Big Brother Canada: My First Impressions Of The Cast & My Friend AJ Burman

I first met Anuj ‘AJ’ Burman in highschool and we immediately forged an instant connection and bonded over our shared love of professional wrestling and good-looking girls.

Since that time, we have always shared a love of reality television. In fact, that’s what we were doing just over a month ago when we watched the Super Bowl together. We analyzed everything. Every show. Every character. Every edit.

In fact, when word spread at Shaw’s upfront presentation last year about Canada finally receiving its own version of the international hit series Big Brother, I remember talking to AJ about it and we discussed both trying out. So that’s what we did. We went to the open call together.

Just a few months later and after today’s announcement by Slice, my best friend is one of the new 15 houseguests. It’s actually one of the strangest coincidences ever, as we will both have lived in the same place as I was a houseguest for Big Brother Canada‘s media day just last week.

While I will obviously be rooting for AJ the entire way, here are the rest of my first impressions of the first-ever Big Brother Canada cast.


Emerald “Topaz” Brady
Age: 27
Hometown: Scarborough, ON
Occupation: Part-time dental hygienist and full-time student

Based strictly on first impression, I believe Topaz will be one of the season’s villains. She claims to be a neat freak, and I think that a dirty dish or two left unwashed might push her over the edge. With that being said, AJ is also from Scarborough so there might be a hometown connection there. For U.S. readers, the Scarborough connection runs deep.


Tom Plant
Age: 24
Hometown: Edmonton, AB (originally from Calgary, AB)
Occupation: Bartender and Firefighter

He’s a plant! Just kidding. Obviously there as eye-candy for the primarily female Slice viewers, unless Thomas goes on a big HOH run, I think he is too much of a threat. A bartender AND a firefighter? He is clearly a casting dream, but also a nightmare for the other contestants.


Talla Rejaei

Age: 26
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Occupation: Independent Living Support Worker and Social Work student

I have never been more jealous of AJ than I am right now. I don’t know how Tella will behave in the house. Based strictly on looks alone, I thought that she looked to be a princess, but I believe her Western roots and her job will make her seem much more down-to-earth. She’s definitely a solid choice to have in an alliance. I am hoping she will be more patient than fiery but it could go either way.


Suzette Amaya

Age: 36
Hometown: East Vancouver, BC
Occupation: Support Worker, Radio Producer and Host, Motivational Speaker.

I think she will have a tough time connecting with the others in the house. While she seems sweet, I believe she is too nice for the game.


Peter Brown

Age: 26
Hometown: Surrey, BC (originally from Millville, NB)
Occupation: Web Content Curator

Easily my second pick. I know that the Cochran and Ian comparisons will be running rampant, but I get a good vibe from him. I guess anyone who looks like the Caucasian version of myself and also works on the web is bound to get my ringing endorsement/endorsemurtz. With that being said, I think Peter will play viciously and the way the game is intended to be played. I hope AJ gets on his good side.


Liza Stinton

Age: 29
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Occupation: Tanning Salon Owner

The consensus among most Big Brother pundits is that Liza will be the first one eliminated. I am not sure if I agree. She seems like she is fun and I can certainly see her employing a strategy where she hides behind a bigger threat (*cough* Plant *cough ) and black widows her way to the end. I like her.


Kat Yee

Age: 27
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Occupation: Bartender

While I wish she would stay longer, I do feel like Kat is going to go early. I can’t really shake the feeling. Perhaps she will get caught up in some of the inevitable girl drama. Not sure.


Jillian MacLaughlin

Age: 27
Hometown: New Glasgow, NS
Occupation: Teacher

A solid choice for an alliance partner. I think Jillian will choose the right people to side with and stay loyal. I also think she will connect with Pete. If AJ isn’t with them, he could be in trouble.


Gary Levy

Age: 21
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Occupation: Bartender, Artist, Fashion Stylist Assistant

Way too young. I know we said that about Ian as well, but I think Gary will play too hard and too early. I also think some of the macho guys will have a tough time relating to him. His best play would be to tell the others that he isn’t a threat, but if he gets caught, he could be in trouble. It’s a double-edged sword. In any scenario though, I don’t see Gary winning.


Emmett Blois

Age: 24
Hometown: Gore, Hants County, NS
Occupation: Dairy farmer

Emmett admitted he hasn’t watched the show much in his bio and that he also likes to flirt. This one is easy to predict. Gets caught coupling up. Unless he hooks up with Kat and they win everything a la Brenchel, he is finished. I also see him making a guys alliance early which will be found out.


Danielle Alexander

Age: 20
Hometown: Calgary, AB (originally from Fort McMurray, AB)
Occupation: Student and Aspiring actress

It wouldn’t be Big Brother without a Danielle. I think this one will be more Murphree than Donato. Definitely see her as being part of a showmance (see above with Emmett). It all depends on whether she picks the right partner or not. The right choice could see her going deep. The wrong choice and I’ll be seeing her on the first eviction episode.


Aneal Joshua Ramkissoon
Age: 21
Hometown: Richmond Hill, ON
Occupation: Communications major

AJ will align with Aneal immediately. First minute. This brown power alliance will be one of the key stories of this season. As a result, I am quite interested to see if they will accept Pete or attempt to knock him out. Will Aneal want to be the only guy with glasses there? Not sure. But I am 100% that an alliance with AJ is inevitable. He’s one of my top picks.


Andrew Monaghan

Age: 38
Hometown: Halifax, NS (originally from Corner Brook, NL)
Occupation: Insurance Sales Trainer

“Dad” will be just shy of the jury.


Alec Beall

Age: 26
Hometown: Vancouver, BC
Occupation: Social Psychological Research/Doctoral Student

Everyone will want to align with this guy. So he will go far. It all depends on who he wants to go with. His only mistake would be making a guys alliance. He reminds me a lot of Mike from Big Brother 8. I just think he will go a lot farther.


Anuj ‘AJ’ Burman

Age: 32
Hometown: Scarborough, ON
Occupation: Director of Business Development

The man. AJ knows the game inside and out. I just hope he waits to make his move. He has an ace of spades tattoo and he will turn the Big Brother house into his own house of cards. I couldn’t be happier. He just better throw the first HOH.

Big Brother Canada premieres February 27 at 9 p.m. on Slice