As the 11th season of Big Brother approaches its finale on November 26, we analyse the reality franchise’s top 10 moments.
#1 Free Th Refugees (2004)
Merlin Luck was an introverted housemate but made an incredibly bold political statement when he was evicted. He decided to tape his mouth up and hold up a hand-made white sheet with the words “FREE TH [sic] REFUGEES”. The live audience were livid at Luck’s stunt, in which he sat next silently next to host Gretel Killeen for almost three minutes. Killeen was commended for the way she held her nerve and didn’t get up Luck in the way many others did. “Merlin, are you going to speak at all?” Killeen asked. “I’m sure we’ve had plenty of time to absorb Merlin’s message, which is a valid message, and may I say a good opportunity to express it. Well done.”
#2 Turkey Slap (2006)
Big Brother executives were forced to kick two males contestants out of the house after it was discovered one of them put his genitals on the face of Camilla Severi while in bed together. Severi laughed off the incident at the time, but it received huge media scrutiny. Then Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition leader Kim Beazley both encouraged Channel Ten to ditch the show immediately.
#3 Nanna wins (2008)
Fifty-two-year-old Terri Munro shocked the nation when she won the final instalment of Big Brother before it took a four-year hiatus. She belittled and had to deal with the stigma of being the oldest housemate in BB history but Munro had the last laugh, knocking off a plethora of youngsters to take home $250,000. Despite the sum, Munro still works on the check-out at Coles in North Richmond. True story.
#4 Trevor proposes (2004)
Trevor, the man with dreadlocks and a tendency to cover up his homesick tears with his big sunglasses, decided to pop the question to his girlfriend Breea, after pocketing a cool $1 million as the winner of series four. The Broken Hill boy read out a poem before dropping a knee to the delight of a live audience.
#7 Michael and David’s ‘kiss’ (2006)
Housemate Michael McCoy was adamant that Big Brother producers had selectively edited footage to make it look like he was kissing David Graham. The slightest mention of editing enraged Killeen, who tore McCoy to shreds on national television. “Listen mate,” Killeen said, “if you’re going to tell me when I’ve worked on a show for six years that we have edited something and it has not been edited, I would like to know who told you that.” The pair returned after an ad break looking more at ease with each other’s opinions, but it remains an incredible confrontation.