Three weeks into an exceptional maiden season, the powers that be behind Big Brother Canada decided to fix something that wasn't broken. Instead of a normal live eviction, Big Brother introduced a "Power Shift" to the audience, which allowed Canada to vote to take somebody off the block.
So far, this season has been particularly intriguing. The Quatro alliance is coming apart at the seams, the black widow Liza is weaving a treacherous web and egotistical Tom is proving to be a great reality TV blowhard. Why in the name of "Marsha the Moose" would production want to rock the boat?
For the record, I'm all for having twists on our reality shows; they keep our favourite shows from getting as stale as week-old Beaver Tails. A twist is the perfect tonic for a show that's dragging and losing its momentum. However, this house appears ready to erupt like Talla's gastrointestinal tract after a bowl of slop. This twist was needed about as much as Gary could use a glitter-proof jacket.
First off, it's too early in the game for a twist like the "Power Shift." The viewers were asked to vote to save Suzette or A.J. from the block. Suzette has gotten a lot of airtime so far through eight episodes of the show, though most of this week it's been negative as she clashed with Tom. She has done a lot of crying though, and that's always good for gaining sympathy with a reality TV audience.
A.J., on the other hand, has been pretty invisible up to this point -- and when he does speak, he insists on using the third person to tell us what he's doing. I'm not sure how this plays for Canadian viewers but Rob finds it incredibly taxing. Given the choice between saving the mom that cries every episode or the guy who talks in the third person with a bizarre beard, is it any surprise that Canada saved Suzette?
For Tom, a week of work to send Suzette out of the house is now wasted. Tom has played the game hard from day one (the opposite way you should play a 3-month game like Big Brother). Tom did not try to hide the fact that he was coming for Suzette all week. He wanted revenge for her putting him up on the block. He had her in his sights, but due to the twist, she stays and has the chance to make Tom pay.
Now while I do take some pleasure in Tom getting screwed, I am left to ask if this was a "fair" outcome. It certainly wasn't for Aneal, who was shaping up to be one of the savviest players in the game. Aneal was laying in the weeds waiting for the right time to make a big play, but we were robbed of that. Instead of waiting for Aneal to get back in to the game, we get to watch super-floaters Suzette and A.J. continue to stay out of the way of the game's more serious players.
On American Big Brother Season 11, a twist was announced to the viewers that would give one player the power to change both of the nominations during the live eviction. This power was called the "Coup d'Etat." When fan favourite Jeff Schroeder got to use the power, he vetoed the HOH's nominations. The HOH at the time, Chima Simone, was furious that not only was her HOH week wasted, but also her closest ally was taken out of the game -- on a week that she was in power. Chima would throw a fit over the next few days, eventually throwing her mic pack in the hot tub and subsequently removed from the game.
Will Tom throw a similar tantrum after not getting his hated opponent, Suzette, out of the house? Only time will tell, but the question we need to ask is if watching Tom pout would be a better storyline than the organic one we would have followed had Suzette gone out of the house? Emmett won the HOH, so that may soften the blow for Tom, but nothing will change the fact that he wasn't able to get his target due to the twist.
I believe that Big Brother fans want to watch a fair game that's being decided by the actions of the players in the house. If Big Brother really wanted to incorporate the "Power Shift," I'd have no problem later in the season. We're just getting to know these characters and it's only the third eviction show in the history of Big Brother Canada. I'm saying: don't lose the twists, let's just save them for when the action slows down.
I'm hoping the "Power Shift" twist isn't a harbinger of things to come this season. A twist in the game is not the end of the world, but as the houseguests learned after Andrew's latest culinary delight, too much of any ingredient can ruin a recipe. If we can fault Tom for overplaying the game too much in the early going of Big Brother Canada, I'm sorry to report the exact same thing can be said about the show's producers.
Do you think it was way too early for a twist like the "Power Shift"? I want to hear your thoughts right here and over on Twitter.
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Follow Rob Cesternino on Twitter: www.twitter.com/robcesternino