Rachel wins…and Sara comes third

// 5 September 2008

I was waiting till now to post about Big Brother because I wanted to see how the finalists were treated by the crowd and by Davina McCall in their post-eviction interviews. Well, the moment has come, and lovely Rachel Rice has picked up the £100,000 winner’s cheque (the third female winner in nine series, following Kate Lawler and Nadia Almada).

More interestingly, perhaps, Sara Folino came third. She’s the Australian PA who went into the house in week 4, and was subject to some horrifying sexist abuse from fellow housemates Rex Newmark and Darnell Swallow, and to a lesser extent Mohamed Mohamed. She was called an “ugly bitch” and a “slut”, mostly for having the temerity to not particularly fancy Swallow, and the producers received thousands of complaints.

None of the housemates had any formal action taken against them; instead they were warned that they were being monitored. Sara seemed to decide after that that it was easier just to flirt with Darnell to flatter his ego, and so deflect the misogynist abuse.

Viewers had their own vengeance. Mohamed was evicted on Tuesday; Swallow and Newmark were the first two out tonight; and Sara finished third.

As I suspected, in Swallow’s interview with Davina, she failed to mention his vicious attacks on Folino; in Folino’s interview shortly afterwards, McCall suggested that her flirtatious behaviour and subsequent rejection of Swallow had been the cause of the attacks, because it had hurt his pride. As always, it’s the temptress’s fault when a man loses his temper.

Did you watch any of Big Brother 9? If so, what did you think of the Sara-Darnell incident, or Davina’s interviews?

Comments From You

Debs // Posted 6 September 2008 at 8:24 am

I thought it was strange how Darnell was hitting on Sara at all. Earlier in the series he was trying to get Bex into bed, and when she knocked him back he turned on her and was really vicious about her to her face and in the Diary Room. They were best friends and then sworn enemies in the space of a week. Then he did the same thing with Sara. The way he treated her was inexusable, and I noticed that about Davina’s interview too, blaming the victim. I’m glad to say Sara seems sensible enough not to have too much to do with Darnell now they are out of the house – except for the obligatory next “lets-see-how-much-money-we-can-make-out-of-this” couple of months.

In a way, though, I think Rex is worse than Darnell. It is clear that Darnell’s behaviour comes from some deep insecurity within himself, which doesn’t excuse it but makes it more understandable. Rex has everything he could want out of life, already, in his mid 20’s, and he loves himself, and sees no reason why other people wouldn’t love him – he is an out and out bully, and there were many times during the Darnell/Sara thing when Rex could have stepped in, throwing his weight around and controlling everyone as he loves to do, and put a stop to it. But he thought it was funny to let it carry on to it’s conclusion; a very upset and confused Sara and an even more poor-me-pity-me Darnell.

Debs // Posted 6 September 2008 at 8:26 am

Forgot to say I’m really pleased Rachel won! Good conquering evil and all that – I would have liked Sara to win, but I’m happy that Rachel did.

Kate // Posted 6 September 2008 at 11:25 am

I thought Davina treated the housemates really badly last night, showing complete bias for Mikey the misogynistic comedian and bullies Rex and Darnell. Sara and Rachel are both lovely girls with hearts of gold, but for some reason they have both had to deal with constant attacks on their character for weeks on end. Either of them would have made a worthy winner, but I’m glad that the public stood up and decided to reward a nice normal girl for sticking to who she is, instead of one of a collection of bullies for being ‘entertaining’.

Michelle // Posted 6 September 2008 at 11:49 am

I didn’t see the episode when Darnell & Rex hurled derogatory, sexist comments towards Sara but did see the following episode when they were reprimanded for their behaviour which I actually thought was good, because we know that Big Brother – rightly- do not condone racism, therefore I was glad to see housemates pulled up on their sexism.

If I’m honest I did think Sara was leading Darnell on a bit, and I didn’t get worked up by Davina’s comments. Though of course, there is no excuse for calling women names just because they don’t like you!

Kat // Posted 6 September 2008 at 12:23 pm

Davina NEVER asks interesting/probing questions any more, or challenges them on their behaviour in any real way. I didn’t watch the interviews last night but I’m not surprised. I don’t know whether she has been told not to after she interviewed the woman who claimed to have had sex in the house (the beautiful African woman?) and was very hostile, or whether she’s just an inane vapid woman with no opinion (I suspect the former)

I was so pleased that Rachel won. I thought Mikey would on the same ticket (nice guy) but he would take it, being male. What a turn up! It seemed clear that poor Sara had very low self esteem and I didn’t think she really registered how awful they were being to her – as if she expected it.

Anne Onne // Posted 6 September 2008 at 2:51 pm

I only saw the interview with Darnell, and I only had a vague idea of what had gone into the house, but to me he seemed quite the crowd manipulator. Out of all the big brother interviews you see and hear, his was in a different league in terms of how he deflected any likelihood of criticism by painting himself as a loveable eccentric, just out to ‘hug’ people and pretending to be completely ignorant of why anybody might dislike him. Most people who go on big brother are attention-seeking, manipulative people to some degree, but they are relatively easy to read, and more timid when in front of a crowd. It’s a subtle difference, but the way he interacted was very polished, but not at all genuine, very good at painting others to be at fault when undoubtedly one has acted in a childish, despicable manner towards others.

Whatever someone’s issues are, they have no justification for harming others emotionally or physically, and pretending to step up to your responsibilities, whilst avoiding mentioning what they even are is a classically manipulative tactic. I’m disappointed people like him still have quite a few fans despite acting abominably ON SCREEN in front of millions of viewers. It was good that Jade goody didn’t get away with her racism, it would be great if they hadn’t swept the misogyny under the carpet.

shatterboxx // Posted 7 September 2008 at 12:20 am

I watched Darnell and Rex’s comments towards Sara with increasing horror, like “Why isn’t anyone doing anything about this?” Regardless of whether they say it was just a joke (which seemed to be Rex’s punchline on everything he said) it’s not acceptable to talk that way to a woman. I was glad about the complaints and the reprimand, it shows that awareness of sexism might actually be on the rise. Generally Big Brother audiences tend to favour the males over the females. I was pleased in this case that this didn’t happen.

I saw Davina’s ‘you were leading Darnell on’ comments too. It was laughable really. She said something like ‘Not that that excuses his behaviour…’ about five times. So… ‘it’s no excuse’… but here’s a list of excuses anyway because he’s so darn cute and you’re clearly a slut??

v // Posted 8 September 2008 at 3:26 pm

Any of you see Vanessa Feltz on the 8 out of 10 cats BB special, calling Sara a cock tease, and claiming she was exploiting Darnell and owed him a hand job at least??

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