And so we reach the final hurdle before the home run and we pray that we don’t Stambolova. It’s a four-way nomination that places Deana, Adam, Ashleigh and Scott in the sadly-not-literal (at least in Ashleigh’s case) line of fire. Who goes? We decide.
The message on double eviction is a mixed one. Emma Willis has thus far been clear that only two housemates will be saved whilst live producer Jamie Sutcliffe insisted last night that anything could happen and that a single eviction is still very much a possibility. Whether this disagreement was the result of some internal communicative cock-up or simply a deliberate cock-tease is anyone’s guess. I’m going to guess at the former but hope for the latter. I do this because, as a Deana-backer, I worry that her switch in behaviour might place her in danger of losing votes to Adam and Scott. A single eviction would surely yield a far more predictable outcome in the form of Ashleigh’s departure.
As of Deana’s chances of winning the crown, it seems she may have peaked too early. Eurovicious “can’t help but feel her support is exaggerated online,” and worries that, “she’s behaving in a lot of ways which will rub viewers up the wrong way.” Personally, I’ve found her coming-out as a bit of a dickhead to be quite entertaining and I like the fact that she’s in the mood to push buttons. She’s always insisted that her personality was unable to shine in the presence of slightly intimidating characters and I definitely see her development as a natural progression and not the result of a ‘split personality’. As Deana argued about Conor, “He doesn’t even know my flippin’ personality.” Unfortunately, whilst it appeals somewhat to me, I don’t think Deana’s personality is truly one of a BB champion. She’s carried herself through turbulent times with fantastic dignity but ultimately she’s a little too blunt, tactless and self-absorbed to fit the mould of the typical people’s champion. It is hard not to draw comparisons with the much more high profile Shilpa Shetty debacle when talking about Deana’s journey in the Big Brother house. Beauty queen cum Bollywood actress receives frosty reception in the house, is judged for her affluent lifestyle and finds it hard to make friends. The public recognise bullying in her treatment in the house (although not racially motivated in this case) and yet she keeps her chin up and sails through to the final with grace. The difference is that Shilpa Shetty was a genuinely warm and socially adept human being but, whilst I like Deana a lot, she is rather wrapped up in her own loopy world. As gladiator Jet pointed out on BBBOTS, the quickest way for Deana to make friends would have been to stop asking people why they didn’t like her and start asking people about their own lives.
Before we all throw our hands up in the air and give up on Deana entirely, I’m not slating her to go and I don’t quite agree with Euro that it’s a good time to lay her for the win. It is true, as commenter Sarah notes, that Scott has received a boost in the quality of his coverage in recent days but Adam has rather slipped under the radar of late so it might not be Deana that the ice-haired Maxonian needs to usurp. Deana has, after all, built up a strong following and such groups are prone to viewing the actions of their chosen housemates through rose-tinted glasses. Even as I try to remain impartial (at least in analytical terms) I find myself interpreting Deana’s recent behaviour in a positive way because I have invested in her, mentally and financially. It’s quite possible that a large following will feel the same – especially if it includes scorned women, British Asians, Midlanders and possibly even a gay niche (“She’s such a survivor!”). Could it be possible that a change in persona has come too late to affect Deana’s support?
I would advise playing it very safe with the bets this week. The only sensible option seems to be Ashleigh to go at around 1.3 but you’ll need to stick a fair amount by that in order to reap a reasonable reward. I’m going to dabble there but I’m warning against the dangers of complacency. Ashleigh has now survived two evictions and we have no real gauge of her support other than the fact that she polled fewer votes than Adam, Sara, Deana and Luke A but more than Caroline and Luke S a couple of weeks ago. As Scott is yet to face the public vote, we have very little idea of his support either and so I would recommend playing it safe to all concerned, even if that means missing out on what looks like easy money for Ashleigh to go. At 13 and 16.5 respectively, Deana and in particular Adam seem represent the value bets to be evicted tonight. The question is, how likely are either of them to poll lower than Scott? And that’s assuming that a double eviction is even on the cards.
Giving Luke S the free pass was pretty pointless wasn’t it? Surely these twists should result in the more interesting housemates sticking around. My feeling in general is that the Big Brother formula works best when it’s left at its simplest and the majority of power lies with the public. Many, including me, were sad for instance to see the back of Lauren, whose elimination was the result of Big Brother messing with the nomination format. Part of the appeal of an interactive series is the power afforded to its viewers. I think the mistake lies in thinking that shaking up the eviction process will make the programme less boring. In fact, leaving the process fair from week to week creates a more interesting arc overall in comparison to the fractured process which yields no clear pattern or story. For example, this year’s pattern suggests that Lauren was unpopular, a fact we know to be untrue (BBBOTS revealed that Luke/Lauren was the closest vote to date and implied that the numbers were unusually high). As punters, the twists and turns don’t do us any favours. As viewers, they suck the fun (and the point) right out of the thing. But then perhaps I am clinging on to a golden era, like a purist on a cliff-edge.
I declare the comments OPEN.