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Warning! The following contains spoilers for Big Brother 21. Read at your own risk!
The Big Brother house has been rocking with drama ever since the end of Wednesday's episode, as Nicole Anthony and Cliff Hogg III are going back and forth on whether to evict Tommy Bracco or Holly Allen from the house.That's largely thanks to Jackson Michie, who planted a seed of doubt in Cliff's mind and then made things even more complicated with a very elaborate lie. Live feeders were hanging on every bit of the drama hour by hour, until CBS pulled the plug.
Yep, just when it seemed like there was about to be a throwdown between all the HouseGuests in a pivotal house meeting, Big Brother cut the live feed to fish and have kept the feeds from covering the events of the Big Brother house for an hour and counting.
Now, it's obvious why CBS is keeping viewers out of the live feeds at the moment. This is a crucial eviction vote, and the Big Brother team is doing all it can to keep the audience from figuring out which way Cliff and Nicole are leaning ahead of Thursday's live eviction. Keeping the live feeders in the dark means they'll have to tune in to see the result and to see what drama ensued in this big house meeting.
The real question is though, is Big Brother right in doing that? Viewers pay for a live feed subscription, and to see the many things on the show that don't make it to air. It's understandable if spontaneous nudity or emergency situations are cut to protect the HouseGuests' privacy from prying eyes on the internet, but it definitely feels unethical to deprive viewers of a moment that is essentially the point of the game. If Big Brother is cutting actual relevant gameplay from feeds, then what's the point of watching live?
This is especially true when this cut moment includes two consistent front-runners for America's Favorite HouseGuest. In keeping live feeds free of the uncensored house meeting, Big Brother is allowed to control the narrative and edit the meeting to then broadcast to viewers however they please. That means certain things said that escalate HouseGuests' reactions may be cut, or controversial things may be said that will later influence HouseGuests' decisions with little context.
Beyond that, moments like these spark conspiracy theories in which fans are convinced Big Brother is one big fix with production instructing HouseGuests on their next move. Not to give those theories too much weight, but when live feeds are frequently cut during major gameplay decisions and not when HouseGuests are being racist or getting in physical confrontations, what else are viewers supposed to believe? It's making those who paid to watch drama mad, and something CBS should re-evaluate with live feeds now being a part of a CBS All Access subscription.
Big Brother airs on CBS Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET and Sundays and Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more updates on the competition and for the latest news happening in the world of television and movies.