The last ever series of Celebrity Big Brother is go, then, and it’s definitley not subtle. Remember last summer when the tenth series of the main show was the first in YEARS to be as good as the glory days? And it would have been cool if the same could be said for the Celebrity edition? Yeah, forget that.
The sound effects were in full force for the live launch show, the limo system was ditched so the housemates could enter a stage in the style of ’X Factor’-style opening doors, one of the contestants PERFORMED, and Davina McCall’s script was probably written by a cast-off from the Daily Star. Still, the calibre of celebrities is a notch higher than previous years (OK, half a notch).
It was like a tacky low-budget ‘X Factor’ mixed with ‘Hell’s Kitchen’. The set was awash with fire, topless men were standing on the stage wielding pitchforks, and hilarious sound effects of hell-like things accompanied the contestants’ entrance. The show’s been killed off by Channel 4 but one look at the set and it looks as if it’s being cremated already, for crying out loud. Tonight’s show did at least make previous series’ look classy. No mean feat, there.
Actor Stephen Baldwin, Page 3 model Nicola T, ‘Dynasty’ actress Stephanie Beacham, Katie Price’s tabloid-regular boyfriend Alex Reid, Katie Price’s tabloid-regular ex-boyfriend and singer Dane Bowers, grime star Lady Sovereign, ex-prostitute to the stars Heidi Fleiss, singer Sisquo, godawful dance star Basshunter, famous-for-her-ex-boyfriend Ekaterina Ivanova, and doesn’t-need-an-introduction Vinnie Jones are this years starting eleven.
Jones is undoubtedly the big coup for the producers, who apparently were negotiated hard to pay up £500k for the star to appear. Sisquo performed ‘Thong Song’ to the cheering crowd before entering (because the show wasn’t ridiculous enough already, of course) and Basshunter appeared to be quite nice, which is odd considering how much of a, ahem, “playa” he reportedly is.
Dane Bowers had a bruised face but both he and Reid denied reports that they had a brawl on New Year’s Eve (hmm), but that was only one instance of the godawful material either given to or conjoured up by the usually brilliant Davina McCall. We’re huge fans of the Marmite-like presenter but tonight she was asking some really tabloid-fodder-licious questions to people like Fleiss and Ivanova, even asking Bowers “SO! WILL THERE BE A FIGHT?!”
Also, we have to just point out, ‘Strictly’ and ‘BB’ probably have completely different audiences, but someone’s bound to notice that this is Stephanie Beacham’s second reality attempt after being voted out first on the BBC dance show last year… Bit of a step down, no?
‘Celebrity Big Brother’ has always been a hell of a lot trashier and desperate than the main summer series, and unfortunatley it doesn’t look like the seventh and final series will be any different. It’s much more interesting watching unknowns’ relationships develop over an extended period than watching desperate “famous” faces seeing even more of their already fragile dignity being flushed away.
Anyway, all slating aside, it could prove to be interesting. Despite the horrendousness of this evening. AND WE HAVEN’T EVEN TOUCHED ON THEM ALL HAVING TO GET INTO A MINI.
Stephanie Beacham will be hilarious, hopefully. It’ll be interesting to see if Lady Sovereign can turn her boos into cheers; she certainly could if she proves to be both genuine and entertaining over the coming month. Sisquo seems like a nice guy (and worryingly so does Basshunter), Vinne Jones will hopefully be comedy value, Nicola T could well be doomed, and Heidi Fleiss is our best prediction for most likely to walk out. Reid and Bowers will garner some tabloid attention but genuinley couldn’t be less appealing to watch, Baldwin isn’t significant enough to get away with being bland, and Ivanova… is also in there.