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So, I’ve been saying it for a number of weeks now, but I have to say it one more time: things are looking grim for me in terms of Big Brother. The side in which I have chosen to invest all of my emotional well-being is now down to two people. Their enemies number four, and were in control of the house this week. When Howie and Janelle were put up for eviction, I thought it was going to take a small miracle to save them both from eviction. Well, that small miracle came when it looked like the Friendship had decided to once and for all get rid of James, and backdoored him into the nomination chair. On paper, it looks like you can chalk up a win for the Friendship, but as long as either Howie and Janelle are in the house, our hope springs eternal.Before we get any further, however, we have to take some time to talk about what Julie was wearing. I was lucky enough to get to handle two Julie episodes in a row, and I have to say that I was completely floored. I never thought that we would reach such stratospheric levels of wardrobe excess as we had with the Saturn V pantsuit, but today we got pretty damned close. Honestly, where do I begin? When Julie first came up on the screen, it literally took me five minutes just to comprehend what I first saw.
Julie appeared wearing a cardigan, but this was no ordinary cardigan – it was embroidered. The front was adorned with symmetrical embroidery, but this was no ordinary embroidery. It looked like two fireworks had been released and were trying to explode off of her chest. I am not sure how they got all of that intricate design, but let me foster a guess. Julie and Les are having sex, and for some strange reason (yes, stranger than me always wondering about their copulations), she likes to wear a sweater. Les doesn’t like this, pulls a little bit of a Houdini! on her, and at the, umm, “height of his arousal,” makes a little bit of a mess. He then makes her roll around in rainbow sprinkles. Having donated her wardrobe to victims of the hurricane, she is forced to wear it on air. There is no other explanation for this, trust me.
As strange as the shirt sounds now, it took me another five minutes to get a handle on that trim. All around the edges of the fabric there hung small little balls of string. I was beginning to think that Julie walked into some gay pride acorn festival in Mexico, and they had made her master of ceremonies or something and she was forced to wear the shirt. But then when we zoomed out, we got the pants. Oh those pants. All black with bell bottoms, like she had just pulled them off of the set of Saturday Night Zorro and she just finished her disco routine with John Travolta and didn’t have time to change. And how about those wonderful new locks? Goodbye Chelmet, hello bold curls! Is Julie going to be in a L’Oreal commercial soon?
But the best was saved for last. I bet those wardrobe people think they are tricky. We thank them for the cleavage today, but who the hell do they think they are kidding with those pants? We knew that there is a camel toe hiding somewhere in there, so we got this shot and had it digitally enhanced. Who do they think we are? Amateurs? They can’t sneak one by us like that and think they’re going to get away with it. We’ve got Photoshop! And great imaginations! Take a look for yourself.
After a peek into the house, Julie gave us the rundown, and reminded us that April was a pharmaceutical rep from Texas, which makes sense. It is a really easy job for her since a lot of her neighbors like to buy drugs from her, and when she gets back to the 2nd floor northeast wing of that nursing home, I’m sure they’ll throw a party. It’s either arthritis medicine, timeshares, or Rascal mobility scooters, and you can tell April chose well.
Obviously, I have given April a lot of shit. I think most of the shit was stuff that she deserved, because she is one of the fakest, hypocritical bitches I have seen in a long time. I’ll give credit where credit is due, however, and April really did step it up this week. She won HOH, nominated, Janelle and Howie, and then backdoored James when she won power of veto. She was one of the few people in the house to have a plan (some would argue that it was Maggie’s plan) and execute it to success.
When James was backdoored, he knew that he had few options, but he was lucky because he did have Ivette. After he was nominated, Howie tried to make a few jokes, saying “at least you get to pack with me.” James was NOT pleased and said that it “was not the time for jokes.” It was, however, time to get some comfort from Ivette. They embraced, and there was Maggie, who had a real problem with the scene saying that she couldn’t believe what Ivette was doing. Yeah, I hate it when other people try to comfort their friends and make them feel better; they are just horrible people.
What James would really like is some answers, like why did they have to take off Janelle instead of Howie. He wanted to know if it was April’s idea or if the reached some consensus. Ivette’s answer was just like you would expect from somebody in a cult. “It’s not something that we really talk about.” You see, first they are asking questions about the nominations, then they are wondering why you shaved your head, then they ask why you would move to the Caribbean, and then they start to question why you would drink the Kool-Aid. It’s a vicious cycle, and no true believer would ask questions.
With that method tried, James starts to become more direct. He knows he has to sway Ivette, and then presumably she could get Beau, and then he would either have to get Maggie or Janelle on his side to avoid sending it to a tie and having April decide. Sound theories when you think about it, but when you think about it a little more, you see what kind of uphill climb James has. How is Maggie going to vote for him? She is absolutely scared to death that he might come back and start to attack her. It’s not something that she is going to risk. Ivette tries to approach her, but she is just playing lip service at this point.
