Housemate roles and positioning
4 May 2007
It is too early to say whether this series of Big Brother will be significantly different to years gone by. It certainly has features taken from other years:
– Mostly Anglo â€“ Celtic housemates, though with more blondes than usual
– Friday Night Live still acts as a tribute to â€œItâ€™s a Knockoutâ€
– Many, many vacuous conversations about nothing
– Housemates being wary and â€œplaying the gameâ€
– The first week is the peacock week â€“ as in â€œlook at me, Iâ€™m beautifulâ€ displays to HMs and voters.
– Some kind of â€œtwistâ€ involvement housematesâ€™ lives before the show
– John Howard jumping and down, calling the show ridiculous.
Good New Stuff in 07
The White Room
This will toughen up the eventual winner, and ensure they donâ€™t get swamped by the peacock weeks. It will also give the person a better chance of staying than the usual â€œintrudersâ€, because they will be considered legends by both HMs and voters. Itâ€™s a great idea.
The Chill Out Room
Another excellent idea. This has already allowed Andrew and Hayley time to contribute to the â€œLove Triangleâ€ plotline by having a conversation about it; it was where TJ showed her true colours to Thomas; it started to show the real Bodie (and his language!). It gives us a more intimate portrait of HMs in a small group setting.
The Green House
As a role modeling tool for people in the 15 â€“ 29 year age group, this is an excellent idea. Hopefully when they build their own houses, they will insist on â€œthings they saw in the Big Brother houseâ€.
Early Housemate Roles and Positioning
One of the more interesting parts of the early days of BB is trying to pick how each HM will â€œpositionâ€ themselves, so they can ensure their long term survival with other HMs and the voting public. Here are my observations, which will probably be proven completely wrong in time:
Hayley is not really able to settle into a role / pattern, considering she is the centrepiece of the first â€œtwistâ€. ESS has spent a lot of money and effort in making her so. Watching for her interactions with Andrew and Billy has made sure she is observed in that plotline. However, it seems as though she is attempting to make herself liked by as many people as possible â€“ Thomas is one example, TJ another.
Andrew could have been close to being the winner if he wasnâ€™t a part of the initial â€œtwistâ€. He seems to be largely friendly and laid back, with enough of an edge to make him appealing to an audience. He is a slow-burn character, like Ben in season 1 and Peter in season 2. Enough of a mate to men and a good friend to girls to make him a non-divisive character. However, if there is an Andrew/Hayley eviction choice, voters would probably choose Hayley, because she has more immediate appeal and there is the possibility she would fall for Billyâ€™s charms once again.
Billy could have the stuff to go all the way as well â€“ he seems to be easy-going, intelligent and tough. However, his fate is in the hands of others at this stage.
Thomas is another character who could have some long-term appeal. He would have a number of female fans, due to his looks and intelligence. Males wouldnâ€™t mind his male bonding and the fact he is sporty. What is curious is why he is there at all. He appears to have many skills which would give him much wealth and success in the outside world, without BB. That means he doesnâ€™t have an edge of desperation than many HMs have. This has led to the fact that he has been (mostly) successful in making friends in BB. However, TJâ€™s attempt to target him shows how unwilling he is to insult / argue with anyone. This may be perceived as a strength or weakness as the show goes on.
TJ is a crash through or crash type of character, who seems to have a steely purpose behind her life in BB. She uses a flirty tone to ingratiate herself with men â€“ and its seems to work to an extent. As she indicated early on, she is not popular with women â€“ probably because of her flirtiness. Her interaction with Thomas has been interesting, because it possibly reveals something about her long-term plan. She would know that she would never have a chance with a man like Thomas in the outside world â€“ nor in BB. Heâ€™s a man successful in business and sheâ€™s a pub employee. Thatâ€™s why her flirting / â€œheartacheâ€ is all for show. However, by targetting him and hoping he will crack, she is attempting to reduce him to being less of an opponent. It will be interesting to see her tactic against the female HMs.
