Sunday, December 26, 2004

Big Brother Croatia Update: Show Fades Away and Reality Sinks In

All those expecting something special for the last live instalment of the show on Saturday were disappointment. There weren't any celebrity guest, any major surprise and even the alcohol wasn't supplied. Instead, the housemates were told to dress up – which caused major annoyance for Saša (Sasa) and Zdravko who had to interrupt their regular Jacuzzi session. They were called to Confessions Room where they saw the ex-housemates wishing them merry Christmas on mini-plasma monitor.

Immediately afterwards, housemates began to comment on the look of the ex-housemates. They noticed the significant changes, not in their looks but in their behaviour and demeanour. They concluded that they weren't as cheerful and enthusiastic as they were expected to be. Even Antonija was quiet and subdued, far from her past self. Some tried to explain it by fatigue – all those people are invited to live shows every week when they have to answer the same question and put the same kind of smiles for the cameras. This was just another of those increasingly annoying contractual obligations.

Another explanation, equally credible, is based on the very simple observation. Of all ex-housemates on the screen, the most subdued were Egle and Ozren. This is simply because they have spent the least amount of time in House and, therefore, had more time to readjust the normal life and reality. Housemates may be great friends, may relate to each other in a way nobody outside could imagine, but in the end of the day all their connection comes from the very simple fact that they were stuck in the same place for a long time and didn't have any alternative other to be the best possible friends to each other. Once they leave the House, all their "family" will cease to exist. Their friendship simply won't be intense as it was. They are going to drift apart, pursue their own lives and this is the natural state of things. If they appear together again, in most likelihood it would be at the initiative of RTL Televizija rather than own nostalgia.

So, in the end, they will have to face the fact that their three-month experience, no matter how intense and memorable, was more show and less reality. Some, like Marina, are already reminding themselves of the reality. She was the only housemates to wish merry Christmas to the people employed in Croatian Tax Authority. She also has reasons to be pleased with herself – at least some of her financial aims have been achieved. According to her own confession to other housemates, she had 9000 HRK (cca 1250 €) of credit card debts before entering House. The rules of the game allow for the contestants to be awarded 1000 HRK for each week of their stay in the House. With Marina reaching finals, she would have enough to cover those debts.

Some are dealing with the reality in a different way. This morning Alen used the very last opportunity to sleep in the same bed with Marina. Housemates have packed their belongings. Mrvica, the cat, has been taken away.

Now they are in lockdown, with Big Brother Croatia team probably preparing the House for the big final show which would about to start at 20:15 CET. The show would be a four-hour marathon, followed by half an hour of live coverage from Big Brother Party in Zagreb's Piranha Bar, held in honour of the contestants. The weather has apparently conspired against the producers – heavy rain is falling on Zagreb. Housemates were displeased to see it, less because of themselves and more because of the fans outside.

The next hours are probably going to be the longest in housemates' lives. At this stage it appears that the contestant who gets the least amount of votes is going to be the most envied by other housemates. He is going to depart first and will have most time to the adjust to the new reality.


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