The Artista Path: Starstruck vs. PBB (A Quantitative Comparison)

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Starstruck and Pinoy Big Brother have proven to be artista-making machines for the last ten or so years. There’s a good chance that the talents you’re currently watching on local primetime TV had their start in either one of these shows. Both shows returned last year, so I wanted to figure out which of the two programs is better in producing talent. Going in, I instinctively thought that PBB was better since they produced primetime talents such as Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson, Robi Domingo, et al. But on the other hand, Starstruck also produced the likes of  Jennylyn Mercado, Cristine Reyes and Paulo Avelino. So maybe there’s more stuff to dig through.

Like any person who likes to “overanalyze” things and have tons of time in their hands, I decided to delve deeper to put my “overanalyzing” mind to rest. So I searched for all the finalists of all the concluded seasons of Starstruck and PBB to check who had a TV, movie, theater or music opportunity in 2015. This assumes that my definition of a “successful product” would be a talent that continues to have an artist career in the entertainment industry (i.e. Starstruck winner Steven Silva had his stage debut while PBB alum Jessica Connelly released an EP  with Filipino producer CRWN December last year)

Disclaimer: Yes, my data came from Wikipedia again. Yes, it’s not the most credible source to get from but it’s the most complete by far. IMDB isn’t different because it’s also user-contributed data (and incomplete). Talent center websites such as the ABS-CBN talent center site is incomplete and not updated. I’d appreciate it if you can direct me to a better source!

THE BASIC STUFF

Basic Data
Table 1.1                                                                                            as of Dec. 17, 2015                                                                     Icons used came from freepik via http://www.flaticon.com

Let’s start with the groundwork first. Although Starstruck started two years earlier, Pinoy Big Brother, has accomplished twice the number of seasons and has went through more than twice the contestants (90 vs. 239). The number of seasons and all can be attributed to the nature of the two shows. Starstruck is a flat-out talent search. Which meant that you need to have the talent and/or potential to even be considered in the show. On the other hand, PBB is a reality TV show about forcing 12+ random people to coexist in one house. As what I’ve discussed in my previous write-up, having talent can raise your chances of becoming a Big Winner, but it’s not a strong requirement to be a housemate. That’s why thousands upon thousands of people audition for PBB, all you need is an identity and a backstory.

So based on this data, what percent of these alums are still active?

ACTIVE ALUMS

 

Current Active Alums
Table 2.1

 

It seems that roughly half of the contestants who came from Starstruck had entertainment opportunities last year! That’s roughly a +30% compared to PBB alums. This goes back to the amount of people coming in the PBB house and not have the talent and staying power to stick in the entertainment industry. And if you look at the spread of alums who are still active, Starstruck has a better spread. This just meant that as long as you get into the final 14 of Starstruck, there’s a big chance that you’ll have an active entertainment career. If you check PBB’s on the other hand, you need to fight through and reach the Big 4 to get a respectable chance to have a steady entertainment career.

What we can get here: Starstruck would have more requirements than PBB but would give you a significantly better chance to have a place in the entertainment industry. On the other hand, it’s easier to be an housemate though it would be more difficult to have a place in the industry.

Next up, a deep-dive on the type of TV and Movie opportunities alums received this previous year.

TV/Movie Opportunities in 2015

Total Opportunities Data resized
Table 3.1

In terms of sheer amount of opportunities, Starstruck alums received twenty-six more opportunities than PBB alums. If divided to all the current alums, a Starstruck alum would get ONE more opportunity than a PBB alum (3.44 vs. 2.40). If you just count the number of opportunities given to Starstruck alums, Arci Munoz and Miguel Tanfelix led the segment with 7 opportunities. 2015 was a big year for Arci, having a lead spot in Pasion de Amor and a special participation role in A Second Chance. And these are just her TV and Movie opportunities. Data excludes her endorsements like being the Ginebra Calendar Girl for 2016.

However, not all opportunities are created equal. Some opportunities have more weight than others. Going back to the Arci Munoz example, being a lead in a teleserye weighs more than just having a special part in a movie. So I added weights to each opportunity to have a clearer picture. In the spirit of full disclosure here are the weights that I used:

Weights
Table 3.2

With this table as your guide, we can see that even in terms of quality, Starstruck alums receive better opportunities than PBB alums. With a 2.4 weighted opportunity advantage, they might have received an additional opportunity in an anthology series or a guest appearance.

And when you factor in the quality of opportunities, Jennylyn Mercado of Starstruck had the best opportunities, be it from Starstruck or PBB alums with 25 pts. She did star in two films (The Prenup and #Walang Forever) plus lead roles in two teleseryes (Second Chances and My Faithful Husband).

In the side of PBB, Melai Cantiveros was one of the contestants in season 1 and a had co-host role in season 2 of Your Face Sounds Familiar. Though low profile, PBB All-in 2nd Big Placer Maris Racal had a prolific year as a supporting actress in teleseryes (Ningning, Oh My G!) and movies (The Breakup Playlist, Halik Sa Hangin).

What we can get here: Overall, Starstruck alums are given better opportunities in terms of quality and quantity. A possible reason for relatively lower opportunities for PBB alums is that PBB’s parent channel, ABS-CBN, actively get talent from other programs. ABS-CBN is known to still produce talent via Star Magic (top of mind, Julia Barretto and Janella Salvador) and through their Goin’ Bulilit graduates (top of mind, Kathryn Bernardo and Julia Montes). In other words, PBB alums have to compete with more talent compared to Starstruck alums. And aside from the really established PBB alums like Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson, most PBB alums are more often given supporting roles or special participation opportunities. Prime example, PBB 737 Teen Big Winner Jimboy Martin is part of It’s Showtime‘s Hashtags dance group along with other PBB 737 alums, Zeus Collins and Jameson Blake.

