Friday, November 19, 2004

Big Brother Croatia Update: A New Era Could Dawn Tonight

Tonight's eviction vote in many ways resembles 1960 US Presidential election.

First, tonight's vote, just like the election, appears to be very close and it is most likely to be decided with smallest margin ever.

Second, just like in USA 1960, there are allegations and suspicions about fraud and vote tampering. Some conspiracy theories about RTL Televizija convincing Željko (Zeljko) to stay few more days in exchange for "regular" but certain eviction have already been hatched.

Third, just like USA 1960, the outcome of the election might easily be influenced by the power of a new medium. In 1960 most people who listened to Kennedy-Nixon debates on radio gave their votes to Nixon; those who watched the debates on TV gave votes to Kennedy.

Same thing appears to be happening with the contest between Željko (Zeljko) and Sanja. Traditional media – newspaper and magazines – follow the simple, predictable reasoning of a newbie Željko following Vlatka's footsteps. Impression of two nominees based on daily TV summaries is impression of quiet, depressed and anxious young man who awaits the inevitable and confident cheerful "hip" young woman. This is reflected in the results of Jutarnji list panel of housemates' friends and relatives – 6 think that Željko would leave, while 3 expect Sanja to go.

Those who follow Big Brother on Internet – whether directly or through semi-official summaries on RTL Televizija and – gained completely different picture. Sanja is quiet or nowhere to be seen while Željko appears to be creative, manic and in a such good mood that something only recently unthinkable – close relationship between him and Marina – looks like a probable course of events. Furthermore, unlike those who follow Big Brother in traditional ways, Croatian Internet community has discovered Sanja's controversial poetry and reacted to it by outrage and instant desire to see Sanja out of House. This has reflected in on-line polls, most of them showing clear majority in favour of Sanja's eviction.

How would this all turn out is anyone's guess. The most telling sign comes from T-Com, news site of the very firm that handles phone votes. They acknowledge on-line polls in which, according to them, Sanja fares worse than Željko.

Furthermore, most of those who watch the show and most of those vote are young people – section of population more likely to follow Big Brother on Internet.

So, when all is said and done, the race is close but the smart money is on Sanja leaving.


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