Big Brother will again start in June, extending the previously standard length about two weeks, just like the show did for the first time last year.
CBS announced today that the 16th season of the show “will debut early for the second straight summer”: It starts June 25, and will air Wednesdays at 8, Thursdays at 9, and Sundays at 8.
Insane amounts of bigotry and other things the producers don’t want you to see will, as always, air on the live feeds only.
This season on The Bachelor, Juan Pablo Galavis’ journey took him from being heralded as the first non-white Bachelor and the star of a pun-filled ad campaign to someone who’s being called the worst bachelor ever. But he also may be the best, having rejected The Bachelor’s premise while being a participant. Brad Womack was shunned for reject
ing both women, but in the eyes of the show and its fans, what Juan Pablo did was even worse, because he didn’t care enough about this dumb show.
Juan Pablo is hardly a sympathetic person, from his recent use of the r-word to his previous comments about a possible gay bachelor to what he reportedly said to Clare in the helicopter (“I really loved fucking you”). He likes to blame culture for all these misunderstandings, but that’s a lame excuse.
After watching three hours of that pained, confused, constipated look on his face, and listening to him speak sentences that come from a D-student’s essay (not specific, generic, vague, pointless), it’s easy to see why he’s not loved. His cold rejection of Clare illustrated the lack of emotional and feeling he’s had all season, with the notable exception of his awful slut-shaming.
Despite all that, the end result was the best episode of the show ever, a live reunion in which he indirectly exposed the show for what it is: an empty, heavily orchestrated charade that makes no rational sense. The Bachelor may be entertaining and silly, but it’s a process people get really invested in. And while some hate-watch, others watch for the fairy tale, no matter how contrived or how damaging it is, with its reinforcement of outdated gender roles and, worse, its insistence on forcing a relationship inside an artificial context.
Juan Pablo wouldn’t let that happen. When he revealed to Nikki that he chose her, he did so in the most non-committal way possible, saying “I like you a lot” and winking creepily. But then he said, “I’m not 100 percent sure that I want to propose to you.” That’s perfectly reasonable, as were many of the things he was inarticulately saying during the After the Final Rose hour.
Juan Pablo and Nikki seemed to be saying: We need to start over as if we just met, so we can see if this is a real thing or not. Sure, Nikki definitely came off as far more invested, but she also pointed out that the show is “just not exactly realistic,” insisting “this is a real relationship to us.”
Watching The Bachelor’s producers and ABC so desperately cling to the narrative—We must have a proposal!—was actually pretty sad, since they easily could have made this work in their favor. Considering their terrible track record of creating meaningful relationships, they could have used that to their advantage and celebrated Juan Pablo’s decision to not commit too fast.
But no: the audience demands a happy ending, the couple and their happiness be damned.
It was clear how producers wanted it to go when Chris Harrison kept badgering Juan Pablo to say “I love you,” as if that was the only possible indication of his interest. Juan Pablo gave instead embarrassment, perhaps as payback for all the stories about how terrible he is, how soon the producers hope the show ends. At one point, he said, “I’m sorry the show didn’t end up like you guys wanted it to.”
He made sure of that. The series’ creator, Mike Fleiss, all but promised there would be a marriage on live TV. Instead, there was an exchange so awkward that Chris Harrison fled the stage before the show even cut to commercial. It was the best moment of the evening:
Chris Harrison: “You mentioned to one of our network executives that you had a big surprise for tonight.”
Juan Pablo: “Did I have a big surprise? I don’t. I talked to the executives and I keep my secret well-done, and this is my secret: I’m here happy with Nikki, we’re very happy both of us, and we’re going to start a relationship from today on.”
CH: “So, no surprise?”
JP: “You’re talking about surprise. No.”
Juan Pablo couldn’t really say “fuck you, dude,” on live TV, but that had the same effect. There was a lot of hostility between Juan Pablo and Chris Harrison, which the studio audience was flabbergasted about since the host is usually super-friend-bro-buds with the bachelors.
Chris Harrison’s embrace of Clare after Juan Pablo dumped her was, as I first wrote here, as if she’d run out of a burning building and sought comfort from the arsonist who set it on fire. I may disagree with Jeff Probst’s decisions and value different things than he does, but I have no doubt he’s doing what he believes is right. Chris Harrison, on the other hand, rarely comes across as authentic or genuine, and it all seems so dirty—though last night, I finally believed his hyperbole when, at the end of the live reunion, he seemed shocked.
For the evening’s most disturbing reaction, though, we must look to Catherine Giudici, whose wedding was paid for and televised by ABC, and who told Juan Pablo, “Don’t slap the hand that fed you.” In other words: Shut up. Do what they tell you. Don’t question anything.
Juan Pablo may be a world-class twit, but he had the audacity and courage to challenge question the process. He opted in, tried it, and he didn’t like what he found, and that made for great reality.
