Jun 29, 2007

Pinoy Big Brother: Why ‘Kuya’ loves being hated

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MANILA, Philippines -- Believe it or not, the “Pinoy Big Brother” production team enjoys receiving hate mail.

“‘Big Brother’ thrives on talk and controversy,” said Lauren Dyogi, PBB director and business unit manager. “In fact, Endemol has advised us to have the program talked about; [otherwise] it could mean people are not interested and, therefore, not watching.”

Endemol Entertainment is the Dutch production outfit that created the “Big Brother” concept.

In a letter, one viewer said: “I [am] alarmed by the disgusting behavior [of one] female contestant. What’s even more appalling is the nonchalant treatment ABS-CBN is giving it.”

Another one complained: “Since the first season, I have observed one-sided editing that favors certain housemates. You can’t blame [viewers] if we think you are protecting a certain housemate [now]— as in, garapal talaga.”

All that signifies viewer involvement, said Dyogi. “In the hot seat this week is Wendy Valdez. A lot of viewers disapprove of her reactions to certain situations. [Pero] pasalamat na rin kami dito.”

There’s talk that people behind the show are themselves sending the hate mail, to rekindle public interest.

Dyogi denied this. “I have bosses who tell me off when something is amiss,” he said. “We will not do anything to tarnish the show’s or the network’s integrity.”

What the network did, he added, was to decide not to react to the hate mail. “Most of it was about Wendy. If I defend her, people would say she’s my favorite. It’s damned if we do, and damned if we don’t. I could understand where she’s coming from but I don’t necessarily agree with [what she does].”

On Saturday, the widely popular Nel Rapiz, not Valdez, was evicted from Kuya’s house. Dyogi offered this explanation: “My assumption is that Wendy haters don’t necessarily vote for the other housemates. Personally, I’m frustrated—I felt Nel was a strong contender. I guess his supporters became complacent.”

The director said that, while Rapiz got a record low of 3.75 votes, last Saturday’s turn-out was the season’s highest so far, at 800,000 votes.

On Tuesday night, Valdez’s boyfriend, Bruce Quebral, got the boot. This prompted the network to release a statement the following day to assure the public: “The production staff of PBB and the management of ABS-CBN do not, in any way, interfere in the tabulation of the votes.”

The PBB Big Night will be held at the Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City, and will be aired live on the Kapamilya Network.


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