Category Archives: Big Brother

What’s Really the Message in Reality TV?

The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free.  Source: Provided
The Block Glasshouse Michael and Carlene remained scandal free. Source: Provided

Does reality television have a message for it’s viewers?  Is it “Be rewarded for your hard efforts” or “true talent will see you reach the top”?  What about something less positive like “lie, cheat, bitch and moan your way through your journey”.  With the recent dramas surrounding The Bachelor, The Block Glasshouse and Big Brother, that last message seems to ring more true.

It’s funny to think that just over 20 years ago, we got our first taste of reality television in the form of the classic Sylvania Waters.  It was touted as a ‘fly-on-the-wall look into the lives of Noeline Brown and her partner Laurie Donaher, their family and their lavish lifestyle in the Sydney suburb of Sylvania Waters.

The 12-part program was one of the first for Australian television and became one of the most talked about programs in the early 90’s.  It had its lovers and it had it’s haters, but either way, the show was an early indication of just how

Now jump forward 20-odd years where the genre that was considered taboo all those years ago has now become a staple on our screens. Everyday people (and sometimes celebrities) are starving themselves in isolate locations trying to avoid being voted off an island, they’re cooking for strangers, they’re living with strangers being filmed 24 hours a day, they’re dancing or singing or performing magic in-front of large audiences, they’re re-building and designing multi-million dollar apartments, they’re competing against strangers to win the heart of a person they don’t know…it seems there’s not much that hasn’t been covered by the genre – heck, there’s even people meeting and going on a date for the first time completely in the nude!

But it seems, especially of late, these programs that are saturating our networks are becoming more and more surrounded by scandals and outrageous antics both from those working behind the scenes and the contestants involved leaving one to wonder – just how positive is the message that reality television is trying to push?

Chris the 'EPA Inspector' on The Block Glasshouse
Chris the ‘EPA Inspector’ on The Block Glasshouse

One of the biggest on-going stories is from Network Ten’s The Bachelor, which ended two weeks ago is still getting people talking with ousted girls and the Bachelor himself (and Australia’s most despised man of the moment) Blake Garvey, offering up exclusive tell-all’s that don’t really seem to tell all…at all. Surely Network Ten must be loving the publicity for the show coming off the shock of Garvey ending his engagement to winner Sam Frost just weeks after proposing, but now, has the circus that has erupted after the finale tarnished just what the show was actually about?

For instance, season one’s bachelor Tim Robards walked away with a long-term relationship in his final pick of Anna.  It was a happy ending that also cemented the message behind the show.  Sure, most people really only tuned in to see a bunch of super spray tanned girls bitch and bicker about each other while trying to ‘win’ the heart of a man but now even that has been out-shone by Garvey and his post-show antics.

Big Brother contestants Cat and Lawson have lie-down kisses. Source: Provided

This current season of Big Brother is also skirting controversy, from housemate Gemma’s brutal evicition to last years winner, Tim Dormer re-entering the house to housemates Cat and Lawson starting a relationship all-the-while Lawson’s girlfriend Candice sits on and watches.  While Big Brother and controversy have never been to far apart from each other, this season seems to have more people questioning the antics of the housemates and those behind the scenes – who some feel, may be pushing for certain actions to occur.

Even The Block has come under scrutiny for falsifying events regarding a visit from the EPA to inspect a 12,000 litre fuel tank discovered buried under the site (which was heavily played up by the show) There was a fuel tank, it was a big mother of one, but no one from the EPA was ever actually there to inspect it.   The finale of the show also brought some murmurs of unhappy viewers when three of the five couples failed to make a decent amount of coin from their auctions – and while producers and contestants have little control over the final auction outcome, it was hardly a glowing reference for wannabe contestants on future series.

In the end, we are now at a point where we’ve come to expect schlock and drama from reality television as a way to hopefully boost fledgling ratings but is it worth it at the expense of respect and decency?  Here’s hoping shows like My Kitchen Rules’ drama and scandal stays around someone using store bought pastry for a desert dish!

