First Impressions Experiment

Just before the fourth series of Big Brother commenced in late May, I decided it might be interesting to gather some housemate 'impressions' from fellow fans of the show. So often is the case that people incorrectly recall their initial assessment of something. With that in mind, I decided to collect a set of data from fellow fans of BB at three different points in this years show.


-Study Method
-Opening night results (period 1)
-End week two results (period 2)
-Post Show results (period 3)
-HM ratings across the 9 weeks
-Next Year/Summary


I decided upon a questionnaire format, questionnaires were issued a few days prior to the time when they were required to be completed. All forms were then requested to be sent back within 2-3 day.

The primary part of the study were the viewer impressions of the housemates. Viewers were instructed to choose one of five options on what was essentially a 'love-hate scale'.
A simple points system was done to convert the 'like' 'not sure' etc options into some form of measurable data.


There were also a variety of extra questions, tagged onto each of the 3 separate questionnaires.

Number of respondents that completed each questionnaire

Period 1 : 27
Period 2 : 17
Period 3 :   9

Since I was trying to gain an understanding of how peoples views change over time, I could not add any new subjects to replace the ones that dropped out during the course of the study. As is the case with all longitudinal studies, a massive proportion of participants will drop out across the duration of the study, to loose two thirds of the original group is not uncommon.


Section 1 : Opening Night

The first night of BB is always an exciting event for true fans and BB4 was no exception. Anouska was a stunning start to the evening, however the other 11 contestants were something of a let down (weren't they ?). If only we had twelve Anouska's that night, or maybe 6 Feds and 6 Anouska's ?

Questionnaires were issued from Wed May 21'st until May 23'rd Friday 8pm. All questionnaires were received by the following Sunday evening - 27 correctly completed forms were received.

First, if you look at figure 1.0 you can gain an initial idea of how the respondents felt about the housemates on opening night. The most important thing to note is that only two of the housemates scored negative - Federico and Tania. This observation is particularly interesting, as you'll see in sections 2 and 3 of the study. You can also see that Nush gets the highest approval rating of 0.52, with Cameron at 0.48.

In summary no housemate attained a particularly positive or negative reaction from viewers. The scores are all relatively close to zero - i.e the viewers are generally 'not sure'.


Figure 1.0 : First Night Housemate Impressions

Notes : n=27, a '+' score = HM is liked,  a '-' score = HM disliked

Summary of respondents opinions on housemates

Respondents were also asked to give any extra comments on how they perceived the housemates in their first few moments -before they entered the house.
The following comments summarise how some of the respondents perceived the housemates on night one.

Ψ Anouska Ψ

-Pretty, but vain
-Pretty, but thick
-most likely to get her kit off
-pretty, sweet looking, over dressed, perhaps quite intelligent, a bit shy
-posh, organised, serious, moody

Ψ Cameron Ψ

-Friendly face.
-i love because of the Scottish connection
-Loony, annoyingly over the top, not funny
-possible virgin
-seems quite pleasant, accent may become annoying, bit of a god botherer but may be ok
-stands a good chance of winning the 'oh bless' vote unless he overdoes the whole Christian thing

Ψ Gos Ψ

-Lazy, moody, opinionated
-Fairly neutral, not really struck by him in particular
-over weight, bit eater?~
-why on earth does he still live with his family at that age?

Ψ Jon Ψ

-Natural, nervous
-looks like a cleaner, more cheerful, darker version of Spencer! may do well for that reason
-very arrogant...thinks he is better than everybody else
-probably not as interesting as he thinks

Ψ Justine Ψ

-Trying a little too hard... comes across as a bit desperate
-alive, bubbly, lively
-oh dear, soppy, a bit wet, appears not to like other women reminiscent of Elizabeth

Ψ Federico Ψ

-Loves himself, a ladies man.
-Gorgeous...nuff said!
-too cocky for my liking
-show-off, big headed, prepared, ponce
-quite good looking, possibility he is funny, seems nice
-might be nicer than he appears or might be an idiot. Hard to tell.

