‘Big Brother 19’ – A tempting season or the worst one yet?


Photo courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter

From left to right, top to bottom: Jason Dent, Mark Jansen, Dominique Cooper, Kevin Schlehuber, Ramses Soto, Elena Davies, Alex Ow, Christmas Abbott, and host Julie Chen stand outside the Big Brother house doors on June 28, awaiting a summer of surprises. While only half the cast is pictured, these eight soon get to meet and mingle with the other houseguests, beginning what could be an exciting season of television.

Ankit Agrawal, Editor-in-Chief

*NOTE: This post includes spoilers for those who do not watch the CBS All-Access Live Feeds for “Big Brother”

Power. Alliance. Money. Revenge. Temptation. The first five words viewers see as the “Big Brother” Season 19 intro plays on the TV, and the five words that sum up this crazy summer’s theme. “Big Brother” is a popular television show that airs on CBS, combining elements of both a reality TV show and a game show as contestants are forced to stay secluded from the outside world in a house and battle to be one of the final two left, all for a chance at winning $500,000. This summer sees a cast of 17 contestants, including dance teacher Raven Walton, renovation consultant Matthew Clines, and rodeo clown Jason Dent.

Like every “Big Brother” summer, this summer will see, and has seen, a fair share of twists and surprises for both the viewers and the houseguests. And specifically, this summer revolves around the idea of temptations, with multiple temptations already showing up in the first few weeks. Yet, with each temptation comes a consequence, forcing contestants to weigh their options as they go further into the game with even greater temptations.

One such example includes the temptation that houseguests received on the very first day. Before the Head of Household (HOH) competition, which determines who will be able to nominate people to be evicted from the house in the coming week, houseguests had the opportunity to win $25,000 as long as they anonymously pressed a button. However, in doing so, season 18 runner-up Paul Abrahamian was allowed back into the house, and another houseguest (specifically, microbiologist Cameron Heard) had to be evicted on the same night.

These temptations do seem to keep the show interesting, yes? But, did the first temptation damage the season?

Photo courtesy of CBS
Contestant Paul Abrahamian was known as a great competitor during his previous season. Yet, has his opportunity to come back after all that time in the “Big Brother” house ruined the chance for other houseguests to win?

After Abrahamian’s entrance into the house, another temptation was revealed. Called the “Den of Temptation,” this three-week event allowed viewers to vote on who to secretly tempt in the house each week with an advantage in the game, but meant their fellow houseguests would have to pay the price. The first temptation that was offered was the “Pendant of Protection,” which provided the receiver with three automatic weeks of safety inside the “Big Brother” house. And who won that first week? You guessed it – Abrahamian.

At first glance, it seems like this is just America hoping to keep Abrahamian in the game longer. Yet, in doing so, there are major consequences. First off, Abrahamian made it to the finale in his season last summer, which already made him a large threat in the house. And now, he is given three weeks of unfettered safety – this means that houseguests who have barely gotten an opportunity to play the game, and who may have gotten no rewards (while Abrahamian took home $50,000 as the runner up last summer) are forced to leave because there is no one else to choose. There has been speculation whether that temptation was rigged in Abrahamian’s favor, and if so, the game has become that much tougher for this season’s houseguests.

However, the consequences stem even further into the gameplay and quality of the show. With Abrahamian having been kept safe for the past three weeks, he has built immensely close bonds with the house and is essentially controlling a large majority of the houseguests. Rather than seeing any divisive gameplay by potentially strong contestants, all viewers get is confirmation that contestants seem to be handing Abrahamian $500,000. Take the second HOH competition, for example – during the competition, in which many would hope to become the HOH and have safety for the week, many of the contestants were simply helping Abrahamian do what he had to do to win, and in doing so made him HOH for the week. As HOH, Abrahamian was able to evict the only person who saw through his facade, contestant Cody Nickson.

Photo courtesy of CBS
Contestant Jessica Graf won this week’s HOH competition. Could this, and her close relationship with Nickson, be the spark the house needs to shake things up?

If the game continues like so, and if contestants continue to seemingly praise Abrahamian for his decisions and as their leader, this season could be the most unsurprising yet. However, there is still hope. With Abrahamian’s three weeks of safety finally ending, we’ll be able to see how likely the rest of the houseguests are to continue falling under Abrahamian’s spell. And, after the recent “Battle Back” competition, in which the four previously evicted houseguests had the chance to battle back for one of them to re-enter the house, Nickson won and has now rejoined the game. On top of that, according to CBS’s All-Access Live Feeds of the “Big Brother” house, the results of tonight’s HOH competition have been revealed, with Nickson’s closest ally and potential Big Brother “showmance” Jessica Graf becoming the HOH for the week. Graf has also nominated contestants Josh Martinez and Ramses Soto for eviction, and while this move doesn’t completely hinder Abrahamian’s game, with Graf and Nickson in power, the dynamic in the house could definitely be changed. This means that the coming week of “Big Brother” could be an extremely pivotal one for the season, and will affect how the rest of the season plays out.

All in all, this season could take two very distinct routes: either the game continues as it has for the past few weeks, and the houseguests blindly give Abrahamian a path to victory, or this week’s HOH could finally stir the pot and give others a chance at the $500,000. That being said, there are still many more weeks, many more nominations, many more evictions, and many more twists left to go. Will this season be the most or least exciting season of “Big Brother” yet? Only time will tell.