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Housemates

Why I prefer the UK version of Big Brother

25 May 2007

Posted by Brekkie

At the start of our 2006 season I had only known the Australian version of big brother and had never experienced a single episode of Big Brother UK, not even on youtube. Our show started well enough with the revenge room and insider twists but the show wasn’t the same with a lot of younger, boring and just plain ordinary housemates. I soon got bored with the show after Anna and Michael my favourites were evicted the only ones I found interesting and entertaining.

When Big Brother started in the UK last year there were some threads appearing on the OS site about the show with links to youtube video’s and the url for the UK official website. There was this link to a video of Nikki’s Bottled water incident where she couldn’t drink tap water. I went to take a look at the video and thought OMG give her some bottled water for goodness sake. But I did laugh at the end when Big Brother told her “Big Brother has noted your request” and Nikki replied “fabulous”, I then looked at other videos and started following the series. I was hooked because its nothing like our Big Brother, the way HM’s are allowed to interact with Big Brother is actually fun to watch. So I have Nikki to thank for watching BBUK in the first place. I am now one of her biggest fans in Australia and have exchanged messages with her on MySpace.

I actually liked all the housemates in BBUK 7 because none of them were boring. Even Suzy the Golden Ticket winner who won her place in the house by finding a golden ticket in a bar of Kit Kats wasn’t that boring. Mainly due to the way the Golden Ticket Competition was carried out and the tasks and twists that followed her entering the house. Our poor attempt at copying the Golden Ticket with the Golden Key was a complete joke, the way the whole thing was conducted.

I have also watched the entire series of BB5UK and have noticed where the idea for the revenge room in BBAU6 came from and also when Constance (BBAU5) was elected to not receive her suit case was done to Kitten in BB5UK. In fact a lot of our tasks and twists are from previous versions of BBUK. There is a lot more thought that goes into creating tasks in the UK , there are a lot more tasks. In fact there can be several run during the week. In the final week in BBUK7 there was one every day and they were all fun to watch.

Housemate Selection

The producers in the UK do a far better job in finding a diverse bunch of housemates, last year they were absolute characters. You would never get a mix like that in Australia because our producers won’t take any risks with selectionLast year in the UK as Davina summed it up very well on opening night we had :-

  • Bonnah, I mean Bonny the pink power ranger
  • Perfect Pete the rock and roller
  • Seriously posh George
  • Glaswegian Glamourpuss Shabbaz
  • 35,000 pound Leah
  • Welsh beauty queen Imogen
  • Hardcore but quite handsome Mikey
  • Dawn the self confessed serial complainer
  • Wales sexiest lifeguard Glyn
  • Richard the sexual terrorist
  • Chelsea champers loving Sloane Grace
  • Northern firecracker Lisa
  • City boy Sezer
  • And Nikki the wannabe footballers wife

They all pretty well lived up to their label and introductory videos. So did the replacements in week two, we had Ghetto Queen Aisleyne and Sam a trans-sexual. Were very good choices as well. I have lost count of how many times our housemates don’t live up to the hype in their introductory videos like they do in the UK.

A lot of times HM’s in the UK wear a joke outfit into the house which makes the opening show a lot more fun. I like watching the HM’s go in and see the reception they get from the crowd, some housemates really know how to milk the crowd and some dont. In BBUK5 they had Jason enter in nothing but a loincloth Style G-String showing off his well developed and toned body, Kitten entered in a sailor suit. In BBUK6 they had Mary the witch complete with broomstick, her entrance was a classic, she was also good in the diary room. Last year Lifeguard Glyn wore only his swimmers holding a life savers float and Nikki in a playboy bunny outfit. I can’t wait to see what this years HM’s are like, and what they will wear and see the reaction from the crowd reaction I love it.

Tasks and Twists

I like the tasks and twists they have in the UK where producers are far more imaginative and inventive and really do have world firsts. It seems our producers can never think of anything new themselves and would rather copy ideas from the UK. I am also really sick and tired of yet another relationship twist this year in Aussie Big Brother.

A summary of tasks and twists I really enjoyed last year in BBUK7 and would love to see implemented here are listed below. You would never see any of our producers dream up anything like these tasks and twists. They wouldn’t implement them either because we have a rigid nomination system which never varies. And because of the FNL prize of the 3 point twist like last year or this years nomination power.

The Big Brotherhood: from opening night the housemates were told to send 2 of them to the diary room. Not knowing what to expect the 2 chosen went to the diary room where they received berets and were made the founding members of an exclusive club called the Big Brotherhood. They were the only 2 to receive their suitcases.

During the first week they would be told to select new members into the club where they would also get their suitcases and enjoy benifits. The housemates who didn’t get into the club would face the public vote.

Golden Ticket Winner: They did this so much better then our crummy Golden Key effort. 100 Golden Tickets were hidden inside Kit Kats, the competition being announced only after housemates went into lock down which is 2 weeks before the show. None of the housemates were aware of the competition so it would be complete surprise when the Golden Ticket Winner went in.

