Here’s what the eviction stage will look like

BB seating chartUpdate: The new catwalk platform has mysteriously disappeared from the seating chart on the ticketing website. Too little too late for a cover up though, see the original chart and images below!

Tickets for the Big Brother launch night went on sale today and the seating chart has given us a glimpse of how the eviction stage will work.

Evictions and upcoming specials will return to the Dreamworld Auditorium. The biggest change is the removal of the “eviction plank” that led evictees through the centre of the crowd. Evictees will now enter via the side of the auditorium, on a 90 degree catwalk.

Walking past the front of the stage they will then have the chance to stop and pose on a small circular platform, wave to the crowd, tv cameras (and possible photographers below) before moving up to the main stage for the eviction interview. A ‘VIP area’ will have the best viewing area of the ‘pose platform’.

Behind Big Brother user marquisite has created this composite image (left) to show how the new catwalk and VIP seating will look on TV:

BB catwalk

We’ve already made a song and dance about how much producers have been “borrowing” from Big Brother UK, but this is no different. The catwalk idea has come straight from Britain (image on the right above).

Here’s how they do it (eviction happens towards the end of the video):

New promos hint of UK copycat house

Big Brother Promo comparison

A fresh round of Big Brother promos have begun airing this weekend, featuring Sonia Kruger emerging from the Big Brother eye and floating about on some flashy CGI stairs.

She’s decided to keep her wardrobe conservative by wearing the same outfit as the previous shuffle promo… or more likely both promos were shot on the same day. :-)

While Sonia doesn’t tell us anything new other than the usual commercial TV guff, the ad does give some hints of where the season is heading. It’s a frame-by-frame copy of a Big Brother UK ad that aired last year (watch both below). Channel Nine and Southern Star have already looked to the UK for inspiration on previous promos and even the Big Brother logo itself.

So with the new season being heavily influenced by our British cousins, what could we potentially expect?

  • When it switched to a new channel, BBUK canned the live internet feeds. This is looking likely to happen on BBAU.
  • Evictions are held next to the house and involve a large crowd who greet (or boo) the evicted housemate as soon as they come out.
  • BBUK’s companion show “Bit on the side” airs later in the night and includes panelists and callers who discuss the latest house events. There’s a chance the 9pm ‘adult’ show on GO! channel will follow this format.
  • Some interesting recent tasks on BBUK may find their way to BBAU. One of particular note involved a housemate wearing an electric shock suit.

What do you want to see on the new Big Brother? Discuss the show in our fan forum.

What have they been up to?

It’s been more than ten years since Big Brother first aired on Australia television. What have your favourite and not so favourite housemates been up to since their time on the show? We’ll look into the post-show lives of various BB personalities over the coming weeks…

Saxon, housemate in 2003
Saxon on DUI chargesOops, in 2010 Daniel ‘Saxon’ Small was charged with DUI offences in Manly. He blew a blood alcohol reading of 0.062 before telling cops he had consumed three bourbon and cokes at his girlfriend’s house and no food. Because Saxon had a previous drink driving conviction he was fined $880 and had his licence disqualified for 12 months. Yikes!

Jessica, housemate in 2002
Jessica Hardy can’t get enough of reality television. After her stint on Big Brother season 2, then her own reality TV show where she married fellow housemate Nathan “Marty” Martin (now since divorced), she is set to appear on the current season of ‘Dating in the Dark’, airing on FOX8. Jess will be a contestant on the show, where ‘daters’ meet each other in a pitch black room and then decide whether they want to continue a relationship when the lights are turned on. A little known fact is that Jess was also a finalist on Channel 7’s “The Mole” in 2001. Reality TV junkie?

Jemma, housemate in 2001
Gemma with her chocolateJust last month Jemma Gawned was getting press for her ‘Naked Treaties’ food business, which specialises in healthy chocolates and cakes. Her “raw vegan, certified organic, gluten and dairy free” products are on the verge of breaking into markets in USA, Hong Kong and Singapore. Oh, and did we mention in 2005 and 2006 she dated Daniel MacPherson?

