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Big Brother Canada

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Big Brother Canada
Big Brother Canada 6 Logo.jpg

Big Brother Canada is a television reality game show and part of the global Big Brother franchise. It is the first incarnation of the series to adopt the format used in the United States, which greatly differs from others. The series follows a group of contestants, referred to as HouseGuests, living in a custom built home under constant video surveillance. The HouseGuests have no communication with the outside world while in the house, with no access to luxuries such as internet and phones. One of the contestants is voted out of the house each week, while the winner of the series receives a $100,000 grand prize and other luxuries. The rules of the series have often been altered throughout each season as "twists" to the game.

While the United States edition of the show aired in Canada since its debut, Canada had never had its own English spoken adaption of the series until one was announced in 2012. The show first launched through Slice on 27 February 2013. Arisa Cox was brought on as the show's host.[2][3] Big Brother Canada has been produced by Endemol and Insight Productions since it launched. Much like other editions of Big Brother, a live feed into the house is available for free through the show's website. With the first two seasons providing strong ratings for Slice, the series was moved to the larger Global Television Network from the third season onward. The show was put on hiatus following the conclusion of the fifth season,[4] though fan support saw the show's return on schedule for the sixth season.[5] The show's seventh season is set to air in the spring of 2019.

Since it first premiered, Big Brother Canada has aired 177 episodes and featured 76 HouseGuests on the show. The show has featured multiple companion shows since its debut as well. Big Brother: After Dark, a show featured a live look into the house, aired throughout the first four seasons. Beginning in 2014, the show was also accompanied by the Big Brother Side Show which aired following live evictions. It featured interviews with the newly evicted HouseGuests as well as former contestants that had competed on the show. It was cancelled in 2017, airing three seasons.


The Big Brother franchise was first made available for Canada in 2000 when Global acquired the rights to air the United States edition of the show in Canada.[6] Since the deal was struck, all seasons of this version have aired through Global or former sister network, CH.[6] Though the series was broadcast in Canada, citizens of Canada were not able to apply for the series.[7] The French-Canadian adaption of the series, known as Loft Story, premiered in 2003 in Quebec and concluded in 2009 after six seasons.[8] The show was replaced by an official Quebec edition of Big Brother in 2010, airing one season. Global's parent company Shaw Media announced on 30 May 2012 that an English adaption of the series would launch in Canada on digital cable channel, Slice.[9] The network later confirmed that the live feed would be used for the show and would be free to Canadian viewers, unlike the subscription-based United States edition.[10][11] Big Brother Canada was initially set to premiere on 18 February 2013;[12] this was later pushed back to 27 February.[13][14][15]

The show was greenlit for a second season following the ratings success of the first; a new house was built prior to the launch of the second season.[16][17] It was confirmed after the conclusion of the second season that the show would be moving to the Global network for its third season onward.[1] Shaw Media became defunct following the fourth season of the series, with Corus Entertainment replacing their spot as producers for the series.[6] Following the show's fifth season, it was announced by Global that the series had been placed on an indefinite hiatus for undisclosed reasons.[18] The announcement led to backlash from fans of the series, who petitioned to bring the show back on air.[19] Less than two months after the announcement, it was confirmed that the series would be returning for a sixth season in 2018 due to the large amount of fan support.[20][21] Prior to the launch of the sixth season, a third house for the series was built; the layout of the new house was near idetical to the 2nd House (used from season 2 through 5).[22] The seventh season of the series was confirmed by host Arisa Cox in June 2018; it is slated to air in the spring of 2019.[23]

Rules and format

There are a number of rules instilled on the HouseGuests competing in the series. The participants are under constant audio and video surveillance, and are required to wear personal microphones at all time.[24] Contestants have no access to phones, television, internet, magazines, newspaper, and are prohibited from contact with those not in the house.[25] The Bible and other religious literature are the only books allowed in the house. Described as a "social experiment", the concept of the show forces people to live in a home with people who may share differing ideals, beliefs, or prejudices.[26][27] The doors to the house remained locked at all times, though a HouseGuest is free to quit the game whenever they choose; however, once leaving the house, they are not permitted to re-enter.[28] Should a contestant break the rules of the game, they could be expelled and immediately removed from the house.[29][30]

At the start of each week in the house, the HouseGuests compete for the title of Head of Household, often shortened to simply HoH.[31] The Head of Household for each week is given luxuries such as their own personal bedroom and the use of an MP3 player, but is responsible for nominating two of their fellow HouseGuests for eviction. The Head of Household would not be able to compete in the following week's Head of Household competition; this excludes the final Head of Household competition of the season.[32][33][34] The final Head of Household competition is split into three parts; the winners of the first two rounds compete in the third and final round. Unlike other versions of Big Brother, the HouseGuests may discuss the nomination and eviction process openly and freely. Following the nominations HouseGuests compete for the Power of Veto, also known as PoV. The winner of this competition can save one of the nominees from eviction. If a HouseGuest chooses to exercise the Power of Veto, the Head of Household is responsible for naming a replacement nominee.[35] The holder of the Power of Veto is save from being nominated as the replacement nominee.[36] Only six of the HouseGuests compete for the Power of Veto each week; the Head of Household and both nominations compete, as well as three others selected by a rando draw.[35]

