Good riddance to Celebrity Big Brother. (I’ll explain why in a second.) But most of all, good riddance to Omarosa Manigault. The evil queen of the Trump White House (“Every critic, every detractor will have to bow down to President Trump”) became the evil queen of Big Brother with ease. She swept into the house with a booming voice and a haughty demeanor, dripping contempt for her fellow “celebrities,” fresh from being evicted from Trump-land. She immediately began getting coverage from news organizations that would never otherwise look at Big Brother because of her withering comments about the president. (Implying Trump would get us into a nuclear war is one way to monopolize the margarita machine in the BB house.)
By Sunday night’s two-hour, close-out episode, Omarosa had become thoroughly repellent. Shortly before being (finally!) voted out of the house, she laid down a new batch of vague but dark Trump observations, insisting she was glad she was booted out of the White House because “I feel like I got freed off of a plantation.” (Of course, she declined to provide any examples of racism that might be useful to us.) She used her BB airtime to essentially pitch a book proposal — “I haven’t even told people some of the horrors I experienced” — and then started in on how deeply religious she is. She praised her co-housemate Ariadna Gutierrez for being “a believer” and offered “all praise to God” for her time spent in the Big Brother household, which I think may be a venial sin in Catholicism, but she doesn’t care about that anyway — she’s a Baptist.
You’ll excuse me if I refuse to find Omarosa’s cynical God-talk or her equally cynical criticisms of the Trump administration as either entertaining or brave truth-telling. If things inside the White House are as bad as she says, she ought to be testifying about this in a serious manner, in more serious precincts than a cheesy reality show. I’m glad the airwaves are rid of her, for the moment.
As for Celebrity Big Brother itself, the show came to a screeching halt with the completely ridiculous victory of Marissa Jaret Winokur over the person who played the game better by far, Ross Mathews. Marissa was an idiot to bring Ross with her into the final-two round — she should have brought Mark McGrath, because Mr. Sugar Ray was a lousy competitor and a nattering chatterbox. But then the jury of Marissa’s peers — i.e., all the other “celebrities” — was more idiotic than Marissa, thus propelling her to victory. The jury voted for Marissa because it thought she was more honest or loyal — or some vaguely positive quality — than Ross. With Ross’s loss, and Paul Abrahamian’s loss last summer, we have now entered into the Sentimental Era of Reality TV, in which fake-integrity and fake-sincerity is valued more than shrewdness, wit, and hard-charging gameplay. Phooey.
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