Big Brother Canada is back and so is series host Arisa Cox. With the Heaven and Hell theme, this year promises to be full of beautiful and brutal relationships, blindsides and backstabbing. Arisa, Big Brother Canada’s biggest fan, gave us the lowdown on the new twist, the new houseguests and what’s with the diabolical Have-Not Room?
John Powell: All things considered, how happy are you to be returning for another season?
Arisa Cox: “This time of year is always Christmas for me but this year is extra special! We are so grateful to have the best fans in the world. Without a doubt, hands down, this is really their season so we cannot wait to represent.”
John Powell: The hiatus announcement was made and immediately fans from all over the world rallied to show their support. How much did that mean to you?
Arisa Cox: “It was really something! We know that Canadians love the show but to see such an outpouring of love from all over the world like Australia, Mexico, Brazil, the U.K., the U.S., Spain, Bahrain, Philippines, I mean places where I didn’t even know we had gotten to. It was such an amazing feeling! I remember when the #SaveBBCANParty was happening and it trended number two in Canada but it trended number five in the U.K. and the U.S.! That is incredible! We all realized that we do have impact all over the world. That was a really beautiful moment because we really do have one of the best fandoms in the world. I am thrilled to be part of another great season for everyone to enjoy.”
John Powell: Is there a different mind-set or perspective this year because of everything that happened?
Arisa Cox: “There feels like there is something in the air this year. We all know that we march forward with the grace of our fans. That being said, we are all perfectionists. We always want to outdo ourselves and we want to show the very best of what Canadians have to offer. I think we have some of the best players as well. We also have some of the most interesting and the most diverse houseguests.”
John Powell: What can you tell us about the Heaven and Hell theme?
Arisa Cox: “I love the Heaven and Hell theme. When you look at the very basic building blocks of Big Brother, it is a social experiment. You are watching strangers learn to interact with each other and when you are watching people navigate to the end of the game, there are good impulses and evil impulses in all of us. Watching really good players know when to employ different parts of themselves it is fascinating as a viewer. I love that the theme is reflected literally in the house with a heavenly upstairs and a hellish downstairs. I love that our fans are excited as we are.”
John Powell: What is going on with that crazy Have-Not Room?
Arisa Cox: “If you are someone who is prone to nightmares that room is not for you. That is real water in there. I cannot imagine what it will be like when a number of people are trying to get a good night’s sleep in there. It is going to be very difficult. What do you choose? Do you choose the floor that is really close to the water? Do you walk through the water to sleep on the tomb? I cannot wait to see what people do.”
John Powell: How would you describe the cast this year?
Arisa Cox: “Our cast is very, very strong. We have lots of big personalities, lots of funny people and lots of gamers. We have lots of gamers and that excites me. When you know your Big Brother history, there is a lot you can bring to the table. I am not going to lie though, I love watching someone who is new to the game figure it out before our eyes in real-time.”
John Powell: Why do you think that Big Brother Canada in particular is known for its strong casts and personalities?
Arisa Cox: “Robyn Kass does an amazing job of casting both Canada and the U.S. We have a really diverse country and that is reflected in our cast. That is one of our strengths. It is a testament to our executive producer, Erin Brock. She can sure pick ‘em! She and Robyn Kass are such a dream team. I am so thrilled they these are the casts that not only represent our show but our country too.”
John Powell: You have come a long way since Season One. On a personal level, what do you think of your evolution on the show?
Arisa Cox: “It is amazing to look back and see your progress. It was just getting over the beginning because I knew people were comparing me to someone who I was not and never could be. It also goes both ways because they could never be me either. Once I relaxed, I enjoyed the role as the fan that I am. There is always part of me that is watching the show as a fan and I will always feel that way. The joy I feel in this experience will never go away. I would do this for 20 more years, if I could.”
Big Brother Canada premieres Wednesday, March 7 at 7 p.m. ET/PT, and continues to air Wednesdays at 7 p.m. ET/PT, Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global. Viewers who miss the premiere can catch up on Big Brother Canada following the broadcast the next day On Demand, and on GlobalTV.com and Global GO (now available on Apple TV). For even more behind-the-scenes action, fans can watch the live feeds on BigBrotherCanada.ca.