Big Brother is back again, the third/fourth series already since channel 5 bought it last year; following two celebrity versions (one in the autumn preceding the first civilian series) and another celebrity one that hit our screens in January.
Channel 5, together with presenter Brian Dowling – while still no substitute for the seasoned Davina McCall, seem to be getting into their stride with the programme now, and the opening show seems bigger and glitzier than ever.
There are a whopping 16 contestants this time, making it quite hard to keep track in these early stages until we get to know them and people start being evicted.
We know what we’re getting now, the audition tapes show the contestants playing up the more vacuous and attention seeking aspects of their personalities – which often turn out to be exaggerated for the purposes of getting into the house.
Practically all of the male housemates seem to describe themselves as ‘players’, and the female characters include the usual array of glamour models, dancers, and cougars.
So who are this year’s wannabe’s?
Deena, from Birmingham, and currently Miss India UK – was selected randomly to be the first to enter the house. There was a twist though – in return for immunity herself she was set a secret task to nominate three contestants to face the public vote this Friday. This seems somewhat harsh as she had literally no time to get to know them, and was instantly made to be a baddy by having to do so. The poor girl, despite claiming before she went in that she would have no trouble nominating, really struggled to do so and to come up with reasons. She nominated ageing glamour model Victoria because she has ‘evil eyes’, failed to give a reason for Lydia (dancer, girlfriend of failed singer and reality TV star – Andy Scott-Lee). Lydia was none too impressed and didn’t take it well feeling that she thought she had made a good first impression. Don’t they ever remember that it is a game after all though?
A self styled ‘princess’ type character, Deana claims to have servants to look after her when she is India and be unable to cook or clean. She says she gets on better with men as girls are jealous of her looks. Despite her unease at making the nominations, Deana looks like she could be trouble – a cool character who will like to get her own way.
Next in was model and pretty boy Arron. A Mancunuian who has modelled for the likes of Abercrombie and Hollister, he is also involved in something called Mixed Martial Arts fighting. Your archetypical Big Brother hunk who admits he like to be centre of attention – taking his tops off in clubs and showing off his abs. He also says he likes ‘dirty girls’. Clearly prime candidate to be at the centre of this year’s inter-house romance(s) and ensuing dramas.
Caroline is the obligatory ‘posh’ girl. Blonde, with birds nest hair and self consciously ‘ditzy’- it’s hard to tell how much of her persona is a calculated act at this early stage. A former boarding school girl from Surrey, who says she is a ‘bit of a loser’ and ‘repels boys’ – she has is a university drop out with an air of ‘gap-yah’ about her. Claimed that she sometimes couldn’t be bothered in participating in group activities in her audition tape, so could be interesting to see how that pans out. Caroline seems like she could grate, but may turn out to be ultimately likeable.
A former playgirl ‘jet bunny’, who says she never sticks at jobs and has done all kinds of jobs and never sticks them. A party girl who likes to tricks with cigarettes and down tequila shots in a record time – a wallflower she is unlikely to be. Shievonne says she runs on fizzy drinks, has limitless energy, and hasn’t drunk water for years. She says she is like ‘Peter Pan’ and getting younger all the time, going on this – her irritant factor is likely to be quite high.
A 24 year old from Northern Ireland, Conor is a cheeky chappy with a rather large ego. He says he is the ‘sexiest guy from Derry. He says people always tell him he looks good. Shy then. Likely to cause a bit of a stir among the female housemates, and perhaps a candidate for clashes with competitive male housemates. Also says he is a prankster.
Lauren’s USP is that she is young, attractive girl – who having grown up on a farm on Jersey, can drive a tractor. She is bubbly, but in a more down to earth and possibly slightly more intelligent way than some of the other contestants. Lauren said the Big Brother experience appeals to her as a fun way to spend the summer, ‘its better than a holiday in Magaloof’ she said. Hmm, you could be in for a bit of a shock love.
On first impressions, 31 year old South African born chef Luke seems one of the most down to earth and ‘normal’ housemates. No model looks, no directional hair, or claims to be a god’s gift to the universe…then shock horror; it was revealed he was born a woman. This actually was quite unexpected as he really does come across as just a regular guy. This could make him an interesting housemate, as the others find out about his past and are inevitably intrigued.
