Allison Grodner Interview: Hinky Votes, Missing Christmas, & A Battle Back Showmance Showdown

Another Houseguest is out the door and off to sequester for next week’s Battle Back which means we had the chance to pose three more questions to Big Brother executive producer Allison Grodner. This week we wanted to get her take on the fun we’re seeing from those hinky votes, just what it’d take to throw in the towel on Christmas, and what might happen with a showmance showdown in the Battle Back.

Big Brother 19 Houseguests in Week 2

Hinky votes are playing a fun role in this season’s eviction votes so far with the paranoia they’re causing in the house. What’s your reaction to Kevin’s willingness to throw them in there and his strength in convincing others it’s not him?

Allison Grodner: I think it is brave gameplay on Kevin’s part. People think he doesn’t know much about the game but he is a lot smarter than he is letting on. It will be interesting to see how long he can keep the ruse up.

What’s been the biggest challenge for your team with Christmas’s physical condition and how it’s limiting her involvement in the game? At what point would you consider not allowing her to return to continue?

Grodner: Big Brother is primarily a social game so having someone in the house with Christmas’s injuries does not prevent her from playing. The biggest challenge has been dealing with surgery schedules that aren’t necessarily aligned with production schedules.

Both Jessica and Cody seem willing to give up their game and a chance at $500K for the other after just a few short weeks together. If both of them end up in the Battle Back competition next Friday, which of the two do you think would be more likely to yield to the other to help them get back in?

Grodner: It is always amazing how strong bonds form in the Big Brother house in just a couple of weeks. We have a better track record than The Bachelor in terms of long lasting couples and marriages, but I would be surprised if either of them gave up their game for the other. We will see…

Thank you, Allison.

So I’m loving Kevin’s boldness with these hinky votes and have been especially impressed with how he pulls it off, and like Grodner points out, I wonder how long can he keep that up. But here’s the issue that I’m now seeing about Christmas and that same idea.

Christmas threw a vote against Ramses instead of Cody that surprised many of us last night. Now the house is scrambling to figure out who did it and Alex is even trying to use that unknown as part of her nomination defenses. When Kevin made his hinky vote he had to immediately act it up to convince those around him it wasn’t him and he did it well yet again. Christmas? All she had to do was hang up the phone after hers.

I’m so disappointed for Christmas that she got hurt and I really wanted her to be able to stay in the game, but despite Grodner’s suggestion that “Christmas’s injuries does not prevent her from playing” it’s hard to make that argument when you look at the game. It is actively preventing her from playing. Right now. Houseguests can’t question her and she doesn’t have to play any sort of strategy otherwise. She’s gone and the Houseguests can’t proceed in that direction without her.

Obviously production has no plans to pull her from the game, and I’ll be glad for any drama and action she can add to the game if/when she returns, but there’s no denying that her injuries are creating a void in the game and impacting the way it’s being played.

What do you think? Should Christmas bow out at this point or is it just part of the game for the HGs to navigate around without her? And what about that potential showmance showdown? Do you think either Jessica or Cody would let the other win because of their showmance? Share your thoughts below.


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  1. You didnt get an answer from her on the “when would you pull her from the game” question… does she realize that everyone thinks its not fair?

      • Well.. everyone who I have seen talking about it in any event.. even the other HGs think its unfair.

      • I don’t think it’s unfair. Whatever advantages (if any) she gets from being out of the house are balanced by not being in the house listening to, observing and acting upon what’s going on in the house. It’s her choice, she made it. If people don’t like it, they can stop watching.

      • She’s likely to find out stuff from her encounters with hospital employees, other patients about whats been going on that she shouldnt have knowledge of.

      • Doctors and nurses watch BB. LOL 😂
        3 of my friends are doctors and one of them watches BB religiously! And I have a ton of nurse friends, & most watch BB!

        You’d be very surprised what doctors “do” (if you think they don’t simply just watch a reality television show!) They are just like us!

