Celebrity Big Brother 19

cbb19Celebrity Big Brother 19‘s theme was that it was “All Stars vs. New Stars”, though it came off more as two CBBs a year has scraped the barrel of Z-list celebrities so much they’ve worn a hole in the bottom of it, so now they have to resort to calling back people who have already done it.

I liked the pop art style and designs for the eye and the house. Bright colourful, cartoonish stars and font like comic books, both superhero comics and stuff like The Beano. It got a bit colour vomit at times, but on the whole gave the series the upbeat, fun feel they said they were going for.

That fun, upbeat feel ended on launch night however, with a task designed to split the house and create a massive power imbalance. The All Stars had to judge which of the New Stars would be “edited out”, which on launch night involved whoever was chosen being made to wear a white hoodie with ”edited out” written on it, and be made to literally sit out in the cold watching everyone else have a party. The unlucky edited out housemate was Stacy. It just looked pointlessly mean-spirited and didn’t exactly set the series off to a great start.

The best part of launch (no pun intended), was Angie Best coming down the stairs, and her son Calum’s stunned reaction with his jaw wide open and the chewing gum still in his gob! As the line-up had already been leaked in various websites, magazines and tabloid papers many thought this can’t have been a genuine reaction, but it was still pretty funny.

You’ve got to love the variety in the initial cast though. It included three white women in their 30s with blue eyes and long blonde hair, and four white men in their 30s with blue eyes, light brown hair and beards. One was a footballer, one was a footballer’s wife, two were footballer’s children, and the mother of one of them was also in the cast, and she was a white woman in her 60s with blue eyes and long blonde hair, and also a footballer’s ex-wife.

While a series can usually take a while to get going, it wasn’t very watchable at first, a bit dull at times. Early on Stacy and Ray J spent a lot of time talking about their connections to people more famous than them, such as Kim Kardashian.  One day we’re going to end up with a CBB cast full of people Kim Kardashian has farted in the general direction of, aren’t we? Both also had connections to Whitney Houston. Apparently, Ray J was going out with her and Stacy fell out with her a few days before she passed away.

There was an incident with Speidi hiding bottles of water, and Austin losing his rag over it. It came off as ridiculous, not least that the house has a tap with running water! Not that I’m defending Speidi. Austin is clearly someone who is an emotional wreck, has a bad temper and no self-control whatsoever, he starts shouting and bawling over, well, things
like bottles of water being hidden. But Spencer kept going out of his way to goad him, which was asking for trouble.

James J wanted the wind-up merchant role himself, so obviously there were clashes between him and Austin, who doesn’t need much to be wound up.

Then there was the complete non-starter of a showmance love triangle between Jasmine, Calum and Jamie. They were clearly attempting a gender-flip of the CBB13 love triangle with Jasmine, Lee Ryan and Casey Batchelor. Jasmine even said so. But it didn’t work this time. For one thing, nothing happened, and even if it had, Calum and Jamie are kind of variations of the same type, both in terms of looks and personality. They aren’t really different enough for them to do the whole Betty and Veronica storyline that these kind of  love triangles need.

It’s usually better TV when things occur that aren’t following some sort of pre-written script. This happened in a cringey, car crash way when after a few drinks, Nicola drunkenly started flirting with Jamie… even though she is married and Jamie is supposed to be friends with her husband!

The “surprise housemate” entrance that everyone saw coming was Jedward entering on Day 5.  Jedward are of course John & Edward, twins who were the joke act in The X Factor series 6, and to be fair have been in the public eye longer than some former winners. In their introduction video this time they said “The last time we did Big Brother we were teenagers, now we’re 25″. Christ. Where does the time go? Good on them for when going up to the fat middle-aged git in the audience who was shouting “OFF! OFF! OFF!” at them though. They entered the house via the garden dressed as astronauts lip-syncing one of their songs.

While he doesn’t technically count as an All Star return,  Tony the Show Pony probably should. He last appeared as part of Gemma Collins’ birthday celebrations in CBB17.  This time James C had to walk him through the house, and other housemate had to eat lots of pizzas among other things without Bianca finding out.

