Big Brother Australia 2020 – “Let’s Play This Game”

With Angela’s big return to the game guaranteed to make for an interesting week, blindsides and nomination blunders were all the rage for Week 3.

You wouldn’t believe which three housemates were sent packing in Big Brother this week, so many twists and turns no one saw coming. This was a massive batch of episodes as the game really starts to heat up!

WEEK 3 RECAP

EPISODE SEVEN:

Inside Big Brother’s Bunker, Angela prepares to share the controls as she watches and listens to her fellow housemates still inside the house. Big Brother explains Angela will help Big Brother carry out some tasks, making an impact to better her future game and obtaining her revenge for her eviction.

The next morning, as Angela watches on from the bunker, leading housemate Daniel refocuses his target on Kieran, for being a strategic and crafty player. For the episode’s task, the housemates must say “yes” to any request Big Brother makes. With the reward a massive KFC feast for the entire house. As Angela influences what housemates will have to say “yes” to, the housemates ultimately pass the task and enjoy their fast food. But it isn’t long before the housemates grow annoyed with Kieran for not helping with the household chores.

For the Nominations Challenge, the housemates will again compete in self-selected pairs, needing to stack ten cylinders on a wooden shelf, while keeping it balanced in the air using pulleys. Wearing velcro-lined boots and walking on a velcro floor, the challenge is extremely difficult from the outset. In the end, Sarah and Zoe win the challenge but have difficulty agreeing on who their nominations will be. Sarah asks to nominate Garth, Casey or Xavier for being perceived threats, but Zoe disagrees as the latter two are working with her in Daniel’s group. Zoe insists nominating Kieran is “non-negotiable”, and on her urging, the pair end up nominating Kieran, Marissa and Ian with Ian being nominated as a swing vote to persuade the house to evict Kieran.

Angela is unhappy with the nominations because Kieran and Marissa were her allies, and takes up Big Brother’s offer to bring someone into the bunker so she can convince them to evict Ian. Angela chooses Garth, and convinces him to stop Daniel’s group from becoming more powerful in the house by evicting Ian. Garth re-entered the house and started rallying to those outside Daniel’s group to strategically evict Ian.

At the eviction, Kieran said he was nominated because he plays the game, and Ian believed the story his nomination was to make people vote for the others. But as Garth and Angela successfully flip the house, Zoe’s plan backfires, Dan’s group is down a man, as Ian is evicted in a 7-4-1 vote.

Ian is evicted in a shocking blindside, immediately departing from the Big Brother house.
IMAGE: CHANNEL SEVEN

EPISODE EIGHT:

It’s a sad morning for Dan after Ian’s eviction, as he reminisces over Ian’s time in the house. He says that a lot of things remind him of Ian, including the person who sent him home, Garth, who he no longer trusts. Angela wakes up in the bunker, soon heading back into the house, while Garth expresses excitement after being able to evict Ian the night before, even though he realises he has lost face with Daniel’s group for it.

Big Brother reveals his Bunker and releases Angela back into the house. And immediately, strategically, Angela pretends that she doesn’t know Ian got evicted the night before. Later, Mat tells Big Brother that he feels uncomfortable knowing that Garth was the driver behind Ian’s eviction, saying he plays with loyalty, and Garth’s betrayal has lost standing with Mat moving forward. That night, Big Brother organises an Italian feast to celebrate Angela’s return, but the house tension calls for a quiet night. To break the ice, letters from home arrive and everyone shares their massively missed love from their family.

Early in the morning, Garth tries to make up with the Alpha group, but Mat says he doesn’t trust him at all. He calls a meeting with the group to discuss nominating Garth and stacking votes against him, but this makes Zoe nervous about the large scale strategic plan.

In the Nominations Challenge, long and narrow platforms run down the length of the Basement, and ribbons run down the platforms. Housemates must stack five wooden blocks on the end of the ribbon and pull on it so that the blocks move down the track and make it to the other end without falling over. The first housemate to have their stack cross the coloured line wins, as Zoe manages to do so claiming two wins in a row. She nominates Daniel, Shane and Garth, hoping that Garth goes home with Daniel acting as bait. Angela is pleased that Daniel is up for eviction, and tries to rally votes against him.

Zoe wins her second straight Nominations Challenge, after being the first to get her stack to cross the line.
IMAGE: CHANNEL SEVEN

At the eviction, Angela says she wants to get rid of dangerous players before they get rid of her. Garth says no housemate should be feeling comfortable, while Shane says it’s hard to place 100% trust in anyone. In a near landslide vote, the house evicts Garth 12-1-0. But before he leaves, he announces that he was in the bunker.

