Scott, To Be Certain


Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Doggone Aleisha

Here at S2BC, the general rule is that women are better than men in virtually every aspect of life. Female actors, singers, tennis players and especially reality TV contestants are without exception far superior to their male counterparts.

So you'd think I'd be a little more elated about the prospect of a cute young woman, who's lived a hard life but somehow remained chirpy and unannoying, winning Big Brother and thereby taking home close to half a million bucks.

Aleisha, the latest winner, is only the 2nd woman in seven series to emerge victorious. This should be good news, except:

- There were exactly zero unobjectionable female alternatives in the entire series (outside of the train wreck entertainment value afforded by Anna Paquin TJ), thereby making Aleisha's achievement less impressive.

- Her series was propelled by perhaps the show's most notable "we need a female to win!" urgency, epitomised by the producers' decision to put only males up for elimination one particular week. Hello favouritism.

- Aleisha fits neatly into Australia's favourite type of female reality TV personality: inoffensive, non-threatening looks (cute but not remotely sexually alluring); strong but vulnerable, preferably from the country; and resoundingly vague.

- She beat Zach, the the show's favourite daughter son, the only true genre-breaker and the producer's choice. ("Look! Zach is losing! Vote your arses off!")

So it's all a bit unsurprising. But let's not break out into the annual, customary cries of disappointment (e.g. "Let's commit suicide because Australian voters are fuckwits!") and instead take stock of the positives (in the style of "Booya, faggots of Australia sure nuff nearly notched one up!"):

1. Travis, the Ben/Peter/Trevor prototype did not make the final 2.

2. Billy, the Logans/Jamie prototype did not make the final 2.

3. Zach, a flamboyant corset-making queer whose priorities quite rightly centre on Paris Hilton, product used in Gretel's hair and attendance at Christina Aguilera concerts, almost won as an intruder, by simply being an unbitchy, adorable, likeable gay.

4. Zach's mum has a friend called Deirdre! Who travelled with her to Queensland the first time Zach was nominated, as she breathtakingly revealed in the house. And my, isn't Zach the spitting image of Mum?

5. Zach has a new nephew called Reiger, and was suitably apprehensive about the naming when informed of it by his parents in the house. Bless.

6. Aleisha is now cognisant that she needs to attend to that nasty mole wedged in to the crevice between her nose and cheek.

7. Bodie threw a rubber chicken at Gretel's head.

8. Hayley didn't refer to having any legal qualifications, and sensibly wore a belt to distract from her elongated arse.

9. The producers were desperately gagging for a Zach victory, making a Mardi Gras-style float, revealing the voting graph early on and even stretching the show out FOREVER to audit the results and hope against hope that he could snatch the lead away from Aleisha. This has absolutely nothing to do with increasing our spend on voting or creating "drama" for "ratings".

10. We discovered that Emma really is a man, judging by her pelvic thrust onto Aleisha when she mounted the float.

These are all individually important and memorable things, so all is not lost.

Especially since Australian Idol, with the return of the ever sensible Dicko to finally imbue the show with the honest, accurate appraisals it has lacked since his departure, is to return in less than a week.

S2BC will again be taking on obsessive blogging duties for this watershed event. Stay tuned.

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Monday, July 30, 2007


Last night's brilliant eviction of Nostril Demon Billy and the execrable moron Travis have paved the way for one of the most interesting and close finale battles in BB history. I thought it timely to take a look at how Zach and Aleisha fare against their predecessors.

BB01 - Ben v Blair

A devastatingly bland finale after the surprise eviction of Sara-Marie at the penultimate hurdle. Ben, no doubt a stellar bloke, with his reserved, slightly sensitive but ultimately rather boring nature, became one of the leading prototypes for future victors on this show. The finale show itself, however, was well staged, with the "Winner's Walk" taking Ben past each of his fellow housemates in the order of their elimination.

BB02 - Peter v Marty

A virtual repeat of BB01, with the insipid Peter beating identikit country bumpkin Marty. It's surprising that this rancid season didn't spell the end of BB at the time, given its lacklustre band of characters.

BB03 - Reggie v Chrissie

The finale of BB03 was a delightful affair, with the endearingly vacant Reggie besting the splendid and fascinating Chrissie. Although it was difficult to choose a winner between these intriguing personalities on paper, the result was a landslide. In the intervening years Reggie divorced her true love, sold up her fish and chip shop and was a trolley dolly with Virgin for a time before being duped out of her show's winnings, ice skating on a reality show and having a child. Meanwhile Chrissie left her copywriting job to become an immensely popular radio host on the Sunshine Coast. She's back in Melbourne now and can be heard as a sometime fill-in for Hughesy & Kate on Nova. Good times.

BB04 - Trevor v Bree

YAWN. The married, deathly uninteresting Trevor, beat the evicted-by-accident Bree in another landslide. Most housemates on their eviction cited Trevor as the undisputed comic presence in the house, leaving viewers scratching their heads. A complete waste of space. But then, there was no-one even remotely satisfactory to vote for in his place. Even worse than BB02, this horrendous atrocity of a line-up was enough to cure even the most persistent cases of insomnia. That 2 of this particular year's selection of housemates - Bree and Fitzy - have been able to manufacture reasonably sustainable media careers is an indictment on the state of Australian television.

