Twelve New Rats in a Smaller Cage

We all sighed with such pleasurable relief didn't we, when we watched the grand opening show of Big Brother 5. 'They' had not screwed up this time, the production team at C4/Endemol had came through for us, thank the lord !


After almost 9 months of waiting, the new BB baby has arrived. Devoted fans of the show have been utterly terrified of whether the new delivery will be even more hideous than last years utterly dull debacle. Thankfully though, BB5 appears to hold a great deal of promise. Each of the twelve housemates are pretty strong characters. Even the less prominent ones like Shell and Stuart look more interesting than last years dire housemates.


Tiny Garden : The rats have a smaller play area this year.

The new smaller house, with raised floors, lower ceilings, a smaller garden, and walls that lean inwards is a great design. It is sure to make the housemates feel very much more confined, trapped, and is certain to increase the psychological pressure of being in such an insane situation.

There are some interesting changes to the way the show will be managed. The overall 'evil' attitude is to be welcomed, after last years lax enforcement of rules, this years Big Brother should be tough, hard, and show no mercy to the housemates. The weekly tasks have been scrapped, exactly how this will be 'good' for entertainment I don't yet understand C4's thinking. Do we really want housemates lazing around doing very little as occurred in BB3 ? One good thing though is that for every failed task, the prize will be reduced by £10,000. This is great news, and will certainly help motivate the housemates to take the Saturday night task more seriously.

The bedroom situation is good. Making them share beds is going to further increase the feeling of physical confinement. The fact that after each eviction, one bed is removed from the house is a simple but superb policy by BB.  


The New Rats

Let us take a good first look at our new group of Rats, and consider how they have coped in their initial few days in the house. Also, we shall contemplate how they far they might progress into the show, who will get booted first, and which of them will reach the final 4.


Ahmed, 44

Ahmed doesn't much like gay people, says he is 'strong minded, forthright'. Hmm. That initial attitude alone is enough to be damned by the UK media, yet C4 chose Ahmed above thousands of other hopefuls.

Being the oldest of the group, Ahmed is naturally going to be a generation 'out' of the usual 20-30' something's. He will be an easy target for the housemates to 'blame'. His views on gay people are a real issue - especially in this years house where most of the housemates seem to be either gay or bisexual.

Ahmed won't be winning BB5, that much is oh so clear.

Dan, 30

The gay (or is it Bi?) hairdresser. On opening night, Dan looked like a real moody bugger, entering the house with a fancy hat and almost matrix like coat. Dan's entrance into the house was bold, and there is something about Dan that is lurking just beneath the initial appearance. Dan is a straight talker who won't tolerate any nonsense from anyone. Just look into those eyes of his, this man will not be spoken to badly by anyone !

Dan won't make the final night, he'll likely cause some kind of disturbance by week 5 and then get the boot.


Emma, 20

The now revealed 'bi-sexual' woman from somewhere north of Watford. Dear Emma is the stereotypical dippy girl. Says she is a party girl, a dancer... well, we'll see. She appears very earthly in nature, and from what I have noticed in her first few days in the house, she is seriously naive about Big Brother. Has she even watched any of the shows ? How will she cope being away from home and family ? You can be sure that Emma will be the 'cry baby' of the house. Such tears will get her a lot of attention, and that in itself will protect her from being nominated by most of the others. It is indeed quite likely that Emma won't be up for eviction until very late in the series, week 7 or 8 I would guess.

Emma will reach the final night of BB.

Jason, 30

No housemate has ever entered the house wearing so little. Just a tiny thong and a small shoulder bag were all Jason wore, on what was not exactly the mildest of summer evenings ! Jason is over muscled, and over sexed - claims to have slept with 250 people (not that he states which gender though). Is he Bi too ?

Yet I see something interesting in this housemate, I see a distinct touch of 'Jonny Regan' in him. Can we expect that if things get tough, Jason will buckle under the pressure and fall into a depressed state as BB3 Jonny did ? I believe we can expect some mood changes in Jason across his stay, although Jason will never be one to break a house rule - he is very much the rule follower.

