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Big Brother doesn't always change up its competition structure from one season to the next, but it has been known to happen, and for the most part, it's allowed the game to evolve over it's lengthy run. In a recent interview, Big Brother executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan confirmed that they're eliminating one of the Big Brother competitions, and replacing it with something new.
Last year, Julie Chen referred to the Battle of the Block as a "fan favorite" competition. Whether or not you agree, the pre-Veto comp certainly proved to be a game-changer. Alas, it seems we're saying goodbye to the relatively new competition, as Big Brother EP Rich Meehan confirmed to THR that there will be no Battle of the Block this season. He and Allison Grodner confirmed that BotB is out, and a new competition and ceremony will replace it...
A new, Sunday competition is coming into play that will twist up the game! It's going to be fun, something we've never done before.
What is this new competition and ceremony? The executive producers wouldn't reveal any details about it, other than to say that Sunday night's episode will feature the nominations, and then this competition, and then a new ceremony. to follow. Meehan went on to explain why they're coming up with something different...
We need to keep the stakes high in the Sunday show because we didn't want to go back to Have Not competitions.
Allison Grodner did tease that maybe the Battle of the Block would be back sometime in the future.
The Battle of the Block competition was introduced in Season 16. The competition caused a major change in the Head of Household and nomination process. Instead of one HoH, there were two designated to the position at the start of each game week. Each HoH nominates two players. All four nominees then get to compete in Battle of the Block. The winning set of nominees earns immunity for the week, and the Head of Household who nominated them is unseated (and vulnerable to be nominated.)
As I said, Julie once referred to this as a fan-favorite. I wouldn't go that far, but it did have some major effects on the course of the game in Seasons 16 and 17. Its removal may revert the show back to the solo Head of Household format. We can really only speculate, and it's likely going to come down to this new competition and ceremony.
The new ceremony may be the most telling detail about this update. Battle of the Block had no ceremony. There were nominations, and then the BotB determined which set of noms stuck, and which HoH came down. No ceremony necessary. A new ceremony may mean be an indication that a new nomination or set of nominations is going to happen. It seems like it would be too big a privilege for the winner to replace one of the nominees with the houseguest of their choosing, but maybe they're entitled to elect a third nominee to sit on the block with the Head of Household's picks ahead of the Veto competition?
We'll have to wait and see how this impacts the game. But we won't have to wait long. The premiere of Big Brother 18 is less than a week away. As they've done in previous years, CBS has the taped premiere event set to play out in two parts next week. The first part consists of two hours, and will air Wednesday, June 22 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT). Part 2 will air Thursday, June 23 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), after which the live feeds are expected to come on, and those of us who plan to be shamelessly glued to them for the duration of the summer will enjoy scrambling to get caught up on whatever events transpired between the premiere and the present.
While you wait, take our Big Brother alliance quiz here!