Weaver's Week 2001-06-19

Weaver's Week Index

19th June 2001

Iain Weaver reviews the latest happenings in UK Game Show Land.

Once again, spoiler warning. Especially in the Big Brother section.


Budget airline Ryanair has repainted a plane with the logo "Good luck Brian" in support of the BB contestant and sometime steward with the airline. Christine Buchanan, who works alongside Brian, said she believed he stood a good chance of winning. "He is the right personality for it. I hope he goes all the way. Every day with Brian you get a bit of a drama" she gushed before revealing a silly story about Brian. A woman passenger pulled down her underwear in front of 200 other passengers, and "Brian had never seen one of those before in his life. He went white as a sheet. He got off the plane and took the rest of the day off."

Rumours that the airline will be renamed in Brian's honour should he win could not be confirmed. The plane will fly from Stansted to Europe, and will keep its insignia for as long as Brian remains in the house. Could be quite a time, then.

The votes are in, and a man is waving his arms about by a set of steps on wheels.

AMMA: Paul - "He annoys me, he brings out the worst in me." Stuart - "He's got a smug streak."

BRIAN: Stuart - "He's become very competitive." Helen - "She needs reassuring the whole time."

BUBBLE: Paul - "I don't get on with him." Helen - "She could lose a task."

DEAN: Narinder - "I don't really get on with her." Paul - "He's next in line."

HELEN: Narinder - "We just don't gel." Bubble - "He scares me."

LIZ: Paul - "He's not on my wavelength and spits a lot." (C4 viewers haven't seen this.) Stuart - "He's aggressive and competitive."

NARINDER: Stuart - "We need to get rid of these boring blokes." Helen - "She threw it back in my face."

PAUL: Amma - "She thinks she knows everything." Bubble - "He's annoying."

STUART: Amma - "She's not participating." Narinder - "She let someone else take the blame."

Scores on the door: Paul 4, Stuart 4, Helen 3, Narinder 3, Bubble 2, Amma 2. Brian, Dean and Liz all score zero. Josh did not participate in this week's nomination process.

Liz was the only one to vote for Penny and Helen last week, Amma joins her as the house's bellweather this week. Narinder (1 vote last week) is in clear trouble, while Helen is assured of at least one more week.

Monday. Economy corn flakes do not please Narinder. She needs brand name goods. They cost. Liz wonders if Paul is bragging in order to impress Josh. Maybe Penny didn't stand a cat's chance. Liz seems to have become the fount of all culinary knowledge, even though she's not the greatest cook. Bubble wants to start playing tricks on Josh already. Helen bugs and batters Josh to find which girl he would sleep with. Amma is the diplomatic answer, but Helen's disappointment is clear. Amma reckons Josh would shag anything.

Tuesday. Brian does the chickens, and appears genuinely frightened. The nominations are announced. Paul looks shocked, Stuart more quizzical. There's no group hug, but lots of analysis. Helen is shocked she's not up for an exit. Liz reckons Josh's arrival has made the other guys, especially Stuart, more serious. Brian has seemed to ally with the remaining girls, but Liz reckons she's moving away from that circle. Divide, conquer, move on? Paul reckons there are a lot of leaders out there, and it's weird, but he was expecting it. Stuart will be sorry to lead, but considers the answer to "will you be happy to stay in the house" for over 30 seconds before replying. That's a lot of silence.

Wednesday. Another week, another birthday. Brian is 23. Challenge day. They each face two questions, the group can get just one of the questions wrong. Josh gets one wrong, but that's all. The task is won, £28 per person is added to the budget. Stuart puts on glitter for the party. He looks - well, daft.

Drinking games are the order of the night, with predictable consequences. Things are bad - Bubble's removed his hat, and Brian's underwear. Progressively cut back to some *very* long shots. C4 doesn't show the burning of the pants. Brian and Josh row about the rights and wrongs of Brian moving in with the girls. C4 doesn't see the whole handbags at ten paces argument. Amma tries to enter the conversation, but Stuart tells her loudly and repeatedly to shut up. Everyone's talking, except for Dean and Helen who are half asleep on deckchairs. C4 viewers don't see an hour-long tirade from Amma to Stuart. Eleven swear words (none bleeped at 10) in 30 seconds is only the start.

Everyone consoles Amma, Dean and later Liz lead her to the garden shed. Then Stuart walks in, and Amma advises him to leave. Dean advises him to leave, and stop upsetting people. He eventually gets the hint. Narinder tells BB that war's broken out. Brian and Dean are discussing Josh. Dean doesn't see why Brian has a problem with Josh being gay. Josh doesn't claim to portray himself as a shining example of the gay community. He reckons Brian wants him out. Brian reckons he's been unfair.

Split the group into the pacemakers - Dean, Liz, Paul; those left out of tonight's fight - Helen, Narinder, Bubble; and the protagonists - Amma, Brian, Josh and Stuart. This could be the clincher to remove Stuart this week. I suspect it'll be Amma and Josh up for an exit next week with Helen and Bubble following shortly after. By staying on the periphery, Paul could have booked himself passage to the last five.

