It’s been a big year for Kevin Jacobs, the winner of the 11th season of Big Brother Canada.
After using a fake marriage to his advantage on the show, Jacobs is looking forward to a real marriage — he proposed to his girlfriend, Jillian, and they’re busy planning summer 2023 nuptials.
He’s also looking forward to watching a new group of houseguests battle it out on the upcoming season of Big Brother Canada, and encourages anyone interested to send in their application by Friday, Nov. 11.
Jacobs shared with Global News some of his tips and tricks on how to make a Big Brother Canada application stand out, and shared some of his insights on life in the house.
Global News: What was your casting experience like for the show? What angle did you use to set yourself apart?
Kevin Jacobs: I was always a fan of the show, but when I first thought of applying I was looking for something that would make me seem like something I wasn’t. That approach really didn’t work for me. What actually did end up working was taking a second, looking at my life and trying to find what would stand out against other contestants. So for me, my job in tech was not particularly unique in my eyes, but it wasn’t something that we’d never seen on the show before, and that helped me get through the first step and actually get a callback from casting.
Tell us a little bit about the first steps of the casting process.
The casting team is really good. They’ve been doing this for years and years, and they’re going to look at everything about you. But step one is just getting that callback. The first step for potential contestants is getting the casting team curious enough about you. You have to be who you are because they’re going to find out if you’re pretending to be some big villain and you’re not, or you’re pretending to be some hero when you’re not. They’ll know who you are. They’ll cut through it. So you have to know who you are and maintain that the entire time.
When you apply to Big Brother Canada, you’re applying online. You’re submitting a video under a couple of minutes and you’re just talking about yourself. Some people want to put every single detail of their lives into the video, but that’s not neccessary. I said “Hey, I’m a sales engineer. I have to do sales and I have to be really smart about it, like an engineer. Here’s how it applies to the show,” and that was enough for me to get a callback.
Do you think that having a strong social media presence plays a role in getting cast these days?
I think social media plays some role, but I wouldn’t fake it if you don’t have it. If you have a big social media presence, yeah, share that with the team. But if you don’t, I don’t think it’s a dealbreaker by any means. When I applied to the show, I had absolutely no social media. I hadn’t posted a picture online in two years and that didn’t affect anything. I think it comes back to being who you are and not trying to put up a front of any kind.
What are some other tips and tricks you share about setting yourself apart and really getting the casting team interested in you?
I’ve got a few tips and tricks up my sleeve. One is, have a good time. This is fun, you’re applying to a show, it’s not a job interview. Enjoy it. Lean into that and that’ll be contagious on your video. Second is, show don’t tell. So if you say, “Hey, I’m a really funny person,” then back it up with a funny story or anecdote, instead of just stating that you’re funny. Third is, speak to the people in your life. See what they say about you, and then try to include that in your application. The casting team wants to know how you interact with others and what other people have to say about you, because that will inform them on how you will act and react in the house.
Do you feel like there’s a big difference between the houseguests chosen for Big Brother Canada versus the contestants chosen for other iterations of the show, in other countries?
People in Canada are there to play. You’re probably going to get a house filled with people who are there for that moment and not for anything else. And for me, I think that’s amazing. Everyone is in it for themselves. It’s terrifying, but it’s also incredible.
How did you get along with everybody in the house? What was the overall vibe while you were there?
This is an adventure. It is an experience you will never get anywhere else, and a part of that is being in a house where you’re living with 15 people from across Canada who you might never otherwise meet. As a big fan of the show, I knew that there would be some people that I wouldn’t get along with and I was kind of looking forward to that. A lot of those people are now my good friends, but I think part of the adventure is meeting those people that you would never otherwise encounter in your regular life.
Were there any preconceived notions you had about the Big Brother Canada experience that were shattered once you were inside the house?
I thought I’d go on Big Brother Canada and I would have a relaxing time. I’d have a bed, I’d have tons of food and it would be so easy. Surprisingly, I actually found the first couple of weeks physically challenging. Some of that was sharing a room with seven other big personalities. Some of that was trying to find my way into a kitchen that we all shared. You’re in a new place, you’re living in a new environment and that can be a lot to get used to, not to mention you’re playing this challenging mind game. Adjusting to sleeping and living and breathing in that house took me a little bit of time.
What other ways has the Big Brother Canada experience changed you?
When I left the house, I appreciated the things I had before way more. I also became less risk-averse. Being on the show was actually very scary — yes, I played this confident villain role, but what you didn’t see was that I was terrified going into the house. Outside of the house, I’m ready to take some risks because I learned that it pays off.
What would you say to people who are on the fence about applying?
If you’re sitting at home and you’re making up some excuse about not getting time off work or it’s the wrong time in your life or something like that, here’s your sign. Go take that risk because it might be the adventure of your life.
I often get people saying to me, “Hey, I’m not that interesting. I’m boring. I don’t have this and that.” That’s just not true. Every single person has something that would make them interesting to watch. Take a second. You know yourself better than anyone. Figure out what that thing is and work it. On Big Brother Canada, you get real people in a real house living their very real lives. Even if you think you don’t have a chance, you might end up on the show.
[This interview has been edited and condensed.]
Casting call for Big Brother Canada
Canadians can apply online at BigBrotherCanada.ca for their chance to become a houseguest. Fans can also nominate friends on social media by tagging @bigbrotherca and using #FutureHOH for a chance to get noticed by Big Brother Canada’s casting team.
Apply in three simple steps:
1. Record a short video of yourself explaining why you have what it takes to be one of the next houseguests on Big Brother Canada
2. Visit the official casting site at BigBrotherCanada.ca
3. Upload a photo of yourself, along with your video and some basic information
To qualify, houseguest hopefuls must be 19 years of age by Feb. 1, 2023, and submit their applications by Nov. 11, 2022. For more information, including a full list of rules and eligibility, head to BigBrotherCanada.ca.
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