Dreaming of Big Brother

Auditioning for fame, fortune and followers

Hundreds lined up to audition for season four of Big Brother Canada in hopes of becoming the infamous reality TV show’s newest house guest. 

The open casting call hit Winnipeg at Polo Park Shopping Centre on Oct. 3 and will stop in seven other major cities before the new roster is announced. Aspiring house guests also have the option to send in an audition video.

The Big Brother franchise began on Dutch television but may be more familiar to Canadians in its American rendition, which is now in its 17th season. 

The show’s premise is to create a melting pot of contrasting personalities in the glamorous Big Brother House. House guests are not allowed to have any contact with the outside world for the 75-day competition and are under camera surveillance at all times. 

Their goal is to win competitions and avoid eviction to win the $100,000 prize at the end of the show.

Although house guest hopeful and current theatre major Brooklyn Kilfoyle expresses concern over the lack of privacy, she doesn’t allow that to hinder her enthusiasm.

“I want to be on TV. I love attention,” Kilfoyle says. She cites her friendliness as a future competitive edge.

Derick Pinkerton, an avid Big Brother fan who says he has been watching the show since he was 10, thought that he’d give it a shot now that he has reached the minimum age requirement of 19.

Pinkerton, a former hockey captain and current lifeguard supervisor, says his main advantages are his leadership skills and the ability to work the angle of the young good-looking guy in order to pass through to the next round of auditions.

As auditioners like Pinkerton and Kilfoyle waited in line, staff handed out audition numbers and forms. 

Aspiring contestants were asked to give basic contact information, their age, relationship status, occupation, height and weight. They were also asked to write a short answer about why they’d be a good fit for Big Brother Canada.

Hopeful house guests were then brought into the audition room in groups of five or six to meet with the casting producer for approximately five minutes. Although every person gets a turn to testify that they’re ready to move into the Big Brother House, the producer keeps an eye on the way the individuals interact with their groupmates and their ability to hold the spotlight.

It’s also advisable to develop an angle and use that angle to appeal to the producer and, later on, to the audience.

Reality TV dreamers Wes Kinley and Eric Sunstrum understand this strategy.

“I’m a soon-to-be 40-year-old father of two,” Kinley says. “The soccer moms will love that.”

Sunstrum says he’s auditioning because he wants to be rich and famous.

“I’ll be that frat guy on there,” Sunstrum says. “I’m very competitive. I’ll find a way to win. I’ll go hard. Whatever it takes.”

Big Brother Canada’s fourth season will air on Global in early 2016.

Published in Volume 70, Number 5 of The Uniter (October 8, 2015)

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