Reality TV frenzy!
How could we resist the chance to slag off Adriana? (Actually, we didn't that much . . .) Anyway, here's the daily commentary on how the Australian version of Celebrity Big Brother is progressing. Click here for the archived comments from 2002, or here for 2001. We didn't do a diary for BB3 or BB4, and don't plan to do one for any subsequent series (apologies to those people who've begged for updates.)

Jump straight to the final entry (Monday August 12)
Entries for a given date reflect activity on Big Brother from the day before, or longer in the case of weekend shows and specials.

Before we begin . . .: Ever since the notion of an Australian Celebrity Big Brother was floated last year, several names have appeared as likely candidates. These are the ones that have popped up most often: Jeannie Little, Tania Zaetta, Grant Kenny, Sara-Marie Fedele, Adriana Xenides, Rove McManus, Bert Newton, Anthony Mundine, various Austereo Hot 30 DJs, Dame Edna Everage, and Gabriel Gate.

Whether any of these are true we won't know until tomorrow, but some are obviously false. Dame Edna might be a temporary intruder, but Barry Humphries is not going to consent to a permanent stay. Rove has his show to host, Bert is doing The Wizard Of Oz. I think Sara-Marie would be a cop-out, but she's quite likely. Adriana popped up in New Idea this week as a candidate, make of that what you will. As long as they don't get Jessica back in, I'll cope.

Random observations:

  • Media coverage for the celebrity run has been fairly low key, but I imagine that could change once we know who the celebrities are.

    Sunday July 21: Well, I carefully avoided any papers or online coverage today to preserve the surprise element, but there still weren't too many shocks in this evening's selection of celebrities. Half of them are in the pick list above; of the rest, I recall Kimberley Cooper's name coming up once in this context. I'd forgotten Dylan Lewis was actually alive, and Imogen Bailey and Vanessa Wagner simply aren't that well-known. Actually, it's a sobering thought that of this group, Adriana Xenides probably is the most famous.

    Levels of celebrity aside, we could get the odd interesting interaction. Sara-Marie's year in the spotlight does not appear to have changed her one iota, and it's going to be hard for anyone to make themselves heard above her. I wouldn't pick her to get voted out early, though. The likely mark in that respect is Anthony Mundine, whose "I'm not going to wash up" comments won't make him too popular. He's obviously trying hard to come to terms with Vanessa/Tobin as well.

    One advantage of the celebrity selection is that there's no-one who is completely young and stupid (a la Blair, Marty, Damian and various others). Mind you, how Adriana has got to her age without ever house-sharing makes you wonder.

    Random observations:

  • Gretel's outfit would have been eminently suitable for the Eurovision Song Contest.
  • No sign of Pizza Hut this time around, as we get sunk in wall-to-wall McDonald's instead. Is it just me, or is the Outback Burger ad a total take on Madonna's 'Don't Tell Me' video?
  • As far as the sleepover guests go, it definitely has to be Gabby Milgate. Anything to keep Warwick Capper out for as long as possible.
  • Hopefully, we won't see too much more of Flacco and the Sandman. Those guys just never worked for me.
  • Even with a day's delay for editing, the program ran 20 minutes over time.
  • Scheduling the daily show at 7:30pm seems odd, since it disrupts all our carefully established viewing habits.

    Monday July 22: It hasn't taken long for the housemates to settle into a routine, with a little guidance (as expected) from Sara-Marie. Mind you, it's a fair bit easier to adapt on the lighter celebrity rules. Hot water is available throughout the day without charge, and we've reverted back to normal money for the daily allowance. (Presumably with so much else crammed in the three weeks, no-one had time for this extra level of abstract thinking.)

    The goats didn't make for much in the way of visual stimulation, but the songwriting task was rather more amusing. This wasn't because professionals were involved; the best BB tasks are always the ones that involve some kind of production number at the end. The song itself wasn't that great, but someone could probably make a successful Celine Dion record using the chorus.

