First published 14th January 2009 on

It’s the next morning and Michelle’s STILL crying! She’ll shrivel up at this rate. Tina belts out twee life skills advice at her bombastically whilst Ben shoots virtual vomit through his eyes at the Scouse pie-snorter.

The housemates are given a diabolical shopping test where they’re pretending to be toys. Ulrika is apparently a “native american” doll (why not just go the whole hog and make someone a golliwog?) resembling an anorexic Brown Fox from Fulchester Rovers, and apparently has to “fire a bow”. La Toya is a post traumatic stress toy soldier. Mutya is a rather fetching cross between Looby Loo and Pippi Longstocking. Ben is a rubbish green dinosaur (or as Coolio dubs him a “weakosaurus”). Terry and Tina have to memorise a dance to perform in sparkly tiaras and tutu atop a fake “music box”, a task which Terry seems to take pretty seriously, despite Tina barking instructions at him, and he looks rather dainty and sweet twirling around with his moobs jutting out. Shame Tina has the grace of an autistic whale. Coolio and Terry have to wear strap on cars and stand in a fake car-wash in the garden enduring thoroughly depressing (for them) jets of water and foam (whilst Tommy counts increasingly dourly to ten) every time the song “car-wash” plays. Worse of all Michelle and Verne don bear outfits (Verne’s is deliberately cut to resemble the Bo Selecta bear) and eat a huge pot of honey in four hours. Not sure how much is in Verne’s pot but it’s the same size of Michelle’s and makes me wonder if Big Brother think giving a dwarf diabetes is top telly. In addition the housemates have to clamber into a “toy box” every time they hear the merry sound of childrens’ laughter and stay still whilst a gang of stage school wannabes run in and frolic unconvincingly about (plus one scouse child who is clearly trying to nick Verne’s scooter). Ulrika gets all “I’m really missing me kids Vic” and teary. Must be seeing a gang of kids – nearly as many as she’s spawned.

Quite rightly Michelle and Verne challenge Big Brother for giving them a task that makes them feel physically sick. Verne’s unamused when Big Brother suggests they “bear with it”, (“Is that supposed to be a joke?”). They should just go for it and barf all over the pricy cameras in the Diary Room.Tommy (“This just ISNAE fun!”) and a clearly pissed off Coolio decide to jump on the revolutionary bandwagon, with the feisty Scot calling a house meeting so that they can all agree to jack in the task. Mutya’s in firm agreement, throwing a teenage strop over having been forced to wear something other than her comfort dressing gown (“I’m being no-one’s clown just for their entertainment at home”. Has Mutya never watched Big Brother. To be fair it must be dreadfully tiring for the poor dear sitting around in a wig. Awww!). Terry and Tina and unsurprisingly Head Girl Ulrika aren’t so keen on quitting, with Terry reasoning that Big Brother probably won’t let them fail if they’re entertaining enough. Has no-one here watched the show before?

The nominations announcement leave Ulrika looking around enigmatically and Coolio somewhat baffled and convinced Big Brother are trying to fuck with his head (“they’re trying to torture me… they just took my name off the list”). Listlessly Mutya declares that she will definitely be evicted, but Coolio is having none of it (“You ain’t going nowhere and [Michelle] ain’t going nowhere). Naughtily he points at Ulrika, claiming “Your ass got to go” and singing  “you got to go”. I have to admit that it’s pretty funny, but Ulrika and Michelle get all faux outraged, so he can’t resist turning his attention to Michelle (“You gonna have a hard time too Ms X”). Ulrika rushes to Michelle’s defence (“Stop being a BULLY” and when Coolio all but laughs in her face she storms off to tell everyone else how “vile” he is. When nobody seems to want to get involved she rather cynically uses her media savvy by loudly repeating the word BULLY so Big Brother will have to intervene in case Geordies start burning effigies of Coolio or something (his hair reminds me a bit of Humpty from Playschool if you’re an outraged Northerner looking for a handy flammable Coolio doll Sure enough Coolio’s called to the Diary Room and Michelle’s tear ducts dry up enough for her to look smug.Big Brother ask him if he realises the difference between playing with someone and offending them, implying that they get concerned when other contestants feel seriously offended or intimidated (well ever since they got in the shit for letting Shilpa Shetty suffer a week of genuine bullying), and Coolio’s dumbfounded that anyone could find him intimidating (albeit in a silly sexist “I aint gonna hit no girl” way) and declares Ulrika and Michelle to be “full of shit”.

