"Big Brother Canada" premiered Wednesday night on Slice, thus officially cementing the Great White North as the newest mecca of reality television (or specifically, the "Big Brother" franchise).
If you watched the premiere, you saw the 15 contestants enter their literal house of discontent, all for a chance to win $100,000, a new car, and a $25,000 shopping spree at The Brick. And what a house it is! Contestants like 26-year-old web content editor Peter Way to keep positive, guys.
However, premature animosity wasn't the only emotion running rampant, thank goodness. Andre from Newfoundland contrasted most reality series' "I'm not here to make friends" vibe by saying he hopes "Big Brother Canada" will see him become "the Hugh Grant in that romantic comedy who finds Sandra Bullock in the end." But it gets better -- clever editing gave way to housemate Jillian's introduction, in which she claimed people mistake her for Sandra Bullock constantly. The tension rises! (Provided Andre thinks she looks like Sandra Bullock, too.)
But after introductions and salutations, things got real: the phone rang, and Suzette was declared Head of the Household because she picked up the phone first. Thus, she was given the responsibility of nominating two people for elimination. Her choices? Emmett and Tom, who planned to win the veto, remove themselves, then rally the house to eventually get rid of Suzette. Sounds complicated (because it is). And after Tom, Emmett, Suzette, and Gary, Peter, and Aneal (who were randomly selected) competed to solve a puzzle first, Tom won the Veto, thus putting his and Emmett's plan into play.
However, Canadians weren't the only ones to watch. "Big Brother U.S." alumni Ian Terry (of Season 14), Dan Gheesling (also of 14), and Evel Dick Donato (of Seasons eight and 13) tuned in as well, with Dan going so far as to condemn 26-year-old Alex for admitting that he's getting a PhD in psychology (and has literally majored in "Big Brother").
So that got us thinking: On top of blatant honesty, what are the sins of "Big Brother Canada" strategy that are sure to backfire? Here's what we came up with so far.
No, we didn't rip this directly out of the "Se7en" screenplay, but odds are that laziness will see you out the door quicker than somebody will say they're "not there to make friends." Since so many "Big Brother Canada" contestants hate messiness anyway, you'd do well to just tidy the kitchen in hopes of living another day.
Laying all your cards on the table may seem like a good idea, but if you don't leave fellow housemates wanting more (and not wanting you to leave), you'll have more to work with as the season goes on. Give it all away up front, and the resident manipulator will find ways to squeeze you out before the second episode's even over.
A-ha! But it's a fine balance. The last thing you want to be painted as is a liar -- especially since alliances are useful as things get more competitive. And do you know who wants to align themselves with a liar? Nobody. Well, maybe the lazy person -- but then all you'll end up doing is fighting over dish duty.
4. Meltdowns and crying
When have these strategies ever worked? They don't work in real life, they don't work on television, and they certainly won't work in a house full of strangers rooting for you to lose. If a meltdown must happen, confine it to the shower, or use it until you can blame it on a hated contestant, thus sealing their fate.
5. Bold, declarative statements
You may think "I just tell it like it is!" or "I'm in it to win it!" will ensure your success, but the only time those phrases prove useful are in post-series mash-ups where other, non-winning contestants say the exact same thing. Some of us are here to make friends. (Just not Kay, we guess.)
Listen: they're not all bad. Boston Rob and Amber of "Survivor" proved just how beautiful hook-ups can be as long as they're nowhere near the "Big Brother" house. More than a dozen people sharing living space is not conducive to romance unless you're in a university dorm -- and despite the ease of random hook-ups, you're setting the scene for jealousy, lies, and complicated feelings that probably won't guarantee a win. So be careful, Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant.
And speaking of manipulation, don't do it. It'll work for a while. At some point, it might even seem like it's worked more than anything has worked in your entire life -- but then it happens: the reveal. Somebody figured you out, and you're forced to admit everything. The proverbial head in the proverbial box. (And yes, we clearly had to use one last "Se7en" reference.)
You can watch "Big Brother Canada" on Slice on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET, Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST, and Sundays at 9 p.m. EST. And in case you really want your fill of voyeuristic drama, "Big Brother Canada After Dark" also airs every night at 2 a.m. ET.