Big Brother houseguests, Olympic gymnasts awkwardly meet, pretend they know each other

The most interesting and only notable part of Big Brother‘s special Wednesday elimination episode was Shane and Danielle’s trip out of the house to meet the U.S. Olympic gymnasts, although the fact that the challenge producers directly and blatantly ripped off a challenge from The Glass House is a close second.

The visit was obvious product placement for the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, considering two of the gymnasts were holding boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, as if they were Laura Linney’s character in The Truman Show. That explains how Big Brother landed some of summer’s actual television stars. (McKayla Maroney fractured a bone during the performance that Danielle and Shane watched after their meet and greet.)

But of course, the houseguests did not watch the Olympics, and I’d bet a quarter that the gymnasts had maybe never even heard of the show, though that doesn’t give them much credit. It was clearly a photo op that they were unimpressed by.

Speaking of, McKayla Maroney attempting to explain her summer meme was awkward: it’s hard to describe viral things anyway, and that she had to explain her own to them was just embarrassing. If you’re going to let the houseguests drive around Los Angeles without blindfolds and discuss gas prices, at least let them look at a damn picture. (Here’s my predictable contribution.)

That was just the start of the awkwardness, though. “Oh my god, this is crazy. Hugs all around,” Shane said, and then asked them to introduce themselves, getting that backwards. After the gymanasts implausibly nodded when Danielle asked them about whether they’d watched Big Brother (I’m not convinced that was their actual response to Danielle’s question), Shane asked, “Who’s your favorite?” and McKayla said, “You.” Oh, McKayla: You are still providing the comedy.

But that was nothing compared to his most awkward moment, which even the editors couldn’t let slide: “That’s kind of equivalent to BB–a lot of people try out.”

In other words, not even somewhat equivalent in any universe, ever.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.