An empire began and crumbled over the I’m a Celebrity weekend, with Harry Redknapp finally beginning to play the game. Here I go, trying to summarize four episodes as comprehensively and quickly as possible!
Ramble of the Day
At the start of episode 5, the time-honored tradition of some British reality shows (I’m thinking Love Island) came into play as another contestant was entered the jungle. It was Noel Edmonds, known as a “TV legend” when his name pops up on the screen, and he was given the title of emperor. He had to pick an advisor, and so he picked Harry Redknapp, who had recently gotten finished talking about how Sir Alex Ferguson was fun to share a bottle of wine with and wondering if he’d finally get the jam roly poly he’s been obsessed with. There was no dessert, but there was power and privilege with the position, and he made sure everyone knew it.
Perhaps Redknapp was a little bit starstruck by Edmonds; he did seem shocked at his arrival and as the following episodes proved, everyone seems to really like Noel Edmonds. Yet, just as he was starting to really carve out a place as a man who kept the group’s spirits up, he quickly went to calling his fellow contestants “peasants” and siding very easily with the emperor. Though he was encouraging as usual to Fleur East, Sair Khan, Nick Knowles, and James McVey as they competed for spots in the emperor’s inner circle, won by East and Khan, he insisted that they all call him “assistant emperor.” He watched on — and admitted his fear of Rita Simons — as she and Malique Thompson-Dwyer swam in a stinky pool finding puzzle pieces and assembling said puzzle without engaging, treating them like the peasants he said they were.
Even then, he continues to endear himself with the group. He and Edmonds lied that the group hadn’t won the rewards of the Dingo Dollar Challenge, only to get compliments on his acting. Later at dinner with Edmonds, East, and Khan, he talked about how much he loved his wife Sandra and even tried to learn how to do the floss. Later in episode 6, he and Edmonds were tasked with deciding which seven contestants got care packages, and he quickly took himself out of the running and gave pep talks to the ones who didn’t get them. His time at the top was shortlived, though — he and Edmonds had to compete in their first Bushtucker trial at the start of episode 7, calling an end to the empire.
It was the first time Redknapp had been called to perform such a task, and even though it was probably the grossest trial to date, he was game. He had to hold worms and cockroaches in his mouth for three minutes total, and eventually eat sheep brain and drink fish eye juice, and was ultimately happy to do it. He wanted to win meals for everyone, which he and Edmonds did as they resumed life as equals.
Before the trial, Redknapp had a number of football stories to tell. For whatever reason, Roman Pavlyuchenko came up in conversation, and he recalled a conversation they had: “I signed this Russian player, Pavlyuchenko, and I said to him, ‘If you don’t play better in the first half I’m going to pull you off at halftime,’ and he said ‘Ah, this is fantastic. In Russia we only got an orange.’” Eventually, the group decided to put together a Jungle XI, which looked like this (3-4-1-2): Hegerty; McVey, East, Atack; Thompson-Dwyer, Khan, Wilson, Edmonds; Redknapp; Knowles, Barrowman. Redknapp said he wanted to play with wingbacks, wanted Simons to be a destroyer in midfield, and wanted to give him the role with limited running. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Harry Kane made the bench.
Everything was more or less back to normal by episode 8, with Redknapp not telling as many stories, but participating in the Jungle X-Factor. It was the season’s/series’s live trial, and he first had to eat a worm quickly and then had to drink a beverage made from pigs quickly. He accomplished both tasks, and called the pig drink “horrendous, awful;” he was not asked to comment on the worm. He had, though, proven he was as good a contributor as could be asked to the overall team effort, erasing the doubts that popped up in my mind over the weekend once again.
As for other food related comments, Redknapp had many. In episode 5, he asked, “What is a gelato?,” and called the night’s buffalo rib dinner “tough, but tasty.” In episode 6, he enjoyed a dinner of red fish, and in episode 7 after the sheep brain and fish eye juice, he called crocodile “a toss up between fish and chicken.” Also in episode 7, he said “jam roly poly” one more time without receiving the dessert, and in episode 8, he called squab “lovely” after wondering if it was a chicken.
He might not feature much in episode 9 as McVey, Simons, and John Barrowman head out of the camp and into the Australian desert to earn a dinner feast, so I may give you a break from I’m a Celebrity tomorrow! That’s all for now, though; I’ve given you quite a lot.
tl;dr: The rise and fall of a Redknapp empire.
Links of the Day
Glenn Hoddle has left the hospital after suffering a heart attack and undergoing surgery last month.
The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between Boca Juniors and River Plate has been postponed for a second time, though a date is currently not set.
Today’s longer read: Paul MacInnes on a women’s team started at a Sikh temple in England that won UEFA’s Grassroots Gold Award this year for The Guardian