Big Brother Fake Eviction

Travis is Co-habiting with Ben from Brisbane

This week Big Brother Australia has gone totally overboard on the stunts. A fake eviction, an intruder introduced as Sleeping Beauty and the return of another of last years house mates.

Big Brother 2014 Marina Sleeping Beauty

OK the fake eviction has been done before, but why does Big Brother now feel the need to introduce so many stunts?

One of the producers recently said in the media

“We have a very outspoken cast this year. From Day One they have gone kaboom. They’re delivering us 3 or 4 storylines a day, which is actually too many, believe it or not,” he told TV Tonight.

“We’re struggling to tell a cohesive story because there’s too much bloody going on.”

Because there is so much going on they decided to can the Sunday night show and keep adding more stunts.

Do you remember when the house mate’s contact with the outside world was zero and they weren’t even allowed pen and paper?

Well tonight we see that turned on its head again with the house mate’s reading aloud heart tugging letters that they have written to their friends and family on the outside.

There may actually be some element of truth to the spin about the story lines created by the house mates. We’ve got the whole Catgate or Clawson scandal, Aisha’s meltdown after a few drinks and Travis and Ryan coming very close to blows. But Big Brother has decided to put all of that on the back burner in favour of his own stunts and manipulation.

So how did the week go?

Big Brother Battles

Big Brother Fiery Aisha explodes

The Friday night drinks party was more fiery than usual this week. Aisha had a complete meltdown, screaming at Lawson, seemingly over him poking his nose into someone else’s conversation. She later admitted that she was carrying a lot of suppressed anger over the situation between Lawson and Cat. She says she has been the wronged woman on the deceived end of a love triangle before.

But Lawson wasn’t the only one to cop a spray from the Kiwi pocket rocket. Maybe Aisha should take more water with it when the loud mouth soup is next on offer.

This wasn’t the only major dust up between house mates this week. Ryan and Travis came very close to blows, heavily baiting each other and Sam feeling the need to step in between them.

I don’t know what initially triggered the confrontation; this either wasn’t shown or glossed over so quickly that it wasn’t clear. But Ryan apparently repeatedly said something that baited Travis and Travis came back by insulting Ryan’s sister. This prompted Ryan to want to land one on him and warning Travis that he was lucky that they weren’t on the outside.

They were obviously both taken aside and warned about the consequences of escalating the situation and they both had a complete 180 in later aired scenes.

Fake Eviction

Ben and Travis Fake Big Brother Eviction

The fake eviction saw Travis picking up the most points to save, which I think says a great deal about the people who watch the show and do the voting.

I don’t think that Travis is a bad bloke and he can say some intelligent things at times. But he obviously lacks a great deal education-wise and seems to revel in his own ignorance. The fact that this is admired by the voting public says more about them than him.

Travis was moved to The Sanctuary and Ben from Brisbane, last year’s fake evictee, was brought in to keep him company and to try to smooth off some of Travis‘s rough edges.

Ben was a great character in last years show and I think losing him so early was a big casting cock up. So I was happy to see him back. He spoke really well in a heavily scripted interview with Sonia Kruger, discussing what he would potentially do with each of the fake evictees.

The real evictee on Tuesday was Sam. I thought that Sam would get more votes, considering his disability and his achievements as a Paralympian. But these aspects have been largely downplayed on the show I think.

On the flip side, Sam can be abrasive, which is true of many highly competitive people. Maybe this is why so few people were prepared to vote to save him.

The result of both evictions, fake and real, was a flood of tears from the ladies that had grown so attached to the two evictees.

Aisha and Sandra were both devastated and Travis’s first reaction when he was told that he was still in the game was to ask if he could have Aisha moved to The Sanctuary with him. Big Brother said no and in place of the lovely Aisha he got a bald gay man. Fair exchange?


Skye's Nomination Challenge

No sooner is one eviction done then the next round of nominations are up.

Nominations seem to take a lower priority in this year’s show than previous years. They are not shown live and seem to be snuck upon the house mates gradually throughout the day, rather than all being done at once while the others observe or wait on by.

The nominees this week seem to have largely been chosen tactically and again the pendulum has swung, with some of those not in the frame previously being picked this week.

One notable exception to the tactical voting was Sandra’s nomination of Priya for cooking potatoes that were going straight to her thighs. Can you imagine living in a house with so many vain people who are so concerned and aware of how they look on camera all of the time?

Skye had the voting power and her nomination section was hilarious. She struggled to understand how she could use her 12 points and initially thought she had received 12 nomination points herself. She used her final point to find out where someone was situated on the nomination table, despite the fact that she could then do nothing about it and she was going to find out wiht hte others shortly anyway.

Big Brother Nominations David Priya Ryan Jason and Sandra

Difficulties aside, Skye managed to keep herself and BFF Aisha, out of the eviction target zone, leaving Priya, David, Ryan, Jason and Sandra with the exit anxieties this week.

I think Ryan could be the man to go this week, as he has kept the lowest profile of all of the nominees and the others all have form for avoiding the axe.

Who’s your tip to go?

By Max Power

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Big Brother Week Four

Catgate, Missing Mean Girls and

Rappers Doing the Walk, After the Talk.

Well it’s that time again! Another week has rolled around and there was a fresh round of nominations in the Big Brother house last night.