Ψ Tania Ψ

-High maintainance, shallow and selfish
-comes across as thinking she's better than she is!
-bit shallow & looks as though she could be a poser
-tart, show-off, spoilt
-irritating, I can't bear people who say 'ciao' unless they are Italian
-could become a nightmare
-incredibly annoying voice, want to shoot her already
-very snooby
-oh shes going to be funny to watch!
-i just dislike tania more than the others

Ψ Ray Ψ

-is lovely, very personable
-ladies man, humorous
-not sure about him, seems okay, but something grates, touch of the Jonny Regans going on ?
-struck me as a laddish type more suited to last years bunch of unlikeables

Ψ Nush Ψ

-Beautiful, but bit of a silly hippy
-very thick, but rather sweet

Ψ Sissy Ψ

-great fun, very pretty
-annoyingly loud
-shy, scared

Ψ Scott Ψ

-Misserable and dull
-Mardy git
-shy, lazy, active
-seems alright but didnt really make an impression
-seems ok, but a little inclined to depression

Ψ Steph Ψ

-Mature and intelligent
-another potential teeth on edge merchant, but i'm not so sure if shes as potentially annoying as sissy
-dont know why - but I don't really take to her, she seems ok but there's something i dont quite like about her


So there you have the initial comments by the respondents. Certainly some very apt comments I would suggest. Cameron is suggested as being a 'possible virgin', with Steph suggested as a 'lesbian'. Gos, Justine, and Scott all appear to be generally perceived as somewhat dull and boring.
Federico and Tania elicited the most comments from respondents, - both were seen in a mildly negative light. Fed was seen as a 'cocky git', and Tania as a 'tart' and 'snobby'. Considering that these comments were mostly noted down within minutes of them being revealed, the viewers had some quite interesting attitudes about them.


With reference to table 1.0 below, results of questions 5-9  in the Period '1 questionnaire.

'Most likely to win' - The beautiful Anouska suffered a set back with viewers, not one of the respondents wanted Anouska to win based upon initial perceptions, 9 (out of 27) expected her to be first evicted, although only 2 wanted Anouska to actually get the boot.

'Want to win' - 10 respondents wanted Cameron to win, the remaining votes were evenly split amongst the other housemates - except for Steph - whom no one voted for.

'First HM to be evicted' - 9 votes for Anouska - and surprisingly 5 votes for both Gos and Tania.

'HM YOU want evicted' - Tania received 8 votes in favour of being booted, Sissy 4, and Gos 3.

Table 1.0 : Viewer scores for Period 1, questions 5-9

Housemate HM Most Likely to Win BB4 HM you want to Win Predicted First Evictee HM you want Evicted
Anouska 0 0 9 2
Cameron 3 10 1 2
Federico 5 0 0 0
Gos 1 1 5 3
Jon 1 1 0 1
Justine 0 3 1 1
Nush 2 2 2 1
Ray 7 1 0 0
Scott 0 2 1 0
Sissy 1 2 1 4
Steph 3 0 0 1
Tania 1 1 5 8

Notes : n=27, Omissions (2 for all questions,  3 for 'want evicted)



Section 2 : Period 2

Some 2 weeks into the show, it was time to issue the second set of questionnaires.

Questionnaires completed weekend 14'th-15'th (BB Day 15-16)

First, with reference to figure 2.0 you can see where on the 'love-hate' scale how the housemates were judged. By the end of the second week Jon is most liked by the respondents with a score of 1.18, with the now-booted Anouska scoring 0.65. Least liked are Justine -1.00, with Sissy on -0.35. Out of the 12 housemates, 7 already have negative scores. Ray, Scott and Gos are all relatively 'not sure' housemates.


Figure 2.0 : Second Period Housemate Impressions

Notes :n=17,  a '+' score = HM is liked,  a '-' score = HM disliked


Summary of respondents opinions on housemates

As follows are the respondents extra notes on how they perceived the housemates.

Ψ Anouska Ψ

-i grew to like her and was disappointed to see her go after just one week

Ψ Cameron Ψ

-i think he has a cheek saying that jon is stopping him from having fun when all he seems to do is sit around and look
 disapproving whenever anyone gets a little high-spirited. I dislike him intensely. I think he is a straight laced old-womanish
 control freak, and i really hope he goes soon.
-quite charming

Ψ Gos Ψ

-lazy and manipulative

Ψ Jon Ψ

-clever and funny, but too insular to be likeable
-marvellous entertainment, he is driving them all insane

Ψ Justine Ψ


Ψ Federico Ψ

-he's a liar, he wants to be controversial
-disagreeable, bad, interesting

Ψ Tania Ψ

-thick, bad, but not proud of it
-fake, shallow, and false

Ψ Ray Ψ

-inaudible and bad tempered

Ψ Nush Ψ

-really a nasty piece of work
-dippy hippy

Ψ Sissy Ψ

-still too loud
-loved her, she was honest and genuine

Ψ Scott Ψ

-the only in there with any sense. Also seems a nice bloke
-who he ?