Another task saw some housemates having to go without sleep or hot water and sit turning over sand hourglasses just before they ran out. Some housemates were then invited to a Slumber Party, but the ones who weren’t had to continue the task throughout the night. Jasmine and Stacy had been bitter rivals for most of their stay, but this was a moment they made unlikely allies from being on the same page. Jasmine simply said “I’m not staying up all night minding that fucking sand!”. Angie had a go at Stacy for being upset about it, but I don’t blame Jasmine and Stacy for getting angry about it, they were being treated unfairly. Stacy in particular had a horrible week. She was “edited out” on launch night, she had the most nominations from the other housemates to be evicted, and Big Brother told them how many nominations each had got but not the reasons, and now this. I think it’s understandable that a week like that would get on top of someone.

Rapper Ray J is probably best known to most of the viewers for a sex tape with Kim Kardashian. Career-wise, his biggest solo hit was ‘One Wish’, but I remember him mostly from his duet with his sister Brandy on a cover of Phil Collins ‘Another Day In Paradise’, which I liked better than the original to be honest. There, I’ve said it.  He slept a lot of the time he was in the CBB house. He left the house apparently because of some health problem involving toothache, but it’s a bit unclear. Either way, it looks like he and the producers have fallen out as he has said he is planning to sue them.

DJ Brandon Block walked out a day later, he also had a health scare. He barely made an appearance on the highlights shows, so yeah, not much to say about him except he quit.

The third exit this week but the first proper evictee was Angie Best, George Best’s ex-wife. She’s also a fitness coach. She is a bit of a “my body is a temple” health and fitness fanatic type, which is fair enough, but she got pretty sanctimonious about it, not least when she was lecturing Coleen in particular and the rest of the house in general. “You’re poisoning your body”. She got a task where she could enforce her tyrannical rule with a January detox. Having said that, I quite liked her response to Spencer telling her he posted a video on social media of him eating 40 tacos. She said “And people actually wanted to watch that!”.

Three more new housemates entered on the same night. Jessica Cunningham from the last series of The Apprentice, Chloe Ferry from Geordie Shore and Kim Woodburn of Kim and Aggie How Clean Is Your House? fame.

The producers had time to squeeze a almost-certainly pulled-out-of-their-arses-at-the-last-minute eviction in too. The housemates had to vote for “the dullest housemate”, and it all got spread fairly evenly, with the one going with just 3 votes was Austin, with Calum and James C on 2 votes it could easily have been them. The housemates were then told that this would mean instant eviction!

Austin Armacost had one of the most unenviable ways to be evicted. The other housemates paid no attention as he left, he got a rushed interview and no Best Bits. But in some ways it was probably a blessing in disguise for him, he looked as if he was heading for doing or saying something that would get him removed from the house. Either way, he wasn’t missed.

Putting in the new housemates was a good idea though, it gave the series a much-needed kick up the backside. The ratings went up.

Some housemates were “sent to Hell”, though the main house wasn’t exactly a peaceful, tranquil heavenly place to be. Chloe was an incoherent motormouth. She was a bit rude calling James C “Santa”, but to be fair he has played the character a couple of times according to his filmography.

Chloe got drunk, had her tits flapping out, jumped in the hot tub and then in the pool. Kim told her off like a stern school marm. Jessica defended Chloe saying she was just having fun. Kim just told Jessica to shut up and called her a “little bitch”. Jessica counted that Kim was “rude, arrogant and mean”. While I thought Chloe was annoying, I thought Jessica came out of this argument a lot better and made a lot more sense than Kim.

Nicola wasn’t keen on Kim’s tendency to go into a pompous, shouty tirade. Nicola said of Kim “She looks like Mrs. Trunchbull from Matilda. She’s going to swing me round by my ponytail and make me eat chocolate cake!” Then Nicola joked that she’d be prepared to push Kim in the pool and pay for the damaged mic!

