#BB16 Week 7/8: Why I Hate Reality TV

BB16_LOGOEvery season of a reality TV show begins with promise. There is a brand new cast of characters thrown into some awkward situation, and you never know what that unique mix of people will yield. But inevitably, about 2/3 of the way through the season, you realize there is almost no one likable left and all of the good people have been shafted.

Which brings us to the last few weeks of Big Brother. This season, I have been posting weekly recaps of everything going on in the house. But since the Double Eviction episode, I haven’t had the same fervor. Week 6’s double eviction episode saw Caleb win HoH, nominate Donny and Hayden for eviction, and then place Nicole next to her “showmance” Hayden once Donny won the veto. The image of the couple next to each other, one to be momentarily voted out, was sad enough. But the circumstances that put them in that position are the crux of the vitriol so many express about reality TV.

They were lied to. They were lied on. And in a house divided against them, they had no other choice but to put trust in those that lied to them.

The next week began with Christine and Nicole winning HoH, and it appeared that Nicole might get some payback as she hatched a plan with The Detonators to evict Frankie. His self-serving ways came back to haunt him as his own alliance conspired to throw competitions to ensure his eviction, smiling in his face. Nicole nominated Caleb and Frankie while Christine nominated Zach and Donny.

In the competition, Caleb blasted Frankie and literally sat down to let Frankie do everything himself. Miraculously, he still won the competition and became safe for the week. To earn back trust, he then went on a truth-telling spree, letting the whole house know that his sister is pop star Ariana Grande. This elicited mixed responses from the other houseguests.

Next up, Zach won the Veto Competition, setting the stage for the ultimate dirty deed: nominating Nicole for eviction. Within one week, she was put up against her in-house boyfriend to watch him walk out the door, granted HoH power only to lose it when a scheme created by other people in the house backfired, and then put up on the block again to be sent packing.

With the non-Detonator crowd down to 2, Derrick and Frankie won HoH (the final dual-HoHs of the season). The new master plan was to throw Battle of the Block (BoB) competitions again, this time targeting Donny. But with their alliance dominating the numbers in the house, it was clear that some of them will have to hit the block. They gave Victoria a pass (mostly to limit the amount of tears for the week), and when no one stepped up to the plate – even though everyone’s eyes were on Zach to volunteer – they picked Skittles out of a hat to see who would take seats next to Donny. Yes, they picked Skittles out of a hat. In the end, Derrick nominated Christine and Donny while Frankie nominated Caleb and Cody.

They seemingly had things sewn up for the BoB competition since it would take place in a pitch black room where no one could see what was happening. Christine tried to act as if she was clueless, but actually went out of her way to help her opponents win. But Donny, in Frankie fashion, won the competition all by himself and kept himself safe for a week. Normally, this would be cause for celebration, but their sloppy gameplay made it painfully obvious to Donny that it was all a ruse. Donny knew that he had no true allies in the house and his loneliness brought him to tears.

From there, the next steps should have been obvious. Someone from the alliance win the veto, take off one of the alliance members, and then nominate Victoria. She gets sent out the door, and everything is kosher. But that was not how things went. Frankie won the veto and decided to nominate Zach instead. His rationale? He didn’t offer himself up to go on the block that week. Point blank period. It was that easy for him to stab his best friend in the back.

But there was a ray of hope. The Big Brother producers threw in one more twist with a competition to return one of the evicted jury members. And the victor was season standout Nicole. Will she be enough to tip the scales?

So what does all of this mean? It means that reality TV is a bit too real, especially on a show like Big Brother. You get to see people being people, without modern distractions like television, the internet, or cell phones. You get to see the best of us as they comfort each other through loss, and you get to see the worst as they lie to people’s faces and stab each other in the back. One of the main critiques of reality TV is that is is edited or produced, and therefore is not a real representation of humanity. On Big Brother, I posit that the reverse is the truth. We get to see what we really look like. We get to see humanity at its basest level. And sometimes, that can be too tough to watch.


Houseguest I’d Like to Evict: Caleb

I’m sick of the “Beast Mode Cowboy.” He is the self-proclaimed king if the house, and for some reason, he believes that he is in control of everything. Beside the fact that this is not true, he has a high likelihood of making it to the end of the game. He does perform well in competitions, and because they have been able to so easily manipulate him for the entirety of the game, there is little chance that they would throw him under the bus. Frankly, there are bigger targets in the game. However, there are non more annoying. The best we can do is pray that he enters into Derrick’s crosshairs and he moves Heaven and earth to get him voted out.

Will Nicole change the momentum of the game? Will she be the element that destroys the Detonators alliance? Fingers crossed.

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Daren W. Jackson

Daren is one half of the Water Cooler Convos team. He's a writer, music connoisseur, and comic book geek who spends his free time working on his novel and other short stories.