Ψ Steph Ψ

-how boring can one person be?
-pleasant but dull


Many were sad to see Anouska get booted in week 1', and her overall rating improved once she had left the show. Gos and Ray were both touted as being dull or mostly un-noteworthy. Fed and Tania were still annoying a few respondents, their overall ratings also support this view.

At this stage in the show, many viewers often seemed unclear as to the nature of the housemates... " Of those that are left, I still have to be convinced of some of their personalities. They are still being a bit too nice to each other!"
Another respondent noted "This years housemates are actually a little bland. I have not got addicted unlike last year. No extremes of love (alex) and hate (jonny) that i felt last year."

Clearly, by Day 15-16, viewers were feeling somewhat annoyed with Cameron, were offended by Justine's attitude, and but many were now starting to respect Jon.


Finally, questions 5 and 6. With reference to table 2.1, for question 'who do you believe is most likely to win bb4'  there was a split majority of 5 votes each for Ray and Scott - Cameron was not seen as a likely winner by any of the 17 respondents.

Question 6' 'who do you want to win BB4', 9 of the 17 respondents voted for Jon, with Ray, Scott, Gos and Cam' picking up a vote or two.

Table 2.1 : Viewer scores for Period 2, questions 5 and 6


Jon Ray Scott Gos Cam'
 5. HM most likely to win 3 5 5 1 0
 6. HM YOU want to win 9 1 2 1 1

Notes: All other HM's failed to receive any votes by viewers, n=17 (3 omissions for both questions)



Section 3 : Period 3

Questionnaires completed post show July 25'th-29'th (BB Day 64+)

With reference to figure 3.0, are the results of the viewer impressions post-bb show. Of the 13'th housemates, 5 ended the show with negative scores, 2 were neutral, and 6 were distinctly positive. After returning to the house Jon Tickle's rating ended up as most liked 1.67, with Federico at 1.33. Tania scored a post show rating of 0.55, with Gos, Anouska, and Scoth with mildly positive scores. Both Nush and Ray ended with neutral 0.0

Interestingly, although Justine left the show end week '2, her rating is now -1.78, considering worse than Cameron -1.22. Sissy and Steph also scored mildly negative scores.

The 13'th housemate, Lisa ended with a slightly negative rating of -0.22, which was not that bad considering what happened with her during her short stay.

*although only 9 of the original 27 respondents did part 3 of  the study, I argue the results are very much aligned with the mainstream BB fan opinion.

Figure 3.0 : Post Show Housemate Impressions

Notes : n=9,  A '+' score = HM is liked,  a '-' score = HM disliked


Summary of respondents opinions on housemates

As follows, the final notes from respondents on how they perceived the 13 housemates in Big Brother 4.

Ψ Anouska Ψ

-unashamedly hedonistic - admirable, but a bit wearing for us older viewers
-let herself down with her spitefulness about other housemates

Ψ Cameron Ψ

-dishonest, either with us, himself or both
-The most dislikeable winner of BB yet. I great disappointment that he won IMO

Ψ Gos Ψ

-Gaetano had him sussed when he told the BBA house the UK one had a 'swimming pool, and even a cook' as if he was just part of the furniture
-came across much better outside the house than he did in it, Nice chap

Ψ Jon Ψ

-Hilarious. A real character and really rather brave
-Articulate and interesting, although his return to the house was not what I had hoped for from him

Ψ Justine Ψ

-continues to make our blood boil whenever she appears
-has made herself look extremely bitter, not to mention stupid, with her near-constant sniping at Jon
-Nasty, no courage of her own convictions but shouts other people's from the rooftops

Ψ Federico Ψ

-outrageous and easy on the eye. How did we resist him?
-A bit of a fool, but at least he is entertaining and articulate

