HOLLYWOOD—I have always and I mean always asked myself this question year after year, what is it about “Survivor” that sometimes makes it excel over “Big Brother?” I love both reality competition series, but lately I have been an avid fan of “Survivor” because the unpredictability of it is so much fun. BB gets props for unfolding live as we see it, whereas “Survivor” takes places months after filming has already completed.
I mean “Survivor: David v. Goliath” was one of the best seasons I’ve seen in years. Every week something crazy was happening and the level of gameplay was fantastic. On the flip side, you have the terrible “Survivor: Edge of Extinction” which crowned a winner who only played like 12 days and was the third evictee. When “Survivor” is hot it’s hot, but when it’s cold you feel it. “Big Brother” hasn’t had a stellar season in years and is always marred with controversy with the growing pandemic of social media. I mean we had the horrid BB15, the boring BB16, then a bounce back with BB17, the underwhelming BB18, the shameful BB19, and then another bounce back with BB20.
The problem “Big Brother” suffers from compared to “Survivor” is casting. I feel like “Big Brother” is so enamored with attempting to cast young, athletic, hot guys and girls, instead of fans of the show, gamers and strategists. That mentality hurts the level of gameplay in my opinion because people immediately fall into groupthink mentality and the comments you hear from people at times just drives me crazy, and not in the best way. I mean BB21 is already off to bad start if you ask me and considering that that problematic houseguest Jack has already received a stern warning from production, means it will give him a hint as to how he is being perceived in the house. Can be a good thing, can be a bad thing, because it does impact the game.
“Big Brother” is known for implementing twists into the game when you least expect it. We all remember the Hacker Competition which really impacted BB20 last year, not to mention all those Power Apps that went to complete waste. When you implement a twist, it should be evident at the start of the game, not something that totally catches you off guard. “Survivor” is good at this as well, sometimes we get too many hidden immunity idols, however, the notion of an idol is a great twist because people don’t know about it if you keep your lips pursed it can benefit your game tremendously. The notion of throwing off a massive alliance who is targeting you and you inevitable become safe totally changes the game.
“Big Brother” doesn’t have that, but it’s something they should consider. I mean could you imagine the notion of a ‘Hidden POV’ one that can be played at the veto ceremony or at a live eviction. Man, I would absolutely die if this game changing power was implemented in the game. Why? It could lead to utter theatrics and cause even messier gameplay to become that messier. “Survivor” is great at blindsides, “Big Brother” not as much, and that’s because contestants can be placed in tricky situations where they cannot compete to ensure their own safety like “Survivor.”
In previous BB seasons, players who were nominated could CHOOSE which people they wanted to play in the veto for them. Now, it’s a random draw and if you’re not nominated and not playing, you could find yourself backdoored and there isn’t much you can do about it to be honest America. “Survivor” allows contestants to some degree to save themselves, at times I don’t feel “Big Brother” allows that. BB is that show that never gives the audience what we want in terms of seeing that contestant we can’t stand receive his or her comeuppance. Whereas in “Survivor” it happens all the time and I think it’s because 1) players who are potential targets can still cast a vote 2) you have the opportunity to win immunity 3) there is the opportunity for the hidden immunity idol to impact the votes.
None of these things transpire in the BB universe. The competitions are well expected, some are very luck based (I don’t like that) and there aren’t many ways to make the game fun and prevent majority alliances from running the game. Take it from the perspective of a TV viewer; we all hate BORING TV, even if the strategy is great, sorry I’m looking at you BB16.
The one thing and I mean the one thing “Survivor” constantly excels at versus “Big Brother” is their diversity in casting. I mean this show is not afraid to cast people of color, of various ethnicities, with quirks and people who are older. I mean I’m certain there have been controversial stuff said by contestants on “Survivor” in the past, but it is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING compared to the scope that “Big Brother” endures. And before you speak, you have live-action versus taped action so editing can impact perception. It’s like EVERY YEAR, there is some sort of scandal on BB and it ain’t a good one America. On top of that chaos, when you have diversity in casting, not just pertaining to age and race, it just makes the game seem more fluid, easy and people are there for the money.
Like I HONESTLY, cannot remember the last time someone came on “Survivor” and wasn’t there attempting to win $1 million. Now, I can tell you a ton of times where people have appeared on “Big Brother” and didn’t even want to be there, or was more concerned about social media followers, gaining fame or finding love. Another thing “Survivor” excels on that “Big Brother” falters is bringing back returnees. The series is not afraid to bring back contestants that America loves. “Big Brother” not so much, because fans have been asking, dying for another all-star season since BB7; we’re now on BB21 and it STILL hasn’t transpired. It may never happen.
However, “Survivor” delivered us the epic “Heroes Vs. Villains,” the amazing “Second Chances,” and rumors have it that season 40 will bring back winners and we could see some of the best gameplay we’ve ever seen on the show. So tell me, please tell me why isn’t “Big Brother” capable of it? That is a question you would have to ask those in casting and those producing the show. I guess I’ve answered my question, without a doubt “Survivor” excels on more fronts than “Big Brother.” I mean the series has 40 seasons and it’s likely to keep climbing America, whereas with “Big Brother” I’m not so certain it’ll reach that milestone.