I have been watching Big Brother religiously since 2003, when Season 4 aired. The summer television staple became a bonding experience for my dad and I, and we’d share thoughts on the houseguests and their gameplay. Even during and after college, we still talk about it and I look forward to those “You watching?” texts from him.
This season CBS launched Celebrity Big Brother (CBB), their version of the UK’s already very successful series, and I can’t get enough! If you haven’t tuned in yet, there’s still time to play catch-up on CBS All Access before the season finale on Sunday. I thought I had more time to get this post out, especially after watching this past season of CBBUK at the beginning of the month, but I guess it’s better late-than-never to give my thoughts!
For fans of CBS’ longstanding Big Brother series, this “celebrity edition” will have little to no differences to what you’ve come to enjoy each summer: You can more-or-less expect the same show, just with more notable houseguests. What makes Celebrity Big Brother interesting is the fact that it is a condensed version compared to past season of Big Brother or of it’s sister series, CBBUK. For instance, most seasons of Big Brother air for the entirety of the summer (around 3 months) and CBBUK lasts roughly a month. Plus, CBBUS‘ competition style doesn’t seem to be much different from past seasons, meaning that these celebrities are effectively competing in the same game as “regular people.” So you will (and have) seen celebrities falling, getting splatted with gooey substances (such as “snot” in a recent competition), and much more.
Thoughts & Predictions
As I stated earlier, I’ve been watching CBS’ version of Big Brother for many years. I have also watched a couple seasons of CBBUK (seasons 15 and 21), and have to admit that so far, the UK has us Americans beat. I see the novelty of celebrities competing in the exact same competition as regular people wearing off pretty quickly. Since CBBUK follows a different format than CBBUS, it really might just come down to a matter of preference. For instance, our UK counterpart has no HOH or veto, and nominations and evictions are done very differently. Houseguests are given tasks to complete (which is more interesting to watch than it sounds), whereas CBBUS‘ competitions are more in-line with what you’d expect from an actual gameshow.
I have been rooting for houseguest Ross Mathews since it was announced he’d be entering the Big Brother house. I’ve been following his career for some time, and I am a huge fan of his podcast. I’m also very interested in seeing how far Marissa Jaret Winokur will get in the game. I saw (and loved) her on Broadway in Hairspray. So far, I’m really impressed with Ross’ game and overall appearance in the show (after all, he did end up on the news for his “interview” with Omarosa Manigault over her time in the White House).
Omarosa, obviously cast as the season’s villain, has filled the role well and even temporarily left the house for an “asthma attack” (which host Julie Chen even stated was exaggerated). Her gameplay really helped solidify Chuck Liddel’s surprisingly early eviction, and had helped keep a huge target on Shannon Elizabeth’s back (which Shannon earned herself by winning the first two competitions).
I’m a little disappointed with Celebrity Big Brother, and maybe not for reasons you’d expect. If you’ve been following Big Brother for some time, you’re well aware of the fact that houseguests are able to self-evict. A self-eviction is essentially making the decision to walk away from the game. There are two instances in this season where HOH reigns can be considered rendered partially or fully ineffective due to either CBS’ failure to fully explain the mental, physical, and psychological risks of the game or the houseguests not understanding the risks (or understanding them, but not taking those risks seriously). So far, those wasted HOH reigns belonged to Ross and Omarosa. Ross had the opportunity to break up a pair or backdoor a huge threat. Omarosa had the opportunity to break up two separate pairs (and one alliance) or a potential backdoor depending on how the veto ceremony played out. In both situations a houseguest was evicted out of sympathy because they wanted to leave the house, when they really should have self-evicted.
This may not be common knowledge, but the houseguests competing for the $250,000 grand prize on Celebrity Big Brother receive a stipend to participate. Had these houseguests self-evicted, they probably would be in violation of their contracts and would forfeit their stipend. They also may not be allowed to participate in the jury that crowns the winner on finale night. If Metta World Peace had been allowed to self-evict when he requested to at the beginning of the show (and almost every day since), and had Keshia self-evicted instead of taking advantage of the situation so she could keep her stipend and request to be evicted, this show would be incredibly different. In fact, Metta even made Big Brother history by hitting an emergency button which allowed him to temporarily escape the confines of the Big Brother house set.
Big Brother: Celebrity Edition returns tomorrow night at 8/7 central for its 10th episode, where we will learn what happened after Metta’s eviction and which houseguest won Head of Household. Will you be watching? What are your thoughts on the houseguests?