Ψ Tania Ψ

-dozy clothes horse. Not sure why she did BB, suspect neither is she. Redeemed herself somewhat by not joining Justine on
 the media whore trail
-nice girl, but essentially pretty stupid and pretty boring

Ψ Ray Ψ

-boy band material. Can't comment on his personality as never understood a word of what he said.
-boring, stupid, and with a very childish sense of humour. However he is honest, and as such should have won

Ψ Nush Ψ

-loveable leech. Redeems herself to some extent for me by her occasional flashed of self-awareness

Ψ Sissy Ψ

-whinging notherner. Waste of space. Still looks like she needs a bath
-unfairly maligned, IMO. She was a very kind girl, and like ray was very honest

Ψ Scott Ψ

-dull. I liked him at first, and kept hoping he would reveal hidden depths. He didn't.
-suspect he was the most intelligent. Unlike Cameron, he hid his best bits not the worst from the HM's - occasionally he let
 slip perfect one-liners when he felt comfortable with the company

Ψ Steph Ψ

-sad, repressed and old before her time, Steph will become even less tolerant as she gets older, and eventually turn into her
 grandpa Albert
-after her masturbation conversation (where she described it as 'violation') I lost all respect for her. She obviously has 
 severe issues with her own sexuality and as such should make the perfect partner for Cameron

Ψ Lisa Ψ

-bunny boiler with an ego the size of the Albert hall. She ought to learn something form this experience, but she won't
-we'd have hated her, whichever week she entered the house. Totally self-obsessed.


As you will have just read, many of the comments were highly negative about the majority of the housemates. Steph in particular really crashed in popularity after her 'masturbation is a violation' comments. Justine was a very odd case in that her rating continued to fall relentlessly during the 9 week show, one person noted that she "has made herself look extremely bitter, not to mention stupid, with her near-constant sniping at Jon".

Jon, Federico, and Gos all scored noticeably positive ratings. As one respondent noted Gos "came across much better outside the house than he did in it, Nice chap".
Nush, Ray, and Scot were all generally seen as relatively dull housemates.

Results for questions 5-10

5. Housemate you wanted to Win

-anyone other than cameron =1
-Jon = 5
-no answer= 3

6. Did you enjoy BB4

Loved it Liked it Reasonable Didn't like Hated it
3 5

(no answer : 1)

7. Do you think Endemol pick a winner prior to the show starting ?

Yes : 2
No  : 6
no answer : 1

8. Who do you think C4/Endemol wanted to win BB4 ?

-Cameron : 4
-'anyone but steph'
- no answer : 4

9. (suggestions for BB4)

10. Will you be applying for BB4 ?

Yes : 1
No  : 6
no answer : 2



Section 4 - How housemates were perceived across the 9 weeks

With reference to table 4.0 we can see how the 13 housemates (don't forget Lisa) did over the 9 weeks.

Anouska started with a mildly positive score, a week after her eviction she was attracting a noticably positive rating from the respondents, although her rating did fall a little by the end of the show. Cameron was the second most popular housemate on opening night, his rating soon dropped to mildly negative, by series end he was very much disliked. Federico was mildly disliked for the first few weeks of BB, his rating quickly increased once he left the house. Gos was always a relatively 'non' housemate, ending up with a mildly positive rating.

Justine was a particularly amazing example of how viewers can soon come to despise a housemate. Her mildly positive rating on opening night crashed by the time of her eviction by week 2, and continued to fall to a strong level of dislike post show.

Table 4.0 : Longitudinal Mean Viewer scores for BB HM's

First Night 0.18 0.48 -0.07 0.18 0.37 0.26
Period 2 0.65 -0.24 -0.24 0.18 1.18 -1.00
Post Show 0.33 -1.22 1.33 0.44 1.67 -1.78

Notes : n=27 (first night), 17 (period 2), 9 (post show). Scores in red indicate negative viewer opinion
 Max/Min score possible : +2 → - 2


With reference to table 4.1, Nush - who scored the highest first night rating of 0.52, soon dropped to negative by week 2, and recovered to a neutral rating by post show. Ray started with a mildly positive rating, but this slowly fell to neutral by post show. Scott - like Gos, was a relatively 'non' housemate. Viewers never really had strong opinions on Scott either way, he ended with a mildly positive score. Sissy was one of the more popular housemates during the opening night, but her rating soon fell by week 2, and this level of mild dislike was maintained until shows end.

