Why ‘Big Brother’ Isn’t As Real As You Want it To Be

While some viewers think there is underlying racism or ageism in every season of Big Brother, other hardcore fans outright believe the show is rigged; especially when someone their least favorite Houseguest will most likely win the competition.

Are they sore losers or is Big Brother rigged? Either way, it’s not as real as you want it to be.

Julie Chen Moonves Big Brother
Host Julie Chen Moonves | Robert Voets/CBS

Why do ‘Big Brother 21’ fans believe the season is rigged?

The rigging accusations started somewhat early this year during Week 4 when Jackson Michie was a Have-Not. If a Houseguest is selected to be a Have-Not, they must eat slop and take cold showers.

However, Live Feeders noticed Houseguests sneaking Michie food and allowed him to take hot showers in the HOH bathroom. Then, a Twitter account emerged, claiming to be Michie’s mom, saying she was suing CBS for how they were portraying her son.

Additionally, producers seemed to cut the Feeds at convenient times for Michie and didn’t air his fight with Tommy Bracco when he accused the Broadway dancer of saying something he never said. Because everything in the house plays out on the Live Feeds, viewers became extremely suspicious.

Currently, Michie is in the top three and won the first part of the final HOH competition. Again, fans are accusing production of rigging the contests in Michie’s favor as the final ones are usually mental and not physical, even though Part 1 on Big Brother 20 was an endurance competition.

FCC says ‘Big Brother’ is not a game show

Rigging accusations against Big Brother started in 2007 when several viewers did not want notorious Houseguest Dick Donato to win. Therefore, they complained to the FCC accusing the Big Brother production staff of helping Donato win the game.

The FCC responded and explained Big Brother is governed by the Department of Justice because it is “conducted by a network programmer.” Additionally, the email read, “Big Brother does not appear to meet the definition of a ‘game show.’ Rather, it is ‘for entertainment only’ program, somewhat similar to professional wrestling in that it is a pseudo-contest in which the outcome is fully, or in some measure, predetermined.”

Is ‘Big Brother’ rigged?

Some fans believe the FCC compared Big Brother to professional wrestling because the contestants are chosen, presumably to create the most drama in the house, instead of randomly selected, thus making it more of a reality show as opposed to a legitimate game show.

Others think it’s a flat-out lie because after 20 seasons of Big Brother if someone genuinely felt like the winner was predetermined and they never had a chance, they would sue.

Additionally, they believe if the game were rigged, then Houseguests like Vanessa Rousso and Paul Abrahamian would have won. However, when people apply for the show, they sign a contract saying they understand that “producers can deliberately and intentionally plan situations to cause anxiety, discomfort, embarrassment, anger, or shock.”

Therefore, Big Brother is not predetermined as producers do not select a winner from the start, but they can still guide the show by skewing competitions in someone’s favor, ensuring that Houseguest makes it as far as they want. However, the Jury always determines the winner.

Also, Houseguests do receive weekly stipends and bonuses based on how long they’ve survived in the house. This could explain why former Houseguests don’t file lawsuits because they were already compensated for the time they spent participating in the competition, even if they knew they weren’t going to win.

Regardless of the rigging accusations, Big Brother remains one of the highest watched shows in its time slot. Watch the Big Brother 21 finale on Wednesday, September 25 at 9:30 p.m. EST on CBS.