It’s been a week of sensations and upsets, with the Lawson Catgate Scandal, rapping and rhyming Jake getting the neck and arsehole treatment, the last of the mean girls following him very swiftly. Added to that a difficult task that divided the housemates.

Lawson carries off Cat

The Cat really got amongst the pigeons when Cat invited Lawson to The Sanctuary, the exclusive luxury section of the Big Brother compound.

Cat has made no secret of her feelings for Lawson, even though he has a girlfriend on the outside. The tongues started wagging as soon as the pair exited stage right through The Sanctuary door. They continued wagging right up until Cat burst into tears and apologised all around, for what is obviously seen as indiscrete by others.

She would probably have received more castigation if they knew what went on between them in The Sanctuary. But they do not know, yet! And neither do I to be honest. Have they shown anymore than small snippets of it? Have I missed something?

I know that they shared a bath and a bed together and there may have been some canoodling. Last night’s promo was threatening to reveal more.

I’m kind of sitting on the fence regarding the morality of this. I‘m not one to condone infidelity but…

First of all the relationship between Lawson and his girlfriend is not really clear. He has said that they split up and got back together before he went into the house and the last status may have been ‘It’s complicated’

Secondly I’m not sure that anyone who is in a serious relationship should really go into the Big Brother house. If you were in a serious relationship wouldn’t you consider:-

i. Who wants to be separated from their partner for that long?

ii. You are going to be surrounded by attractive people, specifically cast for their looks and outgoing personalties

iii. The set up does everything it can to throw house mates together in romantic relationships. Spin the Bottle, Truth or Dare, who does that outside of high school?

iv. Lastly if you have ever seen a series of Big Brother, you would know that new romantic relationships are created in there every year.

Despite his hook up with Cat, Lawson has been a real grumpy Gus of late. I think he has found the Hotel Guests and Staff task very difficult to deal with. He is having to serve people, but his favourite time in the house was when he was the head.

A collage of interactions between Lawson and Skye last night showed that he can be very hard on her and quite rude.

Jake and Wally

Two house mates left earlier in the week. ‘Rapping Waldo’, also known as Jake, was ejected on Monday. He departed with a very embarrassing and far too long rap on the exit staircase.

There was some talk in the early episodes about Jake’s hipster look. His look may have been cultivated, but I think his geeky personality was all natural.

Tuesday saw the departure of Lisa, the last of the mean girls, Katie, her partner in crime having left the previous week.

Lisa was loud and opinionated and even she thought that she was a bit harsh, when she watched back some of her own footage with Sonia Kruger on the couch.

Missing Mean Girls

There was another blow up in the house this week caused by the Hotel Guests and Staff task.

Aisha was offered a spa treatment by Sam and Priya. But the whole thing turned into a bit of an opportunity for degrading her, mainly orchestrated by Sam. Although both parties were pouring various gooey concoctions over Aisha’s head, face and body and Sam went full bore while giving her a ‘massage’.

Aisha also left with a make up make over that made her look like a clown. She tolerated the abuse while she was in the spa, but became very upset and burst into tears shortly after.

Travis decided to approach Sam and make his views known, that he thought Sam had gone over the top. It was inappropriate, but not as inappropriate as what Sam had done to Aisha.

He may have thought that it was a joke, but he should be old enough to know that women do not like to be roughed up and messed up. He then belittled her feelings, saying that it was just a joke and nothing permanent was done. But she’s a girl who dated a Rugby player, not an actual Rugby player herself.

Big Brother Aisha crying

It’s all fun and games until someone gets gooey stuff poured all over them

However the next part of the show really irritated me. Watching all that bickering over the incident is not my idea of ‘must see television’

Cat, as head of house, had set up the Hotel Guests and Staff task so that everyone who was nominated last week received the luxury treatment, while those who were safe did all the cooking cleaning and waiting on.

This had a devastating effect on last night’s nominations. With an almost complete 180 degree switch (not 360 as Skye described it. 360° would have brought them back to where they started). Almost everyone nominated last week is safe this week and vice versa.

One notable exception to that is Travis, his difficult personality has kept him in the eviction zone, despite Cat’s surprising efforts to keep him out.


Big Brother Nominees Jason gets cheeky

Big Brother Nominees – Jason gets cheeky


Would anyone like to run a book on who is the house’s genuine dumbo? Some people in social media are saying that Skye may be putting it on, but I’m pretty sure that Travis is the real article. He’s definitely a few sandwiches short of a picnic and seems to revel in his own ignorance. He can barely string an intelligible sentence together sometimes.

So our nominees this week are Lawson, bossy and grumpy in one week is not a good look, Sandra, Jason, Priya, Sam and Travis.

Did anyone else notice the shot from behind when the nominees were lined up in the lounge?

Jason is this years gay man right? So why did he stand with his hand on Sandra’s arse for so long? Do we have another disguised personality?

So who is your tip to go this week?

I’m going with Sandra. I think she is the most low key of the nominees and like Dion before her, will not inspire many people to vote to save her.

By Max Power

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Seven of Thirteen Big Brother Housemates Up for Eviction

Eviction, Nominations and an Intruder.

A Big Night in the Big Brother House.

“What a week it’s been!” as Eddie McGuire used to say, way back when Channel 9 was Channel Eddie and he hosted The Footy Show. But this week that really applied to Big Brother.

