Pinoy Big Brother has always been controversial.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen how each edition exploded with interesting personalities (though, some not so) that didn’t only made headlines, but also offered a chance for TV audiences to see their own selves in them; through the relatable stories of Kuya’s housemates.
Ako: The Fearless Eater Robelle Neo
There are a lot of things you can expect every time a new season begins, though most of which are not exactly the ones you would look forward to; which include the boys being asked to cross-dress. Kuya pulls off his usual scare-fest, housemates undergo acting workshops, and they become concert performers, too.
On rare occasions, those tricks may work immensely. But like every joke, Kuya would need an interesting performer to pull off his trick and make the impact he aspires for, created. Thus, a housemate with a distinctly absorbing personality is required to get the task done.
And that has been the show’s biggest come-on, ever since it first aired more than 13 years ago – personalities, interesting people! In a way, the housemates offer a number of compelling guarantees to keep audiences glued on their TV screens.
Entertaining characters ensure a fun-filled viewing experience, but the ones who are ‘strategists’ are usually the ones who throw the house into chaos. And that’s usually the only time PBB gets really exciting as housemates bare all their issues, big confrontations shake the four corners of the house, and relationships get suddenly torn apart.
If you were to asked by someone what particular moment in PBB could take home the honors of being the most explosive in the television history, the usual answer would be the Bea Saw and Maricris Dizon fight. That is almost a no-brainer, admit it. But enter PBB Otso, and it will be difficult to get the same answer.
Pinoy Big Brother Otso is the eighth season and fourteenth edition of the Philippine franchise of the reality game show, Big Brother. Over the past few months, it has already become one of the most engaging seasons the show has ever seen. In November, the season kicked off with teenagers aging 14-18 as its first batch of housemates, and while TV audiences got treated with the usual teenage issues and little skirmishes, the teen edition still managed to be very interesting. It also holds the distinction of being the only edition with an all-female Big 4.
Now, let’s talk about adults.
When the first 8 official housemates entered the house last January, there were no strong indications that this was going to be the best edition, ever. But it did anyway, and it still does, as it continues with the housemates’ powerful and fun personalities that fill every episode with laughter; and of course, with the gripping confrontations that take the social media by storm.
The first batch of Adult Housemates—Apey and Mark, Abi, Lou, Andre, Fumiya, Yamyam, and Mitch—is a real gold mine, and Lauren Dyogi can only try his best to deny it. Not only has it one of the most diverse sets of housemates, it has brought together people with individually strong personalities, that show runners will surely mind throughout the remaining course of the show.
To the show runners’ credit, they have been doing one hell of a job to extract riveting narratives from the strong players in the house, but the individuality of each of the housemates are arguably what has been making those narratives even more engrossing.
I mean, Dyogi may be the one concocting the storm, but the players and their overwhelming personas, are bringing on the tornadoes. These people are undeniably what is making this edition a welcome return to form.
And while the days aren’t over for this irresistibly compelling season, there are already powerful suggestions that this is definitely going to be the most explosive PBB thus far.
Fumiya and Yamyam, Kuya’s “Laughteam”
Fumiya and Yamyam are two personalities who can easily fit the common character templates in the house—Fumiya, the usual pinoy-at-heart full-blooded foreigner type, while Yamyam comfortably fits the komikero/nakakatawang promdi archetype.
Tagged as the “laugh team” of Kuya, there is something really magical about the connection these two have forged. They both look natural, as if they have no idea how funny they are. PBB has been doing a good job utilizing these two by frequently highlighting hilarious correspondences between them, most of which involve Yamyam trying to introduce Fumiya to the Filipino culture.
What is even more interesting is how their genuinely heartwarming personalities transcend through the tv screens.
Wakim and his Devious Plans
This housemate, a real strategist, could potentially win Survivor (I’m talking about that other reality show. Yes, that one). Possibly the most intelligent housemate to ever join PBB, Wakim is a real genius, and a house player, too, with devious plans to turn every “scene” into his favor.
It’s his higher cause, as he would claim, after all, and every heated moment in the house, that can be his golden opportunity to win the crowd ( let’s pretend I meant “the crown”).
