Going There

Over 13 years and 15 seasons, many fans have questioned the real usefulness of having Julie Chen as the continued host of Big Brother. While Chen is a well-known fan of the game and the show itself, she hasn’t always been seen as the best host of the show. Many questioned whether if, when the situation called upon it, Chen could be relied upon to ask the truly tough questions to an evicted Houseguest.

Thursday’s show, featuring Aaryn’s eviction, undoubtedly answered those questions in spades.

As perhaps the most controversial Houseguest for the first part of the season, Aaryn’s mouth had gotten her in serious trouble outside the House. Already the recipient of much scorn and derision for her racist quotes and treatment of others, Aaryn had lost jobs in the outside world and caused much headache for CBS. Her eviction interview, were it to happen, was the subject of much debate. Would Julie Chen be allowed to ask her the questions that many were hoping for?

When the eviction played out, the exit interview started nominally. Julie asked about GinaMarie’s vote, which Aaryn explained. Then, Chen went for the strike with questions about comments Aaryn made. When Aaryn claimed she didn’t remember saying things that were seen as anything but jokes, Chen took out direct quotes. As Aaryn’s face fell, it was all she could do to say that she never meant anything to be taken seriously and apologize profusely.

Had this been all that happened – or had this been done in front of no audience – that would be one thing. However, the audience that was in the studio reacted with snickers, boos at times and clear scorn towards the 22-year-old woman in front of them.

This is when the interview went from “poetic justice” to “assassination of future aspirations.”

Make no mistake, Aaryn’s actions were deserving of scorn and as someone who was directly offended by Aaryn’s words as well as a host with journalistic credentials, Julie Chen had the right and responsibility to take the interview down the path it went. Had Chen softballed the interview, many fans and media outlets would have criticized CBS and Fly On The Wall Productions for the show – and the criticism would have been deserved. It was important that the face of Big Brother address the bad behaviors of one of its cast members.

It was not important, however, to do so with a live crowd. More so, this was a live crowd that felt the need to treat the evicted Houseguest with their own scorn and mockery. As Aaryn tried to apologize and be more than the sum of the quotes presented to her, several in the audience laughed and mocked her.

Big Brother is a game, one that has consequences and benefits for all of those who play it. Aaryn is the second of the truly nasty players to be evicted, and as the head of the former “Mean Girls” she was due for a cold reception upon her eviction. Adding the audience response, however, felt like kicking dirt in the face of someone who was in the process of being tripped into mud already.

Julie Chen did her show right by “going there” tonight. It remains to be seen if CBS will now help pick up the mess that will result.


Week Ten Results:


Week Ten Head of Household: Elissa

Elissa’s HoH reign can be described best as being shortsighted. Having never really formed a pure strategy for the week, Elissa allowed her disdain for Aaryn override her game playing skills and strategy. By failing to put both Amanda and McCrae up together, Elissa set in motion the events that led to both remaining in the game.


Week Ten Veto Winner: Amanda

For once, Amanda stepped up when needed. Seeing her ally and showmance partner McCrae on the block, Amanda won a Veto competition at the right time and saved both her and her long-haired paramour


Week Ten Evictee: Aaryn

Rarely has a lamb been so gleefully led to the slaughter. Elissa’s goodbye message to Aaryn was the final slap in the face for the former beauty queen whose antics led her to the chilly reception tonight. Aaryn received the comeuppance many had wanted for so long, and in the end whether or not she learns from this experience will only bear out in time.


Week Ten Star of the Week: Julie Chen

Julie Chen had two options tonight – softball the interview, or go with what ended up airing. Her decision was the correct one, and tomorrow people will be talking about her handling of Aaryn’s eviction. All things considered, that makes her easily the star of this week.


Week Ten Goat of the Week: Aaryn

Nothing further needs to be said about Aaryn’s downfall this week, save for this – hopefully, she will mature and grow from the experiences of the last 70 days.


Game Play Move of the Week: Elissa nominates McCrae but fails to nominate Amanda alongside him

Simply put, Elissa screwed up. She took a sure thing and managed to fail entirely in taking out her true biggest enemies. As a result, Elissa is in real danger this week depending on who wins HoH.

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