A dictionary for Big Brother 12’s morons

The Brigade’s plan to “backdoor” Brendon or Rachel backfired on Big Brother 12, largely because the alliance of morons does not understand what “backdoor” means and failed to plan for a backdoor from the initial nominations. This, alas, is what the houseguests are most notable for this year: their stupidity. There’s a lot of ridiculousness as stupidity, like Andrew cleaning things that are already clean, and Lane going hunting with a machine gun and shooting at turtles and/or glowing eyes in the dark (!).

But they also just really don’t seem to understand basic concepts, so as a public service, I present this dictionary and primer for the houseguests. Anyone going by the studio should feel free to print this page, wad it into a ball, and hurl it into the back yard–or perhaps just rent a series of banner planes to educate them on a word every day.

Backdoor: A plan to evict a Big Brother houseguest by nominating different people, pawns who have a strong ability to win the power of veto and will save themselves or be saved, and thus be replaced by an original target. Not the same thing as deciding to nominate someone later in the week once the veto has been used. No one in the house seems to understand this. Well, maybe Kristen, but how would we know that?

Ousted: Removed or expelled. Voting for: In Big Brother, causes someone to leave if enough people do this. Andrew understands neither concept, saying, “A few weeks ago, Brendan and Rachel ousted Matt, but they saved him by voting for him to stay in the house.”

Floaters: People in the house not connected to one of two or more alliances. Andrew and Kathy are not floaters, because there is only one alliance in the house, The Brigade. And if we want to pretend Rachel and Brendon are an alliance instead of two people sucking face and humping, well, they think Andrew is on their side, thus making him in an alliance and not a floater.

Reign of terror: A period of time when people are fearful of something that is actually happening, which does not include the Brigade’s inability to strategize. But Matt–who’s a genius!–doesn’t understand that, saying, “We’re working for this, it ain’t being handed to us, this reign of terror we’re striking.”

Bother: Something irritating, like an itch. Lane doesn’t get that: “It doesn’t bother me one bit that both of them got picked, it just itches at me that they got picked.” That means he was irritated by the fact that they got picked, and thus bothered. He was so bothered he said, “How the hell? Give me some Pop Rocks.”

Pop Rocks: Enjoyable exploding candy that should never be fed to seagulls or permitted in the Big Brother house, where the sound design makes me want to insert a jackhammer into my ear to stop it from hearing sounds like Rachel and Brendon making out, and Lane chewing Pop Rocks.

Ninja: Not the same thing as a Jew. Watching Andrew pray, for which he was wearing a garment (perhaps a tallit? I couldn’t quite tell.) Lane observed, “I didn’t know Jewish guys wore ninja outfits when they pray. That’s the good thing about being on Big Brother, I can learn different cultures and how they work.”

Culture: not the same thing as religion, though the two can be interconnected.

Counting: Not an interesting challenge.

Greatest: The best. Matt’s “greatest subject” is math and that he’s “fantastic” at it, but when it came to counting candles, he admitted, “my counting sucks.”

Unicorn: A fictional creature with a horn. Lane has apparently never heard of one, because after he saw the prop unicorn during the challenge, he said later, “I’ve seen a lot of horses in my life, and none of them have had a horn grow out of their forehead, or wear necklaces.”

Sucks: something that is bad, which would not include remaining in a game that one actually wants to win and/or removing your alliance’s dumbest member from that game. After winning a round, Matt said, “Well, this sucks. By staying, I ended up getting a point and staying in the game. Unfortunately, Lane had to go down because of it.”

Tarot cards: Not pronounced like a word that rhymes with “carrot,” as Enzo and Andrew said.

Kristen: A cast member with the apparent ability to apparate.

Stupid: Something that doesn’t make any sense. When he realized his lack of a plan to boot Brendon had failed, Matt said, “In hindsight, it was stupid.” Hey, he finally got one right!

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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.