Last night, Big Brother returned for its 22nd season, featuring a cast of All-Star players. But given our current circumstances, this episode looked a little different from what we're used to.
Of all the reality shows to be on during a pandemic, Big Brother is probably one of the safest bets. The competition itself is basically its own form of quarantine, in which the 16 houseguests are locked in a giant house together for up to three months, having no contact with the outside world.
Big Brother, like other live shows that have returned to in-studio production during the pandemic, had no studio audience.
As usual, the show began with competitors entering the house four at a time. Each group of houseguests were masked and stayed 12 feet away from host Julie Chen Moonves while inside the studio, but they were allowed to remove their masks once they officially entered the house.
Once inside, everything was more or less back to normal for the players as the house became their new "quarantine pod" and they no longer were socially distancing from one another.
In an interview with CBS Los Angeles, Julie explained that prior to the premiere, players were flown out to LA for a mandatory two-week quarantine, during which they were frequently tested and ultimately cleared to appear on the show.
As for the show's crew, they are being tested weekly and are required to wear masks at all times while on the set. There are no camera operators inside the house with the contestants because most of the show is filmed on preinstalled cameras or behind a glass screen.
Julie confirmed that while she won't be wearing a mask on camera, she has been tested multiple times and continues to wear a mask when she's not broadcasting.
In her weekly interview with the recently evicted houseguest, Julie and the player will stay a safe distance apart and no longer shake hands or hug.
While the show might feel kinda different this season, it's certainly nice to have a little return to normalcy in the form of some good old-fashioned Big Brother backstabbing!
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