Behind Big BrotherBehind Big Brother

More balls than ever

4 June 2007

Posted by Brekkie

WARNING: This blog may contain spoilers for anyone not up to date on the first few days of Big Brother UK.

Let’s cast our minds back to the night of April 22nd 2007 (or a day earlier to be truthful) and the launch of the seventh season of Big Brother Australia.

First in is Hayley, followed by TJ and Rebecca. Kate then goes in and Gretel begins to make the point that so far they’re all female. Emma and Aleisha follow, and the point is made again about the possibility of it being all girls.

Then, they give up on that and send in six guys.

Now, there is the difference. BB Aus might tease viewers with the suggestion, but never actually do anything – while BBUK just go ahead and take the risk – no teasing required.

If you don’t know by now on Wednesday night BBUK launched by sending in 11 all female housemates (thought there are still many doubts about Tracey) . The twist wasn’t promoted at all beforehand, though had found it’s way into one newspaper on the morning of the launch.

The line up began with twins – and the warning signs began to flash. Then though, they went straight ahead and put them both in – and that seemed somewhat of a relief. Next in was something unexpected – a 60 year old housemate, followed by wannabee rockers, WAGs and embalmists – with the final housemate being a 53 year old political protester – who turns out to be by far the crowds favourite of the night.

The concept of it being an all-female house doesn’t even hit the girls till about the 8th or 9th housemate walks in, while Davina doesn’t make a big deal about it either, not quipping about it until the very end. The thought of mentioning it’s a world first doesn’t even cross their minds either!

And then the complaints come rolling in – where are all the men?

The promise of one – just one – on day three wasn’t enough to satisfy many, and initially too I had my doubts about the single sex line up. However, it also intrigues me – it’s very different to any launch I’ve seen of Big Brother, both in the UK and beyond, and it’s set up the first couple of weeks quite nicely. We all know the men will arrive, but we don’t know how – and we don’t know how this will affect the original line up.

On Friday night a former model / Z-list boy-band star who names himself Ziggy (why?) entered the house – and due to the show keeping even the launch date a secret prior to lock-down, Ziggy didn’t even know the show had already launched, never mind that he would be the only man in the company of 11 other women.

However, for one of the first times BBUK let itself down by having a widely predicted twist to the nominations – with Ziggy being the only man to choose who is nominated face the first public vote.

Almost everyone on various forums had suggested that type of scenario would be the case – and unusually for BBUK, their predictions turned out to be correct.

One thing very evident though is that the producers are fully committed to this twist and not scared of it’s critics. It would be very easy to rush in the additional men some people are demanding and try and balance out the sexes after just a few days – but the producers are seeing it through and sticking with it, with no more men entering until Friday at the earlier, after the first eviction.

That is where the genius of this twist is – because it’s a twist which is now beginning to play out. As each show passes it becomes less about the sex of the housemates and more about their characters and personalities – almost to the point where you barely notice the lack of testosterone.

The same applies to the older housemates too – overnight they turn from “old” housemates to interesting characters – possibly two of the most interesting characters in the house.

Most of all though, this is giving us a rare glimpse into the psyche of woman – and that’s why the first week of the eighth series of BBUK is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.