Synopsis[ edit ] In the show, contestants called "housemates" or "HouseGuests" live together in a specially-constructed house that is isolated from the outside world. Housemates are voted out usually on a weekly basis until only one remains and wins the cash prize. During their stay in the house, contestants are continuously monitored by live television cameras as well as personal audio microphones. English-language editions of the program are often referred to as "BB".
Premise[ edit ] At regular intervals, the housemates privately nominate a number of their fellow housemates whom they wish to be evicted from the house. The last person remaining is declared the winner.
Some more recent editions have since included additional methods of voting, such as voting through social media and smartphone applications.
Occasionally, non-standard votes occur, where two houseguests are evicted at once or no one is voted out. In the earlier series of Big Brother, there were 10 contestants with evictions every two weeks. However, the UK version introduced a larger number of contestants with weekly evictions. Most versions of Big Brother follow the weekly eviction format, broadcast over approximately three months for 16 contestants.
The contestants are required to do housework and are assigned tasks by the producers of the show who communicate with the housemates via the omnipresent authority figure known to them only as "Big Brother". The tasks are designed to test their teamwork abilities and community spirit. In some countries, the housemates' shopping budget or weekly allowance to buy food and other essentials depends on the outcome of assigned tasks. Creation[ edit ] The first version of Big Brother was broadcast in on Veronica in the Netherlands.
In the first season of Big Brother, the house was very basic. Although essential amenities such as running water, furniture and a limited ration of food were provided, luxury items were often forbidden. This added a survivalist element to the show, increasing the potential for social tension. Nearly all later series provide a modern house for the contest with a jacuzzi, sauna, VIP suite, loft and other luxuries.
International expansion[ edit ] The format has become an international TV franchise. While each country or region has its own variation, the common theme is that the contestants are confined to the house and have their every action recorded by cameras and microphones, and that no contact with the outside world is permitted. Most international versions of the show remain quite similar to each other: In , the US version adopted a different format during its second season, where the contestants are encouraged to strategize to advance in the game; in this format the contestants themselves vote to evict each other.
In , the UK version controversially adapted the discussion of nominations before reversing this rule after a poll by Big Brother broadcaster Channel 5.
The viewer has the opportunity to see how a person reacts from the outside through the constant recording of their actions and the inside in the Diary or Confession Room. The Diary Room is where contestants can privately express their feelings about the game, strategy and the other contestants. The results range from violent or angry confrontations to genuine and tender connections often including romantic interludes.
The show is notable for involving the Internet. Although the show typically broadcasts daily updates during the evening sometimes criticized by viewers and former contestants for heavy editing by producers ,  viewers can also watch a continuous feed from multiple cameras on the Web in most countries. These websites were successful, even after some national series began charging for access to the video stream. The house is shown live on satellite television , although in some countries there is a 10—15 minute delay to allow libelous or unacceptable content such as references to people not participating in the program who have not consented to having personal information broadcast to be removed.
Contestants occasionally develop sexual relationships; the level of sexual explicitness allowed to be shown in broadcast and Internet-feed varies according to the country's broadcasting standards.
Isolation[ edit ] Big Brother contestants are isolated in the house, without access to television, radio or the Internet. They are not permitted routine communication with the outside world. This was an important issue for most earlier series of the show.
In more-recent series, contestants are occasionally allowed to view televised events usually as a reward for winning at a task. In most versions of the program, books and writing materials are also forbidden, although exceptions are sometimes made for religious materials such as the Bible , Tanakh or the Qur'an.
Some versions ban all writing implements, even items that can be used to write such as lipstick or eyeliner. Despite the housemates' isolation, some contestants are occasionally allowed to leave the house as part of tasks.
Contestants are permitted to leave the house in an emergency. Contestants have regularly-scheduled interactions with the show's host on eviction nights.
Throughout each day, the program's producer, in the "Big Brother" voice, issues directives and commands to contestants. Some versions of the show allow private counseling sessions with a psychologist.
These are allowed at any time, and are often conducted by telephone from the Diary Room. Format changes and twists[ edit ] Locations of Big Brother versions: All of these follow the normal Big Brother rules, except that contestants must come from each of the countries in the region where it airs: The British version of the show accepts Irish applicants and was available between and as Channel 4 was available; as of [update] the show returned to Irish screens as TV3 bought the rights from UK broadcaster Channel 5 to air the show.
On the other hand, some countries have multiple franchises based on language. Twists involving single franchises[ edit ] Multiple areas and houses[ edit ] In , Big Brother 3 of the Netherlands introduced the "Rich and Poor" concept, wherein the house is separated into a luxurious half and a poor half and two teams of housemates compete for a place in the luxurious half.
The Dutch version continued this concept until its fourth season. Other versions later followed and introduced a similar concept, of which some have their own twists: Africa in , , and , Albania in , Australia in and , Balkan States in VIP and , Brazil in , , , and , Canada —present , Denmark in , Finland in and , France in , —present , Germany in , —05 , —06 , and —09 , Greece in , India in and , Israel in , Italy in and , Norway in , Philippines in , Teen and , Poland in , Portugal in VIP and , Slovakia in , Slovenia in , and , Scandinavia in , South Africa in , Spain in VIP , , —10 and , United Kingdom in , Celebrity , , Celebrity and and United States —present.
