Big Brother 16 will be “the most twisted season ever,” and they mean it with a lot of new rules and challenges. The 16 new HGs will deal with two HoHs every week, each nominating two people, and thanks to a new competition called Battle of the Block, the HoHs could even be evicted.
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Another new twist is Team America, which gives fans the chance to vote and influence the game. More details on how viewers will do that will be revealed during the premiere, but for now, we have our first task.
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On the CBS website for Big Brother 16, there’s a section called “Team America Vote.” The first question is already up:
“If you had to form an alliance with one of the Houseguests, who would you select? Choose wisely, your vote will impact the game.”
What could this mean? The most obvious answer is the return of America’s Player, a twist from season 8 in which one HG was forced to do various tasks, vote certain ways and try to get certain people nominated based on America’s vote. At the time, the HG (Eric Stein) called it the show’s first “alliance of 10 million,” so the idea of us wanting to form an alliance with someone in the house makes sense.
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What doesn’t make sense, however, is the fact that, for the second year in a row, there seems to be a massively unfair bias for one HG. Last season, because Elissa Slater was Rachel Reilly’s sister, we all knew she’d win the MVP vote every week (which she did). In fact, the HGs knew it too and planned their entire strategy around it.
This season, that person seems to be Frankie Grande, an established YouTube personality whose sister, Ariana Grande, has 16 million Twitter followers. Being a known entity makes him stand out from everyone else and will almost certainly lead to him winning this first Team America vote, as well as any and all future beneficial votes (up to and including the Fan Favorite at the end of the season, who is given $25,000).
I hope I’m wrong, I hope Grande’s fanbase doesn’t take over Big Brother 16 and outvote everyone else. But after last season, I doubt my hopes will come true. It’s always annoying when the show adds viewer voting, but the producers put their thumb on the scales by having one contestant who is so far ahead of everyone else in terms of supporters.
But who knows, maybe America will surprise me and vote for someone else instead. And maybe Rachel Reilly will never appear on another reality show for the rest of her life.
Big Brother 16 premieres with a two-night Move-In event Wednesday, June 25 at 8pm and Thursday, June 26 at 9pm on CBS, during which the twists will be explained.
(Image courtesy of CBS)