction of pointless meathead Jonathan at Aisleyne's own hands, she returned to the main house grieving as one might for a dying relative, as opposed to some imbecile she'd only known for five days. Shpoiral was on hand to comfort Aisleyne in her hour of need, all the while weighing up his chances of a snog. "She's got an a**e loik a loaf of bread, and Shpoiral warnts a sloice," he later 'rapped' as his obsession began to border on the psychotic.
But the blossoming romance (in Shpoiral's head) wasn't to be, and he later reduced her to tears again when asked if he'd like to lick curry from her body. "I wouldn't lick it off her body," he responded, "because then oi'd vomit on it." Lovely chap.
But the indisputable star of this year's show was 24-year-old Nikki, a ten-year-old trapped in, well, a ten-year-old's body; a terrifying tantrum machine with a face like an angry scrotum. When the public stupidly voted her out in week 8, it was inevitable that Endemol would have to take drastic action to get her back inside, a move which really couldn't have backfired more spectacularly. Instead of embracing the concept, the tabloids turned on the show like a pack of hungry wolves.
Worse still, when Nikki did eventually return to the house it all seemed like one big act, wholly informed by her time spent back in the real world: the tantrums yet more spectacular and prolonged, the Diary Room rants more frequent, and the relationship with Pete turned up to full throttle, presumably because Nikki now knew that he had it in the bag, and wanted a piece of his limelight for herself.
If we are to see a return to Big Brother's former glory next year, and I think that even die-hard fans will acknowledge that something was extremely putrid and rotten in the state of Elstree this summer, series 8 will need to include the following things: a damp cellar kitted out with medieval torture instruments; a live homicide; and a menagerie of half-starved wild animals roaming the garden. Endemol should also lift any ban on the inclusion of criminals, illegal immigrants, and former contestants. Failing that, at least budget for some bloody soundproofing for any future not-so-secret houses next door. Or, better yet, maybe they should just put it out of its misery altogether.
Big Brother Quotes Of The Series
"Don't ever think positive. Always think negative then when the positive happens it’s better." Plastic surgery disaster area Lea was a real ray of sunshine.
"I don't think you've lived until you've slept with someone who's not up to scratch." Sleazer Sezer's past girlfriends would probably be the first to agree with him.
"Fat birds work harder." (Diss)Grace quickly endeared herself to the nation's womenfolk.
"He'll get more than boos; he'll get fireworks thrown at him." Sweet, innocent Nikki had nothing but compassion for the deposed Shahbaz.
"Birds are the same as us." Misogynist Mikey thinks that the entire female population is as vapid, sleazy and dumb as he is.
"I want to be remembered as Sezer The Sleazer." Your wish is my command, Sezer.
"Most guys, if they have any sense, wouldn't go near her. She's a dog." Grace didn't get on with Aisleyne then. Or perhaps she was talking about herself.
"Susie is a posh bird, she doesn't like dog turd." Pete made some wild assumptions about Susie in the poetry challenge.
"Grace don't have to put make-up on to look good." Mikey knew how to charm the ladies. By lying, obviously.
"It's awesome. It's overwhelming. It's off the shizzle." Aisleyne: the real-life female Ali G.
"Boring, bland Imogen. Hmm, let me see, shall I watch paint dry, or sit up and chat to Imogen?" It was pots and kettles at dawn for Richard.
"I smell like a cow's udder." Nikki smelt like one; Lea looked like she had two.
"It's only a little f****** melon." No Shpoiral, that's a f****** grapefruit.
"I say 'Do you speak Welsh?' and if they say no, I ask them if they'd like a bit of Welsh in them." Glyn could teach Mikey a thing or two about what women want.
"Some people make the worst tea." And others, Snoozy Susie, make the worst BB housemates.
"I wouldn't lick it off her body, because then I'd vomit on it." Shpoiral had a unique way of impressing the ladies.
"You got to give me a little bit of warning. Because a girl needs to shave the legs. Tan the fake. Wash the hair." Tan the fake, Aisleyne?
"Why are you doing this? How are we supposed to get out of bed with this f****** blizzard?" Ever heard of a jumper, Nikki?
"I'm not qualificated. I'm not intelligent like Glyn. He's intelligent but he's a simpleton in everyday life." Nikki: the first person to ever think herself thicker than Glyn.