Saturday, November 13, 2004

Big Brother Croatia: Good Night for Good Old Boys

Shock and disbelief were almost universal reactions of all those who were watching last night's nomination. Saša (Sasa), who was widely perceived to be among nominated, didn't receive a single vote, just like Zdravko. That was a good night for two men whose newly-forged alliance has potential to stand up to Axis.

Most comments, however, are directed towards certain most baffling votes that went against expectations and conventional wisdom. Namely, Valentina, despite her all-too-obvious little girl's crush towards Željko (Zeljko), has decided to vote against him. Same can be said for Sanja who also surprised many by her decision to nominate the man who gave impression of succumbing to her influence.

Many accuse Valentina of being "backstabber", but her vote wasn't such big surprise when put into the context of her previous behaviour. She had nominated Željko before and later informed Željko about that.

Votes against Marina, on the other hand, give away different voting patterns and different reasons for housemates to nominate each other. In case of Zdravko, "Marina taking things too personally" was a poor excuse for what most observers would see as pure tactical vote. Zdravko seems to be quite comfortable with Marina, considers her to be "one of the guys" or at least the least threatening of the women in the House. But his personal likes and dislikes are of little concern at this stage – both he and Marina were nominated before, so his own survival came first; one more vote for Marina made her more likely to be paired with Željko than him.

Željko, on the other hand, knew that he was next to face the wall, so his nomination of Marina was based purely on the personal dislike. He had expressed that dislike by explicitly saying that Marina was "picked for the show solely on her looks" which led to major row between her and him. Marina didn't take it lightly (although Željko was, at least partially correct; Marina was indeed picked by her looks, but solely due to her incredible resemblance to Alen's ex-girlfriend and potential to mess with Alen's mind) and that newly-found animosity reflected itself in mutual nominations.

Sanja, on the other hand, likes Marina and two of them had expressed fondness for each in one alcohol-fuelled moment of honesty one week ago. However, Sanja might like Marina as a person, but she doesn't like what Marina stands for and what she represents. If we could apply US political terminology to Big Brother Croatia, Sanja is Blue State, while Marina is Red State. Strict ideological principles, rather than personal sympathies or tactics, played the part in this particular nomination.

Outside media seem to be as baffled as the fans. mistakenly reported that Valentina nominated Marina (and the reporter expressed surprise over it). Kristina Kvastek, Sanja's sister, expressed her dismay over nominations to Večernji list (Vecernji list).

There are plenty of speculations who would be evicted on Friday. Many expect Željko (and this opinion is shared by Večernji list), but many also seem to want to see Sanja out. Judging by the on-line polls, this race is going to be extremely tight, although Sanja's eviction seems to slightly likelier than Željko's. Next eviction is probably the first (and probably the only one) to be decided with less than 10 % margin.

There is little variety of reactions towards Electronic Media Council decision, at least among the fans. Most are dismayed and outraged over "hypocrisy" and "bigotry" of Croatian media regulators. Many don't see any point of the show if the one hour of privacy is implemented. Some blame the decision on the poor ratings of state-run HRT and its undue influence on the Council. Forcing RTL-Televizija to put its most successful and most lucrative show after 22 hours is likely to increase HRT ratings.

RTL-Televizija didn't follow the recommendation so far. Next daily show is scheduled for 20:15 tonight.


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