    And personalities? Well, Dylan cracked the "kids" gag, so he's not too stupid. Adriana continues to be interesting, if only because her life experience is so divergent from everyone else there. Sara-Marie is just what we'd expect, only with more clothes on. Anthony still seems the most annoying, but with the others largely fading into the background, things could change.

    Random observations:

  • Maybe it's just the easy familiarity of the previous version, but I'm not too fussed on the remix of the theme music this time around.
  • In the opening scenes, someone was snoring really loudly, but we didn't get to find out who it was.

    Tuesday July 23: Mixing together studio and roundup segments with live broadcasts definitely left me with mixed feelings. Unlike the normal series, where intrusions were an unexpected event and you waited to see how people react, it all seems a bit too casual here. Sara-Marie's comment "Oh god, it's shitted and pissed everywhere" apropos the goats seemed strangely apposite in a wider context.

    Actually, it was interesting to see how Gretel skipped over Sara-Marie when checking the housemates at the beginning of the show. Let's face it: her reactions to pretty much everything in the house are going to be predictable, and she's not even going to get to offer relationship advice, which helped improve her standing last time. What would be more interesting is someone who really doesn't want to be there (in the UK, Jack Dee, who won the celebrity series, hated it almost from the start).

    Seeing Marty so soon after the previous series is probably something we could have done without, and his much-vaunted farm skills didn't amount to much in practice. Mind you, the real cringe will come when we get to see the footage of Marty and Jess together on the farm. Ugh.

    Outside of the hoedown, we didn't learn much, other than that Adriana can't box and has a clairvoyant father. The portrait painting task set for the celebs seems to have been skipped entirely on air.

    Random observations:

  • After a slow start, the Web site is starting to come up to scratch, with the diary in full operation.
  • Kyle must be pretty ignorant if he had to ask professed Muslim Anthony if he attended a church.
  • Yes, the charities are a worthy cause, but do we need pleb parents on every broadcast to ram home the point?

    Wednesday July 24: One of the rules for "normal" Big Brother is that no footage is shown of events outside the house, and each daily episode recaps the events of the day before, from when the first housemates rise to when the last one goes to sleep. All these conventions have been dismissed for Celebrity BB, it seems. On tonight's episode, we got footage of the Wiggles approaching the house, and their entire visit came from Wednesday morning, barely 12 hours before the show went to air.

    This unusual approach came about in part because the editors decided not to show any of the incidents from Tuesday prior to the "hoedown" visit by Lee, Gretel and Marty. Did this mean absolutely nothing interesting happened during the day? Not according to the site diary. Maybe the Wiggles had a minimum appearance time clause.

    Of course, making this choice caused its own problems. Watching Kyle whinge endlessly about Toben wasn't that compelling, but presumably not much else was going on (especially in Bedroom 1, where both Adriana and Anthony are committed to getting a reasonable night's sleep). It's certainly not enough to make much of a judgement prior to nominations tomorrow; I guess we'll have to see if anyone makes a hash of that (Jessica-style) before deciding.

    Random observations:

  • Sara-Marie seemed unduly excited by the appearance of Dorothy. But then she is a kid's TV presenter these days.
  • According to the site, Kyle had to explain to Adriana the principles of nomination. How much research did she do before agreeing to appear on the show?

    Thursday July 25: Well, what a sorry bunch of nomination excuses. Even Jessica looks vaguely coherent next to that little lot. Sara-Marie's tactic of drawing names from a sock was similar to last year's trick with magazine cut-outs, but probably made at least as much sense as Anthony's approach. Only Imogen and Kyle had any real grip on the process, giving reasons that were sensible even if you didn't agree with their choices.

    If this had been Series 2, they'd all have got a stern talking to and been threatened with eviction. But when $250,000 isn't at stake (and Peter Abbott isn't available), it's a very hollow threat. Hopefully things will pick up next time.

