In spite of the many challenges of the past, MultiChoice and the producers of the Big Brother Mzansi franchise in the country have teamed up for yet another season aimed to disrupt and entertain millions of fans across the globe.
The new season, which debuts on January 21, has been themed “Big Brother Mzansi Season 4: S’ya Mosha!“ as a way to continuously push the envelope of entertainment.
The franchise, which has seen its fair share of controversies in the past, will return sans its Shower Hour feature in a bid to keep its content relatable for family viewing.
“It is not that people will not shower. The contestants will shower without the Shower Hour. This is because we understand that families watch ‘Big Brother’, and they do not necessarily want to see people shower even though they know that they do shower. It can get a little awkward at home. So, as much as they know that people shower, they really do not want to literally see contestants shower, and we had negative feedback and they interpreted it as disrespectful, and so we have taken away the Shower Hour feature,” said Shirley Adonisi, recently appointed Director of Local Entertainment Channels at M-Net.
Mpho Wabadimo, Ntombi and Ace, as well as Mandla and “Big Brother Titans” winner Khosi Twala, were some of the previous contestants who were present during the launch of the fourth season held at MultiChoice City on Thursday.
Once again, talented TV presenter and actor, Lawrence Maleka will be the host of the show.
Reflecting on the challenges and lessons learnt from previous seasons, Natalie Bleksley, executive producer for the franchise under Red Pepper Pictures, said the security of contestants and everyone on the show remains a priority.
“Yes, ‘Big Brother’ is an entertaining show, and we have all these wonderful things about the format, but for us as production and the channel, the safety and security of our housemates is absolutely our number one priority. Housemates who have been in the house before will know that we absolutely take pride in that. There are strict regulations on how we produce the show and we adhere to that,” she said.
Head of unscripted content at MultiChoice Mbalenhle Ntuli said a stringent auditioning and vetting process ensures that all the contestants are thoroughly processed in order to ensure the safety of fellow contestants.
“We do due diligence before and while we are in the casting process. There are times when we have had to let go of contestants we thought would be great for the show, but we have had to let them go because they have not passed a psychometric test and results indicate that they cannot be placed with other contestants because of mental health issues,” she said.
In the past, there have been incidents where contestants have walked out of the show for various reasons while others have been disqualified from the reality show on allegations of rape.
“We are always monitoring our housemates and we are very in tune. We have eyes on our housemates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to make sure nothing is unseen. We are in tune with our housemates, and we understand when they are not feeling okay without them actually saying they are not feeling okay,” Bleksley added.