By Chibugo Okeke
The 2019 edition of the Big Brother Naija Reality Show tagged Pepper Dem, might have come and gone, but fans of the shows will continue to reflect on what has been arguably the best among the previous editions for well obvious reasons.
For 99 days, fans of the show were entertained by 26 housemates, with tension filled eviction Sundays, living up to its theme for the season.
FIRST FEMALE WINNER
Unlike the first three seasons, this year’s edition produced the first female winner of Big Brother Naija.
Mercy Eke’s triumph on Sunday night meant a lot to the women folk who from the onset of the show had stated categorically that they wanted a female to emerge winner of this season.
Mercy, only after a few weeks became a fans favourite, especially with her subtle romance with fellow housemate, Ike that won many fans over to their side.
Before the Friday preceding the final week, fans of the show already saw a two-horse race between Tacha and Mercy for the grand prize, but Tacha’s disqualification seemed to have cleared the path for her unstoppable victory and not even strong contenders Mike or Frodd could stop it.
Celebrities alike also queued up with the “first female winner” syndrome, utilizing their social media handles to canvass support for their favourites.
SHOW HELD IN NIGERIA FOR THE FIRST TIIME
One major breakthrough the show recorded was the fact that it was staged in Nigeria for the first time. Unlike the three previous editions that held in South Africa, the organisers of the show took the bull by the horn and brought the show home.
One of the fears and the perceived limitation of the possibility of hosting the show in Nigeria was due to frequent power outage, but the organisers have proved beyond reasonable doubt that it was still achievable. Until the final day of the show after all housemates exited, the lights in the house never went off for one minute.
240 MILLION VOTES IN 12 WEEKS
This season also produced the most number of votes from viewers. According to show host, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, over 240 million votes were recorded this season, while the final week produced a record breaking 50million votes.
Already Nigerians are doing the mathematics and wondering if ordinary Nigerians lamenting poor economy unintentionally conspired to spend at least N7billion voting for their favourite housemate in 12 eviction weeks.
The question on the lips of Nigerians yet again is the sharp contrast to the voters’ apathy that usually characterizes political elections in the country despite without any charge.
DISQUALIFICATION TREND CONTINUES
Just like the last two editions, this year’s season also saw the disqualification of a housemate, Tacha.
In the second edition, Kemen was automatically disqualified after he was accused of sexually assaulting his fellow housemate, Tboss.
In the third season, Khloe and K-brule, who played the game as a pair at that time, were suspended for violent conduct.
When it looked like this year’s edition was going to be disqualification-free, an early morning fight between eventual winner, Mercy and Tacha turned physical after the later dragged the hair of the former twice for flipping her hair on her face.
When it seemed that both housemates had gotten away with it, Big Brother wielded his big stick, issuing Mercy with two strikes for provocation, while Tacha was sent packing for violent conduct.
BIGGE NEVER RUNS OUT OF IDEAS
Week in week out, both viewers and the housemates were thrilled with creative concepts Big Brother came up with in terms of tasks and games.
Indeed, two weeks were not the same in the Big Brother Naija house as Big Brother in collaboration with scores of sponsors of the show mesmerized viewers with thought provoking ideas that caught attention of many.
Top of the pack was the coronation of the Tor Tiv, which saw the rich display of the rich culture of North Central Benue State.
The introduction of the Secret Room was one the housemates neither expected. Seyi and Tacha were sent to the room for four days without the knowledge of other housemates who thought they had been evicted.
The Veto Power was another sterling innovation introduced by Big Brother. The holder of the Veto Power each week was presented with the rare opportunity to save and replace a housemate, a development that pitched housemates against each other over time.
Though the Head of House (HOH) was stripped of the power to save and replace this season, the introduction of the luxury HOH Room was one that made the position the most coveted among the housemates every week.
Peak of the pack will be the final Saturday night party. The top 5 housemates did not see it coming and had planned to just enjoy themselves. But Big Brother had other ideas. Save for Tacha and Kimoprah, the 19 evicted housemates were in the party room, ready to dig it with the top five for the very last time.
Though they were separated by a transparent glass; apparently to prevent the top five from any likely conversation with the top 5 who were already in the know of the outside world, it didn’t stop the fun that went on for two hours as DJ Obi and DJ Snatch killed the party with the latest hits.
Indeed, this will be one Big Brother Naija Season to remember and the organisers must certainly think beyond the box to better this package.
Overall, Nigerians were entertained and Mercy Eke came, she saw and she conquered.