reality tv

'I don't care what anyone says, this season of Big Brother is the best yet.'

It was when I saw those four hairy knees. 

Sarah, the less-than-five-foot 19-year-old powerhouse from Big Brother, was locked inside a giant gingerbread house with her deepest fear: human knees. 

Producers had tasked her with massaging moisturiser into all four of them, which mysteriously popped out of a wall. 

Mesmerised, I learnt that night that the fear of knees is a genuine phobia called genuphobia – because watching Big Brother is nothing if not educational. (And that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.) 

But, you see, it was at this moment of observing Sarah’s horror at the sight of human knees that I realised, this show is not like the rest of low-brow reality television.

It is so much better. 

This is Sarah. She has a phobia of knees. Image: Channel Seven.  No other hour of television will show you a former professional AFL player squeal and sweat as he’s locked inside a room of flying pigeons, or see producers demand a group of people catch balls that fall from the sky at 3 am when they are CLEARLY ASLEEP

Big Brother this year was highly-anticipated. Once a cornerstone for the golden era of reality television in Australia, the return of the beloved format, now broadcast by Channel Seven, was highly publicised for the months that preceded the premiere. 

The first episode, which saw almost a million viewers tune in, was met with a loud chorus of dissatisfaction. 

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In fact, here at Mamamia, we published an article with the headline: We need to talk about the profound disappointment that is Big Brother 2020.

And to that, I say, that reaction was profoundly premature. (Sorry to my boss... who… wrote that article. *Grimaces*)

Watch: Former AFL player Daniel Gorringe faces his fear of pigeons on Big Brother. Post continues below video. 


Video via Channel Seven

There's a man who casually wears a 'DADDY' sleep mask. Another man who is obsessed with... hermit crabs. And, most importantly, a woman named Angela who enjoys tea bags almost as much as the producers love to deprive her of them. Her milk-to-tea ratio is also utterly despicable, but I digress

As always, the show has brought together a group of diverse characters who are forced to live in the same four walls as they strategise against each other under the surveillance of an omnipresent ‘Big Brother’. 

But this year, they’ve also introduced a new format in which every episode, contestants participate in a physical challenge before nominating a person to be eliminated from the house.

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It's a recipe for a delicious cocktail of drama, complete with tears, tantrums and too much tea. 

Is it destroying my brain? Probably. Is it completely contrived? No doubt. But it's also the brief relief from real life so many of us need right now. 

No, there's no one cheating on long-term partners. And no one has scrubbed a fellow contestant's toothbrush into a toilet bowl (*Cough* MAFS *Cough*.) The show is yet to succumb to the literal... trash... level fellow reality TV shows have adopted. 

Big Brother instead gives us hairy knees - which I have since had nightmares about - and thank goodness for that.


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