Enough Shhh…ing! It’s time to talk!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the moment we have waited for the past four long years is FINALLY upon us. 7o’clock this Monday evening our favorite reality show finally bursts back onto our screens. So I thought there is no better time than right here, right now to dish my opinions on the pre-series run up and some of the information we’ve been hearing.

However before I launch into my thoughts, let me introduce myself. I’m RK. This may be my first time blogging about my beloved native version of Big Brother, but for those of you who follow the UK edition of the show, you may have seen my weekly blogs on the goings on in Britain’s most famous bungalow at some point over the last four years. But for the next three months the brits get a rest from my examining and now it’s Australia’s turn. I couldn’t be more excited. But that’s enough about me let’s get down to business shall we?

The news that the show was returning took me like many others by complete surprise. Part of me thought it was nine idea of joke, but to my relief it was absolutely true and here we are today with only a few hours left till it reappears! What a journey this pre-season has been.

Sonia’s appointment as host Initially came as shock to many viewers when it was revealed but now that viewers have seen her in a different light with her new role on Mornings I think she has become relatively well liked, and the reports I’m hearing from the launch taping the crowds have reacted well to her.  I was certainly one of those in the beginning that had my doubts, but after interacting with her via twitter and seeing mornings I am eager to see what she brings to the table! It should be interesting…

One of the really interesting points for me about this whole reboot is how much people despite production announcing that this reboot would differ from anything we’ve seen before, seem to be stuck in the past, especially those folk that are posting on the main Facebook page. I for one, beg to differ with the majority of comments from fans about the fact that if the show doesn’t have the various elements channel ten made famous with the show it will flop, I think the four year absence is the perfect chance to change the series and give it a completely new lease of life.

However, one thing I am not so happy about changing, is the live feed. After hearing so much how the producers wanted a “pure” BB for this reboot, to ditch the feed is basically laughing in the face of this way thinking, not to mention the fans. But the biggest failing with this however is that it has not and appears like it won’t be officially announced to fans. It was initially revealed only via a tweet to one of the many fans asking about the feed. In my opinion this is simply not good enough, for the fans of the show to be able to relate to a housemate and get to know them fully we need more half an hour a day and some very unreliable updates via twitter. The twitter system has already proven itself unreliable for fans as we’ve all see during the launch taping when it took 19 minutes until the “live” account was updated after it’s first initial tweet.  So it will be interesting to see how the social networking plan is put into place for the run of the series if tonight is any indication.

Live feed aside however I am quite pleased with how Big Brother have gone about their first phase of the reboot. The advertising campaign was a clever move on the production side, bring a song that was widely known in pop culture and tying it to the show, with a second hidden layer when the housemates were in lockdown, that judging by twitter took everyone by surprise and has really help amp the excitement levels amongst the general fan community. It is clear that channel nine have put some serious cash behind this show, the advertising campaign being one of them and the other being the house.

The house for this years show is nothing short of amazing. Even though the blueprints were leaked during the run-up to launch when I saw the photos today I have to admit I was nothing short of blown away. The attention to detail really shows in the preview photos and I cannot wait to see it on screen. When compared with previous houses for the show I seriously believe that this the best house we’ve had. It will be very interesting to she how the various quirky elements (e.g., the clown in the kitchen.) work themselves into the show, and how the housemates react in such a strange environment that is so different to anything Australia has seen before.

Even with what has been a slight hiccups we’ve had along the way, there has still been some really positive signs about the series so I am still holding out hope that the show is still ironing out it’s wrinkles and finding it’s feet in a new age. But I guess we shall all see what comes in the next few weeks and months. I as a diehard BB fan really do hope it succeeds and manages to be the great show we all know it can be. But I tell you what I can’t wait to share this journey with all of you as we find out. It’s going to be fun, I think! Don’t you?

I’ll see you again soon when I divulge my thoughts on our new friends who we’ll be sharing our living rooms with for the next three months! I can’t wait!

‘Til Next Time,

RK x

The Big Axe: Reaction from the blogs

The great thing about our very own Userblogs is when you can’t be bothered writing your own blog, you can just cut and paste someone elses. Unlike certain sections of the media though, we’ll give the credit where credit is due…

So firstly, clairebbbear blames YouTube:

Death by youtube: how generation Y killed Big Brother Australia

Just like death, and taxes, the end of BB was always inevitable.

It would have been nice for BB to have gone out in style, with a dramatic flourish at its execution, but today’s news feels like euthanasia after a prolongued period of suffering, during which the show lost all traces of what it once was.

