Thursday, May 23, 2013

Big Brother Africa For Beginners

In just a few days Big Brother launches Season 8 titled The Chase.

Yes, Africa's biggest reality show premieres on Sunday, 26 May at 19:00 with a bunch of new housemates ready to entertain viewers for the next 91 days.

We know your colleagues will be talking about it at the water cooler, your friends will mention the hottest romance in the house over brunch and surely, there’ll be that one eccentric housemate who will have everyone asking, "what will they do next?"

So, if you're not in the know, and to prevent you from suffering from FOMO, we thought we’d give you the basics on what to expect from Big Brother Africa, based on what's gone down in the previous seven seasons.

First, you must tune in for the launch. The show’s host IK Osakioduwa returns and he will introduce the new housemates at a star-studded event, which will see performances from Kenya’s STL, Nigeria’s Don Jazzy and D’Prince and South Africa’s Mafikizolo.

If Big Brother sticks to the norm, on Monday night the housemates will gather for the nomination show. This is usually where the housemates find out if they're up for eviction, but what could change is how they're nominated... Big Brother threw a spanner in the works in Season 7 when nominations were done randomly by machine.

Yep, anything can happen. In StarGame, four housemates were up for eviction just hours after the show launched.

Our advice: brace yourselves for a lot of emotion and a bucketful of tears as you get behind your favourites and prepare to vote like mad on Mondays, because it’s only your votes that will keep the housemates safe in the house and in the running for the $300 000 prize money.

On Tuesdays the housemates will be briefed on their weekly task, which can be anything from finding a Coca Cola tin hidden in the garden to kicking a football into the goal posts or even making up a Facebook status from a jumbled up line of letters provided by Biggie.

With task presentation on Thursday nights there's a lot of pressure to work together and get things right; the alternative is losing out on Big Brother's rewards.

One of StarGame's most memorable tasks was the Shoprite Ultimate Cook Off, where the housemates stepped into the kitchen and used their creativity to make vanilla and chocolate truffles.

On Fridays, following a series of puzzles, games or even a random draw, Big Brother might possibly announce the head of house (HoH).

Now this is a very serious appointment – the housemate who gets the nod will be entitled to a very special save and replace privilege. Meaning that if the HoH is nominated, they can save themselves and put another unsuspecting housemate up for eviction instead.

So, with this position comes great power as well as jealousy from the other housemates. StarGame winner Keagan was head of house for five weeks in a row. Now that’s an impressive feat.

Just because the housemates are holed up away from the rest of the planet, doesn’t mean they can’t have fun, right?

On Saturdays it’s party time! During StarGame, DJ Sphectacula, DJ Kris MacCormack and DJ Robbie Rob rocked the Big Brother decks with their choice of music, providing the housemates with hours of music and dance.

Sunday may be the day of rest, but surely it’s the most nerve-wrecking day for the housemates.

The votes will be tallied and in the eviction show, IK will announce the names of those housemates who will be leaving the game. The eviction is instant and the housemates aren't given much time to bid adieu to friends and rivals in the house.

To lighten the Sunday eviction mood, some of Africa’s top music talent graces the Big Brother stage for electrifying performances.

But Big Brother is about more than just good times and the playing the game, the housemates also highlight social issues as a way of giving back to the continent and countries they represent.

During StarGame, Big Brother joined forces with The One Campaign to promote an anti-hunger initiative that focuses on the idea of farming one's own food.

Housemates were taught various skills around  how to affordably produce a garden and crop production. As a special treat for the housemates, several celebrities (US actor Michael Ealy, U2's Bono, Freshlyground's Zolani and Nigerian musician 2Face) dropped in on the housemates to motivate and educate them for this task.

Now you know the basics, be sure to catch the launch of Big Brother: The Chase on Sunday, 26 May at 19:00.

The most important thing to remember is that Big Brother is famous for adding a twist or two every season. When it comes to Africa's most popular reality TV show, nothing is predictable.

By Jocelyn Uithaler