The big differences in Big Brother

ABOVE: Mat, leader of the Alpha group in Big Brother, celebrates yet another victory over a housemate. BELOW: Big Brother host Sonia Kruger
ABOVE: Mat, leader of the Alpha group in Big Brother, celebrates yet another victory over a housemate. BELOW: Big Brother host Sonia Kruger

Watching a full week's worth of Big Brother it's pretty clear there have been some big changes to the iconic reality TV show.

One of the biggest changes is how much easier it is to actually watch a full week's worth of the show.

It's not surprising that changes had to be made. When the show first aired almost 20 years ago, the idea of watching people in a house through a wealth of cameras was something new.

But today, with the prevalence of CCTV cameras in society broadly and the ability of people to share their lives on various social media apps the novelty simply isn't there any more.

The series is now screening on Seven, having started on Ten in 2001 and running to 2008, before Nine picked it up for two years from 2012.

When the series first came to our screens, it felt like the Ten schedule was wall-to-wall Big Brother, much of it being almost live.

My recollection is that there would be an episode each evening detailing what had happened in the house that day and, on a Sunday night, there would be a live eviction where the public got to vote on which housemate would get the boot.

As well as that there were regular episodes of shows like Big Brother Uncut and Big Brother Up Late, which showed more risque snippets, including showing housemates nude.

Given the controversy those shows attracted, it's unlikely we'll see a return of them as part of Seven's package.

What Seven has done is limited the coverage to just three nights - Sunday-Tuesday. That has actually improved the show because it means they can pick the highlights from the house rather than the old daily format concept which was often hit and miss and dependent on whether anything interesting had happened that day.

Often, not that much interesting had happened, which led to rather dull viewing at times.

Because the show is no longer "live" it means the chance to have a public vote isn't possible, so the makers have opted for a Survivor-style elimination where whichever housemate wins that night's challenge gets to choose who is up for eviction.

That increases the tension as we get to watch contestants' paranoia about who is out to get them and, therefore, who they want to push out.

As with many reality shows, a dominant group has formed - in this case it's the "Alpha males" of Mat, Daniel and Xavier.

They're the big schemers in the house, looking to axe any rivals.

To anyone watching it's clear that Mat is the leader and the other two are followers - it's likely that, if it served his purpose to knock off either Daniel or Xavier he'd do it in a heartbeat.

The other two, well, they just don't seen to see that likelihood, even though they've watched him make deals with other housemates only to get them evicted in the next episode.

This week that was the fate on Angela, who was shaping up as real competition for the Alphas, only to place a massive target on her back when she was put up for eviction and started having a go at a number of other housemates.

If there is a weak spot in the show it's the host Sonia Kruger, who appears on screen in the house at the end of each episode to talk housemates through the events that we've just seen and handle the eviction.

It feels unnecessary and acts as a drag on the show right when it should be reaching its climax.


7.30pm, Sunday-Tuesday, Seven