Ms. Steph - like Nush, scored a somewhat initial positive rating on opening night, but this fell over the weeks, particularly in the last week of the show.
Missy Tania started the opening night with a pretty negative reaction from viewers, this rating slowly improved within a few weeks, and Tania actually was somewhat liked by post show. As for Lisa, by post-show her rating was one of mild-dislike.

Table 4.1 : Longitudinal Mean Viewer scores for BB HM's

First Night 0.52 0.33 0.22 0.37 0.41 -0.41 -
Period 2 -0.24 0.06 -0.06 -0.35 0.19 -0.18 -
Post Show 0.00 0.00 0.11 -0.33 -0.66 0.55 -0.22

Notes : n=27 (first night), 17 (period 2), 9 (post show) Scores in red indicate negative viewer opinion
 Max/Min score possible : +2 → - 2

Explanations for changes in the ratings across the 9 weeks

Anouska : Her stunning entrance on opening night produced a mildly positive response. Her rating seemed to increase after her eviction, but fell, - possibly as a result of her appearance of BB Australia where upon pictures/video of  her nude body were distributed across the web and general media.

Cameron : His initial entrance into the house seemed to woo many viewers. He looked like the nice man that every mother dreams of producing. Yet within a few weeks many viewers (certainly a significant chunk) began to get annoyed at his sanctimonious manners. With Cameron in the house, 'fun' was reduced - especially in regards to drink ("drink...its not big and its not clever" and "... I don't like folk boasting about....drink"). As the weeks slipped by, Cameron effectively was at WAR with the 'Tickle army". With his narrow victory over the Tickle on Day 29' Cameron's rating on average turned ever more negative. Cameron's attitude was generally one of repression and his constant refusal to discuss almost any subject just infuriated the viewers ever more.

Federico : His initial 'cockiness' really seemed to upset viewers (including myself), he was the stereotypical young dude who appeared to love himself too much. Yet Fed' wasn't that bad (was he?), and his average viewer rating soon increased to being liked. Even after he got the boot, Fed was increasingly respected as one of the few interesting HM's in BB4.

Gos : The stereotypical 'big fat happy chef', that was Gos. He always maintained a relatively positive rating in the minds of most viewers. Gos never really did much though, never really got involved. He tended to always be the one that quelled developing arguments - much to my own annoyance.

Jon : What a story for the tickle, initially viewer (myself included) didn't really 'get' Jon. He seemed a bit dull and looked as though he'd be booted by week 2 or 3. Yet by Day 5 many viewers started to understand and respect 'the tickle'. The HM that wore the shirt 'Created by God, loved by women' could surely be a possibly star ! At the time of Justine's eviction Tickle was clearly storming ahead in popularity, in part probably due to C4's portrayal of him as the 'english eccentric'.

* it would have been fascinating to have seen what sort of rating the Tickle would have attained, had he survived his 5'th eviction play-off against Cameron. Would Jon have scored an even higher rating, and would he have won by a landslide against the remaining housemates - all of whom had pretty poor popularity scores.

Justine : The most disliked housemate in BB history ? Sadly it is not possible to compare Justine to earlier 'dark characters', but i would argue that she is probably in the top 3 of all time 'hated housemates'. Her bitching session with Sissy about the Tickle was infamous, and that moment sealed her fate. The really ironic thing is that, unlike most housemates who upon leaving the show early see their popularity rating rise, Justine's rating continued to slip. In fact, by shows end Justine was close to scoring an average rating of 'Hate them'. Justine's endless sniping at Jon after she left the house left the viewers with an even more dismal view of her.

Nush : She received the most positive rating on opening night, but the viewers never felt for her very long. Initially Nush looked like the cutesy hippy chick, one that might have some interesting personality facets... but no. Nush turned out to be mostly bland and almost a bit repressed like Ms. Steph. Nush was arguably almost as attractive as Anouska was, but Nush never tried to capitalise on it. Nush was drab, her general sullen expression was pretty much accurate of her overall demeanour.

Ray : The 'rude boy'. He entered the house as perhaps one of the more interesting guys. The second task failure was Ray's best moment - the moment when he went all "fucking wankers...we're just guinea pigs". Ray was probably the most filthy mouthed of the BB4 contestants (although Gos runs a close 'innit' second place). Ray ended up with a rating of 0.0 - which is pretty shocking when you consider how he was runner up in BB4.