Now, whether his being nominated this week is an indication that his plans are not working, that is entirely up to the viewers, who I think should save this one hell of a personality from being expelled from the house.
Bear in mind, according to him, “ang bawat boto para sa akin ay isang boto para sa ikauunlad ng Pilipinas”
Mitch, PBB’s second transgender housemate
The show has obviously capitalized on the fact that she is a transgender, who is in a relationship with another member of the LGBTQI community. I mean, they can surely deny it, but even Mitch has apparently felt the need to utilize her unique identity to her advantage.
An MMK episode featuring her life story was even aired a few weeks ago, which could potentially earn her sympathy votes should she get nominated for eviction. Mitch’s story, however, isn’t entirely unique, as another housemate, already owns the distinction of being the first transgender to enter PBB.
But there may be more to her, given how she has been evidently playing safe, in the past three weeks.
Abi and Andre
Lou and Abi would have gotten into a potential love triangle scene with male housemate, Andre, had it not been for the latter who made the more aggressive, Abi, realize, that they may be entering an uncharted territory, when she made her confession she likes Andre.
Now, this scenario, isn’t new to the house. But what makes it a remarkable moment is how it got resolved. Andre told Abi that while he likes her too, they can’t just allow themselves to get devoured by their feelings (which he reminded her may be just temporary), knowing there are unwanted consequences that may come as a result of such unwise decision.
Sure, we got deprived of potential doses of “kilig” but the message transcended, made that moment even more special. A hottie with wisdom? Surely, that’s a plus! Way to go, Andre!
Apey, the Scene Stealer
Apey almost got all of us fooled she may be the next Maymay or Melai, when she first entered the house. She knows how to throw jokes, she talks a lot—she’s practically a living clown. But everything changed with just one heated encounter with another housemate. Yamyam, who seems to not know a lot of things, got into Apey’s nerves when he asked her what a loofah is used for.
Apparently, Apey is the kind of person who takes things, too seriously… though not in an adorable sense. Earlier in this edition, it was revealed that Apey has been looking for her father and other family members, from whom she got separated, when she was still a child. Her story is a potential snoozefest (though MMK can make an episode from her life story’s pages), to be honest, but her surprisingly strong unstable personality can turn everything around.
It was also revealed, right at the beginning of the Adults edition, that her brother Mark is also part of the show. Their meeting is arguably one of the most heartbreaking encounters of this season, but the heat of their reunion has seemingly just started. In one of the rarest moments, the siblings got into a furious confrontation, which, in my opinion, is the most explosive, of all heated arguments that happened inside the PBB house. It was also a smart choice, in PBB’s part, to mute all other sounds, except that of Apey and Mark, who at that moment, were engaged in one the most personal fights in the show’s history.
That choice just made everything natural, the moment felt raw and authentic, even without Kuya’s deceitful emotional manipulation.
The sheer volume of delicious oversized dramas and issues is undoubtedly the most exciting part of this season. This is what loyal viewers have been waiting for, in a very long time now.
This batch of adult housemates fits the bill of
being the most exciting mix of housemates to ever
enter Kuya’s house, and show runners seemed to
agree when they waited for three weeks before a
nomination took place, among the housemates.
Now it’s up to the viewers who they think should stay inside the house, and make this season full of wonders, even more wonderful, I must say. But maybe, the show runners, too? After all, they may have had the foresight of the scenario this batch was going to make, when they decided to put them together in one house for their fun social experiment.
Will the replacement housemates be as interesting as the leaving ones? I suppose we’ll all have to wait.
After more than 10 years on air, it is easy to believe that the house has finally used up all imaginable tricks to keep everything appealing, given how the past seasons failed to live up to the success of the earlier seasons (Kumander Nene and Bea Saw eras, that is), relying instead on futile twists and unlikable contestants. But PBB seems to have gotten its old vigor back with what could be the most diverting group of people to ever live inside the Pinoy Big Brother House.
Pinoy Big Brother Otso airs weeknights over ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida, right after Halik.