Not since Ali met Foreman in 1974 has the world seen such a rumble in the jungle. But on Monday night, the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! camp replaced Kinshasa as the theatre of conflict as Wilkinson did battle with Currie.
It all began with Kendra delivering a heartfelt sermon in the jungle about her “philosophy” on life. She had most of the camp in the palm of her hand (except Edwina who was lying in a hammock pretending to sleep, and Michael Buerk who despite claiming to be “fascinated” had to leave for a toilet break).
Here’s what happened next (with the scoring in red):
Kendra: “You live in your moment. And you believe you’re doing what’s right – what’s healthiest, happiest, best for you and your life. You better own that, you better stand up you say ‘I’m proud of myself, I have faith.’ Like this is me, this is my decision, this is my life. You should never live your life for other people… EVER! Be like, you know… have respect…”
Kendra 1 Edwina 0 – She has a host of B-list celebrities hanging on her every word. Edwina is nowhere right now
Edwina [Sits up in hammock] : “Did I hear you say, ‘You should never live your life for other people, EVER!?’”
Kendra 1 Edwina 1 – Everyone looks at Edwina. This is a political power play. Get their attention, always get their attention.
Mel: “Live your life FOR other people…”
Kendra 2 Edwina 2 – They both score here. Kendra wins kudos for being popular enough to be defended. But Edwina wins a point for forcing Kendra to need to be defended. Follow?
Edwina: “Did I hear you say, ‘You should never live your life for other people, EVER!’
“Count me out. I don’t agree with you.” [lies back down in hammock nonchalantly]
Kendra 2 Edwina 3 – An actor couldn’t have delivered this line better. Perfect timing followed by a wonderfully disrespectful slump back into the hammock. Realpolitik.
Jake [to Edwina]: “Go on then, explain now…”
Nadia: “You mean don’t let other people influence…”
Mel: “Yes, that’s what she means, and I’m sure Edwina would agree if she…”
Kendra: (still smiling) “yeah, that’s what I meant”
Kendra 3 Edwina 4 – Once again, Kendra’s popularity is highlighted as her campmates pile in behind her. But this is a sign of weakness that also wins points for Edwina. Score draw.
Edwina: “But you can’t say ‘You should never live your life for other people ever’”
Mel: “No she meant just in terms of making decisions for yourself…”
Edwina: “No, well, sometimes you have to make decisions that benefit other people and put you at a disadvantage.”
Mel: “Yeah, I’m sure she does that with her children all the time… I’m sure with your kids it’s a different ball game…”
Edwina: “You’re a mother! YOU’RE A MOTHER!”
Kendra 3 Edwina 5 – Edwina goes below the belt making it personal and bringing the kids in… but it’s a powerful blow to Kendra’s argument and puts the Playboy girl’s allies on the defensive.
Jake: “Her kids are part of her now, so I’m sure I her kids are included in that. Her kids become part of her decisions”
Mel: “I think the kids are excluded from that”
Edwina: “I’m sorry, sometimes you put other people first…”
“Sometimes you put OTHER. PEOPLE. FIRST!”
Kendra 3 Edwina 6 – The politician is really starting to emerge now. Currie is on fire. Whilst Mel and Jake try to construct meaningful sentences, Edwina is hammering her point home as if she was standing on a soapbox in Birmingham with Margaret Thatcher behind her nodding and smiling.
Kendra: “Being here is the right decision. And I’m not going to let you [points at Edwina], you or anyone tell me that that’s the wrong decision.
Kendra 4 Edwina 6 – She has courage in her convictions and she aint gonna let anyone tell her what to do, girlfriend. Sassy.
Edwina: (rocking head in animated way to immitate Kendra) “I’m gonna tell you it’s the wrong decision – you can’t stop me doing what I think is right. SO THERE. That’s the problem with that philosophy – because then you have everybody saying ‘I’m gonna do what I think’… and nobody does anything together.”
Kendra 4 Edwina 7 – She may be older, but Edwina can ‘sass’ right back at her rival. Maybe one day they can form an R’n’B duet? I’d buy that record…
Kendra: “You’re not seeing the heart of what we’re saying…”
Edwina: “No I’m not!”
Kendra: “Shut the f*ck up and get the f*ck out of our conversation. Because you’re not seeing the heart of it.”
Kendra 5 Edwina 7 – Shock and awe wins a point here. No one saw the volley of swearing coming. Traditionalists might say that swearing is a sign of weakness – but in reality TV terms if the ‘bleeper’ isn’t troubled, you’re not passionate enough. Go Kendra!
Edwina: “Don’t you wave your finger at me young lady.”
Kendra 5 Edwina 8 – Calm matronly put down. Appropriate and proportionate response to volley of ‘f’ words. Well-played, the Tory.
Kendra: “Take your heartless arse out of our conversation, shut the f*ck up and go back to sleep where you belong.”
Kendra 6 Edwina 8 – Poetry! Pure poetry…
Edwina does an “ooh” face
Kendra 6 Edwina 9 – Classic response to an insult. But Edwina is a classicist in the argument stakes.
Kendra: “Heartless-arse politician. Shut the f*ck up!”
Kendra 7 Edwina 9 – Everyone hates politicians. Good to tap into that market. Point won.
Edwina: “Oooh, Kendra!”
Kendra 8 Edwina 9 – Edwina needs to say something cleverer here. Lost for words, loses the point.
Kendra: “Who the f*ck just says that shit!
“You’re a grown ass woman starting shit with a young woman like this, trying to be heartful – trying to put myself out there like this – trying to help others and inspire people… and you come in with your devilish ass heartless ass piece of shit self. And trying to damage me. No, f*ck you!
Kendra 9 Edwina 10 – This rant wins a point for summing up all her frustrations with Edwina in one big sweary pile. It’s not Shakespeare, but it is liquid entertainment for those who like a fight and is delivered in language that the real reality TV-watching people understand. However, Edwina also has to score here because Kendra claims she is solving problems and helping the world by getting paid to be on a reality show… she’s not, really, is she?
Edwina: “Kendra, you can’t dominate me. So don’t try.”
Kendra 9 Edwina 11 – ooh, kinky! She makes Kendra’s outburst look even more silly by staying very calm. Ice queen. One more point to you, Ms Currie.
Kendra: “Oh my God, the Queen of England. Are you Queen of England now? You’re the Queen of the Jungle now?”
Kendra 10 Edwina 11 – Funny, well delivered, and nicely worked into the show’s ultimate theme. Couldn’t have been scripted better (Was it scripted?)
Kendra is physically restrained by several campmates. The argument ends…
It’s a narrow win for Edwina in what is a remarkably close contest. Considering her relative age and experience of debating, Kendra holds her own against the former Cabinet Minister. Some very good swearing and some excellent put downs made for a classic TV bust up. If only debates were like this in Westminster (or if they made MPs eat pigs testicles for breakfast), maybe people would vote more. Please, ITV, can I have some more…