How about we further dive into these TV opportunities? So we know where the alums get their opportunities

Total TV Opportunity Data
Table 3.3

We can see here in Table 3.3 that overall, Starstruck alums are given more TV opportunities than PBB alums (119 TV opps vs. 86 TV opps). If you go through the opportunities based on quality in 2015, we can see that PBB alums were given equal opportunities to be cast as a lead, support, extended et al.  But if you compare it to Starstruck, alums were given more opportunities as lead or part of the supporting cast. Hell, they had been cast significantly across different roles more than PBB alums. This confirms my guess that there’s just too many people to compete with in roles.

How about in movies?

Total Movie Opportunity Data
Table 3.4

In terms of movies, PBB alums were given significantly more movie opportunities in 2015 than Starstruck alums. However, you can see here that not a lot of alums from both TV shows are given movie opportunities as much as TV opportunities.

What we can get here: Starstruck alums are given more chances for big roles on TV compared to PBB alums. But in terms of movies, PBB alums have more opportunities than Starstruck alums. I guess an additional reason for more opportunities for Starstruck overall is that Starstruck alums are honed better than PBB alums. Again, Starstruck is an artista search. The show revolved around their training to become artists. On the other hand, after getting out of the PBB house, PBB alums still need to have a crash course in acting (most still go through the Star Magic Talent Program) to hone their talent.

With this slightly uneven opportunities, you’d think PBB alums, would leave ABS-CBN to look for better opportunities. Let’s check the channel movement of these alums

ALUM MOVEMENT

Alum Movement Data
Table 4.1

Interestingly, it seems that PBB alums are more loyal to ABS-CBN compared to Starstruck alums. A big chunk of Starstruck alums have left GMA to look for greener pastures. The likes of Arci Munoz and Paulo Avelino, arguably received better opportunities after leaving GMA. And this is the thing that puzzles me with the data. Why would Starstruck alums leave GMA even though they’re given better opportunities compared to ABS-CBN? I have two wild guesses, but these aren’t supported by any data:

  1. Better Working Conditions? Last 2014 to 2015, talents protested for unfair contract practices against GMA. These talents weren’t actors per se, but this gave a glimpse of how things work in GMA. Maybe GMA talents in general are paid less? I’m not sure. Again this is a wild guess.
  2. More Pirate-able: since they’re produced better, Starstruck alums have better value hence better demand from TV5 and ABS-CBN. If you’re in the shoes of a TV5 or ABS talent executive, would you want to risk a contract to an unproven talent that still needs to be taught how to act or an already honed but underutilized talent like a Paulo Avelino or a Cristine Reyes?

What we can get here: Based on my guesses above, people who go through the Starstruck program as talents, have more value than PBB alums since they are more pirate-able.


 

From all that I’ve discussed so far, it seems that my initial guess was wrong. Haha Starstruck alums seem to have steadier and better opportunities compared to PBB alums. Of course this assumes that you want to be an artista because acting is your passion. But what about if we check the popularity of Starstruck vs. PBB alums? Maybe you want to be an artista because you just really want to be famous? So I tried to measure this by checking the social media pages of these alums to check their following in the internet.

Do note that these figures are as of Dec 17, 2015. These stats may have changed over the Christmas break.

SOCIAL MEDIA DATA

Social Media Data
Table 5.1

It seems that PBB alums are clearly followed more on social media compared to Starstruck alums. And by my definition, it seems that PBB alums are more popular (in social media) compared to Starstruck alums. BUT interestingly, Starstruck alums are significantly more active in social media, tweeting and posting pictures compared to PBB alums. We can also get from here is that social media activity of an alum does not equate to a better following. I would guess that external factors like awareness and exposure in media drive the following rather than activity.

Another interesting point here, the top alums that tweet do not necessarily mean the most followed. For example, Enzo Pineda is second in most tweets (26,900 tweets) among the Starstruck alums even though he has 583,000 Twitter followers. Compare those figures to Paulo Avelino who is followed by 1.28M people but has only tweeted 5.6K times. Or in the PBB alums side, PBB 737 evictee Fifth Solomon has tweeted 33K times to his 78.2K followers compared to Sam Milby who is followed by 3.7M people on Twitter but has only tweeted 4.7K times.

CONCLUSION:

So if we go back to my earlier question, it seems that the answer isn’t really clear cut. It depends on your reason in joining these shows. Starstruck isn’t as highly-viewed as PBB but if you want a steadier flow of opportunities as an artist, joining Starstruck would be the better option. But be prepared coming in since it sauditions would be more stringent than PBB.

If you want to be an artista because you want the fame, you might want to choose PBB. By the nature of the show, you are literally exposed to the public 24/7. More exposure can mean more popularity for you. But be warned, than after PBB you would need to heavily compete for better breaks in your career if you ever decide to stay in ABS-CBN (most especially when you don’t get in the Big 4).

In the end, there’s no easy way to get fame and/or fortune. You need to exert the effort and show the desire to hone your skills. And like anything in life, you need to work your freaking ass off.

 

 

(P.S. shoutout to my quant consultant! You know who you are! I won’t mention your name in case there’s something wrong with the data!)

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The Artista Path: Starstruck vs. PBB (A Quantitative Comparison)

PBB 737 Big Night: What We Can Learn

PBB 737 BIG WINNERS EXPLAINED

Hey everybody!

The dust has settled from PBB 737’s Big Night and I’m surprised with the results for both editions. My final position predictions were a bit off, especially with the Regular Edition. So I tried to go back and understand the results. So here are things that I took note of:

1. BEING LOUD ON SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN’T EQUATE TO VOTES

PBB is a straight-up popularity contest. There’s no need to understand platforms or manifestos. All a housemate needs to do is to amass the biggest fan base to win. And fan bases show support by being loud on social media. Tracking every guesting or mall tour of their housemate. Their payoff? Being able to reach the top trending topics of Twitter. You’d think that the louder the fan base the higher chances of the housemate to win. Boy, that’s not necessarily true.

