Every year since 2000, this time of year has revolved around certain traditions that we as a collective populace enjoy. It may be the swing of a bat, the hoisting of a basketball trophy, the dip in the pool or the sweltering heat that serves as the best excuse for us to come together as a fanbase and sit in front of our computer monitors and television for hours on end.
That’s right, folks. It’s time for Big Brother to return to our airwaves.
13 years in, and as a fan I’m still as excited for the launch of a new season as always. It’s odd, really- knowing that we are less than a week away from the new season. This run of nearly three months brings us into the fall with the comfort of an old blanket, and this community comes together as fans even as we wonder if they ever DO anything sometimes.
Enough pontificating, though- let’s talk the show.
(Note: Much of what follows is based on conjecture and rumors, though some of this is based on CBS official channels. Thanks goes to the many rumor watchers on Twitter and websites out there.)
Big Brother 14 brings about a couple of announced twists along with several unannounced “surprises.” The biggest announcement is the return of 4 previous castmates as “Mentors,” who will each lead a group of new houseguests and compete for a separate prize. If a mentor’s team members all get evicted then the Mentor is themselves evicted, leading to at least 3 Double Evictions this year (along with assuredly one or two more). The Mentor idea is a variant on the usual method of bringing back former houseguests, but it is a welcome variant as these players are coaches rather than direct competitors. This reduces the chance of a repeat of BB13 where former players were seen as nearly untouchable.
Although the cast of Mentors has not been officially confirmed, in recent SuperPass shows the list seemed to be unofficially brought down to these four ex-players, with analysis of what they can bring to the table below:
Dan (BB10): Dan is the most recent Mentor to win the game, and brings a successful gameplay that was based on good social and good competitive skill. He’s your most balanced player to be brought back as Mentor. Additionally, he’s still seen as a “nice guy” by the tv crowds and could serve to be popular.
Janelle (BB6, BB: All-Stars): The Best Player Never to Win. Janelle’s gameplay is based purely on Competitive Excellence, and although she has the ability to play a decent social game she is most known for being the most hardcore competitor in Big Brother history. Her skills in fact memorization and physicality are unparalleled, and this will only benefit her team.
Britney (BB12): The Li’l Blonde Ball of Hate, and maybe one of the most enjoyable players ever to watch on the feeds. Britney gained a groundswell of fan support and won America’s Choice in her season, and while her style of play may not be the most effective (even Britney’s hardcore fans will admit she was riding Lane’s coattails as The Brigade steamrolled through the season) her ability to entertain and be a source of humor in the house can be seen as a social game.
Mike “Boogie” (BB2, BB: All-Stars): Chilltown’s CEO. Mike Malin has gone from a decent if mockable player in his first season to All-Star Champion, using a smart gameplay based in Mental Manipulation and Wielding The Knife (don’t forget, he was willing to cast off Will Himself in All-Stars if it meant he could go further) along with effective competitive play. He also has the benefit of being very effective socially. Although he isn’t exactly a fan favorite, he is a very effective game player and can teach his players well. His first lesson? “Hey, don’t propose to another player at the end of this season.”
Once the first night airs, I will re-analyze the list of mentors and offer new commentary as needed.
So far as the new players, we have an interesting list of the usual models, actors, “bartenders,” reality tv rejects and a smattering of normal folks. We have a former Playmate of the Year, a chef, a Rawker Lady, a nurse, and others. We have the return of The Chenbot, and 80 days ahead of fun and frivolity. The Game has returned.
Bring it on.