Bliss. Pure bliss.
Anyone who watched tonight’s episode of Big Brother knows exactly what I’m talking about. It was a pure TVgasm. The timing of this season has really worked out perfectly for me. I’ve been lucky enough to ravage some of the juiciest episodes this summer: Kaysar’s big chess coup, Janelle’s “Bye Bye Bitches” triumph, and now this, the divine moment when The Friendship began to realize that America does, in fact, hate them.
Words cannot express how much fun it was to watch the tears, the disbelief, the rage. Once again, the good people at Grodner/Shapiro have delivered us a nugget of reality goodness, and for that, I have to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.For sure, I thought this episode would be a dud. After all, newly installed Head of Household April would surely carry on with the Friendship orders and happily target Janelle and Howie. I honestly didn’t know if I’d be able to deal. But then a glimmer of hope came into my life. As we reminisced on Rachel’s recent departure, Beau curiously noted that he and Ivette were the last pair standing. “Everyone is not even looking at us as a target,” he said proudly in the Diary Room. Uh oh. Something is afoot. That was just the sort of cocky attitude the producers love to tear down. Would this episode provide some cataclysmic rift in The Friendship? Alas, after weeks of watching Kaysar’s alliance slowly crumble, I couldn’t pain myself with the thought that there might just be hope left, only to have those dreams dashed by cruel CBS misdirection. My heart can only take so much torture.
Anyway, Rachel walked out the door to Chenbotville, leaving the remaining house guests to stand around and speak in hushed voices, as usual. We could tell the Chenterrogation was going on because Rachel’s video image turned gray at a noticeably slow frame rate, clearly the biproduct of a Chenbot power overload. Seriously, we were about two seconds away from a rolling blackout.
We then returned to the HOH competition where we once again relived the atrocity that was Janelle losing out to April. As The Friendship pounced on her from all angles, April gushed, “I felt like I had been crowned… like Miss America!” Funny, I didn’t think Miss America let seniors into the competition. But then again, the organizers might make an exception for April, what with her famed romance with Bert Parks in 1952 (The same year, coincidentally, that Queen Elizabeth II was, you guessed it, crowned. It all comes together).
As the joy parade continued, Maggie noted, “I felt the most confident out of anyone with April winning HOH.” Hmmm… more cockiness. CBS, don’t toy with me! I will not be a happy blogger if you pick me up, only to cut me down again. At the very least, I could still enjoy the ever-deluded Ivette who screamed across the house, “AMERICA LOVES YOU, APRIL!!!” How about we put that thought on pause, mmmkay?
Later, everyone sat around the dining room table, talking about how no one had won HOH twice. Janelle then looked at Howie and commented, “Not really because the week that you won, we put our own side up. So Maggie was actually Head of Household twice.” Oh SLAM!!!! Janey managed to dis Maggie and Howie all at once. Amazing! Is there anything she can’t do?
Maggie and The Friendship, meanwhile, looked around with confused smiles, as if to say, “We’ll smile to be polite, but we’re pretty sure you just made fun of us.” Actually, Maggie just came right out and said it, “I don’t get it.” It’s good to see that Cappy’s sense of humor remained. Maybe Janelle should have adopted some Beau-isms and communicated via nonsensical grayscale comments.
Afterwards, James began his weekly ass-kissing, this time focusing on his most gullible target, Ivette. While the two chatted outside, April and Maggie suddenly realized that this was not such a great alliance. “It may get in the way of The Friendship,” said Maggie. “It may absolutely be a potential problem if it’s not addressed.” I like how she talks as if there’s actually formal Friendship meetings — like some cloying sect of Quakerism. Nevertheless, with the impending threat of Ivette and James looming, April and Maggie literally sprinted across the house to the Gold Room as if a giant fireball were on their heels (and yes, I truly enjoyed April’s geriatric gait). Anyway, April urgently pushed the idea of backdooring (hee-hee) James this week and needed Howie and Janelle to agree to not select him as their veto partner. Man, if this plan goes through and Janelle and Howie spare themselves another week… I can’t think about it. Must not get too excited…
Of course, the smart move for Janelle and Howie would be to insist that Ivette and Beau be put up as the pawns instead. And if April refused, the two could simply threaten to bring James into the veto competition. Unfortunately, Janelle and Howie weren’t thinking at such Kaysar levels, and as they later mulled over the situation to themselves, Howie reasoned, “We got nothing to lose.” NO! DON’T LISTEN TO HOWIE LOGIC!!! It leads to bad things! Make Ivette and Beau go up instead!!
