It's no panto.
Big Brother 6 UK is finally over, leaving a very nasty taste behind. The finale was the most predictable ever - the voters (mainly young women) chose an attractive, slightly dim, unthreatening lad as their winner. Upon looking back at previous seasons, I realise that I've never backed a Big Brother winner - all the people I would have preferred to win were either intelligent, sensible and a bit quiet (Anna, Elizabeth, Scott, Dan) or totally mad and over-the-top (Jade, Kinga). Big Brother winners tend to be affable "normal" lads and lasses (Craig, Anthony, Cameron, Kate) or camp icons (Brian, Nadia) - people who traditionally live up to society's expectations of what a gay/heterosexual/transsexual man/woman should be.
Last night was particularly disappointing because of the crowd's booing and chanting while Makosi received a rather cold interview from Davina. Why? Makosi was arrogant. Crime. She claimed she'd had sex in a jacuzzi and was pregnant (when she probably didn't). Crime! And she led people to think she was a mole/actress. Crime! Crime! Crime! The booing, which has been steadily getting worse since Series 4, reached a pinnacle of hatred with jeers of "Liar! Liar! Liar!" and "Off! Off! Off!"
There are plenty of people in Big Brother who I don't like. Derek, the gay Tory who supports fox hunting, thinks gay people shouldn't be allowed to adopt and made Orlaith and Sam miserable - he's a pretty despicable person. "Foul-mouthed Science" (real name Kieran), whose debating skills consisted of shouting and shouting until the other party gave up, exasperated. Lesley, who acted like a schoolyard bully. None of them were particularly pleasant people. But I don't think anyone should be booed upon being voted out of a gameshow after being televised live for weeks.The humiliation of losing a popularity vote and stress of having no privacy is punishment enough.
It is interesting that this year and last, a number of the contestants are not British born (Makosi, Roberto, Ahmed, Nadia). Possibly Endemol have realised that such contestants are probably not as in tune with unspoken British social conventions and are therefore more likely to act in ways which could be perceived as unlikeable or difficult.
Also, interestingly, I think ALL of the female contestants on Big Brother this year received boos when evicted. Davina's whispered "It's a pantomime" is supposed to calm the housemates, but let's face it. Big Brother is NOT a pantomime. It's a reality gameshow. A pantomime lasts 90 minutes and we boo because the actors are playing roles. In Big Brother, the contestants play themselves, for weeks on end. To come out to boos is one of the most strident messages you can receive about the way you are perceived as a person. At the rate the show is going, in a couple of years someone will throw something during the booing and seriously hurt a housemate. Or a housemate will attempt suicide, unable to cope with the amount of hatred they've received.