For the second summer in a row, I’m balls deep in my “Big Brother” obsession. I subscribe to the 24/7 livefeeds so I never miss a second of what actually is going on in the house, where the cast members are cut off from the outside world for three months. There’s such a massive difference between what’s really going on and how the televised episodes are edited to make things appear; the livefeeds also give you a glimpse at how production pulls strings throughout the season to instigate fights, cause drama and save the players they want to stay in the house from eviction. This season, production is going above and beyond to keep one player in the house, and it’s all because he’s got a famous sister and a large social media following that CBS hopes will continue to drive viewership. That player is Frankie Grande, the older brother of singer Ariana Grande. And he is the ABSOLUTE WORST. Keep reading »
Last week, I wrote about Caleb Reynolds’, a houseguest on “Big Brother 16,” and his unrequited romantic obsession with fellow player Amber Borzotra. While the television show has gone out of their way not to draw attention to Caleb’s out of whack fixation on Amber, those fans who subscribe to the 24/7 livefeeds are privy to how this is impacting his game, her game and the entire house. While Amber certainly has many, many supporters who see that she’s done everything she can to reject his clearly advances, there are others who have called Amber a tease. In response, Amber’s brother-in-law — one of the family members manning Amber’s Twitter feed and website while she’s in the “Big Brother” house — posted an articulate and smart response on Amber’s blog that defends Amber, but more importantly calls out a culture of victim-blaming that extends well beyond this reality TV show. With his permission, I’m republishing his piece below. Whether you’re a “Big Brother” fan or not, it’s well worth a read. — Amelia
Before I begin, just to be clear, this post isn’t about Caleb, the “Big Brother” game, or even about any concerns we may or may not have for Amber’s well-being. This is solely about the way the narrative is being portrayed by some observers: people who are not subject to the pressures/paranoia of the house and have the ability to know just about everything that is said and done before forming an opinion.
Specifically, there has been a worrying rise in “BB16″ live feed followers blaming Amber for somehow playing a part in encouraging Caleb’s unrequited feelings for her. Keep reading »
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. Keep reading »
Well, not to toot my own horn — toot, toot! — but last night’s “Big Brother 15″ finale went exactly as I mapped out, minus a few details I was unsure about. Andy Herren did indeed win the final Head of Household competition and took GinaMarie Zimmerman to the final two, evicted Spencer Clawson. In the end, Andy scored the five jury votes I was sure he had in the bag — Amanda, McCrae, Helen, Candice and Elissa — plus two (Jessie and Spencer) out of the remaining four tossups (Aaryn and Judd voted for GM to win), winning the game as I predicted. CBS was saved the embarrassment of having a racist (GinaMarie) or a lascivious perv (Spencer) win and represent their franchise. Yay!
While I had expected Andy to win, I didn’t expect GM to make it so goddamn easy for him. Keep reading »
Sigh. Tonight, after three long (beautiful, obsessive, mindblowing) months (spent watching livefeeds 24/7), “Big Brother” will crown the winner of its 15th season, awarding either GinaMarie Zimmerman (the Staten Island native who lost her job within the first few weeks for using racist language in the house), Spencer Clawson (the “redneck” from Arkansas, who made headlines for making a questionable pedophile joke on camera), or Andy Herren (a part-time college instructor, who is gay) with the $500,000 prize. Before that, the two finalists who won the first and second rounds of the final Head of Household competition will compete in the third round; whoever comes out victorious will choose who they want to sit next to in the final two, sending the last person to the jury. The jury will decide the winner. So, after watching the live feeds incessantly, who do I think will and should win the “most controversial” season of “Big Brother”? My thoughts, after the jump! (SPOILER ALERT: I reveal who won part one and part two of the HOH competition, so don’t click on unless you want to know.) Keep reading »
On last night’s episode of “Big Brother,” 22-year-old Aaryn Gries was given the boot by her fellow houseguests and, as is customary, sat down for her live post-show interview with host Julie Chen. Over the past two-and-a-half months, Aryan Aaryn, as she’s jokingly been called online, has said a number of offensive and ignorant things about people of other races, all of which were caught on tape by the show’s 24/7 live feeds. She’s not the only one — almost half of the initial 16 houseguests have said one or more highly questionable things about race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Under pressure from viewers to show what was really going on in the house, CBS finally made a point of addressing offensive statements in their edited episodes, with Aaryn’s remarks receiving the vast majority of the attention. So, when Aaryn emerged out the front door, to a subtle chorus of audience boos, and sat down next to Julie Chen, I expected that the topic would be addressed, but only briefly as Aaryn is now a member of the “Big Brother” jury and will continue to be sequestered from the outside world until the season has come to an end. That usually means continuing to be kept in the dark about what’s going on outside the house — including how she’s being perceived.
But I was wrong. Chen went there last night, actually reading some of Aaryn’s worst remarks aloud. Aaryn — who, in fairness, was not completely clueless that she was being seen as racist — was flustered, saying she didn’t remember saying those things. She initially made excuses about being from Texas and not meaning the things she said and blah blah blah. The audience laughed at her over and over. Aaryn teared up and looked utterly crushed. It was awful. And awkward. I was uncomfortable. Keep reading »