From there, he decides that maybe he will have better luck with Janelle. He argues that Howie hasn’t been winning any competitions and that she would go much farther in the game if she aligned with him and voted off Howie. Again, a good theory, but Janelle is just too close to Howie to betray him like that. She gives a non-committal answer, but when James goes out to Ivette, he says that Janelle made a pinky swear to give him a sympathy vote. What is it about pinky swears and reality contestants that makes them so prevalent? I just don’t get it. Whatever happened to handshakes and signing your names in blood?
We finally get to our first Julie Chen visit with the houseguests, and we get some more of those stupid “questions from the fans” from CBS.com. Now, these things are usually pretty stupid, but I have to say bravo to the viewer who sent in the first question, and the producer who decided that it should go on air. After Janelle once again thanked everybody for winning America’s Choice, Julie turned to Maggie and said “Maggie. You look great. What have you been doing inside the house to lose weight?” If you were stunned by that question, you should have seen the look on Maggie. When you think about it, it’s not even a compliment. Sure, she looks great, but if it’s because she lost weight, it must mean that she was really fat to begin with. And if she didn’t lose weight, she must be wondering if it was a cruel joke. She also said that it was also helped with lots of laughter. You tell them Maggie! I know that every time I laugh at you, it puts a smile on my face, so maybe you have a point.
Perhaps the worst part about April winning HOH was realizing that we were going to have to deal with meeting April’s friends and family back home. For some reason, CBS is still trying to convince us that April is less than fifty years old, and first introduces us to some of her sorority sisters, Melanie and Kelly, who spend their time doing impersonations of Carrie Underwood and Monica Lewinski. Although they tried to convince us that they went to school with April sometime in the mid-nineties, the only pictures we saw were from the mid-80s. Again, who are they trying to fool? We are also supposed to be impressed because she graduated Magna Cum Laude, or as Kelly said, Magna Come Loud, which was also Jennifer’s nickname in college. Ahh, the circle of life, it all comes together this SUMMER OF SECRETS.
But that was nothing like the main event. We got to finally see April’s husband. You can see why they love each other so much. He is too young to realize that she has all of that plastic surgery, and her vision is so bad that he doesn’t have to worry about what a huge slob she is, because she can’t tell. Her husband is really upset with Howie for calling him fat and making fun of April, but this guy is clearly all talk. Besides, he’s not fat, he’s big boned. And no, that is not a joke, he actually spoke those words. He’s just big boned, he’s not fat. Whatever you say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, chubbs. He then tried to wow us with some fat guy schtick about how he was going to do martial arts and kill Howie for making fun of his wife. It might have been more believable if it didn’t remind everybody of that SNL episode where Chris Farley tries to beat out Patrick Swayze for a spot with Chippendale’s.
That boring interview gives us the perfect segue into an interview with April, and you just know that the Big Brother producers were ecstatic to have some questions for April. Whenever the HOH interviews go on, Julie asks some stupid questions and the HOH gives some stupid responses. April, however, is one of the most gossipy houseguests in recent memory, and she is just willing to give some answers. She first talks about how awesome and competitive she became, and how she is not a weak player, and she was just laying low and playing under the radar. It sounds believable, but then again she hasn’t seen her performance in the pool veto competition, so she can actually say that with a straight face. She then goes on to say that she and Maggie are a pair, and that the house is all pairs now. But after that, I was kind of disappointed, she was given the opportunity to trash some of her roommates, but she declined, even when she was talking about Ivette.
Before we got to another live vote, we got a chance to go into the sequester house. While they usually send people off to some tropical location, this time they were some place in wine country. There were rolling hills, and a lodge, and hot air balloons lifting off in the background. I remember the first time I saw this sequester segment when it was called, you know, Sideways. Jennifer was there alone, and I tell you what, I never thought Jennifer was that bad looking. She is a dancer, and I don’t care what people say, that means she has some flexibility. As long as she is willing to do something more than just lay there and closer her eyes, I am sure it would be fun. But I would, of course, leave before she had a chance to wake up in the morning and ask me to breakfast or something. God, I hate that. I also hated her stupid knitted top which looks a lot like an afghan my grandmother knitted for our dog to sleep on in the winter. See for yourself.
Anyway, Jennifer said she basically didn’t care who came back, as long as it wasn’t Rachel. Oh thank you Big Brother, for the wonderful irony of seeing Rachel come back into the sequester house. The look on her face when Rachel walked around the bend was great, and this is why we need a sequester house episode. Yes! For as long as TVgam has been around, I have been advocating more time in the sequester house. While it was good listening to them try and make nice to each other, it was great watching them as they watched a tape of the action from the previous week. And CBS, why so cheap? Can’t you make DVDs by now? Why stick with the VHS?
