Russell gets backdoored after an episode of bananas and sex talk

There’s some interesting game play happening in the Big Brother 11 house despite its rather lethargic pace. The alliance of four has split up, with Jeff backdooring Russell. Interestingly, he was convinced to do this by the minority alliance, who plan to nominate/vote him out next week. You know, if they can win a challenge.

Russell promised “there will be hell in this house” if Jeff backdoored him, although he seemed calm, and pretty much mapped out what would happen next, because he’s consistently one of the smartest players. “Congratulations, you’re up next,” Russell said in the Diary Room.

Jeff said he bailed on their alliance because “I couldn’t get past the Jessie vote,” when Russell didn’t vote out Jessie, and Jeff also cited Russell’s relationship with Michele as a liability (Jordan, cough, Jordan–although Jeff’s been getting irritated with her recently, and vice-versa). Earlier, Natalie told Kevin, “We hope he takes the bait,” and discussed their plans to turn on Jeff immediately.

The veto competition “was really probably the coolest thing I’ve seen so far on Big Brother,” Jordan told us, as if she was responding directly to criticism of the lame challenges this season. While just hearing Casey’s voice again was almost enough to make me change the channel, and I don’t find the banana thing nearly as cute as the producers do, I’ll give the challenge designers huge props for their genius addition of a large, slippery ramp. Because figuring out the answers to riddles wasn’t a challenge at all, they only had to find the answer on a banana and run back to the top of the ramp, and just not be last. That led to a number of comical moments as the houseguests ran to the ramp at top speed and wiped out. Not quite Wipeout spectacular, but still great.

Also Tuesday, the houseguests discussed being gay, gay sex, and then just sex. Jordan, who previously said “I always say fag and I always say gay,” told the others, “If I had a gay daughter or gay son, I would want them to feel open that they could tell me that they were gay and feel like I wouldn’t be mad or disappointed, you know?”

Natalie, as usual, sounded like a dumbass, and now a vaguely homophobic one, insisting Kevin should try straight sex because “you don’t even know what you’re missing, Kevin.” She told the others “he’s never even tried,” as if that’s what it’d take to convert him. Michele tried to reason with Natalie, but what can you say to someone who’s 18 (“I’m 18!”) and so naive. Their conversation was an edited version of a more graphic discussion of sex, but it still fit well in an episode that included a search for yellow phalluses in the backyard.

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In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.