Big Brother Canada interview: Arisa Cox sets up season 7!

Arisa CoxTonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time on Global, Big Brother Canada 7 is officially set to launch! It’s a secret-agent themed season filled with fun twists, new players, and probably opportunities to see some great backstabs and plenty of notable moments. The Canadian version has always excelled with great casting and some of the best production design out there. After seeing some of the players and looking at the house, all signs point to season 7 bringing it once again.

To go along with this interview, be sure to check out our preseason video at the bottom of this article! We discuss five notable contestants and with that, make our own winner pick. For more, subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube — we’ll have updates form the live feeds and more all season long!

Leading up to tonight’s premiere, we’re back with our preseason interview with Arisa Cox! Every season she excels as a host, while also remaining every bit as passionate a viewer as everyone at home. This year, we spoke with Arisa about the theme for the year, her thoughts on casting, and also how fantastic it is that we are entering the seventh year of this show as a whole.

CarterMatt – I want to go back to before season 1 for a minute — did you have any sort of thinking in your head that the show would make it to season 7?

Arisa – Absolutely not! It was such a thrill to land this gig. I love the show and I just wanted to make an amazing season of television and we were crossing our fingers for season 2. You know how TV works in Canada. You really gotta hope and pray that you make it past one. After [season] 2, which was such a strong and bananas season, I was like ‘okay, let’s get crazy here. Let’s shoot for the moon. If we can just get to five’ … and here we are on the eve of season 7! I could not be more proud of our team for putting on such a world-class production.

I can’t imagine watching it without all of the knowledge that I have behind the scenes, but it’s such a great show — even if I had nothing to do with it, I would be just as excited for it.

Going into the season, how much research do you do — do you get primers on everything and various interviews?

You may not know this but going into season 1, I made it my policy to not find out anything about the cast until the cast is released to the public. Think about the restraint to do that (laughs)! I sort of compare it to not knowing if you’re having a girl or a boy and then letting yourself be surprised. It’s a surprise whenever you find out, but there’s still something exciting about waiting until the big day to see these bios and watch the videos alongside everyone else. That adds so much to the experience for me and it makes me go into the game giving everyone their shot rather than having early favorites. I’ve got on my eye on each and every one of them because there has not been a year when I was not surprised by multiple people in the cast.

I really looking forward to this cast — I think it’s a strong one! It’s a little bit older, so I think that’s going to present some new and interesting changes. I think when you get older, maybe you know yourself a little bit more. Maybe you suffer fools a little bit less. I’m excited to see how that plays out in the game.

Beyond just the age, there’s also the notion of life experience — you can be old and not have a lot of life experience, or you can be young and have a lot. I look at these people, and there’s a lot of them who are very well-traveled and are from different parts of the country — take someone like Damien. Do you think having so many different cultures is going to make this season interesting?

I do. I tend to think Canadians have a leg up on that in general in terms of being exposed to many different cultures and regions. I do think they’ve got a lot of experience under their belts — a lot of people from one part of the country who’ve lived in another part of the country, which is also cool.

But, you never know, though! On paper, everything can look one way when in reality it can be totally different. Because this is a social game, you could have the best strategy in the world, but if you don’t have the people to play with you, it’s pointless! The people who do well at this game are the people who can adapt, stay flexible, and stay on their toes. Also, throw into the mix someone who is going to be entertaining.

I gotta talk to you about Kailyn, because she’s entering this game with an ideal to pretend to be much younger than she is and also to not tell anyone about her family. It’s such a risky move — Derrick was able to go in and lie during Big Brother 16, but that was just with his job, mostly. Do you think that she can do this? Hats off to her if she can, but I’m worried.

I am nervous for the same reasons that you’re nervous (laughs). Say you’re nervous about your profession — you’re a cop, but you say you’re an EMT. Something fairly close, so it’s believable and you have a lot of the same stories. I think it’s dangerous to try and hide too much. The danger there is that you seem guarded — even if you don’t know you’re being guarded, and even if the person listening to you can’t put their finger on why — that is dangerous. This is a game where you have to trust one another and find people who want to trust you. If you have a wall there, even if you don’t know what it is, that can impact your game in a bad way.

A prime example of this is Mitch in season 4, who didn’t share a huge part of his life that he was this massive YouTube sensation and best-selling author. One of the criticisms people had of him later in the game was that they didn’t think he was open and it was hard to trust him and want to work with him. That’s what I’m afraid of for Kailyn. But, there are people who are really, really good at the deception part of this game. As someone who is intuitive, it’s possible that she’s able to give people what they need without sharing everything in her life.

Seventy days is just a long time to not be honest. It’s hard.

I feel like production always does a good job of finding new themes for the show — I still remember the BBCan Grand and then the BBCan Odyssey. What excites you about the theme for this season? It feels a lot like a secret agent, James Bond sort of thing.

First of all, I think nobody does a theme like Big Brother Canada. We set the theme, we lean into it, and you see it in the house and in the twists and in the terminology. What I like about it is that when you really think about it, this is exactly what Big Brother is — it’s a spy game! It’s about deception and manipulation and spying and surveillance. We’re just going with the movie version of it — of course, your lair is built into the side of a mountain (laughs),  you have shadowy figures controlling and spying over your every move. The moment I found out about the theme, I just thought it was perfection. I love it.

I’ve really settled over the past few years on the most important thing in the game being that you have to make people feel good heading out the door. It doesn’t matter if you win all the competitions or dominate strategically — they gotta want to vote for you! So, let’s say you’re in the game and you’re seeing people leave. What can you try to do to ensure that they want to vote for you?

I think a lot of it is pretty basic stuff, but you own your game and you apologize for your transgressions. They’re such simple things, but pretending you had nothing to do with somebody’s outster when you did is a bad look. Not apologizing when you’ve wronged someone is a bad look. For a master class in how to handle a jury, look no further than Tamar Braxton of all people — she managed to both apologize for her own mistakes and errors, and when she had to hurt people when she didn’t mean to, but also stand up for the things she did do. She won unanimously for a reason — I think she did a masterful job of running that jury.

I think we’ve seen both on our show and the US version how a lot of people mess that last little piece of the puzzle up. Would Kaycee had beaten Tyler if Tyler had done a better job of owning his game? I think Tyler would’ve won hands-down.

As a reminder…

Tonight’s Big Brother Canada premiere airs tonight at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on Global.

What are you the most excited for in Big Brother Canada 7?

Be sure to share right now in the comments! (Photo: Global.)

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