Big Brother 17


In case you blinked and missed it, Big Brother 17 has come and gone. At the time of writing, Celebrity Big Brother 18 is due to start this evening, with literally only a day in between the two series. The last week of BB17 saw trailers counting down to CBB18 and the final was on a Tuesday, the most insignificant day of the week. They couldn’t shove BB17 aside and let it fall off the edge to make way for the summer celebrity series fast enough.

It didn’t start off feeling this way. BB17 was hyped up with the show said to be making big changes. One of the biggest was building a second house next to the main house and getting a new set for the eviction interviews, which they had to get planning permission from the council for.

There was talk of “New game, new rules”, and a theme of this year being “The Others” and “an unseen dark force”. Like every other series theme, this all ended up being forgotten about within a fortnight, but this one unraveled quicker than most.

The launch night was so long and exhausting you got jet lag afterwards. 12 real housemates, plus 6 ‘Others’ in a secret house next door, some of whom had connections
to some of the main housemates. The Others had to try and steal a place from the main housemates. On launch night this was done by the main housemates putting themselves on stands labelled “most sexy”, “biggest gameplayer” and so on. The Others were told to pick a target, but weren’t told who they were, just which stand they picked. The Others chose “most sexy”, which was Laura. Then she had to pick someone to join her, and she chose Lateysha. Then host Emma Willis told us that Laura and Lateysha might not to be up for eviction after all because another twist was coming. Only on launch night and we were already at Metal Gear Solid levels of convoluted plot! After all this, the show was rewarded with… their lowest launch night viewing figures ever.

The Others were told to evict two main housemates, Andrew pushed for them to evict Jackson and Alex, who were both popular in the house, as that would just totally screw
with their minds! Except that, surprise surprise, this was a fake eviction and Jackson and Alex would be going to the Other house.

Anyway, with the crowd booing Laura and chanting “Get Laura out”, and cheering Jackson and Alex, and it being vote to evict with Laura apparently not even getting the
most or second most eviction votes, it didn’t take long for the main housemates to be suspicious. Marco said “You guys are going next door” to Jackson and Alex. After leaving the house to cheers from the crowd, Emma Willis informed them that they were indeed going into the second house and that the Others “are not expecting you”. When Jackson and Alex came into the Others house, Natalie greeted them with “We knew you were coming down!”.

Seriously, Big Brother producers, the Secret House/Fake Eviction twist has had it’s day. It’s a dead horse, a dead duck, a dead parrot, whatever you want to call it,  but it’s obsolete. It. Doesn’t. Work. Anymore.

But there was still more to come with this twist. The public voted for two Others to go in the main house in place of the two that had left. They chose Andrew and Ryan. Emma Willis tried to explain to them that they would have to pretend that they were brand new housemates and they would fail their secret mission if the housemates discovered there was a second house.

Before he had even got down the stairs, Ryan started mouthing off at Sam (they knew each other on the outside world) with it being obvious he had at least been watching this series. Then after a few minutes going in spoiling for a fight, Ryan started blubbing in the corner.

Andrew wasn’t much better at playing the game despite how he had built himself up to be a master gameplayer. He instantly told the housemates they were all snakes and had been talking about each other behind their backs before even introducing himself. This was such a transparent attempt at shit-stirring that rather than making them all turn on each other, it just made the original housemates turn on him instead and if anything it strengthened their “we were here first” bond.

We had yet another set of twins, Emma & Victoria. I’d love it if they were named after The Spice Girls, but Emma & Victoria are 30, so sadly, they couldn’t have been. They were nu-New Age hippy chicks. One has tattoos and one doesn’t, but I forget which is which. On Day 5 they broke out of the house into the camera run, and Victoria decided she didn’t want to come back, so Emma returned alone. As she didn’t last long, there’s not much to say about Victoria. She didn’t like being cooped up in the house or being close to people eating meat, and didn’t like that she couldn’t walk barefoot on real grass when the Big Brother garden has Astroturf.

Marco and Chelsea also broke into the camera run, but returned with Emma. While they where there, Marco and Emma spotted the Other House and saw Alex in there. The main housemates had already overheard The Others arguing in their garden anyway, but the show still tried to keep up the pretence that the main house were unaware of the Other house for the rest of the week. I’ve heard of expecting an audience to suspend their disbelief, but that’s stretching it a bit!

All in all, this was an absolute farce, or as Emma Willis put it a “shitbox scramble”.

