Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pan O'Meara/The H Factor: Day 12 

Day 12 in the Celebrity Big Brother house and before we get onto the subject of racism, let's first deal with something that's slightly more likely to lead down the road of hilarity, questions for BB.

With Celebrity Big Brother proving to be not as attractive to advertisers, viewers and people who don't pay much attention to their phonebill, it's clear there's a bit of penny pinching going on, as today's task essentially amounted to "Tell BB something you want them to look up on Wikipedia", as the housemates were all asked to ask Big Brother a probing question that they'd always wanted to know the answer to. As later events in the house proved to be more interesting, if infinitely more depressing, than this task, we never got to find out H's question, but Jo was quick to set her inquisitive mind to the task, pondering all of the great imponderables that have troubled her in the past and initially settling on "What colour underwear did I put on this morning". Soon, however, she realised that such a question was perhaps a tad trivial for the combined minds of the Big Brother production team with Google all fired up and ready to go, and besides, as he happily informed her, Dirk was more than able to give her the answer to that particular question. So, having decided that the pants question was a bit, umm, pants, she then, apropos of nothing, though the fact she got to say the word 'sperm' may have had something to do with it, wondered what the life span of a sperm whale was, but for reasons unknown to us, but likely to involve common sense, dismissed that as well. Finally she settled on "Why are some people born with a higher IQ than others", but with events demonstrating how stupid some people can be, we never got to find out the answer. Mind you, given that all IQ tests really show is a person's ability to do well in IQ tests, it's unlikely that we'd have given much of a shit.

Jo also, inbetween making us hate what humanity has become, asked Jade whether she planned on marrying Jack and stated that she'd personally feel quite embarrassed if she had a big wedding, and we can understand that. Having to give OK their money back after the promised celebrity turn out fails to materalise would be so humiliating.

Right, the racism thing. And who would have though a chicken could cause so much trouble. It's something we've vaguely noticed bubbling under the surface - and we're still talking about the racism here, not bacteria in the undercooked chicken - but we decided to give the housemates involved, apart from Jackiey who is a horrible individual, the benefit of the doubt and assume it was just a general dislike of Shilpa, rather than a racist one. While the former isn't really that understandable - Shilpa to us seems like a lovely girl - it is, at least, not abhorrent, but whether through ignorance, stupidity, or sheer unpleasant bigotry it seems a line has finally been crossed.

It all started with the chicken, and a relatively benign argument about how long it should be cooked for. Shilpa was only planning on roasting it for about 45 minutes but Jade, Danielle and Jo all immediately ganged up on her and, rather aggressively told her it needed to be in for at least two hours, and promptly continued to bang on about it for the entirety of the cooking time in a somewhat unnecessary way, although given the after effects of previous meals cooked by Shilpa, we can perhaps understand their vehemence on the subject: "No wonder I keep getting the shits", said Jo, ladylike as ever.

Leaving Shilpa to divide her time between cooking and fretting, the three girls, henceforth referred to as The Coven, went off to have a chat and discuss Shilpa's apparently unforgivable lack of expertise in poultry cooking times. "Maybe they cook things differently in India", was Jo's enlightened view, "Maybe that's why they're so thin, cause they're ill and being sick all the time, but unpleasant as that view was - not to mention her impersonations of an Shilpa's accent which would likely find herself a guest spot on a Jim Davidson show - it was nothing compared to Danielle who, after a discussion between the pair of them about how they don't like the fact Shilpa tends to finger their food and asking whether Indians or Chinese had a tendency to eat with their fingers - it is, of course, neither. She's thinking of 5ive, who have no manners - told us the reason why she doesn't like Shilpa touching their food: "I dunno where their fingers have been", and with the venom and distaste that she spat out the word "their", the line between unpleasantness and racism was definitively crossed and Bernard Manning was already rubbing his hands with glee, waiting for his chance to supply a few quotes for the tabloids.

H is lurking somewhere between the two camps - No, this is a serious issue, we're not going to make that sorta joke. He's fond of Shilpa - who has allies amongst the older housemates - but is unwilling to criticise his mate Jo. Mind you, Jo also seems to be trying to have her cake and eating it - something she's used to doing from when she had to kill time when her back problems made her unable to join in the rehearsals with her fellow band mates - by smirking and enjoying the bullying which Shilpa faces, but occasionally telling Danielle that she's being a bit mean and offering some comfort to Shilpa, albeit in a very half-hearted, "oh yeah, there are cameras", kinda way. H has been trying to give Shilpa a boost, but doesn't really seem to know how to. "Why am I so hated", asked Shilpa of him, out in Nowhere. "I don't know", was all H could muster as a response, perhaps because the only real answer - "They're racist fuckbags" - sat uncomfortably in his throat.

As he watched them playing table tennis together, Jack suggested that H, who got on famously with Jackiey, has replaced her with Shilpa, something that Jackiey would detest. This is unfortunately true, as Jackiey clearly was racist, deliberately failing to pronounce her name properly and resorting to calling her the Indian like some sort of Marjorie Dawes clone - Which is perhaps why H liked her so, his love of crap comedy being well known to us from this series - but H doesn't have a bad bone in his body, as evidenced by his speech in the diary room where he spoke of his frustration and upset at the situation, comparing it to his own experiences of being bullied, even if he did spoil it slightly by limiting his condemnation of Danielle to "I'm a little disappointed" and resolving to not get involved, despite the fact he could probably make a difference here. As he left the diary room he had to go to the toilet and cry. Frankly, we don't blame him.

There, wasn't that a barrel of laughs, though at least we have an excuse for today's update not being funny. We're now backing H to win instead of our previous favourite Jo. We do hope she's not a racist though. We'll have to burn both of our Jo dolls if she is, and we really don't want to have to do that.