Big Brother Australia (2001)

Big Brother Australia is the Australian version of the international Big Brother series, which airs on CBS in the United States. The first Big Brother broadcast was in the Netherlands in 1999. While each country’s format of the show varies, the general concept is similar: A group of about 15 people live together in a specially designed house. The housemates are isolated from the outside world, and their lives are recorded day and night with television cameras and microphones. At periodic intervals, the housemates vote to have someone evicted. The goal is to be the last remaining housemate and win a cash prize.

Most vivid memory:

Walking on stage and being cheered by a live audience of hundreds on eviction night. It was exhilarating, especially after being in isolation from the world for two weeks. Fame tasted sweet, even when knowing that it wasn’t supposed to last.

On being the first to be evicted from the show:

Big Brother is really an experiment on social cohesion, and seeing as I’m a big extravagant, I was the first to be voted off. I’m actually quite proud of that — for not compromising my personality in order to fit in. Besides, nowadays, almost 10 years after being on the show, people still recognize me on the street. I guess my being the first evictee of the first Big Brother Australia, I made quite an impression on the Australian viewers. 

Lessons learned: 

Too many to mention — but in a general way, I got a concrete experience of the diversity of people in Australia. Most people just get to interact with their small circle of friends, but as a Big Brother contestant, people on the street approached me and spoke to me as if they knew me. So I got a glimpse of the way they see the world, what is important for them. It was especially interesting for me, due to my psychology background.

Do it again?

Absolutely! And I would probably be even more outrageous than the first time …

Back to photo index