British Big Brother Participant 'Warns' Against Reality TVby Susan Schechter -- 07/10/2002
One of the things that really irked me about the U.S. Big Brother 2 last summer was how the rules had changed. For example, you may recall the first season did not have a Head of Household, (HoH) but the second season saw this. I forgot that the UK version also changed some of the rules, but it was done very subtly. During the first eviction, a vote between schoolteacher Penny and blonde bombshell Helen, a new contestant was waiting in the wings to go into the house after the first eviction. Josh Rafter stayed in a hotel prior to entering the house, where he was not allowed to watch television or read the newspapers. He did not know anything about the environment he was entering. Penny was the first to be evicted (in fact Helen turned out to be the runner up), and Josh was the sixth to be evicted.
On Sunday January 27, 2002, Josh gave an interview to the Observer regarding his experience on TV. It was, as any reader would surmise, unflattering. The 32-year-old openly gay housing bureau officer came down very hard about the business of reality TV, warning people thinking of applying for this year’s show to be “wary” of doing it. Josh added that reality TV shows “suck you up and spit you out.”
This reality TV bashing in Britain is nothing new. Last year the execs from the five networks were so upset about this that they ran a conference about it. Big Brother has done remarkably well in all its European houses, and made minor celebs of many of the contestants (unlike here in America). And Josh could not be seen as a babe in the woods innocent, he purposely came out to his Mum and Dad a week prior to entering the show, according to reports. The Mirror stated last year that Josh, who was once engaged to be married, came out to his parents, who did not know he had already had a six year relationship with his friend Simon, prior to entering the Channel 4 show. At the time he was on the show, he ran a housing bureau for gays and lesbians. Nor was Josh the only gay contestant on the show; Brian Dowling, the eventual winner, is gay as well.
Josh also told the Observer, “The rollercoaster of emotions we’ve all felt since leaving the house last year has at times been awful.” “It’s an intrusion into your life. It’s the emotional pressure. It’s the way it affects your friends and family.” He added, “You realise afterwards that when you leave they just seem to wash their hands of you.”
Or maybe Josh just had an epiphany, realizing what we across the pond have known for awhile. It’s all about those 15 minutes of fame, and how fleeting 15 minutes really can be.
Remember to take a peek at the rest of the site. You can find our most recent articles at the Home page and take a look at our sections on Survivor: Africa and Temptation Island 2. You can even buy reality show stuff at our Reality TV Store!