The television jungle is all about putting things in your mouth or not, and on Monday the display was well stocked again. There was bull’s nose and earthworms, along with fried scorpion, and there was also a choice of a lamb’s heart. But none of that was enough for the big scandal, which not only shook the current season dramaturgically. Instead, it needed something very light, but even harder to digest. It needed: one word.
The history of this word includes the fact that the candidates Janina Youssefian and Linda Nobat had cultivated a nervous rejection of each other for a few days. This refusal was additionally and severely ignited during a joint jungle test. After all, there had been different opinions about the course of this test and about the bravery of each other – at the latest now it was threatening and twitching in the air, a huge thunderstorm cell. As a spectator, you knew immediately on Monday evening to quickly get some laundry in, it’s about to start.
“I’m not a team with you and I’ll never be your girlfriend either,” said Janina. “Did I offer you friendship?” Linda said. “Get the fuck out of my sight,” Linda said. “You’re disgusting,” said Janina. “Such a stupid, disgusting, shitty, antisocial woman,” said Janina. “Who do you think you are?…I’m not the tree you should piss on,” Linda said.
The context of the insult is grotesque – but that is secondary
“You disgusting package,” said Janina. “Bitch,” Linda said. “Hello, we want to sleep a little here!”, the tired Franconian Peter Althof called in from the side at this point, but initially only for the back of his head.
“Only shit comes out of your dirty mouth,” Linda said. “Go back to the bush where you belong,” said Janina, “go back to the bush”! “Racist Bitch”, said Linda, “racist as bitch”! “Yes, but you can insult, right?” said Janina. “I’m not going to be racist okay?” Linda said.
So the hard-to-digest word is bush, it fell repeatedly and it has a racist connotation, which outweighs whatever intention of its use. This also applies to the subordinately quite grotesque context described here – it is the German-Iranian Janina Youssefian, born in Tehran, who tells Linda Nobat, who was born in Hanau in Hesse, that she should go back “to the bush”, and while she is doing this says both are on South African soil. Someone in the Diercke world atlas should bring this to a logical conclusion.
What followed this insult can only be described precisely with the word exemplary. Night fell over the camp, a new day dawned, Linda appeared in a white robe. A qualified minority of camp residents, not including the weary Franke Peter, urged Janina to apologize.
The candidate flies out – and there is tentative applause
Janina said, “I’m really sorry if that came across as racist yesterday”. Linda recognized in it what in anything but tired circles also a non-apology apology is called, a non-excuse. She also elaborated on what is an ongoing reality for people affected by racism. For the “100 millionth time” she is experiencing such a situation, “this is not new to me” – and “it’s always said that it’s not meant that way”.
RTL called the residents together and announced that Janina had to leave the camp. There was tentative applause at first, then stronger. On twitter the broadcaster later wrote: “RTL does not tolerate such behavior and has therefore decided that Janina is no longer allowed to participate in the current #IBES season.” Janina was driven in a car from the set and from the show. Linda said “it’s the first time in my life that something has been made so fair”.
What does this TV evening tell you beyond the concrete events? So much that you don’t even know where to start and what to leave out, at least for the time being. One could quickly tick it all off with a piece of wisdom from Marc Aurel, oh sorry, wrong last name, with a piece of wisdom rather from Marc Terenzi, a former winner of the format. Terenzi said, “The rules are the rules. Pull yourself together, it’s that simple, you have to stick to it.”
This is true insofar as the jungle often exhibits human neglect and the appearance of one on the outside anything goes has. But this is exactly not the case, the jungle maintains certain boundaries very precisely, that is part of the fascination that it exerts on many viewers. Madness yes please, but with method and according to clear rules. The rules include: Racism is outlawed. It’s that simple.
“The monkey gave a shit, didn’t it?”
And then Terenzi’s sentence is not entirely correct either. Because he ignores the rule-breaker, who in this case is a rule-breaker. What’s with the now actually? In this episode of the jungle camp, Janina Youssefian is primarily the perpetrator and not the victim. She was inferior to Linda Nobat in a wild argument on almost all levels, especially her eloquence in biting and her speed. When she was overwhelmed, she racially insulted her opponent, and the just consequence was her expulsion.
Having said all this and acknowledged it, Youssefian, a woman who no one needs to feel sorry for, but whom one can feel sorry for, was expelled from the jungle on Monday with Youssefian – at least in the sense that one does not wave maliciously at her. A woman whose participation in the jungle camp, in addition to the insult, is now only that she briefly believed to be infected with “tick fever” – and she also tries to correct a historical story on her own behalf. A very long time ago, she was not on the same floor as the music producer Dieter B., but on a “cutting table”.
In the editing room at RTL, everyone kept their nerves on Monday – pleasant. The Youssefian/Nobat scandal was not exhibited, it was told appropriately. And there was even room for something cheerful next to it. In the supporting roles, the fabulously simple-minded candidate Filip and a, one can say quite charged, monkey sitting on a tree shone.
“The monkey gave me a shit, didn’t it?” said Filip, pretty much “shitting in the face”. So the employee of the day award goes to the monkey.
Filip was similarly unsuccessful in his attempt to resolve a dispute with the candidate Tara. “You don’t understand me,” Filip said. “Neither do you,” Tara said. “How am I supposed to understand you if you don’t understand me?” Filip said.
The German Michel (very Franconian: Peter A.) was already slumbering on the edge of the scene. At the end of the show, the moderators asked him if “a closet” like him was afraid of anything at all. Peter shook his head vigorously and said he was simply “too old for this”.