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The 12 Seasons of Big Brother

By  Justin Carreiro     1:34 PM    Labels:,,,, 
I love the summer for many reasons: the sun, weather, relaxation, ice cream and so much more but there is also one thing I’m happy for when this time of year comes around. It’s time for another new season of Big Brother!

For those of you who are unaware, Big Brother is a CBS reality show where 12-16 contestants are forced to live inside the Big Brother house for three months and compete to be the last one left. The game features alliances, the Head of Household (HOH), Power of Veto (POV) and a variety of twists with backstabbing houseguests at the ready. It’s the perfect combination to watch drama during the summer and I always look excited for this. The launch of the 13th season and the first eviction have already taken place so let’s take a look at the previous 12 seasons of the game and rank my favourite seasons from the worst to my favourite season.

12. Big Brother 12 
Highlight: The Rachel vs. Ragan fight, Rachel vs. Kristen fight, the Rachel vs.….everyone fight
Low point: Annie, the Saboteur, being evicted in the first week, featuring boring and unlikable houseguests

Arguably I can agree that Big Brother 12 has to be my least favourite season. There were a multitude of reasons that made me want to turn off the screen. The first being that in the first week of the game, my favourite houseguest and the central character involved in the season’s twist, Annie, was evicted right off the bat. Already that was a strike against the season being that there was no main twist to ignite drama. Sure, they did try to bring it back with a two week saboteur and Pandora's Box every week but those twists were half-fasted and not thought through (completely unfair that Matt got a Diamond Power of Veto to keep his friends in the game for winning HOH). The second ultimate factor is that none of the houseguests in the house (with the exception of a select few) really wanted to strategize or create waves for dramatic TV. The majority played the “behind-the-scenes” game and we were left to watch them subtly make small moves but no real big moves. Nobody wanted to make big decision moves and relied on each other; no offense, but this season was a season of floaters.

11. Big Brother
Highlight: Premiered the Big Brother U.S. series
Low point: Concept was a tad boring

The original Big Brother was the catalyst for starting the franchise that we all love today but it was an entirely different game back then. It involved the public voting off the houseguests and choosing the winner at the end. It was more of an image and social game that determined how far you got and it’s a nice idea. Many countries around the world have specialized in that format and I think the U.K. version is the best example of the format being successful (when it was on the air) but it just didn’t resonate within North America. It’s the drama and backstabbing that keep people watching…for awhile.

10. Big Brother 2
Highlight: Chilltown and Implementing the current style of the game
Low point: Needed some improvements

There’s not much I can say about Big Brother 2 since I will admit that it’s the season I’ve seen the least. I only started watching the seasons in succession starting from Big Brother 4 (I own Big Brother 3 on DVD which I watched two-three seasons later) and it was one I didn’t gravitate towards. The Chilltown alliance was a highlight and I loved the nefarious nature of Dr. Will since he used manipulation to help him win the game but unfortunately, the season doesn’t stand out as my favourite. I know that it will be higher on many Big Brother fans’ list for featuring all that I’ve said above and all the things I’ve missed but it’s not my favourite.

9. Big Brother 9
Highlight: The fights, the couples and the surprise hospitalization of Alison and Amanda
Low point: The constant religious references, the aftermath of the season’s winner and very unlikable selection of houseguests

Big Brother 9 is currently the only season to ever be featured as a winter season; the writer’s strike was going on that year and networks were using reality shows to fill the time slots. The twist this season featured Big Brother playing matchmaker and creating “soul mates” (or I prefer drama mates) that they would have to play together till a certain portion of the game. While some houseguests were memorable and provided some interesting moments to watch, a couple of them either were extremely annoying with their voice or stunts while others are remembered for the terrible things they did once the season was over (i.e., Adam and Matt rings a few bells). It was definitely a spiteful season were people went after each other in the lowest ways possible and thinking of themselves highly over the other alliances (later on, this fact is a highlight for other seasons but in completely different ways) by relating themselves as the religious-type alliance.

8. Big Brother 5
Highlight: The five-finger plan, the twins and the birth of the backdoor
Low point: The four horsemen, Cowboy and sloppy gameplay

Big Brother 5 was the second full season I've watched when I becoming interested in the series. It focused on the DNA aspect and trying reveal shocking truths that the houseguests didn't expect when they came into the game. There were some very interesting moments in this season like Nakomis' brilliant plan to evict Jase without him realizing it (or being able to compete for that matter) and the shock of whom the secret twins were. Unfortunately, there were some annoyances while watching this season like Cowboy (for instance) or the fact that most of the players made very sloppy moves in the game especially when turning on their alliances or family. Shocked how these players orchestrated an amazing powerful move yet they self-destructed their alliance the following week.