Katie and Dion Big Brother

Gone but not forgotten. Katie and er… that other bloke

In a week of turmoil, Queen Bee Katie was evicted and so was cross trainer Dion, but I’m not sure anyone noticed that. Intruder Leo was introduced, as a ‘like for like’ replacement for Dion and nominations saw seven housemates up for eviction and many of them giving nomination points to their former partners that they were paired with at the beginning of this year’s show.

The week started with a surprise eviction on Monday night. Sonia Kruger told the totally unprepared house mates that Cat was safe from both of this weeks evictions, but one of them would be going that night. No one had their glad rags on and Katie hadn’t even washed her hair.

Dion was the man to see the door on Monday, a very good decision on behalf of the Australian public in my opinion. Dion was known for eating too much of the food allowance, dancing like a twat and not much else. Apparently he talked non-stop about cross training in the house, but that was too dull to be aired.

So, with the invisible man gone and Cat safe, one of the big characters from Katie, Travis and Priya would be next to exit.

At first I saw Priya as a potential early leaver. I thought her school teacherly (is that a word or did I just invent it?) nature would grate on the house mates and the viewing public. But she seems to have toned that side of her personality down, she’s become slightly more caring and her stand up routine was quite good.

Priya Big Brother

Priya, picking up those call center votes

Priya is, of course, originally from India which has a population of 1.21 billion people and that can’t do her any harm in the voting. Alright, I know they are not supposed to be able to vote, but how many times have you dialled an Australian number and an Indian answers? Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Travis and Katie are both ‘love ‘em or hate ‘em’ type characters. Travis is loud, boisterous, opinionated and not very bright. The term ‘himbo’ may have been applied here a few years ago.

Katie likes to have her opinion heard and heard often. This undoubtedly got her nomination votes and did not encourage many pf the public to save her. But she did keep the action lively in the house and things may be a bit less entertaining without her. She never gave up on voicing her opinion, even after she left and several of the house mates copped a serve in her farewell message.

No sooner had Katy gone than an Intruder was introduced to the house. We saw a teaser reel of him on Katie’s eviction special. We heard his dulcet North American tones and saw lots of shots of his highly toned and completely hairless body. Another body builder, they’re always entertaining, aren’t they?

Big Brother Intruder Leo

Intruder Leo, another local boy

It turns out Intruder Leo is a Canadian, who now lives on the Gold Coast, maybe they picked him because he’s local to the BB house. That seems to be a major factor in the selection criteria. Do you think they do that to cut down on air fares?

Leo claims that he doesn’t own a TV and has never seen the show. So why would he want to be on it? Shameless self promotion is the only answer I can come up with.

I’ve also heard that he has already appeared on another reality show, a dating one. I have not verified this. To be honest I can’t be bothered investigating.

As you can probably tell, I have not warmed to Leo. I even find his voice annoying, let alone what he has to say. But, in the word(s) of Tony Soprano, “Whatareyougonnado?”

So we come to nominations and that was really revealing.

David or Shavid, as he is now known (mainly by the presenters) seems to have become even more unpopular, mainly for his tactical discussions, now that the beard is out of the way. He even picked up points from his former partner Sandra, who was fond of him up until now, despite his indiscrete talk about and to her.

Nominating your former partner was very popular this week. Lisa and Skye nominated each other and Ryan nominated his former Bro, Travis.

Lisa seems to have taken up Katie’s mantle as Queen Bee, with nothing good to say about Skye or short and short term love interest Jake. Her treatment of Skye verges on bullying, having no time for Skye’s child like demeanour. It’s a bit like watching someone kick a puppy.

Lawson picked up a few nomination points for his Queen Bee impersonation when he was head of house. This did not sit well with a few house mates, but not enough of them to see him up for nomination.

Sam got the voting power, which was the same as the previous week, twelve points to distribute as he liked, after using some of them to buy a peek at who was sitting where on the nomination ladder. His insights let him know that he and his closest friends were safe and his distribution resulted in a number of house mates on the same points and seven of them up for nomination.

The big characters of Lisa and Travis are in the firing line, along with unpopular David and irritating, to some, Skye and Jake. I was surprised to see the glamour girls Aisha and Cat in there, with Cat being nominated for the second week in succession. They both seem like fairly low key players and genuinely nice ladies. Will that save them do you think? I tend to think it will.

So who do you think will be going and why?

Who do you want to go? Which is not necessarily the same answer as above.

Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/OzTVReviews

It is probably worth remembering, the people that get voted out are not always the least popular with the public. Sometimes it is those that people just can not be bothered to think about, Dion being a prime example.

I think Lisa is in mortal danger of getting the heave ho. She’s become the new mean girl on the block. But it is another double eviction week, so who will be going with her?

By Max Power

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Hollywood’s Most Eligible Batchelor, George Clooney, Marries

Film star George Clooney marries in Venice

We don’t normally do celebrity gossip pieces, but we’ve decided to make an exception for George Clooney, for a number of reasons.

George Clooney with his then-fiancee on Friday in Venice

George Clooney with his then-fiancee on Friday in Venice

George is a favourite actor and personality of ours. He has starred in and produced many excellent films, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Three Kings to name but two. Of course he also had a long running role in, the even longer running medical drama, ER. Added to that, he makes a great chat show guest, frequently proving very entertaining on the Letterman show and the others.

