Big Brother Fandom

By: Jason Sheppard

The hit summer reality series has local fans excited for the 20th installment, and for new schemes and showmances


When Big Brother began in the summer of 2000, it was unstructured, featured little gameplay and a host (Julie Chen) nobody had ever heard of who spent entire episodes discussing the contestant’s behaviour with celebrity psychologist Dr. Drew. This first season of Big Brother was a very different show. 

By season two, this re-tooled version featured players with outgoing personalities; Chen was energized, Dr. Drew became Dr. “who?” and the gameplay and scheming started less than 10 minutes in. Audiences responded enthusiastically – this was the Big Brother fans wanted.   

Sleep & Scheme

The competition series features 16 strangers all living in the same house for three months with absolutely no access to the outside world and nothing to do but pass the time sleeping, eating, competing and scheming. The houseguest who manages to get everyone else out ahead of them and makes it to the end, wins a prize of $500,000.

Now with the 20th season upon us, it continues to gain new fans. The Big Brother Ultimate Fan Page on Facebook now has close to 100,000 members, including some local ones.  

Shelly Newhook is such a fan of Big Brother she actually tried out for the series – four times. “My favourite part of the show is the challenges because they are competitive, exciting and they test you to your limits,” said Newhook. There is also another aspect to the show that keeps her watching; “The showmances, because I love how they find love at the end of this. They become enemies in the house but by the end of it all they become friends.” 

Newhook is hoping to make some BB friends of her own as she plans to try out once again in September. 

“I’m hoping to make it on this year and find my true love,” she laughs.  

Lacey Reid, owner/stylist at Razor’s Edge Hair Studio, is another fan. “I have been a fan of Big Brother now for six or seven years, but the past few have been a little bit more fun and exciting. I watch both U.S. & Canada shows!” she said. “It’s just one of those TV shows that you come home to watch because you know social media will blast it all over! I truly love watching this show,” Reid adds. 

A Different Competition

For the past five seasons, Reid has been holding a Big Brother pool where the names of the houseguests are placed in a bag and the player who holds the name of the eventual show’s winner, wins a pot of money. Reid enjoys watching the show as an event. “Me, my sister and a few friends get together on show nights for lunch and Big Brother!

Abigail Chippett began watching the show during its later seasons because of her friends. “I actually got into Big Brother around season 10. My friend suggested we watch together since none of us had seen the show,” she said. “I ended up loving it. I loved the different competitions and how they play to both mental and physical strength, and I love the strategic side of the game, really using your personality and people skills to get ahead,” Chippett added. “But what I liked most is that watching it was something my friends and I really did together.”

Fans are sure to enjoy Big Brother season 20. And yes, Reid will once again be starting her pool. 

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