Since the teen edition started, Ylona’s a big favorite in winning the competition. She was one of the first housemates to accrue a fan base and be present on social media. And it also helped that her loveteam with Bailey was also one of the prominent loveteams of the season. Not to mention, being already a somewhat social media star, Bailey also had a prominent fan base on social media.

It surprised me that Jimboy ended up winning the whole thing. Well I thought, having a significantly louder fan base, Ylona would easily crush Jimboy in the votes. His fan base wasn’t as loud as Ylona’s in a consistent basis nor did he have the support of a solid loveteam. I myself placed Jimboy far below in the big winner rankings. But through the weeks he steadily rose, being more comfortable and expressive in front of the camera. He eventually became more open to share his story with the public. And eventually that openness clinched him the Big Winner title.

2. THE LOVETEAM IS STILL A DRIVING FACTOR in creating a fan base

An advice for the next PBB aspirants: find a ka-loveteam right away. The popularity of “shipping” on the internet reinforced our already cultural inclination towards loveteams. AlDub, undoubtedly, is the biggest celebrity couple of 2015. “Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas?” was generally a throwback to the dating segments of old noon-time shows. ABS-CBN’s Christmas station ID theme song was sung by the network’s three biggest loveteams (with Bamboo  and Elha Nympha providing vocal support). Fun fact, the writers who penned the song are Thyro & Yumi, and guess what? They’re a couple in real life. PH Showbiz is on a high right now playing The Boat Is Sinking, Group Yourselves Into Two.

Having a loveteam inside the house increases your chances to survive until late in the game, just like Katniss and Peeta in the Hunger Games or Shuya and Noriko in Battle Royale. In this season, we’ve seen that each edition had a prominent love team be part of their respective Big 4s: Bailey-Ylona for the teens and Tommy-Miho for the regulars. It surprised me a lot that Tommy and Miho were able to thrash Roger, my prediction to be Big Winner, in the votes. I thought Roger had it on lock but I guess love trumps all.

3. SAYING “nagpapakatotoo” repeatedly CAN AFFECT YOUR CHANCES

I’m sure you know a guy or girl on social media that uses #blessed so much. You agree that he or she is #blessed. You know this person deserves to be #blessed. But as time goes on, this person continuously shouts out on social media how #blessed he/she is, you couldn’t help but be put off by it. And eventually, you roll your eyes every time you see this person’s post that ends with a #blessed.

In the world of PBB, announcing to the world that your “nagpapakatotoo” is the same as saying #blessed. It’s admirable at first but it eventually gets tacky and contrived after repeated pronouncements. And I feel that hurt Roger’s chances of the winning the game. Roger was my top pick in the rankings to win the game because I felt he stood as an authority figure in the house, he didn’t have big issues with his fellow housemates and he had a relatable backstory. A boy who had nothing and busted his ass to achieve success is a solid backstory. However, he stuck with the “nagpapakatotoo” thing too long and too loud that eventually some people might have felt that it was a schtick or gimik to just get votes. Probably the biggest offence to this was their Q&A session before the Big Night wherein he was asked by an ex-housemate, “if your housemates are going to vote for you, what do you think would be their reason?” Good ol’ Roger’s answer? “Siguro iboboto nila ako dahil sobra na akong nagpapakatotoo.” Replace nagpapakatotoo with #blessed and you’ll understand why the statement was off-putting.

Don’t get me wrong with Roger. I don’t doubt that he’s a nice guy. But overly stating that you’re a nice guy can make people doubt that you’re a nice guy? Do you get me? So that kakulitan to prove that he’s “nagpapakatotoo”, reaped only 10% of the total Big 4 votes (while Tommy and Miho got 82% of the total Big 4 votes).

4. AUTHENTICITY IS THE KEY

PBB has been on air for 10 years. By this time, every new housemate has some sense of how to win the game. They’ve probably devised a scheme on how to play the game before going inside the house. But as their strategy evolved, PBB viewers have also trained themselves in spotting these schemes. Now, it’s easier for viewers to pick out housemates who they feel are inauthentic and are just playing to win.

And that’s why I feel Miho ultimately won the game. Viewers generally felt that she was authentic. Authentic I feel is a better descriptor to use than “nagpakatotoo”. With “nagpapakatotoo” thrown around since PBB’s inception, it has somehow lost its meaning. Some housemates justify their fits of anger as “nagpapakatotoo” or their tactless comments as “nagpapakatotoo”. “Nagpapakatotoo” assumes there are two levels of a housemate’s personality: the reel (on-camera) and real (off-camera). But for Miho, it’s not the case.

In watching Miho, viewers had a sense that there is no reel or real personality. What you literally see in Miho, is what you get. I guess it helped that Miho had a tough time communicating with her fellow housemates. It helped viewers ignore her words or the fluff and just focus on her body language and facial reactions. It made it relatively easier for viewers to evaluate Miho’s authenticity, to understand and relate to her backstory.


Well that’s it for our coverage of PBB 737. I hope I can still continue covering the next season (if any!)

PBB 737 Big Night: What We Can Learn

The Usual Suspects: 11 Types of People You’ll Get To Watch Inside PBB House

Icons made by Freepik via Flaticon
Icons made by Freepik via Flaticon

If you’ve watched the Pop Philtre-approved faux-reality tv show, UnREAL, you’d be familiar with the idea of casting reality TV show contestants into certain types. Types like the bitch, the wifey-material, the desperate housewife and the sassy black woman are staples in UnREAL’s show within a show, “Everlasting”. Here’s a clip of Executive Producer Quinn with a rough go-through of the basics:

Well, this got me thinking…what could be the possible types of contestants in PBB? I’m pretty sure patterns can be identified after running for 10 years, 12 seasons and 230+ housemates living in the house.

So after going through the meaty PBB wikipedia pages and a few youtube videos of the past, I’ve noticed 11 types of housemates. Each type may not necessarily be present in each season. Some are a bit broad, while some are oddly specific. Some are based on a housemate’s profile (e.g. looks, ethnicity, economic class) while others maybe based on their personality (e.g. temperament).

