The brother of all house­holds

It was fas­ci­nat­ing to spend one night in the house with 13 strangers, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY -

IF you’ve seen the clas­sic movie The Wizard of Oz, no doubt you re­mem­ber the scene where Dorothy is trans­ported by a hur­ri­cane from her hum­drum life in Kansas to the won­der­ful land of Oz, and the movie it­self changes from black and white to eye-pop­ping colour to sym­bol­ise her ar­rival in a magic land. En­ter­ing the Big Brother house is a bit like that.

A week prior to the Chan­nel 9 re­launch of the pop­u­lar re­al­ity-TV show, I joined 13 oth­ers in the show’s Gold Coast com­pound to spend a night un­der the con­stant gaze of the cam­era.

It was a taste of what life would be like for this year’s crop of 14 house­mates, ex­iled from the out­side world for three months, filmed by 50 cam­eras, mi­cro­phones record­ing their ev­ery whis­per and word.

Sur­rounds in­clude a spa­cious court­yard, com­plete with heated pool, com­fort­able out­door fur­ni­ture and an en­ter­tain­ing area.

The kitchen is decked out 1950s style, all laminex sur­faces and knick-knacks, while the liv­ing room has ’70s wood pan­elling and furry rugs. The dor­mi­tory-style bed­room is a vi­sion of ’80s neon and pas­tels.

As time passes, an­other man en­ters and then an­other un­til there are seven inside. The seven women who were to en­ter the house are nowhere to be seen, though.

So we en­joyed the food that had been pro­vided, in­tro­duced our­selves to one an­other, shook our heads and laughed at the sur­real sit­u­a­tion we had found our­selves in.

And it all felt per­fectly nat­u­ral, like we were at a party where we all knew the host but not each other and had to re­veal bits and pieces about our­selves. Af­ter a while, the seven women made their en­trance – they’d been watch­ing on a mon­i­tor and mak­ing guesses about what each of us did for a liv­ing.

Most of the house­mates were in their 20s. Some were students, oth­ers with jobs in­clud­ing a dancer, nurse, su­per­mar­ket tech­ni­cian and a ship­wright.

Most came from dif­fer­ent backgrounds with var­i­ous in­ter­ests but be­ing placed in a sit­u­a­tion where there was noth­ing to do but in­ter­act, we quickly found com­mon ground. Af­ter only a few hours it was clear friend­ships and fac­tions were be­ing formed.

I walked out of the Big Brother house 12 hours af­ter I en­tered it, happy to have re­gained my free­dom. Real con­tes­tants could be there for the next three months.

Mon­day to Fri­day, 7pm, Nine, NBN; Sun­day, 6pm, Go!; Sun­day, 6.30pm, Nine, NBN.

house­mates make their en­trance.

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