PBB 737 Big Night: What We Can Learn

Hey everybody!

The dust has settled from PBB 737's Big Night and I'm surprised with the results for both editions. My final position predictions were a bit off, especially with the Regular Edition. So I tried to go back and understand the results. So here are things that I took note of:

1. BEING LOUD ON SOCIAL MEDIA DOESN'T EQUATE TO VOTES

PBB is a straight-up popularity contest. There's no need to understand platforms or manifestos. All a housemate needs to do is to amass the biggest fan base to win. And fan bases show support by being loud on social media. Tracking every guesting or mall tour of their housemate. Their payoff? Being able to reach the top trending topics of Twitter. You'd think that the louder the fan base the higher chances of the housemate to win. Boy, that's not necessarily true.

Since the teen edition started, Ylona's a big favorite in winning the competition. She was one of the first housemates to accrue a fan base and be present on social media. And it also helped that her loveteam with Bailey was also one of the prominent loveteams of the season. Not to mention, being already a somewhat social media star, Bailey also had a prominent fan base on social media.

It surprised me that Jimboy ended up winning the whole thing. Well I thought, having a significantly louder fan base, Ylona would easily crush Jimboy in the votes. His fan base wasn't as loud as Ylona's in a consistent basis nor did he have the support of a solid loveteam. I myself placed Jimboy far below in the big winner rankings. But through the weeks he steadily rose, being more comfortable and expressive in front of the camera. He eventually became more open to share his story with the public. And eventually that openness clinched him the Big Winner title.

2. THE LOVETEAM IS STILL A DRIVING FACTOR in creating a fan base

An advice for the next PBB aspirants: find a ka-loveteam right away. The popularity of "shipping" on the internet reinforced our already cultural inclination towards loveteams. AlDub, undoubtedly, is the biggest celebrity couple of 2015. "Nasaan Ka Mr. Pastillas?" was generally a throwback to the dating segments of old noon-time shows. ABS-CBN's Christmas station ID theme song was sung by the network's three biggest loveteams (with Bamboo  and Elha Nympha providing vocal support). Fun fact, the writers who penned the song are Thyro & Yumi, and guess what? They're a couple in real life. PH Showbiz is on a high right now playing The Boat Is Sinking, Group Yourselves Into Two.

Having a loveteam inside the house increases your chances to survive until late in the game, just like Katniss and Peeta in the Hunger Games or Shuya and Noriko in Battle Royale. In this season, we've seen that each edition had a prominent love team be part of their respective Big 4s: Bailey-Ylona for the teens and Tommy-Miho for the regulars. It surprised me a lot that Tommy and Miho were able to thrash Roger, my prediction to be Big Winner, in the votes. I thought Roger had it on lock but I guess love trumps all.

3. SAYING "nagpapakatotoo" repeatedly CAN AFFECT YOUR CHANCES

I'm sure you know a guy or girl on social media that uses #blessed so much. You agree that he or she is #blessed. You know this person deserves to be #blessed. But as time goes on, this person continuously shouts out on social media how #blessed he/she is, you couldn't help but be put off by it. And eventually, you roll your eyes every time you see this person's post that ends with a #blessed.

In the world of PBB, announcing to the world that your "nagpapakatotoo" is the same as saying #blessed. It's admirable at first but it eventually gets tacky and contrived after repeated pronouncements. And I feel that hurt Roger's chances of the winning the game. Roger was my top pick in the rankings to win the game because I felt he stood as an authority figure in the house, he didn't have big issues with his fellow housemates and he had a relatable backstory. A boy who had nothing and busted his ass to achieve success is a solid backstory. However, he stuck with the "nagpapakatotoo" thing too long and too loud that eventually some people might have felt that it was a schtick or gimik to just get votes. Probably the biggest offence to this was their Q&A session before the Big Night wherein he was asked by an ex-housemate, "if your housemates are going to vote for you, what do you think would be their reason?" Good ol' Roger's answer? "Siguro iboboto nila ako dahil sobra na akong nagpapakatotoo." Replace nagpapakatotoo with #blessed and you'll understand why the statement was off-putting.

Don't get me wrong with Roger. I don't doubt that he's a nice guy. But overly stating that you're a nice guy can make people doubt that you're a nice guy? Do you get me? So that kakulitan to prove that he's "nagpapakatotoo", reaped only 10% of the total Big 4 votes (while Tommy and Miho got 82% of the total Big 4 votes).

4. AUTHENTICITY IS THE KEY

PBB has been on air for 10 years. By this time, every new housemate has some sense of how to win the game. They've probably devised a scheme on how to play the game before going inside the house. But as their strategy evolved, PBB viewers have also trained themselves in spotting these schemes. Now, it's easier for viewers to pick out housemates who they feel are inauthentic and are just playing to win.

And that's why I feel Miho ultimately won the game. Viewers generally felt that she was authentic. Authentic I feel is a better descriptor to use than "nagpakatotoo". With "nagpapakatotoo" thrown around since PBB's inception, it has somehow lost its meaning. Some housemates justify their fits of anger as "nagpapakatotoo" or their tactless comments as "nagpapakatotoo". "Nagpapakatotoo" assumes there are two levels of a housemate's personality: the reel (on-camera) and real (off-camera). But for Miho, it's not the case.

In watching Miho, viewers had a sense that there is no reel or real personality. What you literally see in Miho, is what you get. I guess it helped that Miho had a tough time communicating with her fellow housemates. It helped viewers ignore her words or the fluff and just focus on her body language and facial reactions. It made it relatively easier for viewers to evaluate Miho's authenticity, to understand and relate to her backstory.

Well that's it for our coverage of PBB 737. I hope I can still continue covering the next season (if any!)