The Hell housemates were sent back to main house to collect their personal belongings. James J led the others to mess up the kitchen then take and eat some of the food supplies.

After a while there were only three housemates left in Hell, and the others had to pick who would be evicted. There were 3 doors, two led to brick walls (well, cardboard painted to look like brick walls) and the third was an exit. The housemates chose Jasmine, and when she left she was walking through the door fascinated by a bright light as if she was a ghost passing on to the afterlife in Being Human.

Jasmine Waltz‘s time as a housemate was short but chaotic, and she still managed to last longer than her first appearance in CBB13. Her, erm, memorable moments include grabbing Calum’s crotch, singing to Calum “sausages and bacon!” as an innuendo that they should sleep together. She once threw her microphone away then fried the microphone with olive oil in a frying pan!

Chloe fancied Calum and threw herself all over him. He looked vaguely embarrassed by it and told her to go to bed. Then Chloe had an argument with Jessica after it turned out Jessica fancied Calum too! Stacy talked sense here to the pair of them. “You got in this house yesterday, you don’t know this dude, you look like clowns! Fighting over who fancies him the most, you don’t have a chance!”

After face to face nominations which involved nominating by marking housemates photos with ‘blood’ from a bloodbath (!), not to mention several arguments, the nominations went to public vote this time, and James J went.

Former Strictly Come Dancing dancer James Jordan was such a smug prick. He overused the word “banter”, or even worse, “bantz”, and most of his stay was try-hard “wind-up merchant” nonsense. So basically it all involved him being rude and provocative to everyone. I was glad to see him turfed out early.

One of the key moments of the series was a huge argument in the bedroom. Kim vs. Nicola was probably always going to happen, and this incident was far from the last, but it was the most memorable. It was so hilarious and car crash. Kim was hamming it up something rotten. Kim called Nicola “Mother Bunny” as a way of saying she had control over most of the other housemates. Well I suppose it’s a different animal metaphor to Queen Bee. Nicola had been in the middle of removing her contact lens, so had one hand over her eye throughout the row and while going to the Diary Room saying she wanted to quit and leave the house.

Jamie got involved (I suspect mainly as a way to look macho in front of Bianca) and eventually security came in taking Kim away, with Kim spilling her drink all over the unfortunate security guard. Kim had to sleep in a separate room for the night.

In a superhero task, James C refused to dress up. Jedward, in contrast, got really into it. They liked that their outfits were green. “Green for Ireland”, “The Land of Shamrocks and Enya!”. They pretended Britney Spears was on the red superhero hotline phone and namechecked a lot of her songs.

Some of the housemates had to pretend to fly in front of a greenscreen, which showed a sky (so they were pelted with seagull white poo), an ocean (so they were pelted with fishguts), then a city (so they were pelted with rubbish, dirt and leaves), then the sewers (so they were pelted with buckets of sewage). James C went along with this task, so apparently this wasn’t demeaning, but dressing up in a lycra superhero costume was? OK, James C.

Who would be up for eviction was decided by the housemates being put into pairs, then split up and put in separate rooms given a chance to press a button. If one pressed it first, they would be immune, but the other in their pair would be up. If neither pressed it, both would be immune. Jessica and James C both didn’t press their button, so both were immune. (Looking at it, just realised that pairing. Jessica and James C – Jessie James! Quite clever if that was intentional. It reminds me more of Team Rocket in Pokemon than the 19th century American criminal they were named after though. But I’m getting sidetracked again).

Jessica said she was glad she didn’t press the button, calling it a “test of my character”. Stacy was one of the people who did press it to save herself, and felt insulted. Stacy seemed to take issue with Jessica being a newcomer, and went on about “what [the originals] have been through in this house” and that “we’re family, we’ve been here for two weeks”. Which was bizarre, frankly. What exactly did they go through that was so traumatic that the newcomers would never understand? I mean, to WATCH it was a bit of a slog before the newbies entered. Really it’s just good old fashioned Big Brother housemate entitlement, this delusion that you’re inherently better just because you’ve been in since the beginning.

