Matt Talking Big Brother!

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Matt Talking Big Brother!

Hamsterwatch All-Stars

Many of you already know there are a number of folks who are well-known outside of BB circles who are Hamsterwatchers and Big Brother fans in general.. in this pre-season time of first impressions and predictions, I thought it would be fun to get some of their thoughts about our new cast and season

Let’s start with introductions

Chrishell Stause: Hey! People always think they know me from somewhere but usually it just means you have seen me on one of your favorite soap operas. I have been on All My Children, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless respectively.

Matt Iseman:
I’m host of American Ninja Warrior and winner of the New Celebrity Apprentice.

Dana Swearingen: Hellllo! Most Big Brother fans know me from my cast interviews at my K-FROG days with Kelli. Now I’m working at a nationally syndicated country show called The Big Time With Whitney Allen, where I’ve continued my Big Brother coverage.

Andy Dehnart: I’m best known as writer of reality blurred, a site I created 17 years ago to track reality TV news. You may also know me because Ian talked about me while swinging on that creaky hammock: specifically, they talked about these casting documents I published. I’m also the journalist who published the Big Brother cast contract, and wrote about touring the house while the game was being played, where I observed everything from Rachel’s hair extensions to the horrific smell of the kitchen.

How long have you been watching Big Brother, and do you watch the CBS shows, the feeds, After Dark, or a combination?

Chrishell: I have been watching Big Brother since a friend got me into it back in the Will and Boogie days. So I go way back. Each season is different of how involved I watch depending on the cast. But I have been known to watch all forms of BB when it is great!

Matt: I’m a BB Live Feeder who came to it in season 14. Seeing Dan Gheesling’s funeral move made me a fan for life, but I still think Derrick Levasseur is the most dominant player I’ve ever seen (with respect to Evel Dick as I still have to go back and watch those seasons ;). Very excited about this cast and this season because I have a whole new appreciation for the houseguests after being a contestant on Apprentice myself… it is so much easier watching than doing. But that’s why I love watching BB.

Dana: I’ve been watching Big Brother since Eddie hopped out that door a winner! I’ve been obsessed since the beginning. I wouldn’t call myself a super fan, but a lazy super fan because I could not tell you who won Power of Veto season 7, week 5, day whatever. I used to follow the live feeds via Twitter thanks to of course Hamsterwatch, but after I started coverage, I watched live feeds and now that’s it, I’m addicted.

Andy: I’ve watched Big Brother since season one, day one. I watched the live feeds the most during season two, and have only checked in on the feeds sporadically since, usually via After Dark. I’ve been inside the house. I tend to watch every episode for the first few weeks, and then decide whether to keep watching – or what episodes to watch – based on what’s happening in the house. I follow our beloved @hamsterwatch and rely on her and the rest of you awesome and crazy feedsters to keep me apprised of what I should know.

What are your general thoughts about the new cast as a whole, and are there any stand-outs you’re looking forward to?

Chrishell: This new cast seems promising. Early stand-outs for me are Mark, Christmas, Kevin, Alex, and Matthew. Mark may not have what it takes to win because he seems so nice, but I think it will be fun to watch him play. Christmas seems like an overall badass and she is my definite pick of females to win. Kevin and Matthew I believe will both have strong social games but we shall see if they have the rest to take it all the way or not. And Ramses I just love so I will give him my dark horse vote.

Matt: It’s looking like another phenomenal summer… while I like good game play, I really enjoy the slow-motion trainwreck as someone’s game goes careening off the rails into a fiery explosion. Even better is when they’re sitting in the driver seat thinking they’re riding to victory, sounding the whistle, calling themselves the Messiah.

As a viewer, I think his cast has a lot of potential because it seems there are some more mature members which could lead to some fantastic, long-term game play and an incredible social game. I’m really hoping to see some strong play out of “Boston Kevin,” or as I fear he will be called, “Old Kevin.” He seems like the guy in the house everyone’s going to like, kind of the father figure. But, ultimately, I think this is a young(er) person’s game and they’ll send him to the bench.

As an excitable person myself, I love the enthusiasm of Josh Martinez, and, as a fan, I love that he has full first week overplay potential. I think his catchphrase is going to be “It’s just BUSINESS!” or “I gave him the BUSINESS!” This guy is coming in way too hot and I like it. Every time he practically leapt off the couch talking to Jeff, I felt the target growing on his back. I hope he watched Paul last season who executed a remarkable turnaround: he went from the cusp of talking himself right out of the house to forming some of the strongest alliances in the game. Do not follow in the footsteps of Jozea… actually, please do.

