Enter the Dumb

Remember those whacky BB Takeovers? No? Get ready for a takeover? The frantic drum fill, the Mark Hoppus-esque vocal delivery? That thing? This. Listen, I wouldn’t blame you if you forgot. I think Big Brother forgot too.

This is not their official statement, though. According to Julie Chen, they stopped the Takeovers because too many things were going on, and it muddled the viewing experience. Right on. Fair enough. I actually thought it was pretty cool that Big Brother had the perspicacity to admit failure and adapt accordingly.[1] I was quite pleased the Takeovers stopped.

Why are we talking about this, then? Well, since this season is wrapping up, I’ve been thinking a lot about the annual House of Mirrors End of the Season Awards. And when I got to the award for Best BB Takeover, the answer was abundantly obvious to me. It was not even marginally difficult for me to give out this award. But I knew the public would not understand and rightfully so: This warrants justification.

So without further ado, I will now make a case for Gronk Week as the best Takeover week.

I know, I know: Gronk Week? Are you for real, Justin? I am indeed for real. Gronk Week was my jam! OK, let’s dial this back: Gronk Week was dumb. You’re right. Shower parties, conga lines, “It’s midnight—give someone to kiss”—dumb.

But every Takeover was dumb, right? The Amazing Race Takeover put two quasi-public people with a quasi-relationship into the game. It created an imbalance in the house[2] that I don’t think ever really paid off.  The Kathy Griffith Takeover happened too early in the game to have an effect on the vote. And then there was 90’s Week. Does that even count? Wikipedia says it doesn’t.

In stark contrast to its predecessors, Gronk Week never pretended to be a seismic gamechanger. Gronk Week understood that it was inane, and that self-awareness was liberating. There was something Kafkaesque, something profound in the stupidity of Gronk Week.

Take for example Gronk’s Party Ship luxury competition, easily the single worst competition I have ever seen on Big Brother.

Here it is: There are five Solo cups on a table stationed before a humongous Gronk banner. At the bottom of one of the cups is a chip that grants the lucky winner a cabin on Gronk’s party cruise. What is in the cups? Who can say? I assume it’s not a clear beverage, but that’s about all I could offer. Meg, Vanessa, Austin, Jason, and Johnny Mac materialize in an inexplicable formation. They chug. Meg has the chip. She wins.

I watched this competition eight times. Not unlike trying to make sense of 2001: A Space Odyssey, I felt tantalizingly close to understanding it, yet something eluded me. It was my fault. That was clear. Somewhere in this competition was the answer, and once I figured out what that answer was, I would understand the secrets of the universe.  I kept thinking, “This can’t be as asinine as I think it is.”

Nope. Turns it this competition was just a simple pick a chip out of a hat affair with a complimentary drink. Oh yeah,and it lasted ten seconds. Ten seconds! We then get waylaid by a time-lapse of sunlight fading in the backyard. The sliding glass door opens. “OK, everyone it’s time for the Veto meeting,” says Johnny Mac.

What the hell did I just watch? I’ll tell you what I watched: the best BB Takeover of Big Brother 17! Say it with me: Gronk, Gronk, Gronk, Gronk, Gronk . . .

Who the fuck is Gronk, again?


Now That’s What I Call Out of Context Quotes Volume 6

Becky: “[W]hen I grew up, I wanna be Meg.”

James: “Wow, Meg. You’re lookin’ real hot. I knew you’s trouble when you first walked in. Lookin’ like Taylor Swift—for a country boy like me, she’s definitely takin’ a bite of my cake.”

Meg: “Duh, I’m obsessed with skee-ball.”

Steve: “Oh, I got a Build a Bear too once in fourth grade. He was a cheetah. And I named him Mr. Pizzazz.”

James: “Screaming trees are real crazy.”

Big Brother Production: “Meg, stop impersonating production.”

Jace: “Dude I have never streaked before. It’s a dream of mine.”

Liz: “No more Mr. Nice Girl.”

Johnny Mac: “Sometimes in life you’re, like, partyin’ and you end up in a shower with 14 other people and you’re the only one with the hoodie on and you’re like, ‘This is awkward.’”

Austin: “Here lies Grandma Meg Garfunkel MacDonald, founder of Irish Spring, inheritor of Chef Boyardee, mother to Oscar Dave Garfunkel Macdonald II, grandmother to Oscar Boy Garfunkel MacDonald III. May she rest in eternal peace.”


[1] Let’s hope the finally see the failure that is Battle of Block. I can’t go through that again.

[2] To their credit, Jeff and Jackie did a pretty good job of downplaying their closeness. But nonetheless, they were still viewed as a duo.