Murtz On The Scene: Big Brother Canada – Season Finale Review

The hamsters have left their cage and the houseguests have been released.

When the announcement about Big Brother Canada arriving to Slice was made just about a year ago, the news spread quickly. In fact, in my years of television-watching, I believe it was the biggest television announcement this country has ever seen. In that regard, it’s almost fitting that last night’s finale episode received as much attention as that initial premiere episode did back in February.

So where to begin?

This season will ultimately be remembered as a resounding success. No one expected the Canadian version of the show to even be in the same stratusphere as its CBS U.S. counterpart. Suffice to say that I thought it was even better. I specifically enjoyed the freshness of the show and getting to see raw voyeuristic interaction among strangers forced to live together and have their lives taped… wait, a minute, wrong show. In any event, the fact that there were no returning players added a layer that reality television fans in general have been missing and this decision paid off in spades. I truly hope that next season doesn’t focus on bringing Season 1 contestants back even though it most assuredly will.

The casting was flawless. The decision by Slice and Insight Productions to hire Robyn Kass was, in my opinion, the sole reason for the show’s complete dominance. A show lives and dies by its casting and instead of doing what most Canadian production companies do and simply hiring from within, outsourcing to the best casting agency in the world paid off in spades. The cast was fun, strategic, and most importantly, drew you in and made you care, (irrespective of whether it was love or hate). Kudos.

The challenges also were executed in a much better fashion than what I was initially expecting. Whereas I thought they would almost all be sponsored farces like dunking Timbits in a Tim Horton’s cup or something, they were actually on par with what Big Brother fans expect. With that being said, they could have certainly used the morphomatic machine which is a Big Brother staple.

As far as where to improve? Certainly, I though that there were too many completely unnecessary twists. Starting with media day and Dan Gheesling choosing me to be the one to dole out slop to the others (and yes, I will continue to bring that up for the rest of my life) which should have served as a sign of things to come, this season of Big Brother Canada will forever be remembered for Suzette being saved by Canada, Topaz’s HOH room instant deliberation being played for all to see, effectively destroying her game, AJ’s instant eviction (you all know how I feel about this one) and, of course, Gary returning to make the Final 4 a Final 5.

As most of you know, I am a traditional reality show purist. I don’t like twists of any kind. I do not like the hidden immunity idol on Survivor as I feel like it unnecessary corrupts what is already the best game in the world. Similarly, I thought that there were too many twists on this edition of the show. I would have preferred no save, no instant eviction, and definitely would have preferred if Canada did not have the chance to vote an ousted jury member back into the game and especially hand them a spot in the Final 5. With that being said, I finally understand the people believe in karma because certainly the best twist of the season was the final one which saw Topaz unintentionally cast the deciding vote for Jillian to win instead of her Secret Wedding partner-in-crime, Gary.

In the end, I can get past the twist that sent my best friend home. I still find it hard to believe that a jury member was allowed to socialize with the same jury members whose votes he had to play for in the endgame, but all the wrongs were righted because Topaz’s unintentional vote saved this jury from coming off as bitter as the ones on Survivor All-Stars, Survivor Samoa and last year’s Big Brother 14.

The whole world is talking about Big Brother Canada today and that means the show is a success, no matter how you Slice it (pun intended).

ps. I also thought that that final question in the third part of the HOH competition for Emmett was questionable. After his interactions with Suzette over her continuing to use her family as a sympathetic crutch, Emmett must have been inclined to think that was part of her strategy. With that being said, it doesn’t matter. Jillian won and all is right in the world.

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