Adam was born in the UK, but raised on the ‘streets’ of LA where he became a member of an infamous gang and got involved in drink and drugs. Now 27, sober and clean since the age of 19 – he says he has turned his life around and works as a mentor for young people. Outspoken and a little crude, he nevertheless comes across initially as a good guy who likes to have fun and entertain. Likely to be one of the most popular housemate.
Another model (yawn) – do any of these people have normal jobs? Sara, won Miss Edinburgh in 2010, and came 2nd in the Miss Scotland competition 2011. A self confessed flirt, who says she is argumentative and bad tempered, she could be one of the more watchable housemates. She also claims to be a big fan of Margaret Thatcher, which for a Scottish person seems to be another attempt to be controversial.
Scott is another type we have seen in Big Brother before. A camp, posh boy – who revealed he isn’t actually posh, he says ‘chavs are fun on a night out because they are naughtier’ but that they should stay away from him on a day to day basis. Currently studying history, with an obsession with the upper classes, regency characters, and ‘toff’ pastimes such as shooting – he is self-consciously affected, but I suspect is probably a little less obnoxious under that insecure front.
The archetypal Essex girl, 20 year old Ashleigh calls herself a ‘bubbly nuttier’. How original. She swears non-stop, talks about the need to look ‘ream’, and says his nose job was the most expensive thing she bought. Clearly surfing the popularity of TOWIE, I suspect this girl – like many Essex girls, is smarter than she lets on. She has made a living selling wine stocks and commodities, but claims ‘money doesn’t make you happy’. Despite all the talk of fake tan and cosmetic surgery, she is actually quite naturally pretty looking and is likely to cause a stir among male housemates. Could do well.
Here we go again; he’s a ‘player’ and thinks he is ‘good looking’. He claims to be a ‘compulsive flirt’, the best looking ‘alpha male’ in any bar, and says ‘men want to be me, and woman want to be with me’. Surprise, surprise he is a ‘club promoter’. Also says he is ultra competitive and hates to lose. One word really, dull.
Lydia is on the surface as Big Brother as it gets. She is a dancer, model…whatever, whose big claim to fame is being in one scene in Mamma Mia the movie and having her birthday cake being bought for her by Piers Brosnan. She is also going out with Andy Scott-Lee, the failed boyband star, ex-husband of ex-popstar Michelle Heaton, and general reality show ‘veteran’. Cliché, much? Oh, and she was almost in The Saturday’s. Not looking for fame then? That said, somehow there is something altogether a little more intriguing and possibly mysterious about her. As one of three nominated to go this Friday, I sadly suspect we may not get to find out her hidden depts.
Another potentially ‘controversial’ housemate – 32 year old Benedict (he looks a little older), is a former teacher who got sacked when it was discovered he was moonlighting as a stripper and porn star. (though has since fought this decision and can return to teaching in two years) Has an 18 year old foster son who used to teach, writes a newspaper column – and may turn out have hidden depths. Could be interesting.
Chris is the doorman/bailiff with a squeaky voice. He is self mocking, describing himself as having ‘gay hair, spray on tan, and looking as ‘fake as they come’. He is a gum bunny, with tattoos, has a ‘shag pad’ and again loves the ladeez. He could go either way, be as annoying as hell or turn out to be a ‘diamond geezer’.
Victoria, the aforementioned eldest of the bunch at 41 is a former glamour model still looking the part, who has appeared in soft porn men’s magazines, and is yet another self-proclaimed flirt. She denied being a cougar, though seems to love the fact that she gets attention from ’20 year old boys’. Her dogs are her ‘best friends’, which adds to the air of sad desperation about Victoria – though she does nevertheless come across as quite genuinely bubbly and likeable.
So there they are – this summer’s crop, as we get to know them it’s likely that some will become seem less annoying and over the top as their real personalities are revealed and we get to know them..while others will unravel as the true crazies they are. Love or hate it, Big Brother is back.
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