We’ve known for years that the phrase “reality television”
is an oxymoron, but is it actually possible that Big Brother 13, which is doing well for CBS in the ratings, is
Okay, rigged might be too strong a word (does “strategically
pre-planned” sound better?), but the summer reality TV staple is once again
under the microscope by fans across America.
Just a few weeks ago, America’s sweetheart couple Jeff and Jordan
were riding high in the Big Brother
house. Jeff was HOH, and vowed
revenge on competitors like Kalia and Daniele for their attempt to force him
out of the game.
But thanks to a double eviction twist, (and the ultimate
floater in Shelly), Jeff was whacked Sopranos
style by the newbie hit mob crew.
Now, with only Rachel deemed “interesting” by producers (love her or hate her, she keeps the show from wallowing in the pathetic stench of monotony), it’s interesting to see how, once Porsche won the HOH competition, Pandora’s Box suddenly reared its tempting head again.
Enticing Porsche with money, Pandora’s Box was opened, and
the latest twist was unveiled.
Coupling was back in the Big Brother house
(for one week only), and best of all, if one of the two people from the nominated
couple’s alliance won POV, both
houseguests would come off the block.
Suddenly Rachel and Jordan, who had already begun shopping
for their own Big Brother coffins, might
just have a new lease on life.
In a POV competition, which involved the houseguests having
to hold onto an oversized dummy, Rachel dominated. And it’s no surprise.
You can call Rachel a whiner.
A sore loser. A bad
winner. A needy woman who lacks
self-esteem, tact, and a filter.
But she’s one hell of a competitor in physical
challenges. And the Big Brother producers know it.
On Thursday, following the eviction of Shelly, a new HOH
needed to be crowned.
So what was the competition? Puzzles? A
memory game? A mental endurance challenge?
Nope. It was a Double Dare-like competition involving
sticky slime and donuts. And guess
If you follow any of the movies that get posted to Xtranormal,
a satirical new video depicts a fictional conversation between Big Brother producer Allison Grodner and
another executive. In the video,
the character of Allison talks about the need to keep and maintain Big Brother ratings, and that a house
full of boring, unlikeable newbies is bad for business.
So why not rig a couple competitions? Fudge a few poll results? Attempt to persuade a few contestants’ opinions?
Of course, this video is in jest—but is it really that far
Are we really expected to believe that Brendon was voted
back into the house over the likes of Keith, Dominic, and Cassi? Before leaving the house originally,
Brendon got a pretty harsh edit, and he wasn’t helped by the fact that his
pouting, red-headed fiancée couldn’t turn off the waterworks.
If Big Brother 13
is rigged, personally, I really don’t care. I’d much rather see a compelling reality show than a competition
mired in boredom. But on a deeper
level, if the Big Brother producers
are reduced to cherry-picking competitions based on who they think has the best
chance to win, why air a reality show at all? If you want to script drama, then CBS should air a relatively
cheap, scripted drama.
More than that, the Big
Brother team needs to cast their show better. If one or two contestants make or break your program, to the
point where you’re drumming up desperate twists and banking on weighted
challenges, you’ve failed in the most important part of a reality show’s
production. The casting.
Big Brother 13 has been good TV this summer. But if the producers are actually worried that viewers will tune out if one or two fan favorites are sent packing, then it’s the showrunners who ultimately need to be evicted.