Celebrity Big Brother: Courtney Act and Ann Widdecombe through to the final after triple eviction
Courtney Act and Ann Widdecombe have secured their places in the Big Brother final after being saved from eviction by the public vote.
Malika Haqq, Ashley James and Amanda Barrie were all evicted from the show during Tuesday’s episode.
Courtney Act and Ann Widdecombe received the most public votes and were saved early on during the extended episode.
Malika and Ashley were the first housemates evicted after they received the lowest amount of public votes.
Malika was nominated three times by her fellow housemates, with each nomination referring to her attitudes towards Ann Widdecombe.
During recent clashes between Ann Widdecombe and Courtney Act, Malika notably took Courtney’s side and was seen as one of her allies.
Speaking to host Emma Willis, Malika acknowledged that she had not connected with either Ann during her time in the house but did not think that Ann herself was a bad person.
Malika said: “I was being overprotective for someone else, it was never because I thought she was a horrible person, I just never connected with her.”
DJ Ashley James shared the interview with Malika and also commented on her attitudes towards Ann.
“She speaks her mind and you don’t need to offend her because she’s so clear on what her opinions and morals are,” Ashley said.
“I think she’s a good spirit, I don’t agree with a lot of her opinions, but I think she’s just a funny person who knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like.”
Amanda Barrie became the 11th housemate to leave the show, evicted shortly after Ashley and Malika on Tuesday.
At 82, the actress is the oldest ever contestant to walk into the reality TV show house.
Amanda was nominated for the triple eviction by Malika and Courtney, who both referenced Amanda’s close relationship and defence of Ann Widdecombe in their nominations.
In her eviction interview, Amanda said that she felt like she needed to defend Ann against criticism from Courtney and Malika.
Amanda said: “I felt that they were trying to persuade people to go against her.
“I think that anyone who has done Strictly Come Dancing or pantomime can’t be all bad.”
Host Emma Willis then asked Amanda whether she thought her friendship with Ann was an unlikely one, given Ann’s stance on same-sex marriage.
She said: “Ann and I have got very very very very very different views but I would never ever have discussed or pushed Ann into that, or asked her questions of the sort.”
Amanda is best known for her role on soap opera Coronation Street, where she was a regular star for 20 years.
The actress made headlines during her time in the show after having a fiery argument with Courtney Act about Ann Widdecome’s stance on LGBT rights.
During the argument, Courtney brought up Ann’s voting record during her 23 years as an MP, where she voted against every pro-LGBT measure.
Amanda said: “It’s not my rights, it doesn’t affect me at all! I’m married.”
Courtney then replied: “Amanda you have these rights not due to people like Ann, but because of the people who stood up against Ann.”
In previous evictions, Big Brother has selected the two, three or four housemates with the most votes to face the eviction.
However, in a surprise twist, each of the six housemates who had been nominated was then eligible for eviction.
Shane Jenek, also known as Courtney Act, became the most nominated housemate on Monday night after gaining six nominations from the seven housemates.
This is the fifth eviction that ultra-conservative former MP Ann Widdecombe has survived.
After a disagreement with her last week, Shane J was asked why Ann had been saved by the public vote each time.
“Because the British public love a villain,” Shane replied.
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This season of Celebrity Big Brother has one of the longest in the show’s history, running for an expected total of 32 days.
Despite the length of this year’s show, Channel 5 bosses are expected to axe the programme after this summer.
The Celebrity Big Brother finale is Friday at 9pm on Channel 5.