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A ‘Big Brother’ first: Twins

By Marinel Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:12:00 10/06/2009

Filed Under: Television, Entertainment (general)

MANILA, Philippines?The reality program ?Pinoy Big Brother,? which premiered on Oct. 5, introduced two features that?s never been seen in any of the ?Big Brother? franchises in the world: two houses, plus two pairs of identical twins.

?This is a first,? director and business unit head Lauren Dyogi told Inquirer Entertainment during the program launch last week. ?I had to go to the Endemol main office in Amsterdam last July for this. Madugo ito for the production team. The technical requirement is tedious. We also had to change the configuration of the house.?

Endemol, a television production company based in The Netherlands, owns the ?Big Brother? franchise. It also produces the popular shows ?Fear Factor,? ?Deal or No Deal? and ?Wipeout.?

The new features in this PBB season may now be duplicated in other ?Big Brother? shows, said Dyogi. ?That?s what?s good about the franchise. When I talk with Endemol consultants like Anushka Bahn, I?m also given suggestions as to what would work for the Philippine edition and what wouldn?t.?

The identities of the 12 new ?residents? were introduced on Sunday night. They are: Princess, described as the sassy vamp from Cebu; Tom, the romantic stud from Samar; Melissa, the inday kengkay from Samar; Delio, the simpatikong kusinero from Batangas; Paul Jake, the negosyante prince from Cebu; Jason, the boy astig from Mindoro; Yuri, the multilingual hottie from Japan; Carol, the conservative pharmacist from Manila; Mariel, the struggling mom from Davao; and Yhel, the young widow from Pampanga.

The two pairs of identical twins are JP (the jetsetter dad from Quezon City) and JM (the delightful dad from Quezon City) on one hand and, on the other, Toffi (the basket bolero from Rizal) and Kenny (the joker jock from Rizal). For their first challenge, the twins were forbidden to tell the other housemates of the existence of a second house and their twin brothers.

?It?s a good mix,? said Dyogi of the 12 housemates. ?There will surely be at least one housemate that a viewer can relate to.?

More than P10M

Dyogi revealed that the cost of renovating the PBB house for this season has exceeded P10 million, ?but not beyond P50 million.? He added that the house now carries a European motif for the interiors with colors inspired by the paintings of Van Gogh.

The director said the aim for this season is to make the show ?more controversial than ever.?

He explained: ?I?m not too concerned with the ratings. What I want to achieve is what we call the water-cooler effect. We want the show to be talked about in schools and in the offices. This is also why we appreciate comments coming even from the show?s detractors. Mas kakabahan pa kami kung ?di na nila kami pinapansin. They?re part of what?s keeping the show afloat.?

Not affected

Dyogi also said PBB is not affected by the news that the ?Big Brother? program in Australia has folded up. There?s also a report that the show in the United Kingdom will air its final series next year. ?The show ran in Australia for 10 years; in the UK, 9 years. Mahaba na rin yun. PBB is still young. Personally, I don?t expect to work on the show as its business unit head that long. Two or three years more, happy na ako,? he declared.

?Pinoy Big Brother: Double Up? will air its ?Primetime Weeknights,? hosted by Mariel Rodriguez, Bianca Gonzales and Toni Gonzaga, after ?Dahil May Isang Ikaw? on ABS-CBN. Afternoons, the network will air ?PBB Uber? after ?Maria de Jesus.?

Weekly highlights inside the PBB house will be telecast on ?PBB Weekend Primetime? Saturdays and Sundays at 6 p.m. on Studio 23.

E-mail mcruz@inquirer.com.ph

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