(Do note that these types are all based on my observations and do not necessarily mean that PBB management, intentionally includes these types in each batch.)

1. THE HUSTLING YOUNGSTER

  • BACKGROUND: Due to unfortunate financial circumstances,they are forced to work at an early age. In PBB teen editions, these housemates would juggle their studies with their work (e.g. Aldred and Jimboy). They joined PBB as a way to help their family,
  • INSIDE THE HOUSE: They generally seem relaxed inside the House, after having the weight of the world relieved from their shoulders. Some are headstrong that they clash with other housemates (e.g. Patria, Cess, and Karen). While a few younger youngsters even feel like kids inside the house, enjoying some luxuries that they have not experienced (e.g. Ejay, Biggel and Krizia)
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: Some have been fan favorites because of their modest and relatable backstories. Hustling youngsters fare better in Teen Editions, often being part of their season’s Big Four (e.g. Ejay, Devon, Roy, Karen, and Jimboy)

2. THE PRIVILEGED

  • BACKGROUND: Opposite of the Hustling Youngsters, are the Privileged. These housemates come from well-to-do families. Their motivations in joining PBB are more towards self-improvement like trying to be independent (e.g. Yen, Fretzie, Jacob) or stepping out of the shadows of their known families (e.g. Bodie (Cruz), Tin (Patrimonio), Bam (Romana), Potz (Jalosjos) and Nichole (Baranda)). It seems like a weird choice to look for independence and self-discovery while locked inside a house in the public’s eye 24/7.
  • INSIDE THE HOUSE: As housemates, The Privileged are generally okay in maintaining their relationships with their fellow housemates. One common complaint though to some Privileged iss that they don’t carry their weight when it comes to house chores.
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: The Privileged have varied lifespans inside the house, Some fell out in the early stages, some went on to be part of the Big 4. It depends if they were able to stand out enough in the house and gather a fanbase.

3. THE HALF-PINOY

  • BACKGROUND: Half-Pinoys have been a staple since season one. But their representation in each batch has grown more and more. The current season of regular housemates feature five half-pinoys (Charlhone, Dawn, Jyo, Margo and Philip). Identity is supposedly a crucial motivator of half-pinoys in entering the PBB house. Although the dimension of identity changes depending on whether they grew here in the Philippines or in other countries.
    • LOCAL HALF-PINOYS: Local half-pinoys are often left by their foreign biological parent. And they felt joining the PBB house will help them find their missing parent. This is usually incorporated in their tasks inside the house (remember when Gerald Anderson helped out Matt Evans to look for his dad?)
    • FOREIGN HALF-PINOYS: Having to grow up in a foreign country, half-pinoys are curious to connect with their Filipino roots. More often this is also incorporated as a task wherein they need to learn the Filipino language (e.g. This season’s Ylona, Bailey and Miho) or do something that is traditionally Filipino.
  • INSIDE THE HOUSE: Local Half-Pinoys usually don’t have a hard time gelling with the other housemates. However, Foreign Half-Pinoys often find difficulties in communicating or unaware of Filipino customs like helping around the house or asking a girl if she’s still a virgin.
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: Surprisingly, half-pinoys stay long in the house, often getting evicted mid or late in the season. I guess good looks really helps in garnering a fan base.

4. THE EYE CANDY

  • BACKGROUND: These are the hopefuls that get in the house because of their good-looks. Some even have it in the monikers they’re given (e.g. “Sensual Siren” Jaz Manabat, “Baker Bombshell” Dawn Chang and “Dancing Bombshell” Aina Solano). Some are often models or beauty pageant contestants. Motivations differ per housemate.
  • INSIDE THE HOUSE: Due to their looks, they’re often involved in a love team inside the house (e.g. Wendy-Bruce, Cathy-Hermes-Carol, Kim-Mark, Valerie-Ejay)
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: Very few Eye Candies are able to reach Big 4 status namely, Cass, Wendy, Ivan, Daniel and Riza. More often they get cut in the middle of the season.  .

5. THE HOT MOM

  • BACKGROUND: For some reason, PBB also likes to get single moms. Almost all regular editions (Jenny, Mariel, Erica) and two teen editions (Jamilla, Kamille) feature single and pretty moms. They’re main motivation in joining PBB is to give their kids a better future.
  • INSIDE THE HOUSE: They often take up the role of moms inside the house and are pretty much active in household chores. They’re often vocal with their other housemates on how they miss their kids so much.
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: Hot Moms tend to fade early in the game, a few have voluntarily left the house because they couldn’t take to be away from their kids for so long. Some often get nominated for eviction because their fellow housemates know how much they miss their kids.

6. THE OUTSPOKEN PRETTY FEMALE

  • DESCRIPTION: I’m not sure why but almost all seasons would have an Outspoken Pretty Female. This type of housemate is vocal about their opinions and are often confrontational which often lead to scuffles with other housemates. Examples of the OPF are Cass, Wendy Valdez, Wendy Tabusalla, Princess, Beauty, Shay, Karen Reyes, Aina and Dawn.
  • BACKGROUND: Most of the women have experienced adversity early in their lives that forced them to be tougher. Cass and Wendy Valdez came from not so well-off families so they had to work hard to earn some comfort. Wendy Tabusalla was bullied as a kid for being different while growing up in Indonesia. Aina decided to move to the Philippines alone and had to learn to adjust to the Filipino culture.
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: Most OPFs get cut early to middle of the season because of their confrontational nature.

7. THE CUTIE CHINITO/CHINITA

  • DESCRIPTION: This is not as evident as the other types but most seasons would also include chinitos and chinitas. In more recent seasons, more chinitos have entered the house (e.g. Alec, Manolo, Richard). They seem to be relatively easy to get along with inside the house.
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: CCs in early seasons were successful in winning PBB with Kim Chiu and Bea Saw becoming Big Winners. However, Cutie Chinitos of late, though fan favorites, had a hard time breaking into the Big 4.