Finally, as the first week ended, Andrew was removed, there were conflicting reports as to why, but whether it was to do with videos or social media posts or both, it was something he’d done before going in the house, similar to Tila Tequila’s removal in CBB16. In any case, Andrew wasn’t any great loss. Andrew always went on about some “masterplan”, but if what he did in the house is anything to go by it didn’t show much promise. He was humourless and had an inflated sense of his own importance. After being removed from the house, he said he was going to do his own reality TV show. That made me think of something Bender from Futurama might say. “Oh, no room for Bender, eh? Well I’ll start my own Big Brother, with blackjack and hookers!”.

There was a decent task among this, even if it was a bit of a rehash of the In The Dark task from last year.  There was “unexplained paranormal activity” in the house, with the housemates finding a severed papier mâché head in the fridge. Well, there’s worse things to find in a Big Brother house fridge. Jay BB12 apparently shat in the fridge in his series after all.

The Abandoned Attic had creepy baby dolls and dolls houses, a rocking chair with a zombie-ish old woman in it, a trunk full of human body organs and maggots falling
from the ceiling. It was funny seeing the housemates run around screaming in horror.

The Live Twist, on the other hand was one of the most amateurish things the show has ever done, and that’s saying something. A live broadcast to the house where the existence of the Others and the other house was revealed to the main housemates, despite the fact they all figured it out ages ago.The Others were asked to choose a main housemate to join them, and they chose Chelsea. He was sent to the Diary Room to go into the Other house. Then there was an unbelievable amount of technical mess-ups. It cut to adverts as Chelsea was about the enter the Other house. Then it cut to a testcard. Then back to adverts. Then the testcard again. Then live to the Other house, briefly, before cutting to adverts again. Then we were back to the Other house, and we got the sound dipped and the familiar live feed bird tweets playing.

Then we were sent back to the main house with Marco called to the Diary Room and asked how he felt about the twist, and it dragged on for ages. Even Marco asked them to get to the point, but it looks like they didn’t have one. They might have just been desperate for something to fill airtime. Either way, what an utter mess.

After all this, we got the first proper eviction. It kind of went by unnoticed, but it was a historical, groundbreaking one, as it was the first time a male contestant has been voted out first by the public! It took 16 years, but the curse is finally broken! You could argue that SHOWBIZ! Simon last year was the first, as he was evicted in launch night, but that was via the Time Bomb twist rather than a public vote, and they foolishly bought him back anyway. If we’re counting Celebrity Big Brother, then the first ever was Chris Eubank in the first CBB series.

But I digress. The first evictee was Marco. He is the offspring of celebrity chef Marco Pierre White. Marco Junior acted like a spoilt, sleazy, decadent brat. Lateysha commented on his constant one-upmanship. “If you’ve been to Tenerife, he’s been to Elevenerife!”. He spent most of the time in the house slobbering over Laura, having sex with her, and asking her to choke him with a belt. He had a fiancée on the outside, he claimed it was an open relationship, but his fiancée said that was news to her.

It’s notable the series improved a lot once they’d finally chucked this Others business in the bin. Whatever they had planned for it, it became obvious that it just wasn’t working. The two sets of housemates were joined together.

One of the best moments of the whole series for me was there was a big rainstorm and Sam, Andy, Evelyn and Emma ran into the garden to dance in it. They got soaked in the heavy rain. Emma even jumped into the pool. Then the house started leaking from the roof, and the housemates had to be evacuated and sent to the Other house as the whole ceiling could have caved in, not to mention the electricity risk with the lights. Jason did a good job taking charge of evacuation like it was a fire alarm.

We did get history repeating itself again though. In BB15 BB16 BB17 Zoe Sam Emma sang a song to soundtrack Biannca’s Harry’s Charlie’s lapdance. Is this becoming a new tradition, as it’s happened three series in a row.

Natalie was one of the Other housemates, and to say she spoke her mind would be an understatement. She repeatedly clashed with Hughie and Jayne while they were in the Other house, and that didn’t stop once they got into the main house. She had an intense rivalry with Jayne in particular. One memorable quote was in the Diary Room where Natalie said “Jayne, fuck off… and make a cup of tea”. There was also Jayne screeching in Natalie’s face telling her “I’d annilate you on the outside”. In an argument, Natalie once dismissed Jayne with “I don’t want to talk to you, you don’t exist”, which I know isn’t as good as those other quotes, but it made me laugh.

