On reality shows, "backstabbing" has always been used as a figurative term. Tuesday night, that term brought new meaning as Justin threatened Krista with a knife. He said he was joking, but does the public really want to watch this kind of behavior? Should the other Houseguests have to put up with it?
CBS's sequel to last year's infamous Big Brother, Big Brother II, now appears to be more infamous than last year. Last year it was well-known for being 'boring' -- this year it is over the top. On Tuesday evening, July 10, the houseguest from New Jersey, Justin, threatened one of the other houseguests with a kitchen knife, which he held to her throat. Despite repeated warnings of being kicked off the show, this violent and threatening houseguest has been allowed to continue on the show to a round of incredulous protests by the houseguests and viewers alike.
Tuesday night's television show displayed little tension in the house beyond some tussles over personal property. The television show is heavily edited and presents only about forty minutes of material garnered from the previous week.
As last year, the houseguests' activity is being broadcast live on the internet through the use of the Real Player's live feeds. Contrary to last year, however, the live feeds are not free. Viewers of the live action must pay up to $20 for access -- and it is through the live feeds that you see what is really happening.
And a lot is happening. Not only can we see every transgression, but like a movie that you cannot stop, viewers are powerless to help any of the other houseguests that may be in danger. Justin's behavior continues to deteriorate. He was shown on the Tuesday television show violating Kent's personal space by going in his belongings. He has spoken about humiliating woman and use racial slurs. Late Tuesday he was shown urinating in the yard by the live internet camera. The activity became more outrageous until the threat was made with the knife -- which he actually held to the throat of Krista, a small woman from the South. While Krista did not appear frightened and seemed to take it all in stride as a joke, the behavior shocked not only the houseguests and viewers, but the Big Brother producers as well, who called Justin into the private 'diary room' for sessions with the show's psychologist who was summoned to deal with the late night crisis.
Hardy, an independent-minded houseguest who is built like a tank and could easily overpower the New Jersey guy, refuses to use violence but was incensed at Justin's behavior and threatened to walk out on Wednesday if Justin was not censured by either the houseguests or CBS. He appears to mean it, unfortunately -- since he appears to be one of the few houseguests that can stand his or her ground and does not cave in at the slightest threat of a negative vote.
Tuesday night house activity found shouting matches, cat fights, drunkenness, and vindictive backbiting, along with crying episodes from men and women alike. The houseguests this year appear to be reduced to animals. We joked last year when we called them hamsters -- this year they seem like rats in a cage.
It's clear that the show cannot continue on like this -- something's got to give. Hardy might walk out -- or more of them might walk out. Justin may be booted, finally. Wednesday promises a tense day with no obvious solution in sight. Viewers on the whole cannot be expected to watch someone be threatened, whether it be on the live internet camera or on television.