Despite his looks and his initial bouncy personality, Jason won't make it to the final night.

Kitten, 24

Where do I start with someone whose name is Kitten ? Her real name I read somewhere is Katherine, but whatever her 'real name' is, Kitten is perhaps the most unstable contestant the house has ever seen. Kitten managed to be the only contestant to get booed before she'd even entered the house ! What a crazy start to her experience in the world of Big Brother.

Kitten is still very young, she lives up to being one of your classic revolutionary stereotypes. She despises all authority - yet she chose to enter the BB house. Why would someone who hates the very notion of an all powerful overseer want to be part of it ?  Kitten is against capitalism, yet she is now part of C4's biggest money spinner. Does Kitten even realise how hypocritical she is ?

Kitten will not win BB5 (admittedly this is perhaps the safest prediction anyone could make). It looks likely she'll be booted the first opportunity she group get - probably this coming Friday. I would like to hope we could experience at least a month of Kitten in the house, but sadly this seems so very unlikely.


Marco,  21

What can I say about dear Marco ? His 'oh my god, oh my god's were simply so overly camp, I am not entirely sure that what we are seeing is entirely his 'normal self'. Is Marco always this loud and so very light and fairy like ? Marco is going to annoy the hell out of many viewers, especially due to his many little repetitive mannerisms The many quirks that Marco presents are there to remind us he is gay - just in case we forgot this fact, since he last reminded us some 10 seconds previously.

Will viewers tire of such a strong camp gay character in the house, someone that makes Brian look comparatively dull ? I don't believe Marco will do that well in the house, he certainly won't win - C4 won't be working their editorial magic to support him. The teenie texters will find him cute and Marco will make many viewers laugh at times, but he won't win.

Michelle, 23

Michelle the 'veggie', she is going to be the media tabloids favourite this summer. In her C4 promo she says 'I love sex and I love porn'. Really Michelle, we would never have guessed. The media hacks are going to love Michelle, she will be their bikini girl of the summer - that much has already become apparent within her first 3 days in the house.

Will Michelle do a 'Kate Lawler' ? Will she spend most of her time flirting with the guys (and girls?) in the house, in order to protect herself from being nominated. I believe she will, at least with 2 or 3 housemates. Michelle is your classic media wannabe. She wants a touch of fame, her face on the cover of 'HELLO' and 'OK' - that is what she's in the house for.

Michelle will reach the final night of BB5, due to an inevitable large media following, but she won't win.



Nadia, 27

Each year the rumour mill prior to BB starting has always predicted that a trans-sexual will enter the house, and finally its happened. Nadia, the late 20' something, originally from Portugal who calls herself a virgin. Her 'change' was a mere 18mths ago, so to appear on mainstream TV so soon after this ultimate life changing event is a pretty big risk. Is Nadia prepared for the pressure that BB and the media are going to put her under ? Hmm, I'm sure she will be okay.

Nadia will generate a lot of light relief in the BB house, she'll survive until the latter weeks of the show, but not the final night. The mass general public will not support someone like Nadia - not yet anyway.

Shell, 22

The 'arty' one. Shell really caught my eye when I first saw her on opening night. Is she a Nush 'Mk.II ? In a way yes, she is somewhat quiet, and will be able to batten down for the 10 weeks. In her C4 promo video, she said she doesn't like the 'lads culture'. Well, as things are, most of the guys in this years BB are somewhat gay, so this won't be an issue for her. She looks like a strong minded person, but she is someone who will be very adverse to rocking the boat. She won't be the one to start an argument, she will probably be the one to say "...calm down people, lets all be friends, can we?". Shell's accent is certainly not common, in fact its almost quite fancy upper-middle class - something that is bound to annoy a fair few people (myself included).

Will Shell get some kind of fan following though ? I think Shell is going to be one of those housemates who really just slip through the show without most people noticing (like Scott and Steph in BB4). When it comes to weekly nominations, Shell will be the last name on anyone's mind, and Shell may well never be up for eviction.