EPISODE NINE:

Early on Day 19, Shane tells Big Brother he wants to vote out Daniel, Mat and Xavier because they control the house and he can’t see a place with them at the end. Later, Big Brother announces that the girls take up to five hours every day doing their makeup, which means the boys don’t get any time in there. He offers the boys exclusive use of the bathroom for two hours. The girls each get one “toilet pass” for use during this time, prompting a protest in the diary room.

Later that day, the housemates complain of low food supplies and discuss what their first meals on the outside would be. Kieran complains that he wouldn’t eat the basic rations of tuna, rice and soy sauce on the outside and that he’s craving tomato bruschetta. Promptly, for the shopping task, a few fake rain clouds appear hanging in the backyard. Over 24 hours, there will be rainstorms coming from these clouds when indicated by the lounge room screen, and housemates must collect the water and transfer it to a “rain gauge” receptacle. The more water collected, the more money won for shopping. Big Brother gives a secret mission to the housemates for the duration of the shopping task to secretly make Chad clock 12km on a pedometer hidden in his microphone. By that night, the housemates collect $150 worth of water. Sophie decides to make Chad follow her around the house, but tells him that she’s trying to “get his step take up”.

The next morning Big Brother announces the end of the task, saying they have won $175. Big Brother also announces the secret mission to Chad. However, because Sophie mentioned his step count the night before, they fail the secret mission. Sophie goes to the diary room, furious with the ruling, but Big Brother stays firm with his decision. She expresses this anger in the bedroom, prompting discussion between other housemates.

For the Nominations Challenge, housemates must place balls on the top of a see-saw and keep them balanced using a stirrup connected to one side of it. The last housemate to keep their balls balanced wins, and right up her ally, Marissa beats Hannah after 45 minutes of competition. She decides to nominate members of the Alpha group: Xavier, Mat and Zoe. Upsetting Zoe who believes that she’s guaranteed to go home. Angela says that her alliance is going to vote for Zoe. But moments before the eviction, Shane says that he wants to vote out Mat because he is a physical and social threat.

Nominees and allies Mat, Zoe and Xavier prepare to face the news that one of them will be sent home.
IMAGE: CHANNEL SEVEN

At the eviction, Zoe says she wants to stay because she wants to show people how fun she is, while Mat concedes it’s his turn to be nominated for the first time. Kieran is extremely up in the air about the vote, with many discussions taking place to decide who the next evictee will be. Despite Shane’s efforts, the housemates evict Zoe in a close 6-5-1 vote.

REVIEW

THE EVICTEES

NOOOO! NOT GARTH! Garth was an amazingly fun and strategic personality that was absolutely needed in this season of Big Brother Australia. He is probably the best player this season, given how he could control and manipulate many other housemates. But he wasn’t perfect, his threat level was always prevalent and it was a matter of time before they would all gang up against him and send him home. But damn, I really wanted Garth to do well this season. What a thrill to watch, he’ll be very much missed from the competition and I wish he could have won it all. In contrast, I’m not so phased with Zoe‘s eviction, she didn’t strike me as much of a player to the context of the game but her personality isn’t so bad. Nominating her allies? That’s incredibly insane! It paid off to evict Garth, sure, but it backfired when Ian was evicted. Always nominate those outside your circle, it floored me Zoe was able to risk Dan after Ian’s blindside, and I think if it wasn’t Garth against him, it probably would have backfired again. Good on Zoe for winning two challenges, but she didn’t make enough of an impact for me. A massive blindside on Ian was SOOO fun to watch. It made the episode so captivating and really turned the season up to a whole new level. Yes, Ian was a crowd and house favourite, but that’s exactly why he needed to go home! He would have won the game entirely and he’s the perfect collateral damage to decimating Dan’s Alpha group. I liked Ian, he was a pleasant surprise this season and I otherwise enjoyed him. And I think taking the shot against Angela certainly was a great move for him. What’s interesting is that winning these challenges has been a massive reason for evicting these housemates, as all of this week’s evictees walked away with a challenge win. That’ll be interesting to watch as we go forward as well as how producers will edit this likely possibility next season.