    As a result of the seemingly random process, only Dylan escaped with no nominations at all. Since Sara-Marie's reasons were non-existent, Adriana (nominated only by the Bunny Girl) also probably deserves this accolade.

    With Anthony, Kimberley and Vanessa all up for nomination, the voting choice is clear: Anthony. Although he seemed to have calmed down for a couple of days after the dishwashing remarks, his digs at Imogen for being blonde put him right back in the sexist category.

    If Kyle was up, I'd happily vote for him as well, given the impending double eviction. But neither Kimberley or Vanessa has made enough of an impression, so I might save the extra vote just in case Anthony isn't the first one out the door.

    Random observations:

  • This week's NW ranks Kyle as second favourite to win (after Sara-Marie) because of his popularity with teenagers. Has no-one noticed that both times there's been a teen heart-throb favourite up against someone more middle-of-the-road, the MOR guy always wins? Plus, a lot of the studio audience seemed to dislike him.
  • The phone system seems to have gone quite mad. On previous series, the numbers 010, 012 and 013 have always been used for the top three nominees. Now everything's akimbo.
  • According to Gretel, if the house was The Brady Bunch, Adriana would be Carol (mother figure), Anthony would be Alice (gloves), and Vanessa would be Cindy (plaits). I guess this means that Dylan would be Mike (father figure), Kyle would be Peter (whines a lot), Anthony would be Bobby (young and stupid), Imogen would be Marcia (model type) and Kimberley would be Jan (prone to psychotic moments). That only leaves Red with the role of Tiger or Sam the Butcher, and it's hard to imagine him serving meat to Mr Mundine.

    Friday July 26: Proving that changing the timeslot is a bad idea, I stuffed up setting the video on Friday and missed the episode. To judge from the site diary, though, I didn't miss much. Mind you, I'm looking forward to this moment:

    Adriana told Red that the other HMs have corrupted her, turning her from a lady to a tart. He replied that her dog was dead.
    This also gives me a useful opportunity to reflect on how little Celebrity BB resembles its parent. While in the regular show visitors from the outside world are a major event, here they're par for the course. If I was staying there, I'd be expecting someone annoying to wake me up every day by now.

    What the show does resemble is a telethon, those charity-collecting marathons that appear to have died out everywhere except Western Australia. All the elements are there: mildly famous people doing bad musical performances with constant interruptions asking for more money to be donated, and occasional appearances by afflicted non-entities.

    Of course, one of the advantages of doing a charity-based production is that any criticisms can be dismissed with "Hey, it doesn't matter, it's all for the kids". And this is true, but doesn't it ever occur to anyone that even more money might get raised if the show was more entertaining?

    Random observations:

  • This week's Who rates the housemates in order of celebrity, ranging from half a star for Vanessa to five stars for Anthony. On the whole, it's a fair ranking, except that I think giving Sara-Marie four stars to Adriana's three was a bit inaccurate.
  • According to the online diary, Adriana "revealed she is exceptionally fluid in Spanish". Just how difficult is it to type the word 'fluent', guys? (Though Gusworld happily admits we screwed up the initial Brady Bunch list yesterday until reader Matthew Smith pointed it out.)
  • The bookmaker's favourite for eviction is, unsurprisingly, Vanessa. Since it's a double, we can still hope Anthony might go too.

    Sunday July 28: "It's time to go Vanessa. It's also time to go Anthony." It's just as well we got those reassuring lines, because it didn't look much like an eviction show otherwise. We had no live audience, a much earlier cutoff (7:45 rather than 8:10) and no chance to see the evictees react to who had nominated them.

    Admittedly, they did have a lot to pack into one show. As well as the eviction itself, we had some cursory weekend catchup work, a new round of nominations and the introduction of Gabby Milgate. With all that, it's a wonder that they only ran 25 minutes over time.

    Anyway, back to the eviction. Both candidates were fairly obvious choices (though with no percentages, we'll never know how obvious, I guess). Anthony was predictably mute once he got out the door, and seemed to have trouble following Gretel's questions a lot of the time. Vanessa/Toben was much more responsive; I liked the description of the other women as "sorority girls from hell".

