The Summer of Our Discontent

For several weeks, fans of Big Brother have become less vocal in their praise of the show and a feeling of unease, malaise and overall discontent has begun to rise. Fans are less vocal on Twitter, save for commenting on fan sites and on Twitter that the show was not living up to standards we held for both contestants and the actual show itself. Even Julie Chen was not immune to criticism, as fans online expressed concern that she did not seem to be performing at her best on the show. That criticism, however, had remained in the realm of fandom for most of the season with little coming from other media or offline.

With two events this week, that changed – and with the TMZ article on Frankie combined with the reaction to Christine in tonight’s Double Eviction we have seen a change in the fandom that has rarely been exposed in seasons past.

Frankie’s behavior had long been known to feeds watchers to be less than endearing. His overacting, general meanness and prima donna antics had lost many of the early fans. Comments made by Frankie about Victoria ended up being aired on TMZ and led to multiple people calling for apologies from him and his family. This was a public reaction to the show – but one that was relatively low-key in the grand scheme of things. It never made “the big show,” and while Frankie’s portrayal on the tv show has changed to a more honest assessment the comments made did not become heavily known to most fans.

In terms of Christine, however, the cause of tonight’s fandom reaction was far more public. Christine had lost fans due to her game style and comments regarding the other Houseguests. When she became close to Cody (in a way that unnerved several fans), there were several rounds of judgment in the fandom online. Then, it appeared on the CBS show. When the segment of Christine and Cody snuggling aired (followed by a segment showing her family, including her husband responding less than pleased over the situation), fandom’s response towards Christine crystallized.

(It is of note, by the way, that the reaction towards Cody has not been nearly as vociferous or vicious as the reaction towards Christine. That the handsome and charming guy did not get attacked as harshly as the married woman with unconventional looks smacks of a double standard, one that is unfair to Christine. It is also of note that nothing actually happened between Christine and Cody, and both have commented several times that they were merely friends.)

Ultimately, fan discontent emerged in the form of loud booing during Christine’s eviction tonight. The crowd reaction to a public issue that many found unsavory or unlikeable led to a very uncomfortable situation onstage, and the crowd was noticeably silent upon the return to Julie and Christine for her eviction interview.

It is unfortunate that fan reaction to this season has been mostly negative, but the season has also not been as entertaining as previous seasons overall. However, rarely has the negative reaction spilled over to a live show (last year’s responses to certain Season 15 cast members notwithstanding). It remains to be seen if other Houseguests will receive a similar reaction, notably Cody.

In general, the Big Brother fandom has expressed dissatisfaction with the overall season and that became most evident tonight. It will be seen as to whether the season can be salvaged in the eyes of fans, but one note gives an indication of network response – the show has remained popular and consistently wins the ratings battle on the nights it airs. This bodes well for the future of the series, but the salvageability of the season itself in the eyes of many fans remains to be seen.


Week 10/11 Results:

Week 10 Head of Household: Caleb

Caleb won the difficult “sliding to fill a container” competition for HoH, and earned the right to dictate the week. Ultimately, his decision to save Frankie was one that disappointed many; however, it must be noted that Frankie is still an ally to Caleb. Keeping him in the game was one that made sense in the short term, but may cost him dearly in the endgame that is beginning to play out.

Week 10 Veto Winner: Christine, Saved herself, Victoria placed on Block

Christine managed to extend the life of her game by 30 minutes by winning Veto. Her win also managed to seal the departure of Nicole, a competitor who had been an ally at one time.

Week 10 Evictee: Nicole

Nicole ultimately never had a chance. Her game play since returning had been poor at times, and she never had been fully back into the game since returning. Her departure was assured once Christine won veto.

Week 10 Player of the Week: Derrick

Derrick, once again, proved who was truly in charge of the game with his maneuvering to ensure Nicole went up instead of his original target, Frankie. Derrick then made the most of his night later on, during the Double Eviction.

Week 10 Goat of the Week: Frankie

Frankie went through the Veto ceremony unaware of how close he truly was to leaving tonight. His gameplay has been tremendous with multiple victories, but his positioning in the House is now precarious as longtime allies are now actively working to get him out of the House.

Game Move of the Week: Derrick convinces Caleb to not backdoor Frankie, ensuring Nicole’s eviction.

By working to get Victoria nominated, Derrick ensured that members of his alliance would make it through the initial eviction. This would prove important a few minutes later.


Week 11 (Second Eviction of Double Eviction) Results:

Week 11 Head of Household: Derrick

Derrick wins HoH in one of the shortest competitions ever, a memory game that was won on the first question. This extremely rare event meant he dictated the rest off the evening.

Week 11 Veto Winner: Frankie, did not use Veto

Going into the Veto competition, Frankie was the intended target if one of the nominees took themselves off the Block. Frankie’s win saved his game and dictated the remainder of the night.

Week 11 Evictee: Christine

Christine has often been referred to as “The Britney,” a somewhat derogatory term used to relate her position in the Detonators to Britney’s position with the Brigade of Big Brother 12. In a sense, this was true – Christine did not ever truly have a shot at a Final 2 or 3 position, and she was easily able to be shuffled off were it necessary. The crowd response to her tonight was indicative of her lack of popularity outside the House, whether deserved or not.

Week 11 Player of the Week: Frankie

Frankie saved himself, plain and simple. While feeds watchers are still highly polarized regarding him, it cannot be argued that his gameplay in competitions has been nothing short of amazing.

Week 11 Goat of the Week: Christine

Christine’s game finally ran out tonight, in a manner that showed her true position in her alliance. She also leaves to Jury House knowing fan response has not been entirely positive at best.

Game Move of the Week: Frankie wins Veto, securing his position in house and ensuring Christine’s eviction.

By winning tonight, Frankie kept himself alive for another week.