Warning: I tend to reference a lot of competitive reality shows in each of my blogs. In addition, I will be talking about some of the rumoured information floating around for this season. If you define either of these things as a spoiler, you will want to run away from this page immediately.
Besides my Big Brother Canada 2 podcasts and my rankings blog for Big Brother 2000, this is one of those rare times I discuss the US version of Big Brother.
Last year, I thought Battle of the Block was a decent concept. Big Brother US had not really played around with the concept of the HoH for many years, and I was intrigued by how players were going to adapt to this twist. Plus I tend to hate BB US episodes where the only thing they do is nominate two people at hour’s end, and thus the hour would be filled by empty strategic filler which puts viewers to sleep.
Furthermore, two additional players being called out means you have a higher percentage of players who are emotionally on edge every single week.
More players on edge = more drama and fighting = presumptuous boost in ratings.
Why else would you have a twist like theTRIPLE motherf–king EVICTION!!!
After approximately two months of play, it was clear that the twist was not working out as well as producers were hoping it would. Too many players were throwing it, and producers essentially put in place a solo Battle of the Block to ensure Frankie would survive (for some reason) it was evident the twist had run its course as a one-time experiment.
The losing HoH each week would be vulnerable to be nominated in the PoV ceremony, and the two people free of nomination were immune and would be two people guaranteed to influence the rest of the house to put up the losing HoH as revenge.
By the end of the season, it became an increasingly popular strategy to throw as many HoH competitions as you could during the first half of the game. Sure, intentionally losing HoH is nothing groundbreaking, but now every superfan and casual thought this was the ideal way to go.
Which leads us to Big Brother Canada 3. I remember going through every freakin’ bio as nearly all players stated they had no intention of winning a competition. This led to the most annoying and repetitive confessional cycle during the start of each new round.
“Look at me! Aren’t I such an amazing strategic player for how convincing I was when I dropped out of the comp?! Viewers, kneel before me because of my awesomeness!”
Yeah, I’m looking at you, Kevin and Jordan. The two guiltiest parties of this.
The only person who could pull this off with still being hilarious was this guy. What can I say? When I boast about somebody before the season even begins, I am bound to stick by him all the way through to the end.
In fact, the lack of effort being put into competitions became so extreme that Kevin won a HoH even though he was actively trying to lose.
“Aren’t I such an amazing strateg–oh, wait.”
Unless producers only pick recruits to be cast for this season (which they didn’t because Audrey is a member of the Online Reality Gaming community–she is one of us), you could very well be in a position where only a couple of people even want to be HoH each week. Those players will become targets, and could be evicted early on in the game.
Therefore, things could reach such an extreme that whoever wins HoH is the person who is the worst at throwing challenges.
And you may be saying “well, at least there’s the twins twist being brought back”.
Well, yeah. But look at Big Brother’s track record of week one twists that are supposed to last all season long. The twins twist in BB5 was the only time where the secret was kept, and this is because we were still in the Shapiro era where players weren’t able to read between the lines during their diary room sessions every single week.
We are in an era where information about what goes on inside the house is almost always going to be publicly available to all of the players left in the game. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing because everyone knows this going into the BB house, but producers should at least acknowledge lightning won’t strike twice with the Twins twist.
However, unlike the Twins Twist, the Battle of the Block may not be something which is resolved by the end of the first week.
How we all wish the Battle of the Block would be personified.
I should note the rumour is that the twins are nowhere near as identical as Adria & Natalie were in BB5. Given that BB5 is one of my favourite US seasons right up there with BB 3, I can understand why they cannot master finding twins who can simultaneously be deceptive for months concealing their identity and be worthy characters who can be interesting personalities on a TV show for 98 days (I would rant about how stupid it is that BB hyper-extends the length of each US season, but I’ll save that rant for another time).
But seriously, finding twins again who are identical and dynamic for viewers like Adria & Natalie for an American audience is no small feat. Even if they have had eleven years to search for a new pair.
Or if they are not going to be dynamic, at least cast twins who will make a series of foolish mistakes and utter ridiculous statements on a week-by-week basis.
Instead of resorting to other twists which have worked well in the past, Chenbot is forced to proclaim the Battle of the Block is a fan favourite twist. Maybe it’s the same people who voted Ozzy to win fan favourite in South Pacific, those who think Boston Rob and Russell are the greatest Survivor players of all time, the ones who want nothing more than to see Jet & Cord cloned and race against themselves for the next two thousand seasons on The Amazing Race, but those people are idiots.
And should idiots really get what they want?
“Oh my gravy, they should! Clone the yellow flashing lights too while you’re at it!”
But let’s be real, if nobody liked Battle of the Block the first time, it ain’t gonna work the second time. Even if Grodner thinks it could produce more drama and entertainment on paper.
The best part about BB US is that the format has become so inconsistent since BB 8 that they can essentially do whatever the hell they want. If fans hate a twist, they can use whatever arbitrary justification they like to end it after one week.
Hell, producers could say “Battle of the Block was the twist for week one. See what our twist is for week two!”
There. Grodner, I just gave you an out.
You can eliminate this twist and replace it with a week long promotion of Dan Gheesling’s book and air a repeated loop of all of the times he shouts in the diary room.
Why, you could even bring Peter Brown into the house for a week just to irritate all of your Canadian viewers.
They’ll forgive your decision as long as it is not “Peter Brown Presents: Battle of the Third Block” where you have three HoHs, and two pairs of nominees overthrow two of the HoHs.
In conclusion, Mikey Zeroe of TAR 26 summed it up best. Take it away, Mike: