Big Brother 19 is over and, like every year, there were good parts and bad parts. Unfortunately, this year the bad parts may have won out with a season that got bitter and ugly, with accusations of bullying infecting it to the end.
Now that it’s in the rearview mirror, we can look forward to Big Brother 20 next summer (but first, Celebrity Big Brother in the Winter). So what lessons should the show take away from Big Brother 19 in terms of what to fix and what to bring back?
Don’t Do a Mixed Season with Vets and Newbies
From the minute it started to leak that Paul was coming back before the season even began, the fans were upset because they knew what was going to happen. And then it did. He took over the game, sucked up all of the oxygen in the house and drowned any potential from the newbies.
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This was inevitable because it always happens. This was the sixth time that the show has mixed anywhere from 1 to 6 returning players with a group of new HGs (seasons 11, 13, 14, 18 and Over the Top). In five out of those six seasons, a returning player made it to the Final 2.
That’s not a coincidence, that’s a trend. Being a returning player against newbies is a MASSIVE advantage and the vets almost always eclipse the new players. The show needs to stop these mixed casts and give us a pure All-Stars season or a season with all new players.
Switch Up the Competitions
The show’s motto is “Expect the Unexpected,” but sometimes the competitions can be far too expected. For the second season in a row, BB Comics was the Final 5 Power of Veto and What the Bleep was the Final 4 HoH. The show recycles competitions so often that the HGs typically know exactly what to expect.
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However, there were a few good aspects to this season when it comes to the comps. Making the slip ‘n’ slide competition where they have to fill a bowl with water a PoV instead of an HoH was definitely a twist. And a lot of the regular comps the HGs were expecting never showed up, like the spelling PoV, the face morph, the chicken wire where you have to navigate eggs through a fence and Stay/Fold, the counting competition. It’s always best to mix things up so the HGs have no idea what’s coming.
Bring Back the Temptation Competition
Some of the season’s big twists were a bit of a flop, especially the Tree of Temptation. But one twist that should definitely be brought back was the Temptation Competition. The show clearly loves having three nominees (see the MVP and Road Kill), but this was a cool idea where HGs could choose whether or not to play for a shot at immunity, with the loser being automatically nominated.
Paul kind of hijacked the twist, like he did with the rest of the game, telling people whether to play and whether to throw it, but the fundamental concept of this is great and gives potential targets the chance to avoid getting backdoored.
No More Night #1 Evictions
For some unknown reason this has become a trend in recent years, starting with season 14’s Jodi Rollins and continuing last year with Glenn Garcia and this year with Cameron Heard. Why does the show need to cut someone in the premiere? After months of casting and being sequestered and preparing for this opportunity, taking it away from one of them after less than a day is cruel. It’s also unfortunate because we never got to see any of these people really play the game. Cameron especially seemed like the kind of guy who could actually play hard and be an interesting character.
Keep It Shorter
Big Brother 19 was one week shorter than each of the past three summer seasons. Did anyone notice or care? Not at all. The game has gotten interminably long. This year it was 92 days, compared to season 10 (arguably the best season of the show), which was just 71 days. I’m not saying the show should be that short, but I think closer to 80 than 100 would be a good start.
What lessons do you think the show should learn from Big Brother 19?
(Image courtesy of CBS)