The Entertainment Value of Big Brother Naija

The Entertainment Value of Big Brother Naija

Of the over 40 million people who watch the Big Brother Naija show across Africa, a bulk of them watch the show strictly for its entertainment value – from task execution to seeing housemates fall in love with each other. As a reality TV show, housemates come on the show to display their unique talents and characters in the hopes that viewers find them entertaining enough to vote for them, and help them clinch the grand prize, while banking on brands getting fond of their personality and wanting to work with them after the show ends.

To help bring out these unique characters, the Big Brother Naija crew plans a number of activities – parties, games, impromptu presentations, and evictions – which last the length of the housemates’ stay, and helps reveal what each person has to offer. For Big Brother Naija Season 6, showrunners, MultiChoice had viewers glued to their screens for a 10-week period starting off with a 2-day housemate unveiling for the first time ever, and rounding off with a final eviction show where the season’s winner was crowned.

While there were mixed reactions to the idea of a 2-day unveiling, it added an extra day to the number of days for which conversations about BBNaija filled the Nigerian and African social media space, and built great anticipation for the unveiling of the female housemates who joined their male counterparts 24 hours later.

This change and the announcement of a new voting structure set the tone for the twists that viewers were to expect from the sixth season of the show and resulted in at least 466,000 BBNaija related posts online and 2.7billion media impressions across both opening days, as shown by daily BBN analytics from ID Africa.

To help us better understand how the show’s viewers rate the different segments of the show, we asked our survey respondents what their favourite part of the show was, and discovered that the Live Eviction shows were the most liked part of the Big Brother Naija show.

Just like in the fifth season of the Big Brother Naija show, the Live Eviction shows for the Big Brother Naija Season 6, themed “Shine Ya Eye” didn’t have a live audience due to COVID restrictions, but gave fans the privilege of joining the show through a live feed, and via live chat on Instagram and Facebook.

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Widely known for its suspense and host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, a BBNaija Season 1 housemate, the eviction night is usually the high point of the week both for the housemates and viewers. The housemates get to see if their past week has bought them some more time in the house or if they get to leave it for good. And the viewers watch to see if their votes were enough to keep their favorite housemate in the house or not.

For the ‘Shine Ya Eye’ season, the Sunday night Live Eviction Shows started off with a big twist as the housemates were expected to discover the two wildcards for the season in order to have them evicted from the show. Their failure to do this, saw both wildcards – Maria and Pere stay on to compete for the grand prize. The reveal of the wildcards proved to be so entertaining for viewers that it helped generate over 390,000 posts and comments on the reveal days.

This twist and many others, like the addition of four new housemates in the third week of the Shine Ya Eye Season explain why 40.5% of our respondents consider the Eviction Shows the spotlight event of the Big Brother Naija franchise.

On the flipside, our respondents found the Diary Sessions, an intimate part of the show where the housemates are given a chance to speak with Big Brother, the least entertaining. For 7.1% of our survey audience, these one-on-one conversations didn’t have a lot of entertainment value as it mostly just featured housemates baring their minds.

Favourite part of the show?

The Live Eviction Show40.1%
The Team Tasks31.9%
The Weekend Parties20.3%
Diary Session7.7%

Interestingly, this part of the show has proven to be a major talking point during BBNaija Reunions, following some of the revelations housemates had made to Big Brother being discovered by other housemates.

Parties are another big part of the BBNaija show. While many critics condemn it as having no real value for youth culture, it contributes hugely to the entertainment value of the show and 20.7% of our respondents consider the weekend parties their favourite part of the show.

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For the sixth season of the Big Brother Naija show, MultiChoice introduced the Friday Night ‘Jacuzzi Party’, which was a precursor to the main Saturday Night Party, that gave the show’s different alcoholic brand sponsors the opportunity to showcase their brands.

Beyond the fun of watching the housemates enjoy themselves dancing to the best of Nigerian tunes, fans also enjoy the Saturday parties because it is a discovery ground for new and exciting music and really good DJs because the parties give a different DJ the opportunity to showcase their skills to the housemates and fans each week. While previous seasons have seen mostly A-list DJs, this season witnessed the presence of more upcoming DJs such DJ Joenel, DJs Nani, and Danny.

Given the fact that the Saturday parties happen hours before the evictions take place, some fans have also come to term the parties as farewell parties for the housemates that eventually have to go home.

The other part of the BBNaija show which fans appeared to really enjoy were the team tasks, which combine games with other activities like debates, and presentations for brands. For 31.8% of our respondents this segment of the show was their favourite part.

Just like the BBNaija main event, while fans enjoy the emotions and fun that come from the team tasks, the housemates are challenged to accomplish feats and earn cash rewards for some of them, thus not difficult to see why 31% of our respondents declared the games their favorite part of the show.

Every year, the show tries to come up with more and more games, and this year was no different. Over the years, the kind of games have evolved and all these have served to only make it all the more interesting not only for the housemates but also for the viewers. These games cut across various levels and put the contestants to various tests – endurance, wits, book smarts and everything else.

Each game or task on the BBNaija show has a sponsor, who most times makes the task unique to their brand thus driving some form of awareness for them.

Some of the key tasks of the season included:

The Innoson Vehicle Manufacturers task, where housemates had to play a game of strength and wits. The game gave them six empty buckets hanging on hooks, and each housemate had to fill them up with stones until the weight pulled the bucket off the hook. Pere, a former US military personnel, was the first person to complete the task and was declared winner of a brand new IVM Caris 2021 model, courtesy of Innoson.

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The Pepsi Task which gave the housemates a chance to form teams and participate in a dance-off whose winners would get an all-expense paid trip and cash rewards. At the end of the thrilling performances, the winning team consisting of Cross, Saskay, Angel, and Liquorose won N500,000 each, a VVIP all-expense-paid trip to Dubai, and a year’s supply of Pepsi.

The Super Commando Task, sponsored by energy drink brand Supa Kommando which gave the single biggest cash reward of N2million each to housemates Cross and Saskay for scaling a game of hurdles that depicted a military mission.

The Arena Games from key sponsors Abeg & Patricia saw winning housemates get everything from BB tokens to trips abroad and cash/crypto rewards for their efforts.

Over the course of the show, every week came with a different set of tasks and rewards which revealed sides of the housemates that their regular chit-chats within the house didn’t.

Most of the Shine Ya Eye housemates being fans of the show themselves showed their understanding of the value of entertainment on the show with how they did their bit hosting games among themselves and even planned out their own fashion show; and as more evictions happened, more effort came from the housemates to deliver entertainment and keep themselves in the show.

One of such forms of entertainment which is now a recurring theme on the show is the development of emotional bonds between housemates, which show viewers refer to as ‘ships’. While these emotions might be real for the housemates, they appeal to fans more as entertainment and talking points.

Even after the show ends, these ‘ships’ short for relationships continue to be the basis of conversations, and with some of them maturing into actual marriages, they don’t seem to be going away soon – either as the goal of coming on the show for some housemates or as a strategy by housemates to generate enough entertainment to keep them in the show.