7. Big Brother 3
Highlight: Introducing the POV and Danielle/Jason secret alliance
Low point: The pointless power of the POV and Marcellas not saving himself

This is one of the earlier seasons that started to develop the true nature of alliances and plotting to evict people from the game to win. There were a lot of amazing houseguests and it was a fun season to watch but my only problems stemmed from the pointless power of the veto this season since you couldn't save yourself if you were placed on the block. Luckily, it was changed the following season to let nominees get a chance at safety but I found the new power pointless this season. Another issue was the ability for ex-houseguests to watch the entire season from the comfort of their home then coming back to vote to win the game. It wasn't fair since they saw an edited show and you don't see everything that is said in the diary room so I'm glad that aspect was changed starting season 5.

6. Big Brother 10
Highlight: America helping to evict Jessie, playback to a no-twist season and the drama
Low point: Houseguests voting according to the house's decision early on

I love the big central twists that take part during the season but after so many twists, it was nice have one season where the houseguests had to play against each other with no outside force. Sure, for one or a couple of weeks Pandora's Box did play a small twist to the house but there was no central twist that affected how they played the game; it was great nostalgia. My least favourite point of this season is that the first houseguest evicted, Brian, caused a wave where the house alliance tried to systematically evict his friends week after week. It felt like they didn't really have an opinion of their own and if they did, they would be evicted.

5. Big Brother 4
Highlight: The exes return and the golden power of veto is implemented
Low point: Early alliance in house and sloppy game-play

Arguably, Big Brother 4 is the first full season I’ve ever watched of Big Brother while it aired concurrently on the TV. It involved several of the houseguests having their ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends returning to the house and competing alongside their former flames. There was a lot of drama in this season and I love the fact how most of the players would turn against each other. No one’s word mattered in this season and it definitely affected the players in the house especially when it came down to the final two and it played against the two finalists trying to win the game. The one thing I don’t like that Big Brother does is let houseguests enter the house in disproportionate times or groups so that the first group has a chance to create a house alliance to evict the minority. This season obviously played a factor into that and it’s something I hated to see how people turned on the exes right away.

4. Big Brother All-Stars
Highlight: Favourite players from past seasons returning, the drama, Chilltown, Janelle and other favourites
Low point: Nobody using the coup d'eta, Chicken George and houseguests believing Chilltown

Before Big Brother started to bring one to three former houseguests back into the house in the recent years, season seven is currently the only All-Star season that has occurred. It featured many fan-favourite houseguests and villains returning to compete once again to the game. I loved seeing how their style of games and deceit changed when brought back years later to compete in the game against different players. The one thing I hated is that every single person in the house believed Chilltown and never had a thought to evict either one of those two. Not surprising that both made it to the final four with one of them winning the season.

3. Big Brother 8
Highlight: The enemies entered the house, America's Player, the Donatos making the final two, Dustin getting blindsided
Low point: The religious arguments and stupid moves

Many wouldn’t agree with me for placing this season high on the list. Evil Dick may have caused a lot of trouble in the house and the events of the America’s Player may have been questionable but this was an incredibly enjoyable season to watch. Seeing how these “enemies” hated each other then tried to work together when they realized that their place in the game depended upon it; only Dick and Daniele really utilized it to their advantage. America’s Player was a good twist but I think the person they choose would have been a mastermind in the game had he not been chosen as this role so we’ll never know how Eric really would have done in the season or even Dick for that matter if there wasn’t this twist.

2. Big Brother 11
Highlight: The cliques, Jordan's surprise win and the Jessie cry-fest
Low point: Chima being expelled, the villain side always winning, Jessie returning to the game and Jeff believing Kevin and Natalie

Big Brother 11 was one of the most shocking seasons to watch on TV because it was never predictable the same week twice. For the first couple of weeks, a certain side of the house was always in power yet the game shifted and them it reverted to the other side. I really hated that Jessie returned to the game but he was less annoying this season so I didn’t have as big as a problem with it later on but when he entered, so mad. Jordon was one of my favourite player’s this season and the fact that she won was so shocking. I had it pegged that she wasn’t going to make the final two but to actually win the final HOH and win the game. Many have deemed that it’s because it was a vote against Natalie which is true but to me, she is not the least deserving winner in the lot.

1. Big Brother 6
Highlight: Each houseguest had a secret pair, the Sovereign Six, the fights, drama and the constant changing of power
Low point: Janelle losing in final three and the Friendship alliance

So much can be said about this season and so few words can describe how amazing it was to follow during its summer. The fact that the entire house had a secret partner playing in the house with them was one great twist but the fact that the house literally divided up into two major alliances really heightened the drama. It was great to see how polarizing the public favoured one (Sovereign) and disliked the other (Friendship). Each week was more shocking than the last because you never knew which side of the house would gain power and when one alliance had been betrayed by the other….hell was going to take over the Big Brother house! Many amazing and memorable fights took place this season and I loved watching every minute of it. That’s why that this season was the best season of Big Brother to date.

About Justin Carreiro

Justin is a longtime TV buff and gamer. He loves chatting about shows, playing video and board games, and his not-so-secret love for reality tv. He is also a fan of horror movies, music and a bookworm at heart. He spends his time in Toronto working in PR and Social Media.

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