How Technology Made BBNaija Season 5 Possible Despite the Pandemic


Big Brother Naija (BBN) season 5 is finally on. The latest season of the biggest television reality show in Nigeria kicked off on Sunday 19th July around 7 pm.

However, the fifth season of the show dubbed ‘Big Brother Naija: Lockdown’ had a significant makeover compared to the previous seasons following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

How Technology Made BBNaija Season 5 Possible Despite the Pandemic

While events and program were being cancelled due to the pandemic, the organisers of BBNaija leverage on technology to make the TV show possible. Here are some of the main adjustment made to the reality show using technology.

Virtual Auditions

One of the biggest changes to this season’s BBNaija is the absence of physical auditions. All auditions this year were carried out strictly online, with interested contestants being asked to log into the BBNaija website to register.

Using the online platform, BBNaija hosted an online audition process from May 20 to May 30. The audition required contestants to fill out the online registration form and upload a two-minute video stating why they should be selected as housemates.

This is significantly different from the previous editions where BBNaija auditions were held physically in major cities across the country. The physical auditions are usually crowded and only about 10% made it to the audition stage based on this eyewitness’ account.

Last year, BBNaija selected an housemate via online audition

How Technology Made BBNaija Season 5 Possible Despite the Pandemic
BBNaija 2019 auditions held in Lagos in February 2019

However, with the full transition to virtual auditions, over 30,000 applications were received and 20 housemates were selected. This is lower than the 26 housemates selected in BBNaija Pepper Dem, 2019 edition.

Virtual Live Evictions

Although BBNaija former housemate, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu will still host the show, some aspects of the event like the eviction show will be without a physical audience due to the pandemic.

For this season, BBNaija Sunday live eviction show will be hosted virtually by Ebuka in an empty studio before crossing live into the Bigbrother house.

Virtual Houseguests

In addition to the virtual eviction show, no guest will be allowed inside the BBNaija house or to come in physical contact with housemates. So all celebrity visitation will probably hold virtually.

The organisers have also revealed that to follow global best practices in precautionary and preventive measures against the pandemic, they will reduce the number of people “ninjas” that come in contact with the housemates. There must also be compulsory daily temperature checks for all production crew that come into the house.


Like last year, online voting will be used in the voting process. Nigerians can vote to keep their favourite housemates in the house via SMS, Mobile site, Desktop website, MyDSTV or MyGOtv APP for subscribers only.

Last year, over N7.2 billion was generated from the over 240 million votes, casted in the “Pepper Dem” edition.

Watch BBNaija season 5

This year, the show will still be aired online on DStv platforms. The Big Brother Naija season 5 will be live 24/7 for on channel 198 for DSTV and channel 29 on GOtv.

The 20 housemates for the BBNaija Lockdown edition will be slugging it out over the next 70 days for the biggest ever grand prize valued at N85 million.

The Sunday eviction show will be aired on 7 pm for African Magic Showcase (DSTV Channel 151), African Magic Urban (DSTV Channel 153), African Magic Family (DSTV Channel 154 and Gotv channel 2).

Twitter Battles

Like previous seasons, most of BBNaija battles between housemates will be fought on Twitter. Supporters of different housemates are already forming teams and drumming up support.

Soon enough, Twitter will crown its favourite heroes and villains in the house and like past seasons, the selections will carry great weight on how the showdown in the house turns out.

Less than 48 hours after the show began #BBNaija started trending on Twitter and Facebook with over 27 thousand tweets. This gives us a glimpse of the power of tech and how much of the battle among housemates happen on social media.

As this season’s Big Brother Naija picks up heat, its reputation for holding the attention of Nigerians with a whole load of drama and entertainment is being repeated. It is worthy to note that this was all made possible by the power of technology.

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