Big Brother’s producers on Amber and “stalkerish,” “lovestruck” Caleb

"We don't see it as anything dangerous," Grodner says

With Devin’s back-door eviction essentially guaranteed and eventually delivered after Sunday’s great veto competition, it was a slow week in the Big Brother house. That was a significant letdown from the entertaining symphony of delusional strategy that started the season, but this week’s episodes gave us more character development than strategy that wasn’t just filler.

In particular, the episodes highlighted Caleb Reynolds’ obsession with Amber Borzotra. To summarize the summaries: Caleb’s non-reciprocated attraction to do everything from stare at her to throw a competition to protect her. Her interaction with Cody led Caleb to confront Cody about that, which led to Cody saying “this kid” way more than any adult speaking about another adult ever should.

The crush quickly went from “cute at first” to “creepy and misogynistic levels,” as others have written about in detail. As a result, it could affect her game. There’s also been discussion and argument among feed watchers about whether she’s “stringing Caleb along” by not being as direct with him as she has with others about her lack of attraction.

Late Thursday, I asked Big Brother‘s executive producers, Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan, about both the interaction between them, if they had any concerns about Amber’s safety, and how this has been presented on television, and here’s what they said.

Allison Grodner:

“I think the Big Brother house is one of the safest places to be, with all the cameras and 24-hour surveillance. I think that’s the story: She’s feeling that way and he’s being–there’s the love triangle or whatever you want to call it with Cody and him, the jealousy triangle. He’s possibly getting a little creepy, a little stalkerish. We’ll see. We’re just playing the story that’s evolving right now. … We don’t see it as anything dangerous.”

Rich Meehan:

“I think he’s just really into her and he’s just kind of lovestruck. When we’re watching–obivously, we’re watching all the time. I don’t think there’s any worry. I think he’s lovestruck. He thinks she’s beautiful. Possibly in his real life he doesn’t get a lot of ‘no’s.

… I don’t think we ever played it as a showmance. We kind of played it as it is. He likes her, she’s not really into him, and we’ll see what happens, and now Cody’s come into the mix, so that’s an interesting element. We’ll see what happens.”

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.