World First: Some twists BB08 could make their own

OK, while of course something completely original would be preferred, despite what some people think I don’t have a problem with them nicking (good) ideas from other Big Brother’s. The problem I’ve had is they almost always screw them up.

So a few ideas – some which I think might work, some which wouldn’t – and one in particular I’d really not like to see, but it’s the sort of thing BB Aus would probably do…

So we’ll begin with that one then…

The Family
Italy put a family in the house this year – a 50-something mum and dad and their three sons. The three sons were automatically up for eviction during the first week, though I’m not sure whether they had to keep their family connections a secret or whether they were up front with it.

Now, obviously we all know in the last couple of years Australia have loved their relationship twists and this is probably the ultimate one. I think it needs to be strangers this year, but if done, I think they need to be upfront in putting the family in and see how the HMs react to that family, rather than the whole secret relationship twist yet again.

BBUSA’s latest twist sees the houseguests paired with their “perfect soulmate” and then play the game as pairs – being nominated together and evicted together. Throw in one pair of exes, plus one secret couple split into two different partnerships, and leave to boil. The jury’s still out on whether the twist was a success – IMO it’s been a bit of a slow burner, but an interesting twist.

I think if BB Aus did this they’d probably only do it up until the first eviction – but really to get the benefit out of the twist it needs to run a little longer.

Celebrity Hijack
I mentioning this more for the sake of mentioning it than anything else, but the premise is a series of celebrities step into the Big Brother role, talking to the housemates, chatting to them in the diary room and setting tasks.

This was an experimental series in the UK with a new celeb every day for about three weeks – and as an experiment it kind of works. However, as a full 100-day series I don’t think it would, and I think it strays too far from the “no outside contact” principle to be includes as just a one-week twist.

Secret Story
From France last year, each housemate goes into the house with a secret and the mission to identify each others secrets. Each secret is worth cash and when you think you know a secret, you can confront them and if correct, win their cash.

Secrets included being triplets, a married couple, a transexual, the son of a celebrity, an “insider”, being in contact with aliens and having OCD.

.. and now two classic formats which often crop up for discussion prior to each series.

Head of Household

OK, most are probably familiar with the US format where each week the “houseguests” compete for the role of Head of Household, aka the HoH. The HoH then nominates two people for eviction.

The houseguests then compete again for the Power of Veto, which enables the winner to save a nominee (if they choose) and force the HoH to nominate a replacement. Then at the end of the week the other houseguests vote for which nominee should be evicted and the process starts again.

When two remain, the last seven evictees vote for the winner.

Now, some people view the FNL twist as a nod to the format but IMO it’s a poor mans HoH, though last year the prize was effectively the Veto. However, it was a mistake IMO not to allow the winner to leave the nominees unchanged – which could cause just as many problems as them saving a nominee. Giving the nominees a week to think about the changes the FNL winner had made also would surely have been better than telling them just minutes prior to the eviction.

Back to HoH though and if Australia adapted it I’m sure it would be more along the Brazilian lines, keeping the public vote. Basically the HoH chooses the one nominee, with the other housemates voting for a second before they go head to head in the public vote, though I suspect if Australia did it they’d keep the three nominees so probably have the HoH choose one and the other HMs choose a further two.

and finally:
Big Brother: The Battle

If BB08 were to borrow any twist this is the one I really think could work for Australia. The concept is pretty simple – divide the house into “rich” and “poor”, with all the luxuries such as the kitchen, bathroom, pool, gym etc. – and the week’s food budget, available to the “rich” housemates, while the “poor” housemates have to live in more basic surroundings with an outside toilet, outdoor showers and an outdoor stove – with just the bland basics to live on.

It’s a very visual twist which can be adapted in many ways. Who lives where would be a great new focus for the challenges on Friday Night Live – either with big team challenges or a series of head to head battles, while further challenges during the week could give individual housemates the chance to swap sides.

Nominations too can remain as they are, or be split so housemates vote separately in the “rich house” and the “poor house”, with one or two from each side going up for eviction.

It’s a twist which BB Aus has never really explored – it was used for a week in BB04, but that missed the whole idea. It’s when people have been stuck on the poor side for two or three weeks the format really develops – knowing it’ll all be over in a few days doesn’t have the same effect.

However, it’s also an example of how Australia should be adopting twists and making them into something new, as they did with the two houses in BB03 – which basically saw each begin as a “poor house” and then merge into a “rich house”.

So what do you think – would you like BB Aus to try any of these ideas this year, or is there something else from elsewhere you think could work?

Is it a good time to do something that might be new to Australia, but has been tried and tested elsewhere, or for the revamp to work does any twist have to be truly original, not just for the benefit of international fans like myself, but for the Australian audience as a whole?

Share your views in the BBBA forum.

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