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Big Brother Australia Brings Excessive Humiliation to First Evictee

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Housemates Travis and Katie talk it out. Source: Provided

Wasn’t last night’s Big Brother Australia’s eviction of Gemma one of the most awkward and rage ensuring events to be ever be seen on a reality program?  The first housemate eviction for 2014 drew anger from viewers on social media after her ousting with the way it was handled compared to schoolyard bullying as Gemma found herself in a situation that is nothing short of humiliating.

After the announcement of the public vote which saw Jake and Gemma receiving the least amount of votes to stay, we were forced to endure watching the housemates, one by one and face to face, choose between the two, of whom they’d like to stay over the other.  The resulting effort was utterly painful for viewers and more so for Gemma with only Priya opting to stand behind Gemma – for which we can only assume was a strategy play on her behalf.

"The eviction process was horrible.": Gemma Kinghorn is booted out of Big Brother. Photo: Channel Nine
“The eviction process was horrible.”: Gemma Kinghorn is booted out of Big Brother. Photo: Channel Nine

While Gemma was clearly always going to be the first to be ousted (her strategy of trying to be polarizing like last years winner Tim played heavily against her), viewers stood behind the towering redhead with support after the way she was ousted.

What are your thoughts?  Do you agree with the way Gemma was evicted in Tuesday night’s eviction?

A Storm is Coming: Big Brother Australia 2014

Big Brother is back on 9 for 2014
Big Brother is back on 9 for 2014

 

Thursday saw channel 9 drop the new promo for Big Brother Australia 2014 and it’s got a lot of people talking about what to expect for the new season with a theme of Noah’s Ark and a massive storm used for this years advertising push.

Check out the new promo below:

As you can see, host Sonia Kruger is playing Noah while she directs the housemates (are they couples?) into the ark and just like the biblical story, they arrive, two by two, offering shelter and safety from the impending storm where, Sonia then explains: “A storm is brewing… on the inside,” and to top it off, last years winner Tim Dormer make an appearance right at the end of the clip, dressed in his trademark skeleton onesie.

Fans of the reality series are noting that this year, the series is starting much later than normal and how will it play into the networks lineup with The Block Glasshouse still airing.  It has been revealed that Channel 9 are planning on using the strong numbers for The Block as a lead in to this new series of Big Brother which will see the show pushed back to an 8:30pm timeslot while The Block is still airing (once The Block Glasshouse finishes, Big Brother is expected to move back to a 6:30pm/7:30pm timeslot)

This season will also see Big Brother have a  fully digital and integrated platform, allowing viewers more engagement and interaction than ever before. “Australia, this year it is power to the people. Your first chance to control what happens in my House starts before night one. You decide more than just who stays and who goes.”  Sonia Kruger says of the new series – “This is without a doubt going to be the most exciting series we’ve ever seen. From night one, Housemates will have to make immediate judgments which will have far reaching consequences into their Big Brother experience.

 “In this day and age, with the prevalence of social media, people are forced to make snap judgments on other people based on tiny bits of information. Our Housemates are going to have to make quick decisions based on first impressions. “I also hear our 2014 Housemates are the most opinionated and most controversial ever, and buttons will be pushed.”

The Daily Mail UK have revealed extensive renovations to the Big Brother compound with a larger pool, a new elevated living area, a tree house and possibly a second secluded pool while BehindBigBrother.com has revealed that the series will be the shortest in Australian Big Brother history – running only for 80 days and nights.

Big Brother Australia 2014 is scheduled to begin with a double night ‘housemate entry’ special on Monday September 8th on channel 9

Top OMG TV Moments of 2013

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There’s no denying that there has been some shocking and incredible “OMG” moments this year on television.  From Game of Thrones to The Walking Dead and Pretty Little Liars, these moments immediatley incur bouts of crying, laughing, anger, yelling and everything in between.  Check out my list of my top OMG moments from 2013!

