When it comes to the 'America's Player' twist, 'Big Brother' executive producer Allison Grodner is making a heart-felt apology to Canadian fans of the Global Television - CBS summer reality show.
"We didn't mean to offend Canadians. This is really everybody's player," Grodner told GlobalTV.com as she continued to supervise the live happenings from the secluded 'Big Brother' house in California.
Selected by the producers during the casting of 'Big Brother 8', 'America's Player' will have their actions in the house and in the game controlled by the audience through a poll at the end of every episode. Both Canadian and American viewers will be able to cast their ballots via their cell phones or the 'Big Brother 8' site at CBS.com (a link can be found on GlobalTV.com's Big Brother 8 homepage).
"My guess is that the Internet will be the way that people in Canada can have their say. We are certainly not trying to exclude any of our viewers so we will call this...the 'Canadian-American Player'," said Grodner chuckling.
While two of the weekly polls will be strategic in nature -- asking viewers who the 'America's Player' should target for a nomination and whom they should vote to evict -- the third poll on Sunday's show will be for fun. For that poll, viewers might be asked who 'America's Player' should start a showmance with or who they should have a meaningful conversation with. If the player makes it to the final seven, the viewers will also have a vote on the 'Big Brother 8' jury.
"The viewers will have a vote every week so that's a big deal. It is the most interactive we have ever been," commented Grodner.
For every five tasks the 'America's Player' completes, they will get a cash bonus. While the other HouseGuests won't know about the 'America's Player' twist until that person is voted out or wins the game, their identity will be revealed to the audience on the debut of 'Big Brother 8' this Thursday night.
"We are really happy with whom this is. We think this person will do a terrific job," said Grodner.
Having to produce three episodes a week means that Grodner has to get a jump on the action. To do so each year, the players have to enter the house and the 'Big Brother' game must begin before the television debut. It may surprise some viewers to discover that the 'Big Brother 8' HouseGuests are already battling for the $500,000 U.S. grand prize.
"Believe it or not, but in television time, our HouseGuests may not be in the house but here, they are already in the house. The game has begun. The game is on," said an excited Grodner who has added responsibility this year since former producer Arnold Shapiro opted not to return. "This show is always stressful. I have to say that no matter what, it is a ton of work. I don't think people out there really can appreciate what it is to put three almost live shows on the air, every week, all summer long and to have these people go live to the Internet 24/7."
In speaking to GlobalTV.com, Grodner was quick to clear up another misconception: Not everyone in the house will be a part of the "rival or enemy" twist. The twist of having to deal with a real life foe in the house will only apply to some of the players.
"There are past relationships that will surprise some of them on opening night. Not all of them will have a past relationship but some of them will and nobody knows any of this when they walk into the house. We will see how this plays out as this is like the 'X Factor' from four years ago," she explained. "You know the old saying...Keep your friends close and your enemies closer? Well, let's see how that plays out this summer. "Expect the Unexpected" doesn't just go for the audience, it goes for us, the producers, too."
Promising there are more twists to come this season, Grodner gave GlobalTV.com a rundown of some of the standout players thus far.
Joe: "He is terrifically funny and very, very bright. He is a good gameplayer because he is a student of the show. He is incredibly manipulative."
Jemeka: "She has been very isolated, actually. She is from a part of Maryland where she has not been exposed to white people. She really hasn't had any white friends and now she is in a house full of white people. It should be interesting. She is funny and gutsy. She will be really fun to watch."
Nick: "Nick is the hunk of the house for sure. He is a former football player and walks around with his shirt off all the time. I am watching him on the live feeds right now. Wow! The girls are sure to enjoy him. He is not your typical California or Florida dude. He is from Minnesota so he has an accent like y'all do up there. It is adorable."
Kail: "We have a mom who is a business owner from a small town in Oregon. Her values are definitely more conservative than a lot of the people who usually go into the 'Big Brother' house."
Dick: "Dick is a rocker dad. He was a stand-in for Keith Richards in the last 'Pirates' movie. He's got lots of tats and piercings. You are going to think that Tommy Lee just walked into the house. That will be a shock for the HouseGuests."