On Big Brother, we know that the slogan is “expect the unexpected.” But this past week – as has been the case many times over the show’s 20+ year television run – it could also have been “defend the indefensible.”
After last week saw Kyle blow-up the dominant Leftovers alliance at the outside “Dyre Fest,” the 30-year-old TikTok star became Public Enemy #1 in the House (and online), when Michael and Brittany revealed that they had been holding back some important information for the past two weeks. Kyle had discussed with them – more so “floated” the idea – that the minorities and/or people of color in the House might be secretly aligned. In a vacuum, this is abhorrent, racist thinking. In the context of the game however, it falls into the category of “even if you are thinking this, don’t say it out loud to anyone.” We are just one season removed from the historic “Cookout” alliance, an alliance formed by the Black members of last year’s season to ensure that Big Brother would see its first person of color win the game. It worked. Kyle’s comments also came on the heels of Taylor publicly stating in the House the prior week that she would never, ever vote out Jasmine because Taylor would not vote out another woman of color.
To the shock of many, I want to try to provide some nuance to what is a touchy yet important situation. Too often it’s easy for us outside of the game to “pile on” and the idea of “groupthink” is maybe the most dangerous problem of the 21st Century, let alone in the Big Brother House or in the Twitter-verse.
Nobody is defending Kyle. To his credit, he looked absolutely shattered and humbled – and most crucial of all – open and willing to learn. To the credit of his houseguests, he was treated with grace, understanding and class not often found on Reality TV. Taylor, for one, might be the nicest and most forgiving person to ever appear on this show. From what she has overcome and has had to put up with this season, I thought she approached this disturbing news with care and with a level of patience that few possess. Monte and Terrance deserve praise as well, and sadly the viewers can assume that this isn’t the first time they’ve had to handle issues dealing with their race, and the bias of others, outside of this game. That is the terrible truth, that such bias is baked into the cake and is a part of every day life for people of color of all generations in America.
This entire situation can be – should be – a learning moment, and for all people, a listening moment. Kyle will have to live with and accept the responsibilities of his actions and his thoughts. I though, refuse to offer up yet another platform for hatred and for negativity. Kyle said what he said, and owned his actions. The fallout will be the fallout, but instead of jumping in to point out how big of an ass you think Kyle is, maybe instead just try to listen to the houseguests and take something positive away from what all can agree is – at least – a very unfortunate and painful situation.
Even Alyssa – a player who has shown a unique lack of real-world awareness (is London in Paris?) – knew to cut ties with Kyle‘s sinking ship. For her, this was the tipping point, but what she told him in their “break-up” scene was also true: In this game, until very recently and when his own back was up against the wall, he never put her first, or looked out for her in any real way. Maybe he wasn’t supposed to, this is a game after all. But too often Alyssa was left wide-eyed, hearing the latest lie Kyle told or finding out the latest bit of info she didn’t know about him. I look forward to seeing how Alyssa rebounds from this situation and this relationship, and for the first time, take ownership of her own game.
Ah yes, the game. The Kyle debacle overshadowed everything game-related this week, a week where Turner had won HOH and actually decided to stick with his “Dyre Fest” crew instead of his long-time Leftover mates. During Kyle’s “house meeting,” Kyle also threw Turner under the bus, outing that Kyle and Turner had a final two deal as well. But even before Kyle was the inevitable House target, the unstoppable force that is Michael prevailed once again. Michael won a crucial POV, and is now just one comp win shy of tying the all-time comp beast Janelle Pierzina, with still another three-weeks yet to play. Michael’s win assured that he and Brittany would both be safe, and opened up that spot on the block for Kyle.
But as much as Michael and Brittany have dominated this game from both strategic and physical perspectives, their games may have also been destroyed in the Kyle blast-zone. The idea that Michael and Brittany decided to share the damning info about Kyle now, instead of two weeks prior when it happened, was picked up on immediately by Monte and the rest of the houseguests. The idea that they would reveal such important information in such a calculated, strategic way, is not going to sit well with the other houseguests, let alone once this info gets back to the jury who gets to sit and soak in it for a while. Turner might be dead-in-the-water now, but Michael and Brittany may now have zero chance of actually winning in front of a bitter jury.
We’re nearing the home stretch of Big Brother 24, with a big, live Double Eviction Episode on the horizon next week. Kyle may have overshadowed this week, but hopefully this week hasn’t overshadowed what has been a truly remarkable – great-not-good – season of the show.
Current HOH: TBD
Sunday, 9/4 – HOH and Noms
Wednesday, 9/7 – POV Comp and Ceremony
Thursday, 9/8 – Live Double-Eviction
TELL US – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON KYLE AND THIS PAST WEEK OF THE GAME? WHO DO YOU THINK IS IN THE BEST SPOT MOVING FORWARD? AND WHO ARE YOU ROOTING FOR TO WIN BB24?
[Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved]