Tomorrow night in a live twist, Big Brother is likely to reveal to the main housemates that the Other House exists and that Andrew and Ryan are on a secret mission to gain a place in the main house by trying to ensure that Laura is nominated for eviction.
We’ll gloss over the fact that housemates are clearly already 100% aware of all of this.
The question is “what will happen afterwards?” Big Brother has advertised this series as being a “brand new game” with the “rule book torn up”. The definition of a game is “a form of competitive activity or sport played according to rules.” So far, I can’t see any rules at all. With no rules, there is also no game.
Tuesday’s live twist is Big Brother’s opportunity to keep to their word. To do this, they MUST lay down the rules of the game. Questions that have to be answered include:
First – What does being an ‘Other’ actually mean? Okay, we imagine you can’t win, but there’s another 7 weeks of the game left and from what we know, it’s just housemates that can be evicted. So surely any good game player would sit in the Other House until the final week.. Then they have a pass to the final!
Second – How long will The Other House exist for? It’ll be great if it’s a full series thing with both houses jostling for position. But in recent years of Big Brother, launch twists generally get abandoned too quickly and I fear it’ll be the same this year, even if the second house isn’t completely abandoned.
Third – Will there be an actual fixed format in to picking the main housemates off? For this to be successful, there has to be a fixed format. Big Brother changing the rules each week means there are no rules. This is bad for a number of reasons, from viewer confusion and alienation to producer manipulation for who they want to stay and go.
One idea we would be excited to see would be a weekly challenge in the Other House, where the winner (or two winners?) get to complete in a “House Other vs House Mates” challenge. These Others can pick 4 (for example) House Mates to go against them in the challenge. If the Others can beat the House Mates, then they win a place in the house. The losers of the challenge become Others. The challenges can vary from week to week and can include endurance, physical and mental challenges, meaning in order to win, The Others will need to think tactically as to who best to pick to beat.
Alternatively, there can be a challenge as to which side of the house gets a housemate evicted each week. Otherwise the Other House is a far too safe place to be. A weekly challenge would take place, with the losing housemates having to nominate within their house and one being evicted at the end of the week.
One thing is for sure, no matter what happens, viewers need some clarification over what the hell is happening this series. Because, although the housemates are proving to be great television, it is the game itself that sets Big Brother apart from poorer reality show formats.