Anyway, since this was the first episode after April ascended to power, it meant we had the joy of watching the great unveiling of the HOH room. And yes, it was just as bad as we thought it would be. Actually, I take that back. The little personal artifacts weren’t as cloying as my nightmares had suggested, but Beau was in rare form, squealing like an air raid siren every time anyone shoved an object in his face. Remind me to wear earmuffs next time he enters a new HOH room. April got the usual gifts from home including a picture of her husband and, of course, Pepperowwwwni. She also received a blue bathrobe which she donned as if it were some royal garb passed down from Charlemagne’s court. But what really got her choked up was a small bracelet. We never really learned the significance behind this trinket, but it sent April into a tailspin of emotions, ultimately ending with her proclaiming, “MY HUSBAND!!! HE LOVES ME!!!” Just like America!
Howie meanwhile made inroads with his latest apology campaign by kissing Pepperoni’s picture and telling the dog he was sorry about the pizza joke. Ah, but it wasn’t sincere because moments later in the Diary Room, Howie happily sang, “B-U-S-T-O and Busto was her name-o.” Ooh, nice one Howie! What’s up with Howie being funny lately? Doesn’t make sense.
Okay, back to game talk. The Official Grand Conclave of the Friendship met in the HOH room under the rule of the freshly bathrobe’d April. There was much to debate today. Ivette wanted Janelle out of the house. Maggie wanted James out of the house. And Beau wanted to say “fabulous” just for good measure. Ultimately, the momentum seemed to side with Maggie, and the group opted for a traditional backdoor plan for James. “Do NOT say anything to him!” commanded April to Ivette. Okay, how long until Ivette spills the beans? I give her t-minus two minutes.
In case anyone still doubted that April is an old lady…
Amazingly, however, Ivette kept mum (or at least as far as we could tell), and the next morning, Janelle and Howie came a callin’ to Busto’s room to find out what the latest plan was. Janey wanted April to put Ivette up as a pawn as well, simply because it would ensure that if she won the veto, she would use it. But April assured the two that if Ivette went back on her word, The Friendship would target her the next week. Suuuure. Kind of like how Jennifer said her alliance would totally understand if she nominated them as pawns to backdoor James. But then talk got around to the idea of putting both Ivette AND Beau up on the block as pawns, and after a good twenty minutes of self-control, I finally gave over to hope and let my heart skip a beat or two. After all, was it not Beau who had so proudly bragged that he was out of the spotlight? Might he finally be going up on the block??
Well, it was time for April to make her nominations, and this of course led to the typical “What should I do?” montage of the HOH sitting over the nomination thingy (memo to producers: please name that key box next year). “I like for people to like me,” explained April from the Diary Room. But April, didn’t you hear what Ivette said? America LOVES you!
Anyway, at the nomination ceremony, we quickly discovered that all that Beau/Ivette talk was merely just that: talk. Howie and Janelle were put up on the block, and the momentary euphoria I had felt just a few minutes earlier was quickly vanquished. THANKS CBS.
Howie and Janelle took their nominations fairly well, and they seemed to chest bump each other in support, but then I realized they had simply both overshot their hug, making for one hell of a collision (okay, it wasn’t that big of a deal. But I like to harp.) James, meanwhile, noticed that something was up and immediately realized he was being backdoored (hope he lubed up!).
With the nominations now established, April and the rest of her alliance approached Ivette to make sure she was still on the same page. The Spicy Latina (who Everybody Loves, btw) seemed torn with the prospect of possibly using the veto, and a knot tightened in my stomach as I realized that this might all be building up to an Ivette victory.
At the Veto Competition, April picked Maggie, Janelle picked Ivette, and Howie picked Beau to participate. James, meanwhile, picked an awkward expression to hide his displeasure. Random observation: when James tries to cover his unhappiness with a fake mini-smile, he looks quite matronly, does he not?
Anyway, the competition was fairly basic but still fun. Each competitor was placed in a trough of mud, hidden in which were several keys. Hanging on one side of the trough were four giant vetos that needed to be unlocked and dropped in a slot on the other side of the trough. First person to get all his or her vetos in the slot would win. But wait, there’s more! Of the four hanging vetos, one of them was silver. The first contestant to unlock his or her silver veto and drop it in the slot would win the combo to the second safe in the Gold Room. A multi-tiered veto competition! EXCITING! Well, exciting for most of us. Ivette wasn’t so ecstatic: “Mud. I hate mud.” And mud hates you. And by “mud,” I mean “America.”