Mr Clooney is also a great supporter of many worthwhile causes, including Not On Our Watch Project, an organization that focuses global attention and resources to stop and prevent mass atrocities and Hope for Haiti Now, which collected donations for the 2010 Haiti earthquake victims. All of which we admire.

We also have an affinity with his political views. He famously opposed the Iraq war, saying, “You can’t beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people seeking revenge… Our opponents are going to resort to car bombs and suicide attacks because they have no other way to win… I believe [Donald Rumsfeld] thinks this is a war that can be won, but there is no such thing anymore. We can’t beat anyone anymore.” Could he have been more right?

So, if that’s enough justification, we will continue.

Hollywood’s Most Eligible Batchelor married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in Venice on Saturday. The ceremony and celebrations were a star studded affair.

The BBC reports on the proceedings and surrounding hype.

Hollywood star George Clooney has married human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in Venice, in one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the showbusiness year.

Matt Damon was among the guests at George Clooneys Wedding

Matt Damon was among the guests at George Clooneys Wedding

A host of fellow stars descended on the Italian city’s canals for the union between the film world’s most eligible bachelor, 53, and Ms Alamuddin, 36.

The ceremony was celebrated in a hotel overlooking the famous Grand Canal.

Clooney’s agent broke the news to journalists in a brief statement.

According to AP news agency, that will be the only communication on the wedding.

Clooney and his friends had sipped champagne before gliding up the Grand Canal on Saturday evening to the luxury Aman Hotel, waving to hundreds of well-wishers.

Guests include Cindy Crawford, Bill Murray, Matt Damon and the U2 singer Bono.

Bono joked with a concierge as he boarded his taxi boat

Bono joked with a concierge, who looked remarkably like Paul Shaffer, as he boarded his taxi boat

Clooney’s boat was momentarily blocked by a passing cruise liner and then by a water bus, giving time for dozens of boats carrying photographers to catch up, AP writes.

Ms Alamuddin was last seen publicly on Friday riding in a water taxi down the Grand Canal with Clooney’s arm round her.
Assange defender

The couple were engaged in April.

Clooney was previously married to Talia Balsam, who he divorced in 1993.

One of the world’s most recognisable actors, the American has two Oscars to his name: for best supporting actor in Syriana (2006) and for best picture as producer of Argo (2013).

Other than his film work, he has embraced human rights causes such as the Darfur crisis in Sudan.

Lebanese-born British lawyer Amal Alamuddin has defended Julian Assange of Wikileaks and former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko among others.

She met Clooney through her work.

More at Film star George Clooney marries in Venice

We wish George and Amal every happiness for the future and more power to them with their good works and careers.

CLICK HERE to download George Clooney’s films from iTunes

By Max Power

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Big Brother Australia 2014 First Eviction

In Short Gemma Has Gone.

In one of the least shocking events, of any Big Brother episode ever, Gemma was evicted from the Big Brother house last night.

Big Brother Jake and Gemma Election

In just two short weeks Gemma had managed to make her self hugely unpopular in the Big Brother house. She was blunt to people’s faces and made snide comments behind their backs, but in front of everyone else.

Gemma would have us believe that this was a tactic that she had decided upon. But if it was, it was the most illogical and ill thought out plan anyone could come up with.

In her interview with Sonia Kruger, after her eviction, she even said that her crying off from the dinner on Friday was an effort to make it all about her and not about the intruder, last year’s winner, Tim.

Does anyone else think that was a good plan? Because everyone loves someone that is all “Me, me, me” don’t they?

Who did she expect to get onside? It certainly wasn’t the house mates and she has admitted that she didn’t really want to spend time with many of them.

Did she really think that those tactics would get the voting public backing her? If she did she has very strange concept of how the world operates.

In the public vote, which only chose which couple would be up for eviction, Gemma and Jake obviously came bottom. Travis and Cat received the most support and Sandra and David sat bang in the middle.

Big Brother Jake and Arthur Askey

I’ve been racking my brains to think who it is that Jake reminds me of. I’ve finally realised it’s this guy, Arthur Askey, a British star of stage, screen and radio of the post war era. Ay-Thang-Yaw!

Following the announcement of the vote, the most embarrassing of elections was organised in the yard to see which of Gemma or Jake the house mates would choose to evict.

The result was a foregone conclusion to everyone, including Gemma. But the format decided upon was that each house mate would select a numbered ball from a bucket, that would determine in which order they would make their vote. Once a decisive majority had selected one housemate the others would not need to vote.

In the sequence determined by the balls, each house mate would stand up, state who they wanted to stay and why, then stand behind either Jake or Gemma. It was a very short process. Only nine house mates voted and only one of them, Priya, stood behind Gemma.

The others all made a very good and positive case for supporting Jake without bagging Gemma. Do you think they are coached to do this, or scripted?

Big Brother Lawson gives cheque to Aisha

Lawson gives $20,000 cheque to Aisha

In a change from recent years, Gemma did receive a prize, a $3,000 shopping voucher from an electrical supplies company. Obviously last years ratings must have been good to attract more sponsors.

Earlier in the show Lawson made himself very popular with the house mates and the public, I would imagine. He and Aisha had won the $30,000 Perfect Pair prize, but there was a twist, of course there was. The $30,000 was divided into three cheques, one for $20,000 and two for $5,000. One of the winning pair would get the $20,000 the other would get $5,000 and the remaining $5,000 would go to a housemate of their choice.

Lawson had no hesitation in giving the $20,000 to Aisha and then nominated Jake for the other $5,000 as he is living pay check to pay check outside of the house. Aisha agreed with his choices and gratefully took the $20,000.

Big Brother David with Sandra but without the Beard

Lawson made the announcement of the distribution of the prize money in front of the whole house, to a huge ovation and presumably did himself no harm in ensuring a longer stay in the house for the man with two surnames, assumedly.

Tonight’s Big Brother sees the second round of nominations, it seems like ages since the last lot. Who do you think will be up for nomination and who do you think will go?

My tips for getting big numbers of nominations are David and Priya. Despite the fact that David’s new clean(er) cut look and Priya’s toning down may have made them more popular than they were.

By Max Power

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Big Brother First Ever Pairs Nominations

The First Round of Nominations for

Big Brother 2014

Big Brother Nominated Group Week 1

So the time has come, and the first round of nominations for Big Brother 2014 arrived last night. With this years twist, house mates a nominating as pairs and being nominated as pairs. So some popular house mates are getting nominated because they are tied to an unpopular partner.

There was another twist in the nominations too, the heads of house pair of Dion and Jason were given 10 nomination points to distribute as they liked. This, after already splitting up the most popular pair, “The Blokes”, Ryan and Travis.

Dion and Jason

Heads of House Dion and Jason

Dion and Jason were able to split up any two pairs to give themselves an advantage in the $30,000 Perfect Pair task. They chose to split Ryan and Travis who they perceived, correctly, as the strongest pair. This was confirmed in a quick poll of the public and, in a first, the boys were given that information from the outside.

The second pair to be split was Cat and Sam. So Ryan is now partnered with Sam and Cat with Travis. Have you got that? OK, there may be questions later.

As well as being an advantage in the Perfect Pair task, this power also had the potential to effect nominations. But in reality I don’t believe that it did.

There were a number of effects of the house mates voting in pairs. The first of which was the voting going faster, as there were half as many nomination sessions with Big Brother. That’s not a bad thing, 16 can get a bit monotonous.

Secondly it means that half the house is up for nomination, four pairs equals eight house mates. And of course, as we already said, some people that would not have been nominated have been caught up in the wash of their less popular partners.

What really came out of the nominations is that Gemma and David are the least popular house mates. Jake and Sandra are up for eviction too, but probably wouldn’t have been if they were nominating as individuals.

The other two pairs who are in the firing line are Skye and Lisa and Travis and Cat, but they had far fewer votes than the first two. You would have to believe that those four are pretty safe.

Gemma seems to have made herself unpopular by being fairly blunt with people. But we haven’t seen too much of this in the daily shows. Whereas every time David puts his foot in his mouth that has been shown and examined in fine detail.

David and Sandra

David and Sandra

David has made some fairly cringeworthy sexist comments and this is the guy that told us at the beginning that he normally bonds with women faster than men. Admittedly he didn’t say that they bonded with him.

At 31 he also told us he had never had a long term relationship. You can kinda see why, can’t you?

Gemma told us at the outset that she could be blunt and as far as the house mates are concerned she has been true to her word.

What the house mates don’t know is that only one of the pair that receives the least votes to save will actually be going. So I am fairly confident it will be David or Gemma.

As Gemma is paired with Jake, this may mean that pair receives more save votes, as I can imagine him being more popular than Sandra with the voting public. Sandra seems pleasant enough, but she doesn’t rap or have the hipster credentials of Jake.

So my analysis tells me it will be David that is going. What do you think? Who else do you think is seriously in danger of leaving first?

Now how about this as an alternative scenario?

We’ve been told that only one person will actually be evicted and it will be decided from the losing pair by the house mates, in front of them.

Jake and Gemma in the Diary Room

Jake and Gemma in the Diary Room

What if Gemma and Jake get the most votes and the house mates decide to be tactical and evict Jake. He’s fairly popular and they know Gemma will probably be nominated again next week and is likely to be up again. Can you see that happening?

Which brings us to the final question.

What happens once one house mate has gone?

We then have an uneven number, so is the pairs part of the show over?

Where do you think it goes from here?

OK that’s three questions, but you know what I mean. Stay tuned!

By Max Power

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It’s Here, Big Brother Australia 2014

New House, New House Mates,

(Slightly) New Format

Big Brother for 2014 has kicked off in Australia. There is another new house and of course a new set of house mates, but this year they have changed the format slightly, at least to start off with. Some of the new house mates had to choose a partner to play the game with, as a pair, although they only had a choice of two. But the last few pairs had no choice and were matched by Big Brother.

So, as we believe all of the initial house mates are in, lets meet them.

Priya Big Brother 2014

First up was Priya. She’s a 27 year old teacher from India, who lives with her husband in Adelaide. She’s bossy and strong willed and pretty much made the choice to take the money immediately, when she was offered the option of $10,000 for herself in exchange for the house mates having no real food for a week.

I think Priya‘s bossy nature and school teacher disposition will make her unpopular with some of the house mates, in the same way that Mikkayala was last year. So she could be the first out, or may hang around for a while, but I can’t see her being the winner.

Priya chose Katie to be her partner in the game, although she appeared to be the more difficult of the two options she was given, based on their short video clips. Which also says something about Priya.

