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I write to you with great sadness tonight. Our dearest Big Brother 6 has come to an end. It’s been a long, strange journey, and as I write these words, I regretfully realize that this most wonderful of reality show seasons has now been sealed into memories. A present tense turned past. Like the legendary Richard Marx sings, “Hold on to the night. Hold on to the memory. I wish that I could give you something more. That I could be yours.”
With that said, hows about that Chenbot? Are you with me, people? Something happened to her. She seemed almost… human? No, that’s saying too much. Surely she’s incapable of having a Pinnochio moment. No, I think it was less drastic. Maybe someone switched her system software. It’s like she went from Microsoft Word to Leisure Suit Larry. Whatever it was, Julie Chen was en fuego tonight. Aw, CBS. I know we can see her every morning on The Early Show, but we like the ‘bot best in primetime. Bring back Big Brother this spring! Make it bigger and badder than ever before! Do it, CBS! Do it!Anyway, the big shew opened up with none other than Ms. Chen greeting us from outside the Big Brother compound. I was momentarily disarmed as I thought her head was floating mid-air like some new Asian version of The Wizard of Oz. Alas, it was just an illusion (also very Oz-like) as her dark dress merely blended into the background. Julie was excited, I could tell by the goofy grin on her face, and you know what? So was I!
I was even more excited when the camera pulled back and we saw that the producers had fashioned a runway of sorts leading out from the house’s front door. Even better, dozens of adoring fans sat alongside, and as Julie walked to center stage, she was sure to give all her peeps mad props by slapping five and shaking hands. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to Rockstar: Julie Chen.
And for the record, if I had been one of those lucky fans, I probably wouldn’t have washed my hand for like, you know, FOREVER.
We then zipped off to the five-minute recap of the season where the announcer crowed, “It was a Summer of Secrets!” Well, two secrets really. But hey, tonight’s a special night. Don’t hate. Congratulate! Ah yes, and there was much to congratulate. Watching the recap made me nostalgically remember just how wonderful this season was. Dearest readers, if this was your first season, or if we brought you back to a show that you had long given up on, you have to admit. This show rocks, does it not? And for those of you who simply don’t get this show, well, I really don’t know what to say. If I were The Friendship, I would say a prayer for you. But since I’m not, I’ll probably just chuckle dismissively from afar. You know, pull the old “THEY don’t get it.”
After the recap, we then saw the opening credits and look! Everyone’s names were back! And their pictures were in color. Wow, so much love flowing through the show, and it was only the first five minutes. I couldn’t even imagine what else would be in store for us.
One thing I could depend on was some old fashioned Chenbot awkwardness, and sure enough, here she was, holding sway over the crowd with her typically large Chelmet. Julie talked us through some generic information and then gave what we then learned was the last “But first” of the season. You know, had she not said it tonight, I would have been a little sad. Might have cried. And now, thanks to our homemade But First video, all the world can see what we’ve always loved about that special phrase.
Anyway, we moved back into the house where we saw the aftermath of Janelle’s eviction. The girls hugged and congratulated themselves while the rest of America vomited, and then we heard what special strategies they had used to get so far. For instance, Ivette’s gameplan was to be honest. “I am blunt, I’m honest, I’m outspoken, I’m loud,” she said, forgetting other adjectives such as “dumb,” “annoying,” and “racist.” Maggie meanwhile claimed that she bit her tongue a lot. You see, normally she likes the spotlight, provided it’s a very plain, boring spotlight. I’m sorry. I fell asleep halfway through her comments.
Up at the Jury House, things were a bit more lively. Given the nippy fall weather, everyone walked out into the backyard dressed in sweaters and jackets. It was so Sideways: Autumn Wasp Edition. Translation: I was jealous. Anyway, while the group debated who would be joining them next, Janelle suddenly appeared behind them, yelling, “I got taken out by a NERD HERD!!!” Don’t remind us, Janelle. Don’t remind us.
