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Last night, Julie Chen revealed a big twist coming to the Big Brother game this season. We've seen houseguests battle to return to the Big Brother house after eviction, but this new twist will involve multiple rounds to determine which early evictee should get another chance at the $500,000 prize. What Julie failed to specify was when the "Battle Back" would take place. CBS has since released some details on how this situation is going to play out, including the date we'll learn who's returning to the house.
When Julie announced that the first five evictees from Big Brother 18 would have an opportunity to compete to return to the game, we kind of assumed she meant that each week, the most recently evicted houseguest would face off against the reigning evictee (whoever won the previous Battle Back round). Meaning that Glenn would battle last night's evicted Houseguest, Jozea, and then, whoever lost would go home, and whoever won would be sequestered and have to wait for next Thursday's evicted houseguest to battle. But it's unclear if that's exactly how it will play out.
CBS's release does confirm that the winner of each round advances to face off with the next evictee through five evictions. But the competitions won't air until later in July...
All four "Battle Back" competitions and the reveal of the winner, will air exclusively during a special episode of BIG BROTHER, Friday, July 22 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
They don't specify that the Battle Back Friday episode will be live, and since it's taking place on a Friday, it's likely to be taped.
That leaves us to wonder if they're planning on making the recently evicted houseguests (Glenn and Jozea) wait around until at least July 21 after the third, fourth and fifth houseguests are evicted, and then film all of the competitions in succession, or if the plan is to tape the competitions soon after each eviction to determine a winner and either send the loser home, or else, keep them both sequestered in order to keep the results a secret. Either way, it seems like a long time to keep the losing houseguests holed up when they know they have no chance at playing the game again, right?
Regardless, I'm not sure I like having to wait weeks to have any sense of who might be coming back. It might've been a nice bit of build-up to see a Battle Back competition take place each week, perhaps in a segment on Sunday's episode, if not during the live show. That way, we'd have reigning Battle Back winner in mind as the houseguests are scheming to get out the next player. Trying to predict different Battle Back pairings each week would make for some fun side-speculation paired with the actual game. Doing it all at once -- or at the very least, showing it all at once -- makes this twist seem a bit more like previous buy backs, when evicted houseguests competed to return to the house. The only difference here is the tournament format.
And then there's the live feeds to consider. Assuming this Battle Back episode is taped, does that mean the feeds will go dark for an extended period of time? Or will they wait until after the episode airs to return the houseguest to the house? It could end up being a combination of the two. They could make the feeds go dark while the episode airs EST, and during that time, let the winner back into the house. Then leave the feeds dark until the episode airs PST. We would miss the big reveal, but that seems like something they'd want to save for the live episode anyway.