    The big issue is not that these two left, but that Red was in there for such a brief period. OK, he wasn't my original choice, but his brand of sarcasm made a welcome change to the general house environment. Presumably he'd only agreed to do a couple of days and this would have applied no matter when he got voted in.

    Nominations didn't produce any great surprises. The most noticeable trend is that Dylan now looks likely to be in until the end, having scored no nominations whatsoever to date. He's followed on points by Kyle (2) and Sara-Marie (3), and that seems a likely composition for the final three, although I wouldn't be surprised if Kyle racks up the points eventually.

    The reasons given were, again, pathetic. I don't think anyone managed to come up with two reasons that would be acceptable under normal BB rules (ie no sympathy votes, name-drawing or outright stupidity). Dylan probably did best, with his combo of Adriana snoring and Kimberley unfolding his clothes, but even he wrecked it by saying Adriana was homesick.

    Choosing from this batch is difficult. I don't want Adriana to leave, but I'm kind of indifferent about Kimberley and Imogen. When push comes to shove, I'll probably vote for Kimberley to go, but I might wait until Tuesday to decide.

    Random observations:

  • OK, now the insane phone numbering system makes sense; each celebrity keeps the same number throughout. I'll assume this is because it's easier to program this way (you just switch lines on and off, rather than changing their content in a mad rush).
  • The best line of the night was when Gabby/Sister Wendy was asked "Are you an intruder or a sleepover person?" Her reply: "I'm a fictional character."
  • The fact that BB is produced for widescreen transmission was very obvious on a couple of occasions when the subtitles got cut off on screen.
  • I wonder if any company will cough up $10,000 just for the "You're terrible, X" line to be said?

    Monday July 29: Eviction-wise, I've changed my mind. Although Kimberley was probably overdoing the "why do I have to organise everyone routine?", she was right: it's not that much effort to get out there and film a commercial. Maybe the problem is that with so many planned intrusions, the housemates don't feel the need to amuse themselves. Anyway, it was enough to make me decide that Imogen should get the boot. Whether she will is another question; there seem to be very mixed reactions to Adriana out there.

    Given that Wendy Harmer does her normal studio broadcasts from the comfort of her own home, it was no surprise that the Battle Of The Sexes intrusion was done remotely. Bet they were kicking themselves they hadn't done it earlier, when the gender numbers were a bit more balanced.

    Aside from that, no much happened. We didn't get a lot of footage from Sunday, hardly any of Gabby, but a reasonable chunk of the somewhat amusing Common Games. Oh, and the Born Blonde ad of course ("it's a blonde-alution!"). And then there was Marty & Jess: An Aussie Romance. Last week's Australian contained a list of "thing less painful than the idea of watching this Big Brother spin-off: bear-mauling, do-it-yourself trepination and a three-week Vangelis concert". While there were painful moments (e.g., whenever Jess was on screen), mostly it was just dull. We didn't find out anything much new about these two brain-dead individuals; it was just more of the same in a different setting.

    Three moments stuck out. Firstly, Marty's comment about how "this is nature, this is the country" was juxtaposed rather neatly with a shot of mechanically baled hay being thrown off the back of the ute, all of which seemed rather industrial. Secondly, Jess' comment that Marty had taught her to "live simplistically" had me rolling on the floor. And thirdly, we learnt that Toodyay is just 85 kilometres away from Perth. Unless I'm much mistaken, this means that Marty actually lives closer to a capital city than "city girl" Jess, who hails from Tweed Heads.

    Random observations:

  • Adriana's Italian-speaking Leggos commercial was a hoot, and a useful demonstration of her ability to mimic other languages.
  • So far, every piece of magazine coverage I've seen of Celebrity Big Brother has used the same official Ten-endorsed headshots of each entrant. I could understand why this happened with the normal series -- where else are you going to get pictures? -- but surely Australia's photo libraries have more pictures available of most of these people.

