Thursday, September 19, 2019

The Big Brother 19 Cast in Retrospect

Image result for big brother 19 jury

Two years ago I went over why Big Brother 19 was hard to watch, and why, as a result, I thought that Cody should win America's Favorite Player. With Big Brother 21 wrapping up in a week, I figured now might be a good time to take a look back at what was (before BB21) perhaps the most controversial cast in Big Brother history. 

For the purpose of this article I will only be analyzing the Big Brother 19 cast members who I thought were particularly controversial, close to Paul, and made it to jury. 

With that said, let's begin with everyone's favorite...


  Image result for paul bb19

Paul should have won Big Brother 19 . The extent to which he controlled the house was downright impressive. That said, he wasn't very likable. 

His overconfidence made him a great player, but it also made his game annoying to watch. How many times did we have to hear Paul lecture at another houseguest with something like "no homie, that's not how BB is played. This is how it's played..."?

Every time he did this he stifled the gameplay of other people in his alliance. Of course, we can't put all of the blame on Paul here. After all, the other houseguests are at fault for believing him.

Paul's ability to manipulate reminded me of BB17's Vanessa Rousso. But what Vanessa didn't have was a group of adoring fans in the house, which Paul definitely had due to him being a returning player.


  Image result for christmas bb19

Christmas was an enigma. She was simultaneously easy to root for and hard to watch.

Her problem was much like Paul's: she was supremely overconfident, probably because she was already a minor celebrity. But unlike Paul, she didn't do much in the game to justify her haughtiness. 

Christmas, as most live feed viewers will know, had a penchant for acting as the "peanut gallery" in the various bullying bashes that occurred that summer. Whenever Paul argued with another member of the cast, Christmas was there in the background throwing jabs at whoever Paul's target was. 

She was also one of the ring-leaders when it came to encouraging the house to harass Cody and Jessica for nearly an hour. 

At the end of the day, some of this could be forgiven had Christmas been playing her own game. Unfortunately, she played Paul's. 

Image result for josh bb19
Josh's gameplay in a nutshell.


Josh, the winner of Big Brother 19, also played Paul's game. But what was especially annoying about Josh was that he had several moments of "clarity" where he realized that Paul was running the game, and yet never did anything about it. 

Like Christmas, Josh had a penchant for doing Paul's dirty work. Mostly, this came in the form of harassing other houseguests, and then retreating when they fought back.

All that said, there was something endearing about Josh. In some ways he was easy to root for because of how far he made it, despite his volatile personality. But it was hard for many to fully throw their support behind him because he wasn't really playing his own game.


  Image result for alex bb19

Alex was the self-proclaimed "Queen of Petty," and for good reason. She's constantly berated people for the smallest things. For example, she chewed Jessica out for hiding her Cat Ears (Raven did that), howled at Cody for eating her cereal (which she said he could eat), and ripped Mark to shreds for taking one of her pillows (even after he apologized).

Alex said some nasty things about Paul's targets. She went after Cody, his military service, his daughter, and his religion. She also said several disgusting things about Kevin. 

Indeed, going over the litany of insults Alex lobbed at other houseguests (usually behind their backs) would probably make this article far longer than I want it to be.


  Image result for jason bb19

Jason came across as a likable guy with a decent personality. He gets points for being the only Paul follower who treated Kevin with some amount of humanity.

Most however, still thought that he was unlikable. This was primarily because he couldn't see through Alex, and in turn, Paul. 

Jason also had a strange fondness for offensive jokes and comments about women that I won't repeat here. If you want, you can probably find them on Google. 

Jason had the opportunity to "wake up" in the game with his final HoH. Instead, he chose to continue playing Paul's game, regardless of the fact that it would lead to his own eviction. 

Despite Jason's gullibility, he was very good at winning competitions. This made him Paul's #1 target. Unfortunately for Jason, he never had the opportunity to do anything about that. 


  Image result for kevin bb19

Kevin was, of the final seven, most likely to win America's Favorite Player, though I argued at the time that Cody deserved it more than he did. Though it is true that the intricacies of Big Brother consistently eluded Kevin, he made up for that by being an endearing character.

His gameplay had many flaws: he blindly followed Paul, couldn't keep a secret, and did a terrible job of making other houseguests less suspicious of him. He was also pretty bad at competitions.

But one thing that Kevin had going for him was his basic human decency. Even when he supremely disliked someone, he tried to make amends with them. This is perhaps best exemplified by his interactions with Cody a few days before the former marine's second eviction.

Unfortunately for Kevin, his tendency to establish a rapport with those about to leave the house convinced Paul and his core followers that he was someone who needed to be eliminated. 

Closing Thoughts

Without a doubt, Big Brother 19 was one of the most controversial seasons of Big Brother in recent years. The cast was particularly toxic, with most participating in an uncomfortable amount of harassment and bullying. Though two years have passed, my assessment of most of these houseguests remains pretty much the same. We shall see if something similar occurs with how I view Big Brother 21, which, as many of you know, contained as much (if not more) harassment and bullying as Big Brother 19.

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About The Author

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Nicholas Garcia (M.A.) is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Davis. He is also a Co-Founder of the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies. Previously, he contributed to and the Davis Humanities Institute.