Arisa Cox talks Big Brother Season 11
By John Powell – GlobalTV.com
The season eleven premiere is just days away but host, executive producer and the public face of Big Brother Canada, Arisa Cox, sat down with us to discuss the new twists and turns debuting this Wednesday.
John Powell: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us today. You must be really excited about the new season.
Arisa Cox: How did you guess? (laughs) You know me well enough to know that there’s no bigger fan of Big Brother Canada than myself! I feel like all the people at once! I feel like the fans getting ready to find out what’s going to happen. I feel like the houseguests about to move in. I feel like everything everywhere all at once!
John Powell: I spoke to executive producer and supervising producer Erin Brock about the changes that are coming. In particular, there are physical changes to the house. She said it looks the most like an everyday house than any other Big Brother Canada house in the history of the series. Would you agree?
Arisa Cox: Absolutely! We’ve done some very fanciful things over the years. We’ve gone to space. We’ve done steampunk. We’ve done a Dubai casino. We’ve done some really, really high concept things but I agree with Erin. This is the most ‘house’ house there’s ever been. There’s a cozy library. There’s a parlor with a fireplace. Last year was our most bombastic house. There was a lot of neon and shiny lights! This is sort of a 19th century grand manor and it has this Art Deco element as well to it. It is so cool because there are many tropes that go along with that idea of that kind of a house especially when you’re dealing with the whodunit world and the mystery genre.
I love a good mystery and there’s so much from the mystery genre that lends itself to what Big Brother is all about. It’s about deceit. It’s about manipulation. It’s about persuasion. We play a lot of chess in my family and you see people’s moves, right? When you play Big Brother you don’t see everybody’s moves. You don’t know about the conversations that you’re not a party to. You could be blindsided at any moment and people often are! I think this actually really does fit with what our show is already, including this cast of colorful characters.
John Powell: Speaking of gameplay, what I always find interesting are those who are cast but don’t know the game, aren’t superfans. It is fascinating to watch them find their path, their way through the experience and the game.
Arisa Cox: Yes, I totally agree. When I see a super fan I still like a big personality. Not everyone’s going to say they’re big super fan, right? Sometimes I wish they would because they would be freed up to play with the people who aren’t. There are successful players like Anthony Douglas who only watched the game tapes right before going into the house. Those journeys are always exciting to see play out. I’m really excited by the number of really authentic people. I really like watching people who know who they are. I think our cast has the highest number of those types than I’ve ever seen so that’s going to be really exciting!
John Powell: Of the new houseguests who do you think fans should watch out for?
Arisa Cox: Kuzie, I will say is a firecracker! She’s a 911 operator. So already you have to be a very particular kind of person to be able in that profession. You have to be very, very cool-headed because what you say, what you do is a matter of life and death. She’s also won beauty pageants and she’s stunning! She also has this incredible sense of humor. I just love regular people. As a fan and a producer, I want people who are brave enough to submit to an experience as interesting and complex as this one.
John Powell: When I spoke to Erin Brock I asked her this question and it is the same one I posed to the American Big Brother producer, Allison Grodner, a few years ago. Erin answered a second diary room and Grodner answered a separate place to hold challenges instead of staging them in the backyard. As a producer, what have you always wished you could do or perhaps add to the show and the experience?
Arisa Cox: Well, I really, really miss having an aftershow. I, too, would like to love a second diary room as that would just free up so much more time to be able to do fun things like live diary rooms and things like that but I loved having and hosting those aftershows. It was a chance where the real hardcore fans could gather and really go in depth. I really missed that opportunity. We used to do it with a crowd. We would bring in the evicted houseguest. We have former houseguests on. That’s the one thing that I really wish we could bring back.
John Powell: You’ve seen all sorts of Canadians go in and out of that house. What have you learned about Canadians and what have you learned about people in general from hosting and producing Big Brother?
Arisa Cox: If anything, it’s proven that people are much more similar than they are different. The fabric of Canada itself runs the gamut of Indigenous people, to people who’ve been here for several generations, to newcomers and immigrants. So, we have so many different parts of the world represented here. I think it gives me hope for the future. I love seeing that people do have a desire to be real with each other, to connect, to bond and to relate to each other and to learn from each other. I think that is always the most beautiful, richest part of the Big Brother experience.