Did Big Brother Canada 7 fail to live up to the hype? After a season controlled by one powerful alliance, that outcome seems to be accurate. The Pretty Boys – a secret alliance made up of four men – ran through the other players with little challenge or hurdles. We as viewers watched as these four players controlled every eviction vote, won the majority of challenges, and manipulated the other houseguests into doing everything the alliance wanted. The outcome is similar to The Brigade of Big Brother 12; however, the only difference with The Brigade was that the other players put up a big fight before being blindsided. No one was a match against The Pretty Boys … and it resulted in one of the worst Big Brother seasons ever.
Big Brother Canada 7 had a great setup to be an amazing season. As discussed during the review for Week #1, the secret agent theme was fun, mysterious and visually stunning. While the house had a minimalistic style to it, the special effects and lighting felt like a scene pulled from the screen of a James Bond movie. The production team put in a lot of effort to show how Big Brother Canada is both visually and technologically advanced than the other Big Brother iterations around the world. And as a fan of spy movies, I was very impressed.
In addition to the style, the initial selection of houseguests made this an enticing season. Big Brother Canada leads the charge in cast selections by picking a diverse group of people that accurately represent the country. Big Brother Canada 7 had a non-binary houseguest, an Aboriginal houseguest, several houseguests who emigrated from different countries, a mix of men and women, and players from across the country from British Columbia to Newfoundland. (Big Brother US wishes they had this diverse of a cast!) This group gave us a lot of hope for what this season could’ve become. Unfortunately, our expectations didn’t match reality.
The problem with players, however, is that you can’t accurately tell how they’ll perform until they’re actually in the house. It’s the risk the production and casting makes in hopefully creating an engaging group. Arguably, the team took a huge risk by selecting Adam, a player who wanted to create a Brigade-like alliance with three other men. Initially, fans scoffed at the idea of this alliance because no one thought it would work twice. Even I thought the other houseguests wouldn’t let this group continue and that Adam would be a pre-jury boot; my predictions were shattered. The alliance by itself isn’t bad (others tried to mimic the formation to varying successes), but it was the lack of gameplay from the other houseguests that hammered the nail down in the coffin.
Besides The Pretty Boys, did anyone actually come to play? The majority of the strategic gameplay came from Mark, Adam, Dane, and Anthony while the rest were sprinklings from other players who got the boot early on. Kailyn talked a big game and it got her evicted. Chelsea tried to form a voting bloc against the boys, but no one wanted to bite. Eddie started as a strategic threat until he folded after a failed vote. Sam tried to make moves, but she ended up targeting the wrong people. The rest of the group included a bunch of floaters who sat back and let the game play around them because they couldn’t win any challenges. I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of houseguests were recruits who barely knew about Big Brother Canada. Their lack of passion and urgency was evident.
Beyond the lack of gameplay, the problem with Big Brother Canada 7 was the sloppy gameplay. These houseguests made many emotional and ill-sighted moves that hurt their games more than helping. To name a few mind-boggling moves:
- Laura telling Adam that he needed to nominate and evict Sam, even though Adam was starting a showmance with Sam
- Maki telling Dane (the HOH) that if he won the next HOH, he would target and evict him
- Chelsea backing down from campaigning against Kyra because she was emotionally beaten down
- No one fighting for the Blood Power of Veto, and then when Kyra won it, they didn’t use it to take out one of The Pretty Boys, even though they suspected the boys were in an alliance
- As HOH, Sam going after Kiki when Kiki wanted to work with her
- Mark talking a big game about turning on his alliance but instead nominating two floaters in Damian and Estefania, who previously had good relationships with him
- Dane voting out his two non-TPB alliances in Damian and Estefania
- The house not voting out Dane at Final 5 when they had the chance!
By no means is everyone a strategic genius; houseguests make bad moves all the time. But, the frequency of these moves and the short-sightedness of the overall picture were surprising to see firsthand. If Big Brother Canada 7 had more superfans, some of these issues could’ve been avoided.
When it came to the Final 3, only two of the houseguests had a case to make to the jury. Dane evicting Kyra was shocking because he had the perfect goat to bring to the end and guarantee his victory – Kyra did nothing during Big Brother Canada 7 except be manipulated by stronger players. When Kyra got evicted, I was shocked by their angry response. People get evicted every week and “being lied to” is part of the game. They’re probably angry to not have won the second place prize of $20,000, but Kyra didn’t earn it by any means.
Anthony might be one of the best strategic players in Big Brother history. He controlled every vote, and he easily manipulated many players into doing exactly what he wanted. If he had won a few challenges, on the other hand, he could’ve had the resume to convince the jury to win the game. However, his social game was less to be desired. Anthony didn’t make the deep genuine connections that Dane had, and even when people knew he orchestrated the moves, he didn’t have their respect. Without either of those elements, he could never win. Plus, his jury answers were terrible, and he quit during the second part of the final Head of Household challenge!
Arguably, Dane played the best game of the season. He won MANY challenges, orchestrated most of the eliminations, and he had great relationships with every jury member. Plus, his social game had the likability factor to win anyone over. Him winning by unanimous vote was a surprise, but it made a lot of sense based on all the above. Dane will go down as the third person in North American Big Brother history to win by unanimous vote: Dan from Big Brother 10, Kevin from Big Brother Canada 5, and Tamar Braxton from Celebrity Big Brother 2.
Big Brother Canada 7 started with fire before flickering out into smoke by the season’s end. Once there was only five houseguests left, a jolt of drama came back into the mix, but by that point, it was already too late. Nobody could anything to stop a Pretty Boy victory; after everything we witnessed, this alliance deserved the win. If Big Brother Canada comes back for another season, production needs to assess the damage and look for ways to fix the hot mess this season became. History cannot repeat itself again. Hopefully, the damage hasn’t already been done to course correct.