Katie Big Brother 2014

Katie is a Nanny and cupcake maker from New South Wales. She talked tough in her introductory video clip, but I think Katie is a little more gentle than that. She agonised over taking the $10,000 and leaving the house mates with no food and took a lot of persuading from Priya. I have a feeling Katie will be popular and last a long while in the house. But, if pairs are nominated together, she may be hindered by being attached to Priya.

Jake Big Brother 2014

Next up was Jake, a design student from Far North Queensland who now lives on Bondi. He dresses outlandishly, is kind of excitable and registers a blip on my gaydar. He was a professional tennis player, so has a very competitive nature, he says. He also says that he gets labelled as a hipster and talks to his plant collection.

Gemma Big Brother 2014

Jake chose six foot six Gemma as his partner. Gemma is a Netball player, derr, and a nurse, from Perth. She also claims to be bossy and competitive. She is certainly plain speaking and has already upset Skye, by telling her she thought she was as deep as a paddling pool. Although Skye didn’t really understand what that meant and also didn’t seem to be able to say paddling pool.

David Big Brother 2014

Beardie, David is 31 and a Radiographer. He says he’s sports mad and competitive, does anyone else see a pattern emerging here? So far his personality hasn’t shone out. He picked Sandra as his partner, mainly, it seems, because his other option was a male and he says he bonds faster with women.

Sandra Big Brother 2014

Sandra, 30, is from the Gold Coast but now lives in Wagga Wagga. Don’t you just love to say Wagga Wagga? Sandra‘s an aspiring erotic novel writer and lives with her parents.

Dion Big Brother 2014

Dion is from Brisbane. He lives with his girlfriend and is a budding triathlete. He doesn’t drink and claims to have no other vices. Dion says he avoids conflict and cries easily. He picked Jason as his partner in crime, in kind of the opposite reaction to David‘s. I felt he was trying to avoid being partnered with a woman, although he didn’t say that.

Jason Big Brother 2014

Jason is this years token gay guy. He’s from Canberra and a real-estate agent, but we’ll try not to hold that against him. Jason holds a martial arts black belt and is a firm believer in equality and supporting the underdog. He also says that he cries at the drop of a hat too.

Travis Big Brother 2014

The last couple to enter the house on Monday night were the Aussie bloke pairing of Travis and Ryan. Travis is a Victorian who loves wine, women and footy. He says he loves an argument and refuses to admit that he’s wrong. That should prove interesting!

Ryan Big Brother 2014

Ryan is another Queenslander who has moved south to Sydney. He’s a graphic designer and says he likes to push peoples buttons, but avoids conflict. I wonder how that works?

Three more couples were admitted to the house on Tuesday

Skye Big Brother 2014

First up was the, it has to be said, bimbo looking, Skye. Skye is a barista whose hair, heavy make up and botoxed lips make her look older than her 20 years. She is, of course, from the Gold Coast. She says she is big on animal rights and equality.

Lisa Big Brother 2014

Skye‘s partner is Lisa. Another bottle blond, who says that she is no princess. She values loyalty and honesty, but claims to have a tough-as-guts temperament. We will see.

Aisha Big Brother 2014

Next up we were introduced to the very glamorous Aisha (this picture does not do her justice). A Kiwi who lives in Sydney and works as a night club door bitch, her words. She loves Rugby and says she tends to attract Rugby League men. She’s bound to be a target for the male players in the house.

Lawson Big Brother 2014

Aisha‘s partner is Lawson, a 23 year old magician from Perth. By day Lawson is an electrical apprentice. He also plays Rugby which could be handy, being partnered with a Kiwi.

Sam Big Brother 2014

Sam is a professional athlete and multiple Paralympic gold medal winner. He was born with part of his right leg missing and had the rest removed when he was 5. But he likes to tell tall stories about it, like telling an American journalist that it was bitten off by a kangaroo and he printed the story. Sam is bound to be popular in the house for overcoming his challenges, and that sort of humour.

Cat Big Brother 2014

Sam‘s partner is another glamorous lady, 31 year old divorcee Cat from Melbourne. Cat is a midwife, she is also an identical twin, following on from Matthew and Ed from last year. Does Big Brother have an obsession with twins? Cat is a very smart lady, with three university degrees. She comes across as quite mature, so it will be interesting to see how she is perceived by the younger and more frivolous house mates.

So that appears to be our starting line up for Big Brother 2014. Have you picked a favourite yet? Do you have a tip for this years winner?

On Wednesday night Priya and Katie will have to reveal to the rest of the house that they have taken $10,000 each, resulting in the rest of the house living on meal replacement shakes for the next week. That should stir up some emotions.

By Max Power

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Robin Williams Comedy King

Farewell to Robin Williams One of the Greats

I was incredibly shocked, stunned and devastated to hear about the death of Robin Williams this morning. Alongside Billy Connolly, I have always considered Robin Williams to be one of the funniest men of my lifetime and he has had me in tears of laughter on many occasions.

I am sure that many others will join me in thanking him for the joy and laughter that he brought to us.

Robin Williams  July 21, 1951 - August 11, 2014

Sadly for a man who brought such joy to so many, it appears he suffered deep pain himself. It is believed that his cause of death was suicide due to asphyxiation.

The BBC reports the details…

US actor Robin Williams has been found dead, aged 63, in an apparent suicide, California police say.