A contestant on South Korean dating series Jjak hanged herself with a hair dryer’s cord in the island house where the show is filmed, leading the network, SBS, to cancel the series. The woman, Jeon, was 29, and competing on a show that combined elements of Big Brother and The Bachelor.
The Korea Times reports that police are investigating, and that Jeon left a suicide note that referred to the nickname for the house and said:
“I want to end my life here. I am sorry. At the Love Village, the filming crew cared for me a lot. I thank them. But it’s too difficult now. Regardless of whether I meet a partner here or not, I have no will to live.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which cites reports from South Korea, “Jeon told her mother by phone that she felt ashamed of the way she was going to appear on the program and ‘wouldn’t be able to live in South Korea’ if it aired,” and notes that “local press have hammered the show for its bullying treatment of contestants, including a rule that requires them to eat meals alone when they are rejected by potential dates.”
Here’s your semi-weekly recent news from the reality TV world:
CMT’s Jersey Shore clone Party Down South, which is produced by the same people as the MTV series, has to find a new home for its second season, as Pensacola has kicked it out. A hotelier told USA TODAY that he killed the deal to provide $1 million in hotel rooms to the production because, “It sure puts a stereotype out there, and it’s the lowest form of entertainment.”JWoww is producing a horror movie, but one that’s not too distant from her MTV past: it’s called “Jersey Shore Massacre.”Real Housewives of New Jersey stars Teresa and Joe Giudice pled guilty “to conspiring for years to defraud banks and other lending institutions while seeking nearly $5 million in construction loans, home equity loans and mortgages” and “also admitted to misleading a federal bankruptcy court,” because they “failed to disclose Teresa Giudice’s true income from the ‘Real Housewives’ show and personal and magazine appearances, and they concealed business they owned and money made from rental income,” The Star-Ledger reports. They’ll be sentenced July 8; Teresa’s lawyer will ask for probation, though she could get up to 2.25 years in prison.
In a statement, Teresa said, in part, “Today, I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago. I have said throughout that I respect the legal process and thus I intend to address the court directly at sentencing. I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decisions, and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public. I am heartbroken that this is affecting my family—especially my four young daughters, who mean more to me than anything in the world.”In a Q&E, Kim Kardashian revealed that Keeping up with the Kardashians now uses fake house exteriors. She said that her Beverly Hills home “was really my home & I would get people showing up at all hours ringing my gate & had to call the police on several occasions. … After that we realized how unsafe it is to show the exterior of our homes. So now we use different homes for the outside for security purposes. When we film inside, thats obviously our real home.Brooke Burke was fired from Dancing with the Stars over the phone, while driving. However, her blog post that reveals shows that she has a pretty incredible attitude about the whole thing.Juan Pablo was deemed “too risky” to be on Dancing with the Stars, E! News’ anonymous sources claim, because of the “negativity” surrounding his comments and two contestants’ decisions to leave the show. And that sounds like bullshit; it seems more likely that it’s the opposite, that he’s too boring. Then again, he just made fun of people with mental challenges and then blamed his “culture.” Of course.Spike’s upcoming To Catch a Contractor has already been sued for $2.8 million in damages; a family claims that contractors the show hired to fix problems caused by another contractor left them with respiratory infections from raw sewage that spilled into the walls.
Meanwhile, in a contractor discussion forum, a person who says they’re a neighbor to a family featured on the show claims the show fakes/stages footage with the original contractor so that person can be humiliated on camera.Trading Spaces carpenter and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host will host a TNT cooking series, On the Menu, which features Emeril Lagasse. Mark Burnett executive produces the show which will give viewers the chance to eat contestants’ winning dishes every week. TNT describes it like this: “a group of passionate home cooks will be challenged to create a the next signature dish for that week’s selected restaurant chain, stadium concession stand, or other American food business.”Chopped host Ted Allen will host Food Network’s America’s Best Cook, in which contestants divided by region of the country will be mentored by Cat Cora, Tyler Florence, Alex Guarnaschelli, and Michael Symon.Former Scientologist and Dancing with the Stars contestant Leah Remini will be followed by cameras for a new TLC series.This is from the news, but it’s definitely my favorite reality moment from the past week:
recently on Twitter
Coming off two incredibly strong episodes, Survivor Cagayan delivered not quite as much suspense or surprise, but still a strong episode with lots of “what?!” moments. (Also, last night’s episode had some special meaning for me.)
Has miserable rain ever been more fun (well, for Woo, one of the few who embraced it: “This is what Survivor’s all about, baby!”)? Has miserable rain ever looked more gorgeous? Some of the shots even captured individual drops, and continued to provide evidence about Survivor’s enduring success: it’s just incredibly well-made. The music alone was worth the hour, especially Strauss’ “The Blue Danube” over the Brains’ tribe’s challenge practice session.
