Big Brother is currently in the middle of its 20th season on CBS. This season’s edition, in addition to the assortment of BIG personalities in the house, revolves around technology. Everything from the challenges to the new Big Brother house itself has been modernized for the digital age.
CBS Local’s Matt Weiss spoke to host Julie Chen before tonight’s first live eviction special for a look back at some of her favorite moments with the show and what twists viewers can expect from the current season.
MW: Hi Julie, first off I want to say congrats on the 20th season of Big Brother, major accomplishment!
JC: Thank you so much!
MW: When you first started hosting Big Brother, did you have any idea you’d get a run like this?
JC: I had no idea it would last 20 seasons, I had no idea if it was going to last past season one! And if we did get through season one I thought I was going to get fired – the critics didn’t like me, they didn’t like the show. We went through some major changes between season one and season two and first and foremost we have fans who were extremely loyal ever since season one.
But we have a lot of fun changing the game so that each year we have our loyal fans coming back, new fans check it out, and here we are! I really don’t see any signs of us slowing down. It’s like an addiction at this point, it’s a guilty pleasure.
MW: I think a lot of the success for the show comes from the fact that things are always evolving from season to season. This new house in particular really resonates with modern times. The show is all about technology this season and the house is all up to date with the latest gadgets and tech…
JC: Yea, we keep it fresh. We’ve been known for our twists. This year’s twist, the technology twist, we are getting more interactive with our viewers. Every week viewers go online and they answer a questionnaire about the Houseguests – who’s the most annoying, who’s the funniest, who’s this, who’s that – and whoever is trending the most in the house gets a power in the game. Whoever is trending the least in the house gets some sort of punishment.
And it’s a like a joke, not necessarily you’re on the block. It’s not a game weakening punishment. We had Faysal this week who has to eat a vegan ham every time we deliver one through Amazon at the front door – which has been funny and a little bit nauseating to watch. He’s tossed his cookies, his vegan ham, a few times [laughs].
We always keep it fresh, we always throw a curve ball which is why our motto is ‘Expect The Unexpected’ and this season has been no different. The viewers love to love people in the house, they love to hate the people in the house. They like to get involved and get their voices heard and we’re hearing them and we’re letting it effect the Houseguests and the game.
MW: As I said before, 20 seasons in, do you have a favorite moment you can look back on and say, ‘Wow, this moment stands out from the rest?’
JC: Yea, there are moments throughout the years – there are certain quotes that become memes and famous moments. When Rachel Reilly said, “Floaters, you better grab a life vest.” I love that on our show, season two, is where the term “showmance” and “bromance” were first coined and first used. Dr. Will Kirby, he used it for his bromance with Mike Boogie. He was in a showmance with Shannon in the house at the time as well.
I still love from season three when Marcellas decided he was feeling so confident that he wasn’t going to use the power veto to save himself. The power veto was something new we brought into the game in season three and then what happened – he was voted out.
I loved the first time we did a twin twist, we had two twin sisters play the game as one person. Then if they could do it successfully fooling the others into thinking it was just one person half-way through the summer we would expose them as two individuals. They successfully pulled that off and got to stay in the house as individual Houseguests.
The list goes on and on. I love watching the relationships and people fall in love. Our show is not designed to be a dating game or a romance game but when you’re living 24/7 with someone cut off from the outside world, you really get to know a person. And you’re living with that person.
Some people have started romance in the house, we’ve seen seen Jeff and Jordan who I think are expecting their second baby – they started their romance afterwards. They were connected but Jordan said ‘No, I promised my grandma I was not going to get in a showmance, I was not going to be seen kissing on television.’ She made Jeff wait and they started dating after they moved out and they are here with a child and another one on the way!
MW: Looking forward to more great moments like those this season! Thank you so much Julie and good luck the rest of the way!
JC: Thanks Matt!
Don’t miss a minute of the action as a new episode of Big Brother airs tonight at 9/8 C, only on CBS. Check your local listings for more information.