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Big Reunion: 19 things we learned from Girl Thing, 5th Story & Damage

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Well, that was intense. If it wasn't Girl Thing at each other's throats in Ireland or Kavana 'not putting the effort in' at 5th Story's studio sessions, it all got a bit heated in Big Reunion land - we needed at least three cuppas to handle the drama. But we survived, and we're all a bit more knowledgeable - here's what we learned from this week's episode...

Girl Thing pose for The Big Reunion

© ITV


1. Jodi Albert agreed to host Girl Thing's reunion at the Irish mansion she shares with Kian Egan.
Honestly, what was she thinking? How those tasteful sofas escaped without blood splatter, we'll never know. On the other hand, maybe it's because almost the first thing Jodi said to Linzi when seeing her for the first time in 13 years was that she had to take her shoes off or Kian would kill them.

2. Everyone in Girl Thing was terrified about the reunion.
"I'm s**ting myself," Anika said charmingly. Linzi was worried about the "bad vibes" she has with Nikki. Michelle was worried about "volatile" Linzi: "I'm scared now. Very scared, actually." Yikes. There was no pretence when everyone showed up at Jodi's either - as well as people talking about how nervous they were and how awkward the whole thing was, Linzi admitted she felt sick. The tension seeped out of the screen like pus from an oozing wound. (I have to admit, though, that I loved Linzi going for the good old-fashioned small talk classic: "It's mad trying to find it.")

Girl Thing member Nikki Stuart on The Big Reunion

© ITV


3. Linzi and Nikki kind of still don't get on very well.
There's always been tension between the duo - mainly because of Nikki's secret relationship with producer Martin, who she ended up marrying - and they didn't shy away from it. Linzi said an "accumulation of things" made her think she didn't get on with Nikki; Nikki said Linzi and Anika made her life "a misery". Then Nikki, Linzi and Anika rehashed their legendary fight - Nikki claims the other girls went for her; they claim she hit Anika. "You went to hit Anika, so I hit you!" Linzi declared. It went round and round in circles until Jodi basically just begged them to stop.

4. Linzi could have had something special with Brian off Westlife.
What is it with Girl Thing and Westlife? Linzi went on a couple of dates with Brian McFadden... but the record company ordered them to break up out of fears it would damage Girl Thing's sales. Shortly after that, the big rule that none of the girls could have boyfriends was handed down. Which makes her anger at Nikki's secret romance more understandable - she was conned out of Brian McFadden!

5. Linzi and Anika have always been close.
At least some of Girl Thing are friends. Anika got a bit teary during the reunion, explaining that she always wanted people to like her and was worried that Nikki not warming to her might put the other girls off. "The only person that understood me was Linzi," she explained. And she repaid the favour...

Girl Thing member Linzi Martin on The Big Reunion

© ITV


6. Linzi had some seriously tough times and attempted suicide.
... Because Linzi really struggled after Girl Thing - she left the band when she became pregnant but things didn't work out with her daughter's father and she "hit rock bottom". Feeling like a "worthless piece of crap", she began drinking, taking drugs and attempted suicide: "I just didn't want to live at the time because I just couldn't cope with how things were and how I felt about myself." But Anika was there for her - Linzi moved to Holland to stay with Anika and her parents, and even now they're "bestest mates". So one good thing came out of Girl Thing, then...

7. On the other hand, Linzi and Michelle had some serious issues.
Michelle admitted during the reunion that she found Linzi "quite aggressive", while Linzi hit back that Michelle was snide and two-faced. In return, Michelle said she was sympathetic until Linzi threatened to "kick the s**t out of" her. "If I did, I did," Linzi shouted back, leaving Jodi's eyes practically popping out of her head. Nikki and Jodi stood up for Michelle against the 'two-faced' allegations, but it all became too much for her and she ran out of the room in tears, leaving Linzi doing some eye-rolling and saying she should be "grown up" about it all. God, someone get us some of that champagne. In the end though it all worked out quite nicely because Linzi and Michelle talked things through while sitting on swings. It's a known fact that you can't be angry on swings.

Girl Thing member Michelle Barber on The Big Reunion

© ITV


8. Jodi can be heartbreaking.
Jodi mostly stayed out of the arguments, but that didn't mean she wasn't a little bit heartbreaking. After the reunion at her house, she just sighed: "Nothing's changed. Everyone's the same." The next morning, she spoke to Kian about it and said they hadn't resolved it and that she was "petrified of getting to rehearsals and it not getting better". Blimey, that's a bit tragic.

