Has everyone been on tv?

I’ve been drifting in and out of Big Brother recently. As I said in my ‘This is Big Brother‘ blog post, I watch the first week or so avidly and then just watch it now and again. I haven’t had much time to catch up on the show during the last week or so because I’ve been so busy. However, I did see that there were 3 new housemates who entered as Marlon left in a shock eviction during “Armageddon” task week.

I went online to find out who the new housemates were and was shocked to discover that I already knew who two of them were (Zoe and Biannca). Pav was the only one I didn’t recognise. Zoe and Biannca have been on our tv screens before and this just emphasises what I was saying in my last Big Brother related blog post; most of this year’s contestants are media savvy and have had experience with the media in some shape or form (press, tv and especially reality tv). Most of the contestants have had shorts bursts of fame before and then drifted out of the public eye. It seems that they are using Big Brother to become semi-famous again but realistically is their Big Brother fame going to last longer than their previous attempts?

I recognised Biannca from the BBC3 programme Cherry Healey: How to Get a Life. In this programme, Cherry Healey tries to return to “modern” life following the birth of her daughter. She explores through the series what it means to lead a modern life and how life traditions have been overtaken by new trends. The series consisted of 6 programmes. These episodes were called Single vs Settled, Are we all addicts?, Can your looks change your life?, How prejudiced are we?, Work & Play and Love & Money. Biannca, a previous X-Factor wannabe, appeared in the first programme which was Single vs Settled.

Biannca (far right) as a guest on Cherry Healey: How To Get A Life

Biannca (far right) as a guest on Cherry Healey: How To Get A Life

Biannca was arguing for the single life. At the time the programme was filmed, Biannca admitted to having slept with over 177 men. She was arguing that it was acceptable in modern life to not be tied down monogamously to one partner for the rest of your life and that the single life was enjoyable. Still single, she appears to have set her sights on Winston in the house.

The new contestant that most shocked me though was Zoe Birkett. I remember watching Pop Idol, X-Factor’s predecessor, in 2002. I was glued to the screen. I loved Gareth Gates, Darius and Zoe. They were my favourite 3 (and typically none of them won – though I must admit I do like some of Will Young’s stuff now). Below is a clip from her Pop Idol days:

Following her Pop Idol career Zoe carved out a very successful West End/ Musical Theatre career for herself. I was unaware of this until a few years ago. I love musicals and have watched all the talent shows that Andrew Lloyd Webber has done on television for his shows. Thanks to following Nathan James (from the Jesus Christ Superstar search) and Amy Diamond (from the Over The Rainbow search) on Twitter, I have found out about Zoe’s success in arena and musical theatre shows. To me, it seems a bit odd that given her great musical theatre career, she should feel the need to seek out further fame (which could last 15 mins) on Big Brother.

It seems to me that this year Big Brother has run out of original contestants and can’t get anyone to apply who hasn’t appeared on reality television or in the press before. Does that mean that we’re going to see the same people on our screens for the next few years?


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