    Tuesday July 30: "It's time to go, Imogen." Despite her spiel about being sure it was her, Imogen looked as shocked as I've ever seen a BB evictee, celebrity or otherwise. Perhaps that explained why there was so little interview material; not even the cut-down "five questions" we got last Sunday. The rest of the house also seemed upset in a way that just didn't happen when Anthony and Toben left.

    Nominations were the usual pathetic shambles we've come to expect from this lot, with "Adriana wants to go home" and "Gabby's new" logic dominating. The wave of Adriana sympathy put her in the lead for total nomination points, while Dylan also scored his first-ever nomination. Since it was from Sara-Marie, it counts even less than anyone else's.

    Gretel was in particularly fine unscripted form tonight, flinging out the insults at a cracking pace. As she said to Warwick: "Thanks for focusing for 12 seconds earlier." Even the stuff-up at the end cutting to Mr Capper's entrance didn't really phase her.

    Warwick Capper himself is basically Marty without the charm. Given the choice, I'd rather have him in just for a night and leave Peter Hellier there for a while. If we're lucky, they won't be keeping the Capster for too long though.

    Random observations:

  • The shot of Adriana in the pre-show phone number graphic was particularly unflattering. Why use a frowning shot of her when the other two are smiling?
  • Can't wait for more Bert footage tomorrow evening.
  • Rove's interruption gag with Peter worked well, but it was probably inevitable that he was going to get busted; it's not like this lot aren't familiar with taking instructions through headphones.

    Wednesday July 31: Had I been editing this show, I basically would have shown 20 or so minutes of Bert Newton's visit to the house, plus the credits. Instead, we got a tiny bit of footage we didn't see on last night's show, and that was it. At the same time, we got the whole of Imogen's eviction, Warwick's invasion and Pete's entrance replayed, even though there was nothing new to discover in any of this.

    Before the night-time footage, we also got the first full-on appearance by the bum dance. Obviously Sara-Marie's decided to play down this aspect of her fame this time around, and a mocking commercial was quite a good way to do that.

    As readers of last year's diary know, I used to find Sara-Marie's relentless selfishness and noisiness very tiring, but I must admit that I really enjoyed watching her annoy the shit out of Warwick. I can only assume that he'll be nominated this evening, and I'm sure if he is then the public will vote him out. The man is so annoying -- and so stupid -- it beggars description.

    Of course, first I have to decide who to vote for this evening. On the whole, it'll have to be Kimberley. I don't want to see Adriana leave just because she wants to leave, and Gabby just hasn't been in for long enough yet. Whether anyone else will agree is another matter.

    Random observations:

  • When Dylan said to Warwick "Bitch, I am no sheila", the subtitlers conveniently 'forgot' to put the word "bitch" on screen.
  • I didn't realise that Imogen had actually done infomercials on GMA earlier in her career.

    Thursday August 1: "It's time to go, Adriana." Well, I'm disappointed, but frankly almost anything would be worth it as long as Warwick is out of the house. At first, I thought the producers were just being really annoying by holding off the reason for his departure. However, once we learnt what it was, it all made sense: they needed to wait until after 9:30pm to show it, even with heavy pixellation.

    It's not like Warwick Capper had much of a reputation anyway, but his cock flashing incident (and the fact he was the least popular sleepover choice) pretty much confirms him as a creature of the past. As Dylan said: "I'm learning lots of things about sport, and the reasons I didn't participate in it at school."

    Once Adriana was out the door, it was another round of nomination ludicrousness. Kyle's reasons (Sara-Marie was a threat, Kimberley kept him awake) were probably the best of the bunch. A bumper crop for Gabby has moved her into second place overall, behind Kimberley, who now looks unshiftable. I'll probably vote for her again, but history suggests Gabby is going to go. In two of the three celebrity evictions so far, the top-scoring nominee has got the vote.

