How 'Big Brother 20' Fans Have A Huge Opportunity To Influence The Game


Big Brother has caught up with the times, and its landmark 20th season is all about technology. Though, truth be told, the '80s, '90s, and '00s decorations, outfits, and competition themes ("Surfing The BB Web") are a little more nostalgic than cutting edge. And, while houseguests are still not allowed to be connected via phones or internet to the outside world, fans can use those tools to affect the game inside the house. But, how to vote for the BB Appstore on Big Brother is different than in past seasons, so you'll want to read carefully to make you opinion count in this game.

First off, the BB Appstore is this season's voting twist. As Julie Chen explained during the premiere, each week, fans can vote on their favorite and least favorite players. The houseguests that are "trending" the most (aka get the most votes) will go into the BB Appstore which holds powers and punishments depending on the types of votes they get.

For example, some of the positive questions viewers got to answer this week were: "Which Houseguest is most entertaining to watch?" and "Which Houseguest’s gameplay is most fun to watch?" The winners of those categories will likely score positive rewards. Conversely, the people who get the most votes for "Which Houseguest has you screaming at the television?" and "Which Houseguest is annoying you the most?" will likely get punishments that hinder their game play.

Positive prizes include things like, "re-draw," "bonus life," "upgrade," "the cloud," and "identity theft." Punishments include: "Yell," "fake news," "read it," "hamazon," and "spammed." It's unclear what these powers do as of yet.


In any case, if you want to get to voting for your favorite and least favorite players, here's how it works according to the CBS site:

Unlike in previous years, you can't simply log on to cbs.com/bbvote to cast your vote. In keeping with the technology theme, this season fans can vote via Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Skype, and Kik.

On Twitter and Facebook, simply send a message to the CBS page. On Kik, go to the Kik Bot Store and find CBS. On Skype, you can chat with the CBS Skype page. I recommend you say "start voting" in all of your intro messages, since that's what seems to trigger the bot response. From there, you'll be taken through a handful of questions about the houseguests.

Pro tip: You may want to vote in off-peak times. For example, neither Twitter nor Facebook messaging worked for me immediately post-show. I tried again about seven hours later on Facebook and it worked. It appears that voting opens every Wednesday and closes Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m. PT, though this could be subject to change based on air dates.

Viewers can vote 10 times. When I completed the five questions and confirmed each of my answers with the bot, I'd sent a total of 15 messages. It took three minutes (this is an eternity in Internet time), and I was not about to go through that process nine more times. That would have been a full half hour of my day, so I selected to duplicate my answers for my remaining votes (an option you have to confirm all nine times).

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It's not quite as efficient as voting of seasons past, but it is interesting that the five questions seem to imply that the BB Appstore will reward or punish five players a week. That's a lot of twists on the house, one that's already turned one contestant into a robot.

The prizes and punishments seem interesting based on their names, and it is fun as a fan to get involved in game play. Even if it's a little bit more of a hassle to vote this time around, it could turn out to make for an interesting season. Mostly because, you know, I have to find out what "hamazon" is.