Friday, 22 August 2008

Big Brother 9: Thriller

Friday, 22 August 2008
There seems to be a zombie invasion this week! First came news Kelly Brook will be battling the undead on an airplane, then my review of Spanish zombie film [REC], news of Charlie Brooker's Dead Set on Thursday, and then Big Brother's housemates had to re-enact Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video...

Is it just me, or is the taskmaster getting all his ideas from YouTube this year? The excellent Matrix-style Ping Pong task was clearly inspired by an internet viral, and I'm sure the "Thriller" task came from seeing those hundreds of Filipino prisoners dancing in unison. What next; a Coke and mentos challenge? Miming to bad Romanian pop songs?

Anyway, my stomach is still churning from the disgusting sight of Mo eating one of Mikey's bogies. For a bet, but that's hardly an excuse. By the ound of it, the nose effluent was a particularly gruesome greeny, too. Was Mo that desperate for a can of cider? Is scoffing other peoples' snot something he wants to be remembered for? I retch just thinking about it.

So, then: the task. As Head of House, Rex was the appointed dance choreographer and made his girlfriend Nicole the lead dancer/Michael Jackson stand-in, for the others to follow. His reasoning was understandable: she hasn't done many tasks compared to the others, and picks up dance routines quickly. Still, it did mean the two-day task was once again dominated by Rex and Nicole's squabbled -- with cynical interjections by Mikey.

Poor Mikey. A blind man isn't the best person to have in a dance task, as Rex and Nicole kept reminding him and everyone else. They had a point, though. Teaching rhythmically-challenged housemates the steps to "Thriller" (which required the use of an instructional DVD) is difficult enough when they can see. Mikey kept on groaning about how Rex didn't stop to explain all the moves in painstaking detail -- but how do you describe some of Jackson's moves? It's not as simple as the Hokey Cokey, is it? Dance instruction leans heavily on copying what you see.

It's a rarity, but I was on Rex's side in this argument. He did his best to get everyone up-to-speed, and Mikey did seem to relish a chance to berate Rex and Nicole. He must know it's nearly impossible to keep his moves in time with people he can't see. While I'm sure Mikey could have been given better instruction, the housemates only had 48-hours, so he was never going to reach a high standard. 72-hours and maybe Mikey would have had a chance.

The day of the task arrived, and the housemates were given appropriate costumes and body paint to turn themselves into rotting zombies. Ironically, Lisa had less make-up on for this task. The set was appropriately spooky and atmospheric (well, some coffins and disco lights), and while the group dancing only synchronized by accident for split-seconds... it was still good fun. I grudgingly have to admit Nicole was the best. Well, she was the only one you could properly see, actually: front and centre in bright red.

Big Brother promptly announced the task was a success, so the housemates now have a luxury shopping budget. To be honest, while the "independent dance experts" probably recoiled in horror for all the wrong reasons, they got by on sheet effort.

Beyond the task, Nicole and Rex continued their now-boring love/hate relationship. I say "boring", but a better word would be infuriating. Someone needs to create a NicoRex patch to combat the mental anguish they cause. I know Nicole's "only" 19 years old and very immature for her age, but that's still no excuse for her obnoxious insults and mood swings.

She's particularly nasty to anyone she half-thinks is having a go at her. Her refusal to share cigarettes with fellow smokers (many of whom gave Nicole fags, make-up and clothes when her suitcase was confiscated) is a prime example of her self-centred attitude. Rex was just as bad, but the arrogant chef earned a mild reprieve by smuggling Sara and Mo a ciggie when his girlfriend wasn't looking.

Tonight -- Lisa, Sara or Nicole are up for eviction, and two will go. Obviously, Nicole's a goner. You'll hear the boo's from the Shetland Islands. But who will be joining her? Lisa's too passive and quiet to elicit much hatred in voters, so I'm betting Sara joins Nasty Nic. Dick-teasing Darnell then schmoozing with Stu was a bit low. And there's only so much of her nasal whine and puckering lips we can take. Update: Hmm, I was wrong about the two going thing. But dead on with the Nicole prediction. 94% wanted her out. Ouch.

Channel 4/E4, various