I sit here completely ashamed. Since September 2007, I’ve been fooling myself that I could abstain Big Brother. When last year’s below par effort finished, I swore to myself I would not bother with series nine.
Flash forward nine months and here I am, feeling slightly dirty as I’ve just watched the first of 93 days! The first episode of any series of Big Brother has always been my least favourite, watching 16 nobodies play up to a crowd who seem to have been turfed in from the Christopher Biggins school of panto with boos and hisses aplenty.
I didn’t manage to avoid the images of the new house that were plastered over the media so didn’t share Davina’s incredible enthusiasm for the new diary room chair. And I’d also picked up on the rumours surrounding the new series. So I decided to check to see which of them came to fruition. Would (like one tabloid said this week) Big Brother have stepped away from the off the wall and zany characters that have dominated the past few series and give us a more normal bunch? Would there be a blind housemate? And would there be more friction than ever? The answers are, no, yes, and probably not.
Going solely on first impressions, here’s what I made of this year’s soon to be D listers!
Mario & Lisa: The first couple to enter the house. Mario calls himself the Italian stallion when in reality the closest he’s got to Italy is a bowl of pasta. My prediction: they won’t leave on such harmonious terms.
Luke: They’ve found a real rarity here. He could be the only student in Britain who doesn’t smoke, drink or swear. He does win points for his cool name. My prediction: he’ll be one of the duller contestants as his pensioner before his time style won’t take long to crate on the housemates.
Stephanie: Self assured, deluded student who was probably just talking herself up at the audition and in reality, is probably, not as stuck up as she seems. My prediction: she’ll be the girl that gets the boys swooning.
Rachel: The talkative trainee teacher got on my nerves initially but she’s non offensive and bubbly. My prediction: if she can tone down her over the top ness then she could be an early favourite.
Dale: The audition tapes must be designed to make you loathe the housemates because I took an instant dislike to Dale but inside the house he reverted to a scared young boy who will probably be a bit of gentlemen as the weeks go by. My prediction: he’ll have a house romance (duh!) and he could do well if he keeps his head down.
Sylvia: Her talk to the hand attitude won’t win her many friends and she didn’t get me on her side. She could be a tone-downed version of last year’s superbitch Charley. My prediction: she’ll be the house stirrer enjoying a bitch when the inevitable disagreements begin.
Dennis: (God there’s a lot of them this year!) The first of this years stereotyped housemates. My prediction: he will be the loudest housemate and will be seen in tears a lot.
Michael: The blind housemate is going to be the most intriguing of the bunch and it’ll be interesting to see how the others react to him. My prediction: he may be the most philosophical and could do well as long as (not to be cruel) he doesn’t play the blind card. I didn’t care for the chorus of awws that filled the house as he entered.
Alexandra: This year’s IT girl who got the most panto boos from the crowd. Her back story of bringing up a young daughter makes quite interesting. My prediction: could be a force to be reckoned with if she joins forces with equally self-assured Sylvia.
Rex: A likeable chef. If his audition tape is a good representation, he could provide a lot of the humour. My prediction: if he is the “secretly shy” person he described himself as he could do really well.
Mohamed: Another likeable character (unusual for the early days of Big Brother) who, with his life experience, could bring some genuinely interesting conversations to the house. My prediction: he’ll be there for a long time.
Rebecca: Terrifyingly, this one’s a nursery nurse! She’s your typical Big Brother contestant and is more like Vicky Pollard than Vicky Pollard. It took some real effort to understand her. My prediction: like Bonne-eh-eh from a few years ago, she won’t be there too long.
Darnell: The albino American is the next truly interesting housemate and, unusually for a Big Brother contestant, does have a sense of humour! My prediction: another favourite who could come out a star.
Jennifer: On the face of it, the “part-time model” would appear to be the stereotypical Big Brother girly but her strong opinions and her time as a mother gives her an edge which could possibly make her the most controversial of the lot. My prediction: she could be very caring but her views could get her into trouble and cause some friction.
Kathreya: The Thai massage therapist got the best reception from the crowd but I didn’t warm to her over-the-top personality. My prediction: She could be a surprise favourite and I feel a future in television lays ahead. Nice to see she shares my love of cookies.
On the whole. they are a good mixed bag with a nice balance of the interesting, the normal and the zany characters. Big Brother never reaches its most addictive until the numbers have dwindled a bit but this is already shaping up to be better than last year’s screaming and shouting marathon.