        With all due respect, my response is not at all meant to sound rude or bitchy! I hope it doesn’t come across that way!? I’m sorry if it does ❤️

      • This happened before. She’s still in the game, so she’s still being watched.There are Production people with her at all times. Hospitalizations are prearranged. (logistics) Hospital staff are instructed. Of course there’s no guaranty, but they try their best to preserve the integrity of the game. That goes with the Jury house too… It’s a disadvantaged. , she’s not playing/socializing. ..Her name has been coming up. lol

      • I don’t completely disagree with you but, there’s just no guarantees she’s not getting any Intel whether she’s asking for it or not. Also, like most previous HG’s will tell you, once you walk into that house you quickly lose your mind! (OK maybe they don’t say those exact words but you know what I mean) LOL
        But you are right, her name is being thrown around and she’s also not there to defend herself regarding the “Hinky Vote”
        But, that said… I strongly believe her not being in the house for a short time is better for her game then worse.
        She is able to “clear her head” (at least before her surgery) LOL
        Being in that house you have nowhere to hide and truly think! Laying in a hospital bed with no HGs around to disturb your thoughts or fill your head with paranoia or just simple game talk, is in my opinion an added bonus!
        She is getting to clear her head and re-think different scenarios! Plus plus! Christmas is just getting this “mini away from BB vacation” (although a painful one,) She’s away from the house so now she can “collect her thoughts, rethink strategies, replay situations and scenarios” plus plus plus! All in peace and quiet!!! & I just don’t think that is fair to the other HG’s who do not get any “free time!” Even if the HGs are in a BB room on their own trying to clear their head and think straight, there is always someone walking into that room, Always people interrupting your thoughts, or you can always hear people talking and you’re mind starts working in overdrive trying to hear what they’re saying or vaguely being able to hear someone/those people talking & paranoia slipping into your head and thinking that “they just say my name!?”
        That’s all, that’s just my “big thoughts” (unintelligent wording because it’s way too early in the morning) haha…..on this whole “situation” but, in all honesty it makes no difference to me. I think if all of the HG’s really think it’s not fair (which I actually didn’t know they all felt that way until I read this) then they need to rally together & speak their minds to production together or, just vote her out. Simple! Done ✅

      • OMG 😲 Babe! Me and my stupid talk to type. It literally takes me a couple minutes to share my thoughts but when I post it I ONLY then see just how long my thoughts look like in a reply! Stupidly long 🙃
        I’m super sorry! I hope you have a few minutes to kill, or just simply skip over my reply. Although I did put a lot of thought into it so it would be nice if you read it LOL just kidding 😉
        Half the time I post or reply, I don’t expect people to read it because it’s just way too long!
        I’m OK with talking to myself LMAO 😆
        ❤️ Sorry! Really! ❤️

      • Gawwwd…. even my comment about my other comment being way tooooo long, is long! 😆
        Perhaps I should really try not using talk to type! 😜 Nahhhh

      • Production would likely shield her from outside contact and just limit her interaction to a few medical professionals who, more likely than not, don’t watch Big Brother.

      • But you would think if she was having “major surgery,” she would get to see her family before, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Sure she probably has an escort with her but there’s never any guarantees. Even if it’s something as simple as her mom giving her a hug & whispering to her not to trust so-and-so or there is a battle back…….
        There are no guarantees.
        Christmas/BB production needs to do the right thing and pull her. Simply because there are no guarantees.

      • No one from the respective families of the two women who suffered slop-related health attacks back in BB9 visited them either during the long hours they were outside the house for treatment.

        And if Christmas’s family were to come see her all the way from VA, that would only be when she is removed from the house if she cannot be cleared by doctors to play.

  2. This whole talk about Christmas being gone etc. is getting really old in my mind. BB is supporting her decision to stay – It is what it is! Isn’t the game all about adjusting to surprise moves, twists, etc? I personally think there are bigger fish in the game at the moment to go after. Ultimately, if the house guests don’t want her there then they can simply vote her out! Also, keep in mind you’ll have four people who would have been out of the game longer than her currently that will have a chance to come back into the game?!

    • But those other HGs who are out of the game aren’t currently interacting with it remotely like she is. That’s what made the shift for me to feel it’s time to cut her loose.

