Double Double, Toil And Trouble

First of all, Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it.

So this week, here’s what has happened in BB Canada land: Suzette Amaya was finally evicted Thursday night on what I like to call the “jury bubble,” where the last non-juror is evicted.  Suzette seemed to me to maximize her stay in the game, winning Head of Household once, being vetoed by Canada to stave off an eviction before finally going home on the 36th day.

For the second week in a row, not one but two houseguests will be evicted.  Emerald “Topaz” Brady won her first HOH crown in the proceeding competition, putting up Anuj “AJ” Burman and Andrew Monaghan as nominees.  Alec Beall won the ensuing POV competition, and chose to keep the nominations as they were.  In the closest eviction vote of the season so far, it was Burman who wound up being evicted 4-2, with Andrew Monaghan remaining in the house to win his 2nd HOH crown of the season.  He has since nominated Gary Levy and Topaz Brady as nominees.

Beyond Andrew’s nominations, we have yet to know what has happened in the house because the Slice Network has decided in its infinite wisdom to take the live feeds down for most of the past three days.  I really don’t understand why the powers at the Slice Network that be want to kill their own show by not making it available for all of us to view at all times.

I don’t suppose that it has occurred to producers not only in Canada and the United States as well that you could probably show competitions and whatnot on the feeds and add some footage to the TV shows to get people to watch both.  But as a live feed, this first Canada-wide version of Big Brother leaves much to be desired.

The Myth Of The 24/7 Feed

Big Brother Canada doubled the pleasure and doubled the fan this past Thursday with two evictions taking place in an action packed hour.  Thomas Plant was the first evicted, followed up by his “showmance” partner Liza Stinton before the hour ended.  The HOH title went from Gary Levy, over to Andrew Monaghan for the “week within an hour” HOH cycle, ending with Alec Beall being the present house leader.  Suzette Amaya and Anuj “AJ” Burman have each again been nominated, with Emmett Blois winning the POV for the second straight time.  Odds are that Amaya finally gets evicted, with the remaining nine competitors either serving as jurors or the two finalists when the game ends in a month or so.

The topic of the so-called 24/7 feeds and their censorship has been a common thread since the botched HOH competition took place back on March 15th when Emmett Blois appeared to win an HOH competition, but was found to have cheated and was stripped of the title shortly afterward.  Many of us in the social media felt that since the cheating tooking place in the “light of day” on Canada’s Slice Network, the HOH competition to find a replacement should have also been shown in a likewise manner.

The producers of the Canadian Big Brother did not feel as we do.  In fact, it seems to this reporter that the censorship of the feeds in the interests of giving the accompanying TV show material has been much more liberal with its exclusion then BB USA has in recent years. (And I hope we’re not giving BB USA any ideas because of this for the new season beginning in June.) But there is a silver lining here, as the Canadian BB has sponsors linked arm and arm with the so-called 24/7 feeds.  So if you’re in the mood to complain, may I suggest companies such as Chevrolet Canada, Ramada Worldwide, and the Brick Warehouse?

I’m sure that if you sent them a polite E-mail or two, they’d appreciate the input.  And remember: little things in life tend to go the longest way.

Control Is An Illusion

The facts of the events in the last week of Big Brother Canada are these: Thomas Plant was the HOH when we left things off last Sunday, and had also won the Power of Veto in that cycle, keeping nominees Suzette Amaya and Anuj “AJ” Burman in tact for the eviction vote.  But a twist was revealed where viewers could vote to save either Suzette or AJ from eviction, although the way the twist was advertised, it was unclear until eviction day how the vote would work within the framework of the eviction show this Thursday past.

That open question was made clear on eviction night, as Suzette was saved from a very likely eviction.  The “save” worked as if the viewers held a de facto Power Of Veto, so HOH Thomas had to immediately name a replacement, and chose Aneal Ramkissoon as the new nominee.  The house then evicted Aneal, turning apparent safety into an immediate eviction.

And here’s where things got interesting.  During the contest to find the new Head of Household called “The Bee’s Knees” there were several incidents of cheating from four different houseguests during the competition.  It originally appeared that Emmett Blois had won the HOH crown, but several viewers went on social media outlets, namely Twitter, and observed that Emmett had violated the rules of the competition.  After the feeds went dark for several hours, it was revealed that Emmett had indeed cheated, as had Alec Beall, Jillian MacLaughlin, and Talla Rajaei.  Therefore, Emmett was stripped of his HOH title, and he and the other three culprits became Have-nots and will have to eat slop for the week without having their rights lost by competition.

