I Played 'Big Brother' & Lived To Talk About It
I have hypnotically watched, and incessantly talked about, Big Brother for the last 12 seasons (no one liked/watched/remembers the inaugural season which let America vote to evict). So when CBS asked if I'd like to temporarily move in to the house and play an expedited version of the game (one week's worth of competitions, nominations and oustings), my subsequent freakout made Jen's oven mitt debacle of '07 look tame.
OK, cards on the table -- I initially balked because I had spent the last 11 years talking a big game to my friends. Declaring that I would dominate Big Brother since no physical prowess was actually required and all I needed to do was observe and manipulate my way to the top. But what if I was wrong? What if the strategy I'd been planning in my head for more than a decade was completely off-base and left me looking like a punk once I actually stepped foot inside the house?
Well, that was a risk I decided to take and moved into the Big Brother 14 house on June 22. And not only was the experience everything I wanted, and more -- but I learned so much about the game I've come to adore.
Most notably, it's exhausting. You don't realize how mentally and physically taxing Big Brother is until you're surrounded by the swirl of paranoia that comes from constant strategizing, theorizing, competing, planning and stressing. But it's also energizing. Hearing a camera zoom in on you while quietly plotting with an alliance member fills you with an insanely unexpected amount of jubilation.
The other glaring thing I realized after watching my 12 hour experience truncated into a 20 minute clip is just how much gets left on the editing room floor. Obviously this goes without saying given the time constraints, but after hearing reality show contestants bemoan "the sh*t you didn't see" for years, I finally understand what it's like to hear yourself taken out of context, see other people talking crap about you and have excellent experiences (or experiences you perceived as excellent while immersed in the game) completely excluded in the final edit.
But I wouldn't trade this opportunity for half a million dollars since stepping into your favorite reality show is something every fan should experience at least once in their life and, most importantly, I totally dominated. As expected. OK, as hoped. Watch!
Big Brother 14 premieres July 12 at 9 p.m. on CBS.