Friday, February 04, 2005

Reality Meets Soap

One month after Big Brother Croatia ended most people expect the winner, the finalists and once mega-popular contestants to sink into oblivion. Some expressed willingness to try various careers in Croatian entertainment industry, but those spots are too few to be handed over to amateurs. There was some buzz about Krešo Jengić (Kreso Jengic) and Antonija Blaće (Antonija Blace) becoming talk show hosts, but it died pretty quickly.

However, it seems that one of Big Brother Croatia contestants is going to make a big break after all. Ana Gotovac, who had been evicted from the House one month before the show's end, is going to become a television actress. Gotovac was offered a role in Zabranjena ljubav, soap opera currently being aired on RTL Televizija. She stated that she had been "through some readings" and that the producers were pleased with her acting abilities. This isn't that surprising, because Gotovac, unlike any other Big Brother Croatia contestant, had some theatrical experience in her youth.

At first sight, it seems that RTL Televizija is going to award one of its reality show contestants by offering her continuation of her public life in most spectacular way possible. But, in most likelihood, it is the other way around. Zabranjena ljubav, heavily promoted as "first Croatian soap opera" is plagued by unattractive time slot and abysmal ratings. To make things worse for RTL Televizija, Villa Maria, rival soap opera whicha airs on state-run HRT, is making the short work of Zabranjena ljubav in terms of ratings, popularity and critical response.

So, RTL Televizija must use some drastic measures to increase ratings. And one of those measures is, apparently, casting Big Brother Croatia contestants – people which are more popular than any Zabranjena ljubav actor could ever hope to be.

By a strange coincidence, Croatian media has reported about new connection between reality show and soap opera. Jelena Veljača (Jelena Veljaca), who plays one of the main characters in Villa Maria, is going to be a script writer for the Croatian edition of Survivor.

On a related note, Marina Bajlo is fourth Big Brother finalist to have its official website. Apparently the site is still under construction.


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