RICK SENDS CAROL PACKING: The Walking Dead

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After admitting to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) that she was the one who killed Karen and Dave, Rick takes it upon himself to tell Carol (Melissa McBride), while out on a supply run, that she is no longer welcome to stay with the survivors within the camp grounds.   We’ve seen Carol, who has been a member of the group from the beginning, emerge as a strong player this season and Rick’s decision and her subsequent absence split fans right down the line.

TRAVIS AND LAURIE KISS: Cougar Town

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Travis (Dan Byrd) and Laurie (Busy Phillips) have always had a fun and flirty kind of relationship, but it’s always been that one where the guy likes the girl more than vice versa but when Laurie decides to explore her growing feelings for the teenage son of her best friend, it results in a rather awkward feeling kiss between the two.  We’d all been hanging for Travis to finally get his, but now it’s happened, most of us were wishing it didn’t.

THE BIG TWIST: Homeland

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Well were we all not played for fools!  Here we all are bitching and moaning about how bad Homeland had become.  We couldn’t figure out why or where such a great show had gone wrong.  Brody (Damien Lewis) was MIA and Saul (Mandy Patinkin) had Carrie (Claire Danes) committed to an asylum and we were getting too much focus on Dana only to have it all turn around and be revealed that Saul and Carrie were in fact working together all along in a bid to draw out a foe that could become an ally.

ASHLEY MARIN HITS DETECTIVE WILDEN WITH HER CAR: Pretty Little Liars

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Poor Ashley Marin (Laura Leighton) found herself on the receiving end of some unwanted harassment from an overly inquisitive Detective Wilden (Bryce Johnson) who demands that her daughter Hannah (Ashley Benson) keeps quiet about an indiscretion she witnessed involving him and a young lady.  never one to listen to demands, Ashley finds herself in a screaming match with Wilden before suddenly putting her foot to the pedal and throwing him over the bonnet of her car before speeding off!

THAT TAMPON SANDWICH: Orange Is The New Black

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New inmate Piper learnt the tough way not to piss off the lady who rules the prison kitchen!  When word get’s back to prison chef Red (Kate Mulgrew) that Piper (Taylor Schilling) has been less than impressed with the food on offer, Red takes it upon herself to ensure that Piper will never make comments like that again by serving her up a bloody tampon sandwich!  The scene itself was highly unsettling and intentionally confronting.

DEBRA MORGAN DIES: Dexter

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In the series finale, we knew someone was going to die.  Most of us expected it to be Dexter, or even Hannah, perhaps Quinn…it was never meant to be Dexter’s sister Deb.  After being involved in a shoot out with Oliver Saxon, Deb is wounded and is rushed to hospital.  The doctors all seems to think all should be ok but complications following the surgery lead Deb to have suffer a massive stroke leaving her in a permanent vegetative state.  It’s here Dexter lands the final blow, removing Deb off her life support effectively killing her.

RAYMOND DENIES BEING LIZ’S FATHER: The Blacklist

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It’s the theory that everyone seems to have – Raymond Reddington (James Spader) is actually Elizabeth Keen’s (Megan Boone’s) birth father.  It’s been hinted at right from the get go…his selecting her to be the only one he deals with, his wanting to know more about her life, his knowing certain things about her husband, but in the closing scenes of the final episode of the first series, Liz flat out asks Red over the phone “Are you my father?” to which Red replies “No.”

THE BOMB: Home and Away

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Known for it’s annual end of year shake-up, Home and Away offered up one heck of an explosion involving fan favourites and unexpected faces and leaving us not knowing who has survived.  After continuously butting heads with her boss Bianca (Lisa Gormley) and Bianca’s husband Heath (Dan Ewing) Jade (Tasma Walton) decides to get her revenge in the form of a bomb placed inside Bianca’s laptop bag.  We then spent the whole episode wondering when the bomb will go off as the bag changes hands numerous times before going off inside the hospital in which pregnant Ricky (Bonnie Sveen) is being treated.  Irene (Lynne Mcgranger), Bianca, Heath and Doctor Nate Cooper (Kyle Pryor) are also there when the bomb goes off.

