Why Rihanna, Paulie Calafiore and Vinny Ventiera Are TV’s Social Media MVPs of the Week

This week’s most emotionally reacted-to TV personalities

social media Rihanna Paulie Calafiore Vinny Ventiera
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A pop music superstar, a “Big Brother” evictee and a bachelor — in paradise, no less — got viewers talking passionately on social media over the past week.

The Wrap has partnered with Canvs, a language-analytics company that measures emotions around content, for a weekly look at the characters and stars that have TV viewers the most worked up. The data below covers Aug. 22-28 and is drawn from the most emotionally reacted-to broadcast and cable television shows.

The MTV Video Music Awards are reliably one of the year’s biggest TV-driven social media events, and Sunday’s edition certainly reinforced that distinction. Canvs detected 1,955,992 specific Emotional Reactions (ERs) surrounding the big show, which was simulcast across MTV’s Viacom sister stations. And a massive 345,354 ERs — 18 percent of the total — were prompted by Rihanna, in the wake of her receipt of the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, bestowed by none other than Drake (“She’s someone I’ve been in love with since I was 22 years old,” he declared to the world).



Of the 38,557 ERs prompted by last Thursday’s episode of CBS’s “Big Brother,” nearly one in five were prompted by recent evictee Paulie Calafiore, who got to face off, awkwardly, at the Jury House with Da’Vonne Rogers, Zakiyah Everette and Bridgette Dunning. Evictees always prompt plenty of social media chatter — sad tweets from fans of the loser, and smug tweets from those who despised him — but Paulie’s eviction had extra legs not only because of his appearance at the Jury House but also because of the Calafiore Effect. His family, you see, has history with the show; Paulie’s brother Cody was on Season 16. And — bonus! — Paulie’s dad, Paul Jr, decided to chime in on Twitter Thursday night to defend his son, who housemates and viewers accused of being a misogynist.


(Paulie’s mom, Linda, also defended her son on Twitter, but she has since set her account to private — presumably in the wake of responses from Twitterers who were not exactly fans of her son.)

Of the 11,179 ERs prompted by the Aug. 23 episode of ABC’s “Bachelor in Paradise,” 12 percent were prompted by Vinny Ventiera. These tweets should give you some sense of the drama surrounding VINNYVINSANE (yes, all-caps), as he’s dubbed himself on Twitter: