The Diary Room, also known as the Confession Room, is a special room inside the Big Brother house where the housemates (houseguests in US & Canada) can have a private conversation with Big Brother about their daily thoughts and emotions regarding the different events that have taken place inside the house.
Everyday, the houseguests are called in individually to the Diary Room to voice out all of their thoughts about the day, but the houseguests can also voluntarily enter the Diary Room if they feel the need to converse or seek advice with Big Brother without having the presence of fellow housemates. Further, the room is the only place inside the house where the houseguests can communicate with Big Brother, and one or more houseguests may be called in by Big Brother to give information on various tasks and announcements.
Importantly, conversations inside the Diary Room must never be shared with anyone unless told by Big Brother to do so.
In the American and Canadian versions, the Diary Room (abbreviated DR) is where the houseguests would talk to the camera, express their emotions and explain their strategy to the viewers. After every major house events such as challenges and nominations, the houseguests would be called into the DR to answer questions from the producers in order to help narrate the story and explain to the viewers what is going on in the house.
In addition, the houseguests also go to the Diary Room when voting for eviction during the Live Eviction Nights where the host Julie Chen presides the voting. The Diary Room is a key feature of the Big Brother House and is featured regularly in every episode.
In contrast to its international counterparts, the appearance of the Diary Room in the American series only has a small chair and a backdrop that changes occasionally whilst the rest of the house décor is being changed.
In the American version specifically, the houseguests are shown footage from their competitions and talks with other house guests to help them remember more vividly what happened and/or why they said what they said. They are also asked to speak loud and clear so they show more enthusiasm in the diary room. The houseguests are allowed to redo or repeat what they said if they want to make a better statement in the diary room.
Uses of Diary Room in US & Canada
- Answering Questions: Houseguests are called to the Diary Room at different times throughout the day. Once they enter the Diary Room, they may be asked certain questions to help narrate competitions or key events throughout parts of the episode. A reason for this is to explain to viewers what is going on at that given moment to make sure they are following the show correctly.
- Eviction Voting: On eviction nights, houseguests are called to the Diary Room to "cast their vote to evict". At this time, Julie Chen or Arisa Cox, depending on the country, communicates to the houseguests via the Diary Room.
- Houseguests' Goodbye Messages: At the end of eviction interviews, the evicted houseguest is played messages from their fellow houseguests in order to say goodbye to them. These messages are recorded in the Diary Room on the day of the eviction.
- Receiving Information: Information may be sent to houseguests via the Diary Room as it is an easy way for producers to communicate with the houseguests privately. This information includes a variety of things; such as secret missions (America's Player or The Saboteur) or private information for houseguests about their loved-ones (Monica Bailey, Dick Donato, Frankie Grande, Derrick Levasseur).
- Removing Houseguests: The Diary Room is also used as a means of removing houseguests from the House, either temporarily or permanently. If a houseguest has committed a severe violation of the rules of Big Brother such as physical violence (Willie Hantz) or destruction of production equipment (Chima Simone) or otherwise committed multiple rule violations, they may be expelled from the house. Houseguests may also voluntarily decide to leave the game. Houseguests may also be removed from the house on a temporary basis, such as for a trip outside the house (Jun Song, Janelle Pierzina, Daniele Donato, Amber Siyavus, Liz Nolan, Vanessa Rousso) or to receive medical attention (Amanda Hansen, Allison Nichols, Victoria Rafaeli, Christmas Abbott, Omarosa Manigault). In all such cases, houseguests are removed through the Diary Room: there is a door inside the Diary Room that leads outside the house.
The Confession Room is the place where the housemates can talk to Big Brother privately. It is a major house rule that all conversations with Big Brother must remain confidential unless allowed to be shared with the rest of the housemates. If violated, a corresponding punishment would be given, usually an automatic nomination.
Every night, the housemates will be called individually to express their thoughts regarding the happenings of the day, but Big Brother may call one or more housemates to go inside the confession room any time of the day to either receive information on various tasks or house announcements and in some cases news from the outside world. The housemates can also voluntarily request to enter the Diary Room if they feel the need for a private talk with Big Brother by pressing a doorbell-like button. In some versions, Big Brother can also call in certain housemates to ask questions and have private conversations about their life stories and life struggles as part of the show's narrative.
In contrast to the American version, Big Brother's voice is the only voice that the housemates will hear inside the Diary Room. The housemates can also bond with Big Brother inside the Diary Room through casual bantering, opening up their emotions to him, and asking him for life advice. In addition, the housemates are encouraged to remain their most authentic selves inside the Diary Room whenever they converse with Big Brother.
The Diary Room/Confession Room is also the place where the nomination voting usually takes place, and in other versions, eviction voting as well. On every nominations, the housemates enter the Diary Room individually to cast their nomination votes and their reasons for nominating them. Big Brother will then accept the vote if the reason is valid.
In rare cases of Walking, the housemates must enter the Diary Room to request for a voluntary exit to Big Brother, the housemate would be talked through about it, but if the decision was final, Big Brother would give a certain amount of time for the housemate to prepare for his/her exit. Usually, the housemate would leave through a secret door inside the Diary Room.
Uses of the Diary Room on International Versions
- Nomination Voting: In most Big Brother with the original format, the Diary Room serves as the place wherein the housemates had to cast their vote on who they want to nominate and the reason why they had to nominate that person.
- Conversations with Big Brother: This is also the only place where they can talk with Big Brother privately. Throughout the day, they may be called to voice out their opinions but they can enter the Diary Room whenever they want to if they feel the urge to voice out their opinions among fellow housemates at a specific moment or just want a casual chat with the owner of the house.
- Receiving Information: The housemates may be called by Big Brother either individually or all together to go to the Diary Room to receive information that may play a part in the gameplay such as twists, secret tasks, special tasks, weekly tasks, violations, rewards or information and urgent news about the housemates' loved ones.
- Family Visits: In some cases, the Diary Room serves as the place for housemates to meet a loved one who visits the house, either as a reward or as part of a twist. In certain versions, this visit is only limited to 100 Seconds Encounter.
- Big Brother's Eviction Message: In some versions, before the evicted housemate finally exits the house, they will first go to the Confession Room where Big Brother will leave his final goodbye message to the evicted housemate. All of the best bits of the evictee throughout his/her stay in the house will be shown while Big Brother gives his message, often leaving the evictee emotional.
For photos of the different Diary Rooms, click here.
- In Big Brother 1 (US), the Diary Room was called the "Red Room".
- Karen Fowler was the first person in Big Brother (U.S.) history to use the Diary Room.