Jeff and Jordan’s visit to Big Brother offers a behind-the-scenes look at the house

Jeff Schroeder is currently in Laos and heading to Bangkok, where he “needs a ride from the airport and a place to stay in Bangkok,” according to the web site for his web series Around the World for Free. But sometime after his appearance on Big Brother 12 with Jordan Lloyd, his series posted a behind the scenes video that gives a bit more insight into the soundstage location that houses the hamsters.

It’s nothing super-secret, but there is footage I’ve never seen before, including the exterior of the soundstage. The reception are where Jeff enters is where TV critics entered during our tour, too. When Jeff shows off his costume, the staircase behind him is the one that leads upstairs to the mezzanine where the control room is, and to his right is the actual house/soundstage, perhaps the Diary Room or the entrance to the storage room. (For more on the house’s layout, read this.)

In the back yard, before and during Jeff’s turn at bowling, you can also see the door open to the staging area where props are built and stored. It also gives you a better perspective of the back yard area and the wall that surrounds it, because the camera angle is often looking up at Jeff.

By the way, one thing I noticed while touring the inside of the house (and that generated a surprising amount of discussion) was the general state of disrepair of the house, which I didn’t necessarily mean as criticism; like I wrote, most sets I’ve been on are surprisingly rough around some edges, because the camera misses a lot of that. Since then, I’ve noticed on TV that you can see this on TV, primarily when the editors include shots of the visible cameras in the house. If you have a DVR, pause when they show that, and you can see everything from the paint job to the haphazard placement of the covers on the large lights that ring the house.

Anyway, I wish CBS would have aired Jeff and Jordan’s segment during the actual show, because it’s a lot more engaging and interesting than their brief appearance ended up being.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.

A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.