As the Veto Competition got underway, everyone hustled for the big prize, especially Howie. “I don’t trust the Nerd Herd as much as I can pick Maggie up and throw her on her big, fat ass,” he said. Ouch! Howie with another funny. Although, it does seem odd that Howie has coined this term “Nerd Herd” when he, in fact, is a self-proclaimed follower of the Jedi lifestyle. Maybe the “Nerdier Herd” would be better.
Well, even though I was fearing an Ivette victory, April actually won the veto, making it the very first (and probably last) time I’ll ever cheer for her to win anything (and “cheer” is an overstatement. It was more like a general relief that Ivette lost). Also winning big was the lovely Janelle who focused all her efforts on unlocking her silver veto. Makes sense. She knows she pretty much can’t win the big prize. Might as well go for everything else. This, of course, made all The Friendship intensely jealous, especially April, who complained, “Janelle is the luckiest person in this game. It makes me sick. She wins everything.” Except HOH this week, jerk. Be thankful you still have a shot at that $500,000.
Anyway, Janelle hopped on over the safe and discovered she had won a trip for two to the Bahamas, courtesy of Travelocity. Oh, and she also won a gnome. This was cool, but not nearly as cool as the time on The Amazing Race when Phil Koegan held a Travelocity gnome up to his teat. That, my friends, was magical.
Janelle announced that she was going to take her mom on the trip, and even though The Friendship was supposedly founded on some sort of moral high ground, that didn’t stop Ivette from committing that most Ten Commandment-y of sins: coveting thy neighbor. Ivette threw a near hissy fit, whining that Janelle wins every damn prize. Must I remind you again? Barring some sort of miracle, SHE WON’T WIN THE GAME. So stop moping around and be happy you’re in the majority.
Hey, remember America’s Choice? With all this activity, I nearly forgot that tonight was the big results show. Just to remind everyone, last week, we launched a small campaign to vote for Janelle, if only to make The Friendship cry. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of how successful it would be. It certainly didn’t have the same traction as the Save Kaysar movement; hell, I didn’t even try to hawk any magnets this time around. So would TVgasm prevail?
“I think almost everyone is voting for Ivette to get it,” surmised an absolutely clueless Maggie. Oh, if they could only SEE their popularity polls at CBS.com. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure if Janelle would win, but I was pretty positive Ivette would not. Oh, it will be glorious!
Nevertheless, Maggie continued to raise Ivette’s hopes: “If it’s not you, I think it’ll be hard on all of us.” EXCELLENT. Okay, I had to admit, I kind of felt bad for Ivette. She was so nervous and excited that she could barely contain her emotions. With her chin slightly quivering and her words soft and brief, we knew that losing this phone call would crush her in ways that we could only imagine. Not even Cappy would be able to lift her spirits.
Later, while the house guests were busy doing things like running on the treadmill and sitting around, a cell phone in the living room began ringing (with the Big Brother theme song ringtone, natch). Janelle answered it and… Hallelujah! It was Michael! We did it again! YES!!!!
Now, unlike the first America’s Choice, I’m pretty sure TVgasm was the only place that organized a Vote For Janelle campaign; so in the interest of self-promotion based on no empirical data, I’ll just go out on a limb and say this was a true TVgasm victory. And by all means, if anyone’s seen other Janelle campaigns, please tell us. We’re more than happy to share the glory.
Well, well, well.
I’ll just say that the next five minutes of Big Brother were sublime. And before I rehash them, let me just say that when TVgasm encourages people to act in a certain way, we know what we’re doing. We know what will create good TV, and if there was ever any doubt, look no further than this beautiful segment.
You see, the point of our little campaign was to quite simply make The Friendship cry. That’s all we wanted. Sure, it was a little more vindictive and mean than what we normally do, but well, all’s fair in Big Brother season. With Janelle and Howie and James most likely on the outs in the coming weeks, our triumphs over The Friendship will be few and far between, which is why we here at TVgasm pounced at the opportunity to score this rare victory. Having Janelle not only win the America’s Choice but also use it to chat with Michael would simply be a slap in the face of La Herd Du Nerd, and personally, the way it all played out was far better than anything I could have imagined.
