Head of Household
Throughout the Big Brother season, the house guests compete for the weekly Head of Household (HOH) power position during the live Thursday episode. The HOH winner retains the power for the following week where they hold the responsibility of nominating two house guests for eviction. As HOH they also receive the bonus of having the HOH Bedroom with an en suite bathroom for the week. In addition to getting an HOH basket filled with their favourite things such as their favourite music CD, candy, liquor, food, etc. The other perk that is probably one of the most sought after is the letter from a friend or family member from back home that they receive. After being locked inside the house for weeks without any outside contact, the letter from home can be the strength they need to continue to fight for the grand prize.
As HOH the house guest is safe from the threat of being nominated / evicted. The HOH winner gets the luxury of having their own private room with a king size bed, en suite bathroom, mini-fridge, and living area. As of Big Brother 5 the HOH winner also has the ability to spy on the other house guests through the use of the “Spy Screen”. The Spy Screen is a TV that has numerous cameras in the house linked to it for the HOH to spy on the other house guests. Unfortunately the Spy Screen does not have audio so the HOH is only able to see the other house guests. The HOH is also given a gift basket full of their favourite candy, food, music CD and a letter from a family member or friend from home. The HOH winner also does not compete in the Have / Have-Not food competitions as they are allowed to eat for the week.
As the HOH there are certain responsibilities that come with the position for the week. The HOH is tasked with gathering the other house guests for meetings and alerting them when the following events are being held: Have / Have-Not competition, Power of Veto Competition, Nomination Ceremony, Luxury Competition, etc. The HOH is also responsible for explaining the rules and hosting the weekly Have/ Have-not competition. The often most difficult responsibility of the HOH is to choose which of the remaining house guests they will nominate for eviction. Once the HOH has decided who to nominate they perform a nomination ceremony where they retrieve each of the remaining house guest’s keys from the Big Brother Memory Wall. The HOH then places each of the keys into the Nomination Box excluding the two house guests that they are nominating for the week. The HOH then gathers all the other house guests around the dining room table where the HOH removes the first safe house guest from the Nomination Box. That safe house guest then removes the next key and so on until there are no keys left, thus revealing the two nominated house guests.
Every week while in the Big Brother house, the house guests get to compete to win the HOH competition. Each house guests in eligible to compete for the HOH title, however the previous weeks HOH is not able to compete. The only exception is the Final 3 Part HOH competition where the outgoing HOH winner is able to compete to win consecutive HOH competitions. There are 3 types of possible HOH competitions: Quiz, Skill and Endurance.
HOH Quiz Competition
The HOH Quiz Competitions are question based and vary from being asked about events in the house to what previous evicted house guests had said while in the house. As this type of competition is question and answer based these competitions are fairly quick and as such they are shown on Thursday’s live episode. These competitions are typically held in the backyard where there are booths set up side by side sheltering each house guest’s view from each other. The host of Big Brother, Julie Chen, then communicates with the house guests through a microphone and TV system set up in the backyard. Julie Chen reads the questions and asks for the house guest’s response. The house guests then communicate their answer by turning a dial to answer: “YES” or “NO”, “TRUE” or “FALSE”, “RED” or BLUE”. During some previous seasons the house guests have alternatively been required to use paddles or cubes with house guest’s photos on them to communicate their answer. A house guest that communicates a wrong answer to a question, they are subsequently eliminated from the competition. The house guest that is remaining at the end having correctly answered all of the questions wins the competition. If there is a tie at the end of the questions, the two remaining house guests enter a tie breaking round. This final tie breaking question is always a question that requires the house guest to answer with a number, such as the number of seconds the house guest have been in the house, the number of objects in a container, or the number of pounds an object weighs. The two remaining house guests write their guess on a chalkboard and reveal their answer. The house guest that is closest to the answer without going over wins and becomes the Head of Household. If both of the house guests go over the correct answer, then the house guest that is closest wins.
HOH Skill Competition
The HOH Skill Competitions are all unique games designed to test the house guest’s skill at a certain task. These competitions range from bowling type games to golf type games and require a lot of practice and skill to win. In order for the house guests to practice the house guests are typically given a similar game to practice in the backyard prior to that competition during the week. Typically the goal of these competitions is for the house guests to get their game piece closest to a certain point without going past it to win. These competitions are also shown live on the Thursday night episode.
HOH Endurance Competition
The HOH Endurance Competitions are typically the most anticipated and watched competitions during the season because the house guests are often required to endure extreme conditions to win. The anticipation and excitement of the endurance competitions are high due to the fact that all of the competing house guests have a chance to show how bad they want to win. The beginning of these competitions is shown on the live Thursday episode and then extends past the end of the show due to time constraints. The viewing public is then able to continue watching the endurance competition by logging into their Big Brother Live Feeds and watching the live streaming video. The results of the endurance HOH competition are then released on the Sunday episode. These competitions typically have the house guests lined up on a platform, in a cage or on a revolving cylinder. Some of the past HOH endurance competitions have required the house guests to hold a button or a rope and if they let go, they are eliminated. During the competition the house guests are subjected to the harshest of elements created by the producers such as, freezing rain, falling leaves, foaming snow, and soap bubbles. These conditions often make it almost unbearable for the house guests where they fight their body’s response to give up. The winner of the endurance competition is the house guest that is able to endure the elements and be the last one standing at the end. To encourage house guests to give up they are sometimes tempted with prizes for the first few house guests that jump off. In the past the endurance competitions have also required skill such as filling up a large bowl with water only using a teacup whereby transporting the water across a great distance. During many of the previous HOH endurance competitions some of the house guests make deals with each other, where one agrees to jump off in return for the security of being safe from being nominated.
The Big Brother Final HOH Competition is divided up into 3 parts when there are only 3 house guests remaining in the house. Each of the 3 part HOH competition are played on different days and test each of the types of competition (Quiz, Skill, Endurance). All three remaining house guests compete in part 1 of the 3 part HOH competition. The first competition is an endurance competition and in the past has required the house guests to hold on to their key while enduring extreme weather conditions. The winner of part one is then automatically advanced to Part 3 of the 3 Part HOH competitions. The other two remaining house guests then compete in Part 2 which is the Skill competition. Part 3 of the 3 part HOH competition is then typically played on the Big Brother Finale night where the winner of part 1 and part 2 compete to win the final HOH. This final part 3 of 3 competition is the quiz based competition, where the winner gets to choose who they would like to take to the final two. The house guest that is not chosen is immediately evicted and joins the other jury members to help decide the winner. The winner of the final HOH competition is the most important HOH of the entire big brother game and as such the outgoing HOH is also able to compete to win. The jury members then ask the remaining two house guests a series of questions and then vote to decide who should win the grand prize and be crowned the Big Brother Winner of the season.
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