A new HOH competition was held, won by Gary Levy.  In nominations, Gary went at the pecking order of the house since the game began three weeks and change earlier by putting up Thomas Plant and Liza Stinton.  Alec won the POV competition and may likely save either one of them when that ceremony is held.

On to my thoughts…

I’m not a big fan of these audience participation competitions.  As was the case in Big Brother 14 last summer, when the question was whether or not the four “coaches” should enter the game as active participants, the question of who to save is misleading.  The question only produces a result that is applied in way that isn’t revealed to the audience until the eviction night.  It’s like asking your spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend whether or not he/she likes eggs so you can later demand that they make you a cheese omelette.

Secondly, it should be noted that in a very roundabout way, because those of us in the social media saw the cheating going in either on Canada’s Slice Network or on YouTube, the feeds were down most of Friday.  If we all saw this and said nothing, would we have been so deprived?  Again, it was a parallel to BB14 and the cheating allegations made against Frank Eudy and Mike “Boogie” Malin during a couple of POV competitions.

That’s why I say control is an illusion.  Whether it’s BB USA or BB Canada, what we say, however right it seems to be, always seems to have a series of unintended consequences.  And as long as the viewers come back for more, the producers will continue to get away with it.

Finishing Unfinished Business

If you haven’t followed Big Brother Canada at all the past eight days, you would think nothing had changed.  But we’re now in the third HOH cycle, not the second one.  Thomas Plant is the reigning Head of Household now, not Jillian McLaughlin.  But yet again, the nominees are Suzette Amaya and Gary Levy.

How did we get here?  Well, we have 20 year old Danielle Alexander of Calgary to thank for that.  The aspiring actress came up with the bright idea to put herself up for nomination as a replacement for Gary, who won his way off of the block in the second HOH cycle by winning the Power Of Veto competition last week.  Enter Danielle, exit Gary, exit Danielle.

Miss Alexander, who may or may not be heard from again on TV or on the silver screen (good luck with that, by the way), is the latest Big Brother contestant in North American to fall into what I like to call the Volunteer Trap.  When you volunteer to be a nominee, you have a 50/50 chance at best of being evicted.  It has happened time and time again in the US version of the show, and sure enough, it happens in the Great White North as well.

Last night, Thomas Plant consolidated his power for the week by winning the Power of Veto competition as well, which should lock in Amaya and Levy as the two nominees for the week with no chance of either of them getting paroled.  With Amaya recorded squabbling at the Diary Room during the week past about being in the house, I look for her to go home after Thursday.  While the houseguests almost to a person all want her gone, don’t underestimate the premise of the producers wanting her gone as well.  It should be a cakewalk.

All’s Fair In Love And War

The recent developments in Big Brother Canada are these, but I warn you that some of the information I’m about to reveal has yet to air on the TV shows as of yet.  So, if you don’t want to know, you may want to stop reading at this point.

Kat Yee was the first houseguest evicted by a vote of 11-1, with only Liza Stinton voting to evict Emmett Blois.  After that, the second HOH competition was determined in a more conventional way, won by Jillian MacLaughlin, the Nova Scotia teacher.  Jillian selected Aneal Ramkisoon and Gary Levy as the nominees, with Gary winning Power of Veto on Saturday.  As of this writing, the veto meeting has yet to take place, where it’s assumed that Gary will veto himself and Jillian will name a replacement nominee.

The show is not off to a good start.  The live eviction show that aired on Slice at 10pm Thursday night was actually taped a couple of hours ahead of time, despite advertisements to the contrary on their broadcasts during the first show the night before.  Whenever BB USA did a “live to tape” eviction show, the word “live” was never used during those particular broadcasts.  There’s a difference between being misleading and being deceptive, and BB Canada didn’t take long to cross that line at all.

The big story in the early going is that there are three couples in the house presently, the two biggest of those are the all Nova Scotia couple Emmett and Jillian, and the east and west pairing of Topaz (real name: Emerald Brady) and Alec Beal.  Much like BB2 when Dr. Will Kirby and Shannon Dragoo had the game’s first showmance, here’s Alec doing likewise.  Time will tell if this is something Alec planned or just happened, or a little of both.

Meanwhile, Jillian and Emmett have gotten so cozy with each other that the two had an in-game make out session late Saturday night, with Emmett eager to please the reigning HOH and Jillian not all that interested in rounding the bases with the young farmer just yet.  That in itself will prove an interesting in-house dynamic.

With all of these couples in the house, it should prove to make the middle of the game and beyond interesting.  Not too infrequently the winner of the game is a fragment of a in-game relationship.  We’ll see if that plays out as the game moves on.