    • Completely agree. She was allowed to keep playing and she wants to stay on the show, so she’s staying. Those offended should just get over it – or just stop watching if it bothers them so much. As for the HGs, if it bothers them, then vote her out. Simple.

      • I completely agree! I don’t agree with their choice of allowing her to stay. There just are no guarantees that she’s not getting even just a tiny bit of Intel.
        She has zero chance of winning the game and at best she can make it to the final two. And, I don’t think that’s fair! But, who said BB was fair.
        It just makes a potential bad ending to a very good season thus far!

  3. Think about Christmas’ leave like Exile Hospital Island. It is just part of the social game that she and her allies and enemies have to adjust to. No hard rules when it comes to socializing and this game. My only concern with Christmas might be if someone attending to her gave her some inside information while out of the house for that long. But other than that, the play moves on and is still authentic, with this ‘unexpected’ twist.. (you all should have expected the unexpected)

    • Yeah, I see the “roll with the punches” but Grodner is dodging things to not admit that it is impacting the game rather than claiming that being gone for 3 days doesn’t prevent her from playing.

    • I like Xmas, but I think would have been fair to evict her from this season and let her come back next season.

    • The problem is, Christmas gets to leave the house. Part of BB is being in sequester (in the BB house), it’s part of the game and plays heavily in how people behave, react and play the game. Christmas gets a reprieve from the game everytime she leaves the house, regardless of whether it is for medical purposes. She gets to interact with humans and be in the real world. It isn’t fair and they need to cut the cord.

  4. Christmas is not interacting with the house but if Cameron comes back he only had 12 hours too. It’s been three weeks and so much has happen. I don’t think it matters that Christmas is out for a few days.

    • Difference is, Cameron has been in sequester, Christmas has not.

      • No, it can’t. She is interacting with people outside of BB, doctors, nurses, aides, etc… Cameron is in full on lockdown.

      • Interactions with med professionals is not necessarily the same as actual contact to the outside world. More likely, in keeping with how sequestration works, she’ll be in a private room in an undisclosed hospital with limited interactions with strictly medical professionals who are given firm instructions not to allow any outside information to come leaking into her ear. No visitors will be allowed except for members of production.

        I understand this is a newly-faced situation by production but this has been done in other versions of the game where similar incidences have happened. The show’s owner, Endemol, have created back-up procedures that all variations of the format must follow when dealing with incidences.

      • It is when you’ve been living in the BB house, away from any normal human contact. It also gives her time to decompress, which the other HG’s don’t get the benefit of either.

      • It hasn’t been that long a time away from the house though so we will have to see where the situation leads.

        Eventually, an inevitable outcome will happen.

    • Christmas was interacting though. She cast a vote, and a hinky one at that, which led to a lot of questioning and investigating while HGs noted that they couldn’t even question her on it. Meanwhile Kevin, also hinky voted, had to immediately defend his actions and persuade others he didn’t do it. She was playing the game remotely.

      I know they’re not going to boot her over this at this point, but it still seems off to allow all this.

      • They would also probably feel bad nominating her when she’s not in the house even if they did want to nominate her.

      • Thanks for letting on that the HG’s talked about not being able to question Christmas about her vote. Didn’t see that. I wonder if Megan’s early departure was a factor in allowing Christmas to stay? They still evicted someone else. Perhaps too many players leaving without being evicted could cause a problem with show production due to too many HG’s gone before the show finale?

        *By the way, your updates are the best!

  5. I honestly can’t see any Medical Doctor worth a damn actually clearing her and allowing her to return. There are too many variables

    • I have to agree. As I mentioned before, I have a sister who had a similar injury. Her Dr basically told her to sit in a chair or lie in a bed till things had a chance to mend. Even an unexpected fall could set her back.

      • Agreed – I think I mentioned my friend who broke her foot on March 4 of this year who underwent surgery and is still in physio and carrying crutches for stability. They told her it could be anywhere from a year upwards of her returning to normal.

