One of the big legends of darts usually doesn't miss a PDC Major - Eric Bristow. He is more or less part of the press room's equipment as he works as spotter and from time to time comments a match as well. But he was not there during the Grand Slam - at least not in person.
As probably a lot of people know Eric is in the jungle at the moment - or more exact - in a firm camp at the edge of the jungle in Murwillimbah in Australia. There he is on of the stars in the show "I am a celebrity - Get me out of there". There exists a German version of the show as well called "Ich bin ein Star, holt mich hier raus"... As the UK original the German show is televised from the camp in Murwillimbah in Australia.
The show exists since 2002. At first she was produced by Granada TV. Now ITV is responsible. A group of stars pass a few weeks in the camp together and those can collect points by fulfilling tasks.
Bessie Bristow in the 12.edition of the show some actors, entertainers and an active politician moved around a week ago into the camp and their activities can be followed on itv. So far nothing really dramatically has happen but most people think Bristow has done well so far. He won the last challenge together with Colin Baker though I almost can't imagine a rapping Bristow.
The show was of course followed in the press room as well and on Wednesday - my last day at the Grand Slam - people were not happy that instead of the show the football match between Sweden and England was shown though Zlatan Ibrahimovic certainly delivered a great show.
On Wednesday the last group matches of Groups E-H were played. Only Gary Anderson had at this time already qualified for the next round and only Adrian Lewis was already eliminated. All other players still had a chance. In Andy Hamilton's group a nine-dart shoot out could have happened and once again Hamilton would have been involved. But Hamilton was lucky and qualified without it.
Adrian Lewis met in his last group match Gary Anderson who again wore another shirt of his collection. Lewis seemed to be changed and he managed a close win showing a solid performance. The result didn't change anything - Lewis stayed eliminated and Anderson had still progressed. More thrilling was the next match as Brendan Dolan needed a good win over Barrie Waites to progress. He defeated the rather desperate Barrie and then had to wait for the other match of the group to be sure. But first the BDO fought one another as Wesley Harms and Martin Phillips met. Wesley Harms was a 5:2 winner and progressed at his debut in the second round. It might have been close for him would have Terry Jenkins beaten Wes Newton but that didn't happen. For Terry Jenkins it was just one of those tournaments.
The Grand Slam winner Raymond van Barneveld sent the local hero Wayne Jones home with the bus, at least normally Wayne Jones uses the bus.
John Part's win over Tony O'Shea mixed up Group E. Part suddenly was top of the table - he really had improved with every match. Andy Hamilton to the delight of his wife defeated Paul Nicholson with 5:4. There were a lot of wives and girlfriends around in Wolverhampton! So no nine-dart shoot out was necessary and Brendan Dolan could calm down and return into his hotel room, he and Andy Hamilton progressed.
The last match of the evening brought a surprising defeat from Christian Kist by Mark Walsh, who really hadn't played well before despite his wife was with him. Now when he already was eliminated there was no pressure on him any longer and suddenly his darting capabilities returned.
After the group phase half of the BDO players were out of the tournament. Jan Dekker and Martin Phillips hadn't played well while Tony O'Shea was rather unlucky and lost two very close matches with 4:5. Waites, Harms and Kist had progressed and shown really convincing performances. I was rather impressed by Kist and Harms.
But even now after the group phase I had no idea who would be the winner of the tournament...