By admin|Friday, July 15, 2005 | 12:31 am | 40 Comments
I simply LOVE Thursday nights during Big Brother season. It has only been a week, which means that we still have a lot of time to go with our “Summer of Secrets” (every time I write that down, I have to say “secrets” in this whisper-like voice. I don’t know why, but I enjoy it. Try it for yourself). Thursday means that we will have an eviction, and the first eviction is always the most difficult. It’s not necessarily a bad sign to be nominated first, because those people often make it far, but it is quite the slap in the face to be evicted first. The first elimination is pretty much a popularity contest to see who among 14 people is the worst at making friends. Would you want that distinction? I don’t think so.Some of you probably read that first paragraph and thought to themselves “Whoa, J-Unit didn’t mention Julie Chen at all. Maybe he isn’t as obsessed as the rest.” Sorry folks, you are dead wrong. Thursday is my favorite night because of the Chenwatch. Like sg-dub, I prepare for my Chenema and relish the effects. Some may question our obsession, but if you take the time to observe the Chen, you will know what makes us so happy about her. For the novices, we gave you a little Julie head bob game to play (say yes for an up and down motion, say no for side to side), but there are many things to notice for the neophyte Chenthusiast. Just watch. And enjoy.
After a little recap from the first week (the new announcer and intro bug me as well), the Chen got us started, and oh my God, did it look like she was anxious. You know how when you have a dog and it hears your car pulling into the driveway and it waits for you behind the screen door, waiting to pounce as soon as you get in? That was Julie in her first few moments of the show. And it just got better from there. I guess it is live, so there is a lot of pressure, but Julie took an extended look down just to make sure there was still a step. And when they panned out, I finally discovered why. Her pants were so big, she probably had trouble seeing her feet (you think Les gets excited when she has open toes on air?). The first episode and already the wardrobe is a disaster. She had these capri pants on that made it look like she raided the Viacom refuse bins for a pair of one of MC Hammer’s more conservative pairs of pants, and took the hem up a bit. Julie, don’t stop. DON’T EVER STOP.
Things aren’t going so well for Julie early on, which means that there is a good chance that there is going to be plenty of shit to laugh about early in the show. I am not sure if the new set had a new TelePrompTer, but Julie seemed to have had trouble reading some lines and messed up a few times. Luckily, it looks like the cameras are positioned in a similar enough fashion that when it was time for her to pause, turn her head, look into camera 2 and say “But First!”, she delivered her signature line with poise. That’s our girl.
While the producers gave Chenbot a little bit of a fix, we got to see a bit more footage from the house. It was time for the nominees to do damage control, and Ashlea was up first. She had to work on getting votes, and if there was a woman in the house (or a decent facsimile of one) that needed a vote, Howie was the best bet. Right away, Ashlea started on Howie. I am not sure why she though Howie would help her after all of that great effort he gave her in the veto competition, but you can’t knock a girl for trying. While it was intriguing for Howie to think of himself in a house with just a bunch of women, it didn’t look like he was convinced that an eye candy voting method would be all that beneficial.
And what about all of those girls with beautiful bodies? I would have to say that Maggie is the least attractive, but if she had to make her living strutting around in lingerie and had huge fake boobs, I think she has some potential. I have loved Chloe Sevigny since “Last Days of Disco,” and Maggie does have at least a passing resemblance.
Anyway, Howie isn’t the only person taking notice of all of the hot women. Michael was lying in bed with Jennifer, using one of the oldest tricks in the book. If you are caught staring at somebody’s exposed (or nearly exposed) nipple while they are lying next to you in a bikini, simply move your hand over and re-adjust the bikini, saying that you “were afraid” her boob would pop out and somebody would notice. Very rarely is the girl stupid enough not to notice, but it does save the awkward conversation that stems if she chimes in first with a “Were you just looking at my boobs?” or “Are you enjoying the show?” or “I am not going to sleep with you, you stupid drunk bastard.”
But with all of this mixing between the sexes, you have to watch out that Eric might be on your case. I’m sorry, but I officially hate Eric, and I officially feel sorry for his wife. Maybe it is just his paranoid nature, maybe it is his steroid withdrawal, but why does he throw a fit whenever anybody even thinks about talking with another girl? He brought the point up that Michael might be getting too close, and Kaysar wondered if he should say something, but Eric warned him not to. I am sure that you have all noticed that despite Eric complaining about how much Rachel schemes and how much influence she has in the house, up to this point, Eric is the most bullyish, and has perhaps more influence than anybody else.