    Random observations:

  • If my memory serves correctly, Warwick's claim that the song about him reached #2 is absolute rubbish, like most everything that came out of his mouth.
  • It seems the producers are planning the celebrity intrusions badly. They always take place on the non-nomination days (easy to organise), but that means they get broadcast on the nomination episode, which has less time for house roundup material.
  • The site claims that Imogen has asked Sara-Marie, who has complained about living on her own, to move in with her. That could make for an interesting household.

    Friday August 2: Even by celebrity BB standards, this episode was fairly quiet, with housemates taking most of the day to recover from Warwick Capper. Not from his shock eviction, mind you -- more the fact that he'd been in the house at all.

    Obviously, Warwick's earlier than expected eviction also raised some problems for the producers. With an extra slot needing to be filled to ensure thrice-weekly evictions, Neighbours star Carla Bonner had to be rushed in. This also meant that we got footage shown on Friday evening from just a few hours earlier. The editing staff must be feeling fairly ragged.

    Random observations:

  • Ever since BB2 finished, the official site has been very prone to timeouts. This is despite the fact that there's no live streaming of CBB, so demand should actually be lower.

    Sunday August 4: "It's time to go, Kimberley." Hey, I actually made the popular voting choice for once! Of course, the excitement is a bit minimised when no-one seems to care if they stay or if they go. I was a bit surprised that they didn't keep Kimberley on to meet up with Carla. Maybe there's some soap-star war going on there.

    Getting Carla to disappear as a magic trick was a nice touch, although when Jessica appeared as a replacement I was, as usual, nauseated. Jay should provide good value in the house, even though that in the pool stuff at the opening of tonight's episode was pretty lame. At least they've got someone new who can sing. I liked how he remarked that he was in the house to "bolster his sagging career".

    And so to nominations. Of course, with only four people in the running, it was more a question of who wouldn't get picked, and Dylan was always the most likely for that role. Indeed, by the time he made his nominations, the outcome had already been decided. Gabby continued to draw the lion's share of points, and with Kimberley gone she is now the running total champion on 16. Oddly, both Sara-Marie and Kyle have 9, while Dylan is still on 1. The reasons given don't justify any discussion (though Gabby's comment that Kyle would enjoy being nominated seemed quite prescient).

    If only for variety's sake, I'm going to have to vote for Kyle. While he isn't as annoying as I thought he was on entry, he's still my least favourite of the choices on offer.

    Random observations:

  • Classic dialogue of the night: "I give good hugs."
    "Gee, I though you were going to say something different."
  • Presumably, all over Australia there are guys called Jason cursing because of that Reflex ad.
  • One thing that hasn't changed is running over time; tonight's episode ran through until 8:50.
  • Capper's reappearance on Tuesday should be embarrassing. I wonder if his management demanded it?

    Monday August 5: In theory, a bunch of semi-professional entertainers should be able to produce a more entertaining fashion video than the normal round of amateur BB contestants. And yet we got far more footage of the Series 2 fashion parade than we did of this one, no matter how amusing Dylan's subsequent spack over his low-scoring garment was.

    For her part, Sara-Marie seems to have realised that there's still a big difference between her and the other housemates, all of whom have pursued careers in entertainment rather than falling into them. Her whine to Kyle about how she couldn't follow the house conversations about showbiz topics may win her some votes, but it's also another reminder that she's yet to really capitalise on her fame.

    Jay seems a welcome addition to the house. I'm assuming the introduction of housemates with kids at this late stage is designed to minimise the time they spend away from their families.

    Random observations:

  • Dubbing music over the playback of Kimberley and Kyle's bedroom tricks also broke another general principle of BB: namely that daily show playblack shouldn't be tampered with. But with all the other changes they've made, this is no surprise.
  • For some reason, I've only just noticed that there haven't been any post-eviction chats.

    Tuesday August 6: "It's time to go, Gabby." There's no telling who people will vote for, is there? I wasn't convinced that the audience's pick of Sara-Marie was right, but I still thought Kyle might break through. As it is, Gabby's disappearance makes a Dylan-Kyle-Sara-Marie trio for the final look all the more likely.