As she walked in, there were tons of hugs and flowery comments, especially by Janey who chirped, “I love you guys!” We’ll just assume that wasn’t directed towards Jennifer. Soon, everyone settled into their seats to have a spirited discussion about the final two players. Janelle seemed like she was going to bash Ivette by saying the finalist had basically given up the money in order to stay loyal to Maggie, but then she smoothed it out by saying that Ivette must have a really big heart. Nice save Janelle, but you don’t have to play politics anymore. James, meanwhile, interpreted Ivette’s moves slightly differently: “The thing is, she kept her promise to her friends, but kicked her family in the ass.” This of course made Beau quite pissy and prickly, as he scoffed back with an angry glare. Honestly, I applaud James. Not for speaking the truth, but for putting Beau in such a sour mood that the chances of him squealing like a cat in a dishwasher were virtually nil.
Anyway, the Maggie vs. Ivette debate raged on for quite some time, with many people hitting on the same notes multiple times. Beau said that if Ivette had picked Janelle over Maggie, she would have been playing dirty, to which Janelle responded, “That’s why it just opened my eyes as to how good of a person she is.” Wait a second. I think Janelle’s being sincere. Hmmm… I don’t like this “say nice things about The Friendship” thing. I feel lonely and cold now. If anyone needs me, I’ll be cradling my head in my knees over in the corner.
Luckily, a bitter Howie was there to keep it real, yo. “But her [Ivette's] integrity was destroyed so many times during the game. Why did she play with integrity during the final week? I don’t understand that.” One point for Howie! And what does fair Rachel have to say? “Ivette made it personal. She was a big piece of trash in my eyes in this game.” Meeeeow! Gotta have the bitter juror. I assumed it would be Janelle, but lo and behold, it was Rachel. Makes sense, actually. After all, Beau really did call her card. You know, what with her being shades of gray, pitch black, and stark white. That whole pseudo-oreo personality assessment can really make a woman mad.
The best part of all this though was that while the Sovereign bashed Ivette and Maggie, The Friendship sat there looking disgusted and annoyed. Jennifer in particular called upon her typical knee-jerk reaction by exaggeratedly rolling her eyes with nearly every comment. She was pissed, man. It was like someone told her she could never do a cartwheel ever again.
As for Beau, the stress of the situation (or maybe it was just the cold weather) was clearly taking a toll on him. Soon his voice had devolved into a nouveau-Katherine Hepburn tremble as he asked, “Do you think Maggie’s strategy was to fly under the radar the whole game?” It’s okay Beau-Beau. No reason to get choked up. Actually, maybe there was. James deftly made The Friendship feel like cow poop as he argued that Maggie had manipulated each and every one of them. Watching April, Jennifer, and Beau give each other “Whoa. He’s right” looks was fairly priceless, almost as priceless as the little interchange when April said, “You pretty much think that Maggie manipulated us in order for her to play the game and get to the end, ” and then Janelle interrupted, “Because she sucks so bad.” Ah, there’s the bitter Janey we’ve come to love!
After the commercial break, we returned to Julie who pointed out Ivette’s family, including “Tush”, sitting in the audience. Julie then said the jury would vote on who should win Big Brother, “But before they cast their votes…” Hey! That was cheap, Julie. You teased us with the “But” and then hung us out to dry without the “first”. What gives? Was that your way of sticking it to us? Because if it was, that hurt. That really hurt.
Anyway, it was now time for the jury to ask questions of the finalists, and unfortunately, this segment wasn’t as insane as I’d been hoping it would be. Then again, how can you top last year when Marvin accused pretty much everyone short of Martin Luther King Jr. of being racist? Anyway, James, Rachel, and Howie all asked dumb, forgettable questions (which was upsetting because I thought Rachel, as the bitter juror, would be the one to make a fool of herself with a venom-laced interrogation). As she addressed Ivette, Janelle was the first one to ask anything with some teeth: “Throughout this game, you said that you’re playing for your family. Don’t you think that by last night’s decision that you’ve made a $450,000 mistake? And if so, why did you do that?” Funny, this was vaguely similar to Tom Cruise’s seminal question: “Why would you do that? Why would you do that? You’re a jerk!” Anyway, I thought Ivette would babble incoherently in response, but instead, she was surprisingly succinct as she explained that had she picked Janelle, she would have lost the money anyway. Huh. Not a lot of fireworks.