I also hate Eric’s constant look of constipation
Kaysar, however, is a little jumpy about the situation and tells Michael, even though Eric basically told him not to. There you go again Kaysar, exercising your free will! How dare you! So, Kaysar gives Michael the warning, telling him that people are noticing, but with instructions just to think about it and not get too crazy. This, of course, sends Michael to ask who has a problem with him getting close to Jennifer. I don’t know if Michael thought he was smart enough to pull it off, but it is simply great when people think they are smart enough to take somebody’s advice they were given in confidence and confront somebody with the knowledge they weren’t supposed to have. And it’s awesome that this type of shit is happening in the first episode.
Michael goes to Eric, who immediately knows who told him. Eric goes to Kaysar, saying that he knows that he told Michael. Finally, Kaysar goes to Michael, asking him why he went up to Eric when he told him not to! Eric also begins to whine because he is upset that Kaysar seems to have forgotten the original Neo-Horsemen alliance that they made the first couple of days. Again, Eric is a complete hypocrite, since he has already informed us that he has made a deal with Ivette about the final two. Now, we know that is a lie because both have a friend in the house, but I can tell I am already going to be sick of how Eric is going to twist all logic to make himself look infallible in all the ways that he is a two-faced sun of a bitch. And with the end of that sequence we get our new emphasis drum. In case you didn’t notice that there is tension in the room, CBS producers are ready to zoom on all the players involved one by one, and let you know.
It’s now time for Julie to work the room a little bit. Her interviews are always marvelous because she has a captive audience, and it is always fun to see how she handles glitches, like people talking over their alloted time. First question is to Ivette, and she is asked what she thinks of the PB&J. After Ivette rambles on a little bit about how she feels, Chenbot gives a nice little “Our plan is working” (I just said that in a Darth Vader voice), and we move on. She asks Janelle who has the best sense of humor in the house. Janelle says “probably Howie” and after Howie says thanks, there is this awkward silence. One-thousand one. Uh oh. One-thousand two. Now I’m hysterical. One-thousand three. Wait, is something really wrong? One-Thousand four. Julie finally chimes in, saying “I probably would have to agree.” But maybe my description isn’t good enough, so here’s the video:
Click on Janelle to play.
Julie had a similar situation later on, when she talked about the Summer of Secrets and the house guests sort of stood sat in their chairs. Maybe it isn’t Julie’s fault after all, maybe these people are just boring. Something off camera gets them to respond, but Julie is clearly shaken. She fumbles another line before we go to commercial. As an aside, Howie is now wearing the Alicia Keyes hat Kaysar sported last week. If you see any guy wearing that hat at any point this summer, scald them with some coffee or something, because you know that they just suck.
When we get back, it was the time that a lot of us have been waiting for, the revelation of the pairings. Now, it wasn’t all that hard to figure out a lot of them because so many people happened to be from the same town, but it was nice to finally see who the pair were, and some were so obvious:
Beau and Ivette. Hooray for originality Big Brother!
Kaysar and Michael. Yes, they are from Orange County, but did anybody not figure they were neighbors? They live close to each other, which means it’s easier to buy all that gel they both love to use in their hair in bulk.
Eric and Maggie. He saves people from a disaster, and she heals their wounds. Awww.
Janelle and Ashley. Met while at Johns Hopkins – after surgery. If you like Silence of the Lambs you know what I mean.
Rachel and Howie. Umm, I got nothing
James and Sarah. Now we know why he lied about his job. She’s a retail manager and he is in loss prevention (rent-a-cop). You think she got him the job? I bet she also makes him dress up in leather and wear a gag.
April and Jennifer. Sorority sisters, although clearly they met during April’s 20-year reunion, and they also had the same plastic surgeon.
While the revelation of the teams wasn’t a surprise to everyone, especially people who have been following the live feeds, what was a surprise is just how much each pair thought that they were the big twist. They all talked about trying to hide the facts from each other, but soon people began to notice that they weren’t the only ones that might be paired up with somebody. I am sure this was something CBS was counting on, but I am not sure if they thought it would happen this soon.
They’re here, they’re queer, get used to it!
When we got back to the live action, it was time for Julie to do her customary HOH interview. She asked Rachel exactly how hard was it to pretend that she didn’t know Howie. I have to admit, they are both doing a pretty good job at keeping the secret, and Rachel said it was because she hadn’t seen Howie in a couple of years. I think it is another reason. Pretend you were Rachel, if you ever had to be seen out in public with somebody like Howie, wouldn’t you practice pretending like you didn’t know him? I say she has an unfair advantage. The rest of the time Rachel spent congratulating herself on how awesome she was as the first HOH and how everything she did rocked. If Rachel lasts a long time in the house, especially if she has any influence, you know she is going to stick around Los Angeles and try to act.
