It's time to go back into the Big Brother house as the series begins it's fourth season. Each year, new rules and twists have been introduced and the format of the show can be overwhelming to viewers new and old.
The writers here at the FORT thought it might be a good idea to review some of the Big Brother rules, regulations and other items from past seasons. We can't promise you Big Brother 4 will follow the same format, but it will help catch you up on at least some of the Big Brother terms.
So pull up a chair and get ready for another summer of Big Brother!
This is the term given to the contestants on the show, the nickname they are given is HG's.
Just like any other guest, they are free to leave at any time if the pressure of their living situation and being cut off from society becomes too much to bear.
Unlike regular "guests" they are compelled to play games in order to win food, have their every move filmed for our enjoyment and risk being booted out at any time if strategy dicates or if the other guests just don't like them.
Head of Household
The Head of Household, or HOH, determines the two people up for nomination. At the nomination ceremony, keys of the 'safe' houseguests are placed in a box and taken out one by one. The two houseguests without a key are the ones up for nomination. The HOH then explains why the two HG's (houseguests) are up for nomination and then the results of the vote are announced live on Wednesday and the HG is then evicted. The HOH only votes in the event of a tie. You cannot be HOH for 2 weeks in a row until it gets down to 3 or 4 houseguest as done in years past.
The Head of Household does not just come with the power to decide the nominations. The HOH gets their own private room with a lock, a huge bed and often receive perks like their favourite kind of food, clothes, pictures and letters from home.
In the first year of Big Brother America held the power and was responsible for voting out the houseguest each week. In subsequent seasons that power was taken away and replaced with what many view as a ridiculous pacifier known as America’s Choice.
Each week the producers, or someone related somehow to Lucifer, come up with what they believe to be a fair and reasonable “luxury” and America gets to choose which houseguest will receive it.
In the past America’s Choice questions have included “Which houseguest would you like to receive a phone call from home?”, “What type of exercise equipment should the house guests receive?”, “which houseguests should be allowed to hop on the internet to chat with fans?” etc…
The biggest problem with “America’s Choice”? There was never an option of “None of the above”. I might have spent the $1 on the phone call if it were.
Flown during the first two series, banner planes became an invaluable way of passing information to the HouseGuests.
Even BB2 houseguest Nicole's husband got in on the act with the classic
"N&W IN HOTUB IM BETRAYED & HURT J"
which let them know he had seen her late night fumbling and grinding of Will in the hot tub and sent Nicole into her tenth emotional death spiral of the day.
The banner planes proved so effective at delivering their intended snippets of info. CBS put their collective foot down for BB3, declaring that anyone even glancing at the sky when a plane flew over wuld be expelled from the house.
In all previous seasons of Big Brother, the houseguests have had a room in which to escape their houseguests. This room is known as “The Diary Room” and while in there Houseguests can, and often do, complain about their fellow houseguests without fear of being overheard. There is a camera in there, and although the houseguests have no idea what others are saying, we the viewers are privy to what is sometimes the highlights of the week.
Sometimes players are called into the diary room at the request of “Big Brother”. This could be to receive counseling, directions, a warning etc.
This room was, in one season, a players salvation, gaining him popularity among viewers and somehow respect among ousted houseguests that got to watch. In another year it was a players downfall as she constantly berated other players and let America know how stupid everyone else was.
This year one of the twists, is that evicted houseguests will not be able to view the show before voting for a winner. If this is known to the houseguests before the season starts I expect to see some real bitching going on in there.
Over the past 3 seasons, housegusts must compete for food each week. Each week the challenge and the food they are playing for is different. Sometimes they are offered a lot, sometimes not much at all. Often they will compete in teams and one team gets a certain amount of food while the losing team must eat nothing but Peanut Butter & Jam for that week, that is if they aren't too busy making bikinis out of it.
If the thrice weekly edited antics of the House guests don't satisfy your voyeuristic needs, you can subscribe to 24/7 live feeds ... for a price.
Free during the first series, CBS realised there was money to be made and began to charge for the service.
You can subscribe after the premier by via the official CBS site.
East coast viewers in particular should be aware that with their bed waking hours generally between 2pm and 3am Pacific, they may not get to see a whole lot of the houseguests while they're conscious.
FOTH is a term one might see if reading the "live feed" updates. Often all camera's will be showing Front Of The House. This happens when there is something going on in the house that the producers would prefer be a surprise.
For example they will go to FOTH when setting up and performing the challenges (food/Head Of House/Power Of Veto etc) so that internet viewers don't know the outcome. This never works of course, as the houseguests always discuss the results afterwards anyway.
Last year Internet viewers were subjected to FOTH shots quite often.
Sometimes inside, sometimes outside, the Houseguests are often subjected to periods of "lockdown".
This occurs so they cannot see their latest challenge being put together and tested by BB staffers.
The blinds are always lowered so the the houseguest's cannot see either into or out of the house.
Unfortunately for the live feed subscribers "lockdown" is often also accompanyed by extended periods of the dreaded FOTH.
The automaton host of the show.
She wears the worst clothes, asks the most inane questions and admonishes the Houseguests if they dare to get entertaining during the live broadcasts.
Woefully out of her depth when interviewing any Houseguest with a personality, many have wondered why she was ever chosen for the job and furthermore, why she still retains it after three series of less than inspiring performances.
Power of Veto
Last year, the power of veto was introduced. The Veto is awarded during a competition and the winner has the option to save one of the nominated houseguests from nomination. The competition for the Veto is pretty heated as winning it enables the houseguests to to keep the nominations as they are as well as the chance to save someone else. Late in the game last year, there was a single Golden Veto, which allowed the winner to take down themself for nomination off the nomination block and not just their fellow players. Last year, Marcellas won the Golden Veto but failed to use it, resulting in his eviction.
Thanks to Cali and Fluff for contributing to the article!