Surely Janelle’s next question would provide some excitement, yes? “Maggie, you haven’t made many plays in this game. Why in the hell do you deserve the money over Ivette?” This of course sent Jennifer’s eyes rolling anew, and honestly, at this point, she should have just sighed really loudly or moaned “OH MY GOD.” I mean, c’mon. The eye-rolling is just so old. Meanwhile, if Jennifer’s reading this, she’s probably rolled her eyes about five times in the past two seconds.
Anyway, Maggie gave a typical “My strategy was to blend in” response, which meant it was time for Beau to ask his question. “What was your strategy after Cappy got evicted?” he asked. Maggie replied, “My strategy was to not get evicted.” Well, THANKS! That really sheds some light on your game. This is why I’d never last one second on Big Brother. My strategy is to get evicted. Duh. I should totally consider not getting evicted.
April was up next with her dumb question to Ivette: “It took down to the five people being there until you started winning. Were you throwing the competitions or was it that there were stronger competitors, you feel, in the game at that time?” Yeah, wonderful question. Surprise, surprise, Ivette said she hadn’t thrown the competitions and that she tried super hard every week. Gosh, I never would have thought she’d say that. Way to cut to the heart of it, April!
Lastly, it was time for Jennifer to pose a question, and I’m still trying to decide whether it was a lame, self-serving attempt to clear her image, or a strategical move to boost Ivette-hate. She asked, “Maggie, when I was HOH, and we were all upstairs in our own group, who was the one person that initially brought up Kaysar’s name as a nomination?” Just shut up Jennifer. Now I’m doing her classic move: rolling my eyes. For the record though, Ivette did fess up that it was her idea, but honestly, five or six weeks later, I don’t think anyone in the jury still gave a shit.
Well, the two women gave some generic final speeches, and then it was time for the jury to confer again. “I found out some things about Maggie that kind of shocked me,” stated Jennifer, adding, “She said she couldn’t do a cartwheel. I just cannot respect that.” Meanwhile, back in the house, Maggie semi-joked to Ivette, “I don’t think they like either of us!” Who? The jury? Or AMERICA?
Back on the live show, it was time for Julie to welcome the jury. Sure enough, they all came parading down the runway to the sound of cheering fans, and honestly, if I was there, I would have given Janelle a standing ovation. To his credit, Howie received a loud response, but it was nothing compared with Janey who actually did receive a huge — and in some places, standing — ovation. Take THAT, Friendship!
As we cut to commercial, the camera drifted over the cheering crowd, and we were able to get a quick Big Brother audience update. Present were TVgasm friends Josh Souza and Erika Landin (from seasons 1 and 4, respectively), Jack (season 4), Will (season 5), Marvin (season 5), and of course, last year’s big winner, Dreamboat Drew (season 5). I’m sure there were others amongst the masses, but honestly, there was a lot to recap. I couldn’t dilly-dally with all these cameos.
When we came back, it was time for the jurors to cast their votes. And by the way, a big shout out to Maggie for making sure her hair was all frizzed out for the occasion. It’s about time someone dressed up with class… Anyway, Julie instructed the jurors that they could make one brief statement to the nominees before casting their votes. Emphasis on brief. And we all know what happens when The Chenbot’s stopwatch goes off. “I NEED AN ANSWER NOW!!!!!”
As much as I loved this season, and as fun as this finale was, I had to admit, this vote was probably the least interesting part of the whole hour. After all, do we really care who wins? I mean, even when it was Jun and Allison, two girls everyone hated, I still desperately wanted Jun to win over Allison. But this year, I’m sorry CBS. My heart walked out with Janelle on Friday.
Okay, enough babbling on my part. Time to listen to the jurors babble instead. Beau was up first, and he gave some empty praise to the girls, but I was too distracted by his stupid shirt that read, “Royalty.” I suppose it was an appropriate word, considering Beau was by and large a royal pain in the ear. (Yes, I probably could have made some cheap “queen” joke, but please, we have standards here. Low standards, but standards nonetheeless.)
Up next was April who took the opportunity to talk and talk and talk about who knows what. I probably could have read The Brothers Karamazov thrice over in the time it took April to wrap up. You know she must leave the longest, most annoying, voicemail messages. Honestly, I was surprised The Chenbot didn’t try to laugh-interrupt her.