One night they were given some booze, and as Natalie hadn’t got a glass when they were all sharing out one bottle of wine, she snatched the bottle out of Ryan’s hand. There was only a little left and she wanted to make sure she would get some. She moved Laura’s hand away and it turned into a huge argument with Laura, Evelyn and Ryan against Natalie. Natalie was called to the Diary Room and given an official warning and had to sleep in a separate room for the night.

Natalie doesn’t seem to see other people’s opinions as having any value. While in some ways I suppose it’s an admirable quality to have self-belief and not to care too much about what other people think, Natalie is living proof you can have too much of a good thing and take it a bit far. In any case, she was the second evictee.

Georgina was one of the most whingey housemates the show has ever had, and that’s saying something. Andy tried to inform her that her cakes were burning, and she just
went into a sulky strop over it. Once her hoodie she’d left on a chair dropped on the floor and she went into a sulky strop and complained to the whole house about that. There was a smudge on the house TV screen and she moaned about that too. If any little thing didn’t go her way and she’d sulk about it and moan to anyone daft enough to listen.

Emma disliked how much Georgina slagged off other people. While Emma put it in perhaps an irritating way (going on about “projecting negative energy”), she had a fair point about joyless Georgina. One of the targets for Georgina’s ire was Jayne, who she slated for the crimes of… having a bath and being over 40.

After Evelyn was sleeping during the day, and Big Brother announced it to the house, Georgina said Evelyn was a “stupid cow”. It turned out Evelyn was in the room at the time! Not that Georgina had the decency to apologise or even feel a bit embarrassed about it. Later Georgina fell asleep herself during the day, and Big Brother announced it, so Eveyln returned the “stupid cow” comment. But I preferred what Evelyn said closer to the time. “Georgina, you can go and fuck yourself you entitled little rich bitch”.

The main storyline for Georgina was her relationship with Jackson. She didn’t seem particularly interested in Jackson (saying “I wouldn’t put it on Facebook”), but didn’t
want anyone else to have him either. She could gawp at Alex and that was fine, but how dare Jackson look at Evelyn. Georgina got REALLY jealous.

Not that Jackson was much better. After Georgina reached peak entitlement sobbing after being nominated and having people fawn over her like she was on her death bed in a Victorian melodrama, Jackson went OTT himself, saying “It’s people’s lives!”. All this over Georgina getting nominated for eviction! A process they all have to go through! Jackson shouted at Emma for it, to which she replied “It’s a gameshow, we have to nominate”.

While a romance between a beatboxing chav and a gymkhana toff might sound interesting in theory, in practice it wasn’t. Jackson insisted it was some great love story comparing it to Aladdin and Princess Jasmine or Lady and The Tramp. For someone who claims to be “street”, it’s interesting that his go to references are Disney cartoonsGeorgina, though was pettily jealous, saying it was “vile” for Jackson to be talking about the birth of his child (because it was mentioning a good thing about a previous relationship!), and ordering him to get her suitcase for her.

The eviction saw Evelyn and Georgina both distraught at hearing rent-a-mob’s hostile reaction to them, Evelyn having a bit of a panic attack and Georgina crying. Georgina went, which she wasn’t expecting. To be fair to her, she didn’t react as ridiculously as Jackson, who started roaring like a lion and pulled his microphone off. It was pretty
funny, to be honest. It was quite satisfying to see Evelyn, Emma and Laura all outlast Georgina after her bitchiness towards them. Then for all Jackson’s mourning, he was splashing water at Evelyn in the shower and throwing her on the bed literally a day after Georgina was evicted.

A memorable episode was where the housemates were making pancakes. Chelsea complained about how thick the pancakes were, how much butter they were using, and it turned into a big argument, with Lateysha wondering why he cared so much. It was hilarious how utterly trivial and pointless this argument was, Lateysha herself seemed to think so too. Then there was Ryan and Hughie throwing eggs at each other and chasing each other around, and Sam accidentally breaking the door handle while trying to get them to stop throwing mustard at each other.

One task was where housemates had a bank of loyalty points which they would be tempted to use up when offered treats, luxuries, or contact with friends and family. Jason turned down the chance to see his dog Cleo, who his ex Charlie may or may not have kicked at some point in the past. There were various tempations and friends and family dropping in. But the big one of this task included Emma’s boyfriend, Andy’s boyfriend, and… some bloke Laura met in Miami two years ago. By the sounds of it, it wasn’t even a holiday romance, they just met each other!