    Gabby proved one of the most considered celebrities in the post-eviction interview (even without the added bonus of a comparison with Mr Capper). She also managed to minimise her use of the "it's for the kids" line.

    In the nominations, what was surprising was how Dylan managed to avoid getting nominated yet again, giving him a grand total of one point over the series. With just four people in the running, it seemed inevitable he'd increase his score. Rather less surprising was Jay's dominance as a nominee (two points a piece from everyone). I also expect that he'll be the one to go on Thursday, if only because he's only been there for four days. Personally, I'll be voting once more for Kyle, who is tied with Sara-Marie on 12 points.

    A Gusworld reader pointed out that I've had relatively little to say about the Warwick Capper dick controversy to date. This is because, even in the context of Big Brother, there are some things that are just too stupid to discuss in detail. However, watching Capper try and justify his behaviour made for good viewing, especially as Gretel wasn't having a bar of it.

    Last week, his wife Joanne said that the whole thing was a pre-arranged stunt with the producers. Capper himself managed to transmute that into a "well, the producers didn't have to show that, did they?" argument, when he wasn't claiming that he just forgot to pull his pants up after pissing. (Well, I think that was the argument, but it was hard to tell.) What a pity the nation didn't get to vote him out as one.

    Random observations:

  • I wonder who'll come out looking tacky from the Up Late special Thursday.
  • It was inevitable that Rove would have to pick on the Vodafone sponsorship by seeking out a nude photo, but I'm sure from the Vodafone point of view, any publicity would be good publicity. The Todd and Sharna fake doco gag was pretty impressive.

    Wednesday August 7: When I first began watching this episode, it occurred to me that the non-eviction shows had fallen into a real pattern: half an hour to fill and nothing much happening. Tonight started off this way too, with inconsequential bits like Kyle and Gabby fighting about water on the bathroom floor.

    However, Sara-Marie and Kyle's decision to trash the house as a gag and then pretend they knew nothing about it meant we actually had a real storyline of sorts to follow, and without Big Brother intervening. Admittedly, they had to break the standard rules yet again to transmit it (editing together footage with music, covering more than a day) but it seemed worth it.

    What I don't buy is their assumption that Dylan wouldn't take this as a personal attack. How else is he supposed to take it?

    Random observations:

  • Although Dylan seems fairly good at freestyling, I can only assume that his rap about the tattoos is something he's performed before.

    Thursday August 8: "It's time to go, Sara-Marie." Gusworld's predictions about BB evictions have always been famously rubbish, so it follows that my initial assumption of a Dylan/Sara-Marie/Kyle finale would have to be disrupted at some point. Mind you, I obviously wasn't the only person assuming Sara-Marie would be victorious on her second trip through the house, to judge from the general media reaction.

    What was most fascinating about Sara-Marie's post-eviction commentary was how she kept harking back to how she found the "acting" in the house disturbing. It reminds us that Sara-Marie is not famous for her ability to entertain people in the ordinary sense of the word, and suggests she may have trouble adapting to her currently chosen career as a celebrity (and let's face it, that hasn't exactly been going gangbusters). I can't quite accept Gretel's description of Sara-Marie as 'The White Oprah' either.

    As for the 'Up Late' footage, it really amounted to little more than lots of shots of Dylan pretending to hump the cow and the occasional shot of Dylan and kyle facetiously making eyes at each other. I had expected that Kimberley might feature more in these transmissions, but no; it seems she really didn't do anything except sleep.

    Random observations:

  • We had a whole bunch of transmission problems this evening, hope they iron them out before the Monday final!
  • Jay made a much more coherent fist out of the "it's for the kids" argument ("three weeks out of my life is nothing") than most other housemates have managed.
  • Imogen was a bit useless; maybe she felt constrained by the wedding dress.

