Social Experiment or a Career Revival Scheme
Each new series of Celebrity Big Brother presents a new round of forgotten ‘celebrities’, chucked in a house together to cry, curse and abuse each other for the alleged amusement of the general public. The 2015 season has been no exception, with three early departures, unlikely friendships and some very calculated bitchiness making for extremely mind-numbing, but highly entertaining television. The aim of the game, it seems, is to be as controversial as possible and these ‘has-beens’ certainly try their hardest to out-do their opponents.
The first incident to catapult the show onto the front page of the tabloids was the Jeremy Jackson-Chloe Goodman nipple exposure saga. For a washed-up Baywatch actor, and a glamour model, whose only claim to fame is participating in another lowbrow reality TV program, the coverage gained from this has been outstanding, and so much so they have been the talk of the tabloids ever since. Following the incident, both parties have since made sure they’ve relayed their side of the story with Chloe even defending the actions of her apparent ‘sexual abuser’. Meanwhile, Jackson was apparently cautioned by police, although felt so ridden with remorse that he publically met with Goodman’s sister to seek her forgiveness. Clearly these Z listers are taking up the mantra of “any publicity is good publicity”…
The drama continued when Ken Morley, who originally seemed the most boring and slightly creepy man on the planet, was removed for unacceptable, racial language. Whilst the majority of programs would immediately go into crisis management mode, producers of CBB decided to simply release a statement issuing an apology and condemning Morley’s poor behaviour – a result that seemed lighter than a slap on the wrist. In any other situation, racial slurs could have resulted in arrests and riots, yet this incident has been simply brushed under the carpet and overshadowed by other supposed matters of a ‘serious’ nature taking place in the house, such as the arrival of marmite celebrity Katie Price dressed as a drag queen.
So what has the infamous, “don’t call me Jordan”, bought to this highly intellectual esteemed documentary. Evidently the Katie Price ‘brand’ is in obvious decline, as she seems to feature as a regular on reality TV shows. Next thing you know she’ll be announced as the new judge on Britain’s Got Talent – God Save The Queen! It’s clear that the only thing that goes through the self-proclaimed ‘Pricey’s’ mind is to gain as much attention as imaginable, through any means possible. After her late arrival into the CBB house the glamour model-come singer-come entrepreneur has done her upmost best to create an impact. Going as far (or as low) as leaking a steady stream of information about her past conquests, from revealing details of Alex Reid’s’ anal persuasion, to Danny Ciprianis’ ‘shortcomings’ in the downstairs department, she knows only too well how to drop jaws. And if this wasn’t enough to steal the limelight from her fellow co-stars, she has also befriended the most hated woman in Britain and previous enemy, Katie Hopkins. The unlikely paring comes after Hopkins recently denounced Price for naming her daughter Bunny and criticised her for using the taxpayer’s money to pay for a taxi to take her disabled son Harvey to school in London. However, apparently opposites really do attract, as the two have become thick as thieves in the house, or at least until nomination day that is, whereby the true game player no doubt will be revealed. This unlikely friendship will no doubt give Price plenty to talk about once she’s inevitably been evicted, probably resulting in yet another new book.
This year, Big Brother has been centred on a fairy tale theme, whereby the housemates have definitely played along. Even a villain has emerged in the form of the slimmed down, overly camp blogger, Perez Hilton. From day one, Perez has become a focal point of the series so far, initially knowing the life story of every housemate. He has gone from being the life and soul of the party, to conniving and calculating frenemy, to a weeping mess in the space of less than 2 weeks – almost breaking the CBB record. The departure of Alexander O’Neal was, according to O’Neal, attributed to the extreme emotional distress Hilton subjected him to. But what did the celebrities really expect of the blogger who made his fortune by mocking the rich and famous? He has clearly gone onto this program with a game plan in mind that will maximise his exposure and increase his site visit – and can you blame him? It’s definitely working. Previous evictee Chloe Goodman has seemingly altogether forgotten about the breast exposure incident and is instead focusing her efforts on getting Perez evicted from the house. Even going to the extreme of opting to have the slogan ‘GET PEREZ OUT’ emblazed across her chest on a recent night out – suddenly indecent exposure isn’t that bigger deal. Perez is now being branded as the most disliked person in Britain (watch out Hopkins), thus his evil plan is coming together.
Whilst the rest of the world carries on outside the four walls of the CBB house, the egos of the celebrities inside are beginning to simmer and no doubt another blow up is surely imminent. CBB and other reality shows of the same ilk are simply a mechanism for displaying how far some people are willing to go to claw back some version of fame, no matter how demeaning the process may be. No doubt despite sexual assault, racial chatter, fake friendships and revelations, this vicious circle will continue as celebrities revel in the idolised fame moshpit they hope will return their status in fame. In six months time, all will be in past, including the careers of the current line-up, and we will welcome a new bunch to violate our television screens. Good PR, or not then? You decide!!!