Lateysha had a good line about him though. “He came all the way from Mexico for [Laura], and I can’t even get a text back”.

Andy’s boyfriend used the moment to propose to him, and as well as seeing them, Emma, Laura and Andy got to spend a night with their respective boyfriends in the house next door.

But that wasn’t the end of it. Other housemates were given a choice as to whether to use up points to let those three stay another night in the main house. They decided not. Then Emma, Laura and Andy were given the same choice, and they decided yes!

This annoyed a lot of the other housemates, and I can see why. Emma, Andy and Laura were being selfish accepting the same gift twice, and it meant that there was a risk of others not getting anything, especially Lateysha and Jackson who wanted to hear from their children. As it turned out they had enough points for that, but it cost them the shopping task as they had no points by the end.

The real reason for bringing those three back though was almost certainly to copy off ITV2’s Love Island. Love Island was thrashing this series in the ratings (the shame of that!), but I’m not sure that’s a good reason to start ripping it off with all this guff. It was all a bit insipid.

Ryan and Hughie claimed they had got engaged as a joke, and Andy seemed put out by it. He went on a self-important rant about how they “should be ashamed of themselves” about joking as gay marriage has only recently become legal in the UK and there are countries in the world with homophobic laws where gay people are killed just for being gay. While those things are true, it’s a little over-the-top to say two gay people in a relationship shouldn’t joke that they are going to get married. Straight couples do that sort of thing all the time, isn’t it a good thing that it is treated the same way? Andy came across as pompous, self-righteous and disingenuous, and frankly it’s likely the main reason for his rant was that he felt they had stolen his thunder from when his boyfriend had proposed to him earlier.

Ryan broke out of the fire exit, he said because there weren’t any cigarettes, but the real reason was probably just for attention. As Alex put it, “He’ll be back in 5 minutes”. Then after Jackson brought up the loyalty points task again and accused Emma of being selfish, she broke out too. She was told by Big Brother she wouldn’t be allowed back in this time, as she “couldn’t live within the confines of the Big Brother house”. She didn’t seem too bothered about it, but even so, it did seem a bit harsh considering what housemates have got away with in the past (and what they would get away with later in this very series!). But I suspect it was mostly the fact the series had only a few weeks left and they had too many housemates still in there, so any excuse to get rid of them will do. Anyway, I quite liked Emma. A couple of things I remember her for is crying when a moth drowned in the pool and her obsession with avocados.

Later on, there were tabloid rumours that Andy’s boyfriend had been cheating on him using Grindr and that Emma had been dumped for spending too much time with Marco.
True love, eh?

Of the in-house showmances this year, Ryan and Hughie was probably the “best” one, in that it wasn’t really a showmance. They seemed to genuinely like each other at least, which is more than can be said for most Big Brother showmances. That said, while I think Ryan and Hughie was real rather than just for airtime, I don’t see it lasting long outside of the house.

Alex and Evelyn on the other hand was a bit of a non-starter. There wasn’t any onscreen chemistry between Alex and Evelyn whatsoever. It was as if they were paired up by someone else because they are both conventionally attractive. It was like those adverts and pop videos where they have ridiculously pretty people in, but each person was probably in a separate continent when the photos/film was taken and they were just photoshopped in together later.

But the worst has to be one which existed from before and had broken up, so were put in together for that reason. We were treated to weeks of Charlie and Jason’s tedious, mind-numbing post-break-up relationship awkwardness, why did the producers think this would make good TV? It seemed that, as far as Jason was concerned, it was over, but Charlie wasn’t letting it go. She’d start a conversation then walk off crying soon after. Not that Jason was a saint, he’d say he just wanted to be friends, but also “never say never”.
A lot was said about this ruining Jason’s time in the house, but I’d say it ruined Charlie‘s more, as her stay was defined solely by it. However, she kind of brought it on herself by refusing to let go. It was a relief when she was evicted ending that depressing storyline once and for all. Not that Charlie’s eviction made Jason any less of a miserable git. If anything, he got worse!

Annihilation Week was where the housemates choose who left rather than the public vote, and there would be three evictions this week. I liked the Cash Bomb week in BB16, and this was similar. When money is involved the house backstabbing really starts. Annilation Week also had the added element of because housemates were deciding who went, they became even more paranoid and distrustful towards each other.

