Last night, our household was not fixated on the Winter Olympics closing ceremonies. Rather, we were captivated by the season finale of Celebrity Big Brother. As someone who became a fan of the Big Brother franchise a few years ago when Sidney introduced the reality show to me, I was pretty excited when it was announced this past summer that a celebrity edition would commence at the start of the year. As Sunday night’s show concluded with Marissa Jaret Winokur topping Ross Matthews for $250,000, I took some time to let the past two and a half weeks sink in. After sleeping on my thoughts, I feel I can briefly explain my reaction to Celebrity Big Brother.
First off, I want to credit CBS for not just deciding to do Celebrity Big Brother but for deciding to air it exactly opposite the Winter Olympics. While other networks conceded to NBC by showing reruns, CBS fought fire with fire. What a power move!
Now for my positives about the show…
I thought the two and a half week competition was perfect for a non-traditional, winter airing of the show. Not that CBS had much of a choice. With the Olympics running for 17 days and with a cast of celebrities who would never dream of spending three months in a house isolated from the outside world, the condensed version of Celebrity Big Brother wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity. But it worked out great. It was a commitment to watch four times per week but the show was constantly moving. There wasn’t time for a lot of B.S. and pointless segments. You got the meat and potatoes of Big Brother and I liked that.
I appreciated how the show didn’t deviate too much from tradition. With a bunch of celebrities in the house the tendency to cater towards them would be understandable. However, they still had to participate in the classic Big Brother competitions, they had to get messy, and they had to eat slop. Sure, some of the contestants received big payouts to be on the show but for the most part the game was played in the spirit of typical Big Brother.
The show moved quickly, it was entertaining, and it resembled the actual Big Brother game to a satisfactory degree. However, I do have a couple critiques as well.
Let’s start with the “celebrities.” Okay, the quotation marks probably aren’t warranted because they were legit famous people but they were (and still are) pretty much D-listers. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the cast but wouldn’t it have been more entertaining to see people like Beyonce, Slyvester Stallone, Ronda Rousey, Jimmy Fallon, and David Beckham in the Big Brother house? Of course. The cast we watched was more appropriate for a VH1 reality spinoff, not a CBS reality show staple.
I also had an issue with people on the show who didn’t really want to play. Watching contestants such as Keshia Knight Pulliam and Metta World Peace actively campaign to be evicted was disappointing. I understand that not all contestants will bring the extreme competitive attitude of Shannon Elizabeth to the house but they should all at least want to be there.
My final bone I have to pick really isn’t a Celebrity Big Brother issue, it is a Big Brother issue in general. Once again, the person who finished as the runner up clearly should have won. Look, I said from the start that I wanted Marissa to win and Sidney will tell you that I rooted against Ross the whole duration of the show. However, there is absolutely no question that he played the best game and deserved to win. The past three seasons (Big Brother 18, Big Brother 19, Celebrity Big Brother) I have watched jaded juries vote against the supreme player simply out of spite. It is such an unsatisfying way to end a season and I hope the show producers do something to fix it.
But all in all, I enjoyed my time watching Celebrity Big Brother. I don’t feel bad in the least that I gave it priority over the Olympics. Now it is time to look forward to this summer when Big Brother 20 begins. Hate to burst everyone’s bubble but you won’t see me as a contestant – even though there was a casting call in Myrtle Beach this weekend, I decided to sit it out. After all, why would I audition when I know that the jury will just vote against me when I play a perfect game and make it to the Final Two? Don’t Blink.