Saar Szekely, the most radical left winger to appear on Israeli Big Brother – and probably on any Israeli reality show – has made it to the final, despite the early forecasts he wouldn’t last long
OK, I admit it: I watch Big Brother. In fact, I even enjoy it at times. I think the reason I do enjoy it is that Big Brother really epitomizes what reality TV is about. Compared to all the other dozens of reality shows, there seems to be something a tad more “real” to Big Brother. But then again, who knows – they might all be on pills, as Ori J. Lenkinski wrote last week.
Last night’s episode wasn’t that great, except for one thing. Two of the remaining seven participants secured their spot in the final (which will include five people). One of them, Tamir Vardi, is a favorite to win the whole thing. To try and describe Tamir is difficult. Suffice to say, he’s a bit on the kooky side.
The other contestant, Saar Szekely, is what most people in Israel call a radical left winger. In other words, a traitor. Szekely came into the house with a very clear agenda: to talk about the occupation. He also had beef with corporate capitalism and reality TV, and he made it clear to the production who interviewed him as well. But the producers of Keshet played along. It wasn’t the first time they played the political card.
But Saar was definitely the most radical left winger Keshet brought in so far to the show, which enjoys a whopping 40 percent rating average this season. Which made most people think he wasn’t going to last too long. Especially not in the current political climate in Israel. Other left wingers that came with an agenda like Saar didn’t make it far in earlier seasons.
After the first episode was aired, Facebook pages calling for the expulsion of Sa’ar “the traitor” or “the terrorist” from the show started popping up. Inside, Saar was constantly attacked for his views.
But it didn’t work. Not inside the house, nor outside. Inside the house, everyone was falling in love with him. Even the right wingers were finding it difficult to have a debate with him. He was just too convincing. And too nice. He rarely got into a fight. He was always the responsible adult. He was funny, caring, and warm and supportive when needed.
Outside, the left was getting all dreamy eyed over this chiselled, articulate young man. “Finally, a good-looking leftist who knows what to say! Where do we vote for this guy?”
Here’s an example of Saar’s debating skills, from somewhere in the middle of the season (source: Eran Vered):
I doubt he’ll win the whole thing. Tamir is probably going to take it.
What’s going to be interesting is to see what Saar does with his 15 minutes of fame after this whole thing is over in two weeks.
(Video subtitles: Yaniv Eidelstein)