The last montage before the eviction (shit, I almost forgot that it was even supposed to happen!) was the plight of James and Sarah. Two people so in love, that are faced with the great challenge of having to pretend they are not a couple. It seemed like they might be doing a decent job, but I wish they would try and pretend that they weren’t the most boring people on the planet. They love each other so much, and well, it’s hard to see James flirt with other girls, because they love each other so much. It’s tough not being able to talk to her because, you know, they love each other so much. Whenever I hear people talk like that, I always think they are trying to convince themselves more than the people around them. And if that wasn’t enough, we also had to deal with baby talk and secret little sign language (crossed fingers that mean “I love you”). I hope somebody takes a tire iron and beats both of these shmoopies over the head with it.
It came time for Julie to announce the eviction, But First! we have to have the little speeches from the nominees. Thankfully they are very short, although Ashlea didn’t even bother to get up out of her chair. Before she says the name, Julie reminds them that they have one minute to say goodbyes and then they must leave out of the front door. Oh, thanks Julie, we were really afraid that somebody was going to accidentally take the side door, get lost, and find themselves in lost in Burbank or Glendale.
Rounding out a pretty bad night, Julie fumbles a little bit with opening the name of the house guest out of the card. I don’t know why they insist on this ceremony, because it is always difficult for the Chenbot, and it just saps her confidence on days like this. When our host finally gets a good glimpse at the name she announces that Kaysar…IS SAFE! Whoa Julie! After a tough night, you don’t back down and go for the misdirection anyway! With the first elimination! That takes some guts.
Ashlea’s interview is nothing spectacular, and actually quite forgettable. Julie gets her to cry when she shows her a tape of all the nice things Janelle had to say about her. Ashlea said she didn’t know they were going to do that. I am not sure what Big Brother she has been watching, but haven’t they had goodbye videos for a long time now? Maybe not everybody gets one, but it shouldn’t blow you away. What’s the next surprise CBS has, that a family member or close friend will show up when they are evicted? The most interesting part of the whole thing was at the beginning when Julie Chen asked Ashlea if her bags were heavy. I think I may have just been reflexively laughing at whatever she does, and it might last, well, until the finale.
The last thing we had to do before we left for the night was the HOH competition, yet another source of Julie Chen moments. I wasn’t to stay excited, however, as the game took a lot of what Julie usually does during the HOH competition out of her hands. Each person was asked a True or False question. If anybody got the answer wrong, they were eliminated. If everybody answered correctly, the last person to buzz in would be eliminated. The loser’s answer box would flash, so Julie wouldn’t have to do an ad lib for any of it. In a surprise, Janelle lasted all the way until the end. I have been going on the pretense that she is an idiot, so being able to answer all of the questions right so quickly impressed me, even if the questions were things like “True or False, the cabinets are green.” Janelle finally lost out to Eric, which is not a surprise, since he was the only person in the house with a bigger chin than her. Also did you notice her “You Boar Me” t-shirt with the picture of the, uh, boar? Janelle LOVES punny t-shirts.
When Eric won, he simply went ballistic. He was jumping and shouting and screaming “Yeah!!” It’s like he was watching the birth of his first baby or just got accepted to Phoenix University. His intensity is going to start pissing people off very quickly. We learned during Julie’s final words that he has been trying to get people to sleep at 11:30(!!) and wants the lights out. I guess having his own room will make him less annoying in that regard, but having the HOH power is quickly going to go to his head. I predict lots of disaster as his alliances fall when people see they don’t want to go very far with such an asswipe.
Considering that Big Brother usually starts slow, I am happy with how this first week turned out. There is a lot of debate about how good all of the pairings are going to be, but I think it will be interesting because people know what alliances are in the house and who is influencing who. This just leads to more scheming, and whenever reality contestants use their brains, the results are usually pretty good. Just ask Jennifer, who described the house as very egocentrical. It takes a lot of intelligence to come up with a non-sensical suffix like that (funny TV blog writers excluded, of course). It seems that I have rambled on almost as long as B-Side, so maybe I’ll just put the keyboard down and drink some straight vodka to put me to sleep. You probably didn’t need to know that second part, but oh well.
How was the first eviction? Who will Eric nominate? Who will go next?