Marin County Police said he was pronounced dead at his home shortly after officials responded to an emergency call around noon local time.

Williams was famous for films such as Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society and won an Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting.

His publicist said he had been “battling severe depression”.

In the past he had talked, and even joked, about his struggles with alcohol and drugs.

Williams had recently returned to a rehabilitation centre to “fine-tune” his sobriety, the Los Angeles Times reported in July.

“At this time, the Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division suspects the death to be a suicide due to asphyxia, but a comprehensive investigation must be completed before a final determination is made,” police said in a statement.

In a statement, Williams’ wife, Susan Schneider, said she was “utterly heartbroken”.

“On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Williams had three children from previous marriages.
Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1951, Williams joined the drama club in high school and was accepted into Juilliard School in New York, the prestigious American academy for the arts.

There, he was encouraged by a teacher to pursue comedy.
The actor was first known for his zany portrayal of an alien in the 1970s TV show Mork and Mindy.

He was a regular stand-up comedian while continuing to act in such films as Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Mrs Doubtfire and as the voice of the genie in Aladdin.

Robin Williams with his Oscar flanked by co-stars Matt Damon and Ben Affleck

While many of his roles were in comedies, Williams won the Oscar in 1998 for best supporting actor as a therapist in Good Will Hunting.

President Barack Obama was one of many offering condolences to his family when he said: “Williams arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.
“He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalised on our own streets.”

Fellow comedian Steve Martin tweeted he “could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.”

Martin and Williams appeared on stage together during an 1988 Broadway revival of Waiting for Godot.

Comedian and talk show host Ellen de Generes tweeted: “I can’t believe the news about Robin Williams. He gave so much to so many people. I’m heartbroken.

More at US actor Robin Williams found dead at home

For a man I never met, I’m pretty heartbroken too.

It is incredibly sad when someone, who appears to have so much going for them in their lives, chooses to end it, as they can no longer bare their troubles or pain. If you or anyone that you know is suffering depression please seek out the help of your family, friends and professionals. This article has some tips for dealing with mental stress and links to professional bodies that can assist 7 Tips for Good Mental Health

The only way I can think of to deal with the loss of Robin Williams is to remember some of the great laughs that he gave us.

Robin Williams first appeared as the alien Mork from Ork in an episode of Happy Days which was one of the biggest shows on television at the time.

He was so popular that the role quickly spun off into his own series Mork and Mindy

Williams soon moved from television to feature films, which was very unusual for actors at the time. His breakout role was as Adrian Cronauer in Good Morning, Vietnam. The film was pretty much a vehicle for Williams’ stand up comedy. I believe he was allowed a great deal of free reign to ad lib and improvise.

The real Adrian Cronauer has said that the film is about 45 percent accurate and if he’d done half the things that Williams did in the film, he would’ve been court-martialed and sent to Fort Leavenworth.

Williams made many other great films of course; a particular favourite of mine is Awakenings in which he co-starred with Robert De Niro. He won an Oscar for his role in Good Will Hunting, you don’t win Oscars for comedy it seems. But one of his much loved and funniest roles was as Mrs Doubtfire.

Of course the root of all that great cinematic comedy was his amazing quick wit, demonstrated at its best in his stand up comedy.

Goodbye Robin. Thanks for your talent and the laughs. We hope that you find the peace that has evaded you.

CLICK HERE to download Robin Williams’ films, albums, music and books from iTunes

By Max Power

Ellen DeGeneres Pays Tribute to

Robin Williams

There are masses of Robin Williams DVDs Available from the Links Below

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Life After People

A Look at Planet Earth Without Humans

Life After People is a documentary series currently airing on channel 7Two in Australia on Tuesday evenings. It looks at the prospects for planet Earth if man should ever suddenly disappear.

Life After People Statue of Liberty

The series uses a combination of hi-tech graphic simulations, interviews with experts and footage of existing structures to demonstrate how the planet would look at various points in the future, after man has left.

Each show tends to concentrate on specific cities and their landmarks and how long it will take for them to crumble. It goes into detail about the causes of the tumbling of man’s great creations, whether their destruction is a result of erosion by weather conditions over time or intrusion by animal and plant life or a combination of all of them.

Life After People also looks at the future for animals once we are no longer around. There will obviously be great changes for domestic pets, farm and zoo animals.

The prospect for dogs is the disappearance of the breeds that people have spent so long cultivating. Surprisingly dogs in their natural state are not so particular about a pedigree when considering a mate.

Although the pampered pooches that we know today will disappear, the hybrids that will evolve are likely to do well, once they revert to hunting in packs and feeding on the small animals that will thrive without human control.

Of the farm animals that we have cultivated for so long, the pig is most likely to flourish without us. Pigs are omnivores and will eat almost anything. Those that can escape their pens are bound to find plenty of food and are most likely to cross breed with wild boar, where they are located, and probably revert to the hairy beast that man developed the domestic pig from.

Life After People Tiger on Capitol Hill

If zoo animals can escape their confines, their fortunes are likely to be mixed in a human free world. Smaller animals living in countries where they were never native are probably going to be snapped up by predators or perish in conditions that they never evolved for. Whereas other animals are probably going to adapt and flourish in their new freedom. Herds of Elephants roaming across North America is a very real prospect. Remember Elephants are descendants of the mammoth that was common in northern climes many, many years ago.

