CBS touted last night’s episode of Big Brother as one whole week of reality crammed into a single hour. I guess that’s about right since the show proved to be as exciting and frustrating as any given week this season. Plus, for added fun, CBS decided to spice things up by throwing in a dash of Holly from Big Brother 5. Possibly the only thing more grating would have been if she and Beau had bayed at the moon like some unholy deleted scene from 101 Dalmatians. Thankfully, they didn’t. But that didn’t stop me from capturing a precious (READ: grating) sound clip of our dearest Holly (as well as a golden one of April sobbing). All the goodies plus the recap after jump…The episode began with the always-welcomed surprise of the Saturday Chenbot. Departing from the cha-cha-cha stylings of her tassel-clad, nouveau-matador garb of two nights ago, Julie came to us all simple and classy with a modest black shirt and white pants combo. I momentarily thought she might give us a tour of the MOMA, maybe dissect the works of Cézanne and Pissarro, and then finish up with a bottle of wine and an engaging discussion about Joan Didion. But alas, my brie-filled fantasies were short-lived as the Chenbot simply drew us into her studio and reminded us that tonight was an eviction episode. And yes, the camel toe was back.
Julie started things off with a bang as she just barely cleared the night’s first alliterative hurdle. With a mild slur in her voice, she successfully read, “Beau, the personal shopper from Pembroke Pines.” Wow. That’s a lot of “b” and “p” sounds (bilabial plosives, if you will — yes, I took a linguistics class once). Thank goodness this show was taped. Wouldn’t want to have heard the Chenbot’s live attempt at alliteration. It’s probably would have sounded something like “Beau, the personal shopper from Pembroke plaaaghaaaah.” Must we forget last year’s inexplicable Chenbot hiccup?
Anyway, after warming our hearts with another “But first!”, Julie returned us to the house where we once again relived James’s eviction. “In a way, I’m like everyone’s hero at this point,” gushed April in the Diary Room, adding, “Did I say ‘hero?’ I meant ‘elder.’ By about forty-five years.”
Yes, April thought she was the savior of the house after being the first HOH to successfully oust James. Of course, in the eyes of America, this week’s savior was Howie who for once clocked in a clutch performance during the Head of Household competition. I was still coming down from the high of his victory when CBS re-aired it (but now in blue-and-white “memory vision”). Ah, so wonderful. But why must the anti-Friendship always win for the two-day stints? That’s not nearly enough time to broker deals and flaunt power. Oh well. At least Howie’s victory would ensure another Friendship hit. “It just means that one of us are going home,” explained April. “In my case, that would be Shady Pines Retirement Home. Oh, I do hope Ethel is still alive.”
As for Ivette, well, she didn’t take the loss too well. This one was hers for the taking, she insisted. After all, she’s not only a huge bowling fan, but she even has her very own bowling ball. (Everybody Loves a Spicy Bowling Ball!) But alas, Ivette was left with nothing but bewilderment at her performance: “I’m dumbstruck. I really am.” Or at least dumb.
Of course, in typical fashion, Ivette moved from dumbstruck to whiny victim as she cried to her friends, “Why can’t I get blessed? Why can’t I get the strength these people continue to have?” Good question. Maybe because you’re dumb? You’re uncoordinated? God hates you? Oooh! Ooooh! I know! Because you keep expecting to be “blessed” by a false sense of deservedness! That’s why.
Ivette then turned her wrath on Janelle as she skewered her nemesis in the Diary Room: “She’s got the worst soul I’ve ever seen in a human being.” Uhhhh, based on what? The fact that she’s prettier than you? The fact that she’s smarter than you? The fact that she’s more liked by America than you? But I shouldn’t make fun. Ivette’s hated Janelle since the first moment she met her, and honestly, if there’s anyone who knows about having a good soul, it’s someone who makes flash judgments based on little to no information.
Nevertheless, Ivette and her soul of sunshine were placed on the chopping block with Beau, causing more tears and anguish. Luckily, The Friendship swooped in to provide comfort while the rest of us gawked at Maggie’s blossoming ass. Holy Butt-first! This just further fueled my theory that whoever wrote in that question about Maggie losing weight was clearly pulling a sarcastic fast one on CBS.
Anyway, in this super-compressed episode, we then jumped immediately to Howie’s new HOH room where he received two light sabers (or “savers” as Sarah had called them) from Big Brother. Even this — the dorkiest of gifts — made Beau squeal. He could find a pebble in a urinal, and he’d still be emitting sounds of shrill pleasure. Nevertheless, everyone began playing with the light sabers, and we were treated to a silly little montage of Howie and Janelle swinging the toys around in the dark, with the producers happily switching back and forth from darkness to night-vision. We haven’t had this much excitement since the time April fell from her walker.
Later, after that initial contact high with the light-sabers had run its course, Maggie and April schemed in the backyard and agreed to partner up and stick with each other until the very end. The two laughed about their new alliance, but when Ivette walked in and asked what had happened, April replied with a terse, “NOTHING.” And of course Ivette, being the moron that she is, accepted this as the truth, despite the shifty eyes and awkward throat-clearing. Honestly, April could have simply said, “I’m not April. I’m her evil, robotic twin,” and Ivette totally would have believed it. In fact, she probably would have run into the house yelling “APRIL! APRIL! There’s an evil robot that looks just like you in the backyard! It has a terrible soul too!”