The post-mortem has not yet been conducted, and I am sure that it will reveal multiple causes of death, ranging from the producers, to the hosts, to the apathy of the audience and the concept as a whole.

But I feel that the actual reason can be traced to a factor that could not have been anticipated back in 2001. That factor is youtube, and more precisely what it offers to the young viewers on whom BB depended.

BB has always been a young person’s show, especially in Australia. The 7pm timeslot, the voyeurism factor, the preference for pretty HMs and the dominance of storylines that belong in the schoolyard all helped BB become required viewing for teenagers and young adults. With the young viewers came sponsors, and in the beginning they were falling over themselves to be involved with a program that spoke to young viewers like no other show.

Then came youtube. It is not a direct rival to BB, but its presence has hung over the show – and in fact channel Ten as a whole – like a curse.

Continue reading and comment…

Meanwhile bb-06 doesn’t blame Jackie O:

My last blog?

Well…I’m guessing this could be my last blog. There’s no ‘next year’ and I’m certainly not wasting my time writing a blog about the final week of this crap series. I’m not even sure I’ll watch. Hell, there’s a Daily Show on now and I have a DVD menu up on my screen.

In my last blog I talked about a couple of positives about BB08 and one of them was Jackie-O. I remember something I read on the internet at the beginning of this year about Jackie-O being the touch of death for television series – naming all the flops she’d been a part of. Well, she’s got another flop to add to her resume but it was not a flop because of her. She was one of the very few positive points about this years Big Brother and while I’m not claiming she had the presence of Gretel – she did have the grace and that little bit of class in this years BB gave it same moments that were worth watching. So take it easy on here.

Kyle, on the other hand, does deserve to be blamed in my stage. If he hadn’t been so keen to act like a total prat and had tried to get some likability about himself – people would have watched. A smile was all that was needed – but it was too much to ask of Kyle ‘All Talk and No Action’ Sandilands. While I very much doubt that Jackie-O reads this site – my advice to her to is to get away from him. Having seen you on stage with Mike and Kyle this year – you’re so much more entertaining when you’re not weighed down with the former. You’ll have a better career without him, if you ask me.

These new producers made a hell of a lot of mistakes – they produced a ‘made to order’ Big Brother this year and I don’t believe that they for one second thought they’d given us something new. Ten is a network without imagination, without the courage to try something new and that’s why it is, and always will be, a network without success. Why they wanted to continue with Kris Noble’s unsuccesful format when they could have picked up where Abbott’s left off and had a successful show is beyond me. These producers made some bad decisions and I said some bad things about them – but at the end of the day I realise they did the best they could to please the fans while keeping within the strict outline set for them.

Yes – the blame for killing Big Brother lies squarely on Ten’s shoulders.

Continue reading and comment…

So what do you think about Big Brother being pulled from the schedules next year – and where did it all go wrong? Post your blog entry here.

As for myself, not surprised at all, and not before time. Perhaps it will return one day, but it’s got to be kept as far away from Ten as physically possible.

Have voters finally got it right?

After eight years of Big Brother Australia it seems as though the voting public may have figured it out.

Kick out the boring ones, not the ones you wouldn’t want to live with.

Gretel crammed it into our brains eviction after eviction but every Sunday we would see the most out spoken housemate, or the housemate causing the most arguments booted from the Gold Coast compound. Now, it doesn’t seem to be the case.

Rhianna was booted last night, and to be honest, I can’t think of one memorable moment she has had in that house for viewers. Yes, she was pseudo-dating Rory and some nip nip wiggy wiggy is good every now and then, but other than that she was a boring pot plant of a housemate.

I’m hoping she was evicted because she was boring (in the house, she may very well be a bundle of laughs outside) – not because she was getting it on with Rory, who I can see many young girls (and guys) with phone credit to burn getting jealous and voting her out.

We’ll see how things pan out tonight with nominations, and then this Sunday will be the real test – will the voting public (which lets face it, aren’t 100% of Big Brother watchers) kick out a boring housemate, or will they kick out another piece of flora?

Random Ramblings…

A few thoughts… and a look ahead to BBUK.

Firstly, the nominations. I’ve hated the new process from the start as it’s just not Big Brother, but I’ve got to concede it had the desired effect of keeping the characters in and kicking the pot-plants out, and I do think they should have stuck with it until the end of the season.

However, that being said we learnt more about the housemates’ relationships in the first round of proper nominations than we have in all the previous eviction votes – and now the HMs can get rid of who they want, and the viewer can get the final say. Perfect.