HELENA CUTS OFF OLIVER’S TAIL: Orphan Black

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Things got a bit weird when it was revealed Neolution club owner and believer in self-directed evolution Oliver (David Richmond-Peck) was actually sporting a real life tail.  After coming to Sarah’s (Tatiana Maslany) aid while in a fight with Oliver, psychotic clone Helena wins the upper hand and swiftly chops Oliver’s tail off…then makes her way back to the dancefloor to partake in a rather ghastly dance with said tail still in her hands.

TULLY CHEATS ON HER GIRLFRIEND: Big Brother

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Fun and funky social media expert and lesbian Tully quickly turned into a sullen and sobbing mess after entering the Big Brother house.  She missed her girlfriend Tahlia but thankfully she had housemate Drew to lean on and talk to.  Quickly though that talking turned into sleeping in the same bed and sharing sneaky kisses when suddenly the two swapped secret “I love you” bombs leading to Tahlia to make a very public break-up via twitter.

MATT AND KIM’S FIRST ROOM REVEAL: The Block

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Not ones to be left hidden among the pack, West Australian couple Matt and Kim had planned to something controversial when it came to styling their first room – the guest bedroom.  Their inspiration?  Artist Jackson Pollock, he of the abstract expressionist movement (or paint splash era).  While the final result was clearly shocking, it was more ‘kids gone wild’ than Pollock admiration.

THE RED WEDDING: Game Of Thrones

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I don’t watch Game of Thrones, but even I found myself on YouTube watching the events that led to THAT video going viral showing fans reactions to the wedding as it aired.  While I may have no idea who was who or why everyone was being killed, but the red wedding sure stuck to it’s name after half the people in the room celebrating were slaughtered, including a very heavily pregnant woman!  “May the rivers run red with the blood of the non-believers.”

Big Brother Final Week Countdown

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Big Brother Housemate Drew

First off, I must say, what a cracker of a season this has turned out to be!  I think the casting crew got the right mix of personalities to really ensure that we are all kept entertained and wanting to watch more, even down to the selection of intruders, each one added to the house – yes i’m including Justynn in this.  I think most of the housemates were evicted in the right order (though Mikkayla should have left much earlier) and I must mention that one of my all time favorite moments of the the series was watching Ed walk out the eviction doors last week and watching Jade start running scenes of Ed having orgies with ‘Ed Groupies’ through her head and the subsequent fall-out from Jade learning of Ed nominating her a few weeks back.

Now, we’re in the final week of Big Brother and it comes down to five housemates – Drew, Tim, Boog, Tahan and Jade and tonight will see that cut down to three with a live double eviction tonight!

So what are my tips?  Don’t quote me on any of these.  I’ve never had luck picking reality winners (see my Australia’s Next Top Model post – see my X Factor Australia post) and I had a very different final five picked out, but that said, tonight, I’m expecting we’ll say goodbye to Jade and Boog.

Who will win?  Talk about that spot changing over time from Ben to Tim to now possibly Tahan.  Why Tahan?  Even I don’t know.  I’m working off social media and live crowd reaction and for some reason ‘mean girl’ Tahan seems to be the most favorable.  She’s always had a strong following but she’s also one for causing a lot of tension in the house with her “say what I feel” attitude.

Why Tim won’t win:  Tim’s “I’m the victim” play is putting people off.  Mikkayla first called him out on it and then more recently Boog and while it may fool housemates, Tim may have forgotten that we, the viewers, have actually seen his antics.  More recently though, Tim has shown a softer side (showing the remaining housemates his rock collection and explaining his choices) but is it a case of too little too late?  Tim has been a great housemate.  Will happily say that.  He is THAT housemate this year – and going by previous years, THAT housemate never wins.

