It’s weird days recently for one of TV’s already-weirdest reality franchises, as Big Brother—the human zoo in which people are kept drunk, bored, and on-camera until they either get voted out of the house, or reveal their most racist and sexist inner selves—lumbers forward through its 20th season on CBS. Desperate to build up ever-depleting buzz for itself, the series has never backed away from a big dumb twist, having previously featured secret saboteurs, bullshit “soulmates,” and multiple seasons with two identical twins playing as a single player. And yet, none of that information is likely to give you the necessary context to understand what the hell is going on in the following clip:
Okay, so, here’s what we can piece together: The eyebrow robot in question is being controlled by contestant Samantha Bledsoe, who lost a challenge earlier in the season, forcing her to spend half of her time in the house over the recent week in the form of a telepresence robot. It was all fun and games—and the sorts of “let’s marry a robot” bored shit that people deprived of all other forms of entertainment eventually get up to—until things started getting, as they say in the unscripted TV business, real, when man-bunned head of house Tyler put Sam up on the block to be voted out.
On the one hand, this is all extremely dumb, and dumb in the way where the show’s contestants clearly know they’re involved in farce, which means we don’t even get to feel nastily superior by thinking they’re not in on the absurdity of it all. On the other, though, it’s the sort of dumb where a dude sincerely stares into a giant emoji face and tells it that it’s holding its “robot hand,” so on the grand scale of Big Brother idiocy, we gotta say this falls pretty far on the side of the beautifully benign.
Rock on, Robot Sam. Please don’t turn out to be racist. We’ve been burned before.