With the veto competition looming, things became a little tricky for The Friendship. Maggie, lying on a cot and looking sad (she was homesick. She missed her turtle collection) pondered what she would do if she won the competition. On the one hand, there was April who didn’t want Maggie to use it. But then on the other hand there was also Ivette, who said that if she won the competition, she wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she removed herself and put someone else in the way (translation: one of YOU win it so I don’t have to feel bad). What would Maggie do???
We then cut to commercial, and when we returned, Holly made her horrific and surprising return to the house, ushering in a round of shrieks and hugs that served only to pulverize all my precious stemware. Once I was done sweeping away the remaining shards of any glass in the TVgasm office, I resumed the Tivo and learned that Holly was there to officiate today’s big veto competition.
The season comes to a screeching halt. Literally.
“It’s awesome because it’s a previous house guest that I really, truly like,” said Ivette. Of course Ivette “really, truly” likes Holly. The two of them, with Beau, go down as the Holy Trinity of people we’d most like to throw into a volcano. Anyway, everyone bounced into the backyard where a giant craps table awaited them. Welcome to Big Brother Casino. This was a fairly amusing game. Everyone started with ten chips. One person would then roll oversized dice, on one of which was a week number and on the other was a phrase like “won veto” or “replacement nominee” etc. Holly would then ask the houseguests an appropriate question based on the dice (“Who won the veto in week three?”), and each contestant would answer by showing a name. Correct responses would win double their wager. Incorrect responses would lose to the house. You know, like gambling. I personally think Holly should have asked the question to whomever was rolling the dice, and then everyone would have to bet on how much faith they had in that person’s knowledge of house trivia. But whatever. This was fine enough.
Well, up first was April who promptly rolled a “crap out” which meant that everyone lost, especially the viewers who had to hear Holly yell, “You guys! It’s a crap out! CRAP!” Crap out was an understatement…
Holly then demonstrated her continued idiocy by announcing, “The whole house loses.” Actually, the whole house wins. Unless she was talking about “house” as in “household,” but she wasn’t, and so, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I rest my case. Luckily, the next round was more fruitful for the houseguests as they all answered correctly, leading to a chorus of “YAY!”s from Holly. Seriously, shoot her now. At least with a stun gun. And in case you missed it, click here to hear Holly officiating. Warning: this may be one of the most annoying audio clips of all time.
Anyway, the producers then fast-forwarded through the rounds as we watched a peppy montage of people winning, losing, and drawing. Okay, they didn’t do that last part, but dammit if I’m not going to work a vague Vicki Lawrence reference into this post. After everyone had rolled the dice, it was time to tally up the chip totals, and wouldn’t you know it? There was a four-way tie: April, Ivette, Janelle, and Maggie. Very interesting. Holly announced that she would roll the dice for a tie-breaker question, and lo and behold, everyone answered correctly except Ivette (who, you may remember, is dumb). The other three each bet all their chips (nineteen each), causing Holly to remark, “Gosh! Three times nineteen is like a million!” Or fifty-seven, assuming you’re using base-ten, not base-IDIOT.
Well, with a three-way tie, I found myself surprisingly absorbed in this competition for no good reason. What would happen? Who would win? CBS SPECIAL REPORT! CBS SPECIAL REPORT! REHNQUIST DEAD!!!!
B-b-b-but the veto competition! How could you cut away? This news is sad and politically significant and everything… but THERE’S A MOTHER F#@!KING THREE-WAY TIE ON BIG BROTHER!!!! Has CBS even heard of a crawl??!?!?!?!? Sigh. At least this just happened to be one of the most unimportant vetoes yet. And plus, we didn’t have to listen to Holly’s voice as long as those suckers on the East Coast (and by all means, if anything interesting did happen after the three-way tie, please let me know).
Okay, so after the CBS news break (fast forward on the Tivo, thank you very much), we returned to the household where everyone was milling around in the wake of the competition. It looked like Maggie had won, although I don’t know how or why. THANKS, CBS. Well, Maggie wanted to speak to Howie, but the HOH felt a bit nervous. “Can Janey come with us, would you mind?” he asked.
“Can you do it on your own?” replied Maggie.
“I’ll come with,” volunteered Janelle without waiting for a response. Meanwhile, cut to me chuckling on the couch and giving 10s to Janelle on the CBS.com popularity poll. “I’m not going to allow Howie to speak to Maggie individually because the last time that happened, all hell broke loose,” she informed us. Please, you don’t have to tell us. I’ve already burned Howie in effigy off my balcony.
Not wanting to share Howie with Janelle, Maggie said nevermind and called an official Friendship meeting. She told Beau and Ivette that it was up to them to decide what she should do with the veto. The two nominees tried to be modest and selfless, but Beau couldn’t help subtly advancing his cause. “I do want to stay, but I’m not gonna say, ‘take me off and leave her there.’ I’m not going to do that.” Even though you just did.
