#BB19 is just 2 days away! We continue our Hype Train for the upcoming 19th broadcast installment of Big Brother! If you’ve missed the first two parts of our series, you can find (1) and (2) here respectively.
Big Brother is a game of social strategy combined with, now, physical strength. Some seasons feature power balance swings that go back and forth all season long making the season entertaining. Sometimes an alliance steamrolls through a season, or one particular person is instrumental in nearly every eviction throughout the course of the season. What I wanted to do today was cover the best and worst of BB’s 18 seasons so far. Except the first season, I excluded that because it was a completely different game.
Also, I’m not including Big Brother Canada on this list because I haven’t watched any of those yet. Maybe in the offseason, but they’re way too overproduced to me, one day though.
The Five Worst
#5. Big Brother 16
Now calm down and let me explain. This season was boring as hell after 3 weeks. After Hurricane Devin was evicted there was no legitimate competition for (eventual winner), not to mention Caleb’s unhealthy and one-sided obsession of Amber and Cody’s undying loyalty and ultimately STUPID decision at the Final 3. Pretty much anyone who opposed the major alliance got picked off one by one on the way to the most predictable season in BB History. The only reason why it’s not “higher” on this list is because I can’t determine whether or not everyone looks stupid because the winner was so good or if he had an easy road because people were so stupid.
#4. Big Brother 4
I will say that this season produced one of the most underrated winners of all-time who absolutely played both sides like a fiddle. It’s still a hard season to watch because it just moves slowly in my opinion. The twist was unique at the time, with several houseguests playing alongside an ex (calling it The Ex-Factor), but it was just a mess of a season to me.
#3. Big Brother 11
I went back and forth on this one and couldn’t decide between 8, 11 or 13. While none of these seasons are objectively bad, there were pieces of them that were questionable and directly led to the eventual winners of their respective seasons. To me, 11 was particularly bad in how the game was completely flipped by production halfway through. When America was given the ability to grant a special power to one of the houseguests, they quickly gave it to fan favorite Jeff. This power allowed him to usurp Chima’s HoH and send home his biggest threat. While America loved it, it was pretty screwed up that they completely derailed the game and the majority alliance of the season. It pissed Chima off so much that she essentially quit (got kicked out) the game. It almost redeemed itself at the end, and the winner was better than the runner up, by far, but 3rd place should’ve won and it’s not even close.
#2. Big Brother 9
Wellllllllllllllllllll where do we begin with Big Brother 9? Is it tolerable to watch? After the first few weeks, yes, but damn it’s like a trainwreck the whole way through. First and foremost, this season aired during the Winter/Early Spring because of the Writer’s Strike of 07/08, so you can have a pretty good idea of how this season got scrounged together. The theme of the season was “Til Death Do You Part” and the 16 houseguests brought into the fold were assigned to each other in duos. For the first few weeks of the game, HoH, POV and evictions all happened in couplets. This led to two players getting incredibly screwed out of their game due to having two ridiculously unsavvy partners. Luckily one of them got to come back due to a player having to leave the game. Aside from the sloppy game play, the people themselves were……not that great. Yeah, so, for starters you have two or three houseguests who maliciously went after another houseguest’s personal vulnerability (her Father had committed suicide). You have probably the most questionable HoH question of all-time that probably changed the direction of the game. You have two houseguests starting a drug ring with the winnings, which in and of itself doesn’t change the quality of the season, but just goes to kind of put a neat little nasty bow on this dumpster fire of a season.
#1. Big Brother 15
You’ve heard of this one. Half the house was racist. I don’t give a damn how great the gameplay got at the end, screw that. Aaryn is trash, don’t give a damn if she has a moderately successful YouTube channel, don’t care if GinaMarie is a model, don’t give two damns about what Amanda, Spencer or Kaitlyn or the rest of them are doing with their lives. They’re trash. Andy deserved to win this season for a multitude of reasons and I hate that such a win is tarnished by the crap that went on around it. No excuse for the way Helen, Candice and Howard were treated. Period.
The Five Best
So let’s get into the positives, what were the BEST BB Seasons?
#5. Big Brother 3
I had to shift around where I placed this one because I’m kind of letting my own bias here get in the way. A lot of people praise BB2 because it was the introduction to the current format of BB, but to be honest, this season provided the basis for what would become BB moving forward (with one exception). First season with a Power of Veto, a season where house flipped sides, first time we had a buy back with a HG returning. Featured also one of the best players to ever play the game who was absolutely robbed and because of that player, we got a jury.
#4. Big Brother 14
Unlike many you’ll find on the BB subreddit, I don’t mind when veterans come back to the game. It sometimes spices things up a little bit, even if the year before we just had the same thing. The BB14 cast was solid and although there was no need to eliminate someone right off the bat (Jodi deserves another shot), a lot of the game was incredibly solid. You had sides of the house shifting left and right, you hardly had one team in power, you had some incredible moves from one of the coaches that are absolutely insane when you think about them, and you had some memorable characters. If you want a “modern” Big Brother season to watch, this one, to me, is it. It blends all three eras of the BB Universe together in a way that is just perfect. You can debate the winner all you want, but both players in the Final 2 made some strong moves in that game.
#3. Big Brother 6
Probably the most volatile house in the show’s history. Shouting matches galore, a chess match all season and probably another extremely underrated winner. While she probably wouldn’t have won the season without a few boneheaded moves from the opposing side, it’s still safe to say that she maneuvered through that house like a charm once her partner that season got evicted. Also features the legend of Janelle.
#2. Big Brother 7/BB All-Stars
Some of the best players to ever play the game, and Chicken George. No, I’m kidding, no disrespect to the Chicken Man, he was on the original season and never got to “play the game” so to speak. He still was a great entertainment factor for the season and actually did relatively well. The only thing I wish would’ve happened this season was that Monica would’ve gotten a second shot too, either way you have savvy veterans who played relatively cutthroat. I hate the overall results, there are about 2-3 other people who I would have loved to see win, but it still was a hell of a run.
#1. Big Brother 10
Remember how I said BB3 laid down the foundation of how Big Brother would be played from here on out? This season solidified it. Big Brother 10 was incredible, great games played by almost all of the houseguests, a house that went back and forth every week, one of the best players to ever play the game involved. It just had a bit of everything. When I introduce people to Big Brother, this is the season that I introduce them to. This is Big Brother at its core, and I don’t think the network can ever replicate this again. I see people talk about “we need to have another BB10 season where there are no ridiculous twists and its pure gameplay”, and see, even if we get that, it doesn’t mean it’ll be what BB10 was. We should appreciate this season for just how great it was from start to finish. There’s never a dull week.