First the housemates were told to get together for a meeting to vote someone out.
7 out of 12 of them voted Chelsea, and if you exclude Chelsea himself that goes to 7 out of 11, so only 4 didn’t!

It’s surprising Chelsea got even this far, he was never popular either with the housemates or the public. He was a cartoon character. “Larger than life”, but essentially one dimensional. He talked like wheeler dealer Terry Tibbs from FoneJacker and had gangster pretensions which everyone saw through. Oh yeah, he and Jayne had some sort of connection before, but seriously I doubt any viewer cared about that.

The second eviction of the week was much more controversial.There was a suitcase full of cash, £20,000 from the prize fund. Housemates were invited to press the button to take it, but they would have to remain in the house and evict someone.

Jason pressed it and chose to evict Lateysha! This was a shock as she was popular in the house, and on the outside. She was the bookies favourite to win. I guess it made the winner less obvious, but it was certainly a bit unfair that she was evicted because ONE PERSON chose her to go.

Lateysha was one of the funniest housemates from the beginning, telling us in her introduction video she has a sheep tattooed on her fanny. One time when they were on basic rations, Lateysha refused to return her chocolate digestives. “I will live off chocolate digestives, I don’t want to eat rice and peas”, banging the packet with her toothbrush. I even laughed at Emma Willis’ pun in reaction to the clip. “She’s really taking the biscuit!”.

But her most memorable moment came after she left the house. Live on the spin-off show Big Brother’s Bit On The Side she twerked and her dress split open showing her nearly bare arse right to the camera. It became a viral internet meme, with international viewers who might not even know what Big Brother is viewing and commenting on it. It was probably the biggest moment of BB17.

It did reveal that Jason was a sneaky gameplayer. Some viewers approved of that, after all Big Brother is a gameshow etc, but then Jason spent much of the rest of his stay denying that he was playing a game.

Jackson pressed the button a split second too late, and claimed he would have given half the money to the evictee. Evelyn thought that was bullshit, and that Jackson was trying to save face now because they saw he pressed the button, and if he had pressed it in time he wouldn’t be so eager to give the money away.

The housemates were later given a choice to be Rich or Poor. If they chose Rich they would have £5 grand from the prize fund and live in luxury for a bit. If they chose Poor they would receive no money, live without hot water, sleep under rags and live on basic rations.

All chose Poor except Ryan, Alex and Jackson. There were a few hilarious things here. One, that Ryan after choosing selfishly lost out on the money and the luxury as there were only two seats availabe and Jackson decided to replace himself with Ryan! Jayne commented about Jackson’s earlier grandstanding too. “Is he going to give us 50 quid each?”. Jackson later started crying hysterically in the Diary Room over how principled he was, which was irritating as it came off as him begging for public forgiveness, i.e begging for them to still vote for him to win.

Alex, after slating Jason for taking the money earlier, backtracked by saying 5 grand is different from 20 grand. He kept that bit of smallprint to himself at the time though.

In the evening, Alex and Jackson went into the Diary Room to complain about being served Processco… while the Poor housemates were going hungry. Jackson said here that
“I don’t like drinking or eating anything I can’t spell”. No wonder he’s so skinny.

Some of the Poor housemates finally broke and tucked into some of the popcorn meant for the Rich housemates. Then, having failed the task anyway, decided they might as well eat all the luxury food. I think this was fair enough, to be honest. There was far too much food for two people, so it would have been wasted anyway. But Andy and Jason didn’t think so. Both made sanctimonious lectures about how they didn’t decide to break the rules so any consequences wouldn’t be their fault and it came off as an excuse to look superior. Always keen to do that, Andy went in the Diary Room to go on some more, letting us know that among his many achievements, he can also spell pâté. Neither him or Jackson came off well with their spelling comments in the Diary Room, Jackson for wallowing in his own ignorance and Andy for wallowing in his own self-importance.

Andy went on another rant in the Diary Room the next day about how unfair it was that he was punished when he didn’t break the rules and how had “expressed his displeasure” at the others, and I just wonder how many of his unctuous diatribes didn’t make the highlights shows.