THE BEST HOUSEMATES

There are clearly some housemates who are outshining others. Who didn’t love watching Angela in the bunker? Her cackle and pure enjoyment over seeing her housemates suffer in the task was just brilliant to watch. She’s the best housemate this season, bar none. Absolutely brilliant TV and I only grow to love her more and more every week. She has great strategic insight as well, I just think she holds little standing with the housemates when it comes to convincing them how to vote. She has to work hard without making her seem even more of a threat than she is. I hope it pays off for her, because she knows exactly who needs to go to give her the best chance moving forward. However, I don’t see her surviving for much longer. Other standout housemates is my emerging strategic legend Shane, buddy, come on take out Mat (from Broken Hill)! He, much like Angela, can see how the Alphas are forming their group and that they need to go NOW if they want to get to the end. Sure, he didn’t evict Mat from the house, but he’s made some headway with his fellow housemates and as long as he isn’t targeted soon, he might just be able to take them out eventually. I knew I loved Shane, the show didn’t give me a chance for it though. I enjoy Sophie, even though her bedroom tantrum wasn’t my favourite moment to watch. I think she’s an underlying threat, she hasn’t been nominated, nor has she won a challenge – but she’s got some strategic showing in her eviction votes and how she aligns with certain housemates. She’s playing the game, and having fun with Chad too. So I hope she continues to play the game and we see more of it too. Speaking of Chad, that task was so fun to watch. Completely oblivious to what people were trying to make him do, just so fun. I’m really surprised with how Chad has appeared this season, I really expected a shock jock, but it’s not that. He’s enjoyable and probably goes on to make a large impact in the future. I’d love to see how he navigates nominations by winning a challenge. Sarah‘s managed to hide her threat level well, with two wins under her belt. I don’t mind watching her quite honestly, I think she plays the game well. Another win won’t do her well though, they’ll for sure come after her then. But given she’s stayed under the radar for much of the game, she’ll probably make it to next week. I really enjoy watching Marissa as well, those massive nominations were HUGE for the game. Here’s hoping we see more of this strong and threatening Marissa going forward, even if the housemates won’t like it.

Angela sits inside the BB Bunker, watching every move of her fellow housemates.
IMAGE: CHANNEL SEVEN

THE NOT SO MUCH HOUSEMATES

I don’t know, I don’t despise anyone but I’m still not warming up to some others. Mat isn’t bad, like at all, I just don’t know if his head’s in the right place for the game. It’s all well and good preaching loyalty but Mat’s gonna cross some of his own people too. There’s only three spots at the end, he’s gotta work to get them. But his rising presence in the show after this week signals to me he’s got a big arc coming. I can see Mat doing well, despite my reservations of his gameplay. Daniel is another that I don’t think is bad but just isn’t my favourite. His personality in the house is mostly enjoyable, I think he’s a great character to mix with the other housemates. Again, just not sold completely on everything. But he’s probably in the middle of the road for me. Kieran‘s still a bloody mess, I don’t know what his game is sometimes. It’s not strategic. I don’t care what people call it. A strategic game is actually playing well, Kieran isn’t. Therefore, there’s no successful strategy – except for a losing one. Once he’s gone, I won’t be phased, but the target he has will linger until his eviction. Everyone knows they can get rid of him, it’s just a matter of time. We’re seeing more and more of Xavier, Hannah and Casey, but it still feels like there’s a lot we’re missing. Is there a breakout episode to come? Hopefully. But come on BB show us these guys some more.

EDITING TROUBLE NO MORE?

I think the editing has again come around a lot since last week. It’s harder to predict who will win the challenge and be nominated/evicted most episodes, and I’m beginning to care more about the housemates and pick my favourites and non-favourites. We do need to see more of some, and less of others, but it’s likely a true testament to their personalities at this stage. Plus, housemates with an event in the episode are always likely to get more screen time, although this doesn’t seem to be the case for the ‘third’ nominee, the one that isn’t going home at all. I don’t know, there’s some tight fixes that can be improved this season or next year’s edition, but otherwise I like how the editing has developed and am happy with the progression made. This is a pretty strong season, I think the edit captures most of that.

FORMAT HIGHLIGHTS

The tasks definitely keep the ‘fun’ of Big Brother present. They’re great to watch and really remind us of some of the good old days for this Australian format. But sometimes there’s some lacklustre moments, like the “yes” task formerly being a staple to the show, now shown for like 15 minutes in total. Where’s the big haircut, where’s the incentive to make the housemates lose? Haven’t they won every challenge by now? I wanna see them sweat, go hungry, complain. There could be some BB gold in there. These tasks need to be picked up a notch or two. I love the Nominations Challenges, it’s awesome seeing where people have strengths and how the nominations are influenced from them. There’s a nice variety, it could be larger but I’m not so fussed on it after this week. This element is certainly making the new format fun to watch. Evictions aren’t all too exciting, and I STILL HATE HOW SONIA READS THE VOTES. There’s no suspense, at all. I mean, at all. I already know who’s going the moment the second name is called. That’s it for me. Someone needs to fix that, it baffles me how it wasn’t picked up from the first eviction when they filmed. A minor error, but nevertheless, it sticks out at the end of every episode. I can’t stop thinking about it. Beyond that, Sonia does a fine job and the episode’s structure runs somewhat smoothly. For a first season, this is definitely where things should be looking and how it can be improved going forward.

That’s it for the Week 3 Review, who will be sent packing this week as Big Brother Australia continues to send shock waves around the nation. Keep me updated with all your BB thoughts and I’ll see you soon!

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Big Brother Australia continues tonight (Sunday) at 7:00pm, and runs through on Monday and Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel Seven!


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