reality tv

A COVID-19 skywriter and mysterious noises: All the unaired Big Brother gossip in one place.

After a bit of a slow start, Big Brother has found its way back into our reality TV-loving hearts. 

We're only a few weeks in, and we've said goodbye to approximately 200 contestants, burned by their peers and sent off into the world for media interviews about all the behind-the-scenes gossip. 

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Here's all the juicy goss spilled by evicted contestants so far (plus one who hasn't been evicted, but just really enjoys stirring the pot).

How they learned about COVID-19.

Ah yes, the global pandemic. 

The Big Brother contestants were filming in March when coronavirus cases and restrictions really ramped up. 

According to Shane Vincent, the cast found out about the madness happening in the outside world only thanks to bizarre messages written in the sky above Sydney over two consecutive days.

Shane told the Daily Mail on the first day, he and the cast were sitting outside when they saw the words 'Stop the F1' written in the sky. The Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix was cancelled due to the virus on March 13.


The next day, they saw a skywriter write 'Wash your hands'.

"We didn't know anything about what was going on in the outside, we were sitting in the backyard one day and you know the skywriters, they were above us and writing like 'stop [the] F1,' Shane said.  

"And we were like, 'what the hell is going on?!'".

Shane said they asked Big Brother for information, but weren't informed about the pandemic until after the 'wash your hands' message appeared the following day.

"We were like, 'wash your hands? What is going on out there'," he said.

"A couple of days later, we had a meeting and they told us about COVID-19."

His cast mate Kieran told TV Week they initially thought it was a joke.

"We were all like, 'Come on, Sonia - you're playing a prank on us!'," he recalled after host Sonia Kruger told them.

"She had to say to us, 'No, guys, I'm being deathly serious. People are fighting over toilet paper in supermarkets'. 

"I didn't even know what a pandemic was. It only really hit home when Sonia told us the Olympics had been cancelled. Our jaws hit the floor. There's not a lot of stimulation in the house, so my mind ran away on me."

In March, TV Blackbox reported production was temporarily shut down after a crew member was exposed to the virus. It resumed after they returned a negative test.


Crew members and mysterious noises.

Shane told the Daily Mail he'd often see crew members on set and hear noises from between the walls of the Big Brother compound.

"Sometimes you'll see like the odd camera man hanging out here and there or noises in between the walls and stuff like that," Shane said. 

"I was up early some days walking around the house and you'd see the odd cameraman's arm pop out, and you'd be like, 'oh, there's a person!'"

Evicted housemate Garth also spoke about how the cast can see and hear the crew.

"Especially if you're in the backyard, because there's this little wall with material in it and now and then you'd see a little head pop out. And if someone was having a juicy conversation, out this little camera would pop."

Garth said this was actually "great", because cameramen would wear watches. The contestants have no access to clocks, and therefore have no idea what time it is, except for when they'd catch a glimpse at a crew member's arm.

The sex rules.

We guess there won't be a Big Brother Uncut this season. 

After being the second person evicted from the Big Brother house this season, Allan Jiang told Kyle and Jackie O that Channel Seven had made the show more family-friendly.

"There was a bit [of nudity], but it wasn't like back in the old days, if you know what I mean. The old Big Brother was wild," he said.


So... no sex then?

"No, new rules, mate, it's Channel Seven, a family friendly network," Allan said.

"You couldn't sleep in the same bed as someone, that's why there is only single beds."

Fellow contestant, Angela Clancy, also confirmed housemates weren't allowed to sleep in the same bed together. 

"Once the lights went out, everyone had to be in their own bed," she told the Daily Mail. 

The only contestants who did manage to spend some time together in bed were Sophie Budack and Chad Hurst.

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Sophie and Chad. Image: Channel Seven.  


 "We weren't allowed to sleep together, apart from the sneaky here and there of Sophie and Chad," she told the publication.

"But they [Chad and Sophie] didn't sleep together, they were actually not allowed to sleep a whole night."

The shower rules. 

In keeping with the show's 'family-friendly' format, Angela said all the housemates slept in their clothes and respected each other's privacy, including in the bathroom. 

"We made rules, such as when the girls are having a shower no boys were allowed to walk through the corridor. The house was very respectful," Angela told the Daily Mail. 

"It's a family show, and this is the kind of show I wanted to associate myself with, because I have a very strong Christian faith and I'm a mum. I didn't want to compromise who I am or my morals," she added. 

Misleading editing.

Talia Rycroft was eliminated after being blindsided by fan favourite Angela Clancy. But brutal eviction aside, Talia had some things to say about being edited to look like a "villain". 

In episode two, Talia was portrayed as annoyed and territorial after the arrival of intruders, so she disappeared and returned shortly after in her swimsuit.


Speaking to after her eviction, Talia said it didn't play out at all how it was made to look during the episode.

"When the [intruders] came in the house, I welcomed them with loving arms. And on that day, Sophie actually said to me 'Oi, go put your bikini on', because I was still in my pyjamas.

"So I went and put a bikini on and they made me look like I was trying to flaunt myself: 'Look who's queen now.' No way," she said.


She said it was embarrassing to watch because that was not a fair reflection of who she was.

"I'm not a bully; that's just how they edited it. Everything’s highly edited. 

"Even the cast are saying how shocked they are watching it back, that it's not the Big Brother they thought would be portrayed on TV. People are scared - 'If they're showing you like that, what are they going to show me like?'" she said.

According to Woman's Day, other housemates are also unhappy about the way they're being edited on Big Brother. 

Many of them have even started a private WhatsApp group to vent their frustrations about the show.  

"They're shocked none of their softer moments or team bonding is shown," an unnamed source supposedly told Woman's Day 

"Garth [Saville] has slammed the show because he thinks it has no heart, and Dan [Gorringe] has stopped watching altogether," they added. 

A fake romance?


Okay, so leave it to Kieran Davidson to spill the tea. The guy is still in the house (in the pre-recorded show) and yet he's also stirring the pot outside of it.

The YouTube star told TV Week Chad Hurst and Sophie Budack's teased 'romance' may have been played up for the cameras.

"The Sophie-Chad dynamic is interesting. It makes me think, 'Is this legitimate or just being played for the audiences and housemates?'"

He suggested the pair may have realised there is strength in numbers.

"If there are two of them and you vote one out, the other one's going to come back and haunt you... I'm interested to see what Australia's perception of it is," he said.

Despite the scepticism, Sophie insisted there is something real between them.


She told New Idea they had spoken every day since leaving the house and joining the rest of the country in various levels of COVID-19 lockdown.

She said she was even planning to move to Sydney, where Chad lives, from Darwin once the nation's borders fully reopen.

A "manipulative" stunt that never made it to air.

Danni Keogh was previously eliminated after Kieran spread a rumour that she'd called Garth Saville "a snake".

And there was an even more underhanded tactic from Kieran that was never shown, according to Danni.

"He pretended to cry and play on emotions - everyone was thinking about voting for him all day, but they changed their mind," she told the Daily Mail.

"He knew he had to turn it around and he needed to get these guys to be sympathetic. He wanted to play on their emotions of 'let's all be a happy family'. He knew then and there he needed to turn his game play around.

"For him to get away with two evictions - that's huge! Strategically, that's massive."

And all this has come out of less than two full weeks of the show, which means there's plenty more gossip to come.

Yes, please.

This article was originally published on June 16, 2020, and was updated on June 22, 2020.

Feature image: Channel Seven.