The final eviction in Annihilation Week was the housemates having to pick who to evict from the bottom 3 in a vote to save. After a close vote it was Ryan. He was annoyed by Jason using it as an opportunity to tell him he found some comments Ryan made derogatory, despite never mentioning that to him before. Ryan called Jason a dickhead
as he left the house. His eviction outfit was a binbag – by his own choice! Apparently it was a pact with Lateysha.

Ryan was a loud, camp, annoying, and beneath all that garish, noisy surface he seemed empty. It might be redundant to call a Big Brother housemate is “an attention seeker”, but no better phrase sums up Ryan. It’s like he was artificially created in a lab especially to be a reality TV contestant. It certainly doesn’t seem like there’s much use for him outside reality TV.  While I think he was an OK housemate, I didn’t miss him at all after he’d gone.

I really liked the News task. The studio set looked nice, and Andy was given the role of newsreader. He did it very well! That was something he’d done before for the BBC. He reported real news, including tabloid newspaper and showbiz gossip website headlines about the housemates. They were shown a clip of Lateysha’s wardrobe malfunction on BBOTS.

While they have been in the house, politically the UK has gone into absolute chaos, and the housemates were told of it. They were as shocked as most of us were at all that happened, just they got it after the fact and all at once rather than seeing it unfold over a few weeks. Turkeys voting for Christmas The UK voting to leave the EU, David Cameron’s resignation and Theresa May replacing him as Prime Minister. Andy’s comment was one of the best quotes from the series. “I didn’t have much time for that shiny faced pack of gammon David Cameron in the first place”.

Some viewers don’t like that they were been given information from the outside world, but I think that particular horse has bolted long ago. They just give them information from the outside world anyway, they might as well do it in an entertaining way.

Evelyn packed herself into a suitcase for Alex, and she fitted in! That is pretty dangerous, and Hughie seemed more concerned for her than Alex did, he was considering throwing the suitcase in the pool, while Hughie was worried that Evelyn might suffocate the longer she was in there.

The programme showed similar lack of care about health and safety with a task where the housemates had to construct a bridge from bits and pieces, put it in the pool and pelt a housemate with sponges trying to get them to fall off. Jayne ended up being knocked by a sponge and falling in the pool. It sounds funny, but there was a panic when the housemates thought she’d been knocked out completely. The show’s first aiders had to come in and Jayne was taken to hospital.

It was quite satisfying when in response to getting booed by the crowd every time she was up, Laura said “If the general public don’t like me because of what I’ve done in the beginning, then fuck you!”, and that she knows she’s a nice person, her family are proud of her and those who turn up to boo or tune in just to hate are horrible people. But when she was nominated in the penultimate week she was upset about it, knowing full well she’d be voted out. The dislike for Laura seemed to be the same old case of slut-shaming that always happens in Big Brother, but she was a good housemate. I loved her friendship with Evelyn. Laura and Evelyn acted like Disney Princesses and singing about what they have in the cupboards for breakfast. Emma playing a table with wooden spoons, with Evelyn twerking to it. Laura ecstatic to have found a leftover fudge and she and Evelyn making a porridge pancake at times when they were on basic rations.

The Big Brother’s Courtroom task has to rank as one of the low moments of the series. It saw housemates “accused of a crime”, which were things like “being a gameplayer” and “being a mug”. Andy was found guilty of being patronising. Lateysha came back especially for this and told everyone she doesn’t know what “subjective” means, to add to the ever growing list of words she doesn’t know the meaning of. Earlier in this episode, Evelyn and
Hughie had a conversation where we found out Evelyn thinks Neapolitan ice cream is called Napoleon Ice Cream, and Hughie thinks a country called Napolea exists. I agree that
Andy can be patronising, but most of the housemates weren’t exactly making it hard for him were they?

The court room task was turgid, with them going over ground they’d already gone over, and arguing over semantics, which is ALWAYS a boring and awful topic in the context of Big Brother. Does so and so count as a housemate, did that count as an ejection or a walk, did this technically count as a nomination… zzzzzzz. Ex-housemates came back, showed how bitter they still were, and why people disliked them in the first place. Ryan was annoying, Georgina was bitchy in her usual passive-aggressive way, Lateysha was a bit dim, and then there was Charlie. She came in as a witness for Jayne, but spent her time calling Jason a See You Next Tuesday and a “little bastard”.

