“Celebrity Big Brother” Returns for Second Season

Ashley Kuropatkin, Assistant News Editor

On Jan. 21, CBS launched its second season of “Celebrity Big Brother.” Julie Chen returned to host the highly competitive television show, which begun with a two-night premiere event. Even though the show is a spin-off of “Big Brother,” the two programs share both similarities and differences.

Throughout the course of the show, the celebrities are constantly recorded with cameras and microphones for 24 hours a day. The houseguests can spend time in the diary room, where they privately share their thoughts about the people, competitions and lifestyle within the Big Brother house. Viewers can watch the aired episodes, stream live feeds or watch “Big Brother: After Dark” to follow all of the action in the house. Each normal season airs for about three months during the summer; whereas, “Celebrity Big Brother” airs for about three weeks during the winter.

Just like the original series, both shows follow the same routine regarding competitions. Each week, all of the houseguests compete in the Head of Household (HOH) competition, where the winner is granted safety for the week; however, they have to nominate two other houseguests for eviction. Later in the week, the HOH, two nominees and three other players (selected by random draw) participate in the Power of Veto (POV) competition, where the six players compete for another chance of safety for the week. The POV winner may save themself if they are on the chopping block, save another houseguest or not use the power at all. Finally, at the end of the week, the house votes between the final two nominees, ending the game of one houseguest after evicting them.

In both versions of “Big Brother,” alliances are a very powerful but dramatic component. Houseguests can create secret deals or pacts with other people in the house to potentially guarantee their safety in the future. Numbers are very important in the game, especially when it comes down to eviction. Other than alliances and numbers, safety is also a key factor in advancing in the game.

“Celebrity Big Brother” and the original series share a difference: the jury. During the original “Big Brother,” near the halfway point of the season, evicted houseguests enter the jury house instead of returning home. Here, they are allowed to watch the aired episodes of the show, in order to stay up-to-date with events in the house. During the finale, only the jury members can vote for the winner of the show. On “Celebrity Big Brother,” there is still a jury, but all of the evicted houseguests—now the jury members—return home and have the ability to watch the live feeds and every episode. In the end, the jury’s final vote can differ, as the original show is more censored to the jury than the celebrity version.

On the first-ever season of “Celebrity Big Brother,” Marissa Jaret Winokur (Broadway actress) won the grand prize, and Ross Mathews (television host) won runner-up and America’s Favorite Houseguest. Currently, on Facebook Watch, Winokur and Mathews co-host “Off the Block with Ross and Marissa,” where they talk to evicted houseguests after their game comes to an end.

Each season of “Big Brother” contains twists that impact the course of the game, and every challenge adds to the uniqueness of each season. For the next three weeks, the celebrity houseguests will battle for the grand prize of $250,000. The season finale will air on Feb. 13.