How low can these houseguests go? Apparently, it’s even lower. The fifth week of Big Brother 19 was mob mentality at its finest. There was fighting, there was yelling, and there was some outright bullying. Whether you were watching the weekly episodes or the live feeds, it was hard to watch. However, Big Brother 19’s fifth week showed the clear editing difference between what really happened in the house and what ended up on air. And I was not impressed.
During Thursday night’s eviction episode, we were treated to about 10-12 minutes of house vs. Jessica & Cody arguments. The fight seemed pretty par for the course; this is Big Brother, after all. Though, Mark claimed his side of the house was “bullying” the couple – this was just the tip of the iceberg. In actuality (based on live feeds), Paul and his mob made a calculated plan to emotionally and mentally bully Cody into walking from the game, or force Jessica into not using the Halting Hex. The backyard argument was a plotted move; we even saw Paul push his group to continue the fight and berate them outside. What makes the disparity bigger between the feeds to the show is that the fights lasted longer than just the backyard brawl.
Paul pushed his team to continually berate Jessica and Cody. Josh kept banging on pots, Raven kept yelling, and to make matters worse, the group (instigated a lot by Christmas) consistently insulted/questioned Cody’s military history for the purpose of wanting him to punch someone and force him out of the house. This was bullying, plain and simple. The producers even stepped in to remind them they can’t instigate violence. It was an ugly time in the Big Brother house. Sure, I’m not the biggest Cody fan, but no one deserves this treatment. The only benefit from this turn of events is that it showed conclusively how vile Paul, Josh, Raven, Alex and Christmas can be, while how nice Mark and Matt can be.
Based on this week, it’s become clear the editing needs a serious improvement. It glossed over key moments to place the blame on other players and it continues to spotlight the same people over and over. This isn’t the Paul show, this should be Big Brother. He did bad things this week and none of that was really shown. Instead, he’s getting all the diary room segments and narrative to push his image while other players, like Kevin and Matt, are almost non-existent. I think the last time the show has blatantly skewed its editing to one person was back in Big Brother 16 with Frankie Grande. This tactic is frustrating to watch as we only get the biased point of view from one player who, in all arguments, is actually the villain. I liked Paul before Big Brother 19, but I called this in the first week, having him return has now negatively affected the season.
The challenges this week were a nice change of pace. Beyond the standard Head of Household competition, the POV challenge gave us something new that was a little inspired by Big Brother Canada. I loved watching the players answer questions in the mock rainstorm. Having to both remember the answers and dodge flying objects pushed their bodies to the limit. It was fun to watch – I hope we see something like this again in the future.
We were also introduced to the replacement twist for the Den of Temptation. Why didn’t we have this from the start?! I love this new challenge addition. What better way to get an extra chance at safety than by putting a little risk at being nominated. This Temptation Challenge is the complete opposite of the Battle of the Block competition that threw out safety like it was candy. Getting safety for the week comes with a cost – I’m surprised people didn’t think this wasn’t a strong enough twist by itself. We really didn’t need the Den twists from the first three weeks.
Cody and Jessica seriously need to take a minute to look at their relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy we finally got some emotion from Cody, but these two have been bickering for a while now. There’s trouble in paradise and let’s face it, they’re complete opposites. How long will these two actually last outside of the house? The same goes for Mark and Elena. They enjoy each other’s company, but they don’t seem to mesh well from a longevity standpoint. Elena would cut Mark in an instant while Mark is open to work things out with her.
As I mentioned above, I was surprised by how Josh and Raven acted this week. Raven completely threw me for a loop at how visceral she went after Cody/Jessica. She isn’t the sweet naive girl she presents herself to be. Josh, on the other hand, is off his rocker. He enjoyed letting loose on the houseguests with the pots, but his growing animosity toward Mark is a storyline I hope Big Brother explores more. These two don’t like each other, and after the house decided to vote out Ramses instead of Josh during Week #4, Mark is fuming. I can’t wait to see who strikes first in this war.
Jessica used the Halting Hex this week, and I’m happy she made the move. It was a big decision to save herself and Cody but it got rid of the power. I do think, however, Paul should have made a better case to get her not to use it. At one point he was close to convincing her not to – he should have used his Power of Veto to save Jessica instead of Jason. By using the power to save her, it would’ve reassured her that he’s on her side and might’ve caused Cody to go. That didn’t happen and instead we ended up with a dud week. I do think, however, this will come back to haunt Jessica and she’ll be evicted pretty soon.
The fifth week of Big Brother 19 was a week I had expected to just go through the motion: Paul won HOH and it was assumed his side of the house would go after Cody and Jessica. Suffice it to say, that’s exactly what happened with no surprise. However, sloppy gameplay and bullying tactics left a bitter taste in my mouth. I want to root for these houseguests, but the comfort of staying in this large alliance is bringing out the worst in them. Hopefully the sixth week will offer some redemption.