And although it’s much better IMO recording them and airing the nominations in the Daily Show, they need to tighten it all up a bit. It would be best to call the HMs into the diary room randomly during the morning rather than sitting them all down to do it, and that way the noms can be spread through the show a bit more, rather than in a couple of packages at the end.

On to Intruders and yeah, whatever. Same old same old with a VT entrance and splitting the HMs up. And now they’ve arrived, Ollie is sidelined in the daily shows, and Ollie is the only reason I started downloading again.

BBUK

The new series of Big Brother UK begins on Thursday and after a tough year last year, it’s time for the show to fight back.

Whether it will remains to be seen – it came back from the brink in BB5, so it’s got a proven history of revamping itself when required, even if they’ve left it a series or two too late this time.

Davina is back – and looking like one sexy mama in the pre-season photo shoots, while it remains to be seen what new hosts George Lamb and Zezi Ifore bring to BBLB.

The house is looking great though, and will be home to 16 HMs from Thursday night, with the first eviction due on Friday 13th.

BBBA forum users can comment on this blog here

Great expectations… greater disappointment?

Cast our minds back a couple of weeks and everyone seemed to have high hopes for the series.

The promo campaign was great, the signs of change were there and from their initial intros, the housemates seemed to be just what the show needed. Two weeks later though and we’re already dissecting what went wrong.

The daily shows are just dull – partly due to the housemates leaving their back stories and baggage at the doors, but mainly due to complete lack of structure. The housemates aren’t given the opportunity to shine, perhaps with the exception of the weekly “family dinner”, while the lack of any real task means content is thin on the ground. Cleaning is not entertaining – especially when the task is minus any of the humour required to make it work.

But now – the major moan – axing nominations. The new system removes the core element from the show, more important than evictions or the public vote – it’s what the housemates really think of each other.

How a housemate nominates reveals alot about their character – whether they are spineless, manipulative, game-players or hold a grudge. Equally as important is how a housemate reacts to being nominated – that can often determine their fate, and similarly, a housemate being cocky about not being nominated can see them getting evicted sooner rather than later too.

However, giving this power to the viewers has now removed the key component of the show, and the structure to the daily shows too. Indeed now it’s just a case of voting for your favourite with those at the bottom facing elimination it’s just like every other reality show around – Big Brother has well and truly lost it’s unique selling point.

But, this being Big Brother of course they’ve screwed it up even further with the most ridiculous FNL twists ever. An over complicated affairs sees a housemate saved, 4th from bottom nominated and the FNL winner have four points to evict and two to save. The other HMs will vote with one and two points to evict.

It’s over complicated to say the least – and though I’m not a fan of viewers nominating, HMs evicting, keeping it simpler would give it a much greater chance of succeeding. Just let the FNL winner save one of the bottom three and then the other HMs vote out one of the other two. That’s it – simple!
Talking of voting though, the real scandal this week has been the “webmates”. Voted in by Australia, voted out by Terri two days later – the biggest insult to viewers yet. And this week they’ve barely featured in the daily show at all – indeed on Tuesday and Thursday they were nothing more than non-speaking extras.

And then we reach the end of the week with Nathan reminding BB he’s in the house by inconveniently winning FNL. Big Brother of course though continues to deny his existence and finds a reason to give the prize to Travis instead. The worst thing is we all know if Terri had won there is no way BB would have taken away her HoH powers.

Anyway, I’ve lasted two weeks and as usual by now it’s only key episodes I’ll be interested in. I think the fact BBUK is about to return influences that slightly too, but so far BB08 is dangerously close to becoming even worse than the Noble era – especially if producers continue to make up the rules as they go along.

As always, BBBA members can add their views on the Userblogs.

Interesting Characters… No Personality

So after launch night the housemates seemed to tick all the right boxes – they appeared to be the most interesting characters for years. The promise of “Dynamic Housemates” appeared to have delivered.

However, so far, so dull.

Let’s start with the two that stand out. Rima, who insists her height is the least interesting thing about her. So what else have we learnt this week – well, mmm, help me out. If she wasn’t 1m tall she wouldn’t have made it in. Simple.

And then there’s Terri. I admit she made me laugh a few times during launch – but she’s been cast as the mother of the house and in the few short hours she was there, where admittedly we saw very little of her, she was more than happy to accept the role.

Like with Rima I ask if Terri wasn’t 52, would she be interesting? No – her age is the only thing making her different – but it’s very bad casting having nobody in their late 30’s or 40’s to help bridge the gap with the younger housemates.

Next, we go to Travis. His voice – incredibly annoying in the promos, awful on the launch show – by episode 2, I didn’t care. The housemates have been trying their best to label him – “flamboyant” is what I think they settled on, but although he’s no mans’ man, he isn’t exactly out there enough to make himself entertaining.

And then there’s Nobbi. He may tick the Asian box, but he’s just another bogan bloke as we’ve seen time and time again. I do think though when conflict arises, potentially he’ll be at the centre of it – but banished to the Kombi van means the potential for conflict has been well and truly diminished.

Now they’re not blonde, but are the brunette bimbos showing any signs of intelligence – I Don’t Think So! Get Bianca and Rebecca a bottle of peroxide and they’re no different to the girls of yesteryear. Alice must be intelligent to be a Vet – or “Doctor” as they insist on calling her, but I don’t think I’ve heard her speak yet – she’s only ever featured on the running machine.

Renee is obviously a wannabe Reggie and I think she’ll do well – though perhaps she’s that little bit too smart to pull off the dumb country chick character. I didn’t like her at all the first couple of days – could barely understood a word she said, but she’s growing on me.

Onto the boys and the Spa Mafia. Rory is a housemate we’ve seen so many times before – we should probably just give him the prize now and be done with it.

UFO-hunter Saxon should be offering something new to the house – but there isn’t anyone in there for him to share his views with. It was interesting hearing him admit to his sexist and racist persona on the outside – but it’s a kind of a shame he’s attempting to leave that outside – though I’m sure the sexism will creep back soon enough. Thank god Gretel’s not around hey.

The two biggest disappointments though are Ben and David. Despite seemingly being two of the more intelligent housemates, and in David’s case with the most interesting back story of the lot, by Day 4 they’re reduced to hiding cuddly toys.

Is it the housemates though or is it Big Brother – do they render any intelligence useless by the end of the first week – and does any sign of a braincell just end up on the cutting room floor anyway?

Well, having gone through all the housemates (well, I forgot Dixie, but hey, that says all I need to say), I’ve come to a worrying conclusion… the most interesting housemate this series is… Bridgette!!!

I wouldn’t say I particularly like her, but I’m intrigued by her. She will be the person who grows the most during the series as a person, and it’s always interesting to see contestants who go on a personal journey. She may be a simple and shallow character now, but if she makes it to the end she’ll be coming out of it as a simple, but savvy, young woman. Perhaps.

So, in conclusion…
Despite the most promising launch show for years the daily shows this week have quite frankly bored me. I’ve not found myself being able to engage with the housemates at all.

I’d even say they had a better first week last year, though while last year we were waiting for it to implode, this year I’m more optimistic things will improve – though whether I’m saying that after Sunday’s show remains to be seen.

Some things never change though – FNL somehow managed to be worse than ever this year, and the removal of the Rewards Room and nominations twist just proves to me that even the producers didn’t want the show to stick around. It’s there solely because Ten want it – it’s a window to advertise to the under fives.

Anyway, that is all. Hopefully things will improve, but so far, I’m not impressed.

Do you agree – comment on our userblog pages – or share your own views of the housemates and in your own BBBA blog.

What more do we need?

It’s been a few months since my last blog entry, and lately I’ve had all kinds of thoughts and ideas swimming around in my head so I need to get some of them down on paper (figuratively speaking).

The thing that’s been bugging me the most this week is the idea of leaked information, and what exactly that has meant during this pre-season. In previous years, it was all very exciting to come and visit this site, and watch it defy the BB producers by revealing their secrets before anyone was supposed to know about them. And certainly, in the past twelve months since I became a staff member I’ve been doing a fair share of the secret-leaking.

But this year it’s been different, because BB has revealing a lot of secrets all on their own, moreso than any year before. It started perhaps with the first teaser promo, which came out onto Youtube and our forums via an official Ten staffer. It’s continued in the past week as, for the first time, they’ve been revealing selected Housemates to us as part of the on-air promo campaign. And it came to a peak tonight as the Top 30 Countdown radio program was recorded inside the house, with the hosts giving out extensive details about the brand-new BB house.

So what is there left for us here to do? It’s fantastic that they’re recognising the potential of this kind of marketing campaign, but now they’re doing our job for us! Sure, we’ve still had plenty of our own victories, breaking news that was never supposed to come out and upsetting many within the BB compound. DQ in particular has been dishing it out for the past five months.

After last year’s breakthrough when one of our forum members found the names and pictures of all every HM 24 hours prior to the taping of Launch night, there’s the obvious speculation as to whether or not we’ll once again pull off something that huge. Time is certainly running out, as we’re less than 48 hours away from launch.

