Don’t worry, all of you rabid Big Brother fans, B-side is hard at work pumping out his recap of last night’s episode. However, I wanted to first take a little stab at something that bothered me during last night’s episode. The results of the food competition were about as much in doubt as a UNLV basketball game in 1990. In other words, the fix was in. Now perhaps it doesn’t bother anybody else and I was just getting worked up over nothing – people have accused me of being very petty at times. However, since I have a platform to have my opinion heard and I can’t seem to sleep past 9AM on the weekends these days, I thought I would pontificate a little bit.
More after the jump. WARNING – mild spoilers from last night’s episode (ie, the results of food competition).In last night’s food competition, the houseguests played a sort of take on the Match Game from the 70s. Kaysar, Howie, Sarah, and James were the “contestants.” The girls had blonde wigs and the guys had afro wigs. The remaining players all had a nice cheap stage and were the “panelists.” A good time was being had by all. The HOH for the week, Maggie, would read a fill-in-the-blank statement where the blank would be the name of a food. One panelist houseguest would take a stab at answering the fill-in-the-blank question, while the contestants would write their answers on a piece of paper. If at least two of the contestants had the same answer as the panelist, everybody would win food for one day.
In theory, this had the makings of a fun game. Everybody got to dress up and whatnot, and while it might be difficult to win food for seven days, at least there would be more than PB&J for some of the days. This was my hope, but it quickly became apparent that it was no game at all. It was like those “competitions” you had in kindergarten where everybody was got to be a winner. What do I mean? The first question had a sentence where the food was “string _____ .” Sarah and Kaysar, the first two houseguests, picked cheese, which was no big deal. When all of the answers were revealed, I noticed that while Sarah and Kaysar wrote cheese, April and Howie wrote beans. Not out of the ordinary at all, and I took it as just a coincidence that their answers matched. But then a funny thing happened, a similar pattern repeated itself every single time.
As their little mad lib progressed, every time we went to the panelists for answers, two would have one answer and two would have a different answer. Never once did three panelists have the same answer or did the panelists have three or more unique answers among them. There were seven questions, and the odds of neither one of those happening without any influence on the contestants from one another or an outside person, are fairly remote. No, not completely out of realm of probability, but enough of an anomaly that people should be asking questions. We never saw the contestants writing down their answers, so we don’t know if they were conferring with themselves, or even if they wrote their answers down before the panelists gave them (somebody who has the live feeds please tell me the latter is not the case). The result – seven days of food for the houseguests, plus another revelation for the SUMMER OF SECRETS.
Honestly, I am quite torn, because it was just a food competition and has nothing to do with the outcome of who wins the money, but you know what? I like it when the houseguests have to eat a lot of PB&J, and I think a lot of other people watching the show enjoy watching people inside the house suffer. More importantly, if the producers influenced this show either by manipulation of the game or by not taking enough measures to ensure the people playing the game weren’t cheating, I think we have a right to call into question the outcomes of many more competitions this summer. Message to CBS and Big Brother – your viewers are not idiots and you run the risk of turning your Summer of Secrets into a staged joke. If you can’t come up with enough material for an hour on Saturday, then just give us 30 minutes – or simply a 1 minute update, Jolanda Vega style, on who was nominated.
Now, if people really don’t care about this, I won’t make too much of a fuss, but my conspiracy tendencies, already running high for most reality shows, have been prodded back to life a little bit, and I will be watching a little more closely for the rest of the season. I invite all of my fellow conspiracy theorists to e-mail me should they have a theory as well.