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What Big Brother stars could be President? How fast are competitions filmed?

What Big Brother stars could be President? How fast are competitions filmed?
Big Brother 23's cast. From left to right, standing: Derek Frazier, Britini D'Angelo, Travis Long, Derek Xiao, Brandon 'Frenchie' French, Xavier Prather, Claire Rehfuss, Kyland Young, Christian Birkenberger, and Azah Awasum. Sitting: Whitney Williams, Sarah Steagall, Brent Champagne Alyssa Lopez, Hannah Chaddha, and Tiffany Mitchel (Photo by CBS)

I’m back with more answers to your questions! This week, a question about Fox’s Domino Masters that applies to other competition shows, too, including Lego Masters.

Plus: Questions about Jane Lynch’s previous NBC game show, and a thought experiment about Big Brother.

If you have a question about reality TV, just send me an e-mail message, or comment below.

How many Domino Masters episodes were filmed in a week?

Domino Masters judges Steve Price, Vernon Davis, Danica McKellar, and host Eric Stonestreet watch Team Runs In The Family's Halloween-theme build topple
Domino Masters judges Steve Price, Vernon Davis, Danica McKellar, and host Eric Stonestreet watch Team Runs In The Family’s Halloween-theme build topple. (Photo by Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

My husband and I both would like to know how many episodes of [Domino Masters] do they film in a week? Surely they film more than one cause how many people can take off work for a month or more during the year(given that not most of the contestants are local). Thanks in advance! —Nancy

Your question was answered in the comments before I could get to it, Nancy, but I thought I’d share it now, even though Domino Masters has long since concluded, because shows like Lego Masters are similar, and your question is a frequently-asked one!

First, yes, you’re absolutely correct: A “week” in reality TV time is not a week in real life.

Reality TV competition hosts and contestants tend to refer to “this week” or “last week,” because that aligns with what we see: a weekly episode.

But they’re filmed much more rapidly than that. In general, the longer a production, the more expensive it is, so producers and networks want to move fast—sometimes to the detriment of the show’s quality or even safety.

There are exceptions to this: In a normal, non-COVID season, The Great British Bake-Off really does film one episode per week, with contestants traveling to the tent for the Signature and Technical bakes on Saturday, and the Showstopper on Sunday; then they go home and practice for the next week’s challenges.

But again, that really is the exception. Most reality TV competitions film an episode in two or three days, and some of that time includes hours for interviews, never mind breaks.

As to Domino Masters’ specific schedule, a consulting producer, Alex Huang, answered your question directly right here on reality blurred as a reply to your question:

We filmed every episode over 3 days, with days 1 and 2 for building, and day 3 for the topples! Sometimes there was a day of rest in between the episodes, but others were filmed back-to-back; I’d say we had a pace of 2 episodes per week. Filming the entire season took about a month and a half!

Is Hollywood Game Night ever returning?

Jane Lynch, Hollywood Game Night
Jane Lynch hosts Hollywood Game Night episode 507, titled “A Rupaul Awakening.” (Photo by Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Has NBC cancelled Hollywood Game Night? Or will it return? —Kenny Jones

This question was from 2016, so I promise, even I haven’t answered your question, I haven’t forgotten about it! I didn’t answer then because the show did return shortly after you asked,just moving to an earlier timeslot after being off the air a few weeks.

The following summer, it came back for its fifth season, and then aired episodes of its sixth season Spread across 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Season six ended in July 2020, and since then: nothing. A pandemic-era delay would make sense, and I’ve expected it to just return as always, but now there’s been more than two years with no news.

Jane Lynch now hosts NBC’s weak revival of The Weakest Link, which was just renewed for a third season. Of course, she could do both shows.

While all this doesn’t bode well, there’s also never been a formal cancellation, and it’s also an easy enough format to revive. All that’s to say I wouldn’t be surprised to see back on NBC (or Peacock? LOL Peacock) in the future.