Cody Nickson could be phenomenally entertaining through his trolling-levels of apathy. He just doesn’t seem like he’ll enjoy living in a house with 15 strangers for 3 months. Which is why I’m not sure he’ll make it 3 months. But I think he’ll be a great foil to the “Superfans.”

Speaking of which, Ramses and Cameron seem to be vying for the super smart superfan role, although I’m not sure why the shorthand for genius now seems to be “able to solve a Rubik’s cube.” Dominique Cooper could be a force, but, if she wants to be #DominiqueTheDominator I think she needs to realize her bubbly factor is reaching critical levels. Big personalities wear people out over 3 months. I’d love to see her and Boston Kevin form an alliance because I think they’d have a great Yin & Yang with two types of charm.

If I’m actually trying to figure out who has a shot, my two stand-outs were Christmas Abbot and Whistlenut (I shall never again call him Jason Dent). Abbott will have to contend with being an obvious physical presence, but I thought she had a phenomenal blend of charisma and self-control that should suit her well in the game. Everybody loves Christmas. And Whistlenut looks like someone combined the best parts of Andy and Beast Mode Cowboy: he’s walking in utterly clueless about the game but he struck me as the most likable and genuine cast member who could be a physical presence that everyone just loves to have around. Without strategy, not sure he could win it all, but I could see his social game taking him far.

Ultimately, I have no idea what’s going to happen or how anyone will play and that is exactly why I watch.

Dana: I actually really like the cast this year. I like how diverse the age groups are. I would have liked to see a little more diversity in body image, we always watch the buff beauties but I wanted some more average joes! I’ll wait until the live feeds until I form an opinion about cast members.

Andy: I should say up front that Robyn Kass blocked me on Twitter, perhaps because I’m often critical of the casting decisions the show makes. That’s because I know CBS reality shows are capable of finding great characters, as they do on Survivor and Amazing Race, yet Big Brother often gets stuck with people who don’t want to play, or bring very little into the house.

Okay, now the positive: This cast looks great on paper, and a solid improvement. I’m particularly glad Kevin is on the cast. Big Brother casts — including this one — need more diversity, because diversity makes for better television, and that includes diversity in age, so it’s great there will be someone over 50. Renny and Jerry were amazing characters — I still watch this whenever I need to laugh, and it always works. More of that, please!

Which of the many aspects of BB do you like most?

Chrishell: My favorite thing about BB is that there never is one thing that can win you the money. I always like watching the strategizers come in thinking they are smarter than everyone and play too hard too quickly, and get booted. Rookie mistake.

Matt: The thing I most love about BB is the true sociological experiment that we get to witness as the houseguests are literally trapped together for 3 months. It is amazing to me to watch the mind games play out hyped up by the strange cocktail of utter boredom and total paranoia. It’s incredible to watch alliances form and fold as players often launch themselves into unrecoverable spins. It gives me such joy to sit in my bed in the middle of the night watching the Live Feeds on my phone to see players scheming together in real time, not realizing that they’re plotting their own demise. It is an incredible cocktail of endurance, strategy and human nature that gets me drunk every summer.

For me, Celebrity Apprentice was an absolute beast of a game that pushed me to my limits, but we weren’t on camera 24/7. I don’t think there’s any way I’d ever set foot in the BB house. If only because I’d miss watching it all on the Feeds and tweeting about it with all the other Hamsterwatchers.

Dana: What I like most about Big Brother is the social experiment. Watching the way people think and act when you, as viewer, can see if they said or did something differently, it would have worked out better. The goofy stuff on the feeds is always fun, and I’m on the fence on showmances. I love the commitment of the fans, especially when they shout over the wall, fly planes over the house, etc.

Andy: My favorite thing about Big Brother is its potential as a game of strategy and alliances played in close quarters, and with a structure that creates constant upheaval and swings of the power pendulum. A houseguest can be in charge one week and totally screwed the next. The height of this — and Brother — for me was in Big Brother 6, especially when Kaysar figured out the twist and used it to his advantage (before blowing it all, of course). It was a wonderful combination of strategy, relationships, and paranoia, and that season just kept delivering.

I’d love to see more of a pure game of Big Brother – no twists that give some people crazy advantages, no coaches, no returnees. Maybe even no HOH! I think the raw format has a lot of untapped potential, and I’m hopeful for this season, as I always am at this time of year!

HUGE THANKS to my guests for participating in the first-ever Hamsterwatch All-Stars edition!

Article was originally written on Hamster Watch

Matt Iseman
Matt Iseman
I'm the host of American Ninja Warrior and I'm squaring off against 15 other celebrities, all representing their favorite charities while vying for the title of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
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