Three moments from last night’s episode that sum up Big Brother 16

Nicole on Big Brother

Nicole during Sunday’s Big Brother (Photo by Lisette M. Azar/CBS)

Big Brother took the path of least resistance during its most recent live show: eliminating Nicole in a 6-0 vote and returning power to the alliance after a relatively suspense-less HOH challenge that was mostly a competition between alliance members.

Despite severe missteps–that final interview that I didn’t even watch because no, the Thursday Night Football ad masquerading as a prize–there were fun moments.

Primarily: The random yet perfect inclusion of Cody slapping himself in the face while sleeping and then looking around to see who slapped him; a mannequin in a grave that was vibrating and, because he was partially concealed by an on-screen graphic, looked to be pleasuring himself; and the behind-the-mirrored-glass zombies, an even more effective use of that trick that’s apparently been used before but that I forgot about since I purge my brain of every season after the season concludes.

Self-slapping followed by blame of others, masturbating zombies, and terror about things that others can’t see: can you think of a better way to sum up Big Brother 16?

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.