Jessica just saw it as Stacy taking her insecurities out on her. Later in the series, Stacy was slagging Jessica off while Jessica was still in the room, to which Jessica said, calmly, that Stacy should have a conversation with her if there’s a problem. Stacy, for once, shut up! The show’s presenter Emma Willis noted “Someone’s silenced Stacy!”

Chloe Ferry was evicted. She had been a bookies contender to win, but that was based on nothing more than her being from Geordie Shore when fans of that show tend to vote shedloads for people from there when they are on other reality TV shows, not least CBB where Charlotte Crosby and Scotty T have both won. I suppose they forgot that Marnie Simpson didn’t win, and that Ricci Guarnaccio didn’t even make the final. While Chloe infuriated me to begin with, by the time she left I didn’t mind her, she’s relatively harmless I suppose, though she did get a warning after going a bit far with John when he didn’t seem comfortable with it.

I was relieved that the “scripted reality” cast-offs were kept to just one this series. CBB has been in danger of basically morphing into The Only Way Is Made In TOWIE Shore On The Island Beach.

The house had a washing machine and a tumble dryer this series. This is a long overdue change to be honest. I mean, why did they keep having them hand wash their own clothes for so long? Sure, in the earlier series when they were growing their own vegetables, getting eggs from chickens, making their own bread, and using a mangle it kind of made sense, but why of all things was having to handwash their clothes the last social experiment/living without technology/cut off from the outside world thing to go? They give them info from the outside world via tweets, presenters, celebrities, friends and family drop in and they even sometimes let the housemates out to film other stuff now! It’s like the fact that whales still have a ruminant-like stomach as a leftover from when they were a land dwelling species.

Anyway, having a washing machine and tumble dryer has already started some drama, with Stacy leaving some washing in a machine and Kim taking it out and putting it on the floor to put hers in. It caused a huge argument. Nicola said she was going into the bedroom where Stacy and Kim were rowing because she wanted to put her make-up on. (Yeah, right. She wanted a closer look at the argument!). Rylan’s “airing their dirty laundry in public” pun on BBOTS was pretty dead on, as that is both literally and metaphorically what Kim and Stacy were doing!

Nicola and Kim’s feud continued, with one particularly vicious argument. Kim shouted “You’re a mum, grow up”, and Nicola replied “And you’re not, and that’s your problem!”. Ouch. That’s cold. That’s crossing a line. Very Andrea Leadsom of Nicola too. (Actually, maybe that’s not fair. Andrea Leadsom’s 15 minutes were much shorter than Nicola’s have been!). But no, to be serious, even if Nicola didn’t know Kim’s backstory, what she said then was taking things too far.

James C was granted a pass to the final by the other housemates, and he had to pick one to have a Killer Nomination. He chose Speidi, and Spencer held a grudge about that for the rest of his stay, slagging off James C, mostly behind his back. He tried to get a rise out of Coleen, who was close to James C, saying he must be bad because “Why did he get stabbed in Game Of Thrones?” Coleen replied “Because it said so in the script?”, her funniest line of the series.

Former contestant on the US version of The X Factor Stacy Francis was like a foghorn trapped in the body of an also-ran in a Diana Ross lookalike contest. She probably played the game better than housemates who go on about how they’re playing the game, as Stacy saw off many rivals and enemies. (Angie, Austin, Jasmine, arguably Chloe). But she said in her interview with Emma she didn’t get the game. (“No girl, I haven’t [got the game], because I’m out here with you!”).

Stacy’s interview was one of the best of the series actually. I liked her reply to being accused of stashing food. (“I stashed an egg, and it fed five people pancakes!”). Then she sneaked a plug for one of her shows in right at the end. But Stacy left at the right time to be honest. As a housemate, she’d very much run her course.