Also, its host makes sure the audience constantly understands the rules of the game, which is very helpful, especially when he repeats them five or six hundred times during the challenge, and then reminds the players of a key part of the challenge that they might have missed: “all you want to do is make sure you don’t finish last.” So, the point is to not lose? I’m so confused.
The Brains tribe is, as J’Tia said, channeling Probst, “a disaster, but it’s entertaining, so we’ll see what happens.” She’s a major part of that, of course, saying at one point, “I gotta have some rice.” Uh, maybe you should have thought of that before reenacting a scene from a previous season and dumping all your tribe’s food on the ground.
The Brains tribe did think to practice for the challenge, in that great sequence, but it didn’t seem to help them much, thanks to J’Tia, who has now firmly become one of those classic Survivor contestants whose bio and on-location performance are thoroughly and bafflingly mismatched.
But in a challenge designed by a member of the Dream Team, they pulled ahead, incredibly. They looked miserable in their happiness, like they didn’t know how to win.
There was a lot of setup about Tony and Sarah’s cop alliance, and I thoroughly expect he’ll be out in the next few weeks because of all the attention he and his overwrought cockiness have been getting.
The strategy talk at the Beauty tribe seemed to be about as logical as Jefra telling us about the “soaking wet water” and the “strategies I’ve never heard of.” (I think that might mean, roughly: I watched one of the DVDs casting gave me when I was recruited and thought we were just supposed to reenact that.)
Jeremiah, who apparently speaks, explained, “my may goal is to take over this try,” but LJ also thought that he was in control: “I have all the power.”
Then they went to Tribal Council and split their votes three ways, voting in two-person alliances. For this early in the game, with that small a tribe, it was a pretty astonishing vote. It was perhaps less surprising that Jeremiah changed his vote and they sent Brice home, yielding a fun exit speech from Brice who called himself the “cutest” and “most fashionable,” and said “I’m sure [Jeremiah] doesn’t really understand what happened” and was “surprised he could even spell my name.”
OWN previewed Lindsay, the new Lindsay Lohan documentary series produced by Amy Rice and Pilgrim Studios, tonight, and now has the trailer online—but only for 48 hours, until 9:35 p.m. ET Thursday!—because why let people continue to share and watch something when you can create scarcity and create an event around that.
Of course, their strategy worked, because here I am promoting it—and it’s a trailer worth promoting, which is why this show is on my list of 10 shows you must check out in March.
By the time Oprah tells Lindsay, “You need to cut the bullshit, you really do,” if you’re not sold on this show, please tell me why. I’m no fan of gossip blogs and tabloids chewing up celebrities, nor of celebrities behaving badly for attention. But this feels entirely different and new, two minutes and 16 seconds that give us a raw look at part of her life—never mind the fourth wall-breaking filming of the show itself. I can’t wait.
A challenge from tomorrow night’s Survivor Cagayan, “Mazed and Confused,” wasn’t created by challenge producer John Kirhoffer, but instead was “designed, created, conceptualized from a Dream Teamer,” Jeff Probst explains in the preview below.
Dream Team members test and build challenges, work in the art department, and act as grips.
Part of the challenge has been used before, but the puzzle—which Kirhoffer says was created by Dream Teamer Nick—is definitely new and creative.
“Anything can happen,” Probst says. (No shit!)
In a twist that sounds more desperate than anything else, Dancing with the Stars will force its cast of celebrity contestants to switch professional partners mid-season based on viewer votes. The 18th season’s cast has been announced, and includes Olympians Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who will dance with pro partners, not each other. The show’s ratings have been declining in recent seasons, and so producers fired its co-host and band.
ABC calls the twist “The Switch Up” and says “America will be given the power to vote and change celebrities and professional dance pairings. This new rule will affect all couples as they will be required to switch partners at a point in the season. Never before have dance partnerships been split up during the course of competition.”
This sounds like it’ll definitely create drama—and work against one of the things that works best about the show, which is watching the relationship between the celebrity and pro develop over the season.
Here’s the cast:
- Pro hockey player Sean Avery with Karina Smirnoff
- Actor Candace Cameron Bure with Mark Ballas
- Comedian Drew Carey with Cheryl Burke
- Olympian Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy
- Reality star Nene Leakes with Tony Dovolani
- Nickelodeon star James Maslow with Peta Murgatroyd
- Wonder Years star and math book author Danica McKellar with Valentin Chmerkovskiy
- Swimmer Diana Nyad with Henry Byalikov
- Paralympian Amy Purdy with Derek Hough
- Disney Channel star Cody Simpson with Witney Carson
- Olympian Charlie White with Sharna Burgess
- Billy Dee Williams with Emma Slater