8. THE AUTHORITY FIGURE

  • DESCRIPTION: Naturally they’re seen as the leaders in the household. They may sometimes come off as bossy or overly competitive, but it’s just really part of leading a team.
  • BACKGROUND: Authority figures usually have some background in some form of military training (Nene, Fred) or sports (Donald, Patrick Sugui, Daniel, Michelle, Luz).
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: More often than not, Authority Figures stay in the house for a while, although rarely do they become the Big Winner. They stay long because they’re liked by their housemates but at the end could not rake enough support from viewers.

9. THE NURTURER

  • DESCRIPTION: If Authority Figures are the fathers inside the house, Nurturers are the mothers. They’re usually considered as the friend of everybody. Other housemates see them as moral compasses inside the house (e.g. Robi, Rona, Jayme, Bea Saw).
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: Having a harmonious relationship with their fellow housemates, Nurturers rarely get nominated for eviction. Most get into the Big 4 or some get evicted late in the season.

10. THE COMEDIAN

  • DESCRIPTION: Comedians bring life to the house. Their antics provide laughs for housemates and viewers alike.
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: Comedians are a mixed bag. Their survival depends on their type of humor. Agressive or gross humor is often met with eviction like Franzen and Lordwin. On the other hand, family-friendly or “kwela” kind of humor, of the likes of Jayson, Pamu, Keanna and Melai stayed and became part of their respective seasons’ Big 4.

11. THE QUIRKY JAPANESE

  • DESCRIPTION: PBB also has a penchant of adding a japanese guy out of left-field. Having a relatively big Filipino contingent, it’s no surprise Japan is one of the international stops of PBB auditions. They had Jeremy Hidano in the second season of the regular edition who sported a hairdo reminiscent of 80s japanese anime. In PBB Unlimited, they’ve included Seiichi Ushimi, a japanese guy who had the looks and the sense of humor of japanese ABS-CBN talent, Yachang.This current season, they have Jyo Yokoyama, a humorous and easy-going japanese guy.
  • CHANCES OF WINNING: So far, very slim. Jeremy was evicted early while Seiichi left late in his season. Let’s see with Jyo if he stays long in this season.

Have you noticed other types? Let me know in the comments!

The Usual Suspects: 11 Types of People You’ll Get To Watch Inside PBB House

PBB 737 Big Winner Rankings (as of August 1)

BIG WINNER RANKINGS Day 43 headline

Update (August 8,2015): So after a week of confusion, it seems that the Teen and Regular housemates will not co-exist in the house. So after last night’s eviction, it seems the Teen Big 4 will leave the house tonight before the Regular housemates enter. And man, the vote to evict mechanic is such a gamechanger. Last year it was Jane, now Kenzo gets the short-end of the stick.

The time of the teens alone in the house is almost done. Regular housemates are coming next Saturday! Hopefully, the new housemates can give the house an extra boost of excitement. The nerfing effects of the “dialogue” MTRCB had with the PBB management made the show stale for the last three weeks.

Queen Quinn King is not amused MTRCB

I’m excited to see how the dynamics would change. Will the older teens defer to the older regular housemates? With 24/7 adult supervision inside the house, will management bring back the PBB Livestream? Will Bailey find another girl to have a crush on?

Anyway, here’s the last two weeks’ Big Winner Rankings:

BIG WINNER RANKINGS Day 43

BIG 4 TERRITORY (RANK 1 – 4) 

  • Ylona retains her position in front of the pack. The team performance two weeks ago highlighted her strengths but also exposed her weaknesses. She was an undoubted showstopper during the performance, dialing her talent up to 11. But not without tension-filled practices, with her teammate Kyle deciding to leave after the stress. She’s working on her people skills, noticeably having lesser votes than in previous eviction nominations.
  • Kenzo stays at number 2. He’s still an active housemate in the storylines, either as an outspoken and reliable team player at tasks or a lightning rod for issues (KamZo loveteam just won’t die). And lately, he’s trying to build up the BaiLona loveteam.
  • Jimboy jumps to third place, eventually overtaking early favorite Bailey. Like Ylona, Jimboy was given the opportunity to show off his talent and he was able to pull it off. He recently showed his selflessness and determination by winning the
    “tulong app” challenge to help a more impoverished friend of his. The voting public took notice of his continuing selflessness as he impressively dominated last Friday’s eviction night.
  • Bailey slips a little to fourth place. Nothing new happened to him these last two weeks, aside from removing his Promise Red Ribbon. With Barbie out of the house, his eyes are now on Ylona (cheers BaiLona shippers).

BOTTOM 2 (RANK 5 – 6) 

  • Props to Kamille for still being in the game after countless times being on the chopping block. I guess more and more people are voting for her after FINALLY showing her dancing and acting (!) skills. They had to invite her former Teacher Georcelle to make her dance though.
  • Totoy Smiley Franco is at last place. He ruffled the feathers of some housemates when he contemplated to switch teams after feeling that they’ll lose the team task (which they won). He also showed some desperation to be saved from eviction, eventually letting Bailey get immunity in the last nomination. And for the last six weeks, he’s the remaining housemate without a proper introduction to his backstory. This spells bad for Franco as he’s up for eviction with eviction veterans, Kamille and Ylona

SOME NOTES FROM THE LAST TWO WEEKS

  • My heart goes to the Zzz (Zonia Zilent Zupporters). I really thought she’ll complete the Vickie Rushton
  • It was nice to see old housemates invited to judge the 737 concert. Too bad Bea Saw and Maricris weren’t there.
  • PBB already pulling out an outside world task? Wow, they’ve really ran out of ideas.

Until the next Big Winner Rankings! I’m excited how many regular housemates will enter next Saturday.

PBB 737 Big Winner Rankings (as of August 1)

PBB 737 Big Winner Rankings (as of July 18)

It’s time again for our Big Winner rankings. So much has changed in the PBB house after our first round of rankings. We got to know some housemates while a few still haven’t showed their game a month in.

