Saturday, November 27, 2004

Big Brother Croatia Update: A Night To Remember

Last night's live show perhaps didn't included Daria Knez accidentally using profanities like one week ago, but it had its share of interesting moments. The most interesting of them all was the brief post-nomination statement by one of the guests in the studio - Ana Ocvirk, Antonija's friend. She tried to explain Antonija's nomination with other housemates' fear of competition – "They know she is going to get 1 million HRK on December 26th, so they want to throw her out before that happens". Željka Milanko (Zeljka Milanko) said that Antonija was nominated solely for "not being nominated before". Ana Ocvirk then confidently replied "This is the first time she was nominated, and it is going to be the last".

Ana Ocvirk's words are likely to become a reality, at least judging by the buzz on various Croatian Internet forums and Usenet newsgroups. They all had dramatic increase of Big Brother-related posts with most characteristic subjects headers being "Thank the Lord", "O Happy Day", "Fall of the Evil Empire", "We Waited 70 Days For This", "Marina, We Love You" etc.

Judging by the immediate reactions in the House, nobody doubts that Alen would be there on the next Saturday. Antonija and Ana spent the first hours after nominations between uncomfortable silences, Ana's threats that they would stop cooking, Antonija's admission that she practiced "spinster's comfort" in the House (in an apparent attempt to reduce any male's leverage over her) and Axis members' desperate attempts to find who nominated them and why. Zdravko replied to this request by saying that one of them would probably know the answer to that question next Friday when she leaves.

While both women are upset, Ana is more tense than Antonija. She had some discussion with Marina and expressed her conviction that she would leave on Friday ("Younger people vote, and I'm the oldest of them all"). Ana's pessimism is, however, unfounded. Twelve hours after the nominations opinion polls numbers have stabilised into more recognisable pattern 60 % for Antonija, 30 % for Ana and 10 % for Alen.

This is the most delightful outcome for RTL Televizija and its sponsors. Three-way eviction race means more income from phone votes. In this case one of the potential evictees is the most unpopular of all housemate, and another is one of the most popular. Both those who don't like Antonija and those who want to keep Alen in the House are going to vote in record numbers. Even disgruntled Željko (Zeljko) fans are more likely to cast their votes for eviction of Antonija rather than kick Alen out.

Another good thing for RTL Televizija is big likelihood of increased ratings due to the more drama in the House next week. The housemates have, to their utmost surprise, failed their weekly task and this is going to reflect on their budget. That would hit smokers like very hard, especially Ana who, deprived of cigarettes, might become very aggressive and unpleasant towards other housemates. Another potential for drama might be developing love triangle between Alen, Marina and Zdravko – Marina did her part by exchanging some tenderness with Zdravko in his bed while temporarily devastated Alen looked at the wall.

Another avenue of ratings raising was explored in what was the final and the most tender moment of the evening. Last to go to bed were Marina and Ana. Marina tried to help and cheer up Ana with a sensual massage. Ana was so pleased that she praised Marina's skill and said that she was "better than Željko". Just in the moment when this tender moment could have developed into something more, Antonija suddenly woke up and interrupted two girls' conversation. That was the signal for Marina to stop and go to sleep. Before calling a night she, quite aware that she is being watched by people outside House, wished "a good night for all those who stay awake in this time".


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