The new Big Brother 2013 ‘What’s the secret?’ teaser advert has left fans speculating that BBUK is going all Secret Story. But what exactly is Secret Story? Here bbspy fills you in…
One of these was Secret Story, a format that started life as the French version of the show, but has since become popular enough for producers Endemol to begin selling it separately.
Needless to say, bosses opted to stick with the default BB formula, throwing in the occasional twist – some proving popular, others not so much (the Crypt, the White Room, the constant earpiece tasks, the dreaded friends and family nominations…)
But this morning, Channel 5 premiered an eye flash for this summer’s fourteenth series with the hashtag ‘#whatsthesecret’, sending fans in to a frenzy of speculation.
With the pre-eminent rumour being that BBUK could be about to borrow from Secret Story after all, now is the ideal time for a refresher course – below we explain its format (again) and bring you up to speed with how it’s been adapted around the world.
How Secret Story works
At first glance, Secret Story is identical to Big Brother – a group of contestants move in to a house isolated from the outside world, and nominate each other for eviction, with the public getting to decide who stays and who goes.
The difference is that each of them has a secret, which they must do their very best to keep hidden – as it is the other housemates’ objectives to work it out.
Each housemate has their own personal prize fund, and if someone else correctly guesses their secret, their entire prize fund goes to that person. Anyone who makes the final gets to keep their prize fund – and the winner scoops an additional jackpot prize.
Some housemates simply have to conceal their job, relationships or achievements, while others’ secrets are a bit more unusual. Examples from the French version include:
- I have more than 100 tattoos
- I was born with twelve fingers
- I survived a plane crash
- I was held hostage by suicide bombers
- I have made contact with extraterrestrials
Big Brother (or ‘The Voice’ as he’s known on Secret Story) also gives housemates opportunities to boost their prize funds with secret missions. Meanwhile, the house itself also holds its secret – and the person that discovers it gets a ticket to the final.
In its own right, Secret Story has aired in France, Lithuania, Peru, Portugal and the Netherlands – but two other countries have incorporated it in to their editions of Big Brother.
In 2011, the German version was relaunched as a Secret Story clone entitled ‘Big Brother – The Secret’.
There were no personal prize funds, and instead anyone whose secret was guessed automatically faced eviction – and the housemate that guessed it won the ticket to the final.
However, they could only keep the final pass as long as no other secrets were guessed. If someone else managed to correctly identify a secret, the ticket was passed on to them, until a certain point in the series when the holder of the ticket was allowed to keep it for good.
In addition, those who made incorrect guesses were also put up for eviction.
Last year, Big Brother Australia aired for the first time since 2008 – and it returned with a launch twist heavily inspired by Secret Story.
Seven men and seven women entered the house, and in the first week, the women were given a list of secrets which they had to match to the men. If they were successful they won immunity from the first eviction – but if they were unsuccessful, the men won the immunity.
In the second week, the tables were turned and the men had to identify the women’s secrets.
Is the UK next?
Following the teaser ad, it seems highly likely that BBUK will be the next version to follow suit – let’s not forget that we looked to Australia for last year’s White Room twist.
Personally, we’re hoping that the producers have something new and original up their sleeves – and given that the hashtag refers to one ‘secret’ rather than multiple ‘secrets’, it’s not entirely out of the question.
While Big Brother has been lacking in creativity since it moved to C5, the Basement twist from January’s Celebrity run indicates that they’re at least thinking differently this year.
After all, it’s probably best that Endemol keeps Secret Story back for when BB eventually gets axed again!
#Whatsthesecret? Let us know your theories below…