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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Limits of Fame

While so many people strive to become famous, those who do reach that goal only discover that reaching fame, regardless how difficult it might seem at the beginning, is much easier than maintaining fame.

Those who chose Big Brother Croatia as their path to fame saw this phenomenon in past few weeks. The media hysteria surrounding them and insatiable public desire for each and every detail about their private lives have been replaced by indifference and oblivion. Partly due to holidays, partly due to another, more spectacular contest – presidential election – Croatians began to forget the contestants.

Some Big Brother Croatia contestants, however, fared better than the others.

Saša Tkalčević (Sasa Tkalcevic) seems to be following the pattern noticed in other nations' Big Brothers. Despite being the winner and presumably more famous, he is less likely add long-lasting fame to his financial reward. After few brief public appearances he found himself a relatively quiet marketing-related job in one Bjelovar firm.

Other contestants, less popular but, in a way, more colourful, enjoy better success in having their faces on the pages of Croatian magazines. Good example could be found in two finalists - Alen Macinić (Alen Macinic) and Marina Bajlo – who, unlike their former housemates, had some media attention.

However, the way they got the attention wasn't by their own choosing. Last week Marina celebrated her 25th birthday in one Rijeka restaurant. Whether she and Alen (who had been also invited to the festivities) received VIP treatment isn't yet known, but after few hours they discovered that for some Croatians Big Brother fame means very little, at least when compared with their own drug habit. Alen and Marina, to their utmost horror, found their cars burglared and vandalised. While Alen had his Audi TT only damaged, Marina had some 4000 HRK (cca. 525 €) worth of make-up and wardrobe stolen from her VW Golf. Marina was reportedly so upset that, after having the broken car windows patched up with plastics, forgot to wear seat belt on her return to Pula. There she was stopped by traffic police and had to pay 500 HRK (cca. 65 €) fine.

However, upset or not, Alen and Marina behaved like real troopers the next day in Rijeka. They appeared dressed as bride and bridegroom on the nuptial fashion show. That was a charity event with proceeds being intended for air-conditioning in one of Rijeka's hospitals. The story about unpleasantness was suppressed with the image of fashion glory and humanitarian spirit only to leak to the public few days later.

And in Croatia, where bad publicity tends to be better publicity than good, this is rather rare occurrence.

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