What about the rest?: As mentioned, I’m expecting Jade and Boog to leave.  Jade’s overtly sexual aggression towards Ed has not been pretty to watch and I’m assuming Ed’s eviction before Jade was just for our benefit to watch Jade’s reaction.  Boog on the other hand has proved herself a very entertaining housemate but her status as ‘intruder’ will play against her against voters and original housemates.  Had Boog come in from the start, I would be pegging her for the win.

Drew:  Had Tully not been evicted when she did, I doubt Drew would still be around.  I always found it amusing his ability to criticize Ed and Jade for the way they segregated themselves from group activities, yet Drew, when Tully was around, was even worse.  But, thankfully, Tully was evicted allowing Drew to free himself and ‘jump on Tim’s coat-tails’.  I don’t actually believe that was his intentions, it’s just the way it all played out.

The double live eviction airs tonight on Channel 9 at 7:30pm.

Big Brother Sees Surprise Eviction

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Evicted Big Brother Housemate Ben Zabel

Was last night’s Big Brother eviction a case of “others will vote for him, so I don’t need to” or foul play on Big Brother’s behalf with votes not being confirmed?

Like myself, I think many fans of the show were quite shocked to see hot favorite Ben Zabel leave the Big Brother house last night.  Not long after entering the house, Ben quickly became a fan favorite and had since been tipped to win the $250,000 first prize.  It even got to a stage where the housemates would use Ben as the nomination swap sacrifice as they knew he had a strong following on the outside.

Guess they were wrong.

Rumors quickly started circulating that nominee Ed was saved thanks to a voting surge conducted by his family and posts began popping up on Facebook and Twitter from fans stating they never received confirmations of their votes to ‘save’ Ben from eviction.  Add into it the daylight savings factor which saw Queenslanders (Ben’s home state) confused about when the voting lines had actually closed.

Says Jon Francis on Facebook “I wish to air my dissatisfaction at the eviction of Ben [Big Brother] the confusion regarding the different cut off times of the voting.  Especially Qld his home state is a disgrace. Watching the Host of the show telling viewers voting lines are still open while have a banner running saying voting has closed is a major concern .”

While people were saying they never received voting confirmations for Ben, I’ve been told people also found themselves with the same issue when voting for Tim or Tahan.

We’ll see the aftermath of Ben’s eviction on the remaining housemates tonight on channel 9.

Big Brother Shock: A Housemate Walks

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Housemates Drew and Nathan. Did One of Them Walk?

In case you have missed all the news scattered over social media yesterday, it’s been revealed a current housemate has voluntarily walked from the Big Brother house.

The news, which started out as speculation has since been confirmed by Big Brother producers (live feeds were cut) but we will not officially know who walked until tonight’s special event episode.  Big Brother has since noted that voting lines are still open leading many to believe those housemates currently nominated were not the one who left.

Of course with any news like this, posts began popping up on twitter about people seeing Drew at a petrol station yesterday afternoon (the accompanying photo looked like a hipster with bad taste in shirts) and also posts about seeing recent intruder Nathan walking around the Dream World compound.

My guess – Nathan has walked to allow both female intruders to stay (one female intruder is scheduled to leave tonight).  Having watched the program, Nathan, after two weeks in the house, is still not totally settling in and was rather emotional at the eviction of the Sugar Sisters last Wednesday.  I believe he feels the experience isn’t what he had planned and has seen that both Madeline and Boog have both fit in well with current housemates.

Either way, we’ll find out tonight in a special late episode airing at 8:45pm tonight right after Australia’s Got Talent on channel 9.

Big Brother 2013 – More Intruders Coming.

