March 15, 2017 9:32 am

‘Big Brother Canada’ host Arisa Cox analyzes returning ‘BBCAN’ vets

Some of the houseguests for 'Big Brother Canada' Season 5.

Corus Entertainment

Big Brother Canada is back for its fifth season, and no one is more overjoyed or excited than the host of the Canadian reality show, Arisa Cox.

Cox, who’s helmed the show since it began in 2013, has seen a wealth of characters go in and out the front doors of the Big Brother Canada house, so who better to comment on the incoming houseguests’ strategies?

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Cox’s input is especially relevant for Season 5, when eight of the 16 contestants are returning players looking for another chance to secure the BBCAN crown. She’s seen these eight contenders get booted from the house in seasons past, and is aware of their strengths and weaknesses.

READ MORE: Check out the houseguests for Big Brother Canada Season 5

Global News caught up with the gregarious Cox, who gleefully ran down the list of eight vets returning for more when Big Brother Canada starts up again on Wednesday (BBCAN returns on Wed., March 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global).

When the show announced that it would be featuring houseguests from previous seasons, there was a mixed reaction on social media (ultimately the hub for die-hard BBCAN fans). Many were perturbed by the return of the vets, and felt cheated that there were only eight newbies joining the fray. Cox says the mix of old and new is an invigorating move for the franchise, and says fans will not be disappointed.

“This is going to be an incredible season, for both fans and newbies,” insists Cox. “There’s one thing I love about these eight returning players looking for redemption: they’re so hungry. They’re nervous too; no one wants to be that person who comes back and is the first person out. Nobody. Nobody wants to come back with a reputation of being incredible, and then flopping. These people all have huge targets on their back.”

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Cox thinks the vets have major advantages, but also major disadvantages. While they may have knowledge of the game’s intricacies, they’re most likely going to be the ones being hunted. Here are her thoughts on the Big Brother Canada returnees, and who is going to be the bigger threat. (She didn’t want to comment on the new folks, and Cox also claims that despite her knowledge, saying you can predict the outcome of Big Brother Canada is a big, fat lie. So these are only working theories.)


“Gary is older and wiser. He has an axe to grind. Out of all of the returning houseguests, he has the biggest case for a second case, so that’s going to be very interesting to watch.”


“Ika has the self-awareness to understand some of her own weaknesses, one of which is she needs to play along more. She needs to play along with others. She’s learned a lot and … when you sit back and watch a season that you’re on, you all of a sudden step outside yourself and see where you can improve. She knows that she can’t alienate so many people this time around.”


“Neda played a near-flawless game, so she’s going to be trying to play that game again… then again she was also pretending to be the nice girl, and she was not the nice girl. So now that she knows that everyone else knows how smart and strategic she is, I think she’s going to have to do both or she’s going to dispense with the nice girl act and just go for the jugular.”


“I doubt we’ll see a showmance from her, and she’s trying to work on her interpersonal relationships as well. She’s someone who turned off people very, very quickly in her season. She earned her way back into the house [via a second-chance challenge] and it didn’t last either. She’s a tough girl and she’s a comp beast, so don’t dismiss her too easily.”


“Kevin is very strategic as well. First time he went in, he didn’t want to tell people he was a professional poker player because he thought it would affect people’s trust in him. It had the opposite effect, because people could tell he had a wall built up there. He wasn’t ringing true with people and he seemed inauthentic. Granted, it was the first triple eviction that ended his game, but ultimately no one stood up to save him — which indicates a deficit in his social game. He’s definitely going to be working on that this year.”


“He also had a near-flawless game. He had never been on the block when he got evicted, and that was due to a coup d’état twist. He is someone who absolutely understands that it was his social game that sunk him. He had some good relationships … but once he picked his side, he let those fall apart. He’s a world-class gamer, and he’s playing for his kids. He’ll be fierce.”


“Dallas is a very loyal player. Loyal players tend to do well for a while, and then get axed. If he finds the right alliance, he could go very far, but his loyalty has also been his weakness. He was a very good competitor, and he’s lost about 30 pounds. He’s in shape and ready for this. He’s still gregarious, fun-loving and very good with people, but also emotional.”


“She has a huge following after last season. She’s easily one of the most fascinating players. She’s a superfan, too, and could lie like no one I’ve ever seen. She was cold and clinical, but knew how to turn it on when she needed to. Her problem was not being able to win competitions. We’ve lost a lot of incredible queens in the final four and she’s one of them. She’s saying she wants to play the exact same game, but in that season she had her Tim. Let’s see if she can find her new ride-or-die, or whether she’s going to go solo. She’ll be one to watch.”

The houseguests are competing for a grand prize of $100,000, a $30,000 home furnishing makeover from The Brick, and a new 2017 Toyota 86.

Big Brother Canada premieres Wednesday, March 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and continues to air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT, and Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global. Viewers who miss the premiere can catch up on Big Brother Canada following the broadcast the next day on and Global Go. And for even more behind the scenes action, fans can watch the live feeds on

‘Big Brother Canada’ Season 5 begins Wednesday, March 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Global.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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