Later and in private, April told Maggie, “Thank you for not using it [the veto].”
“I might use it,” responded Maggie, causing April to literally honk, “HUH?” Uh oh. Something is afoot. This of course sent April crying — nay, bawling — with the prospect that she might be betrayed. Exxxxcellent. And who, pray tell, was there to prey on this vulnerable, hurt granny? JANELLE. “I think they’re turning on you,” she said in the privacy of the HOH room. Would this be a monumental shift in the game? Would Janelle be able to bring April to the “pitch black” side? (Or was it “stark white”? Or “shady gray”? Somebody get Beau…) Well, it was too soon to tell, and as much as I love Janelle, she has yet to make an aggressive move to steal someone from the other side. C’mon Janey. Time to kick it up a notch.
After this discussion, April then had another talk with Maggie, who noted that by keeping Ivette and Beau in the game longer, the target remains on them, not her. Of course, April was a full-on mess at this point, crying in ways that surely would have sent Pepperoni running for cover.
In the diary room, April could hardly even get words out between her horse-like sobs: “Out of all the people in the house… (sob)… I thought… (sob)… that Maggie… (sob, sob)… was gonna play this game as much with her heart as possible (SOB SOB SOB).” Man, the last time April weeped this hard was when she found out her cousin had died in the Franco-Prussian war. Click here for the audio.
April just learned she’s run out of Depends.
At the veto ceremony, Maggie addressed the household by saying, “Morals are a very unfortunate thing to have in this game.” So is self-delusion. They often go hand in hand. Nevertheless, Moral Maggie opted not to use the veto, thus depriving us of another April meltdown. Now how can you go about implying that you have morals when you so selfishly keep such spectacles off the air?
We went away for a commercial break, and when we returned, we came face to face with The Chenbot whose black shirt had me awaiting an interpretive dance or maybe just a poetry reading at any second. Instead, she rapidly talked through some expository discussion and then asked Beau and Ivette to say their final words. As usual, Beau babbled on and on in a typically inarticulate and rambling monologue. Ivette was surprisingly quiet, as she often gets when she’s nervous, and simply said she could not compete with Beau’s “fierceness.” Other things she couldn’t compete with: his waistline. Oooh! Rimshot!
Anyway, Janelle, April, and Maggie all voted to evict Beau (with April tearing up in the process), and as Julie told us about the results, I anxiously waited to see if Beau might let out a squeal of sadness. Kind of like a balloon deflating. Alas, no such obnoxious noises came out as Beau headed to the door. The only sound came from the roommates sniffling and hugging. “I’m going to miss your Beau bedtime stories,” said April. For the record, Beau’s bedtime stories were only him squealing “AAAAhhhhhhhyyyy” for five minutes straight. It’s the white noise effect.
As Beau headed to his Chenterrogation, The Friendship huddled together bravely in the bedroom with tears in their eyes. “I think I’ve cried more than anybody in this damn game,” moaned Ivette. “Are you joking me? I’m an emotional wreck,” replied April. The three girls then began shouting “No, I am!” “No I am!” before pulling their hair and kicking their shins.
Over with the Julie, we watched a thankfully brief Chenterview as Beau talked about nothing particularly interesting. The best part of this was watching The Chenbot’s pensive reaction as if the freshly evicted houseguest had actually made some salient point about whatever. (And by the way, “Beau” and “salient” are two concepts that will never mix. Kind of like “Hitler” and “teddy bears.”)
Nevertheless, we were spared a Beau goodbye video (probably edited out of the broadcast) and got right to the HOH competition. And yes, my heart was beating quite heavily and rapidly at this point. This contest was called “Magnetic Attraction” and was basically just an elaborate version of our old friend, the trusty blue-or-red paddle game. Basically, Julie would ask a question and give two answers. Players had to place a token on either a blue surface or a red surface. If they answered correctly, they’d get a point. Otherwise, the token would drop away. Hence the magnetic attraction. Well played, Big Brother. Well played.
Anyway, the questions began and for a while, things seemed to be going well. April had messed up, and Janelle was still in the running. Julie Chen even showed some sexy flair as she casually tossed her hair in between questions. Who knew the Chelmet could be so movable? But alas, the good times ended as Janelle missed one and then two questions. You’re killing me, Janey. Killing me. Ultimately, the competition came down to a tie-breaker between Ivette and Maggie, with the latter throwing the whole thing so (I imagine) her frustrated friend could finally win something.
Upon hearing her name called as the new HOH, Ivette immediately freaked out and… ran to the big chaise-longue to cry? Huh? You know, I shouldn’t make fun. Whenever I hear good news, I usually go running for the nearest piece of lawn furniture also. I don’t know. It’s very comforting.
As you can imagine, however, with Ivette’s victory, I felt less like embracing my Costco patio chair and more like chucking it into the nearest pool, Mischa Barton style. Tuesday’s veto ceremony is gonna kill me. Until then, feed-watchers, please keep spoilers out of the comments.
What did you think about the show?