Celebrity Big Brother Finale: winner announced
If you don't want to find out who the public voted as the winner of 2007's quite remarkable and totally sensational series of this bizarre program, then don't click the link to find out after the jump.
Warning: spoilers ahead.
With an international racism row, no fewer than three housemates walking out of the house of their own volition, and some very over-hyped incidents, the Bollywood actress -- and the favorite by a long chalk -- Shilpa Shetty, has emerged from the house as the outright winner.
However, first out tonight were Jack and Danielle, to a mixture of boos and jeering from the finale crowd. Both were genuinely shocked when confronted with the video evidence of the whole so-called bullying and racism row, and Danielle made a sincere and public apology for her behavior, while Jack quite rightly said that he was not obliged to like someone no matter who they were or where they come from, but he had not behaved in a racist fashion towards Shilpa in previous weeks. I tend to agree.
Following Jack and Danielle out of the house, Ian Watkins emerged to uproarious cheers and was welcomed by the crowd as one of the heroes from the last four weeks. He admitted that he wished he could have done more to step in and defuse the various tensions in the house, but appeared to have enjoyed himself despite the craziness of it all.
When Ian had said his goodbyes, former A-Team member, Dirk Benedict left the house to even more cheers, and admitted that he had been a bit dry and miserable at times, but urged the public to vote for Shilpa before the vote lines closed.
And, before Shilpa was crowned winner, living legend Jermaine Jackson exited the house and received an excited welcome from the crowd, and from the show's host Davina McCall. In typical superstar fashion, he sat throughout the post-exit interview wearing his Ray-Bans and conducting himself in his now-famous modest fashion.
Lastly, Shilpa emerged to a rapturous reception, with fireworks, cheering and ticker tape - giving an emotional response to the waiting crowd.
When faced with the strong allegations over Jade Goody's recent behavior, Shetty vehemently denied that any form of racism had taken place in the house against her or anyone else, and insisted that Goody was perhaps hot-headed and short-tempered, but in no way a racist. She seemed shocked by the behavior of Jo O'Mera, Goody and Danielle.
She also said that she did not want to leave the UK having been invited and welcomed by the British public, only to leave as one of the instigators of a major incident.
Thankfully, it's all over for this year's Celebrity Big Brother -- and perhaps for good -- but you can say one thing about the events in the house over the past 26 days: it's been everything the Endemol producers would have wanted; controversial, hyped, exciting, intriguing and thoroughly unbelievable at times.
I honestly think this year's series will be remembered for a long, long time to come -- probably for all the wrong reasons -- but for once, it was totally worth watching.