“Big Brother is watching you.”
The well-known phrase coined in George Orwell’s 1984 has been brought from dystopian fiction to reality TV, but with a twist: weare Big Brother. This summer-long show consists of 16 contestants, known as “houseguests,” who live together in a two-story house.
Starting last winter, however, Big Brother U.S. followed in the path of its U.K. brethren and launched a celebrity edition of the show. Considering how much of a hit it was last year, it’s no wonder they brought it back this year. This round featured 12 contestants and lasted around three and a half weeks. This round managed to avoid the typical lull that tends to occur when most of the houseguests were gone. The setup also amped up gameplay, as alliances started forming much earlier on in the competition.
This season featured Kandi Burruss from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Olympians Ryan Lochte and Lolo Jones, former WWE wrestler Natalie Eva Marie, former NFL player Ricky Williams, singer Tamar Braxton, comedian Tom Green, the infamous Anthony Scaramucci, and more.
Producers managed to cram content typically seen in three one-hour episodes into the first hour of the finale without missing much action. The first competition, which was for Head of Household, required both mental and physical duress. The task was to put together a puzzle on a magnetic board, stopping every 20 seconds to bounce off the platform on a bungee cord and press a button to restart the time. If they failed to get back in time, the board demagnetized, causing the pieces to fall and forcing the contestants to start over. Ricky Williams won, leading to rather obvious nominations which led producers to hurry and jump directly into the ceremony.
Next was the POV competition, which featured a robbery heist theme. This might be a pun on contestants who are “robbed” of first place, much to the dismay of their loyal fans.
Once again, for the final contest, artifacts from throughout the season's competitions were hidden in a large room. Contestants were each assigned an artifact and required to use the given hints to retrieve their assigned artifact. Of course, it wasn’t that easy: they had to avoid touching the lasers pointed throughout the room.
Big Brother has always been great at editing, and this competition was no different. From a montage of Dina hitting the wires over, and over, and over again, to Tamar screaming “NOOO” in slow motion after throwing a plush football over the wires and watching it roll right back and hit them, this production’s fantastic editing resulted in a competition full of comedic moments.
In a short and out-of-place interlude, Scaramucci was brought out and interviewed. He ended up going so far as to say that he believes the President will be reelected in 2020 (which merits another article altogether).
Titled “Celebrity Look-Alike Junior,” the next game featured videos of little kids dressed up as the previous houseguests. Each gave three “facts” about their doppelganger's time in the house. After each video, the players had to figure out which “fact” was incorrect.
People were evicted in between each round, but for the purposes of avoiding spoilers, I won’t be revealing those evictions. I will say that the winner received a score of 9–0—a unanimous score is a huge deal in Big Brother history.
As confetti fell the winner, the screen went dark, and, just like that, my little summer in the horrendous Chicago winter was gone.