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.

Frankie leads Big Brother's parade of delusion

Frankie on Big Brother

Heading into the finale, the delusion continues, with a re-appearance by evicted Frankie.

Related: The unwatchable cast of Fox's Utopia keeps yelling and screaming.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.