Expected order if the contest ends here:

1) Dean 2) Liz 3) Brian 4) Narinder 5) Bubble 6) Paul 7) Helen 8) Josh 9) Amma 10) Stuart

I expect Brian to rise if and when Josh goes, and there's not much to split Bubble, Paul and Helen right now.

In Thursday's Guardian, Matt Wells explained why Josh is going to lose. Full article: http://media.guardian.co.uk/broadcast/comment/0,7493,506734,00.html

"Far from welcoming the 'musclebound hunk' to our Gucci-perfumed bosoms, we are united in our derision of this disappointing version of homosexuality. While straight male journalists imagine him sending the blood pumping through our Calvins, we see a self-obsessed show-off displaying the worst aspects of straight male machismo, wrapped in a gay body.

"That he has already recorded a video message of support for his gay fans at this year's Mardi Gras shows how far he will go in the cause of self-promotion. He has studied the process, thought his options through, planned his campaign and pre-recorded the acceptance speech in the same way that he's transformed himself from suburban Paul (his real name) to Soho Josh.

[Weaver notes: A third Paul! Joining Bubble (real name: Paul), and Paul (real name, er, Paul.)]

"It is Brian we love. Josh is too successful, too self-confident, too sassy. He's not vulnerable enough, he doesn't appear to have the requisite insecurities to be a real gay man. He probably doesn't even know who Judy Garland is. Brian, on the other hand, is desperately lacking in self-confidence. Yet he's witty, switched-on, and cute. His lack of self-awareness is endearing; his sensitivity is deeply attractive. He uses high camp to hide his insecurities.

"Brian will walk away with the £70,000. Not just because he is sweet, self-deprecating and deeply sexy, but because the British never vote against the Irish. Not even in the Eurovision Song Contest."

Back to the house, and Thursday. It's an all-nighter for Amma, Liz, Josh and Bubble (still hatless.) Stuart gets up really early, and can talk - and apologise - to Amma without getting throttled. But Amma will want comeback at a later time, and Stuart mutters about Amma "not being adult enough." There's a group meeting just after 1pm in the garden. Stuart apologises for trying to shut Amma up, but *that's not her problem.* It's that Stuart was addressing her like a child. Finally out, there can be a bit of closure.

Question. It's no more than 16 degrees in the shade, yet only Amma has covered up her arms.

Then to Brian and Josh. Brian's not apologising, and there's going to be trouble ahead. Brian breaks down after talking to BB, Liz and Narinder console him. In a conversation that doesn't make C4, Brian discusses how he's got too high standards for boyfriends.

So to Friday, and eviction day. I wondered earlier who would be tottering around the house in high heels and a dress, and the answer is Paul. A little green off-the-shoulder number, probably borrowed from Narinder, and some of the glitter make-up Helen's brought in. Result of the vote: Paul 14% stuart 86% of "over one million votes." Stuart shouts "Yes!" and jumps up from his chair, both arms aloft. Paul and Narinder lead the hugs.


Here's what happened on Thursday's episode.


There wasn't one.

Survivor has lost the war, and its Thursday flame has been extinguished.

A thought crossed my mind. Andy dedicated his victory in the log challenge to his mother, as it was filmed on Mothering Sunday, March 25. Footage of the overnight section showed a full moon. Yet a brief check of the diary shows that night was a *new* moon, exactly two weeks before the Passover full moon. That makes the job so much more difficult, as it's clearly easier to balance on a log under a full moon than under dark skies. A small fake, but another part of the way the producers are taking us for a ride. £10 million on this show, and they can't even get the moon phase right.

However. I think we're turning the corner with this show. Forget the studio interviews - I have, right from the beginning, and putting them at 2220 from next week - Outside Primetime - shows they're totally expendable. The production values are high, though the niggles and fakes are very annoying. It's the second show that spoiled the party - it was dull as ditchwater, with nothing happening in the opening 10 minutes. Maybe the merger into one tribe, with less chopping and changing, and more opportunity for scheming and plotting, will help. Time will tell. So might some revised promotion, concentrating on the people and the names, not so much the concept. We know the concept, but even though I've seen all the island shows, I can only name a couple of the competitors.

I'm going to lose no sleep about not knowing who leaves over the coming fortnight.


Mo 11: Good night for Survivor, scooping 6.5m/31% against a documentary on Timothy McVeigh. BB posted 4.2m/22%, showing it's not losing heavily after the election.

Tu 12: Survivor Interview 5.7m/27%. BB 4.4m/22%.

We 13: BB 4.4m/28%, level with both BBC and ITV news bulletins. Winning Lines is only 10 minutes long, too short to register as an Official Programme.


WINNING LINES: No bailout button. No two passes and three wrong answers and turning four handsprings each minute. And ... no pit stops. Just three minutes of Gopherman and his unrelenting questioning. When played by an experienced contestant, it's a winner, but the pit stops seem required for the main show.

The shows may be over, but the games go on! Updates over the next fortnight, in descending order of interest...

Big Brother: www.channel4.com/bigbrother/

Viewing Figures: www.produxion.co.uk

Survivor (1): www.survivor-sucks.co.uk

The Conservative Party Leadership Race: www.bbc.co.uk/news/

Survivor (2): www.itv-survivor.co.uk

Back to Weaver's Week Index

A Labyrinth Games site.
Design by Thomas.
Printable version
Editors: Log in