April eventually dropped her key in the voting box and was then followed by James and the accompanying nervous laughter as the audience braced for a bitter comment. Alas, he was remarkably civil and dispatched his vote with no incident. Also relatively polite was Rachel who took as long sticking her key in the box as April spent babbling in front of America. Hurry up Rachel! The Chenbot’s gonna blow!
Next was Janelle, and as she rose from her chair, her microphone pack came undone, an affliction that has plagued her seemingly the entire season. Seriously, why does Janelle’s mic pack always fall off? Surely I thought this would lead to a total Chen-failure, but let’s not forget. This was Cool Cat Chenbot 6.0, and to my surprise, she actually cracked an adlibbed joke: “Before inserting your key as to who you would like to see win the game… put your mic pack on!” Wow, Julie! Well done! Almost in recognition of her newfound go-with-the-flow powers, Julie broke out into that robotic laughter we’ve come to love so dearly (the ChenCackle, if you will). I nearly did the slow-clap-to-raving-applause in her honor. Bravo! A major improvement over last year’s big awkward silence.
Anyway, as Janelle cast her vote, she said that she would base it on either who she felt was the bigger competitor or who had treated her best in the house, causing Julie to quip, “Can’t wait to see that vote!” Hey-oh!!! This just in: Julie Chen will be headlining at the Laugh Factory this Thursday, followed by a weekend engagement at Ha-Ha’s and then Misty’s Comedy Shack in Akron, Ohio. Get our tickets now.
Jennifer placed her key in the box next, and as she struggled to get the damn thing in, Maggie laughed warmly, “Look at your face, Jen!” Yes, it’s brimming with ugliness! The most biting and truthful comments, however, came from Howie of all people who managed to give Kaysar and Janelle a shout out, saying they were America’s Choices. This caused the audience to erupt with applause, and as Howie enjoyed his newfound hero status, the always reliable Chenbot piped up with an urgent plea, “BRIEF, HOWIE! BRIEF!!!” Julie then added, “Starting self-destruct sequence. 10. 9. 8. 7…”
Nevertheless, Howie obliged Ms. Chen and wrapped up his statement beautifully, noting, “I’m stuck voting for America’s last choices.” The audience murmured with “Did he just say that?” and as Maggie sarcastically said, “Thanks, Howie…” the crowd applauded loudly in support of Howie and his alliance. Best passive-aggressive applause EVER!
With all the votes cast, it was time to reveal the winner. BUT FIRST! Even better! Time for… the reunion! As Julie noted, it would be the first time the jurors would be hearing details about the show. Suddenly my heart was beating. Would they say that Janelle and Kaysar have been the most popular contestants ever? Would they say how much everyone hated The Friendship, especially Jennifer? Would they say that TVgasm was the bestest website and the only place for super funny recaps? Hmmm… I figured that last one was a long shot, but hey, a man’s gotta dream.
Well, Ashlea, Michael, Eric, Sarah, and Kaysar all waltzed onto the stage (after passing through the mini-MTV Video Music Awards runway), and once everyone was seated, Julie joked, “Welcome back. One big happy family. NOT!” Good one, Julie! That Wayne’s World humor still kills!!! You go on with your bad self. ChenCackle until the cows come home.
Anyway, this new, casual, jokey Chen conducted the reunion with surprising casualness. She asked Sarah if there had been anything she had wanted to tell James, and yada yada yada, Sarah just wanted to reaffirm that Howie, Janelle, and Rachel’s loyalty really was honest and true. How nice. Still doesn’t make up for Howie’s dumbass move. But no use crying over spilled milk, even if that milk cost Janelle or Kaysar $500,000.
After asking Eric a stupid question about Maggie, Julie then asked Michael about the sexual harassment allegations he faced in the house, but in classic Chen fashion, she tried to be ultra-sensitive in her phrasing: “Michael, while you were in the house, you were kind of attacked. Some of your housemates accused you of some bad behavior in regards to your treatment of women. Later on, these… some of these people regretted believing certain accusations made against you. What would you like to say to your accusers?” Oh, just say it Julie. April and Ivette and Jennifer accused you of sexual harassment. It’s okay. We all saw the episode. For the record, Michael had a classy response by saying that the feedback he’d gotten from the public (that’s us!) has been so positive that he’s received all the validation he could have wanted. Hey Michael, if you’re reading this, we back you, bro. Jennifer, if you’re reading this, go away.