Back to the vote, our nominees got a chance to save themselves off of the block with one more impassioned plea towards their housemates. Howie started off by cutting off Julie! Fortunately for him, Julie’s interruption retaliation anti-personnel mines are out of service and his life was spared. He basically did his schtick, saying how wonderful he was, making another Hurricane Howie joke, which I am guessing he will probably retire once he gets out of the house. Julie had to do a laugh interruption, and it was one of her best yet. Yes, you will have to play it a thousand times to truly appreciate it. [click for audio link]
We then got to the voting, which was live. Julie was in prime form with her color commentary, and did a very good job when Beau did a premature “Hi Julie” when she was still giving her lines. The vote, however, wasn’t close. James was evicted unanimously, and was shown the door. BTW, have you noticed how fatigued Howie gets during these evictions? He’s up there, patting people goodbye, and when they close the door, he walks away, like he just got done with a marathon and is trying to do a cool down. He’s breathing heavily, but you don’t know why. Perhaps he is just trying to get himself psyched for the next competition.
James had a very normal Chenterrogation. Once again, Julie asked him about Howie’s move putting up him and Sarah. Once again, James told us what we and many others have been saying for a long time now, namely that it was one of the stupidest strategy decisions he could have made. I really hated James in the beginning, but his resilience and his odd Ben Affleck + Toy Story face have grown on me. I can’t say that he was a favorite, but he was a schemer and he found a way to survive. He was also very gracious to the other people in the house. Yes, he did call them stupid for making so many mistakes which let him stay so very long, but he was very appreciative of Ivette and their friendship, and even had nice things to say about Maggie.
The goodbye messages weren’t really spectacular, and it was time for the HOH competition, so I was pretty dejected by this point. Like I said, the odds were stacked against my team, and with back to back wins by the friendship, I really was losing my will. I will watch the show, but how am I going to be able to enjoy it? The new game was called “Play it Straight.” There was a small bowling lane set up, with dropoffs to either side, divided into sections. As you got farther to the other end of the lane, the section numbers increased from 1-6. The seventh segment was zero, but if you were able to get it all the way through the segments and through the hole on the other side, it would be ten points.
First of all, bravo producers. If John Platt reads this blog still, well I have to thank him. CBS knew what they were doing. They placed the Friendship players at the beginning, with Howie and Janelle last. Depending on how well the one alliance did, the underdogs would have to overcome to win. True to form, Beau got 11 points, which is a great score. 6 and 5, almost as good as you can do without risking zeroes. Now I am not sure if you can imagine what it is like to be in the TVgasm offices at times like this, but it was unimaginably tense. When B-Side and I say that our hearts are beating, not thumping, and we are on the edge of our seats, it’s not just to have some sort of dramatic effect. That is the feeling in the TVgasm offices. I could barely stand to look as Janelle stepped up, and then Janey rolled a 6! Oh my God, could she do it? We learned that it was going to be double eviction, could she win again? Sadly, no, Janey wasn’t able to repeat her 6, and scored lower than Beau, meaning it would all be up to Howie.
Oh Howie, so very maligned. When Janey failed to deliver, I was nearly sick. How in the world could I stand another week of Beau as HOH? It was not fair. I slumped in the couch, and waited for Howie to screw up and leave us reaching for the 150 or so Ambien it was going to take for us to make the pain go away. And then Howie rolled a 6! Oh my god. Could it happen?! One more roll left. We need a six, Howie. Please, a six. I would staple my left nut to my leg if you would just roll a six! Howie took his position, moved his ball down, and….six! I jumped from the couch, trying to avoid crushing the iBook, and screamed “YES!” High gives were passed all around, and we took a moment to digest what just happened. In the very last seconds of the game, Howie proved his worth and turned the atmosphere in the room around 1000 percent. Oh was it ever so lovely. It was orgasmic, like I had just shaved my nuts and rolled them around in Gold Bond. I was sooo excited. Howie saved the season for me, at least for another couple of days.
Until this time, Julie did not reveal it would be double eviction. The houseguests were clueless. They were all in the living room, where she tried to throw them off with some more “questions from the fans,” which I am sure simply come from some interns. She was ready to drop the bomb of the double eviction right after she got Howie’s response to if he was thinking about who he would nominate. He then said “What, is there another double eviction?” This sort of unexpected response usually makes Julie’s head explode, but after a brief moment to process the questions, she said “You took the words right out of my mouth,” and then told Howie he would have to nominate on the spot. I was beginning to get worried, because even though Howie’s only ally was Janelle, and I was pretty sure he couldn’t mess up, you can never be sure. He picked Ivette and Beau, the last pair, and it looks like the Hurricane might tear them apart.
Thankfully, there is really no way Howie can screw up this week other than promising things to people and going back on his word. But unless Janelle suddenly stabs him with a fork or something, she is going to be safe. One more of the Friendship will be sent packing. Even though I have to go into work early and suffer from even less sleep than normal, it was all worth it for this episode.
Who will be evicted this week? Who will Howie nominate if Beau or Ivette win veto?