Okay, maybe it’s not Julie Chen that’s throwing shade — it’s one of the producers or whomever designed the set that’s giving a little bit of a jab to the perpetual Big Brother bridesmaid.
In advance of the Big Brother 20 premiere, Chen gave her traditional house tour to The Hollywood Reporter. Fitting with this year’s theme of interactivity, technology (or whatever), there are 3D-printed game consoles in the fishtank. In the video, Chen pointed out her “favourite” one.
“My favourite game is called ‘Friendship.’ You never win this game. You always come in second place, just like Paul, whose image is on the side of the game console.”
In general, I think it’s bad karma to speak ill of anyone, especially someone you don’t actually know. But it’s safe to say Paul was a character on Big Brother, the only person ever to come in second place twice, two years in a row. Over the course of Big Brother 19 he proved to be a particularly manipulative player, who lied with abandon, while making the entire house feel he was their ride or die.
Of course, there’s an argument to be made that making people believe you’re their friend is part of the game on Big Brother. But Abrahamian took it to a whole new level, evidenced by the fact that the jury voted against him — not once, but twice. His gameplay, and the other houseguests’ response, showed the dangers inherent in being locked in isolation with a small group of people with no outside influence. It’s a game, but it has very real psychological effects. It is group think come to life.
Big Brother 20 won’t feature Paul (we can hope) except symbolically in the fishtank. But maybe the new crop of houseguests will have learned from his past deceptions, and remember to think independently as much as possible. You need allies on Big Brother, but you also need to leave the house and re-enter the real world without regret.