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Big Brother Housemates Drew and Tim

Let’s talk intruders.  I don’t like Justynn.  His name spelling alone is worthy of a dislike (I don’t even want to add it to my dictionary, that red underline can stay!), but that aside, I’m finding him highly unlikable.  He seems like the type of person who wouldn’t have many close friends in the real world.  Up front, brash, offensive (and that’s not just his personal hygiene!) he’s a more bark than bite type of guy that has most of the housemates offside.  Also, is it just me, but is Justynn literally the only guy in the entire world who looks more dirtier after a shower?

Nathan is fine.  He’s like the sugar sisters.  Doesn’t seem to cause too much trouble, just a beige type of guy.  Neither will win.  But it will be interesting to see who the viewers will vote to stay.

Now more intruders are on their way into the Big Brother house and this time it’s two females!  After Monday night’s male intruder eviction,  we should expect two female intruders to enter – one, a sexy lawyer, the other, a loud mouth pocket rocket.

 

 

Big Brother Australia Premiere Best and Worst Bits

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Big Brother Host Sonia Kruger

Big Brother along with pyrotechnics and a dancing Sonia Kruger in a glitter tin foil dress and thigh high hooker boots returned to our screens last night.

Amid all the dancing and shots of the crowd screaming in anticipation of the big twist, we got to meet 12 new housemates who were about to be open season on social media and experience, first hand, just what this ‘Big Twist’ was for this new season of the re-vamped Big Brother.

Lets talk the good bits of last nights premiere:

Host Sonia Kruger.  Now in her second season as host, Krugs has easily proven herself a force on the stage in front of a crowd.  Quick-witted Sonia even took the time to rib new housemate Caleb about his uncanny resemblance to Shane Warne

The House Divided.  So while the twist of the divided house was not really the best kept secret, how we were introduced to it was exciting.  What key opened which door?  Who was going to end up in the ‘Safe house’ and who would end up in the ‘Halfway house’?

The House.  It’s actually nice (save for the diary room chair).  There’s a clear and definite line between the good and not-so-good sections of the house.

And the not so good bits:

Sonia’s Tin Foil Dress.  I HAD to go there.  Delta Goodrem copped it during The Voice, Krugs copped it all last season.  Wardrobe choices of hosts are one of the first things we all picked up on and Sonia’s tin foil glitter dress matched with a pair of black hooker boots really got everyone talking.  At least her hair looked fab.

Certain Housemates.  Yes Tim, I’m calling you out on this one.  He’s loud, he’s brash, he’s that ‘there’s one every season’ guy.  Within the hour of being in the house, co-dweller Tully quickly pointed out to Tim himself that he needs to speak over everyone so as to hear himself.  Throw in bleached blonde (hair and teeth) Caleb who rocked up in a shirt missing both sleeves (I’m tempted to assume he tore them off out of pure boganism before entering the house) and mum-of-three Sharon, who is working a decent set of Madonna arms and professed to wanting to ‘(s)mother painfully awkward Ben’ and we’ve already got a set of housemates who’ve clearly made an impression for all the wrong reasons.

The Second Twist.  Yawn.  A couple, yet to enter the house, have to convince the housemates they are actually a married couple.  Yawn.  Remember the mother/daughter twist?  Remember the twins twist?  What’s next?  A female housemate who’s really a dude….wait…we’ve also been there too.

The Twitter Airings. Where The Block was great for including it’s viewers in aired broadcasting viewers tweets, last nights Big Brother found it necessary to publish tweets from David Campbell (Sonia Kruger’s morning show co-host) proclaiming how beautiful she looked and tweets from last seasons housemates complaining about this years housemates.  Where are the tweets calling out Tim as a big idiot (nice word) or the tweets that wanted to know why Tahan would choose a dress to wear that clearly she was poured into, that flooded my twitter stream last night?

The New Diary Room Chair.  It’s made from Kylie’s gold hot pants she wore in that ‘Spinning Around’ video right?