      • I broke my foot and didn’t get to the doctor for the cast till five days went by they had to rebrake my foot because bones start to heal in the first 24 hours and in the five day before the doctor had me in for the cast I had miss aliegned the bones so the rebroke it

    • Hi Matt, I’m an RN familiar with her injury and the surgery she had. She’s had an outpatient surgery and typically she would be discharged home after 24 hours of observation. So why not discharge her to the BB house? Not all comps are physical ones, so she could potentially compete in some of them. It’s really HER disadvantage to stay when she’ll miss important physical comps which would otherwise have been her strong point. But, other than some of the physical comps, her recovery will likely be the same as if she was discharged to her own home.

  6. Now that we know the full extent of her injury, I think it’s safe to say it’s time for Christmas to just go home and try to recover. There’s no shame in walking away because of an injury.

      • LOL, the interview of this blog. Matt interviewed Allison Grodner.

    • speaking of over the top, i saw a tweet that said just put her on BBOTT 2 and call it square. that happened to Eureka more or less on RPDR 9

      • I’m done with Christmas, don’t care for her at all. She has a very superior attitude and all the preaching and lecturing gets old, hard pass. They just need to let her go and get better on her own time, not my time.

  7. I like Christmas and it’s not her fault she was injured. I don’t see any reason to kick her out. Even if the HG’s want her out, they have a method for dealing with that and there is always someone in the house that the others want out. I agree with the others who say, “Expect the unexpected.” That’s the game! Now, let’s get over it and move on.

  8. Isn’t BB about being sequestered in a house? Looks like Christmas is shuttling between the house and the hospital. Whether the BB people surround her in the hospital, the fact that she isn’t in the house defeats the purpose of this game. In my book, it is not fair.

  9. I like Christmas and was rooting for her in the game. However, this is getting really annoying now. She doesn’t have to worry about defending what she did or didn’t do, and others are not given the chance to observe her reactions. I actually hate that somebody will have to waste their HOH evicting her. It would be better to let 2 people return in battle back than somebody who has not had to be sequestered in one way of another. Bye Christmas…get well and come back some other season.

  10. Xmas should have been given the Jeff Probst boot. Does this producer think that Survivor is not a social game?! Do you know how un-athletic the only two time Survivor winner is? So, very bad rationale there. Xmas is able to avoid contact which can blow up your game when you’re there 24/7. BS, unfair.

  11. Houseguests have been leaving the BB house since the beginning. Heck Jun flew all the way from LA to NY (her hometown no less) to attend the MTV Movie Awards. Dan got a day at the beach with a juror no less. Recently we had houseguests attend a Cowboys practice and an Ari concert. All those things seem more decompressing and relaxing than having surgery to me. They are all accompanied by production to maximize the integrity of the game, but seems to me exposure to damning info would be higher at some of those other excursions than the hospital. JMO.

  12. There have been houseguests physically in the house that have played less than Christmas. I think as long as she doesn’t have access to the outside world, she can continue to play. Maybe her absence will make the HGs comfortable voting her out. Maybe it will help her continue in longer. Either way, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  13. The other thing I find strange is that she actually relies on her body and physical health to make living. So why would she jeapordize that? We know BB would probably give her whatever stipend she would have earned, and the opportunity to return. Weirdness.

  14. If Christmas wants to stay in the game, then that’s on her. If her injury gets worse because of it and she still doesn’t win, then she’ll lose the game and her career. I think Cody will definitely try to convince Jessica that he will do better inside the house than she would because he is a physical threat. I can hear him saying that already once she is voted out. Fingers crossed.

  15. I can’t figure out why the producers would even allow Christmas to return, considering the liability of her getting injured again.

    As for a potential “Jody” showmance battleback, are people forgetting that Julie said the twist this year is that houseguests will be able to block a person’s return? The way I envision it, if Jessica gets evicted next, and if Cody and Jessica then end up as the top winners in the battleback, the house would vote to block Cody because everyone currently in the house seems to despise him.

    • I think the next temtation is the abillity to block the person who wins battle back from coming back

  16. I am not a big fan of double evictions anyway so I think they need to just let Christmas go and have one less double eviction. Let her play next season. It makes no sense the way they are doing it now.