Scott : A look at his average rating scores at the 3 points in this study clearly show what Scott was... Dull. He never really inspired anyone to either love him or despise him. Scott blended into the wallpaper the moment he entered the house, and he mostly stayed hidden from the public until very late in the show. The problem was that when it came to the final night, very few voters knew who the hell Scott was, which resulted in him garnering so few votes.

Sissy : Whiney, loud, and annoying - so said many of the respondents. Sissy didn't last long, she seemed to share Ray's temper.    

Steph : really upset a massive number of people with her anti-self pleasure comments as being a 'violation'. I wonder if she really does believe that ? The thing is, she expressed this opinion on a number of occasions - so i fear it to be true. Has the woman ever had an orgasm ? Hmm, i have my doubts about her, silly woman.

Tania : Ms. Do-Nascimento saw quite a dramatic change in her ratings level. Tania scored the most negative score on opening night, but as the weeks went by her rating slowly recovered to neutral. Once she left the house her rating, and post-show her rating was moderately positive. In fact, Tania's rating was the third most popular housemate. One reason for this I believe was because Tania decided to fade away. She didn't do the media circuit (much to my surprise), neither did she put herself in for the running to be voted back into the house.

One respondent summed Tania up as "nice girl, but essentially pretty stupid and pretty boring". 

Lisa : Lisa 'i can kill you with 2 fingers' was a strong minded woman, but another disappointing housemate. She never really contributed much to the house, except to annoy Cameron, ray and steph when she mentioned 'tactics'. Why Lisa went into the house at such a late stage is beyond my understanding. Surely she realised she would be vilified and would be booted first opportunity the other housemates got ?



Next Year

This year I correctly predicted 12 out of 13 evictions - the one I got wrong was the Jon-Cameron 5'th eviction show. For BB5 perhaps we can make some money out of a further enhanced version of this study ?

Predicting evictions for BB4 seemed pretty straight forward, so next year perhaps with the data from a group of 'true bb fans', some serious bets can be placed ;)
So next year then, we could find 40 core BB fans and have them give their perceptions on night 1', process the data within a day, and then make some predictions.
Factors that should be predictable...

-Housemate likely to get booted first
-Housemate to win
-Housemates likely to be booted early on
-Housemates who are bland as wallpaper - yet who are likely to survive until the latter part of the show.

Each eviction is unique of course, and is highly dependent upon a large number of variables - such as how C4/Endemol portray those up for eviction. However, I believe that with a decent sample of 'core bb fans', predictions can be based more soundly than most people realise. Well, that is for next year... perhaps.


In Closing

BB4 was very much a big disappointment to most viewers, myself included. Even so, the results of this study do remind us of some of the few highlights of the show. The public took at least a week to understand Jon. Cameron who was initially highly respected by many saw his ratings crash as the weeks passed by. Justine became the most hated housemate of the show in her short 2 week stay. 

The show could have been so much different had the double eviction of week 4 not taken place. Cameron would probably have been booted, no matter who he was put against. Anyway, it happened and I suppose we should move on :)

One respondent to this study summed up BB4 nicely...

"Cameron, Steph, and Justine are all amongst my worst 5 UK HM's of all time, at 45,48, and 49 respectively. Jon is in my top 3, at 3, with Fed coming in at 8 on my all time list. It was a truly awful selection of HM's this year. The difference between the real and C4 versions of this show is the single greatest memory that I will have of this show. It was even worse than BB2 and 3.
Gos, Sissy, Tania, and Nush have all started to fade from my memory, and with the exception of Jon, I am sure I will have difficulty recalling any of their names by Christmas."

* I would like to note my appreciation to all those who took the time to participate in this study. I think this is probably the only study ever done on a reality TV show. So each respondent can count themselves as having taken part in something quite unique.

So, that is truly it from me for this year on BB4. Farewell, and see you next year.

             Calrissian : Yet to be booted.



BB : Big Brother 4 UK
C4 : Channel 4, - I use C4/Endemol interchangeably, they both contribute to the final design of the show.
HM: Housemate
n = sample size

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2003 Philip Calrissian
Last Updated : 25/03/04