Big Brother Brasil: Why is This Reality Show Such a Hit in Brazil?
- Thursday February 17th, 2022
- Posted by: Amanda Ennes
- Category: Brazil
Brazilian TV might be known for its soap operas, but reality competition is also a huge deal in the country. Big Brother Brasil is the most famous reality show in Brazil. It reaches an average of 30 million views or 48% of audience share for its time slot. So, how is BBB, as people call it, such a hit in Brazil?
History and Premise
Big Brother is a reality competition show that was first broadcast in the Netherlands in 1999. The first edition of Big Brother Brasil premiered in 2002 at TV Globo, the largest television network in Brazil. Its debut was such a hit that Globo produced a second edition of Big Brother that same year.
The premise of the show is to make contestants live together in a house full of cameras and microphones. The confinement lasts around three months. Once a week, a few people are nominated by the housemates, and the audience vote to decide who is evicted from the house.
Throughout the days, housemates need to compete in different challenges to get benefits. These challenges choose who is the head of household and who will have immunity power that week. It also determines which group will eat better-quality food.
These competitions might be a physical endurance challenge, agility competition, general knowledge quiz, or luck event. Some of the physical endurance challenges might last for over 24 hours. The longest endurance challenge ever recorded in Big Brother Brasil lasted 42 hours and 58 minutes on BBB18.
Food competition (Prova da Comida)
During the first editions, housemates also need to compete for food every week. If everyone completed a previously determined quest, they were granted a good quantity of food. If not, they would only get a basic food supply.
In later editions, housemates were divided into two teams who competed for better food. However, in recent editions, the head of household has the power to decide which housemates will have more and better-quality food and who is going through the week with limited low-quality food.
Head of Household (Líder)
A new head of household is chosen each week. Here are their benefits and roles:
- Get immunity for a week
- Must nominate someone directly to eviction
- Get their own room with special snacks and drinks
- Get a special cinema session
- Choose the theme for one of the weekly parties
Immunity Angel (Anjo)
- Can protect one of their housemates from facing eviction, giving them immunity
- Get a special lunch, in which they watch a video message from their family
- Must assign two or more housemates to do an unpleasing task for a couple of days (Castigo do Monstro)
Get Rid of Facing Eviction (Bate-Volta)
On Sunday nights, housemates are chosen to face eviction. However, there is a competition to see which one is getting rid of the possibility to leave the house. The housemate nominated by the head of the household cannot be part of this particular challenge. Nonetheless, all the other nominated housemates can. One of them ends up being free from facing eviction that week.
Voting to Evict
Every Sunday, housemates nominate two to four people for eviction. An audience poll starts and the audience can vote on Globo’s official website. On Tuesday night, the housemate with the most votes leaves the house.
The 20th edition of Big Brother Brasil, aired in 2020, took the title for “Most Public Votes Received by a Television Program”, registered in the Guinness World Records. Rivals in the show, Felipe Prior and Manu Gavassi were responsible for totaling 1,5 billion votes from the audience.
The BBB house is located inside TV Globo’s studios, Latin America’s largest audio-visual production center. They are located in Jacarepaguá, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.
Big Brother Brasil’s House has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a suite for the head of the household, a kitchen, and a living room. Moreover, a huge external area features a pool, a hot tub, lounge areas, a gym, and garden. The total area of the house is about 9,700 square feet.
TV Globo fully renovates the house every year, so each edition has different decorations and formats. You can see the satellite image for the BBB house on Google Maps. Check pictures of the inside of BBB22 house here.
During the first 19 seasons, Big Brother Brasil would rely on non-famous participants. However, since the 2020 edition, the show is divided into two groups: Pipoca and Camarote. Pipoca is the group of anonymous people selected by the production of the show. They send their application and go through a number of interviews to secure their spot on the show. Camarote is a group of local Brazilian celebrities invited to be part of BBB.
The housemates compete for the chance to win the grand prize of R$1,5 million. BBB also grants several smaller prizes during the course of the competition.
During the three months BBB airs, it is a topic of discussion among friends, family, neighbors, and more. Big Brother Brasil has extensive media coverage, even on competitor networks. Famous celebrities also watch and comment about it on social media, reverberating Big Brother on the internet.
The 20th edition of Big Brother Brasil was already on air when Covid hit Brazil. With people staying home, BBB was all everyone was talking about. From famous football players and singers to politicians and actors, everyone was tweeting or making stories on Instagram about it.
The love-hate relationship between competitors and the audience is intense. It is actually common to hear people screaming and celebrating during the live broadcast. Either when a favorite contestant is saved from eviction or “the villain” is eliminated, people celebrate like they are watching a FIFA World Cup match.
In fact, the audience became really passionate about Big Brother over the years. During the 21st edition, housemates considered to be the villains were evicted from the house with impressive rejection rates. Karol Conká, a famous Brazilian rapper and celebrity participant of BBB, got 99.17% of the votes to evict. This was due to her behavior towards her housemates and public repercussion. Conká got 285.2 million votes.
Since it premiered in 2002, TV Globo produces BBB every year. It is such a hit in Brazil that advertisers pay up to R$600 million on ads and product placement each. For instance, the 20th edition had 25 sponsors and is estimated to have grossed over R$530 million. The current 22nd edition has already secured over R$600 million in advertisements.
TV Globo broadcasts Big Brother Brasil every day. Every night, Brazilians can watch a special program that lasts between 20 minutes or 1h30min on broadcast TV. The daily program features the most important moments of the day. Some inserts in which the TV host interacts with the housemates live is also part of the programming. From Monday to Saturday, the show starts around 10:15 pm. On Sundays, after 11 pm.
Since the first edition, Big Brother Brasil streams the reality show 24 hours a day for a price. You can subscribe through your cable provider or Globoplay, TV Globo’s streaming service. Globoplay is also available in countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, and most of Europe.
Big Brother Brasil is the most famous reality show in Brazil. Nowadays, it reaches an average of 30 million views or 48% of audience share for its time slot. But things were even better prior to the advance of the internet. The first five seasons of BBB used to reach an average of 54 million views. Not to mention an average share of 65% for its time slot.
Big Brother Brasil 2022 Edition
The latest edition of Big Brother Brasil premiered on January 17, 2022. BBB22 features 20 housemates (10 civilians and 10 celebrities), plus two other participants who entered the game after week 3. Furthermore, the show is reaching a weekly average of 22.6 million views in rating. Among its sponsors are Americanas, Avon, PicPay, Heineken, and McDonald’s.