Shell will make it to the final night of BB5, but she will not win.

Stuart, 20

A mere 20 years old, Stuart is the housemate with the long hair, the cute eyes, and overall pretty good looks. Stuart made a somewhat discreet entrance into the BB house, this guy is in for the long run - he is there to win. 

Despite the fact that he comes from a psychology background, I find myself somewhat adverse to him. His C4 promo video was so arrogant he alienated a lot of viewers (myself included) with his "...I've got 4 A-level A Grades". Stuart is obsessed with grades and intelligence scores, what does this say about him ? Is he really just shallow and pretty weak minded ?  

Stuart will come very close to winning BB5, but will just fall short.

Vanessa, 26

Dear Vanessa, the 'Glamour' of BB5 she most certainly is. The blonde with the legs, the 'girly girl'. She has a few tattoos, so at some stage in her past she has actually thought she was pretty cool, bless.
Vanessa has something dark about her though. There is a deeply defensive attitude to her nature. If any housemate starts to go against her in the house, Vanessa is going to become extremely anxious and would probably get feisty in return. She is not the type to tolerate any attitude from anyone - she is too confident and self assured to back down in any conflict. Any housemate that dares to confront her about something, will need to be pretty strong to deal with her.

Despite the glamour... Vanessa won't win.


Victor, 23

Yes, C4 had to meet its quota, and to use one of 'Southparks' concepts 'Token', Victor is exactly that. Victor meets C4's requirement that someone from an inner city be in each years BB -preferably black.

Despite being in the house due to C4's politically correct quotas, what can we note so far about Victor. Well, we can certainly say that he is going to try to woo one of the ladies (but not our dear Kitty), and looks like the sort of person who would not be too shy to get down and dirty with one of the ladies in the house. Already by days 2-3, we have seen Victor be extremely sexually suggestive to Michelle, and she was not entirely unresponsive to him. Victor and Michelle, yes, that is a prediction, by week 4-5 something is going to happen between them.

Victor will be interesting character in the house, but he won't win. The UK public are simply not going to vote to save him above any of the other housemates. Ya know what i'm sayin ?



The First Vote

The suitcase vote had no really serious implications for the house, after all none of the housemates got the boot. Yet it still gives an early indication of who likes who.


Ahmed : Michelle      'because she blanked me, ... no eye contact'
Dan : Marco
Emma : Victor
Jason : Kitten
Kitten : *Refused* (naturally)
Marco : Kitten
Michelle : Kitten       'she's here for the argumentative side of it, I'm not'
Nadia : Michelle   'haven't connected with her yet.. no feedback'
Shell : Kitten
Stuart : Ahmed
Vanessa : Kitten  'she's defiant'
Victor : Kitten  'she's got a few issues'

So the Kitten got 6+(1 her own vote). 6 out of 11 votes. Kitten stands out prominently against the other housemates, and she will remain the primary target for the others to nominate.

The opening few days

Opening night was fun and quite illuminating. Marco was practically the 'meeter and greeter' of the house. His endlessly repetitive 'oh my god, oh my god's' are almost reminiscent of Brian was BB2.

The great thing about these opening days of the show, is the 'oh so fake' happy group scenes. These 12 people will have seen the previous series of BB, and they should be well aware of what happens across the duration of the show. The first few days are always so blissfully happy and easy going. Most housemates says something like "... everyone here is so friendly, we're going to be such a great group this year with no arguments at all". It never lasts though. Sooner or later the bitching will begin, as the paranoia relentlessly builds up in the minds of each housemate.

Happy times - it won't be long until this happy scene will be a fading memory.

The suitcase vote was interesting in itself. I guess most housemates - including Kitten, had expected it to be some form of nominations. Even though it was just about who would not get their personal belongings, it still gave a good indication of how the group will react in the future.


