Today is the one-week anniversary of the climax of my first reality television experience—the final of Big Brother 3
. I started watching the show accidentally, when I taped the wrong channel, but naturally I got hooked. One of the Cha, a serious reality-show viewer, shared my mania, so last Wednesday we had a mini viewing party (since she arrived an hour early, we warmed up by watching an ancient Love Boat
on TV Land).
In the U.S. version of the show, the 10 evicted houseguests decide the winner, with the TV audience call-in breaking a tie if necessary. It was an extraordinary experience—when they were about to announce the results, I thought I might have a heart attack I was so anxious. (The only time I remember feeling so lightheaded about a vote was the 1997 British general election.) Danielle, whom I had come to detest, clearly simply forgot that pissing off the evictees would guarantee a loss even if she got to the final two and had insulted pretty much everyone in her diary sessions. (I concluded that this need to vent to the “private” camera was pathological; there’s no way she could not have realized that when the people she’d tearfully told “I love you” saw her making fun of them in the diary room, they’d hate her.) Her opponent, Lisa, who came across as a pleasant person with a hot bod, won 9-1. I was very happy, even though I’d predicted a much narrower win for Lisa (and thus didn’t win the peanut butter and jelly prize)
Now the loop is closed with the posting of the final recap on the brilliant Television Without Pity
. Spot-on, funny writing that manages to take just the right tone—and I agree with Miss Alli’s take on all the characters, I mean players.
A couple of particularly brilliant excerpts:
(the decorative Christian virgin that Danielle used to do her dirty work, a victim of brainwashing if ever I saw one; he was the last to leave the house):
He totally misses the question—or dodges it, depending on whether you think he's dim or not. I tend to think he's a little dim, honestly. At any rate, instead of answering the question, he says some more how much he loves everyone, which is ... fine, but not really relevant, of course. It's just the only thing he knows how to say. He's kind of like a blender where all the buttons are broken but one. You're getting "Chop," whether you like it or not.
Of Danielle’s flawed strategy
(some evictees were saying they might vote for her because she “played the game well”:
The only things there are in this game are (1) staying in the house; and (2) getting people to vote for you at the end. Those are the only two things you have to do. They are both legitimately part of the game. There is no reason in hell why anyone should vote for you in the second part because of how well you played the first part. Simply put, why should you hand half a million bucks to an ass? … The only way Danielle "played the best" was in convincing people to do what she wanted and fooling them into not thwarting her. But she did a horrible job of securing votes at the end, which is equally part of the game.