Janelle vetos herself yet again and Neil Patrick Harris rocks the Big Brother house

At the end of last night’s episode of Big Brother 7, a peanut M&M climbed up my esophagus and landed on my tongue. I realized that this was clearly a warning from my stomach: If I watch one more segment with Mike Boogie and Will in the damn diary room doing that stupid call-each-other-on-their-fake-hand-phones routine, I’m going to blow chunks all over my living room.

It’s unfortunate the editors ended with that hackneyed, unfunny stupidity, because otherwise, this episode was quite strong, and Will was its star, albeit from the background. He did what he does best: controlling the game from the sidelines and letting all of the blame fall on others. It’s really incredible how skilled his is at manipulating others–and how rarely they notice.

Last night, after Janelle won the veto (again, albeit playing a game that was a bastardized version of one she played last year), Erika had to nominate a new houseguest for eviction.

That left Erika with what she called “a real dilemma,” because she had to nominate Danielle, Will, or Boogie, all of whom she has alliances with. We saw Erika promise Danielle that she’d be safe, but of course that meant she’d have to nominate Will (her skeevy showmance Mike “Boogie” Malin was apparently not an option). But Chill Town managed to convince Erika that she couldn’t win in the final two against Danielle, which may be true, and thus she decided to go after Danielle.

But because Erika plays emotionally, as she admitted, she revealed her plans to Danielle well before the veto ceremony. At first, Danielle was resigned to the fact. But later, she expressed her anger and sadness at Erika. “I gave you my heart, Erika. You nominating me is the ultimate betrayal. … By you, it hurts. It hurts,” she said. And herein lies Will’s brilliance: Erika may not have completely decided to nominate Danielle at that point, but once Danielle broke down, Will exploited this, and ensured Erika wouldn’t target him. “She’s lost her mind. She’s clearly crazy,” he said of Danielle.

Thus, Danielle went on the block, and will most likely be evicted Thursday night. Of course, so will someone else, but the houseguests don’t know that yet.

Besides this game play drama, the show’s product placement was unexpectedly awesome, and I apologize for mocking it in advance. Yes, Doogie Howser’s visit to the Big Brother house was amazing because, as it turns out, Neil Patrick Harris is “a huge fan of the show,” as he told us. That was somewhat ironic, as Will pointed out that he’s a huge fan of NPH’s CBS sitcom.

When NPH entered the house, he was in awe, and it didn’t just seem like he was pissed at his agents. “Holy crap, I’m in the Big Brother house,” he said. He woke everyone up, saying, “Ho, ho, ho. Rise and shine, everybody. Merry Christmas,” as he was there to present their Christmas in August reward. Later, he did back flips on their new trampoline.

But best of all, Neil Patrick Harris proved to be a bitchy fan of the show just like the rest of us. In the diary room, he said George–who later admitted to Boogie and Will that he was once struck by lightning–“is a little, um, simple?” Then he explained the gifts he brought, and dissed Mike Boogie. “The houseguests got lots of clothes, which apparently they desperately needed,” Harris said. “Because if I see Mike Boogie wear a Dolce shirt one more time on this show — really.”

Awesome. Next season, I vote for Neil Patrick Harris to become a houseguest.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.