Here’s the updated rankings so far. The arrowheads or bar on the right side of the rank indicate whether the housemate went up, down or did not move in the rankings.

BIG WINNER RANKINGS Day 35

UPPER TIER (RANK 1 – 3) 

  • Ylona has moved up to the top spot after a solid performance these last two weeks. She has recorded her own song “Win The Fight” and her and Bailey’s version of “Magmahal Muli” (the first song created inside the house). And with Barbie gone from the house, she has strengthened her loveteam with Bailey. However, it seems that she’s not in good terms with the older housemates, and have been a mainstay in the eviction list for the last weeks.
  • Kenzo remains a strong contender because of his continued exposure since day one. In the past few weeks,. his loveteam with Kamille got so much attention that some episodes are centered around it. Harmony is an issue with Kenzo as he grew apart from the younger housemates when his loveteam with Kamille started to bloom.
  • Bailey, moved up to third because of his fan base. His loveteam with Ylona had much exposure because of their weekly task. And thanks to the “Magmahal Muli” special task, we finally witnessed his singing ability. He still needs to work on his relationship with the other housemates being hard to work with when it comes to tasks.

THE MIDDLE TIER (RANK 4 – 6) 

  • Jimboy after a forgettable first two weeks, jumped far onto the front of the pack because of his strong showing last week. We learned much about his backstory last week that added color to his personality. And apparently, he’s one of the older housemates that the younger ones seem to look up to (maybe an effect of the personal task he did). He still needs to show more confidence to break through the top.
  • Franco still stands firmly in the fifth spot. He has shown his leadership skills and talents but we still know nothing about his backstory.
  • Zonia jumped two spots to 6th place after a solid showing in the weeklong lig-task challenge. She’s starting to show more of her personality: her competitive spirit and never give-up attitude. She’s surely making an effort in opening up to the older housemates. Continuing her strong performance in the succeeding tasks and knowing more about her background can boost her chances.

THE BOTTOM TIER (RANK 7 – 8)

  • Kamille has slightly fell down the pecking order. Much about their loveteam is instigated by Kenzo. Although she has shared much of her story, she got zero nominations from last week’s positivized nominations clearly showing her distance from the other housemates.
  • Last time, I discussed how Kyle needs to show something unique because he and Kenzo occupied the same space. Two weeks on, and Kyle has still haven’t separated himself. In fact, he has associated himself with Kenzo more this past weeks. Call himself as B2 to Kenzo’s B1. Even though he’s looked up to by his fellow housemates, because of his sameness with Kenzo, he has trouble growing his fan base.

SOME NOTES FROM THE LAST TWO WEEKS

  • Ryan getting evicted last night was such a big fall. Two weeks ago he was the front runner. After coming out of the gates strong, he lost steam becoming a bystander in the new events in the house. He has distanced himself from the other boys and older housemates. He’s lost all the sunshine he had. Like he kind of lost energy to participate. Bailey has even replaced him as the joker of the house. And has wrapped up his story with a face to face conversation with his mom.
  • Zonia is totally doing a Vickie Rushton
  • The KamZo loveteam just won’t die. Can we already lay it to rest? It’s clearly some kind of cabin fever.
  • The live nominations was such a masterstroke by the PBB management to create drama after getting neutered by the MTRCB
    • Positivize the nomination? Let’s surprise the housemates by also letting them nominate face to face!
    • Needs adult guidance? Let’s invite Kenzo’s dad and Ryan’s mom as “coaches” so we can discuss Kenzo and Ryan’s stories
    • Need Filipino values? Let’s force them eat frog and balut.
  • Am I the only one creeped out by Franco’s “moves” on Ylona. I find it disturbing.
  • Is it just me, or did Ryan’s mom sing a different tune this week compared to her initial confession room interviews?
  • When is Enchong Dee coming in?

Let’s see the changes in the coming weeks!

PBB 737 Big Winner Rankings (as of July 18)

PBB 737 Big Winner Rankings (as of July 4)

Ah yes…the newest season of Big Brother is  two weeks in. So much has already happened. A housemate just got evicted…loveteam split for the time being…talks about virginity…and execs summoned by the MTRCB. PBB is already firing on all cylinders!

We don’t know until when this season’s going to run (minimum of 7 weeks judging by what they announced), but I feel watching the teen housemates for 14 days is already sufficient basis to start running the PBB 737 Big Winner Rankings . So from now on, every two weeks I’ll be sharing my picks on who’re leading and lagging.

So where do I base the rankings?

  1. I used the five traits I’ve pointed out in my previous piece on determining a Big Winner
  2. Next, I evaluated each housemate on each of the five traits, assessing which traits are considered their strengths or points for improvement
    1. Evaluation is heavily-based on the PBB 737 Primetime show and some reactions on Twitter
  3. Rankings can still change week to week. So don’t fret if your favorite housemate is ranked low or gloat if ranked high.

PBB 737 Power Rankings

THE UPPER TIER (RANK 1 – 4)

These housemates had much exposure during the first two weeks, probably because they were quite active in the house. That’s why we have a better grasp of who they are and their odds in becoming the Big Winner.