BB05 - Logan Greg v Tim

Possibly the best season on record, if only for the inclusion of the amazing, fabulous Vesna and the refreshingly intelligent Tim, whose presence felt like one long dissertation on irony. However, it ended in tears. Needless to say that had the "2SAVE" vote existed in the Vesna era, we would not have had the most unjust victory in the history of reality television foisted on us - that of Logan Greg. Devastating.

BB06 - Jamie v Camilla

An interesting match-up. The horse-dicked, headband-loving, sensitive would-be poet Jamie against the turkey-slapped, acne-ravaged and emotionally vulnerable Camilla. This was noteworthy because it was the first time since Chrissie in BB03 that the country had rallied around an intelligent female contestant. She would have won were it not for the ridiculously one-sided finale show package, which focused heavily on Jamie's relationship with skank Katie and their reunion, manipulating the viewer vote in his favour. After ditching Katie almost immediately, apparently Jamie has already pissed his winnings up a wall and is now back to personal training at a small Melbourne gym. Meanwhile, Camilla is going great guns on Brisbane radio, and is expecting a child later this year. Bless.

The cumulative effect of these 6 years was to establish a very beige pattern. In essence:

- constestants need to be of a non-threatening ethnic origin, unless allegedly hilarious and surrounded by a bevy of even less deserving candidates;

- contestants need to be a white heterosexual male, not so quiet as to be boring, but minimally opinionated and endearingly sensitive on a basic level;

- in order to win, female contestants need to be inoffensive, vacuous but entertaining bogans. Female contestants who are either fabulously loud, ditzy and amusingly high-energy or intriguing and intelligent may go far, particularly if they reveal themselves to be credibly sensitive and aren't sexy or gorgeous, but will always lose out to the comparatively boring white male.

Thankfully, these rules have been joyously ripped to shreds with the current Final 2.

BB07 - Zach v Aleisha

What we have here is a riotously effeminate gay man and a cute young woman vying for the title. This is unprecedented, particularly after such a woeful season. Both feel deserving - Aleisha has apparently endured a challenging life in terms of personal tragedy and has behaved admirably on the show, while Zach's journey to self-acceptance as a gay man from his beginnings in a small country town would have been equally difficult. Aleisha breaks the mould for female competitors doing well on this show, but it must be said that she was assisted by the mass exodus of her fellow women early on. The true discovery here is Zach. Unlike past brethren led by cry-baby Farmer Dave and this year by odious bitch Nick, Zach is immensely likeable. He has simply been himself and we have embraced him for it. There has been no better crusader for the cause of gay men on national television, and yet he is the most unlikely for such a role. As if it needed pointing out, there is only one satisfactory conclusion to this series:


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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Gravity's Child

Naturally, seeing someone injure themselves is almost always funny. But there's virtually nothing more enjoyable than merely watching someone fall.

"Are you referring to my acting and music career"

The Germans cottoned on to this simple pleasure centuries ago, inventing a specific word for it: schadenfreude. Its broad meaning can be roughly translated as "to take delight in someone else's misfortune". Toni Pearen's current "career", on a weekly basis, depends entirely on this notion.

The enjoyment is redoubled when someone who is ordinarily renowned for their style and poise, or whose public status usually requires some semblance of ongoing verticality, trips up hopelessly.

Hence our joy when hideously thin, immensely unlikeable Rachel Smith, Miss USA, tenderised her tush in front of 1 billion people at this year's Miss Universe pageant:

Or when our wretched Prime Minister this week nearly nuked his own noggin:

One of the best examples of a genuinely laughter-inducing fall is in a choreographed group scenario, where a slip up potentially derails others.

Michelle Williams, the rodent-voiced and least famous Destiny's Child member, experienced this first hand a couple of years ago. However, while Kelly (dressed as Beyoncé's Goldmember character) seems briefly concerned by her bandmate's nosedive, Beyoncé is seized by sheer schadenfreude and carries on with an almost visible delight:

And frankly, who can blame her.

But another linguistically foreign notion this week delivered a delayed riposte to Beyoncé: karma.

Enjoy the following:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

It's Raining More Than Ever In Nairobi

S2BC adores the following extremely subtle advertisement, in which the Nairobi advertising industry reveals itself to have been very inspired by the success of Rihanna.

And Craig David, apparently.

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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Big Brother Goes To Wimbledon

It received little publicity, but the most audacious reality TV feat in history was achieved late on Saturday night (Melbourne time).

The two behemoths of the genre, Australian Idol and Big Brother, went head-to-head in a sporting-themed event of epic proportions (Saturday Night Games, if you will).

That's right: I'm talking about the exhibition tennis match between Idol's Paulini and BB07's Michelle (pictured together below, allegedly at Wimbledon).

Did anyone see this astonishingly realistic farce? It looked exactly like it was taking place on the hallowed lawns of the All England Club!