Aleisha appears to be without a plan and without a mean bone in her body. Thatâ€™s as good a tactic as any to ensure long-term survival. But not to win. She is, however, entertaining due to her energy and lack of scheming. This will be a little wearing as time goes on â€“ but people will enjoy her as long as she remains fresh faced and happy.
Rebecca appears to have a mission, as a part of her life as a Mormon. As we all know, Mormons are required to do a certain amount of evangelising. Instead of just knocking on more unfriendly doors, Rebecca is taking her lifestyle and views to a wider audience. Perhaps, she hopes, she can show that Mormons are human, moral and not part of a weird cult. This makes her a definite outsider, and will continue to do so â€“ to an extent. If, however, she makes Mormonism attractive / appear normal, then her mission will have been completed successfully.
Travis is a friendly ocker bloke, who appears to be just himself, having a good time â€“ perhaps hoping that this experience may open some doors for him. It canâ€™t be easy being a truck driver with a small family, considering the long periods of separation that occur. He will probably go far due to his friendliness and resemblance to Shane Warne. He may even win due to what is called the Reggie Principle. He may play some politics â€“ but that will be somewhere down the track.
Bodie is a complex character â€“ part bogan, part thinker. He is very grave and thoughtful in the diary room and at certain times with certain HMs. At other times, though, he is a house clown. That duality will suit him well with HMs. The clownishness will probably make him popular with audiences, especially when daily shows use his antics to lighten the tone. The thoughtfulness will also help, if only to surprise people that he can play both roles.
Susannah hasnâ€™t done that much yet â€“ she appears to have one ambition, to be a Chapel Street clothes horse, doing promotions for people. This makes her friendly to the boys, but not much else. She will probably disappear somewhere in the middle of series, after the early nutters/interesting/divisive characters leave, but before the HMs with dedicated fan bases go.
Joel is another who does the clown role, and can be entertaining in a cringe-inducing way. He will try to act like one of the â€œblokesâ€, but his background and political ambitions will probably act against him being embraces by HMs and the audience. He has not done enough yet to indicate how he will play the game â€“ whether he takes his opportunities to make some political points will be interesting to see. His presence as a Young Liberal in the house puts John Howardâ€™s comments in sharp relief.
Zoran is another bloke who is friendly, but has merged into the background. We wonâ€™t see his true personality for a little while yet. He will stay, because many female fans will like him and he doesnâ€™t appear to be offending anyone.
Jamie will have the fan base of many BB devotees and BBBA forum members, because they finally have a role model. Some have drawn parallels to Tim from BB5, because he is an intelligent outsider. However, Jamie does not appear to have a political agenda and Tim eventually showed that he had much more personal magnetism than first appeared. He was also able to endear himself to other HMs over a time. Jamie has not been very visible in the first week â€“ just like Tim â€“ but has been observing people closely. This is probably a good idea, because the peacock weeks are all about outer beauty and power. Jamie could never compete with that.
Kate appears to regret going onto BB. This may be a tactic to milk sympathy or a genuine regret. She is a person who easily makes enemies â€“ she doesnâ€™t pride herself on diplomacy. She also appears to look down on others. This may be a self-esteem issue, as in â€“ look down on others before they do the same to you. This will not serve her well with HMs or the public. She will probably be the first to go. This is a shame, because she is probably the only one (other than Travis and Aleisha) who has been their true selves in the first week. Kate also has a healthy, earthy sense of humour which would garner a number of friends in the real world.
Emma has realised early that one of her strengths is to make herself appear to be strong and decisive. This is why she has chosen to make an issue of Kateâ€™s passing comment about energy drink hoarding. She can take the position of the wronged person and therefore her comments can be agreed with. By also commenting on â€œnerdsâ€ and other non-image centred people, she is making a decisive stand which may gain allies. Her idea to recruit Aleisha as an ally is smart â€“ Aleisha has a friendliness and charm Emma could never possess. Any success Emma has over Kate, however, will be shortlived. Artificial, brittle characters like Emma rarely go to the end. She will probably go at the same time as Anna did in 06.
So, these coming months will probably act to prove me completely wrong. If they do or donâ€™t, it will be another interesting year in the BB house.