The new season of Pinoy Big Brother, dubbed PBB All In, became controversial way before the reality show aired its first episode last night, April 27.
Netizens used social media to give comments about the ABS-CBN reality show that has been dubbed as PBBFamousEdition, PBBBawalAngPangitEdition and PBBUAAPEdition, among others.
PBB All In marks the first edition among Big Brother franchises worldwide to combine celebrity, teens and regular season housemates.
(Read: PBB All In: first Big Brother edition in the world to combine housemates ages 15 to 30 years old)
For this reason, there are those criticizing the show for pitting famous personalities (who already have fans) against regular folk who have yet to be known.
This edition also marks the first time that housemates were introduced to the public ahead of the kick off.
Two housemates were introduced in the Kapamilya Sunday variety show ASAP 19. These were:
1. Axel Torres - Jock Next Door ng Taguig
Alexander David Torres is a 19 year-old basketball player De La Salle. The self-confessed party boy is the brother of another famed La Sallian athlete, Thomas.
2. Jane Oineza – Rising Celebriteen ng Quezon City
Jane Oineza is a member of Star Magic Circle 2013 who bagged a prestigious Best Actress nomination from the 2013 New York Festivals for her performance in Maalaala Mo Kaya.
She looked surprised since she was on a platform facilitating a game when Big Brother made the announcement.
Jane was surprised since she only thought that she would host the fans' day of ASAP but it turned out that she would enter the Big Brother house right away.
"Nagulat naman ako dun, hindi ko ine-expect! Busy-busyhan pa ako na nag-aayos ng games dun!"
She says that she underwent the same process that other housemates had to go through.
"Gusto ko lang magpasalamat kasi nakasama ako dito. Talagang pinagdaanan ko rin ang lahat ng pinagdaanan ng mga housemates para makasali."
Netizens criticized Jane but PBB All In host Bianca Gonzalez defended her by explaining through her Twitter account:
"FYI nagulat si Jane na papasok siya sa ASAP dahil akala niya sa gabi pa at the launch. Yun ang ikinagulat. Hindi dahil housemate siya. :)"
On the showbiz talk show Buzz ng Bayan, three more housemates were introduced:
3. Cess Visitacion – Biba Rakatera ng Valenzuela
4. Chevin Cecilio – Simpatikong Salesman ng Cam Cur
5. Nichole Baranda – Sweet Revelation ng Makati
Nichole is the daughter of TV host-model Phoemela Baranda
When Boy Abunda asked about Big Brother's rules about falling in love inside the closely monitored house, PBB All In host Toni Gonzaga answered, "Wala. Of course, nasa housemates lahat yan.
"A lot of people are saying, iniisip nila na baka gumagawa lang ng istorya ang PBB. Everything is just spontaneous inside the house.
"Kung ano po ang napapanood niyo, yun po ay natural na reaction nila, kung ano ang nararamdaman nila, kung ano ang bugso ng damdamin nila.
"One of the reasons why naging controversial ang Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition, nakita natin kung ano na ang ugali ng mga kabataan ngayon. Ang mga magulang ay nag-ingat ng mabuti, medyo naging strict na sila ng konti.
"Ngayon, makikita natin ang reaction ng kabataan sa adults, adults sa kabataan and how will they also react with celebrities."
During the actual kick off held in front of the PBB house, the following housemates were revealed:
6. Aina Solano - Dancing Bombshell ng Boracay
7. Joshua Garcia - Tatay's Boy ng Batangas
8. Jayme Jalandoni - Devoted Daughter ng Las Pinas
9. Manolo Pedrosa - Wonder Son ng Quezon City
10. Maris Racal - Singing Sunshine ng Davao
11. Ranty Portento - Maginoong Marino ng Quezon
12. Michelle Gumabao - Spunky Spiker ng Quezon City
13. Jacob Benedicto - Cutie Crooner ng Paranaque
14. Loisa Andalio - Talented Darling ng Paranaque
15. Bobby (aka Fourth) - Brad Bait ng Pasay
16. Robert (aka Fifth) - Brad Kulit ng Pasay
* Bobby and Robert Solomon are twin brothers of GMA-7 actress Chariz Solomon
17. Vickie Rushton - Lady Mahinhin ng Negros Occidental
18. Alex Gonzaga - Sassy Sister ng Rizal
KIMERALD REUNION. Former PBB housemates were tasked to give a dance number during the start of the kick off episode.
Gerald Anderson and Kim Chiu were among those featured in the said dance number. It will be recalled that the love story of Kimerald (the tandem of Gerald and Kim) started out when they met as housemates inside the Big Brother house in 2006.
The two became a couple but their relationship ended in 2010. In late 2012, Kim and Gerald were paired anew for the movie 24/7 In Love. Two months later, January 2013, Gerald was linked to Maja Salvador, which prompted a falling out between Kim and Maja.