Jessica Cunningham looked and sounded very similar to BB15 winner Helen Wood, but their personalities were quite different. Jessica was very bubbly and wanted to be on friendly terms with everyone. She had a very caring side to her, such as one time she was like a therapist sat at a table with Nicola trying to help her out. Jessica seems to be such a genuinely nice person. She disliked the nomination process and having to say bad things about people. Helen, well, wasn’t like that. Basically, you could see Jessica as the Good Twin and Helen as the Evil Twin. Yet Helen won her series, and Jessica finished in 10th place. That’s Big Brother for you I guess. Jessica was a lot better on The Apprentice than she was in CBB though, on The Apprentice she was funnier and more lively.  She felt she’d blagged her way in CBB, having only really been in the public eye a few months from being on The Apprentice. That’s probably why she hadn’t built up enough of a fanbase to vote for her compared to some of them. I liked this from her eviction interview.

Jessica: “I literally felt like I’d walked into the Celebrity Big Brother set”
Emma: “You had!”

Heidi & Spencer went next. I don’t know why their official name wasn’t Speidi considering John & Edward went in as Jedward. Anyway, Heidi & Spencer came 2nd in their last run in CBB11. This time they didn’t have tasks designed especially for them and a series devoting 50% of the screentime to them so they didn’t do as well. Spencer Pratt really isn’t the Machiavellian gameplaying genius he is made out to be in some quarters. Opening the sliding door over and over again to let the draft in! Shouting at people when they are trying to get to sleep! It’s a wonder they didn’t win this time with remarkable chess-playing strategic planning like that! Heidi might as well have been Spencer’s imaginary friend for all the impact she had. They were mostly just two-faced. I didn’t like Speidi the first time round, but they were fairly pointless this time. Seriously, they have to be the most overrated CBB housemates ever.

What was most interesting about this eviction night though wasn’t who went, but who stayed. Bianca was in the top 2 of the vote which was a shock! Jedward were the other one, and I suspect they were at the top of the vote. Either way, it’s kind of ironic that Jedward (probably) topped the vote in Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 at around the same time Lucie Jones was selected to represent the UK at Eurovision on BBC 2. Their initial entrance into the public eye was both being on The X Factor series 6, and it was a minor scandal after Lucie was eliminated against Jedward when they were both in the bottom 2.

Towards the end of the series, the house became increasingly a divided. As often is the case a Big Brother, there was a “cool kids” in-crowd (Nicola, Calum, Jamie, Bianca), and they block voted nominations. They were against the two O.T.T panto housemates (Jedward and Kim), but then so were the other two left, Coleen and James C, who were rather like those parents in that episode of The Inbetweeners, sat in the bedroom bored while the teenagers had their party downstairs.

I wonder if I’m the only one who hates these court tasks they have at the end of every series? It’s just yet another shit-stirring task. Yet again they brought in ex-housemate “witnesses”, who as usual just showed why they were disliked in the first place. Austin (obnoxious), Luisa Zissman (hammy), Saira Khan (condescending), John McCririck (ridiculous).

Vanessa Feltz acted as the judge, which was a bit random, but to be fair, she played the judge role well. I liked that she didn’t permit the word “bully” to be used. That word has lost all meaning in the context of Big Brother.

At the end of this task, Jamie had the fewest public votes to stay, so was “found guilty”, and led away in handcuffs!

Footballer Jamie O’Hara was like Calum’s sidekick. The beta male to Calum’s alpha. I admit, I thought Jamie was somewhat cute at first, but his general sleaziness put me off. After not getting anywhere with Jasmine, and the weird situation with Nicola, his stay was dominated by the bland showmance with him and Bianca.  The plastic bland pretty boy with the plastic bland pretty girl, with both spending much of it insisting it wasn’t a showmance.

I am glad they didn’t bring Danielle Lloyd back as a guest though. She is Jamie’s ex-wife, and 10 years ago was on CBB5, the infamous series which almost killed off the franchise altogether. I bet if someone told you back then that the show would still be on the air ten years after that happened nobody would have believed you. But I still think bringing her back 10 years after that would be far too crass and tacky even for this show.