The ultimate result of this task was Jason looking like he was about to explode in rage, breaking doors and pulling cameras down, and Evelyn breaking out via the fire exit in tears. It seemed even more unfair that Emma was removed for doing pretty much what Evelyn did, and Jason did something much worse here, but then I wonder if the producers realised in this case it was their fault this happened. They created a situation where housemates who have already been cooped for some time had people coming in and slating them and winding them up for the sake of drama, when there were only a couple of days left. It was, at best, unnecessary, and at worst downright nasty.

With people voting for their winner at this stage and eight housemates still in, the show sprung a surprise double eviction, where the two with the fewest votes to win were evicted unceremoniously via the back door. It was fitting that the two who got this eviction were the two useless radar dodgers, but then they managed to squeeze in a shared interview and best bits in the finale, so… what was the point in doing this eviction twist then?

Anyway, the two that went were Sam and Alex.

It’s probably a safe bet that Sam puts “masc4masc” on his dating profile. Speaking of dating profiles, if you saw his pic and his age (24), you’d think he was one of those delusional 40-somethings who still think they can pass for being in their 20s and put that on their dating profiles. I don’t think Sam is lying about his age, but he must’ve had a rough paper round etc. He got only 1 nomination throughout the series, and was consistently struggling to get over 1% in “favourite housemate” internet polls. He was forgettable even when he was onscreen unfortunately. I struggle to think what we learnt about him that he didn’t get from his introduction video, all I can think of is that he liked mayonnaise and often used up the house supply of it. Not much to show for a contestant who lasted nearly the whole series.

Alex was the bookies favourite to win at one point, probably on the grounds that he’d be popular from his celebrity connection (he is friends with the most recent I’m A Celebrity… winner Vicky Pattison), and that he happens to be good looking. Yes, he is nice to look at, but what else did he have to offer? He always seemed like he thinks he’s too cool for school and is used to getting what he wants handed to him on a plate, because he didn’t say or do anything of note for about a month, which led to him being voted the most forgettable housemate in a viewer poll.

Finishing in 6th place was Jayne. She was a bit of a slow-burner, it took time for her to get going, but unlike Sam and Alex she did eventually get going. She became known for her Diary Room rants, frustrated by the mess the others were leaving and how much of a mad house it was. She won an award during an end-of-series award ceremony  for Best Diary Room moment. But the clip they showed for it wasn’t even one of the best ones! She had a lot that were more memorable and funny, like:

Telling Big Brother she wanted to go home, and after Big Brother asked her why she replied: “Are you on drugs?!? Are you fuckin’ on drugs?!! I’m bored shitless! Hearing the same conversations over and over again”.

About the younger housemates antics keeping her awake: “I can’t sleep at 4am every morning, I don’t care if that makes me a diva or a party pooper. If I tell them they’ll all turn on me and then I’ll have a really good night!”

When they were on basic rations and Andy was rewarded with ingredients to make chili con carne, Jayne went into the Diary Room to request an alternative. “I want bread, a pot of jam and a teabag. I don’t want to eat chilli con carne, I haven’t even had breakfast. I want to go home on a bus”.

Jayne had her ups and downs. On the upside, she showed she was a good friend to Charlie by giving her good advice to keep away from Jason for her own sake, even if Charlie didn’t take it. On the downside, she had a tendency to blow in whatever direction she thought the wind was blowing in, she even went as far to just accept her arbitrary low place in the house pecking order and agree that she should be evicted next!  But Jayne was the best housemate this series, and definitely deserved higher than 6th.

I never thought Evelyn would end up as the highest placing female housemate, but it was a nice surprise, after both the polls and bookies odds suggested she’d go in the surprise double eviction. Evelyn was similar to Jayne in that she was a slow-burner, but turned out to be a good housemate. She is stunningly gorgeous, and as I said I loved her friendship with Laura.  I liked how she called it as she saw it with other housemates without it having to be all-out series lasting war, she could disagree with their actions but that doesn’t mean they have to fall out altogether. She also said that they should leave petty drunken arguments alone, as in the morning they’ll have calmed down and it wouldn’t matter. It’s kind of refreshing to have someone that sensible and having a sense of perspective in Big Brother. 

A finalist who was out earlier than expected was Andy, who was winning or a very close second in many online polls, but ended up in 4th place. He does seem like the sort of housemate who’s more popular on the internet than with the average viewer to be honest. 
I changed my mind about Andy almost episode by episode. He could be funny now and again, and he is intelligent, but most of the time he was unbearably smug and self-righteous. He played the Diary Room narrator/Greek Chorus role better than Chris BB15 I suppose, but he still had a similar problem. You can’t really imply you’re above trashy reality TV shows when you’re a contestant in one.

