IT’S barely been a week and we’re already seeing cliques forming on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here.
In the first few days Boy George clashed with Charlene White over cooking, with the singer branding the Loose Women star “controlling“.
Body language expert Judi James believes the pair are members of opposing ‘tribes’ in the jungle and predicts we are in for more squabbles.
Speaking to HOAR, she said: “They might be playing nicely right now but the Machiavellian behaviours kicked in almost the moment they walked into camp.
“The ‘group survival’ circumstances of I’m A Celebrity creates animal tribal structures and behaviours – and this group went straight into the ‘storming’ stage of battles for power.”
Here Judi gives her verdict on this year’s camp tribes – from the rebels to the leaders.
Lambs to the slaughter
Judi believes former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, 44 and comedian Seann Walsh, 36, must both be “arrogant” if they think they can “manipulate” viewers into giving them a second chance after their respective cheating scandals.
HOAR exposed both Matt’s affair with his aide Gina Coladangelo last year, and Seann’s secret snog with married Strictly star Katya Jones, while he too had a girlfriend at the time.
Judi adds: “Nothing says ‘lambs to the slaughter’ quite as loudly as the line, ‘I want people to see the real me’ from any celebrity arrogant enough to think they can manipulate a reality audience.
“Matt says he wants people to see the ‘guy behind the podium’. He clearly forgets that we did, and that’s why he lost his job.
“His toothy ‘smile’ looks like something out of a David Attenborough programme.
“It’s more of a baring of the teeth than a grin of pleasure, suggesting we might be seeing a lot of fake self-effacing humour from him in the jungle.
“When he goes full-frontal to camera his face looks almost like it’s filmed in 3D.
“It looms towards the camera with a wide-eyed, wide-open mouth smile that suggests he’s desperate to be liked and desperate to be our friend.”
Judi adds that Seann’s “request for forgiveness” is more “submissive”, evident in his bowed head when he first spoke to camera.
But when we saw his face it was wearing a “naughty smile, as though he’s greeting an old friend he hasn’t seen for a long time”.
As a natural leader, Judi believes Mike Tindall, 44 – the first member of the Royal Family to go on the ITV reality show – was unhappy when Owen Warner took control of the boat before they entered the jungle.
Meanwhile Jill Scott, 35, was voted the FA Players’ Player of the Year in 2008 and was key in England‘s Lionesses’ Euro 2022 win.
Judi says: “Mike and Jill are both strong, brave and seemingly fair and motivational.
“They don’t push their credentials to fight for power, they support and protect – like when Mike got rid of that spider.”
Judi believes Hollyoaks actor Owen, the youngest campmate, has the potential to be an alpha in his own right.
She says: “He would be a typical alpha wannabe in any animal tribe but he clearly had the sense to use submission rituals to both Mike and Jill.
“Now he’s shown he’s in awe of them, making a perfect trio at the top of the tribe.”
While others may be reaching for a position as the physical alpha, Judi reckons Charlene, 42, is aiming for a higher level of “power and status”.
She says: “Physical alphas might be brave but when hunger takes over it’s the one in charge of the cooking who wields the most power.
“Charlene’s delegation techniques lack empathy. She turns her collar up in a power ritual that makes her look like Gordon Ramsay in his kitchen and gives out commands using point rituals and no eye contact.
“In the hut she said ‘there is no leader’, shrugging to make her point, but her eyes darted quickly and frequently to the right, showing she might not believe this.”
When it comes to ex-Radio 1 star Chris Moyles, 48, Judi says although he is playing “everyone’s favourite uncle”, he’s also “picking his targets”.
“His current victim is Owen,” she says. “It might seem like a fun game to lie to him about being a ballroom dancer to wind him up but it is cruel in a small, newly bonded tribe.
“It’s making Owen look stupid in front of the others and instead of letting Owen know he was joking straight away, Chris is having fun seeing how long he can fool him.
“Owen is the happy puppy of the camp and he doesn’t deserve this take-down from an older man who barely knows him.”
Gogglebox star Babatunde Aléshé, 34, is a fun and laidback campmate but Judi thinks he shouldn’t be counted out of the alpha pack.
She tells us: “Babatunde has used body language rituals to show he could make an alpha leader if necessary.
“There was one dramatic pose after he won nine stars where he roared like a lion and bared and splayed his chest.
“With the arrival of Matt, he and Mike look to have become closely bonded. This could be the camp bromance.”
The Culture Club singer, 61, is assembling his own team of rebels to take on Mike’s group, in Judi’s opinion.
She says: “Boy George uses personal removal to make his points powerfully, either going quiet or sitting apart.
“In his row with Charlene, he placed a hand over his face in a cut-off ritual of frustration before tapping his lips with a finger.
“This can be a self-calming technique but externally it looks like a metronomic gesture of impatience, as though he’s biding his time.”
Judi believes he tried to recruit Chris into his ‘rebel army’ but struck gold with Scarlette Douglas, who’s become ‘deputy rebellion leader’.
Redundant nurturing alpha
According to Judi, Coronation Street star Sue Cleaver, 59, risks fading into the background as the mum role she wanted to take on has been snatched by Charlene.
She explains: “She’s sitting quietly but could be ripe for the picking in terms of George’s Rebel Group recruitment drive, taking over as protective mum of the Rebels and taking Charlene on toe-to-toe.
“She sat watching Charlene with her arms folded as though biding her time in an earlier episode this week.”