Big Brother 12′s lame, recycled twist crumbles as saboteur Annie is voted out

Big Brother 12‘s ill-conceived and thinly veiled regurgitation of a previous twist is over, as Annie Whittington was voted out by a unanimous vote. Julie Chen’s laughable introduction, calling the saboteur/mole “subversive,” is about the only entertainment that came from the whole thing.

Although Kathy was “America’s prime suspect” and Kristen was mine (I didn’t see her once in the episode last night until the live vote, and I don’t think I’ve heard her speak until that moment), Annie was revealed to be the saboteur, and that was somewhat surprising because I expected it to be someone lower-profile. In obviously producer-fed lines, she said in the Diary Room, “I have been having a blast all week messing with these houseguests,” and said, “man, I’m good.”

She wasn’t, but I still cheered when she was revealed to be the saboteur because I knew she was likely to be voted out, thus destroying the producers’ dumb twist. However: Annie now heads to sequester, which is a change from previous years, leading to speculation that she’ll return. Her/the producers’ last-ditch effort to keep her was to give the houseguests a message saying “I escaped the block this week,” an obvious lie, and the phrasing made them think it was Brendon because he took himself off the block.

During her exit interview, Julie Chen said “you successfully pulled off all your pranks,” but “prank” isn’t quite the right word, because a prank would actually be interesting. Annie placed beeping electronic devices in some of the bedrooms, and put tape on pictures. OMG the insanity! Seriously, this is the dumbest twist ever, and not just because Annie did nothing that had much of an impact at all. This is what the producers get for trying to fuck with the game again, like they did with America’s Player: they get their agent voted out. Oh well, back to the old ways of fucking with the game.

Live feed watchers report that Annie was rather annoying while trying to save herself (evidence of obviously brilliant casting yet again), and she did act stupidly after getting nominated. She also can be petty, like when she told Julie Chen that Brendon came to her first for a showmance, so Rachel “should be really proud of herself that she got my sloppy seconds.” But I always liked her in the Diary Room, and she also gave one of the most coherent and smart speeches that I can remember, arguing that if the others voted her out, “you’re going to give the strongest person in the house more power by keeping his ally.” That didn’t work, of course, because she was making a rational argument.

The HOH competition was that insanely stupid “vote what you think the majority of the house would vote.” The only glimmer of hope in this season is that Rachel became HOH, meaning she and Brendon will target the brigade (it hurts my fingers to type that name), and there will likely be some conflict. The houseguests might still think there’s a saboteur, but since plausible suspicion that it was Brendon resulted in no action, it’s doubtful their suspicions will have any impact. Kind of like this season.

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.