    Friday August 9: For once, BB had enough footage left over from an eviction day to actually produce some new material on the daily show. Of course, given the choice, I'd probably run quite a long way in order to avoid footage of Sara-Marie snogging Tim Bailey, but that's life, I suppose.

    Kyle really does come across as terribly immature ("period sticks" indeed), but there's a lurking suspicion in my mind that he might actually win. The logic goes like this. The clear favourite to win the show is Dylan (no nominations, generally nice), but the clear favourite hasn't won either of the two normal BB series. That puts Kyle in a good position to take the crown, since it's hard to imagine people voting for Jay, who has only been in there for a week.

    Of course, if the voting patterns are really perverse, Jay might win, since he seems such an obvious choice to go. (This is what happened in BB1; everyone thought Ben would go first and then Blair and Sara-Marie would battle it out.) And if the pattern of 'ordinary family bloke winning' continues, Jay is in a better position than Kyle.

    Any road, I'll be doing my bit by voting for Kyle. My predictive ability being what it is, I imagine this means Dylan will go on Sunday.

    Random observations:

  • I can only assume that the breakout shown at the end of Friday's show was contained (because I've been behind on the diary, I haven't checked the site either).
  • Bringing back the two former winners for Monday night's final is an interesting move. Peter, of course, won't say anything, but he fits quite well with the "for the kids" theme.
  • Surprisingly, the word 'arsehole' wasn't bleeped. Maybe it's the 7:30 timeslot.

    Sunday August 11: "It's time to go, Kyle." And so Gusworld's elaborate Friday theory that Kyle might be a surprise victor goes down in flames. I can live with that, though. For one thing, I voted for Kyle's eviction, and it's nice to occasionally match up with the wider populace.

    I'm feeling pretty prescient anyway, following my comment on July 26 that this incarnation of CBB was basically a telethon. Tonight, it became precisely a telethon, with a high percentage of former BB housemates bought on to man the phones. Like all telethons, it was boring to watch, but it's a good cause so we can't complain, can we?

    Once he was out the door (having demonstrated what would happen if you refuse to leave), Kyle was actually fairly mild-mannered, and didn't offer much in the way of new insights. The same could be said of the appearances by Ben or Peter, though the former's plan to walk from Melbourne to Sydney demonstrates that he's still keen on charity activities as the main channel for his celebrity.

    I don't understand why BB asked Dylan who he thought would win, but then didn't ask Jay. The working assumption must be that Dylan is going to win, on account of having been there longer, but anything is possible, I guess.

    Random observations:

  • Clearly people like the idea of chatting to someone famous, with $100,000 in pledges coming in over the show's broadcast slot. In the previous three weeks, just $300,000 had been pledged. I was just happy Jessica didn't appear.
  • $20K for an evening with Imogen is a lot, especially as she won't be putting out. Puts most of the other legacy items into perspective though, doesn't it?
  • The escape plan footage was just dumb.

    Monday August 12: "It's time to go, Jay." And so, for once, the predictable ending comes out, and Celebrity Big Brother draws to a close. While it's been enjoyable, it didn't really measure up to the standard series. A lot of this is to do with the compressed time frame -- it's hard to get involved when someone's leaving every couple of days, and tonight's episode reminded us of how much more fun it is to boot people out in front of a large screaming crowd. We also need all the minutate -- voting stats, comments on who people hated, a sense of real competitiveness -- to take the show to the next level.

    That said, I'm sure the $750,000 (or whatever the final sum is) will be well spent, though I had more than enough of the cutesy kid footage showing just how it was going to be spent. More appealing was Holly popping out of a case, though it was clear that Dylan was hanging out for his wife to appear from well before that.

    The interesting long-term question is whether any of the celebrities will get a permanent career boost from their appearance. It probably won't do Dylan's visibility any harm (bear in mind that I commented at the beginning of this diary that I'd forgotten he was alive prior to this).

    Those who already have jobs (Kyle, Dylan, Anthon