Sunday, December 12, 2004

Big Brother Croatia Update: Happy and Not So Happy Times

Last Friday was one of the most important days of the first season of Croatian Big Brother, and not only because of the nominations. It marks the change in housemates' priorities, their behaviour, as well as the behaviour of their fans and the way producers handle the show.

Probably the most palpable change of them all is related to the (non)romance between Alen and Marina. Marina, who proved the most skilful player among housemates, was the first one to realise that some important moves must be made and one such move was made before the actual nominations. That was her final confession to Alen – a move she could comfortably make after the last nominations. But Marina correctly assumed that such course of action could be a PR disaster, resulting in destroying all of her chances for winning the grand prize and, even more importantly, public sympathies without which she can't hope to capitalise on the whole Big Brother experience. So, she had to take a calculated risk and hope that Alen would accept the earth-shattering end of his illusions.

Alen's mental state before, during and after the nomination indicates that he finally took notice of reality and began the process of accepting that Marina won't be anything more than a good friend. It is becoming apparent that Croatian media too came to the same conclusion or, to be more precise, realised that the endless pushing of Alen and Marina's "romance" as the show's main attraction became boring, counterproductive and that continuation of that would only make them look ridiculous. Jutarnji list, for example, uses Marina's confession as the highlight of its daily update. Another example is tonight's TV daily summary which, for the first time, aired Marina discussing her relationship with ex-boyfriend, a person who, until this point, didn't exist for Croatian TV viewers.

Lack of "romance", on the other hand, is going to be compensated with new and more spectacular attractions and many clever tricks designed to inject some drama and disrupt family atmosphere of the House. One such move was, of course, arrival of Playboy model Mirela Anić (Mirela Anic), the very first guest of the House. She spent the night there and that night is going to be remembered as one of the more eventful of the House.

Although viewers didn't see anything that they didn't see before – dancing, stripping, catatonic Alen occasionally being brought back to life by Marina, Antonija "marking her territory", swimming in Jacuzzi, provocative dancing etc. – the context of all this happenings has changed. Whatever happens in House might be interpreted by the very people who would decide the ultimate winner.

It seems that RTL Televizija chose to disrupt the widespread perception of Saša cruising his way to victory. At least this is one way to interpret certain level of physical similarity between Mirela and Nataša Tkalčević (Natasa Tkalcevic), Saša's wife. Of course, with surprise guest being Playboy model, it was quite certain that the male housemates would spend much of the evening in her company, at the expense of other two females. Although Saša, despite being fuelled with alcohol, didn't do anything that could be put as an evidence in divorce court, RTL Televizija may very well edit that interaction in a way that could shatter the image of Saša as impeccable family man and make the eviction race, as well as final vote, more closer and more exciting.

Although it had been announced that RTL Televizija would air that party live, the decision was made to make the Very Special Episode instead. The party which lasted 9 hours is compressed into one hour and it would be aired this evening after 23:00. The time slot suggests content which doesn't conform to the strict standards of Electronic Media Council, although, apart from some completely innocent female nudity, the only scenes not that likely to get PG-13 rating in Hollywood films have to do with the way Zdravko and Marina expressed new found fondness for each other.

In the meantime, ground war between the fans continues. Less than a day after Antonija's eviction reaching comfortable lead in T-Com's poll, the race is again dead heat. Other polls, on the other hand, are less volatile and show on average 70 % of people favouring Antonija's over Saša's eviction. This might change, depending on the way RTL Televizija handles the last night's party.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It looks like the BB PTB got their wish on the ratings. Sasa was sandbagged by Alen and it is looking like this race will continue to be a near dead heat. Marina, altho a snake, has played her game well. Had Alen nominated her, he would have been the only one not up for eviction this week. If Tonka comes away from this again, then we will all know the fix is in.

4:09 PM  

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