SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t watched tonight’s episode of “Big Brother Canada” on Global, then STOP READING NOW! Spoilers lie ahead….
To say the first two weeks of “Big Brother Canada 8” have been chaotic is an understatement of gigantic proportions. It started with an unprecedented self-eviction, then live eviction audiences were banned due to the coronavirus outbreak, and now producers have removed two houseguests for breaking house rules.
Host Arisa Cox — presenting from her home amidst the virus pandemic — announces at the top of the show that tonight’s episode will be a little different. Warehouse worker Jamar Lee and electrician Kyle Rozendal have been ejected from the house for separate incidents. Therefore, the live eviction between Minh-Ly Nguyen-Cao and Rianne Swanson is cancelled, and the game will effectively reset.
This chaos encapsulates the world right now, and in this episode, the real world comes crashing into the reality-TV world. It’s a reminder that despite the frivolity of this game with its showmances, goofy competitions, and silly costumes, these are real people with real feelings living in an isolated environment cut off from the outside world. Until tonight, the 14 remaining contestants were perhaps the only Canadians unaware of the events going on in their country and across the globe.
In a surreal but solemn moment, the houseguests are gathered on the sofa and informed of the coronavirus pandemic. Their reactions are undoubtedly similar to those experienced by viewers at home — a mixture of confusion, fear, and panic. Assurances that their loved ones are currently safe and healthy help alleviate some of the worries, but not being able to call or reach out to their parents or children or significant others is obviously an emotional struggle.
For a short moment, the game comes to a stop. The bitching and backstabbing subsides. It’s no longer about alliances or blindsides; it’s about supporting one another in a time of uncertainty. Comforting hugs and words of encouragement are shared as the group read letters from home. For a little while, there is a respectful camaraderie between this ragtag bunch of strangers, who, in a way, have grown into their own family of sorts over the past 16 days.
Real-life issues also raise their head in terms of race, when Carol makes an off-colour joke about the cops coming after Jamar. The inappropriate gag catches Jamar off guard, but he laughs it off in the moment. Angie, however, thinks Jamar should have said something. It’s not so much that Angie thinks Carol is racist, but the connotations of the joke are damaging, and if people watching see the houseguests just brushing it off, then they won’t understand why it’s wrong.
Carol later takes Jamar aside and apologises for her comments, explaining that she never meant what she said maliciously. It’s an enlightening conversation as Jamar opens up about being stereotyped in his everyday life because of his skin color and how he looks. Carol listens, Jamar accepts her apology, and the pair hug it out and put any bad blood behind them.
But with all these heightened emotions, combined with the already stressful environment of the “Big Brother” house, it’s perhaps unsurprising that things boil over, resulting in the removal of not one but two houseguests. It starts when Minh-Ly calls a house meeting to get to the bottom of the lies, which leads to her calling out Kyle and Vanessa. As alliances are exposed, tempers begin to flare.
The exact details of what happened next are unclear, as the footage isn’t shown in the episode. However, Arisa explains that Jamar’s conduct following Minh-Ly’s tense house meeting “breached the house rules.” While Kyle’s removal happened later and was based on “a series of problematic behaviour” throughout the season so far.
In a joint statement, Global and Insight Productions tell ET Canada, “In both cases, the removed houseguests exhibited behaviour which is not tolerated in the Big Brother house, and is considered contrary to the spirit and integrity of Big Brother Canada.
“The decision made by production took in to account things that were and were not shown on the live feeds. We are committed to presenting an experience that reflects the values of all Canadians. Out of respect for our houseguests, footage will not be shown.”
Executive producer Erin Brock once again speaks to the houseguests to let them know that Jamar and Kyle will not be returning. She announces the eviction cancellation and a game reset while explaining they will not tolerate any inappropriate behavior.
“Big Brother Canada takes people from all different walks of life and backgrounds, and you get to learn about each other,” says Brock. “It’s a gift to be here. We have to do better together.”
Before the game gets back on track with a new Head of Household competition, Angie leads the houseguests in group prayer, promising to be kinder and look out for one another moving forward.