9. The Big Reunion isn't just a bit of fun for Linzi.
Seriously, Kian, what were you thinking serving up all that champers? Things got a bit teary towards the end of Girl Thing's first reunion, as Linzi said she needed the show. "I live on a council estate. I've never had a wardrobe. I sleep on a mattress on the floor. That's how I f**king live. There are f**king holes in my doors. You don't understand how bad it's been. The only good thing about me is my voice. It's the only thing I've got." It all got a bit upsetting as everyone started crying, Michelle secretly admitted she doesn't need all this, Jodi tried to warn Linzi that there are "no guarantees" and she shouldn't put all her hopes on this, and Linzi said she has nothing else to put it on. "Can we cut please?" Jodi sobbed. Goodness me.

10. 5th Story have a lot of work to do.
Don't get us wrong - we are already obsessed with 5th Story. Their little sing-songs for vocal coach Yvie Burnett were amazing, and put them all together and we can't wait for their tracks. But with Kenzie missing some time after a family bereavement, and Kavana off a couple of days with illness ("We nearly called the dude from Vengaboys," Dane warns him), there's a lot for them to do...

5th Story - Adam Rickitt, Kenzie, Gareth Gates, Kavana and Dane Bowers - on The Big Reunion

© ITV


11. Adam Rickitt hates listening to himself sing (and the boys hate listening to him doing sexy-breathing).
You can't help but kind of love the way Adam Rickitt is open about lacking vocal talent: "I know I'm not the best singer in the world..." His main words in the booth recording the solid gold classic 'I Breathe Again' are "f**k", "s**t" and "piss", but he gets there in the end - only to hear it played back and basically chew his wrist off in embarrassment. Weirdly, he seems less embarrassed when he has to record the 'sexy breathing noises', but all of the other guys have amazing faces. "What's he doing in there?" Kenzie gasps. "He does sound like he's just about to lose something in his pants," Dane says. Thanks, Dane. As for Gareth's own breathing, well, the less of that there is the better frankly. I've never seen such gurning.

12. Kavana was not on his best form in the studio.
Having been off ill, Kavana wasn't quite on top of it when he got back to the guys, prompting some raised eyebrows and mutters. When he got into the studio to record his lead vocal on 'I Can Make You Feel Good', his "questionable honking" (in Andi Peters's words) forced Yvie to take him aside for a talk. And you know what? It turned out he was a) a bit nervous about performing for people who actually want to be there and b) he hates singing 'I Can Make You Feel Good'. "I need to fall in love with the song again," he said. We might cry. In the end though he sang it and everyone clapped and it was lovely. "I'm f**king sweating," Kavana gasped.

5th Story member Kavana on The Big Reunion

© ITV


13. Melanie Sykes was in the 'I Can Make You Feel Good' video.
Seriously? That was a thing? Was that a known thing? We're obsessed.

14. The biggest 5th Story tension may be between Kavana and, er, Gareth Gates.
While Kavana might have recorded his vocals, he then shot off to a gig leaving all the other guys grumbling about how they had all cleared their schedules. "It's not good enough," Dane complained, like a school teacher. But is there the most tension between Gareth and Kavana, like Dane suggested? "I don't hate Kavana," Gareth replied. "We're just very different. He's very loud, and I can't speak."

15. Girl Thing can get on quite well when they have a cuppa in front of them.
The girls had a 'second reunion' and it all went a bit better because there was less champagne involved. They all agreed that this was a chance for them to have some fun and all got on quite well. So that's nice.

16. Jodi Albert has 'history' with Ben from A1 and Dane Bowers.
This would be awkward, except that the history extends to a) going to the cinema with Ben once and b) Simon Cowell banning Dane from making a move because he wasn't good enough for her. Amazing.

Damage pose for The Big Reunion

© ITV


17. Even after Coree left Damage, there were further tensions to come.
There are apparently three separate 'factions' to Damage. Coree, out on his own. Jade and Andrez. And then Noel and Rahsaan. When Coree left Damage, the boys formed Cherry Blackstone but fell out over their musical direction. Yikes. Rahsaan didn't even want to speak to some of them - even when they tried to make contact. On the other hand, Andrez is hurt that Coree and Rahsaan didn't attend his wedding. So it looks like this reunion will be easy.

18. The real source of potential reunion tension is Coree.
"I don't want it to come across as us against him," Jade said, fairly. "But in actuality it is." Oh.

19. Kéllé off Eternal is Fatboy off EastEnders' agent.
Amazing.

What did you think of this week's episode of The Big Reunion? What did you learn? Let us know below!

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