Of course, the truth is that it was indeed a real tennis match. It was Ladies' Finals Day at Wimbledon, usually an exciting event when fit players who can actually hit balls over nets are present. One such player turned up - Venus Williams, who also moonlights as an octopus. Her net game and court speed were extraordinary, and she's looking marvellously in shape lately. That being said, it was only a genetic lottery that spared her the same voluminous booty of sister Serena, who for the duration of the match sat sullenly courtside draped in a mumu.

Meanwhile, Venus's opponent, Marion Bartoli, flailed around the court pretending to be some weird hybrid of Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenpig Davenport, except with approximately 4,000 times less speed, power, finesse and skill than that found in either woman's smallest toes.

Venus crushed Bartoli. There were some decent rallies, and it was far from a whitewash, but the commentators were so desperate to make it sound more exciting than it actually was. "6-4, 6-1 is not really indicative of the scoreline," nonsensically quipped the ever eloquent John Newcombe. You fuckwit.

Bartoli amazingly despatched Justine Henin in the semi-finals, in an admittedly spirited display which I witnessed.

This, however, does not change the fact that Bartoli is a terrible player, who has never hit an ace in her life, who will never make a grand slam final again and who clearly likes nothing better than to scoff down 11 or 12 chocolate eclairs before stepping on court.

Apparently, Bartoli's father - who is also her coach - used to offer his daughter a chocolate for every target she hit in tennis practice. She can't have missed many.

As for her alter ego Michelle from BB07, it was that horrendous wench's time to go last night, in yet another unsurprising result. And so we are yet another week closer to an uninspiring finale. Unless Zach manages to - er - come from behind for the victory. That would be nice. He's a lovely person who would be thoroughly deserving for once.

Now, that likeness again:

You hideous woman: please go and love yourself into a coma.

(Not you, Bartoli - you can just go and love yourself back into the 2nd or 3rd round of a grand slam. Any one is fine - you can choose, but just one, you greedy guts.)

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pon De Rihannagram

Like most inevitabilities, the time has finally come for us all to acknowledge that Rihanna is a complete bitch.

"I've never been so insulted, mahn"

Take it like a bitch, sister-girlfriend: You're a fairweather friend of no fucking use to Melburnians, offering the services of your so-called um-berella during this city's worst period of water restrictions.

Nevertheless, I am forced to concede that "Umbrella" is an infectious gem of a song, expertly leveraging off Rihanna's alto register to give the sexiest, sassiest middle finger to rain in the history of music. Perhaps only MIKA's "Grace Kelly" matches it for capturing the definitive pop flavour of 2007.

It would be easy to simply conclude that the rapid rise in Rihanna's pop culture stocks was - wait for it - precipitated by the song's success!

"Oh no you di'-'nt"

Call it pun de replay, if you will.

In any event, it's perhaps not surprising to see Rihanna appealing to us to join her quest to circumvent the darker side of meteorology. She has always preferred things sunny side up:

However, she has some experience with wind as well:

One thing is certainly clear: Rihanna was born to sing "Umbrella". In making this assertion, I have consulted that time-honoured source of truth and prophecy: the anagram.

Faithful S2BC readers (bless your respective cotton socks) know I loves me some anagram action. It involves re-working the spelling of a person's name to gain insight into their motivations and hidden personalities.

Exhibit 1: RIHANNA = "RAIN? NAH!"

I could, obviously, rest my robust and unchallengeable case there. But the insights into Rihanna become even more interesting when we add her last name (Fenty).


This is a surprise. I would have picked Rihanna as a subject for total waxing, or at the least a Brazilian. This might be because her real first name is actually Robyn. That's right: Robyn Fenty! She sounds like she should be sitting at a desk processing forms (e.g. in the style of Medicare, HBA), no?

Exhibit 3: ROBYN FENTY = "F___' BONY ENTRY"

That's more like it. Rihanna is extremely slim, managing to make curling up on a single-seated wooden chair look comfortable.

Now all of this is really leading up to the proper challenge of using Rihanna's full name for prophetic purposes. Since Rihanna is actually her second name, what are we left with?


This makes complete sense because Rihanna is barely legal (now 19, but 17 back when the replay was initially ponned), and yet already a total slut. She manages to regularly exhibit tendencies somehow simultaneously aligned both with childhood simplicities and heightened sexual awareness.

For example, Rihanna is secretly a crazed fan of peek-a-boo.

"Who needs umbrellas"

Sometimes she plays it innocently ("Hi I'm in a cutesy pink jacket!"), other times coquettishly ("I invite you also to take a peek at my developing bosom"). Peek-a-boob, perhaps.

Of course, she may just desperately want us all to know she's just a girl "from the hood". If by "hood" you mean a gorgeous tropical island, where she was privately educated and where a ski jacket would be entirely unnecessary and perhaps even an incendiary risk. Thank goodness there is a fire extinguisher handy.

And lastly:


Again, this makes complete sense on two levels. Firstly, brine is synonomous with fish. Secondly, brine is a salty substance, and Rihanna adores being lathered in salty substances. In "Umbrella", she repeatedly implores: "Come in to me. Come in to me." Dirty whore.

How misleading and deceptive: She's clearly not averse to being showered upon at all.

What did I tell you? A complete bitch.