Jackson was a bit like Dappy The Dunce from CBB13. Jackson was easier to take seriously as a person than Dappy, but that’s not really saying much, is it? Dappy came runner-up believe it or not, while Jackson finished in 3rd place. He was melodramatic and a weasely gangsta wannabe. I suppose he’s irritating rather than malignant really. I’m glad the show didn’t try to make Jackson’s backward chicken dance into an awful overhyped repetitive trademark dance move like Joel’s slutdrop last year. Though they did try to pretend the backward chicken dance was a “thing” at all, when people barely noticed it.

There was only 1% between the top 2, and it changed after Andy was evicted. From that, I think the most likely answer is that Jason picked up some votes from Andy’s fans, and that swung it in his favour.

Runner-up was Hughie. He was one of the few housemates this year who was consistently popular, which meant viewers excused him more than they did other housemates. He was often screaming and getting into pointless fights, going on and on about stuff and not letting it drop, on one occasion with Andy who was just having his breakfast and he interrupted him to tell him, for about the fiftieth time, that he thought he was a gameplayer and a telltale. But he could also be amusing, usually by getting drunk and falling in the pool. His reaction to coming second was more like that of a winner, with the crowd cheering him, shaking his hands with them and swinging Emma around, and he looked so happy! It would have been a more upbeat note to end the series on than the winner’s reaction we got.

Jason, with the best will in the world, is much too dour and dull. He said “I’ve smiled and laughed more in the past 6 weeks than in the past 6 years”. That’s grim, considering how much of a misery he was in the show. While Jason was pretty much just a grumpy middle aged man throughout his stay, his time on Big Brother can be split into two halves. The first half of the series was defined by Charlie and their break-up, then soon after she was evicted the second half of the series for him became defined by him pushing a button and voting out Lateysha and being one of the people who voted out Ryan. As Lateysha had been popular, he was always going to get a bit of a backlash, but then he started martyring himself because of the backlash.  It was a bit odd how his fans went from saying “Amazing gameplayer Jason running rings around those fools” to “Poor misunderstood Jason is getting bullied” in just a few days, apparently he can do what he wants but others can’t react to it in any way that doesn’t benefit him, but that’s reality TV stan culture for you.

The other housemates didn’t ostracise him either, he just became like his namesake Jason from BB5, determined to spend the last couple of weeks sitting scowling like a bulldog in the garden while the others were having a party.  But unlike Jason BB5, who was a runner-up, Jason BB17 won. I think I had the opposite opinion to a lot of  people with Jason, I thought he was alright at first, but got increasingly fed up with him the further the series went on, whereas I think it might have been the other way around for some viewers. Either way, it was a bit of a spiritless ending, and a feeling of “was that it?”, not helped by the fact they didn’t even bother to do an end of series best bits montage this year.

While BB17 wasn’t the worst series ever, it wasn’t a very good one. It was the shortest run for a UK civilian series ever, and when it came to the final they were eager for the celebrity version to steal its thunder.  The theme collapsed on itself even quicker than usual, and after that it felt like they’d not only just given up on the series altogether, but given up on the idea of a civilian series of Big Brother at all.  The housemates weren’t the most hateful cast, but probably one of the least likable overall. There was, like most of the last few series, far too much producer interference trying to move the cast around like pieces on a chessboard, and a very forgettable year for tasks, all a big mush of involving them hearing what they are saying behind each other’s backs. In one such task towards the end, a Home Truths task where housemates had to secretly write on notes what annoys them about each other for it to be read out later, even the housemates couldn’t be bothered with it, it was such an obvious attempt at getting them to argue with one another.

Do you know what one of my favourite parts of this series was though? The Betway sponsorship idents!


They were no SuperCassandra, but I really liked the couple sitting on a sofa who came on before the adverts. One of them was watching and commenting on Big Brother, while the other was playing on Betway, and we hear their thoughts in voice over form. They kind of match up even though they are thinking about two different things, like the girlfriend thinks “What are they going to eat?” about the housemates and the boyfriend thinks “winner, winner, chicken dinner!” after winning on the Betway game. It was funny enough, and to be honest they were much more likable than most of the housemates this year. The man was quite cute as well, in fact I fancied him more than anyone else who appeared on the show this year.

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