Poor old Terry’s genuinely confused and upset that his pal is coming across so badly. “Is Coolio being really mean to Michelle or is she just getting a bit over the top?” he asks Verne, worriedly. Coolio returns sulkily from the Diary Room and puts his nice shiny car helmet back on whilst declaring appropriately “I’m in my shell. Consider me a turtle.” I love the fact that even when Coolio’s saying he’s going to shut up he can never actually shut up. “Ladies and gentlemen, Coolio’s personality has left the building” he announces dramatically. “Thank fuck for that!” snipes a suddenly rejuvenated Michelle. Terry has a quiet word with Coolio, who vehemently denies using foul language to Ulrika. Meanwhile in the Diary Room Big Brother as gently as possible suggest that Michelle (who insists rather strangely that Coolio won’t even listen to La Toya) grow the fuck up and try to sort out the conflict with Coolio herself, so she flounces over (“Big Brother said we should talk”) but they end up having a sweet conversation in the bathroom where Coolio reassures her that he was just playing the game and winding her up more because it was having effect, but that he genuinely likes her and wouldn’t try to intimidate or bully her. Coolio hates bullies having been bullied as a child himself (and I guess getting your arse kicked by the crips kind of sets the standard in Coolio’s lexicon way above namby pamby old verbal bullying). Coolio blames Ulrika (“she doesn’t like me, she talks about me behind my back”) sadly missing the impact that Tina Malone’s constant slagging of him to the women of the house had last week. He even apologises (blowing it by somewhat cheekily getting Michelle to apologise for calling him a bully). Everything smoothed out Coolio asks Michelle for a hug and she tactfully declines as he’s wearing a strap on toy car (Coolio: “Hug my car!”).

Like the end of a shticky US sitcom where the protaganists kiss and make up having learned a valuable lesson, everyone settles down happily to get pissed. Apart from La Toya who’s in the Diary Room stating that Michelle DOES fancy Ben and she shouldn’t “lie or pretend she’s offended by what Coolio says”. I’m wondering more and more whether La Toya is more genius than mental.

A scary hairy barechested Tommy pumps iron in the bathroom and Coolio lounges around in the bedroom when Car Wash starts up again. Tommy frantically signals to an uninterested Coolio, who responds by hiding his eyes under a pink towel, and then Tommy discovers he can’t get out to the garden anyway and holds his hand up in defeat. Terry sniggers warmly “Oh you’ve let us all down Tommy. We’ll all starve.”

On the live field it looks like they will as not only did Tommy/Coolio and Verne/Michelle fail (the latter unfairly – given that forcing celebs who eat a healthy version of next to fuck all to eat a lot of something sugary is just deliberately transporting them to mood swing city) but Terry/Tina are 50,000 interweb hits behind Verne and Ulrika’s version of Endless Love (again a slightly cruel way of judging a task, especially as most people will have been distracted by Bullying Rapper-Gate). Bizarrely Ulrika (who is currently rather sweetly taking the piss out of herself) has an enormous bruise on her arm – has Stan Collymore joined the household?

Liking: Verne, Terry, Coolio (especially his “Barber of Seville” song in the bath)
Increasingly amazed by: La Toya
Confused as ever by: Ulrika
Warming to: Tommy
Bored by: Mutya, Ben, Michelle
Nauseated by: Tina