  • Ryan, currently sits at the top spot. In his first two weeks, he has solidified his position as everyone’s friend. He’s close with the girls and well-comfortable with the boys. You’d often see him having heart-to-heart talks with housemates. He has also shown his talents in dancing and making people laugh. And most importantly, he has shared his backstory. We know that he’s still struggling to receive full acceptance from his mom. There’s nothing left that he can improve on. Having a loveteam inside the house will greatly help.
  • Ylona greatly reminds me of Lea Salonga. Talented, loud and expressive. Her talent is her biggest differentiator from the others. We know she can have a singing career in the future after demonstrating her prowess in the first weekly task. She has also racked up quite a following on Twitter because of her charming looks. Moreover, she’s made an effort in interacting with her fellow housemates. Language barrier be damned. And right now she’s trying her best to bring back Bailey and Barbie together. Knowing more about her story can help her move up to the number one spot.
  • Kenzo is at third because he has stepped up to the role of being the Kuya inside the house (along with Kyle). You’d often see him leading or actively participating in tasks and he tries to give advice Bailey and the other younger housemates. He’s good-looking enough to merit a guesting in Luv U. Spending time on his backstory might help viewers understand why he has such a tight bond with Bailey and the other boys.
  • For the last two weeks, Bailey has been the sun that PBB 737 revolves around. One way or another, he gets himself involved in all the big stuff so far. Bailey’s the first one to get a proper punishment from a violation, the first to be involved in multiple loveteams (BarLey, KenLey, RyLey and BaiLona), and one of the first to be nominated for eviction. Honestly, I feel Bailey could have placed higher if he stayed away from controversy. He has the looks, the talent and quite a following before entering the house. He’s sure to become a good ABS-CBN talent once he leaves the house, like Sam Milby. I fear he’s going to be a mainstay on the chopping block if he doesn’t improve on his relationships with his other housemates, especially after his big faux pas involving Barbie.

THE MIDDLE TIER (3-WAY TIE AT rank 5)

These housemates have proven to be integral members of the house but may still need more exposure for us to further examine their full character.

  • Kamille is dependable when it comes to housework but needs to be a more active participant in tasks. She used to be part of the G-Force dancers but didn’t even share her dancing skills in their first weekly task. And she can be slightly irritable with the smallest things like her small outburst with Ailah.
  • Kyle has accepted his position as one of the Kuyas in the house…just like Kenzo. He’s dependable in group tasks…just like Kenzo. In terms of talent? we’re unsure, but for now definitely not like Kenzo. In other words, Kyle occupies the same position as Kenzo. He needs to differentiate himself from the Astig Athlete if he wants to move up in rank. Maybe showing us more of his backstory can help?
  • Franco, with his many talents, is dependable in house chores and in weekly tasks. However, he’s passive when it comes to interacting with the other housemates. You don’t see him hugging it out with the boys nor see him hanging out with the girls. He tried to open up about having a crush on Ylona but Ylona put him down immediately. He needs to get close to the other housemates before they run out of people to nominate.

THE LOWER TIER (RANK 6 – 8)

These housemates are on the bottom rung because it seems they’ve remained lacked exposure. We know almost nothing about them aside from their assigned PBB moniker. We know Ailah’s a faithful daughter, but she still needs to work on her other relationships in the house. We know Zonia’s a blossoming beauty, but we hardly heard her speak! Big Brother had to appoint her as the weekly task leader to be a more active player in the game. We know Jimboy’s a rapper, but outside of that what else do we know about him? Good thing, there’s still 5 more weeks left. That’s ample time for them to share their stories.

SOME notES FROM the last two weeks

  • Seven out of the 11 housemates come from Luzon (four from Metro Manila). Two housemates from Visayas, and two international housemates. That’s just not a good representation at all.
  • I don’t know what a Kid Sunshine is, nor a Totoy Smiley
  • Is Zonia trying to do a Vickie Rushton? Lay low for the first weeks and wait for half of the housemates to get evicted before opening up?
  • On KenLey: I don’t get why people are isolating Kenzo and Bailey when you clearly see the boys always hugging out. Especially when they’re all hanging out at the boy’s bedroom. I agree with Funky Resident Psychologist Doc Randy that it’s just a case of very close bromance. Both Kenzo and Bailey are unico hijos and are more than excited to experience what it’s like to have brothers. It’s also funny how mainstream media is having a hard time dealing with the shipping culture of the internet.

Well that’s it for now. Expect to see an updated Big Winner Rankings after two weeks!

PBB 737 Big Winner Rankings (as of July 4)

The 2 Things You Need To Know To Be A PBB Big Winner

Pinoy Big Brother has been a phenomenon like no other in Philippine Pop Culture. Millions have watched and voted week to week, involving themselves in the day to day issues of the housemates. We saw heartfelt confessions,  cat fights ablaze, and love bloom. Not to mention, the occasional lice infestation. But more importantly, it has been a steady producer of ABS-CBN’s bankable talents namely Sam Milby, Kim Chiu, Gerald Anderson and Toni Gonzaga (her first big break after moving from GMA). Every season is met with thousands upon thousands of hopefuls wanting to change their life’s’ fortunes.

Winning PBB means so much more to us. It’s amazing how different Big Brother is perceived here compared to other countries. Other cultures see it as a voyeuristic late-night show, but for us Filipinos, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime. You get your fifteen minutes of fame, live in a decked out house/villa  AND a chance to win a hefty cash prize, a house, a scholarship, a kabuhayan showcase and an ABS-CBN talent contract!

But how does one become a Big Winner? Do you need to outwit, outplay and outlast? Or dream, believe, survive? If the show’s tagline can give us a hint, “Ang Teleserye ng Totoong Buhay”, does it mean that TRUTHFULNESS is the key in becoming a Big Winner? For seasons, PBB housemates have been throwing the N-word, “Nagpapakatotoo”, every chance they could. It is as if they’re telling the audience, “Guys, sinabi ko yung magic word. Pwedeng iboto ninyo na ako?” However, if you’ve noticed the housemates featured in this video, not one of them became a Big Winner. The Big Winner is still determined by the viewers. And without undergoing a philosophical discourse, determining the truth in a reality TV show while you sit on your sofa can be difficult. So what can we do?

We can start by looking at the profiles of all the Big Winners through the show’s eleven-season run. Using the comprehensive data from the wikipedia pages of Pinoy Big Brother (yes wikipedia is not the most reputable of sources but just look at the wealth of data there) and my understanding of percentages, we can somehow profile the Big Winner.

Please note that the results are INCONCLUSIVE. A sample size of 11 can establish patterns but it is NOT ENOUGH TO BE CONCLUSIVE. It’s like how people noticed the White Guy With Guitar trend of American Idol winners.

