Big Brother started last night, and while we're more than a little bit excited about it, we're slightly skeptical about what twists might lie ahead for us. Big Brother has done us wrong many a time before, so we're worried that this "clique" theme might be a dud. The contestants were selected because they were either popular kids, brainiacs or outcasts or jocks and they'll have to play in their respective teams. Great, it's just like high school all over again. Plus, bringing back a former contestant as the 13th contestant? And that person is Jessie? We're consoling ourselves with the fact that he'll probably be out of the mix in a heartbeat because who'd be silly enough to keep a known quantity around? Anyway, it got us thinking about some other twists on reality shows that turned out to be big old duds.
1. Big Brother -- Summer of Secrets
It was actually a great concept to bring in players with secret partners, but it fizzled as everyone figured out the pairs really, really quickly. At least it was less morally reprehensible than the prior season's attempt to introduce a half-brother and half-sister who were previously unaware of each other's existence. Oh, who are we kidding, we loved watching that tasteless drama unfold, especially since there was no mushy reunion to go with it. "Secrets" was far more tedious as once the couples were revealed, everyone just sort of joined alliances and went about the game as normal. And this season also had the wasted opportunity of letting America vote a houseguest back in. Might have been cool, if Kaysar hadn't been a moron.
2. American Idol -- The Judges' Save
This is the top rated show on TV so why go and mess with it? This past season, in addition to the useless addition of Kara, they also introduced the pointless Judges' Save, which allowed the four critical minds to save one finalist with the lowest votes, one time during the season. But having the American public still be able to vote out two people the following week, and then still leaving the ultimate deciding power in the hands of the masses, rendered this pretty much null and void. Matt Giraud may have gotten an extra couple weeks but it didn't help him much in the long run.
3. Survivor -- Four Teams
We hope BB's clique idea turns out better than the two times that Survivor unwisely decided to split up the players into four tribes, instead of the usual two. Because the Exile Island season where the teams were divvied up via age and sex lasted for about a minute. At least it wasn't as offensive as the Cook Islands season where people were divided into four groups by their ethnicity. What moron thought that was a good idea? Again, the tribes merged pretty quickly, which made it even more ridiculous and unnecessary.
4. Apprentice -- Haves vs. Have Nots
We're still not entirely sure what camping had to do with determining someone's business acumen, though after seeing the celebrity editions, we're not sure actual work skills really matter that much to Donald Trump. Watching people scrub up in basins and try to keep tents up, while others lounged by the pool, only made the Los Angeles edition of this normally New York-based show even more pointless.
5. Amazing Race -- Non-Elimination, No Money, No Clothing
This twist went for several seasons, but we never really enjoyed it. The contestants who came in last during non-elimination legs were stripped of all their money (and in later editions any clothing that wasn't on their person when they reached the mat), which forced them to beg for cash from their fellow contestants or the people in the poverty-stricken countries they were in. Sure it shows the kindness of strangers, but it is also ridiculous to ask passersby for cash so that American idiots can compete in a game show. And the seasons where the contestants knew they might lose their clothes just made the whole thing laughable, as they piled on layers and layers of belongings on the off-chance they might land in last place.
6. Project Runway -- Designs for Moms
This show loves to throw unique challenges at the players, but the season three task to have the designers come up with clothes for each other's mothers was the most painful thing we've seen on that show (and that's saying a lot). Seeing Jeffrey make Angela's mother cry because she isn't a size 0 model is just uncool. Yes, the designers should have to test out their clothes on real-world women, but we much prefer when relatives are left out of the mix. Especially when there are assholes like Jeffrey in the game.
7. Biggest Loser -- Off The Ranch
The Biggest Loser is a simple formula: take fat people, put them on a ranch, starve them, make them work out insane amounts of hours a day and then see huge weight loss results. While the teams and partnering mix-ups normally don't make much of a difference to us, this season they took low ranked teams and made them send one player home, and then let them earn the right to come back. What? If these people could lose pounds at home, they wouldn't need to be on this show at all.
8. Big Brother -- Soulmates
We love BB, and give them credit because they do try hard to come up with new ways to make watching people sit around a house for months on end more interesting, but the idea of forcing people into couples based on some inane compatibility test that determined they were "soulmates" and perfect love matches, was doomed from the get-go. Chemistry doesn't exactly work like that. Neither did this twist.
9. America's Next Top Model -- Transgender Contestant
We were so excited when Isis was announced as the first transgender model in training on America's Next Top Model, but her pictures weren't that great... so she never really went that far in the competition. She may have been groundbreaking for the show, but we'd love to have seen her strut her stuff into the finals to show the world what a transgender contestant can really do.
10. Survivor -- Outcast Tribe
There's a reason they only tried this gimmick once. The other contestants weren't thrilled by this "unfair" twist. We didn't care so much about fairness as much as the fact that we were relieved to be of these people the first time, and we weren't thrilled to have them come back again. Plus, isn't the idea of this game to "outlast" the competition?
There are many more twists that might have sounded decent on paper, but panned out poorly, but these were our least favorites. Leave the ones you think are totally lame below.
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