Looking ahead

The first chance the group get, Kitten will be booted. The 'kitty' is such an easy target for housemates to prey upon. Kitten looks different, she acts endlessly like the rebellious teen who gets most upset whenever someone ask her to do even the most mediocre of tasks. Lets be quite clear about things, the group will first target the most 'noticeable' people first - this happens every year. Last year, Anouska got noticed for being loud and (arguably) the most attractive of the group. Kitten is way more an easy target than Anouska ever was, or in fact any previous BB housemate. 


Calls for 'Drown the Kitten' are already apparent



And the winner is...

So, who will win BB5 ? This time last year we already knew that Anouska was the primary target for the first eviction - and indeed the teenie texters saw to it that she got the boot. We must not under estimate the power of the teenie texters in determining the winner. Sure, some older viewers will be voting to save/boot various housemates this summer, yet the real voting power is held with the teenage population.


Very naive and somewhat lacking in IQ - C4's new 'chosen one'


Who will the teenies be voting for ? Well, we know they'll be going for a guy,,, young,, with 'cute eyes'. Its a cliché, but its true. Jason will be the 'summer love' of the teenies this year. Jason has the eyes, the hair, the overall look that is sure to catch the eye of your average teenage girl.

Yet despite this, I do not believe Jason will win. C4 will be intent on seeing a female winner, especially since only 1 winner out of the past 4 years has been a woman. C4 will do all they can in their editing, their style of manipulation, their attitude to the press, to help Emma on her way to becoming the youngest ever winner of BB.


The eyes have it. Stuart - the 'Teenie texters' favourite.

Calrissian's grand outlook

How C4 are going to do the voting this year is unknown. Will it be like previous years, in that we vote out the person we dislike, or will we vote to keep in those we like? Whatever the situation, here is my general prediction list of evictions...

week 1 : Kitten gets the boot.  (she may get to stay in some secret room, but the Kitten is still out of the game)
2-3 : Ahmed will go. There is no way he'll survive very long, and if anyone walks it'd be him.
3-4 : Vanessa will get booted - which I am presuming will be due to some major argument which leads to the group turning against her, along with the media !
4-5 : Victor will get booted. Up against any of the others, he simply won't stand a hope of survival.
5-6 : Marco out.
7-8 : Nadia will go.  Nadia is one of those housemates that will almost reach the final, but lacks the mainstream support of the public.
9 : The last booting before the final night will probably see the back of a second-line housemate, someone like Jason.

The final 4

Emma will win, with the 'teenie texters' idol Jason in second. Michelle - the 'tabloid's favourite will be third, and Shell will manage to make it in fourth.

To me, it all looks pretty straightforward. Even taking into account the many nasty things that BB could unleash on the housemates this summer, the above final 4 look like the housemates most likely to keep a good reputation in the house. Having 3 women in the final four would be a first for BB, and my prediction is quite risky in this respect.  Yet, Emma and Jason are a certainty to reach the end. Michelle will be the 'glamour' of the series, and Shell will provide some degree of 'social balance' to the remaining housemates.


Acting like a gangster ? Victor won't win BB5.

Regular readers may remember I had been hoping for an 'Asian goddess' to enter the house this series, but sadly the producers have gone for a safer choice - a young, white, 'not too smart', but moderately attractive English woman. I have very little doubt that Emma will win BB5. The bookies are also tending to agree with my prediction. Emma is going to win BB5 - unless she does something really bad to upset the nation. Emma has the full support of C4/Endemol, and from first impressions, looks like someone who might even 'deserve' to win.

As devoted fans of Big Brother we can be greatly relieved at the new rats which the producers have selected for us. Each of the rats holds a great deal of promise, the promise of some fine late night summer entertainment. With BB yet to really show its predicted 'Evil' side, there is literally an endless list of things that BB could do to the housemates. Let us now wait patiently for battle to commence, and I can assure you.... the battle will be fierce.


Calrissian : Endlessly fascinated with rats in cages


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Originally Published © 2004 Philip Calrissian
Last Updated : 01/06/04