In the past, reality shows have been criticized for influencing dialogue and manipulating storylines, even allegedly going so far as to rig contests to make the shows more watch-able. But CBS showed some degree of integrity Sunday night when it revealed technical flaws in the gaming mechanisms for its Big Brother contestants, making the all-stars replay for the coveted Head of Household title. The show’s producer announced on-air during the show that the equipment was investigated and found to be faulty.
In any event, playing fair may have actually resulted in CBS’ favor, since the original winner, milquetoast Erika, was supplanted by beauty queen and queen-schemer, Janelle, who had originally been earmarked for extinction. All of which serves to guarantee that the conniving Barbie doll look-alike will be around for at least another week. And that will undoubtedly make for better TV viewing and—if all the Nielsen people meters are in working order—ratings.
By Jim Benson