On Saturday I was ‘evicted’ from the Big Brother auditions at Millenium Point in Birmingham, UK.
Well, I say evicted. I auditioned with over a thousand other hopefuls, of all ages, sizes, colours, sexes and levels of exhibitionism….and I didn’t get through to the next level.
It took me just over three hours to get to the front of the queue and the poor Endemol staff working through us all still had a massively long day ahead of them, looking at the growing queue that snaked all around the inside and outside of the Think Tank/IMAX building.
I’d pulled myself out of bed at 5.45am (well, my loving husband pushed me), taken the train to Birmingham and joined the queue at 8.30am (they started seeing people at 9am).
I realised I was in the right place as I followed Simone and Jules – one dressed as a sexy policewoman, with a cleavage that left nothing to the imagination and the other in a sexy pink and white baby doll costume, with high heels and white stockings.
The one thing that did amaze me was that virtually no-one else was ‘dressed up’.
Ok, so there was the one guy at the front of the queue in full wetsuit, flippers and diver’s mask, a few wearing quirky sloganed t-shirts and some wearing fairy wings over their ‘normal’ clothes – but the queue was full of ‘normals’. Where were all the people I’d expected in just their y-fronts so that I would stand out in the crowd as the ‘weird’ one?
For the next three hours whilst the queue slowly snaked its way forward to the ‘audition area’ (four areas in the centre of the building’s atrium marked off by barriers made of the distinctive BB yellow and black striped tape). I made a point of getting to know the other hopefuls around me…and got on with my knitting. Well, I had to do something unusual didn’t I?
There was no ‘dog eat dog’ rivalry in our sort of section of the queue, most, like me, were just along for the experience.
There was Joe, very well-spoken, well-educated, well-mannered, tall, black and in his very expensive pin-stripe suit, bore a striking resemblance to previous BB housemate Derek Laud. And also within our group was a bloke that I was convinced I’d seen somewhere before. I finally got it after about two hours when he started teaching us some dance steps – it was Paul Maguire from Strictly Dance Fever.
After 3 hours of chatting, shuffling forward and lulling everyone around you into a false sense of security that you were ‘a quiet one’ and not much competition, our group made it to the front.
People were being taken to the audition areas in groups of 10 and given two or three tasks to do within 10 minutes whilst two Endemol staff picked out hopefuls ‘good enough’ to get through to the next round.
Our first task was called ‘Line Up’ – we picked out three words, one at a time – annoying, clever and attractive. We had to argue/discuss our levels of annoyingness and then line up from most annoying person to least and say why. For some reason I ended up the least annoying (how little they knew me). We then did the same with ‘clever’ (I was much nearer the front this time – apparently all but 2 of our group had degrees) and finally ‘attractive’. We had the most difficulty with this final category, so Alex was appointed to sort us.
Now bearing in mind that there were some absolutely stunning lasses in our group, who had miraculously emerged from their big heavy coats like butterflies to reveal beautiful bejewelled skimpy costumes…I have to confess there was a reason I found myself promoted to the ‘most attractive’ end of the queue.
Ok, so I took my top off. Hey, it’s Big Brother, meant to shock and wow did I… and I have to say it was sooooooo worth it.
Having convinced these 20-somethings for 3 hours that I was this quiet, tame, mumsy figure, I had to have a laugh (and make extra sure I didn’t get into the house – I’m not convinced in the slightest I could spend a week away from my kids, let alone a whole summer). But the doubletakes were priceless!
We then played a sort of Room 101 game, each of us arguing our case for one thing to be wiped from the face of the earth. The well-spoken Joe chose ‘junk food’ stating he hated how it made people lethargic and obese. “What’s wrong with obese?” I argued and he argued his case very eloquently and tactfully.
Others chose racism, people who walk too slowly, bullying, having strong opinions.
To stick the final nail in my BB career’s coffin – I chose London – it should be abolished I said, wiped off the earth and all the people who live there and think it so great, disbanded to more normal parts of the UK. Well, yet again, it got me laughs.
Our ten minutes were up, we were told to stand in a line and put our hands out. Those who had the BB eye stamped on their hand were through to the next round, the rest of us were thanked for our time but sent home. Joe and a tall, beautiful, bejewelled, butterfly lady got through. I didn’t. I gave Joe a big hug and wished him the best of luck.
Fingers crossed, come summer, I will not only be able to say in the pub, “ohhhh, I know that bloke”, but also stun people as I did this morning with my account of when I auditioned for Big Brother 2007.