  17. I do not think it is unfair. Unfair was allowing Nicole to win last season when it was proven that she cheated.

  18. Until I read this post from Matt & a lot of the comments, I had no idea so many people, including the HG’s did not want Christmas to return! I was clueless LOL this is a long post! I know shocking!! (to those of you that “know” me ha ha) I had posted this back on an earlier Blog from Matt or Branden…….

    I personally have some concerns with Christmas being out of the house for as long as she has been, several times!!
    Can the HG’s be 💯% assured that Christmas is not getting any Intel whatsoever!?!? ZERO outside info!? If I were a houseguest, it would cross my mind that perhaps Christmas IS able to get “a little” info at the very least! She had “major surgery” So, I’m sure her family got to see her? & they could easily give her info/dirt etc. I am sure she has an “escort” but still…… JUST Sayin…..
    Plus, on top of that she is getting some R&R (so to speak.) Some time away from the house to gather her thoughts without the stress of the house! I think she voted for Ramses b/c after some “calm/rational” thinking to herself, by herself, without being in the house, she was able to see things more “clearer” (Everyone says being in that house does “crazy” things to your mind!) & perhaps during her break from the house, she believed Cody!? OR maybe she heard/knows about the “Battle Back” so she is ‘setting herself up’ for a potential return by Cody!
    I don’t know, it’s just very likely that she has had some info told her, and again she has also had some time to clear her head away from the game! (Yes, I know she is also dealing with excruciating pain on top of that…. But….!)
    PLUS……. she has been gone since Wednesday? Or Thursday? Two or three nights! It’s just not organic!
    & a Side note to all of this:
    I strongly believe Paul’s letter from his “mom” was inscripted with coded messages!
    I don’t know, I’m just thinking outside the box! The what if’s…..
    First Paul’s coded letter, now Christmas being in and out of the house several times including 2 or three nights! The game has not been organic for years and years and years! And now this!
    Don’t get me wrong, I still love big brother! I would just love to see and organic season, no outside influences. Go in,be you, don’t be you, play hard, don’t play hard, do your thing without worrying about twists and other outside influences!

    That’s all for now LOL if anyone even read this! I wouldn’t blame anyone for not reading it, I probably wouldn’t!

  19. First Paul’s “coded letter” from his “Mom,” now Christmas being in and out of the house several times including 2 or three nights! The game has not been “organic” for years and years and years! But, in my opinion I think this is getting a little stupid with Christmas being away from the house for what three days so far? Regardless if it’s good for her game or bad for her game! It’s just not “real/reality!” Well I mean I guess it is but, it’s not “BB reality”! They are supposed to be shut away from “The Outside World” for three months! Part of the mind f*ck of this game is not knowing anything whatsoever! Nothing! Aside from what the weather is & planes flying over the house and production yelling at everyone to get inside LOL 😂
    They didn’t even tell the HGs about 9-11 in 2000 & that was a world changing moment! But that’s how cut off from the world they were 17 years ago! (Although there was a lot of controversy around that) 😭

    Don’t get me wrong, I still love Big Brother! I have watched it since the very very beginning, when I was a teenager! I would just love to see an “organic season” again & I would love for so many of you to experience an organic season, at least once! No outside influences & then decide what you prefer. Sure you can go back and watch it, but it’s just so different experiencing it live!
    HGs —Go in, be you, don’t be you, play hard, don’t play hard, do your thing without worrying about twists and other outside influences! Lie, cheat, do whatever! Without any outside influences! No temptations, No twist, No America’s choice… Nothing! Just players going into a house and playing the game. Wouldn’t that be fun to watch again? Or for the first time live for the whole summer? YES? NO?
    It’s much more exciting because the gameplay is different because no one is worried about getting “Americas vote” or being “America’s favourite houseguest” Plus there was a lot more alcohol involved LMAO…… I don’t think that’s a good idea! Well…… It could be a little bit more entertaining sometimes….A little less constant gameplay and more fun watching some HGs make idiots of themselves! Just once a week give them a night of drinking LOL but really, I’m kidding! Sorta! Just no outside influences, is that too much to ask for?!?
    OK, another rant of Christina’s over. Thanks for reading 💜

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