As Janelle babbled about inane things with Michael (“Did Britney Spears have her baby?”), The Friendship looked only with fake smiles, barely concealing their jealousy and disappointment. Ivette, for one, looked absolutely destroyed. “A lot of the conversation existed of things that were not very intellectual,” complained Maggie. Yes, I too enjoy intellectual things. You know, like properly using “consisted’ instead of “existed.” And WTF was Maggie talking about anyway? Was she expecting Janelle to discuss Nietzsche or something? I guarantee that had Maggie won the call, she would have spent the entire time yapping away about her stupid turtle collection.
She’s gonna lose it. Wait for it… Wait for it…
And then the commentary came.
“It hurts my feelings to know that America loves Janelle,” April told us. Other things that hurt her feelings: turning 87.
Oh, but April wasn’t done.
“Anyone who would sit here and think that Janelle deserves a phone call from Michael over anyone else in this house, I just have to question their character,” she seethed. Question all you want. You’re just feeding the monster.
Well, once the call was over, the real fun began. Ivette quietly retired to the HOH room where she collapsed on the slumber party mattress and full-on SOBBED into a pillow. I mean, she cried like she’d never cried before. Honestly, this was way above and beyond our highest crying expectations. It felt like I had found an artist and said, “Draw a picture” and he painted a Mona Lisa instead.
Funniest crying EVER!
With Ivette languishing on the mattress, Maggie incredulously explained the situation to us. “Ivette’s feelings are really, really hurt. She feels like, how could America pick Janelle to get a phone call from someone that she knew for two weeks vs. her get a phone call from someone that she’s in love with?” Interesting question. How could America pick Janelle over Ivette? Simple. America likes smart people.
In the HOH room, Maggie further derided Janelle. “Well, that says a lot about her. ‘I choose someone that I’ve known for two weeks.’” Yeah, how could Janelle put so much stock into someone she’s known so briefly? In other news, Ivette, April, and Beau have left burnt offerings at the altar of Cappy.
Eventually, The Friendship faced this traumatic event with the best defense they could muster: denial. “There’s no way that America likes Michael,” April insisted. Heh. You’re wrong, bitch.
“There’s no way that America picked Janelle,” echoed Maggie. Oh, this was wonderful. My “Mwhahahahaha” surely could be heard across Hollywood.
“We don’t believe it!” April reiterated angrily. “America did not vote Michael’s ass to come back in this house. So how could it have been that America voted for Michael to call Janelle? Uh, no. There’s no way that could have happened. There’s just no way.” You see, April, it wasn’t so much that we voted for Michael, as it was we voted for Janelle. And it wasn’t so much that we voted for Janelle, as it was we voted against YOU (although, I voted for Janelle because I like her too).
Ah, but there was no stopping April. She was more fired up than that time her Model T broke down on the way to the Woodrow Wilson rally. “The houseguests are missing their loved ones. And you’re gonna freakin’ get Michael to call Janelle?? I mean, that’s just crazy. That’s stupid!” You know what’s crazy and stupid? Leaving your loved ones in the first place. SHUT UP! (Actually, keep screaming at us. This is the funniest shit I’ve seen all year).
Sensing a possible way to un-backdoor himself, James entered the fray and tried to fan the flames of rage against Janelle. “There’s no way that America could be that cruel,” said James. Hmmm… We don’t like to think of it as cruelty as much as justice.
And finally, the coup de grâce. April, take us home! “The fans that watch this show are all pieces of shit!” Hahahaha. Awesome. Good luck working your way into our hearts now, BUSTO!
Well, as shock receded, Ivette literally threw a temper tantrum, whining, “I want her gone! I want her out of this house!” Uh oh. Baby wants her bottle. Amusingly enough, Janelle then entered the room, causing The Friendship to smile politely and assure her that no, they weren’t mad at her. She didn’t do anything.
Of course, by then, Ivette logic had taken over the group as they now believed she was not only one of the luckiest people in the house, but she would ride that luck to the end of the game. Hey idiots, how about you stop worrying about mystical forces and think about strategy instead.
Nevertheless, the wagging finger of regret entered my mind as I suddenly feared that this America’s Choice victory might just imperil our dear Janey. Still, even if April reneged on backdooring James, it would have been worth it just to have seen the past five minutes. Luckily, at the POV ceremony, April surprisingly lived up to her word and took Janelle (!) off the block. And at long last, James (doing his matronly upset face) was backdoor-ed into the loser’s circle. I like James, but if his exit means Janelle will go farther, I’m all for it. Plus, now I don’t have to deal with haters saying “YOU SCREWED JANELLE!!”
What a wonderful episode. What did you think?