The Joys and Pains of Big Brother 22 All Stars 2
Warning: This article does contain a bit of Feeds Spoilers that have not caught up to the episodes yet, and potentially may not even get shown in future episodes.
After 12 years, America’s Favorite Player from BB10, Keesha Smith, returned to the game to compete on Big Brother All-Stars 2. For long-time fans, being able to see and enjoy her presence on this show and see how she’s changed/stayed the same is an exhilarating idea. Unfortunately, as it stands, Keesha is sitting on the Block for the first eviction and is there is a good chance she is going to be the first evicted houseguest this season.
Now, there is still a chance things in the house and some flips vote one way versus another, and Keesha squeaks out a 7–6 or even an 8–5 vote to stay in favor or Kevin Campbell. However, losing Kevin would be just as massive of a loss, if not bigger. Kevin is the only LGBTQ male on the season, is one of the few men of color, and was someone who deserved to win his original season and has the potential to go far on this season should he survive this eviction. We are in a lose-lose situation, and let me tell you this; we are going to be in a lose-lose situation for a majority of this season. I’ve fallen back in love with Kaysar and Janelle and know that there’s a high possibility they could be get put on the Block at any moment.
The best part about an All-Stars season is that you don’t have to worry about players like Analyse Talavera or Matt Clines only existing as wallpaper until jury. These are people who understand how to play Big Brother, kill their DR sessions, and, more importantly, don’t suck. We are going to be in for a ton of surprises this season. The biggest fish (Janelle, Nicole F, Ian, Tyler) will have massive targets on their back that will force them to compete hard in competitions to survive. Likewise, players like Christmas and David may thrive since people expect so little out of them.
When watching this season, the immediate comparison is Survivor Winners at War. On that season, the first two players voted were individuals perceived to be part of inseparable pairs: Boston Rob and Amber (Married), and Jeremy and Natalie (friends, Natalie is Godmother to one of Jeremy’s kids). This season, Kaysar and Janelle are likely to get targetted, and winners Nicole F and Ian are likely to find themselves on the block together. From there, the players that will go will be the ones who aren’t able to adapt or those with the biggest targets.
On Survivor, almost every vote out was literal heartache, and I expect the same for this season of Big Brother 22. Yet, it makes the show feel like it matters. I’ll be honest in saying that I’m someone who generally binges Big Brother 2–4 weeks at a time since most episodes feel meaningless. Not All-Stars. I am watching Feeds here and there, keeping up with Reddit, and even watching the live episodes on fishy East Coast Online Streams since I’m three hours behind. Being able to watch Kaysar and Ian have a serious conversation where they talk about being on the Autism spectrum, and being able to connect is so special.
Watching Janelle do Nicole A’s make-up and have late-night talks when their seasons were fifteen years apart is a remarkable moment for long-time fans of the show. They get to see America’s Original Favorite Player interact with the most recent AFP. Even better, the same fans jumping for joy over this moment will be incredibly upset when they find out that Nicole A is feeding the info given to her by Janelle to the opposing alliance! What matters about all of this is that fans care about this season regardless of the outcomes (good or bad). There is no apathy, and there is no indifference.
Yes, there are some grievances regarding the people not cast for this season and against the bigger idea of “pre-gaming.” Yet, I can’t help but feel that in the modern BB world where Social Media and Live Events have kept people from various seasons so connected that pre-gaming is inevitable. Likewise, while this season doesn’t have some of the “Big Fish” like Dan or Vanessa, we’ve been given some under the radar gems, which I never expected to see on my TV again (Kaysar, Memphis, Keesha, Kevin). As much as we want the perfect cast and the perfect game scenarios, we have to accept that we are currently living in a very imperfect time, and at least we have something that we can invest our time in to distract from the world outside (also, stay inside, be safe).
For the next couple of months, we will get glued to our Televisions filled with laughter, hate, and love. Also, thank you, Big Brother Gods, for giving us Enzo again, he has been a massive highlight on the Live Feeds.