We all know that reality television is only mostly reality. In terms of production, there are still a lot of logistics that have to be planned out, scripted, and executed for a show to be successful. For example, Big Brother is now in its 21st season; and since day one, viewers of the show have been speculating how much of the show is actually real. The premise of Big Brother, first of all, is already questionable. It’s almost as if there’s absolutely no way that so many strangers are put together under the same roof without any contingencies. Of course, we know there are strings being pulled in the back, but how many strings are actually there?
We’ve heard plenty of claims before about Big Brother being rigged. In this article, a former employee from season 15 of the show tells that the winners are pretty much chosen from the start. Does that mean that all those people go through an entire season for nothing? It’s likely not to be the case. But just as this former employee claims, certain people are probably favored over others, and the show is probably rigged in order to help those house guests that are in the favorite list.
It actually makes a lot of sense because reality TV shows are all about ratings. Low ratings mean low viewership, and having a low viewership means that a show is likely to get the boot. Manipulation of certain logistical factors in order to boost a show’s rating just makes sense. If a certain house guest is attracting a lot of attention, the show is more likely to revolve around him or her.
So production may favor certain house guests, and they may adjust the show accordingly in order to help the favorites—it’s still fairly forgivable. All shows have to do what they can to stay afloat after all. However, rumors began to surface in 2016 that Big Brother shows are actually scripted. Again, we all know that some parts of a reality show have to be scripted in order for it to work. However, it’s difficult to see if that situation is applicable to a reality television competition. Big Brother is a competition at the end of the day. Someone wins $500,000 after everything is said and done. If the competition were completely scripted, then what would be the point of watching at all?
Videos were leaked about Big Brother UK that showed a scripted bed scene. That’s a huge deal for people and fans that have followed the show to the tee. In the leaked video, we could see the house guests going to bed as a normal thing, and shortly after the lights went out, the same lights came back on again. The house guests received further instructions—after they were supposed to have gone to bed already. The entire thing begs to ask the question of fakeness. Does that sort of thing happen on a day-to-day basis under the Big Brother roof? Is it just a UK thing or does the same thing happen here in the US?
There’s an entire thread on reddit dedicated to discussing the fakeness of the show. It shows that many fans have been asking the same questions over the years. Some fans understand that some of the show has to be scripted in order to supply audiences with a decent narration after every episode. However, there are other fans that believe the show is completely scripted from start to finish. These people claim that the show actually hires actors that pretend to be house guests on the show. Surely if the show takes it to that extreme, it’s just as equally impressive. Some say that the diary room is actually the place where the actors read and memorize their script for the day. This idea is not far-fetched at all, and we can see it actually happening. This article even claims that the house guests don’t even sound like themselves every time they’re in the diary room. They sound more “scripted” in there than anywhere else.
With everything into consideration, it isn’t likely that the house guests are being told what to say, but they’re probably being asked to talk about specific things. Also, they might be asked by production to rephrase things they’ve already said in a way that’s better for the show’s ratings or what not. No matter what the show is doing, it appears to be working because people still continue to tune in regardless of fake rumors or whatnot.
Season 21 is already underway, and so far, we’ve already heard about spoilers and fake news about the house guests. Before the season premiere, spoilers leaked about who was going to be the first one to go. Some people speculated that one of the house guests was actually photoshopped into the show’s promotional photos. There were also speculations that house guests were already scheming and feuding against each other before the premiere even began. It’s all to be expected from a show like Big Brother—a show that pits people against each other in order to win a ton of money. When half a million dollars is on the line, you can imagine that people will do whatever it takes to win the prize money. On the other hand, when millions of dollars and show ratings are at stake, you can also imagine that the production team will do whatever it takes to get viewers interested and to keep them interested. Big Brother is probably in the middle between those two scenarios. Whatever the details of the show may be, we’ll probably never know because of the non-disclosure agreement that everyone involved with the show have to sign. For now, the best thing viewers can do is just enjoy the show for what it is and nothing more.