1. Did you know it originally began in the Netherlands in 1999 and was the brain child of Endemol’s John de Mol? By finale night on New Year’s Eve, Big Brother Netherlands was the most-watched TV program, and the houseguests were overnight celebrities.
2. In total, Big Brother has been shown in more than 22 countries.
3. There’s a celebrity version in the UK and there was an all-star season in the US.
4. The European versions of Big Brother have very little censorship with more nudity and obscenities getting through.
5. Season 5 of Big Brother UK was perhaps the most controversial with the “evil touch” theme. The house was constructed to be smaller and more claustrophobic, mattresses were thrown out, money was taken away should a housemate fail a challenge and fake evictions happened unbeknownst to the houseguests.
6. The fourth edition of Big Brother Greece was switched to Big Mother in which housemates played the game with their mothers! The mothers weren’t eligible for the prize but stayed in the house with their kids until they were evicted. When this proved to annoy the audience and ratings plummeted, the show switched back to its original format mid-season.
7. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect was Big Brother Brazil Season 9 which featured a glass house built inside a shopping mall in Rio de Janeiro. Four housemates lived in the glass house for two weeks, until only two were voted in to enter the real Big Brother house.
8. In its sixth season, Big Brother Africa was the first in the world to have two winners who each received $200,000. The African edition brought together housemates from around Africa such as Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Kenya. It wasn’t until the fourth season that a rule banning conspiracies was lifted from the house, and housemates were now free to make alliances and openly discuss their game.
9. In the first season of Big Brother Poland, the houseguests revolted against not being supplied any cigarettes. As punishment, production set a small fire in the compound. Only one houseguest, Janusz Dzieciol, who was a non-smoker got up and put the fire out. He was rewarded with either a personal phone call home, or cigarettes. He chose the cigarettes and as a further reward was never put up for eviction by his grateful housemates. He went on to win the game.
10. Brendon and Rachel, affectionately named “Brenchel,” met on Big Brother 12 and were engaged after the show. They returned to the game a year later and held a fake ceremony in the Big Brother backyard. Using supplies from the house to make a tuxedo and wedding dress, the couple had their friends in the house walk them down the aisle and officiate the marriage. Brenchel were married for real in September 2012.
11. After falling in love on the show, one couple decided to get married during a live taping. The ceremony happened in front of the house during a four-hour broadcast. Big Brother Denmark hosted a wedding inside the house during a live taping.
One thing is for sure, no matter where in the world Big Brother may be, there’s bound to be controversy and entertainment. With Canada getting its very own Big Brother game the only question now is: are you ready?
Tune in to the premiere of Big Brother Canada Wednesday, February 27 at 9pm ET|PT.
Lori Harito is an online producer for GlobalTV.com who loves writing about fashion, entertainment and smutty reality TV. Lori loves a great workout and a stroll exploring the sights and sounds of Toronto.