It has been sizzled within an inch of its life and now that it’s here I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is guaranteed to be a show that runs on the Ten Network for the next few weeks. Probably.
Thanks to copious tips from the Ten PR team everyone had an opinion as to who the celebrities were that’d be stranded in the South African jungle for to compete for $100,000 for the charity of their choice (and a reported $60,000 per week each to get them into the jungle to start with). Melissa Joan Hart was in (nope); Richard Reid was in (nope); Anthony Koutafiedes was in (nope), Kerri-Ann Kennerley was in (nope, though rumoured to appear later in the series). So many guesses! When we did meet the celebs more than a few left viewers scratching their heads at who exactly some of the “celebs” were…
Lauren Brant, 25, Gold Coast, Ex-Hi 5
Joel Creasey, 24, Melbourne, Comedian
Andrew Daddo, 47, Sydney, Television Personality
Laura Dundovic, 28, Sydney, Beauty Queen
Barry Hall, 37, Melbourne, AFL Star
Merv Hughes, 53, Melbourne, Cricket Legend
Leisel Jones, 29, Sydney, Olympian
Tyson Mayr, 29, Los Angeles, Model
Maureen McCormick, 58, Los Angeles, Actor
Chrissie Swan, 41, Melbourne, Radio and Television Host
(For the record claiming Andrew Daddo is a member of “Australian TV royalty” now means the term has no value.)
Despite this – I actually really liked the show. Having seen bits of the UK series in the past I knew some of what to expect and the first ep is all about the reveal and setting up the celebs and letting viewers get over themselves over claims of people not being celebs. The treasure of this series is what lies in the days/weeks to come.
Now they’ve settled in it’s all about how the celebs get on with each other, who gets on whose nerves, and who chickens out of challenges they’re subjected to – and those challenges can get pretty icky nasty. The producers are banking on the audience lapping it up too. Voting for who takes part in various challenges isn’t just about dialing a number any more, it’s about the hashtags emblazoned on the back of every shirt/jumper/vest the celebs wear the entire time. We all get a say in who gets to be subjected to the next batch of whatever dumped on their face. Sweet, huh?!
It’s Big Brother in the Bush on a grand scale, and not by accident.
Peter Abbott is one of the executive producers for IACGMOOH and if the name sounds familiar it’s because he was both EP and the voice of the original BB back when it started on Ten. He was part of the casting then too so it’s no accident someone like Chrissie would have been in his sights for the cast (and she was a delight to behold in last night’s season premiere too).
Chris Brown and Julia Morris are perfectly cast as hosts too – Morris is a seasoned performer and comedian and the camera loves her, while Brown has shown more of his hand in the last 12 months on The Living Room and certainly holds his own beside his completely OTT-capable co-host. They were a joy to watch in the premiere and will indeed hold the body of the show together.
It’s just as well Brown and Morris perform so well – they need to as the first part of each show is essentially linked clips of what’s happened at camp overnight. It’s understandable and the live element of this hosting makes it edgy and enjoyable though the laughter of the crew was overplayed (it’s an element the Australian audience certainly isn’t used to and when the gags are there it can add to the anarchic value of the show – there just wasn’t the level of gags that warranted the ‘canned laughter’). An adjustment required for both show and viewer.
Also can we do away with the blanking of all sound when someone swears when the hosts are live in camp, please? It’s super annoying and it means when details of the challenges are delivered live quite often key details go missing and aren’t covered again. A small annoyance though a significant one.
As always the dreaded daylight saving rears its head when any show claims to deliver content “live”. While NSW/ACT/Vic/Tas got to enjoy the immediacy of the crosses from deepest, darkest South Africa the rest of the country got it delayed with a local time 6:30pm start, meaning none of their voting counted and the after show live stream was half done or over by the time those interested stumbled over to the Ten website. It may seem persnickety but it is 2015 and with three channels available Ten certainly could run it live around the country and get a leg up on their competitors who are airing their respective pre-taped reality juggernauts – a significant point of difference they’ll sorely need once they’re being thumped six ways from Sunday by My Kitchen Rules and The Block.
Can I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here hold its own against two established reality shows with massive audiences? Probably not, but they’re sure gonna have an awful lot of fun trying (and I really do hope they’re competitive – they deserve to be). It’s a bunch of giggly, awkward, horrifying fun and the best bits are still to come. I’m hooked.
I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here – Sun 6:30pm and Mon to Thu 7:30pm, Channel 10.