Gretel Killeen, host 2001-2007
Gretel Killeen show posterAnd what about the original Big Brother mum, Gretel Killeen? Aside from her usual plethora of public speaking engagements for various charities and not profits, most recently she’s touring an improv comedy show titled “Gretel Killeen’s Looking for Love in all the Wrong Underpants“. She’s also finishing off a movie version of her novel “Jimmy and Gret Don’t Do Sex” which she directs and stars in. Busy lady! And what does she think of Big Brother nearly five years after her departure? Well, newspapers have reported she is coaching new host Sonia Kruger, but Gretel now simply refers to Big Brother as a “rather controversial show” of her past.

Stay tuned, we’ll be revisiting other Big Brother personalities in the weeks leading up to the 2012 season.

Auditions: the complete process

The public side of the Big Brother housemate hunt has come to a close, and while most of the auditionees will be keeping quiet about their experience based on the strongly worded contracts they all had to sign, we can reveal the full audition process.

Round One
Once your details and ID are checked each potential housemate is given their audition number with a strike of highlighter pen through it. The strikes are made in one of three colours and in different patterns which mean different things. The patterns were always either // or = or / or -. It is unclear what each strike means, but it seems to have some correlation between what the registration staff view on their computer screen and what they want to tell your audition conductor about your application.

From here you’re led to the holding station where you wait as groups of 20 to 40 people are called through at a time, once through you’re split into your colours (as marked with highlighter pen), with all groups in the same room at the same time. Your group, consisting of 10 to 12 applicants has one auditioner and at least one assistant auditioner who collects forms, watches from the sidelines and whispers in the ear of your audition conductor. You then complete some of the following tasks, which vary in each city:

  • Warm up: Dance like a ballerina, roll on the floor, be angry at someone, yell at the other group, cluck like a chicken, howl like a wolf, “strut at me like you’re on the cat walk”.
  • 30 seconds to talk about yourself
  • Emotional questions: “Have you ever had your heart broken?”, “do you have a huge regret in life”, “have you ever been arrested”. This sometimes comes in the form of the “I have never” game. From all reports, contestants who made clear and emotional responses were most successful in getting through to the next round. This is particularly true if your response contradicts your appearance. For example: a big footballer saying he gets heartbroken.
  • Line up exercise: The audition conductor asks everyone to arrange themselves in a line based on statements, which are usually “best dressed in the room (best at one end, worst at the other)”, “the smartest in the room”, “the most likely to be arrested”, “the most like to have your heart broken”. In almost all cases the only successful applicants put themselves on an extreme end of the line (rather than the middle) – they were then given more airtime to talk with the audition conductor.
  • Heated questions: The conductor will ask three topical questions and ask you to stand on a marker that indicates on what scale you agree. The questions are Gay Marriage: yes, civil unions or no. “Boat people”: let them in, process them or send them back. Peep hole at the gym: Look, report it or do nothing. Those who are fast, firm and move to the front of each response group get asked why, those who are passionate without being over the top tend to be successful. Generally those who answer in the negative dont tend to go further. Occasionally groups are asked “if you were on a trivia show, what would you choose?” the answers are pop culture, science and math or politics.

Round One is usually wrapped up with the audition conductor asking some of the same questions as above but in different ways, usually for a few who haven’t had much air time. In some audition groups people are asked to use their bodies to create images, but not always.

Only 1 to 4 people per group are then sent on to round two. These people tend to be those who gained a significant amount of air time, were intelligent, extremely attractive, were some form of ‘extreme’ or simply quite passionate or had a good story.

Round two
Successful applicants from round one are ushered in to a second holding area. In this round you sit in groups of 10 or 11 people in front of a panel of 3 audition conductors. Each person then introduces themselves and discusses hot topics such as gay marriage, immigration, the effects of technology on society and binge drinking. From all reports, people who were very attractive and somewhat intelligent made it through this round. People relying on “good stories” did not make it through. We have also been informed that most of the men making it through were the typical ‘hot rough bogan’ seen in the past seasons of Big Brother.

