Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Big Brother Croatia Update: Ground War Gets Ugly

Big Brother Croatia has begun to resemble Croatian presidential elections. Both contests appear to have a clear favourite from Northern Croatia and in both contest second competitor is a woman whose chance of winning are negligible. It also appears that clear favourites of both contests are going to be subjected to increasingly dirty campaigns of character assassination. It seems that in both cases such efforts might backfire and hurt second competitors.

In case of Saša Tkalčević (Sasa Tkalcevic) some ammunition for his detractors was found in RTL Televizija's late night special with selected highlights of Saturday's birthday party - which, among other things, included scene of Saša passing candy to Playboy model Mirela Anić (Mirela Anic) without the use of hands. If the idea was to undermine the image of Saša as impeccable family man, his wife Nataša Tkalčević (Natasa Tkalcevic) refused to play along and stated that she saw nothing wrong with some of her husband's late night antiques.

Much more troublesome development is the emergence of rumours alleging Saša's Serb ethnicity and, therefore, suggesting that someone who is not ethnic Croat should never win the very first Big Brother Croatia. Ethnic chauvinism – the nasty phenomenon that recently reared its ugly head – is definitely not the card that should played in Big Brother game. In most likelihood those rumours are product of increasingly deranged fans of Antonija (or/and Zdravko and Alen) trying too hard to promote their cause.

If those rumours are part of someone's campaign, they are, in most likelihood, not going to hurt Saša. The greatest danger for Saša is in Alen and Zdravko's fans using tactical voting in nomination phase in order to get rid of their worst competitor. But it doesn't look likely at this point, at least judging by the polls that suggest Saša having clear advantage over other housemates.

So, if Saša gets evicted, it is most likely to be product of someone's business calculation. With Saša out, the final four would include two immensely popular candidates and result in really close and competitive race. But this could backfire – many would see the last eviction vote as a fraud and simply refuse to be taken for a ride in last nine days of the show.

This could also result in a major final upset. Disgruntled Saša's fans might react by sending their protest votes to candidate they consider the least likely to benefit from Saša's absence – Marina, who now appears to be the ultimate dark horse of Big Brother Crotaia.


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