Eleven Things I Love About ‘Big Brother’ (And One Thing I’d Change)


'Big Brother' (CBS)

It isn’t exactly breaking news to admit that I’m a “Survivor” guy through and through. I’ve been to the set of “Survivor” on several occasions, I have Malcolm Freberg’s personal number in my phone (sorry, ladies), and I have a tattoo of Jeff Probst’s face on my left ankle.

OK, that last one is a lie.

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But my love for “Survivor” is true. And for that reason, I thought I could never be a “Big Brother” guy. With the crazy sets, the confusing rules, the weird competitions, and the yelling during confessionals? No way.

Then Rachel Reilly and CBS challenged me to the “Big Brother” Power Rankings and I was forced to watch every episode. I had to look beyond the silliness and try to devise strategies and figure out individual motivations. And at some point when Zach was screaming at a camera or when Victoria was arrogantly tilting her head or when Caleb said “Daggum” for the hundredth time I realized I was starting to care about these people.

So, apparently Derrick is my Richard Hatch, Nicole is my Colleen Haskell, and I’m kind of hooked on “Big Brother.”

In an effort to explain this unexpected phenomenon, I’ve put together a list of the things that turned the tide and the one thing I’d I change about the show if I had the Power of Veto…

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Big Brother’ on Your Computer!

1.    Alliance Names – OK, I’d like to preface this by saying “The Hitmen” is a pretty stupid team name. But, the fact that these names exist and are embraced is hilarious. Listening to Caleb beam with pride as he says “I created the Bomb Squad” never failed to crack me up. I expect to see that on his resume someday.

2.    Ridiculous Punishments – Nicole in her Germitard and Caleb and Victoria tethered together were pretty funny. But watching Cody stalk around in his dinosaur costume was priceless.

3.    No Host (Most of the Time) – “Survivor: One World,” featured a few challenges without host Jeff Probst. It was way awkward. Fortunately it didn’t survive the season. However, when “Big Brother” has a houseguest dress up and host a challenge, it tends to be adorable.

4.    No “Winner’s Edit” – Savvy viewers of “Survivor” have learned that if a person isn’t getting much screen time, they’re probably not going to win. With “Big Brother” this isn’t a problem because nobody knows who is going to take the top prize.

5.    Zingbot! – Before I accepted this challenge from CBS, Zingbot was the only “Big Brother” thing I was particularly fond of. And I’m happy to say that he (she?) did not disappoint this season. Ziiiiiing!

6.    Gameplay – I don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m willing to bet that Derrick is going to be $500,000 richer on Wednesday night. The show has done a great job showing us all of the big and not-so-big moves that should land him that fat check. Seriously, I wanted to high five my TV when he knew he had to get rid of Nicole after she complimented his game.

7.    Blood on Your Hands – In “Survivor” a person can be sent packing and never know who was responsible for their exit. The Head of Household angle lets the evictee know exactly who  put them on the chopping block.

8.    Brittany – What? Don’t judge me…

9. Taunts in the Opening – Wrestling video games always have a special button that will let your character do their signature taunt. Hulk Hogan cups his hand to his ear, John Cena waves his hand in front of his face, and the Undertaker kneels and thrusts his palm to the sky. I like to think that’s what the “Big Brother” contestants are doing in the opening.

10. Team America – I didn’t care for this concept at first. But, the stolen goods challenge caused the house turning against Zach when they thought he was the saboteur. And, the pretend rat challenge led to Cody spending the evening standing on a chair. Awesome.

11.    TVGN’s “Big Brother After Dark” – Like I said above, I’ve been on location to “Survivor” on several occasions. While we’re there, we get to visit the tribe camps. It’s usually pretty boring, but at the same time it’s kind of fascinating. This feeling is perfectly recreated with “Big Brother After Dark.” I might not have learned much about the game, but I learned a ton about the players and how they interact with each other. You’ll never get me to admit how much time I spent watching them play pool this summer. But, let’s just say I’ve seen more ads for “The Sorrentinos” than any human should have to endure.

And the one thing I’d change…

1.    Make the Reigning HOH Eligible for All HOH Competitions – One of the best parts of “Survivor” is the fact that even if you’re down seven votes to one, you can still save yourself with an immunity win. That isn’t true on “Big Brother.” If you’re the reigning HOH and you aren’t put on the block and you aren’t picked to compete in the POV competition, you can be voted out with ever having a chance to save yourself.

It’s a minor change, but I think it’s one worth implementing. But either way, I’ll be watching next summer.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @gordonholmes

Don’t miss the 90-minute finale of “Big Brother” this Wednesday, September 24, 2014 at 9:30 p.m. ET.

Watch Full Episodes of ‘Big Brother’ on Your Computer!

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