Round three
Those who made it to the final round received a personal escort to a secluded area to meet with the judges. There they were placed in a dark room with a camera and asked to talk about themselves in detail.

The next stage
Anyone successful in round three is then contacted sometime within the next few days to move on to the private auditions. This pool is approximately 250 people from the entire country. Applicants are required to fly to Melbourne (or sometimes Sydney) out of their own pocket to attend.

Ads show sneak peak of BB9 opening titles

Think things are quiet down in Adelaide? Think again: their TV advertisement for the Big Brother housemate hunt gives us a sneak peak of the theme for Big Brother Australia 2012.

Rumours to come from the crew members at various housemate hunts have hinted that Channel 9 will re-use the Big Brother theme music from the 2007 season.

BB9 Preview 4

BB9 Preview 5

The 2012 Big Brother eye is very similar to the new eye used in the UK. Expect the Australian opening theme to take ‘inspiration’ from the UK show:

Big Brother Australia will be back

Channel 9 have picked up the rights to a new series of Big Brother Australia, Big Brother: Secrets, the Herald Sun reports.

Corroborating that report is an update to Southern Star’s website, pointing users to the official Big Brother Australia Facebook page. Southern Star own the rights to the Big Brother franchise in Australia.

Behind Big Brother may indeed have another life. Until then.

Big Brother UK axed!

UK broadcaster C4 has today confirmed that it will be axing Big Brother in the UK next year, but will honour the existing contract with Endemol.

With Big Brother 10 coming to a close, Celebrity Big Brother and Big Brother 11 will air in 2010, bringing to a close ten years of the reality franchise in the UK after ratings for this summer series tumbled to an all time low, losing a third of the audience from last year – and over half of the audience within three years.

Although Endemol suggest the format could continue elsewhere, the three main candidates to take over the franchise – ITV, Five and Sky – have all ruled themselves out.

The axing of Big Brother will lead to a revamp of the summer schedules on C4 and it’s sister station E4, with 200 hours of new programming to find and a renewed commitment to original drama, an area where the station has cut back on in recent years due to falling ad revenues.

Julian Bellamy, Head of C4 stated that “Big Brother will leave a huge hole and filling it will involve the most fundamental creative overhaul in our history. We’ve 18 months to transform the schedule; today’s announcement is our biggest-ever creative call-to-arms to producers to come forward with their very best ideas”.

C4’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo, added that although Big Brother remained profitable, C4 had a responsibility to be creative.  “That remit to push the boundaries has been an essential part of the weird chemistry behind Big Brother’s success, but it’s now what is telling us that the programme has reached a natural end point on Channel 4 and it’s time to move on.”

BBUK host Davina McCall has repeatedly stated this summer that she will be back to front BB11 next year, although she has already signed up for her next role, fronting a dance competition series for Sky1.

  • Share your views on the axing of BBUK in our forum.

BBUK returns for 10th summer season

It may be over in Australia, for now at least, but Big Brother returns for it’s tenth, and possibly penultimate, season in the UK next week.

The build up to this season has been more secretive than in recent years, with host Davina McCall claiming she “gasped” when she was informed of a twist planned for this year.    Following Thursday nights launch show, an extra live show will air on Sunday night in which Big Brother reveals some surprises that could send shockwaves through the house”.

bb_10_eye_davina_george

Big Brother hasn’t been immune to the credit crunch, with a number of cut backs this year.   For the first time since BB4, there are just two presenters associated with the show.  As well as fronting the evictions, Davina McCall will also be presenting Big Brother’s Big Mouth, which has been cut from four to one episode a week, while George Lamb returns for his second series of fanzine show Big Brother’s Little Brother.

Diary Room Uncut has also been axed, but the decision which has angered the fans the most has been to scrap the 24/7 live feed.   Live coverage will only be available from the house for just a few hours overnight.

Big Brother begins on C4 in the UK on Thursday 4th June.   Check out the International Forum for the latest discussion, while bbspy has the latest news and rumours, including more of the adverts counting down to the launch.