Have you seen Relative Race?

Relative Race, BYUtv
Teams on BYUtv’s Relative Race have to give up their cell phones as they drive across the country and meet people they’re related to. (Photo by BYUtv)

I recently discovered Relative Race on [BYU TV] app. I can’t find any pages that features it..9 Only 1 FB group. It has a huge fan base and would love to see it featured here. RR helps people connect with long lost family Amazing Race-style. Lots of tears and happy moments. Hope you check it out!!! —Cathy

Thanks for the recommendation, Cathy. I always appreciate those!

As you know, Relative Race “follows four teams on a 10-day journey throughout the United States as they complete challenges, discover unknown relatives identified through DNA testing and compete for a $50,000 grand prize,” according to BYUtv.

While I don’t cover it regularly—alas, that’s true for most shows, since there are hundreds airing, with sometimes dozens more premiering each week—a reader like you who loves the show did write about it in these pages.

It might not be what you’re looking for in terms of regular coverage, but back in the Before Times, Aaron Hayes wrote about a Confessional piece that included a discussion and review: How Relative Race and Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits helped shake me from complacency.

He wrote that, on the show, “Given the weariness of traveling eight-plus hours a day and being under the clock like [on] The Amazing Race, emotions are raw and open, and you get to see an amazing side of people filling in the gaps.”

For those who haven’t seen it, and want to watch, season 10 is currently airing Sundays at 9, and will wrap up on Nov. 20. Meanwhile, seasons 2 through 10 are streaming free on BYUtv.

Which Big Brother houseguests should fill a presidential administration?

BB24 winner Taylor Hale the moment she exited the Big Brother house into a flurry of confetti
BB24 winner Taylor Hale the moment she exited the Big Brother house into a flurry of confetti (Image from Big Brother via CBS)

If you have to take the ex-Big Brother houseguests and choose one to be President, Vice President, First Lady of the United States, and each member of the cabinet, who would you choose and briefly, why. You have the option to use Otev, Julie Chen, & Zingbot, but you do not have the option to defect to Canada. —Koadey

I love/hate thought exercises like this! And definitely would start looking into Canadian flights if this happened, especially because our last little experiment was such a disaster that it’s still ongoing.

This question feels especially difficult for me, because I purge my knowledge of Big Brother shortly after watching. I also haven’t watched a full season in years.

A few more disclaimers: There’s going to be lots of recency bias here, and the cabinet is big and I can’t think of that many players. But I offer these options in the hopes that you all will have far more creative ideas than mine. Comment away below!

But here are some thoughts:

  • President: Taylor Hale, who was able to persevere and pursue her agenda despite significant opposition, and also bring all of us together in support.
  • Vice-President: Dan Gheesling, who was the first player to get a unanimous jury vote, which will be skills that’ll come in handy as president of the Senate and as the president’s primary representative in Congress
  • Secretary of State: Kaysar Ridha figured out Big Brother 6‘s twist, and also formed one of the all-time-great alliances with Janelle, so I think he’d be good at diplomacy and state secrets
  • Attorney General: There are a surprising number of lawyers who’ve appeared on BB, and I think they should have to make an argument to Taylor about why they should get the job—while climbing up Otev
  • Ambassador to the United Nations: Metta World Peace. It’s right there in his name!
  • White House Chiefs of Staff: Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews, because they’re okay with sitting at a table, giving feedback, but having no real authority
  • Secretary of Education: Fessy Shafaat, who was a substitute teacher and now schools people on The Challenge—LOL, kidding, no, never
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services: Dr. Will, of course
  • Secretary of Agriculture: Chicken George, of course
  • Press Secretary: Zingbot, of course. I think administrations should answer journalists’ questions and be accountable, but a little sass is also welcome

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

Discussion: your turn

I think of writing about television as the start of a conversation, and I value your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!

Chuck S

Saturday 19th of November 2022

I'll give you Zingbot for Press Secretary.