General News

'Big Brother' Gets a Head Shrinker

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Jul 23, 2001 | 9:52am EDT

What’s wrong with this picture?

The whole idea behind the CBS reality show "Big Brother" is to keep the contestants completely sheltered from the outside world, as viewers watch their every move on camera. Now we learn, however, that producers of the show have hired a Los Angeles shrink to counsel the sequestered ones when the going gets tough on their psyches.

It makes us ask, "What up with that?"

Aren’t they breaking the rules? And more importantly, should we now assume then that the rats eaten by the contestants of that other CBS show were fake?

According to a Reuters news report, the counseling sessions with Dr. Augusto Britton Del Rio take place in the so-called "Red Room," where the contestants normally go to communicate through a TV camera and microphone with the "Big Brother" producers, whom they cannot see. The sessions are then edited out for the broadcast.

Apparently, having a shrink on the payroll isn’t anything new. "Big Brother" producer Paul Romer retained a therapist for the earlier versions of the show he created in Germany and the Netherlands, said the show’s spokeswoman, Diane Ekeblad.

So much for "reality" TV.

Karen (©CBS) MORE ‘BIG BROTHER’ NEWS: Ex-"Big Brother" contestant Karen Fowler has been given the boot, again.

The Columbus, Ind., housewife, who was kicked off the show after six episodes, says she’s now getting the same treatment from her community, according to the AP. Her on-air banter about her rocky marriage apparently made her an outcast with her neighbors, and now is planning to move to California with one of her four daughters, leaving behind her home and husband of 22 years.

"I'm sickened by the way people want to judge me so quickly and defend him," said Fowler, 43.

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