In many ways planet Earth will repair itself without the presence of man. Plant life will creep into the concrete jungles that we know today and eventually destroy them. The types of plants that will prosper may surprise you. Many people, farmers, gardeners, sports groundsman etc. spend a great deal of time keeping nature at bay. When they are not around the seeds of plants will be spread far and wide by the many birds that will flourish and fairly soon our golf courses, racetracks and sports stadia will be overrun by bushes and vines that will eventually destroy the concrete structures that surround them.

Man’s influence on the planet may never completely disappear though. Introduced species may well take over areas that they may never have reached without our intervention. Can you imagine the prospects for Cane Toads in northern Australia without the controls that are now in place? The same is true for numerous plant species across the globe that we have introduced. Many are likely to decimate the native plants and change the face of their new regions for ever.

Our pollution could also have a permanent effect in some areas. For example the huge floating islands of plastic rubbish in the oceans could go on destroying marine life for centuries. They are only broken down by the sun and that introduces poisons in the plastic to the sea water, killing marine animals and the plants that some of them feed on.

Life After People is well worth watching. I was surprised that after the first show the second would have much more new information to share. But each episode does introduce new facts, in easily digestible bites for those of us who are not scientists. It is a fascinating show for anyone that has an interest in ecology, plant and animal life, architecture or the future of the planet.

CLICK HERE to download episodes or entire seasons of Life After People from iTunes. Or check out the offers below for further information.

By Max Power

How about this for drastically reducing our destruction of the planet. It looks fantastic, maybe we should all get behind it.

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Maverick James Garner Rides off into the Sunset

James Garner Star of The Rockford Files has

died aged 86

James Garner, who was the star of two very successful long running US TV series, has passed away aged 86.

James Garner as Jim Rockford

James Garner as Jim Rockford

Garner began his acting career in the 1950′s and after a few films was picked for the role of Bret Maverick on TV. Maverick ran from 1957 to 1962 and was then revived in 1981. Sandwiched between those two runs was his highly successful detective series The Rockford Files, which ran for 6 years and was also revived years later as TV movies. Jim Rockford was probably the owner of the most famous answer-phone message in the world in the 1970′s.

The BBC Reports

James Garner, the US star of hit TV series The Rockford Files and Maverick and films including The Great Escape, has died aged 86.

Garner famously played laconic private investigator Jim Rockford.

He won an Emmy for the role in 1977 and starred in 122 episodes of the hugely successful show from 1974 to 1980. He returned to it in the 1990s with eight Rockford Files TV movies.

Another role, as the poker-playing Bret Maverick in the Western comedy, was also a hit with TV viewers, running for 60 episodes from 1957 to 1962, and again for another 18 episodes from 1981 to 1982.

James Garner as Maverick

James Garner as Maverick

Richard Natale of Variety said that the role of the laid-back, work-shy Maverick fitted “his wry personality like a glove”.

The TV show was made into a film in 1992 starring Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, but also starred Garner – this time on the right side of the law, as Marshal Zane Cooper.

In 1963′s iconic World War Two film The Great Escape, Garner played flight lieutenant Robert Hendley, an American in the RAF, alongside Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough and Donald Pleasence.

The film depicted the daring escape by prisoners of war from the German Stalag Luft III camp through a 336ft (102m) long tunnel. Only three reached safety and of the 73 recaptured, 50 were shot.

Hendley’s role in the film was as the “scrounger” who managed to get hold of identity cards, clothes and a camera.
The actor was also Oscar-nominated for best actor in 1986 for the romantic comedy Murphy’s Romance, co-starring Sally Field, in which he played a small town pharmacist.

Other leading ladies included Doris Day, who he starred with in the 1963 screwball comedy Move over Darling, and Julie Andrews, his co-star in gender-bending comedy Victor Victoria in 1982.

Garner’s career peaked during his highly successful TV series, and he was nominated for nine Golden Globes for shows including The Rockford Files in 1980 and Maverick in 1982, having won in 1958 for most promising newcomer.
He also won a further two for TV series Decoration Day [1991] and Barbarians at the Gate [1994].

He starred with Sandra Bullock and Ellen Burstyn in mother-daughter drama Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, in 2002 and in 2005 he was given a Screen Actor’s Guild lifetime achievement award.

More at James Garner, Rockford Files star, dies aged 86

Another great performance of Garner‘s was in the 1999 TV mini-series Streets of Laredo, where he played retired Ranger, and bounty hunter Captain Woodrow Call, who is hired to track down Joey Garza, a mean and sadistic killer. The series was kind of a grittier version of John Wayne‘s True Grit.

James Garner was an activist in the Screen Actor’s Guild, he was on the television negotiating committee for a number of years and was twice a Vice President of the Guild. He also helped organize Martin Luther King’s march on Washington for Civil Rights in 1963. He was a member of the National Support Committee of the Native American Rights Fund and strongly supported the National Museum of the American Indian. He was also a campaigner for the Save the Children Fund.

In 2003 Garner joined the cast of 8 Simple Rules, after the sudden death of John Ritter. The existing cast were devastated by the loss of Ritter and Kaley Cuoco said “James Garner is like a peaceful river through our chaos.”

His roles reduced after that and he suffered a severe stroke in 2008.

CLICK HERE to download James Garner’s movies and TV shows from iTunes

James Garner will be missed by friends and fans alike. Rest in Peace James.

By Max Power

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