Big Brother

big brother

The phrase “Big Brother is watching you” took on a whole new meaning in July of 2000, when the first season of CBS’ Big Brother started airing. In the reality competition show, a group of people (known as HouseGuests) live together and compete with one another in a house that is completely isolated from the outside world. While in the house, their lives are recorded and broadcast to viewers, who get to vote on who should be evicted from the house. Become the last remaining HouseGuest, and you win $500,000 — and all you have to give up is all of your privacy!

Where is the Big Brother house located?

The Big Brother house looks different from season to season (for Season 23, it’s decorated in a swanky, beach club style), but it’s always pretty darn fancy. Naturally, people want to know everything they can about the house — especially where it’s located. Unfortunately for anyone hoping to schedule their next vacation at the Big Brother mansion, it’s actually built completely on a sound stage. Sound Stage 18 of CBS Studio Center in Studio City, Calif., to be precise.

The complex containing the “house” takes up 14,000 square feet, and cameras and microphones are included in every room. There’s also a pretty sizable backyard (featuring fake grass, of course). While the decor style changes for each season, you’re always going to see the HOH (Head of Household) room, the Diary Room, other bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room, and dining room. Some seasons also feature a “Have-Not” room: A room where HouseGuests who lose competitions (becoming “Have-Nots”) get cold showers, hard beds, and nothing but “Big Brother Slop” to eat.

Do the ‘Big Brother’ contestants get paid?

Obviously, if you’re the winner of Big Brother, you get to keep the $500,000 cash prize, but what about HouseGuests who don’t make it to the end of the competition? Do they get paid too? As a matter of fact, they do! HouseGuests receive a stipend of between $750 and $1,000 for every week they remain in the competition. And while it pays to win the competition, coming in second or third place isn’t too bad! Both the runner-up and third-place winner receive cash prizes as well.

Is Big Brother real?

There’s always one question everyone has when it comes to reality competition shows: Is it real? Big Brother is obviously quite unique in that basically everything that everyone does is recorded — there are even live feeds available that you can watch (almost) 24/7. As a result, Big Brother might actually be one of the most real reality competition shows ever, as viewers get to see HouseGuests’ genuine reactions. Of course, if you’re only watching the official episodes as they air, that footage has been heavily edited and condensed down. Still, most of what you see on the show appears to be unscripted.

Here’s a list of the winners of Big Brother:

Celebrity Big Brother winners:

Big Brother: Over the Top winners:

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