Big Brother Canada 11’s premiere last night was, in short, a chaotic show.
It kicked off with a highly produced intro segment that included countless references to the season’s murder mystery theme—no, excuse me, “The Ultimate Mystery”—with a lot of emphasis on hidden clues and surprises to come.
Producers made those things sound like they’re just waiting for someone to find advantages or prizes within the hour, but if past seasons are any indication, the clues and surprises won’t be hidden by staffers until some point down the road, when the show needs an interest boost.
There were also glimpses of many of the habitat rooms in the “BBCan Manor,” which overall looks rather stylish and understated compared to some seasons. But Canada generally has better looking houses than USA.
They have a much more spacious area to work with, and usually go the extra mile as far as sticking to a theme and adding a ton of details throughout.
Even Arisa Cox’s stage was redone to include faux library windows and topiary plants, like any good murder mystery mansion might have out front.
The cast was introduced in groups of four, with quick-cut edits of their lives and hobbies. Then each group of four was brought to the stage and ushered inside the house with many more mentions of mysteries.
Kuzivakwashe “Kuzie” Mujakachi was in the first group, and she was the first of them to enter the house. I mention this because no first-in hamster has ever won a regular season of Big Brother Canada or USA. (Tamar Braxton did it in USA’s second celebrity season, but many consider the first-in curse to still be active, since celebrity BB is much shorter and has a smaller cast than civilian editions.)
Speaking of season length, Canada 11 will run for its usual ten weeks, as was mentioned several times during the premiere.
“Nearly 70 days” was also mentioned once: an odd way of saying 69 days, which it probably will be and has been since the fifth season—not counting the COVID-cancelled eighth season of course.
The only inklings of gameplay we saw on the premiere were the first group of four—Kuzie, Zach Neilson, Santina Carlson, Terrell “Ty” McDonald—agreed to not turn on each other and they solidified that with a four-way pinky-swear seconds after they went into the house. Shortly after that, fellow bro-jocks Zach and Ty agreed to team up. First Four alliances don’t tend to last long in BB, but bro-jock duos sometimes do.
The remaining three groups of four were then introduced and made their way into the house to start their season.
I never put much weight on the cast intro packages since they’re generally way too enthusiastic and self-promoting. Those packages are a weird blend of job interview and Instagram personas, full of bravado, and they often have nothing to do with what a person’s really like or how they’ll end up playing the game of Big Brother.
I like to wait until feeds start to decide if I like them or not, or if I think they’ll be interesting or dull, or good players, or problematic, or whatever.
But with no feeds, this season we’re stuck with whatever the producers and editors want us to see of someone. Sigh.
Of course we had some commentary and early Diary Room sessions with various of them talking about who they found attractive. BB Canada loves their showmances. I do not, so I didn’t pay attention to those bits. Anyway, they too were going off first impressions, which may or may not prove accurate.
When everyone was in, Arisa told them all to pair up for the first Head of Household competition. She also told them the pair that won the first part of the competition would then face off to determine which of them would be the first HOH.
And she told them there was a Dead Last twist, with the pair in last place also competing against each other later.
The loser of that would be automatically be nominated for eviction along with two others selected by the HOH.
Zach and Ty had a quick pantry discussion and competed together rather than pairing up with others as insurance against potentially becoming the Dead Last losing pair. They didn’t seem too worried about keeping their bro alliance totally secret.
That first competition was called Rough Around the Hedges, in which one person from each pair had to untie knotted “vines” to free up puzzle pieces, then thread a key up to their partner who was on a platform above them. The two then had to work together for the upstairs partner to wriggle down through a netting arrangement, and then they assembled their puzzle pieces together to form an invitation.
Santina partnered with John Michael “JM” Sosa and they finished first, so one of them will be the first HOH. That competition as well as the identity of the losing pair and their Dead Last competition will be on Thursday’s show.
How BBCAN11’s first week will play out
During the BBCAN11 premiere, Arisa took a moment for a land acknowledgement, naming the various First Nations tribes who’d lived and worked the land they were now standing on. Apparently a lot of Canadian shows do this, and I wish USA shows would as well.
The premiere was riddled with sponsor mentions, as usual. The sponcon included each of them getting gift bags with new outfits from WINNERS (the Canadian version of TJ Maxx/Marshalls), and the viewer safety vote is officially called Belair Direct Eviction Protection Insurance.
I said above I thought the habitat looked stylish but that doesn’t include the new Circle K room, which wasn’t shown on the premiere.
That room combined with the Wendy’s window in the pantry makes it feel as much like a highway services complex as a murder mystery mansion.
In good news, Arisa announced there would be no first-week eviction.
Wednesday’s premiere was actually Day 5 of the season: they moved in last Saturday. Canada usually boots someone on the second show, and the feeds normally wouldn’t start until after that show aired, so there was always one we never saw on feeds.
But again, no feeds, so no Week 1 eviction is actually kind of a mixed blessing, and will likely also require an extra double eviction or a triple eviction later on.
And to make things even more complicated, a viewer vote was announced to determine who should get immunity for the first eviction. That eviction will take place next Thursday, March 16.
So here’s the rundown for this first week (or first eviction cycle, since it’ll be nearly two weeks’ worth):
- The Head of Household will nominate two people, other than Dead Last loser and whoever wins the viewer vote.
- The Dead Last loser will be the third nominee.
- If the Dead Last loser wins the viewer safety vote, the next highest vote-getter will get the safety. That doesn’t really seem right to me, but here we are. The viewer safety winner can’t win future viewer safety votes, if any. (And of course those safety votes are sponsored, like most everything else.)
- The veto comp will be played by the three nominees plus two additional players picked by the HOH’s nominees, likely randomly.
- The veto winner can pull any of the three nominees off the block, and of course any nominee can use the veto on themself.
- If the veto is used, the HOH will select a replacement nominee. That includes the Dead Last nominee, another item which doesn’t seem right to me, but they didn’t ask me.
So come next Thursday, three nominees will be on the block no matter what. If there’s a tie vote, the HOH will break it.
There was no indication if this Dead Last/three nominees twist will continue after the first eviction, or for how long if so. It could probably have been executed a little better but overall it could be a good thing to prevent throwing comps. We’ll see how it pans out.
As of this writing, no Digital Dailies have been posted yet, but we’ll assume those in-house videos will be coming. Visit Hamsterwatch.com for how and where to find them when they arrive, along with other info about the show and cast.