Big Brother 19 saw the return of the series’ biggest self-made character, Paul “FRIENDSHIP” Abrahamian. But the biggest personality might be a brand-new player. In the two-part Big Brother 19 premiere Kevin Schlehuber made quite the impression for reasons other than being the first to take one of the season’s temptations. Kevin feels like he has been grown in a reality TV contestant lab and is a weird (but wonderful) mixture of several standard trashy TV conventions. Yet for all his strangeness Kevin might just be a genuine threat in the game.
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We Need to Talk About Kevin
There are several contributing factors that lead to Kevin feeling just a little off. The biggest one is that he has clearly no idea how anything in Big Brother works. Though Kevin is far from the only recruit in Big Brother 19 he is the most blatant about his ignorance. When Paul entered the game, Kevin was clueless about why anyone cared he was back. Later when Nicole came into the house, Kevin didn’t even get up from the couch while the rest of the house swarmed her like adoring fans. Kevin’s lack of knowledge isn’t unique but his completely apathy to even pretending he cares does make him stand out.
There is there Kevin’s whole facade as a Boston wise guy. Kevin’s pre-recorded introduction package leaned heavily into a cultivated Godfather or Goodfellas aesthetic. It seems like a complete put-on to just make it on TV but it might not be entirely false. As was reported by the Boston Globe in 2006, Kevin’s father, who he name-dropped as “The Big Cheese,” was arrested for cocaine trafficking when he was 69. Kevin’s son of a gangster (or a mobster himself) routine might seem over-the-top but there is some basis in fact. Yet as much Kevin leans into the mob persona, everything else he does conflicts with it.
Kevin’s appearance is so at odds with his wiseguy behavior. Kevin’s head is often tied up in a man bun, he has one section of his hair highlighted blonde and his wardrobe choices are all over the place. Kevin is trying to be about five different decades’ definition of “cool” at the same time and it is just as bizarre as it is distracting. Kevin is an enigma and doesn’t seem to know what type of person he is or what he wants to be in the house or in life. While this is not odd for a Big Brother contestant that’s only because the average age of Big Brother contestants is usually somewhere in the range of early to mid 20s. Your 20s are a decade of self-discovery and experimentation but Kevin is pushing 60 and seems just as scattered as those half his age.
Stumbling into Success
Kevin’s strangeness might just benefit him in the game. Kevin’s weird and seemingly more than a little socially inept. The only connection Kevin has made thus far in the game is with social pariah Josh but Kevin is also incredibly unamusing. No one is going to bother to target Kevin or waste energy on getting him out of the house. The house is already totally divided and Kevin is sitting in a perfect position. He is perfectly straddling the middle of the line. Kevin’s not making any big allies but he’s not making enemies either. In Big Brother seasons that are this contentious this early, it is usually oddball floaters like Kevin who do very well and even win.
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Kevin’s only real obstacle is probably an alpha-male like Cody. In the second episode of BB19 fans were treated to several “one things” that Cody cannot stand in other people, including selfishness, giving up, lying, etc. Somewhere on Cody’s lists of number one offenses, being a floater must be among them. He said as much in his pre-season interview. Luckily for Kevin, Cody’s social game is so atrocious (read: nonexistent) that he is going to be targeted or eliminated far before he can set his sights on Kevin.
Kevin’s chimera-esque personality and style make him a very odd duck but it allows him to sneak into the background. It would be a very disappointing season if Kevin won or even made it to the end. While the season has just started, Kevin has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t have much intention of aggressively playing the game. Still, no matter how strange or passive Kevin might be he is still starting the game in one of the best positions of the house.
So what do you make of Kevin? Why do you think he is a little strange? Do you find him strange at all? Do you think his outcast nature will help his game or hurt him eventually?
Big Brother 19 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c, Thursdays at 9/8c and Sundays at 8/7c on CBS. Want more news? Like our Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of CBS)