“I knew coming into this game that I would have a humongous target on my back because I’m known as a legend in Survivor,” Cirie Fields said in the second episode of Big Brother 25.
Yes, Cirie Fields is, improbably, on BB25, spending the next 100 days in a smelly soundstage.
That’s improbable because Cirie is already a Survivor legend, a great player, and a wonderful TV character—and that was before a show that streamed on Peacock this year.
Cirie was introduced on Big Brother by Felicia as “Cirie from Survivor,” while Cirie herself said, “I’ve been in four seasons of Survivor. And even though I never won, I do feel like sort of an expert now at these games. I think I’m known for my powers of persuasion. I usually get what I want.”
Her most-recent Survivor appearance, however, was six years ago, when Cirie got totally screwed by Jeff Probst’s advantages. In four appearances, the best Cirie has done is make the final three, though she’s set other records.
Yet Cirie’s game play became even more legendary this year—and she became even more well-known for her expertise and persuasive powers—when she appeared on Peacock’s The Traitors this January.
It’s understandable a CBS show would highlight Cirie’s Survivor experience, as she’s not only the first Survivor to cross over, but it’s arguably still Cirie’s most high-profile reality TV show appearance. I doubt people are recognizing her in airports from Snake in the Grass.
Yet a CBS/Paramount Global reality competition conspicuously ignoring a Peacock/NBCUniversal reality competition is so juvenile.
Whoever made this decision missed an opportunity to bring Big Brother more credibility, something it desperately needs. Imagine: She won The Traitors. But that wasn’t enough. Now she’s trying the ultimate competition! Just look at how Food Network competitions now acknowledge that competitors and judges were once on Top Chef.
By ignoring The Traitors, the network and/or producers seem petty, and also lose a chunk of the credibility Cirie brings to their little soundstage fartfest.
I completely understand why Cirie herself might not want to talk about that, or her win on Snake in the Grass, but there’s no reason the show should ignore it. There are no legal reasons, either; that she was on The Traitors is simply a fact, and another network or show can most certainly mention it.
Even if you know how Cirie did on The Traitors, you should still watch it. At least right now, it’s more interesting than Big Brother 25.
BB25’s focus is on Cirie
While Wednesday’s dreadful BB25 premiere set a low bar, this episode barely cleared it, because certainly no one thought to make a competition that was interesting to watch—unless you were hoping for a concussion.
Given the chance to dramatically edit the moment Cory lost his sprawl-on-the-floor challenge, the editors gave us a recap that still looked like four people lying immobile. While the control room missed the moment Cory let go and got pulled back during Wednesday’s show, even the edited version looked stupid, because it happened so slowly, and they didn’t pull him far enough back, so his hands dangled outside the divider.
Meanwhile, the producers’ multiverse twists started to crumble as they bent over backwards to justify having an HOH now that there are two nominees. The new HOH, Reilly, was tasked with removing two nominees, “thus deciding who the nominees are,” she said. Oh, and she decided that the two Black women who were nominated should stay nominated.
BB25’s first Sunday episode was otherwise basically the Cirie Show, and I’m grateful for that, both to spend more time with Cirie watching her form early connections, and for the comedy.
Jared and Cirie couldn’t remember Hisam’s name, and Jared offered some options. “You said hymen!” Cirie said. “That’s what breaks when you lose your virginity.” Funny, Cirie—but also very wrong! Yes, I, as a gay man, should not be lecturing a woman, who’s an experienced nurse, on the subject of hymens, but the idea that hymens break during virginity is a myth.
Worse, that myth is the basis for virginity testing, which the World Health Organization says is ongoing around the world despite being “a violation of women’s and girls’ human rights” and, even worse, when used “in cases of rape can cause additional pain and mimic the original act of sexual violence, leading to re-experience, re-traumatization and re-victimization.”
Even spoiled, The Traitors is worth a watch
During BB25’s second episode, Cirie pointed out that she’s well-known “even though I never won” Survivor.
Major spoiler that you probably already know: Cirie won The Traitors. So her game-playing skills have paid off—and even more impressively, did so with a new format that hadn’t been broadcast in the United States.
If you have not seen The Traitors and may be avoiding it because you know who won, I promise you: it’s still worth watching.
The way Cirie navigates herself to the win, and the effect that has on other people, is far more dramatic than the win alone. Here are my recaps:
- The Traitors US episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
- The Traitors US episodes 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10
- The Traitors US season one reunion
Cirie seems to be using her usual strategy on Big Brother, based on what I’ve read from Hamsterwatch, listening and forming strong connections. Both shows are similar in that she’s playing the game with newbie reality contestants who know who she is.
I am so curious to see if Cirie’s strategy will be as successful, or have the same fallout, or change in dramatic ways.
That Big Brother offers live feeds—including a free version now—means we have a chance to see Cirie do her work unfiltered. And that’s good, considering how the CBS episodes of Big Brother are watered-down, oversimplified, and formulaic.
The complication for Cirie right now, of course, is that her own kid is playing this game alongside her.
That wasn’t a secret for long. Izzy recognized Jared immediately, pulling him aside and saying, “You’re Cirie Fields’ son, aren’t you?” Jared blindsided his mom with that news with Izzy beside him, perhaps indicating that he’s a less subtle player than she is.
“I made him, so I know he’s got what it takes” Cirie said of Jared. But does she have what it takes to cut him loose, or take him with her to the end? That’s what may keep my interest in this season!