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Big Brother Naija: Is The ‘Conflict Character’ Becoming Tired?

The Big Brother Naija house is always full of drama and dramatic people. It’s there you see the good, bad, and ugly in all shapes, colours, and sizes. Before you say “ehen, that’s true”, remember that the house is a representation of the world we live in, the only difference is that you and I don’t have microphones attached to our bodies or cameras in our faces.

Big Brother Naija has a sole purpose: to entertain. So it’s important to note that housemates come into the house intending to get you entertained and keep you talking about them. This means that in most cases, many of the Big Brother Naija contestants do not wear their real personas. Many come into the house to play a role – one that would make you, the viewer, fall in love with them or find them interesting enough to vote for them. Either that or they quickly ship with someone else. At least if you don’t like their character, you may be tempted to vote for them because you like their partner.

Reality TV shows have one major ingredient that makes them thrive: conflict, and what’s BBNaija without a housemate that comes with all the energy for wahala? Let’s call this housemate the ‘conflict character’. Now, the conflict character is super confident in their looks, abilities, and fan love. This character is bold, isn’t shy to air their mind, and doesn’t run away from a good fight, even at the risk of disqualification. What is reality TV if you cannot show the audience that you’ve got what it takes to give them what they want?

In the last few years, there’s been a housemate that embodies the conflict character each season. There was Cee-C with the no-nonsense, say it as it is, I don’t give a damn persona. Cee-C stirred up conversations every single day. People talked about her, loved her, empathised with her, hated her, and got irritated by her. But the bottom line? She entertained people, her fan base grew, and she made it to the final two. Surely, the character she played in the house worked to her advantage. Then came Tacha. With Tacha, there was the ‘I cannot be bullied’ vibe. She brought in the confidence of 4 people combined and didn’t give a bullsh*t about whether or not she was liked in the house. She knew her fans got her back gidigba and for her, there was no leave or transfer… until she got disqualified.

The next season brought in Erica. Sweet, beautiful, cool-headed; Erica was everyone’s favourite. What’s there not to stan? But a few (one-sided) exchanges of words and boom, she’s disqualified.

And now Beauty. But this time around, there’s a new record and a twist. The new record is that she’s the first person to be disqualified barely two weeks into the show. The twist is that there seems to be a difference in people’s reception of her quick-temper, compared to her predecessors. Like it’s not even up to two weeks, farabale jor. It didn’t take long for people to become bored: “why is she being troublesome”, “leave Groovy alone abeg,” “nawa o, her insecurity reeks,” “ahan, everything is not fight na.” Unlike previous seasons where people empathised with and understood the conflict character, this time around, it was met with impatience. We could say it is because Beauty hadn’t spent enough time for people to love and empathise with her person/character, but we could also say that the conflict character is tired and ready to be retired. Viewers are, perhaps, beginning to find the ready-to-fight-at-every-chance person uninteresting and tedious. When people see the same strategy used over and over again, and repetitive actions season after season, their level of anticipation drops, and intrigue give way to irritation. Now, they roll their eyes rather than keep them wide open in awe.

Perhaps, future BBNaija housemates and even the current housemates may realise that the conflict character is exhausted and no longer garnering fans, and refuse to embody it. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. In the meantime, how are you enjoying the show?

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