All HouseGuests excluding the Head of Household and nominees later vote to determine which of the two nominees should be evicted, and the nominated HouseGuest who received the most votes is evicted during a live episode. If there is a tie in the voting, the reigning Head of Household is required to make the tie-breaker decision.[37] Upon reaching a point in the game, the evicted HouseGuests go on to become members of the jury; the jury is responsible for choosing who wins the series. The members of the jury are not shown any Diary Room interviews or any footage that may include strategy or details regarding nominations.[38] Once only two HouseGuests remain, the members of the jury cast their votes for who should win the series.[39] The HouseGuests are also at times on food restriction in the house; those on food restrictions were given "slop" to eat for the week.[40] The series sometimes sees the HouseGuests competing in "Have-Not" competitions to earn food, though sometimes those on restriction can be named by performance in the Head of Household competition or by the Head of Household.[40]

Notable contestants

In total, there have been seventy-six HouseGuests to compete in Big Brother Canada. In addition to this, there have been six potential HouseGuests that did not enter the house and eight HouseGuests that have competed in two seasons. Season one HouseGuests Jillian MacLaughlin and Emmett Blois went on to participate in the fourth season of The Amazing Race Canada; the duo came in second place.[41] Blois later went on to enter the Big Brother Mzansi house in South Africa as a guest; he remained in house for a week, attempting to cause trouble among the contestants.[42] Demetres Giannitsos holds the record for the most Head of Household wins in a single season with five,[43] while Kevin Martin and combined HouseGuests Nick & Phil Paquette hold the record for most Power of Veto wins in a single season with four. Giannitsos, Martin, and the Paquette brothers are all also tied for the most total competition wins in a single season, with seven each. Martin, alongside HouseGuests Ashleigh Wood and Kaela Grant are the only HouseGuests to win three consecutive Power of Veto competitions. Martin has also spent the most time in the house of any HouseGuest, with a total of 118 days.


Since it's premiere in 2013, Big Brother Canada has been met with a positive reaction from viewers. Calum Marsh with National Post called the show "one of the most thrilling things on television" following the conclusion of the sixth season.[44] The show was a ratings success during its run on Slice, with the first three episodes of the season causing a 24% increase in Slice's viewership.[45] The show averaged 2.7 million viewers per week, at one point reaching a peak of 4.2 million in one week.[46] The second season reached more than 6.4 million viewers during its run, becoming the number one specialty reality program of the year in key demographics.[47] It was reported that the show's official website was visited more than 46 million times during the season.[47] The show's fourth season saw the highest overall average for the series in terms of ratings;[48] season two was the least viewed season.[49]

The show has been compared positively to the United States edition of the series on which it is based, with several fans and publications sighting it as the superior series.[50] The sophomore season was ranked as the fourth best North American season by BuzzFeed in 2018, with the fifth season coming in seventh place.[51] Producer Trevor Boris has been praised for his role in the series, including producing the challenges and voicing the recurring character Marsha the Moose.[52][53] He later went on to work on adaptions of the show in the United States and the United Kingdom.[54] The series has received criticism for issues such as blocking the live feeds from viewers for long periods of time and for being seemingly "over-produced".[55] Since it debuted, Big Brother Canada has been nominated for a total of fourteen Canadian Screen Awards,[56] winning Best Production Design or Art Design in a Non-Fiction Program or Series at the 2015 ceremony.[57] It has also been nominated for two Canadian Cinema Editors Awards, once in 2016 and once in 2017.[58][59]


Following the announcement of the series, it was confirmed that the spin-off series Big Brother: After Dark would air alongside the show.[60] Originating from the United States show of the same name, it provided a live look into the house and aired on Slice.[61] The series was cancelled following the fourth season.[62] The Big Brother Side Show began airing alongside the second season of the show in 2014. Originally hosted by Cox alongside former HouseGuests Gary Levy and Peter Brown, the show featured interviews with the weekly evicted HouseGuest and aired immediately following the eviction episodes.[63] It was confirmed in 2016 that Sarah Hanlon would replace Levy as co-host to the series.[64] The show was cancelled in 2017 prior to the fifth season of Big Brother Canada, and was replaced instead by a Facebook chat with Cox following each eviction episode.[65]

Series details

Season Episodes Season premiere Season finale Days HouseGuests Winner Viewership
1 29 27 February 2013 2 May 2013 71 15 Jillian MacLaughlin 0.671[66] [67][68][69]
2 5 March 2014 8 May 2014 151 Jon Pardy 0.667[49] [70][71]
3 23 March 2015 27 May 2015 70 16 Sarah Hanlon 1.120[72] [73][74][75]
4 32 2 March 2016 12 May 2016 77 162 Nick & Phil Paquette 1.185[48] [76][77][78][79]
5 29 15 March 2017 18 May 2017 69 163 Kevin Martin 1.004[80] [81][82]
6 7 March 2018 10 May 2018 164 Paras Atashnak 1.118 [83][84][85]
7 TBA [86][87]


^Note 1 : Fourteen HouseGuests entered the house on Day 1, while three additional contestants faced Canada's vote to decide who would be the final HouseGuest. This HouseGuest entered the house on Day 15.
^Note 2 : Fourteen HouseGuests entered the house on Day 1, while four former contestants of other editions of Big Brother faced Canada's vote to decide which two will enter the house as "international wildcards". These HouseGuests entered the house on Day 7. In a second twist, a pair of brothers played the game as one HouseGuest.
^Note 3 : Eight of the HouseGuests this season were returning players from the first four seasons, while the other eight were new players.
^Note 4 : Fourteen HouseGuests entered the house on Day 1, while the Canadian public voted on two additional HouseGuests, one male and one female, to enter the house as the final two HouseGuests of the season. These HouseGuests entered on Day 6.

See also


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External links