“Survivor does it all the time, Mom,” my daughter tells me as I disbelieve that an American staple such as Big Brother, now in its 13th season, becomes an entirely new kind of show that everybody but me figured out a long time ago.
So okay, maybe not “everybody,” but my daughter, a rabid BB fan, seems to have figured it out. As well, another columnist for The Morton Report also penned the unthinkable “Is Big Brother 13 Rigged?”
It would seem that the old format for BB has become too tame, too jaded for the new crop of reality show viewers who now have Survivor as well as the new Love in the Wild and the biggest BB competitor, Bachelor Pad.
A bunch of strangers all volunteer to live in the quirky BB house for as many weeks as it takes, until only one wins the grand prize of a half million dollars. Featured weekly we have zany competitions for Head of Household that might have the contenders swinging on dummies or swimming through gooey donut glaze. The winning HOH nominates two current residents for eviction. There is a Power of Veto competition that, if won, can save a nominee from eviction.
Throughout the series there are various challenges and contests that have amusing names and bemusing outcomes. There are the “haves” and the “have-nots” which limits the food choices of the have-nots for a week. There is the Pandora’s Box challenge that puts a monkey wrench right in the ongoing middle of things.
For years this formula has delighted viewers and BB has garnered an impressive and rabidly devoted following. And without warning, suddenly the rules will change.The Bachelor Pad is a series similar to Big Brother but it brings a romantic angle in that the contenders in the Pad were all once on ABC’s Bachelor series and are actively seeking a romantic entanglement. If he or she is not already entangled with a current BP contender, that is, and again here’s another bit of pathos brought into the BP that is not present on BB.
Many of the new series feature dangerous, some might say thrilling, outdoor challenges that make BB somewhat tame.
But ah wait. BB does have some contenders that were very beloved by viewers of yore. A whole bunch of them were brought back for this season of BB and it would seem that the bent of the series is changing. We have Daniele and Evil Dick from a former BB gig. Rachel has proved to be a darling of the crowd. She’s a fighter for HOH or POV, she’s got those marvelous fake boobs, she’s dramatic but she’s shrewd. And it looks like Rachel is going to be a winner real soon.
Rachel won the most recent HOH competition in the BB house and she nominated Kalia and Porsche for eviction. This week's episode had Tori Spelling sending the BB house guests, all except Rachel, out on a spending spree that had them keeping everything they were able to wear and keep on their body for a three-minute run.
There are five people left in the BB house: Rachel, Jordon, Porsche, Kalia, and Adam. Adam has not won any HOH or POV challenges. Adam is a great suck-up. I suspect he won’t make it to the top two.
This contest is going to narrow down to Jordon and Rachel. Oh, that "Jochel" thing? It stands for Jordon and Rachel, as "Brenchel" once stood for Brendon and Rachel. Seems that Jordon and Rachel have formed an infamous alliance and if anybody could orchestrate a victory, it would be those two.
Big Brother is morphing into an ongoing series right before our lying eyes. There will be professional contenders who will take on all challengers, or “newbies.” For there have been BB residents who have captured America’s fancy. The producers of BB might have been born at night, just not LAST night.
I suspect the viewers who have loved this series for so many years will hang in there. The producers have a challenge themselves, the challenge of keeping this series fresh and mesmerizing.
Big Brother can be seen on CBS on Wedsnesdays 8p/7c, Thursdays 9p/8c, and Sundays, 8p/7c.
If you've got an insight to share, email me: email@example.com.
Check in every day for new columns and updates.