“Big Brother”‘s Caleb Reynolds Is Disturbingly Obsessed With Fellow Houseguest Amber Borzotra
I tried to resist, but I failed. For the second year in a row, I’ve decided to subscribe to the “Big Brother” livefeeds. The reality show’s 16th season kicked off last week, the livefeeds turned on last Friday, and the drama started almost immediately. The 16 houseguests have barely been living together for 10 days, but already a romance is a-brewin’. But unfortunately for those involved, it’s completely, totally, disturbingly one-sided.
It didn’t take long — or much actual interaction — for Caleb Reynolds, the heavily tattooed Southern good ol’ boy, to develop a major crush on model Amber Borzotra, talking about her almost non-stop to anyone who would listen since entering the house. But this truly isn’t your average crush. For the first five days the livefeeds were on, Reynolds talked about having a romance with Borzotra outside the house as if it was inevitable, though they were rarely seen interacting inside the house. Caleb went on and on about how neither of them wants a “showmance” (reality TV terminology for a romance that develops on TV), as if that was Amber’s way of saying she did want a real relationship with him outside the house. (Again, they met a week ago and have had no real conversations of any length or substance.) Caleb talked incessantly about moving to LA to date Amber, meeting her family, and spending his life with her, as if they have some sort of intense connection. But in reality — which livefeed subscribers are privy to 24/7 — these two were rarely in the same room together or having private conversations at all. Caleb, though, was constantly seen on camera either talking about Amber, starring at Amber, or watching Amber on the TV screen in the Head of Household bedroom, to such a degree that livefeeders, including myself, began tweeting that Caleb’s crush was bordering on a stalker obsession. So far, none of this has appeared on the actual television show, which airs three days a week.
While Caleb was busy telling everyone else in the house about this completely made up romance, Borzotra was seemingly blind to Caleb’s feelings. Finally, Caleb decided to tell her how he felt in one of the most awkward conversations I’ve ever witnessed (all 14 minutes are above). “I walk into a room and you leave, I think because you don’t want people to notice what’s going on between us,” he told her. And then: “I just feel this vibe between us.” To which Amber replied, “This is news to me.” Caleb continued to profess his feelings and Amber gave him not a drop of encouragement back, clearly taken aback by his confession. She let him down in as gentle a manner as possible, but Caleb insisted on maintaining the narrative in his head. Over the next 24 hours, he recapped the conversation to anyone who would listen, saying that Amber was just pretending not to feel the same because of the cameras and mics. Seriously. “I’m just going to keep being me,” he told another houseguest. “Keep drawing her interests by being me.” Meanwhile, Amber kept mostly quiet about their conversation, only telling a few of the other houseguests that their conversation made her uncomfortable. “I don’t know how to tell him that I’m not interested nicer than I did,” she told fellow houseguest Victoria.
Meanwhile, some of the other houseguests are either encouraging Caleb’s obsession with Amber by echoing his statements that she’s just pretending not to be interested because of the cameras/mics, or just not doing anything to discourage it by letting him go on and on about it day after day. But behind his back and amongst themselves, many of them have acknowledged that Caleb’s obsessed with Amber for no reason. Keep in mind, all of these people are hoping to win $500,000 in the end and Caleb, as the house’s first full week Head of Household, has power, so humoring him is strategic. This is suckiest for Amber, of course, who is having her game completely derailed by this guy’s unwanted obsession. In the real world, she probably would have been much harsher in her rejection when it became clear he was refusing to take the hint — but in the “Big Brother” house, conflict can get you sent home.
A couple days ago, the tides turned. Caleb finally came to terms with the fact that Amber isn’t interested in him romantically, but instead of just accepting that he completely fabricated any connection between them, he decided she’s been using him to get to the end. (Tonight is the season’s first eviction episode, so hardly enough time has passed for anyone to claim they’re being “used to get to the end.”) Caleb was still talking about Amber constantly, but now, instead of talking about meeting her parents and moving to LA to be with her, he was going on and on about how she’s a bad person and that she needs to be evicted from the house. This isn’t even something he’s doing strategically, because he’s realized she’s a strong competitor and he wants to turn the house against her or something. No, Caleb is just that delusional. Amber had the nerve to reject him — far more kindly than anyone else would have, if you ask me — so therefore she’s a bitch who’s up to no good. “She’s basically making me look like a bad person in front of everyone in the house,” Caleb said. Actually, psycho, you’re doing that all by yourself.
Devin, another houseguest, egged this behavior on, telling Caleb that Amber was talking about him, calling him self-centered. Caleb, Devin and Amber are currently in the same alliance, but like most alliances formed during the first week, I’m pretty sure it’s on the brink of imploding. Last night, it finally came out that Devin had been lying about Amber to Caleb and the two had another private convo to smooth things over. Devin now has a big ol’ target on his back (and honestly, he is the goddamn worst and needs to go home ASAP), but I hope that Caleb’s unstable behavior towards Amber isn’t swept under the rug. He may be calm now — and Devin might have made things worse — but I don’t believe for a second that Caleb’s obsession with Amber is over. In fact, with many days left and neither one of them in any particular danger of going home, I predict it’s only going to get worse.