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.

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