But my opinion is that is doesn’t matter any more. I’m at the point where I’ve heard so much, both officially and unofficially, that my desire for pre-season knowledge has been sated. I can sit comfortably waiting for launch, knowing that we’ve heard all kinds of things already about the coming season – while still being very much being secure in the knowledge that there are things, big things, that we don’t know about, and won’t know about until they happen. And that’s perfectly fine with me, because if I didn’t have that excitement of anticipation, the series would be dead to me already.

So if something happens and we do in fact get that huge leak this year, that’ll be awesome. But if we don’t? I won’t be bothered. I’m ready for Launch.

My next blog will come out hopefully in the next week or so – and I’ll be doing something that’s gonna be a BBBA first.

Will

Forum members can comment on this post in our Userblog section!

Change is a good thing right?

So Gretel’s gone to that great eviction stage in the sky, or a donkey sanctuary or something, meaning this year there is a very visible change in the form of Kyle and Jackie O.

It seems a risky appointment – but that’s far better than going for some reliable autocue reader with little personality – and it could just work. And if it doesn’t, well I think it’ll be entertaining watching their careers just slip away.

The more important change of course though is that of the production team. Love him (his mum) or hate him (the rest of us), four years is just too long to be in charge of a show like Big Brother, and Kris Noble ran out of ideas at least two years before he left.

So far the new producers (Rory Callaghan and Virginia Hodgson) seem to be heading in the right direction, but it’s not what they’re promising, it’s what they deliver which they will be judged on – and we all know how many promises have been broken in the past.

It’s not so much about what twists they come up with or what they steal from abroad and pass off as a “world first” – but it’s how they execute the things they do.

In many respects it doesn’t matter too much what they do – but it’s very important that what they do do, they do well.

After all, it only take one bad move for the series to be written off once again.

So what do you think – add you comments on our new BBBA community blogs here. And if you’d like a place to share your thoughts, why not try the brand spanking new BBBA user blogs and get blogging yourself.

5 days to go!

Hey All,

So we’re just 5 lazy days away from the launch and things are starting to well and truly heat up around here. More and more forum members are joining up each day and more members are stopping by. For example, today up until 5.30pm, we’ve had 550 unique members (members, not guests) drop by and 9 new members sign up. 21 new threads today, and 571 posts in the past 17 hours. Is that enough useless facts for you? Hope so!

As always at this time of year, there is a LOT of info out there. It’s just a matter of trying to figure out whats true and whats just damn ridiculous. Lets hope that the Corey rumour falls into the ridiculous category.

The idea of letting the audience meet some of the housemates before the launch has been great I think. It looks likely that before Sunday we’ll meet 4 of them. However, I’m thinking that these 4 people will be called ‘Gatecrashers’ and won’t actually enter until the Sunday after in the special show. But, could be proven wrong…

I’m hoping 12-14 housemates enter on Sunday night. Thats a nice number. Having 18 in there at once the following week won’t be nice though. 18 is far too many. A few of the duller housemates won’t get any airtime at all, and with the absence of Uplate meaning that even less airtime, they’ll struggle to survive if nominated.

The move to Sunday night for Nominations (basically straight after evictions) will be very interesting to watch. Perhaps they should’ve gone back to what they did in BB1 and just show them in the daily show the following day (The UK still do this), but Network 10 love making programs out of anything, and the nomination show has been around for 7 years so perhaps it’s too much to ask to cut that.

We still don’t know if they’ll be any HD content; I’d suggest since we don’t know anything, there won’t be. Especially with the IPL Cricket being shown on HD for the next couple of months.

The big plus for me this year is the attempt again at a panel show. I REALLY hope it succeeds. It’s got intelligent people on board so it just might. As long as they don’t turn it into a panel Uncut show. Sure, show some mature conversations that can’t be shown during the regular 7:00pm slot, and the occassional nudity moment, but then lets just have some healthy debate around the table.

Moving on, this year at BBBA is looking great. The radio show will be returning May 3rd, so stay tuned for that. This year it’ll be a shorter and sharper show, but many of the best features will be kept (ie the debate, mailbag….now I think about it, the best bits are all my segments ) So please, even if you didn’t listen last year, give us a listen the first week and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

User blogs are also introduced for the first time, so you too can ramble on about anything you want. Members can rate other members and if they rate highly enough, you’ll feature prominently on the User Blog page; so please hop to it and start blogging!

And lastly, vibes and I are also working on a Recap Library we hope will go live bit by bit throughout the season.

The forums of course have had a slight redesign as well and are looking great. Where else can you can to hundreds of other obsessed fans of the show? Basically…nowhere!

I’ll be back in a couple of days to give you the rundown of the housemates we’ve met so far.

Until then,
Dave