Big Brother Canada (BBCAN) Season 8 came to an early end on Wednesday night due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Global and Insight Productions revealed that in light of an early end to production and with no winner crowned, this season’s $100,000 grand prize will be donated to charities responding to COVID-19 via canadahelps.org.
In an emotional farewell, all 12 remaining houseguests said goodbye as they prepared to enter the real world again after being isolated for a short time in the BBCAN house.
Some houseguests felt it was too early to leave, and others were appreciative of being able to experience something they’ve always dreamed about.
Wednesday night’s episode showed viewers what went down last week in the house, as the houseguests were sent home officially on March 24.
Host Arisa Cox spoke to the houseguests via video chat and let them know the Ontario government had forced the closure of non-essential businesses, which resulted in BBCAN shutting down production on the series for the season.
Cox went on to explain what would happen to the prize money for Season 8.
“So, obviously, there is no winner of Season 8, so we’ve decided to donate the $100,000 to a COVID-19 response fund,” Cox said. “Hopefully, you can take some pride in the fact that this prize will do some real good in the wider community.”
The BBCAN host added: “Before you go, I just wanna say, Canadians were glued to their TVs and their feeds, and that’s all because of you, so thank you. I know it’s really hard to be away from family during a time like this, and your family cannot wait to have you home.”
Global and Insight Productions jointly concluded their superhero-themed season with an extended thanks to the real heroes of today — the front-line health-care workers and first responders dedicating themselves to providing health care and emergency support during these challenging times.
Former houseguest Mark Drelich, who appeared on Season 7 of the BBCAN series, told Global News that Wednesday’s episode “is a very unique episode.”
“It breaks the normal mold of intense game play that we normally see on TV. This episode shows us the houseguests raw emotions and feelings as they’re dealing with the news of the game ending early,” Drelich, who hosts The Mark D Show podcast, said.
Drelich continued: “I found it especially chilling at the end of the show when empty rooms in the house were shown and we were able to witness the complete disarray as if to hammer in the point that the game was cut mid-game and there was no real conclusion but for the houseguests to return home immediately.”
Last week, Insight Productions and Global announced in a joint statement that they were prematurely ceasing production and officially bringing BBCAN Season 8 to a close.
With the added restrictions of Ontario’s provincewide lockdown, the production felt cancellation was the best decision moving forward.
“Big Brother Canada is a labour of love for so many, and even though it hurts to say goodbye to the season, it’s the right thing to do,” Cox said. “On behalf of the incredible people who put this show together, thank you to everyone who started this journey with us. Please take care and be safe!”
During last Wednesday’s episode of BBCAN, producers updated the houseguests on the spread of the new coronavirus in Canada.
The houseguests were asked to gather in the living room so executive producer Erin Brock could provide more details to the houseguests, who had been isolated from the outside world.
“Houseguests, recently I brought you up to speed with what’s going on with COVID-19 around the world. Now I have another update for you. I want you to know what’s happening,” Brock said to the group of shocked houseguests.
“As of today, March 21, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally is 26,673. There have been 11,184 deaths and there are cases in 183 countries and territories. In Canada, there are currently 971 confirmed cases and a total of 12 deaths. The Canadian government has asked all Canadians abroad to come home. The prime minister of Canada and the president of the United States came to an agreement to close the Canada-U.S. border to all non-essential travel.”
“That’s insane,” Minh-Ly Nguyen-Cao said.
“I don’t know if that’s ever happened in history,” Vanessa Clements told her fellow houseguests.
Brock told the houseguests that the producers continued to speak with their families every day and that all their family members were still healthy.
“Susanne, we’ve been checking in on your family in Italy. They are quarantined, everyone is healthy and no one is ill,” Brock told houseguest Susanne Fuda, who has a lot of family members living in Italy.
“Are major sports events still taking place?” Hira Deol asked Brock.
“Every major sports league has now been shut down or postponed,” Brock told the houseguests.
“What a time for us to be isolated by the world,” Minh-Ly said to the houseguests.
“We’re probably safer in here, legit,” Susanne said while crying.
Hira said it was very scary to hear “the world is shutting down for a bit.”
“Part of this Big Brother game is being cut off from the real world, and it’s scary because you do not know what’s going on out there. It makes you grateful for our little family away from home,” Hira said.
At this time, Big Brother Canada has no plans to resume production at a later date.
Watch the houseguests’ farewell in the video above.
Watch complete past seasons of Big Brother Canada, along with Season 8 episodes and online exclusives, on the official site.
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Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.
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