Cape Town – When I got the invite to stay over at the Big Brother Mzansi house I didn’t think twice, I hit reply ‘yes’ the moment the e-mail popped into my inbox.
The closer it got to the day I was to enter the house I really started worrying about how I would cope without my phone.
No Channel24. No Twitter. No Instagram. *gulp*
It was all fun and games when I met up with the other pressmates before we entered the house.
As we were transported to the house we joked around about the type of personas we would adopt.
Things got real when we got to the production office. Our pictures were taken; we signed a disclaimer and put all our belongings into a plastic bag labelled with our names.
Phones, tablets, books, pens, papers, watches and even sunglasses had to go.
We frantically sent out our last text message, whatsapp, tweet, instagram and made that one last phone call. Yeah, I called my mom.
Being cut off from the real world is every journo's worst nightmare.
And then the debriefing started. *cue dramatic music*
Sandy, one of the producers laid it on thick and by the time she was done some peeps were really reconsidering going in.
We would get the full Big Brother experience, all the cameras would be on recording, even in the shower. As expected some protest erupted around the table.
With that out of the way we were miked and ready to enter. Or so we thought.
There we stood waiting around while they sorted out some technical issues what was supposed to be 20 minutes ended up being almost 2 hours or so we estimated.
By then we just wanted to get into the house and some of us had already identified who we would have nominated for eviction. The ‘game’ was real folks.
When we finally got into the house we were a bit shell shocked. Just like the housemates, we went in pairs and a trio.
The house is amazing; spacious living areas, a massive walk in closet, airy bedrooms on the second floor, a Jacuzzi and a garden area to lounge in and don’t let me get started on the kitchen.
There is absolutely nothing to do but to sit around and entertain ourselves. Luckily we were a bunch of journos who by nature talk a lot.
We surprisingly got used to the camera and the control room listening in on us very quickly.
We had a press conference with the actresses who entered with us and played a very interesting game...
Pairs were called into the diary room for a session with Biggie. We then had a challenge to compete for the spot of head of house.
The rest of the day was spent eating, more talking, another challenge and then more talking.
What was interesting to see is how easily our inhibitions went while we were in the house. You really had to make the best of the situation or you would be bored out of your mind.
Hence the fabricating of drama in my diary session, the impromptu doggy in the middle game (childhood games always come in handy) and the prank my alliance and I played. Yeah I had an alliance.
Four of us sat up until 4am (we got told this the next day) strategising.
And it did come in handy when we held our fake nomination the next day before we left.
It was an interesting experience. After we left I kept checking for my mike and still felt like I was being watched.
Could I do it for real? I think I would survive a few days, but 56?!
Oh and did I shower? Well I did go in for the full experience ...
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