“Big Brother:” A contemporary labyrinth

Season 16 of the CBS series teaches fans to expect the unexpected


“Survivor” strands its participants in a remote settlement away from civilization. “Jersey Shore” experiments with young adults in a house at the beach. CBS’s “Big Brother” takes on the same theme, placing houseguests together for three consecutive months … so what exactly sets it apart from its peers?

The show is unique because it is a true social experiment. Contestants are forced to tolerate each other, form alliances, lie and backstab for a chance to win $500,000 prize.

The greatest challenge for the show’s competitors is being able to keep emotions in check without access to loved ones or access to technology. This show creates a microcosm of society, forcing people to show their true colors.

Currently, the 16th season is shaping up to be uneventful. A big alliance has dominated the game for the past two months and game play has been rather lackluster. Some notable houseguests who have gained recognition outside of the game include Ariana Grande’s older brother Frankie Grande, who appears to be the star of the season. Derrick Levasseur, a police officer, has not experienced any threat to his game this summer, having never reached the chopping block — but he has come close to being evicted. The rest of the house guests do not know he is a police officer, which makes his position all the more fascinating. At this point, Derrick seems poised to win the game scot-free.

Donny Thompson, a school groundskeeper, has stolen the heart of fans, and his humble demeanor makes him hard to dislike. He was the house target since day one, but this underdog has managed to win multiple competitions to ensure his safety week after week. Lastly, Zack Rance (or “Zack Attack”), an unemployed college graduate, became the life of the party and the entertainment in the house. With his constant dance moves and close friendship with Frankie, anticipating what Zack will do next is a game in itself.

Though this season appears very predictable, one thing remains clear: People will do just about anything to win some money. Only one person will win the $500,000 prize. After 14 years, fans keep coming back because the show and its characters are addicting. Fans follow their favorite competitors, rooting for them to succeed in this labyrinth of greed and betrayal.

The “Big Brother 16” finale airs Sept. 24 on CBS.

related stories