Big Brother Canada’s newest season is heading out of this world. (Figuratively speaking, of course.) The twists are grander and the competition has been touted to be the toughest one yet. Sixteen houseguests have entered the game for the next 10 weeks for the chance to win it all. That’s a simple enough premise to understand, and one that has been adopted for most seasons. Though, there have been some changes implemented for the fifth season, particularly a new house theme and a familiar set of faces joining the cast.
I like the new look of the house. The casino of Big Brother Canada 4 was stripped away and replaced with a new sci-fi appeal. Instead of the main door, the houseguests must now traverse a staircase that leads them to a spaceship which then leads directly into the house. The walls are colorful, the nomination room was refitted to look like a captain’s chair, and the doors look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Even the Have-Not room was shifted in reverse to become something from the prehistoric times. These are all esthetic changes, however, as the main layout of the house stayed the same. The house can only change so much.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the new look and it’s good to see them follow the direction of Big Brother U.S. by changing the theme each season. The structure of the house obviously can’t change, so it’s expected that certain things would return each year. I would just hope that the producers will surprise us this year with a secret room or another area within the structure that we don’t know about.
In terms of the houseguests, it’s split between eight newbies and eight veterans. Despite being previously speculated by fans, there is no overall season twist this year (so far) forcing both groups against each other. However, even with no twist involved, it’s expected that these groups would target each other early on. Similar to the twist of Big Brother 13 U.S., there is a clear divide between these players. The veterans are knowledgeable and have realized they need to play together in the beginning – they have experienced this game before and the act of losing – while the newbies are learning as they go along.
In the first two episodes in Week #1 (the premiere and eviction), the veterans already demonstrated their experience over the newbies. I was impressed with Sindy’s ability to manipulate Karen into nominating two strong male newbies instead of a veteran. This isn’t an easy task, especially when the game is so easily split down the middle. Kevin nearly got nominated if it wasn’t for Sindy. Cassandra and Gary also performed well by diverting attention to Sindy and making her look untrustworthy in both Ika’s and Karen’s eyes. Sindy went out of her way to manipulate and in the long run, this move will help their games and tarnish Sindy’s. Though, I don’t think the veterans will turn against each other for a few weeks.
What is going on with the newbies? Have they ever watched Big Brother before?! This group has been the easiest to crack. In the few short scenes we got with them (it was barely any for the first week), they went into different directions. As I mentioned above, there is clearly a divide of eight former players and eight new players – the former players most likely have past relationships outside of the house. The fact that Karen, who looked promising in the beginning after winning Head of Household, was easily convinced to nominate two newbies is shocking. And to justify it by going back-and-forth with an idea to “maybe” backdoor Kevin was mind-boggling.
The problem with Karen’s big plan was math! She nominated two newbies and even if a veteran was named as a replacement nominee, that would still be 7 vs. 7. And since she is the HOH she can’t vote, so now that number is 6 vs. 7. The veterans could outnumber the newbies and easily vote someone out if they planned. I don’t understand this game plan. It’s sloppy strategy and it shows their lack of knowledge. This move would be fine if alliances were more defined – it’s only the first week.
I’m not a big fan of the safety twist voted by the public. It’s similar to the Golden Key twist of Big Brother 13 U.S. and it will work against Neda in the long run. She will have to debate heavily with the jury to prove that having safety from eviction for many rounds still put her at risk. I’m glad that Neda is safe – she’s one of my favorites. However, why even bother with a vote? This was clearly favoritism to the veterans to keep one of them around to the jury phase. The newbies didn’t have a built in audience (maybe Dillon since he’s a professional athlete?), but the veterans did from their past seasons. The balance was completely thrown off.
Mark’s eviction is surprising. In a normal season of Big Brother, he could’ve easily slid into the jury phase with a showmance and a solid alliance. Things didn’t work out that way and he got the boot. I think the decision was based on physical potential instead of likeability. The players were split down the middle between him and Demetres – anyone could’ve gone home in the first week. Mark was simply the unlucky one.
If Mark’s eviction is any indication for the rest of Big Brother Canada 5, the newbies may need to get their act together. It would be upsetting to see the players get picked off one after the other against the more experienced veterans. While the first week was too surprising, I hope there is a shift in power and shakes up the game. Let’s hope that it happens soon!