Well, it’s all over.
Another slice of reality television draws to a close with the conclusion of Celebrity Big Brother. For the shortest period of time they came, they saw and they argued. Yep, the promise of car crash television was well and truly fulfilled. Yet like all shows of this nature it has to be said that there were moments of quiet reflection and introspection…
…But thankfully, not too many.
This is the show that showed us just how fallible and false those that grace the limelight could be. It showed us that people can claw their way to a degree of fame and notoriety with precious little talent or ability. It also illustrated “stardom” in its different stages. The likes of Preston, a minor celebrity from a second division guitar band could still be seen as being in the first flush of popularity. I daresay he’ll witness a brief musical rebirth thanks to the re release of their biggest hit to date. Yet I would hazard a guess that he might have just sacrificed any long term credibility in his chosen field for the fact that he has just spent the last few weeks frolicking with a slightly gormless blonde on national television.
Then there are of course those at the other end of the “stardom” scale. Michael Barrymore represents the seasoned veteran of the showbiz circuit. Once upon a time the nation’s favourite, a versatile all round entertainer with a line in amicable TV shows and cheeky phrases. However as he proved fame is a fickle mistress and the Barrymore we saw in the house was a far cry from the cheeky persona of old. Worn down by negative press attention and more than a whiff of scandal, this Barrymore was one that appeared armed with the touchy feely tools that therapy had offered. However this was also a Barrymore who appeared on the road to public redemption (and if this was an act then it was a fairly effective one). He started out as something of a fragile character with little evidence of the man he used to be.
Yet this was the man who emerged from the show with the public’s forgiveness and quite possibly the chance to discreetly work his way back into the spotlight, whether this could be a long term prospect only time will tell (personally I doubt it) but could it be that reality television has wiped the slate clean?
Along the way we have seen behaviour that has verged from the honest to the downright outrageous. The no hope tabloid tit merchant Jodie Marsh more or less ran her own early bath by reinforcing her image as a tabloid slapper, there was little depth to her “performance”. Her cringe worthy rants about all her good work for charity were designed to win an audience over, na?ve or stupid? I’d personally go with the latter.
Others such as Rula Lenska and Pete Burns admitted they were in it for the money, Burns more than likely required a cash injection to pay for taking his body remodelling to the next level and Lenska, well lets be honest she’s hardly regular fodder for the box these days is she and I suspect even the panto circuit might be looking a little dry for someone of her vintage. Burns was predictably the caustic one liner merchant, his tongue could quite frankly be registered as a dangerous weapon. True, the guy talks a lot of shit and believes his own press but I had to admit some of his one liners did raise the odd belly laugh.
As for Rula well she did give us one of television’s most skin crawlingly awful moments with the help of George Galloway. Where could you see such crusty eroticism with a gaunt old lady with hair the colour of Tizer (other red fizzy drinks are available) and a portly politician with some allegedly suspect connections behind him. Yes, watching those two getting tactile and animalistic did make me want to chew my own knuckles to pulp. And if you saw it, you know what I mean.
Galloway himself arguably set his own political career in flames. His excuse that he wanted to make Big Brother a potential soap box to bring politics to the masses was weak at best. Anyone who has watched the program would surely be aware that the editing style of such a show would render any political output minimal. After all this isn’t long attention span television and the kids want a ruck not a party political broadcast. Characters like Maggot were potentially non descript, only coming into their own towards the end of the show. Yet who would have thought you would have found one of the shows potential peacemakers in the form of a misfit comedy rapper from Wales.
Then of course there was the American contingent, Tracy Bingham entered the show with a headful of Californian faux optimism, she “loved” everything and everything was “awesome” and not even a tongue lashing from Pete could long diminish her media hungry fa?ade. You only had to watch her exit performance and her instant ability to transform from person to product when a camera was pointed at her to bear witness to this fact. Then of course there was Dennis Rodman, he entered the house as a somewhat non plussed potential sex pest and left the house as a somewhat non plussed potential sex pest. His only reason to be in London? well potentially to fuck something then go home.
Yet the ultimate irony of the show was the winner. Chantelle was the young woman who came off the street with no celebrity credentials whatsoever. A promos girl from Essex who managed to fool the real celebrities (quite possibly because they were so self obsessed they couldn’t see through the fa?ade). Surprisingly confident and no doubt destined for some short term career, how she will fare is anybody’s guess. There does seem to be something about her that suggests she could forge some kind of career though, after all there are worse people on the box. Although I pray to God someone does something about her extensions…very nasty.
Highlights from the show were undoubtedly courtesy of Big Brother’s Big Mouth. Russell Brand’s satellite show revolved around the main programme and his caustic sometimes screwball wit did provide many of Big Brother’s better moments.
So that’s it until the summer, Big Brother 7 promises to be bigger and longer than ever before. If anything this is just the support act…