This 2014, a source told PEP.ph that Maja made the first move to patch things up with her estranged best friend Kim.
(Read: Kim Chiu and Maja Salvador finally settle their issue)
PBB SCRIPTED? When the housemates of PBB All In were introduced to the public, netizens quickly commented, allowing the hashtag #PBBScripted to land among the top trending topics of Twitter in the Philippines and worldwide.
At the start of the PBB All In kick off episode, host Toni Gonzaga told the audience that in this edition, "tatlong klase ng Pinoy ang makikita sa isang bahay: ang ordinaryo, sikat, at kabataan."
However, there is an open letter is circulating in social media pointing out that no one among the housemates seems to fit in the "ordinary" category.
It states: "Akala ko ba ang PBB ay para sa lahat? ALL IN nga daw diba? Eh bakit parang walang ORDINARYO at SIMPLENG tao sa lahat ng pumasok sa Bahay ni Kuya? Sana po binigyan niyo naman ng karapatan at pagkakataon yung mga simpleng taong nangarap at naghirap sa auditions. Pakulo, peke, at sadyang pakitang-tao lang ba talaga? Sayang. Nabansagang REALITY SHOW pa naman. Sayang lang yung mga tunay na nangarap at naghangad ng katuparan sa kanilang mga pangarap. #BooPbbAllIn
Another photo circulating in socal media features contestants waiting in long lines in the hopes of being chosen as a housemate.
Former PBB housemate Slater Young defended the show by posting a reaction on his Twitter account: PBB is never scripted. :) RT @MukitoNorth: #PBBScripted what can u say ‘bout this trending topic @thatguySLATER?
Some netizens criticized the show for choosing housemates who come from well-off and rich families.
Are you a hottie? Good looking? Popular? Wealthy? If you have it ALL, you're IN! #PBBALLINKickOff #PBBScripted
Others pointed out that one's financial status is not a basis for being included in the reality show.
Ang PBB po ay hindi REALITY SHOW NG MAHIHIRAP! It's a reality show! Period! Deal with it! Live with it! If not, DON'T WATCH! #PBBALLIN
Ang PBB po ay hindi REALITY SHOW NG MAHIHIRAP! It's a reality show! Period! Deal with it! Live with it! If not, DON'T WATCH! #PBBALLIN— Morgan™ (@supermorgy) April 27, 2014
Others pointed out that celebrities have an undue advantage over regular folk.
Parang unfair sa regulars dahil may kasama silang CELEBRITIES. Meaning marami na silang FANS na definitely susuporta sa kanila. #PBBScripted
To some, it may seem that a person's outward appearance is a big factor in being chosen as a housemate.
PBB means Pasok Basta may Beauty. #PBBALLINKickOff #PBBScripted
However, what is more worrisome for others is the lack of diversity among the chosen housemates.
It's not about that they're all "good-looking", it's about failing to represent a wide range of people from all backgrounds. #PBBScripted
It's not about that they're all "good-looking", it's about failing to represent a wide range of people from all backgrounds. #PBBScripted— Paul Francisco (@thecityboi) April 27, 2014
Still, there are those who give the show the benefit of the doubt.
I don't know if #PBBScripted is true pero tingin ko tlaga it's really a mix of celebrities & non-celebrities since ALL IN nga sya diba?
I don't know if #PBBScripted is true pero tingin ko tlaga it's really a mix of celebrities & non-celebrities since ALL IN nga sya diba? ✌— Angelic Jane (@CilegnaEnaj) April 27, 2014
ALEX THE "HOST-MATE." Alex Gonzaga was supposed to host the UBER afternoon edition of PBB All In but she was ushered in as one of the housemates this season.
Inside the confession room, she asked Big Brother until when she would stay inside the house. Big Brother replied that he expects Alex to undergo everything that the housemates will experience as well.
This prompted her to describe herself as, "Parang host-mate."
Even the inclusion of Alex in the reality show was met with criticism.
Conspiracy theory: To put Alex inside was a last minute decision because of the trending #PBBScripted. Pambawi ba...
Conspiracy theory: To put Alex inside was a last minute decision because of the trending #PBBScripted. Pambawi ba...— Euden Valdez (@eudenvaldez) April 27, 2014
Meanwhile, Toni Gonzaga is still the host of the primetime telecast of PBB All In. Bianca Gonzales, John Prats, and Robi Domingo will be seen in the UBER afternoon edition that airs Mondays to Fridays.
Slater Young of PBB Unlimited and twins Joj and Jai Agpangan of PBB Teen Edition 4 will be hosting the online show of PBB All In.
PEPsters, do you think Pinoy Big Brother is scripted?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.