This year’s big brother Naija is the most anticipated, thanks to the success and followership recorded by the last edition. Many believe this year’s edition, tagged ‘shine ya eye’, would build on the momentum or at least match the last edition in rich content and entertainment. Conversely, we can’t rule out the role played by the COVID-19 lockdown in the success and popularity of last year’s edition, as many were at home and had to turn to the show to overcome boredom and restlessness.
However, this year’s edition has fallen short of expectations, and the gusto that characterised its build and commencement has fizzled out. Many viewers have bemoaned the palpable lack of thrills and intrigues on the part of the housemates.
The show has been deprived of its customary plotting and scheming that keeps viewers on tenterhooks. It has largely been devoid of the kind of entertainments and intrigues that are trademarks of the reality TV show.
However, many have attributed the blandness of this year’s show to the insouciance disposition of the housemates. The housemates make the show and once the organisers don’t get the selection of candidates right, then everything goes downhill.
A friend of mine, who has stopped watching the show, bemoaned the calibre of housemates selected for the show this year. They are dull, he averred. He asserted that there was a relationship between the social and economic status of housemates and their performance in the house.
“I think Big brother should stop bringing people that are ‘already made’ because most people in that house are doing okay to an extent. They should put street boys and girls. Hustlers. People who have talent but have not gotten a single chance to show it”, he quipped during our rendezvous.
In as much as I agree that housemates should not only see the show as a chariot that can be ridden to fame, I feel it will be better if the housemates are selected across the social and economic divide. Variety is the spice of life. Also, the show is not a social intervention or poverty alleviation scheme. It should be a mixture of people of different classes, orientations, and inclinations.
Last year, for instance, it was a mismatch of housemates of different backgrounds, leanings, and exposure. And their differences embellished the show and attracted people to it. It was not a fluke that more people watched and followed BBnaija last year than in previous years.
Last year, there were housemates from struggling families, those from an upper middle class, and those from middle-class households, and then you have got the son of a prominent billionaire. And they all gave viewers something to talk about.
We had Laycon who is a talented singer and rapper, then we had Ozo who is a sports aficionado and always seized every moment he got to tell anyone who cared to listen about his plans for the sports sector in the country, then Kidwayya a gym enthusiast and an entrepreneur at heart. Then there’s Erica an established actress and you have Vee, Nengi, Neo, Dorathy and others. It was a perfect blend of different characters, albeit smart and thoughtful ones.
Whenever these people came together, whether during the moments of camaraderie or period of pensiveness, there was always something thoughtful to glean from such gathering. Their convergence radiated brilliance, it exuded profoundness.
However, the same can’t be said of this year’s housemates. Their inability to keep tongues wagging in the street reflects horribly on the Twitter trends table, where you have BBnaija struggling to register itself in the consciousness of social media users as other topics and events of less followership gain traction. The development has prompted many to ask big brother to go on a long hiatus after this year’s edition.