It’s funny. I really don’t have the deep-seeded hatred of Jennifer that most people have. But I think it’s just fun to jump on the bandwagon. Sort of sad, really.
Later, Julie then cornered April about Janelle winning America’s Choice twice. In fact, she even played the infamous scene where she called us all “pieces of shit.” Best reunion EVER! This is what we’ve been waiting for! Jerry Springer-ish confrontation. Hey CBS, how could you only give us 60 minutes with these people. Give us another 30. 15 at least! Anyway, April very politely apologized to America and Janelle for her comments, and to her credit, while I do enjoy bashing the old granny, April did seem somewhat decent tonight. I know she’s a crazy old bat, but she seemed genuinely happy about the whole experience. Maybe I’m just going a little nuts myself.
Certainly not coming off well was Jennifer though who was received with a fair share of hisses and boos. Heh. When Julie asked Kaysar if he had anything to say, he replied with a I-kinda-wish-it-were-better response of “Jennifer, think for yourself.” This was met with several “Ooooh!”s and applause, and in response, a defensive Jennifer said, “I did think for myself. The group swayed my decision.” Uh… what? That really made no sense at all. Maybe I misheard it. Anyway, Jenny’s comment resulted in stony, awkward silence on stage. It was like all the contestants had suddenly turned into Chenbots.
Luckily, Eric was there diffuse the situation. You see, he didn’t understand why Kaysar and his group had gotten so mad when in effect Kaysar had done the same thing to him. Well, douchebag, it’s because you turned on Kaysar and negated your deal. But whatever. I didn’t need to remind anyone about that because the crowd rejected Eric’s little moment with a flurry of boos. Did I mention this was the best reunion ever?
As we headed to commercial break, The Chenbot told Sarah and James they could hug, which they did, and it was all sweet and lovely. But honestly, take care of this bidness during the commercials. We only have so many minutes on air. I’d rather spend these thirty seconds picking Ashlea’s brain rather than watch the lovebirds. And speaking of Ashlea, she was omitted from the questions. What exactly did this woman do? You know there’s a back story here. The producers must hate her for leaving sequester early on.
But anyway, when we came back from commercials, it was finally time to reveal the votes. Maggie and Ivette clutched their hands and looked about ready to throw up as Julie read the votes. Here’s how they broke down:
Beau voted for Ivette
April voted for Maggie
James voted for Ivette
Rachel voted for Maggie
Janelle voted for Ivette (causing everyone, including Ivette, to react with shock)
Jennifer voted for Maggie
and the tie-breaking vote by Howie went to…
MAGGIE WINS! That’s right. We have a new winner! Yippee! Now, let’s talk to Janelle and Kaysar some more.
Nevertheless, Ivette looked absolutely destroyed by her loss, and she sullenly hugged her ally while the crowd cheered loudly. Moments later, Maggie emerged from the house and walked down the runway, her hands limply grazing those of the fans below. Least excited runway march EVER!
Well, Maggie walked right into the arms of Cappy, and oops. Did I say that Maggie had the least excited runway march ever? I’m sorry. That honor belongs to Ivette, who walked out of the house as if she’d just seen Cappy get shot in the head. Well, everyone rushed in to hug the two finalists (and then Kaysar. He was a popular man), and in all the confusion, we suddenly saw the unlikely sight of Julie Chen with her arm draped on Ivette. Whoa! This was entirely too human for The Chenbot. Things became even more surreal as Julie then draped her OTHER arm on Maggie. People, take note. This was the closest we’d get to Julie being drunk.
And you know what? Julie might have actually been drunk. She was at least euphoric. She happily called everyone together, summoning Maggie by shouting, “Winner! Come here, winner!”, and then even yelling out, “TUSH!!” And so this fairy tale season came to an end. Sure, it wasn’t exactly Happily Ever After, but at least Janelle and Kaysar got to bask in their popularity, and Julie Chen, like one Haley Joel Osment in AI, learned what it’s like to be human.
Congratulations CBS, Endemol, and Shapiro/Grodner. You made this a summer to remember!
What did you think of the big finale? And the season as a whole? Was this your first time watching?