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It seems that being a young, female from Visayas can probably get you support from the audience. Three Big Winners (33% of all Big Winners) fit all three categories (Nene Tamayo, Kim Chiu and Myrtle Sarrosa) and have received an average of 41.40% of the votes during their respective finales.

What other nuggets can we get from the data?
  • Being young seems to be a key. Among all eleven, Keanna Reeves (36) is the only Big Winner above 25 years old. This is telling information considering that the age range for regular auditions is 18-35 years old.
  • Having a province can be an advantage. Out of all the Big Winners, Daniel Matsunaga (Makati City) is the only Big Winner hailing from NCR. And we all know he’s from Brazil. If you’re an aspiring housemate, use your father or mother’s home province. Regionalism is still significant in the country, use it to your advantage.
  • Out of all eleven seasons, the magic percentage of total votes to be a Big Winner is 33.7%. More than half of the Big Winners received more votes than the aforementioned number (Nene, Keanna, Bea Saw, Ejay Falcon, Slater Young and Myrtle)

Okay, but does that mean the Young Woman from Visayas always get through? Not really. Excluding the Celebrity Housemates, there were 15 other housemates that fit the Young Woman from Visayas profile, and nine of them got cut before reaching the finals.

We also have to look at the qualities of the housemate. Being a fan and relatively frequent viewer of the show, I’ve identified five key characteristics of a Big Winner. I attributed each characteristic to each Big Winner and counted the attributes that fit. Surprisingly, some trends came out. I’ll explain each characteristic afterwards

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NAKAKABILIB panoorin

A Big Winner, at his/her most basic, must be able to get the viewer’s attention. They can be good-looking, funny or, like Kim Chiu, can turn into a pretzel. More often than not, these were the housemates that you already took note of starting from day one. Kim, the chinese cutie entered with all smiles. Melai Cantiveros, wide-eyed and amazed with the house. Daniel Matsunaga lying in the middle of the pool doing his best sleeping beauty impression while the sun was up.

These were the housemates with the most celebrity potential. Kim became a primetime telenovela talent. Melai just won Your Face Sounds Familiar. Bea inherited the Best Friend role in Star Cinema movies from Nikki Valdez. James Reid is currently part of popular loveteam with 3 hit movies and 2 albums under his belt.

MAY KONEK SA MANONOOD

More than just getting the viewers’ attention, Big Winners are able to maintain that attention. So much so that they can elicit a response from the viewer (like a tweet or an FB post).  What are these factors then? .

  • MABUTING HOUSEMATE: A Big Winner maintains a harmonious relationship with his/her fellow housemates. They’re considered as friendly authority figures inside the house and/or active participants in tasks. These are housemates that stay away from cat fights. Since they’re in such good terms with their housemates, they are rarely included in the list of nominees.

Being a good housemate touches on the Filipinos’ collectivistic attitude. Our inclination towards harmony and togetherness. We revere people who include the betterment of the many in mind. And we are wary of people who try to disrupt this harmony. Housemates who are perceived as “tamad”, “tahimik”or “nagsisimula ng gulo” are those who get nominated. How about the Big Winner? Big Winners only get nominated at an average of twice per season. Kim Chiu and Ejay Falcon maintained zero nominations during their stints in the house.

  • CAN RELATE ANG BACKSTORY: Looking at comments of people on the internet, they would often say that the Big Winners are those who usually come from low-income families and used their “paawa backstory” to win. If so, why did the likes of James Reid, Slater Young and Myrtle Sarrosa win? They came from well-enough families and yet people voted for them.

This goes back to what I was saying about having a connection with the audience. PBB Celebrity Edition 2 winner, Ruben Gonzaga, was a father who just wanted to provide a better future for his family. Ejay Falcon was a simple teen from the province who wanted to look for his biological parents.Slater lived in the shadows of his father and wanted to strike out on his own. These stories are not unique. These are stories that the viewers themselves may also experience. Hence, viewers root for housemates they can identify with.

  • Mayroong Ka-Love Team: It’s no secret that Filipinos are romantics. Nothing spices up a story any better than finding some form of love inside the house. Kimerald (Kim-Gerald) and Melason (Melai-Jason) are top of mind love teams that involved Big Winners. But what separates a Big Winner love team than Bruce-Wendy love team is that the Big Winner is usually the anchor of the love team. Kim decided between Gerald and Mikee Lee. And for Melason, it can be argued that the only reason her partner, Jason Francisco, was even part of the Big Four was because of his relationship with Melai.

Summarizing the three points, a Big Winner is able to create a bond with the viewer. This explains the “nagpapakatotoo” factor. A viewer feels that a housemate is “nagpapakatotoo” when the viewer finds commonalities with the housemate…the need to experience harmony, the want to be loved and/or the idea of having a story tell…these are the instances when the viewer is able to see the human side of the housemate.

summing it up

So what have I laid down:

  1. Chances seem higher if you’re a YOUNG, WOMAN from VISAYAS
  2. It seems a Big Winner should not just have entertainment value but also able to establish a human connection with the audience. something that can compel viewers to not only watch but also root for him/her.

In other words, a Big Winner is more or less just like Katniss Everdeen. It’s not enough you come from the poorest district, and be nifty with a bow. You also need a Peeta to ship with and a dress that can catch on fire.

POST SCRIPT: BASED ON THE ANALYSIS, WHO THEN IS THE ULTIMATE BIG WINNER?

Among all eleven housemates, Kim Chiu ticks almost all boxes:

  1. Fits the profile of the Young Woman from Visayas
  2. Had the charm and talent
  3. Never a part of the nominees list
  4. Had a strong love team

And this is also quite evident with the career she’s having after exiting the house. Arguably, she’s having the best showbiz career out of all the PBB Big Winners. Think of her as Kelly Clarkson, while Melai and James as David Cook and Kris Allen.

The 2 Things You Need To Know To Be A PBB Big Winner