Lydia saved, Braden nominated as editors ignore Big Brother 11′s ugliness

The strategizing and fighting have officially begun on the Big Brother 11, at least so far as the prime-time series is concerned, and it, as always, is not quite a reflection of reality. Besides ignoring Braden’s racial slur (update: this took place after the veto ceremony, so it wouldn’t have been included Tuesday; thanks for letting me know and apologies for the error), the editors excised Jeff’s repeated use of the other f-word, which he uses to demean other men. In fact, the editing almost made him look sympathetic, like the victim of an attack. Not surprising, still disappointing.

In any case, the first veto was used by its winner, Russell, who saved Lydia, which led Jessie to nominate Braden. They didn’t really justify Braden’s nomination well, at least not from what we saw last night, but Lydia was smart enough to get herself un-nominated. Along the way, there was a lot to learn about the houseguests and the game. My observations from Tuesday’s episode:

  • Russell has quickly become my favorite houseguest, I think, because even while he’s pretty cocky, he’s smart, immediately figuring out Ronnie’s (stupid, bumbling) betrayal. And when a jock is smarter than a brain and self-professed Big Brother superfan, either that superfan is playing stupidly (check) or that jock is not quite what he appears (check). Russell gets bonus points for jumping on Jeff immediately when Jeff made his homophobic remarks during the backyard fight.
  • Jeff gave us this season’s first moment of adverb/adjective confusion by telling Lydia, “Don’t take it personal.” Personally, you ass, I’d wish you’d learn how to speak.
  • Laura thinks her big boobs made her a target, and said, “It’s not my fault I have huge boobs.” Casey nailed it, saying sarcastically, “You can’t help it: You chose to get implants.”
  • Laura, Russell, and Jessie aligned with each other, and Russell said, “make sure you’re not in the way because you will get run over.” That is quite the understatement: Even without Russell, those breasts and that behemoth could easily bulldoze the wall that separates them from the world.
  • In a montage designed to make Braden look goofy and harmless, rather than like someone who uses racial slurs in a fight, Braden told two women, “I’m going to spritz you down like mace.” Jessie also mixed metaphors/made no sense, saying, “You need to go scoop her up while the iron is hot.” If only there was an exercise for one’s brain.
  • Jessie read the veto competition rules slowly. and. halting. ly. I decided that the written challenge instructions are laminated in case he strains his brain so much while reading that he throws up.
  • The competition involved pulling large Scrabble-ish letters out of puss-filled zits on a giant face, but Jessie’s producer-written instructions said, “as we all know, it’s what’s inside a person that really matters.” Please: The whole clique twist this season depends on precisely the opposite.
  • I’ve suspected this before but saw definitive confirmation last night: The challenges totally use As Seen on TV Tap Lights as their “buzzers,” with the ding added in post-production.
  • In the spelling POV competition, Jessie quickly spelled “CONTINOUSLY,” and Kevin said, “I just didn’t understand why he quit so early.” You really don’t understand that? Haven’t spent much time with Jessie, huh?
  • Russell won with “shotgun,” but got ammunition for his confrontation with Jeff out of Jeff’s spelling of “tectronics,” but said he was trying to spell “technotronic.” Too bad neither one is an actual word; next time, try “bigot.”
  • Natalie spelled “last,” as in “I’m in last place because I suck at this competition.”

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.