Around 60 Golden Tickets were found and after all the checks were performed there were 35 eligible contestants with an opportunity to be selected at random from a lottery machine setup in the garden of the house.

And when the Golden Ticket winner did go in it set off a chain of tasks and twists that made this one of the best weeks of the series. Only Suzy could nominate on the Monday which resulted in Nikki’s famous diary room rant “who is she, who is she, where did you find her”. There were other classic moments all week during that task. Our Golden Key didn’t result in much at all really.

Silent Dancers MP3 music task: The housemates were given MP3 players with 4 songs and had to dance on a small square blindfolded. The one that could out dance the rest was declared the winner and would receive a prize from the box of good things. I laughed my head off at Nikki “Big Brother I cant get my MP3 player to worrrkkkk!!!”.

Glyn after dancing non stop for 9 hours won the award and was let down when it wasn’t anything special just a small trophy engraved 2006 dance champion.

State of Suzy: Suzy is made president and the housemates had to recite a pledge of allegiance every time they heard the fanfair. Had to eat her favourite food and could only sing her favourite songs.

Best friends: this was great the housemates were told to divide into pairs. A series of tasks with the pairs followed including the classic prison shopping task. On Monday night the best friends had to nominate together and nominate just one housemate to be put up for eviction. What they didn’t know is the housemates that were up for eviction were to be joined by their best friend and they would be evicted together.
Prison Task: for the weeks shopping task the best friends couples had to choose being either prisoners or warders. The warders had to to do routine inspections of the prison as well as take it in turns to watch the prisoners on a monitor when it was turned on.

The Warders thought the prisoners were worse off being locked up but in fact the warders were worse off having basic food and had to take it in turns watching a boring monitor.

The prisoners had a secret tunnel to a secret garden where there was a roman spa , a bar and luxury food items as well as chocolate. The prisoners would get tipped off by BB when there was to be an inspection or the monitor in their cell would be on. It was so funny.

Automated Big Brother: Another great idea from the UK. Big Brother goes on holidays and leaves an automated Big Brother service. They had a keypad in the diary room where the housemates were met with a recorded voice.

“This is Big Brother, to enter a diary entry press 1, to enter a request press 2, to leave the diary room press 3, to hear these options again press the star key” HM presses 1 “ you have pressed 1, Big Brother values you as housemate please hold” music plays.

It was so funny. They even had automated nominations, Suzy was put on hold for 30 minutes it was funny.

House Next door: was used to enter intruders. They had a fake eviction where Aisleyne was evicted she just moved next door with 5 new housemates entering. During the week she had to evict 1 then 2 of them but they just went into the main house the last one she evicted was evicted for real.

Evicted Housemate voted back in: I know it was controversial over there but I liked it and would love to see it done here. Anyway it got Nikki back into the house.

Aussie Mean Big Brother

I am so sick of the mean Big Brother concept here especially with nominations. Where the housemates are put under pressure to nominate in 2 minutes for a live show. “Your not being clear, your not nominating for the group, your running out of time”, well shut up and give them a chance. I would rather them do the nomination show like Peter Abbott did in BBAU3 where the nominations are pre-recorded and housemates have time to explain their nomination properly. Actually I want the BBAU3 nomination show format back.

The mean Big Brother approach we have in Australia needs to be dumped. Diary room conversations in the UK where Big Brother is more lenient, tolerant, friendly and can even share a joke with housemates is far more enjoyable to watch. There are a lot more hilarious moments in the UK diary room last year especially with Nikki. The housemates here are too scared to open up like they do in the UK for fear of getting fines and punishments, its just boring.

The Shows and Presenters

I like the of format of the shows they have the daily show, diary room uncut, eviction show, live specials, Big Brothers Little Brother and Big Brothers Big Mouth. The shows are divided between 3 presenters. Last year there was Davina McCall, Dermot O’Leary and Russell Brand with Marcus Bentley narrating the show. In Australia we have just 2 presenters Gretel Killeen doing nominations, evictions and specials and Mike Goldman doing everything else. I am also getting a little tired of hearing Mike Goldmans voice on the streaming over and over again for sound dips. I think a new voice over at least on the website, or do what they do in the UK for sound dips bird whistles.

I like the Big Brother Little Brother show we should do that format here instead of uplate and have it start at 10.30pm. Its high time we trashed uplate for something a lot better. I would also like a new presenter for the show also leaving Mike Goldman free to narrate the daily show and have more time to do Friday Night Live a lot better.

Music in Big Brother

Hands up who is sick of the same 4 Potbelleez music played over and over at house parties? I know I am that’s another very good reason why the UK version is better then ours because they pipe real music into the house. Housemates can even buy a tune from their shopping budget. A party in the UK house is a real party with real music.

Well that just about wraps it up why I prefer to watch the UK version of Big Brother. I will definitely be watching it this year. The house this year has the kitchen distributed throughout the house, fridge at the end of the garden and oven in the bedroom. Also there is the bath in the lounge room. And I am dying to find out what they are going to do with the 2 giant rubber chicken halves.