Calum Best, George Best’s son, began to act like he was king of the house. He had the alpha male role in the house very much by default, and it seemed to go to his head. He tried to tell everyone else in the house what to do. His arrogance increased as the series went on, which is probably why he went in the final eviction having the fewest votes to win. Calum is admittedly a good looking guy, and I don’t think he’s a terrible person, but he’s pretty much just lived off his father’s legacy all his adult life and done little except reality TV. He probably needs to wind his neck in a bit.

I’m sure Jamie mentioned Calum hugging him during the night while they were sharing a bed. I would have liked to have seen that. Courtney from The Apprentice had been going out with Jessica, and joked that he fancied Calum too. I wished they’d put him in as I’d have liked to have seen if that led to anything. I’d better stop, this is getting a little, er, fanfic-ish.

Calum at one point said “This show’s all over the place. What happened to the structure?”. Yep, many viewers are wondering that too.

I liked the live at the house bit after Calum’s eviction which saw the housemates talking about pets, particularly Nicola talking about her sister’s cat.

Towards the end of the series there was an awards ceremony, which had to be stopped after yet another argument between Kim and Nicola. Then there was another during
a “who said this about so-and-so” task a few days later.

The penultimate episode ended with James C sat in a bedroom among teddy bears reading from a giant fairy tales book. Though his delivery was less like a fairy tale and more like a creepy horror story. The story was one of those mixed up fractured fairytales. We saw it acted out with the housemates cast in certain roles. Bianca was the princess, Nicola was the prince, Kim was the Evil Wizard, Coleen was the Fairy Godmother, and Jedward were the Two-Headed Troll.

This part of James C’s narration was quite funny; “The princess was known throughout the land for getting shitfaced on an empty stomach!”, so she had to select from three bowls of porridge. Kim was excellent in her role. She said the porridge “Smells like a penguin’s chuff!”. It ended with Bianca and Nicola kissing, very like in pantomimes where the Principal Boy is often played by an actress, but I liked it as it was another fairy tale lesbian couple after Red Riding Hood and Snow White in BBC’s recent Revolting Rhymes adaptation. We could probably do with more lesbian fairy tale couples! Then they all danced to ‘Celebration’ by Kool & The Gang.

In the final, Bianca Gascoigne, Gazza’s stepdaughter and a glamour model, was out first in 6th place. A lot was said about her launch night look where she had spikes on her head making her look like a dinosaur, plus the massive false eyelashes she wore in most of her stay. I liked some of Bianca’s clothes. I liked the black hat she wore now and again, and the long pink coat. In the final, I think she might have been going for some kind of Roman Goddess look, but it came off more She-Ra: Princess Of Power. Unless she was trying to spin a “journey” narrative. She went in dressed in red wearing horns on her head, she left dressed in white with a gold halo-ish crown on her head. Look, I realise it’s probably a bit regressive to focus so much on her outfits, but showmance stuff aside, there isn’t much to say about Bianca is there? She likes killer whales and great white sharks, so I think I’d probably get on with her. She seems nice enough. She’s very pretty. Well done for making the final, thanks for coming. Next.

5th place was glamour model Nicola McLean, who had a lipstick on teeth incident in her finalist interview. Nicola was kind of the classic Mean Girl Bitch type. She even wore T-shirts with Mean Girls quotes on, “Plastic” and “Fetch”. She improved on her last CBB9 position, where she was evicted just before the final. From this series, Nicola will probably mainly be remembered for her clashes with Jedward and Kim. She was never a likely winner, but Nicola was one of the more interesting housemates.

James Cosmo is an actor probably best known for being on Game Of Thrones. A lot of people saw him as the only “real” celebrity on there, but I guess it shows the difference between success and “fame”. He has a good C.V., he’s been in a lot of high profile stuff, but he isn’t really famous. In the CBB house he ended up with a role like a grandad, but it was kind of by default. He seemed fed up with the whole thing and hating even being there after a while. He won an “under the radar” award at the CBB awards ceremony, which he didn’t have a problem with. There was definitely a bit of a “jobbing actor, this is just a gig, this is just a paycheque” vibe with him, but he seemed alright most of the time. He finished in 4th place.

