Big Brother Canada 11 interview: Arisa Cox on losing live feeds, digital dailies
Big Brother Canada season 11 is set to air on Global this Wednesday, and leading into it there is a lot to discuss. There is no denying that the decision to swap out the live feeds with Digital Dailies has been polarizing online, with a major sentiment being that it takes away a major aspect of the show.
So what will these Digital Dailies entail, and are they still going to provide that feeling of watching live that so many of us have enjoyed over the years? This morning we spoke to host and executive producer Arisa Cox about the change, understanding the frustration on the part of viewers, and what we can expect from the Digital Dailies moving forward — plus, the murder-mystery theme at the heart of season 11.
Matt & Jess TV – Let’s just start off with the elephant in the room with the lack of live feeds. How are you feeling about it?
Arisa Cox – I feel that people really care and people were in their feelings — me too. I’m not sitting here saying ‘what?’ — I totally understand. Big Brother is a unique show, and there are so many levels that it is operating on. The live feed world is one of them. It’s not the only world, but it’s one of them. I have to remember that people care because they really like the show, they like the experiment, and they want to see more. We also want to show more, but there are realities that make some of that very challenging.
As people go through the five stages of grief, including myself, what I think helps us move forward is that we do have these Digital Dailies. I can at least now share a little bit more detail. We’re talking hours and hours of uncut footage that will be uploaded every week throughout the season. This idea that they’re going to see nothing other than a couple of clips here and there, no! We want to show the strategies and the personalities and the friendships. We want to show all of that. We’re all coming from the same place and we’re going to do our best to do that, while keeping in mind that we have so many plates to spin at the same time while we create a show this big and is important to so many people.
So with these Digital Dailies, are we talking about something that will be posted every day? Let’s just say that I’m up with a cup of coffee and I want to see what’s going on in the house. Do I hop on the website and there are going to be new clips there?
It’s going to be much closer to the After Dark experience. There will be some people who will like this more. There will be some people who say ‘I want to take my ball and go home.’ There are going to be a range of opinions. I can’t tell people how to feel; as someone who loves the show, I can just reassure people of how much we also love the show. No decision we make is going to be made lightly and we want the show to continue for a long time. The world we live in right now and the media landscape is different than it was five years ago — certainly ten years ago when the show launched, and 24 years ago since I was on a reality show with live feeds (The Lofters).
Things change, and I understand that people don’t like change and are resistant to it. I get it, especially when they don’t know the alternative. I am really excited to see how things shake out this season, and I do think we have the right group of houseguests.
Let’s just throw out a couple of examples here, like Sabrina’s ‘do you want good TV?’ rant from season 2 or Kevin putting on a suit and going into the HoH room last season. Are these things like this going to be shown in the Digital Dailies?
Yes! We want these moments. These are iconic moments that are very niche. For us, who are in that niche, these moments are everything. We want to deliver all of them. Rest easy — we want you to see as much as we can.
In getting into the theme, let me just say that I love the movie Clue…
This whole season is a diabolical whodunnit. The whole idea of a mystery really does lend itself to what Big Brother is since there is so much deceit involved. No murder, but definitely deceit. I’m really excited because some of the twists and turns this season are related to that. I love when people have an idea of how they’re going to play or what they’re going to do, but have to alter things when there is a new obstacle put in front of them. The good gamers, social players, and strategists find their way out. Those turn out to be the most fun twists — if people still have an opportunity to find their way out of a bind, I want to see that. It’s not just rooting for the underdogs; it’s about rooting for people who are clever and great problem-solvers.
I looked at the cast, and it seems like there’s a fun, diverse group who are all eager to player. Now, I know a lot of seasons are informed heavily by what happened the year before. After Kevin last season, do you think it’s going to be really hard for anyone to try and downplay themselves too much? Is that going to be an immediate problem?
Yes! I remember Kevin going in and saying ‘I know everything. I’m going to be a villain and I’m going to pretend I don’t know’ — I was like ‘good luck.’ He literally looked like central casting sent in a superfan. Who would believe him? Yet, they didn’t necessarily believe that per se, but they really liked being around him. Kevin’s a lot of fun to be around. It’s very enjoyable, especially in a pressure-cooker like Big Brother, to be around someone having fun. To some people, it’s a lot to be in there. For others, it’s not that serious — they’re just like ‘I’m in this thing for three months, then I’m out of here. Maybe I’ll win, or maybe I won’t, but what an experience.’
I love to watch people who have a great sense of perspective as to why they are there and what they’re getting out of the experience. Everyone is different. I want to watch people who are going to thrive and just not survive.
I’ve seen the promos for this season, and you seem to be having a lot of fun sitting back in that chair and talking about the theme? Is this another fun character you’re getting to play?
Let me tell you — if I had it my way, I would be in a big chair with a high back, and I would turn around with a cat in my lap with a monocle. I live for this stuff. I grew up watching old movies. I’ve read a lot of mystery books. I’m really excited about the fun aspect — we’re very dramatic! Big Brother Canada is very dramatic and over-the-top. That matches this theme and the house. I’m really excited to see how people play this game.
Related – Read more about the cast for Big Brother Canada season 11
Are you planning to watch Big Brother Canada season 11 when it premieres on Wednesday?
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