In —12, the seventh Argentine series added La Casa de al Lado "The House Next Door" , a smaller, more luxurious house which served multiple functions. The first week it hosted 4 potential housemates, and the public voted for two of them to enter the main house. The second week, two pairs of twins competed in the same fashion, with only one pair allowed in. Later, the 3rd, 4th and 5th evicted contestants were given the choice of staying on their way out and they competed for the public's vote to reenter the house.
Months later, after one of the contestants left the house voluntarily, the House Next Door reopened for four contestants who wanted to reenter and had not been in such a playoff before. The House Next Door was also used in other occasions to accommodate contestants from the main house for limited periods of time, especially to have more privacy which of course could be seen by the public. Later in the season a bubble was built inside the Big Brother house, with another two housemates living in it for a week until they were voted in and the glass house dismantled.
The Glass House was reused in the eleventh season , featuring five evicted housemates competing for a chance to join the house again, and in the thirteenth season , with six potential housemates competing for two places in the main house. A dividing wall from the ninth season was reused in the fourteenth Brazilian season , when mothers and aunts of the housemates entered for International Women's Day and stayed in the house for 6 days, though they could not be seen by the housemates.
In the fourth English-Canadian season , two house guests were evicted and moved into a special suite where they were able to watch the remaining house guests. A week later, the house guests were required to unanimously decide which of them to bring back into the house. Evil Big Brother[ edit ] In , the fifth UK series introduced a villainous Big Brother with harsher punishments, such as taking away prize money, more difficult tasks and secret tricks.
Twin or triplet housemates[ edit ] In , the fifth US season introduced twins who were tasked with secretly switching back and forth in the house; they were allowed to play the game as individual house guests after succeeding at the deception for five weeks.
This twist was reused in the seventeenth US season with an easier task of successfully changing places for five weeks without being evicted. This twin or triplet twist was used in several countries. Some made modifications to this twist; others have had twins in the house together without this element of secrecy. The following are the countries that have featured twins or triplets: Australia in , Germany in —06 , Bulgaria in , and VIP , United Kingdom in , Celebrity , Celebrity , , , and Celebrity , France in , , , and , Spain in and , Poland in , India in , Africa in , Balkan Region in and , Philippines in , Teen and , Portugal in and , Israel in , Ukraine in , Argentina in and and Albania in Pairs competitions[ edit ] During the tenth week of the seventh UK series , the housemates were paired with their "best friend" in the house and had to nominate and face eviction as couples.
The ninth US season added a romantic theme by pairing up the housemates and having them compete as couples. In the second celebrity edition of the Philippine version, two housemates related by profession or family played as one, while on their seventh season , one housemate related by profession played as one.
The 13th US season introduced Dynamic Duos, where contestants formed pairs that would be nominated together; the nominee not evicted would be immune from further nomination until the final 10 when pairs were dissolved. The fourth Greek season was dubbed "Big Mother", and featured nine housemates accompanied by their mothers. Double Trouble", contestants entered the house tied up in pairs by the waist.
They had joint chairs, beds, spoons, and even mugs. In the ninth Albania series all the housemates where in couples and for the first time in the history of Big Brother the winner will be only a couple and that couple was Danjel Dedndreaj and Fotini Derxho. Secret missions[ edit ] Secret missions are a common element of the show since their introduction during the sixth UK series.
Some versions of Big Brother have secret tasks presented by another character who lives in plain sight of the housemate. The eighth US season introduced "America's Player", where a selected house guest must complete various tasks determined by public vote in secret for the duration of their stay in the house in exchange for a cash reward.
It was repeated in the tenth US season for a week. The eleventh US season featured Pandora's Box, in which the winning head of household was tempted to open a box, with unintended consequences for the house. The twelfth US season featured a saboteur, who entered the house to wreak havoc with tasks suggested by viewers.
The sixteenth US season featured "Team America", in which 3 houseguests were selected to work as a team to complete tasks determined by public voting for a cash reward; this continued for the entire season despite the eviction of a team member.
The fourth Argentine series added a telephone in the living room. This telephone rang once a week for ten seconds, and the person to pick up the receiver was given an order or news from Big Brother which typically no other housemate could hear. The order could be beneficial or detrimental, but a refused order resulted in nomination for eviction. If nobody picked up the call, the whole house would be nominated for eviction. A common opening twist is to only introduce cast of a single sex on the premiere of the show while having members of the opposite sex introduced over the next few days.
The eighth UK series first used this twist with an initial all-female house, adding a male housemate two days later. The same twist was used in the fourth Bulgarian series , and an all-male premiere was used on Big Brother Africa 4. Fake evictions[ edit ] The fifth UK series introduced fake evictions, where Big Brother misleads housemates that an eviction has taken place, only for the "evicted" housemate to reenter the house sometime later. In the eighth UK series one housemate was evicted, interviewed and sent back into the house.
In the fifth Philippine edition , four housemates were fake-evicted and stayed in a place called bodega. In the tenth Australian season , Benjamin Zabel was fake-evicted for 24 hours before being returned to the house with immunity from eviction for that week.
In the eleventh Australian season Travis Lunardi was fake-evicted and received advice from Benjamin Zabel for 24 hours; Travis returned to the house after a 3-day absence with immunity from eviction for that week. In the thirteenth Brazilian series , Anamara Barreira was fake-evicted. She was removed and put into a small private apartment without the other housemates knowing she was still in the house.