Kim Woodburn was 3rd. Kim was a good housemate, providing a lot of key moments and some memorable quotes. “Ganghanded” was definitely one, with a few fans beginning to use it themselves. Kim also shouted “adulterer” at people, calling them “chicken livered shits” and “chicken livered buggers”. She said this of Spencer. “Scum. We don’t mix with it, we wash it down the sink!”. She also said “If television doesn’t come in after this, I’ll be on the bloody sex lines!” However, as entertaining as she may have been as a housemate, she also came across as a bit of a nightmare, starting arguments with people for no apparent reason and going into melodramatic rants.

The runners-up were Jedward. It was an improvement on their last performance in CBB8, where they finished 3rd. They now equal Sam & Amanda in BB8 as the highest placing twins. Yes, twins have never won a Big Brother UK series. Well, Kate Lawler in BB3, but she doesn’t count as she went in on her own.

While Jedward improved their position from last time, in CBB8 they got no nominations at all, while this time they got more than anyone else in the series.

Jedward made robot costumes out of pizza boxes. There wore those green jackets with black question marks on like the Riddler in Batman.  They wrote ‘Jedward’ on the bathroom mirror with shaving foam, then shaved if off with a razor.  They poured washing up water on the kitchen floor to make a slide. They snorted sugar for a rockstar themed task.  More than last series, we got to see them more as individuals than as a double act. John is the slightly more argumentative, driving force of the two, Edward is more camp and sweet. But the real reason they were easier to tell apart was that John wore the traditional Jedward style hair, while Edward had his hair down. While they can be funny, they slated people plenty of times, and they appear to believe their own hype and are delusional about how high up the celebrity ladder they are. This is what happens to people who spend their whole adult life as a “brand” I guess. I did like that their “video from home” would have been from Tara Reid, who they became friends with after meeting on CBB8.

The winner was Loose Women panelist Coleen Nolan. She also improved her position from last time, having finished as runner-up in CBB10. She didn’t really do very much this series though. She sat smoking cigarettes in the rain most of the time. Despite lack of screentime she topped a save vote during an eviction where eight housemates were up, which was a shock as she didn’t seem all that popular online, but I guess there is a “silent majority” who watch and vote but don’t make a noise about it on social media. Coleen is probably relatable to a lot of the audience, and there are also her well publicised marital problems, she and her husband were having a trial separation, so perhaps some viewers felt for her and thought she needed something positive to happen in her life? Coleen herself was surprised, she thought she’d been boring. But, let’s face it, most people are normal and boring. Coleen is quite dull and miserable, but she has a sense of humour about herself, she can brush off most things with a joke at least. I do think she was a bit of a poor winner for the series, but it is what it is. Bit of a damp squib, bit of a shrug.

I’m not too bothered about Coleen winning, and I’m certainly not bothered about Jedward and Kim NOT winning. They were both a little too exhausting and over the top at times, and I definitely don’t think either were bully victims like they were sometimes spun as, they gave out about as much as they got.

As Hercule Poirot once pointed out, you’re highly likely to find a J name in an English speaking family, that was evident in this series. We had James C, James J, Jamie, Jasmine, Jessica, Jedward (i.e John), and Ray J.

CBB19 wasn’t bad. It felt like a very long series, but it was fine. There’s very little else on TV during January, and it was a decent distraction from real world news and how awful things are at the moment, with Brexit and President Trump. (I mean, seriously, President Trump. This isn’t some sitcom joke or dystopian sci-fi. This is actually happening!)

The All Stars Vs. New Stars thing became pretty irrelevant after a while, which is a good thing.  It became mainly about the mix of housemates. The tasks worked well for the most part. Not everything went perfectly, but things ticked along smoothly. Recently the trend has been for the winter CBB to be good, with the civilian and summer CBB series being pretty bad, so we’ll have to see if that continues this year.

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