Forget who got voted out tonight. Forget who won HOH. Forget pretty much any relevant development inside the Big Brother house. Tonight’s live eviction was about one thing and one thing only: BUT FIRST. Yes, what started out as a dorky observation between J-Unit and me four years ago has blossomed into a full-fledged entry in the Big Brother history books. It’s days like this when being a blogger no longer feels like the silliest occupation at the cocktail party. We’re shaping pop culture, dammit, and now the indelible mark of TVgasm has made its way onto primetime television. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, don’t worry. I’ll explain all. In the meantime, I’ve been writing this opening paragraph with restrained prose in an attempt to sound collected and perhaps even academic. Screw that. We all know what I really want to say:
HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT.
OMG OMG OMG OMG
RANDOM LETTERS! asdlkfja;sdiufa;elskja;sldfja;lsdkjf!~!!!!
Okay, I’ve contained myself. For now. Let’s not put the cart in front of the horse. Before we can get to the HOH competition, we have to start back in the beginning of the hour and relive all the glory that was tonight’s eviction episode. Things started off on a puffy, metallic note as the Chenbot came to us wearing what seemed to be parachute pants made from a tin foil/nylon mixture. I didn’t know what was up with the pants except that they were wide, flappy, and probably not the most flattering things we’ve seen on poor Julie. Basically, it was like some Project Runway experiment gone wrong and shiny.
Julie wasn’t the only one suffering from sartorial malaise. The normally sharp Janelle appeared to be wearing an astroturf cravate. Or perhaps it was some sort of bib made from overgrown moss. Either way, she looked like the bizarre love child of a femme-bot and a topiary. Poor choice.
Of course, rounding out the night’s fashion missteps was Chicken George, who again was sporting his dumb sombrero and chicken necklace. Then again, saying George has a fashion faux-pas is kind of like announcing that a fish can swim. Some things are just expected. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night was that Boogie was looking quite dapper in his outfit. Gone were the arm bands and wrist bands and orange hats and silly props that had previously caused our eyes to burn like a thousand pyres. Instead, he wore a classy black button down with an accompanying blazer. He looked almost…. normal!
But enough about the clothes. We had business to attend to, starting off with Julie who spoke her first “But First!” of the night. Yay! Little did we know that this was the beginning of something spectacular tonight. The Chenbot then noted that James was trusting Boogie and Will to get him through tonight. “Is James about to become another Howie?” she then asked. Um, without even seeing the rest of the episode, we knew the answer: YES. And he was gonna be such a bitch about it too. I couldn’t wait.
We then returned to the house just after the veto ceremony as Chicken George and James reacted to their nominations. “I’m not going to run around here and campaign for votes,” George said. “What I’m going to do is run around here and be my normal everday self!” So basically, he was gonna nap on the couches, emit slop farts, and spend the rest of the time trying to create a homemade decongestant.
Meanwhile, James got to work securing his stay in the house. His biggest ally, Danielle, was nervous that Chill Town might be wavering. She just had a sense; so she headed outside and talked to Will. The good doctor said he was worried about James and his allegiances. “I just think we need to keep the lines of communication open,” Will said. This of course made me laugh because if there was anyone who was keeping the household in the dark, it was Chill Town. Ah, irony. Why are you such a delicious beast?
Will then told Danielle that he thought James was “double-dipping” with the alliances, and almost as if on command, out stepped James, ready to BBQ up some food. It seemed like a benign move on his part, but it should be noted that later, James encountered a flare up on the grill, which resulted in him spending the next three hours trying to get the barbecue evicted.
Luckily, Danielle was starting to see the writing on the wall with Will. She knew that this whole discussion about the double dipping was his “way of giving me a hint that he may do something to change the game. If Boogie and Will pull something, and James walks out the door, God help them.” This was gonna turn so nasty. I couldn’t wait.
Danielle then talked with Erika about their choices, and unsurprisingly Erika was not so hot on James. But then again, she told us, “It’s very scary keeping George in the game because you don’t know what he’s going to do.” But aren’t you supposed to be in an alliance with him? Oh, that’s right. Everyone made a phony deal with George last week. And he ousted the one guy who was sincere with him. Funny how this game works.
Later, we found Danielle and Janelle sitting outside, and already, I was incredibly excited. I knew both women were unhappy with Chill Town, and if they were to join forces — the two sharpest, strongest women in Big Brother history — then they would be a dynamo to be reckoned with. Sure enough, Danielle asked, “So Janelle, do you want to call a truce?” Yes! Yes! Yes! The women agreed on a one week truce, and Janelle told us, “If I’ve learned anything in this game, it’s like, you know, be honeset to the people that are trying to be honest with you, and lie to the enemy.” This is in strict opposition to Kaysar’s previously reigning plan: be honest with the enemy, and lie with the people who are trying to be honest with you. Oh, and pretend the biggest threat in the house isn’t a threat at all.
For her part, Danielle said that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. She then told Janelle that she knows who the real floaters are in the house, which was kind of her way of saying she wanted to go after Chill Town. I never really thought of it before, but truthfully, after all this talk about going after floaters, who were the biggest floaters of all? Chill Town! Ugh. I can’t even think back to when season six had power. It hurts my brain. Thank goodness our old Janey is back and in fine form (I think).
Anyway, Danielle ominously told Janelle, “I’ll take care of some things when I’m HOH, and you’ll take care of some things when you’re HOH.” And yes, I was loving this. At this point, these two should have simply made a pact to take each other to the end: the most unlikely allies.
Later, James approached Janelle while she was uncharacteristically reading the bible. They talked about how there’s always a rift between them (that’ll happen when you both back stab each other!), and then they got down to business. Janelle said that she was gonna vote to keep James, which was nice and all, but we all remember Tuesday’s episode. She was ready to kick him out. Ever since Janey found out from George that James had been gunning for her, she’d been looking for quiet revenge.
Outside, James approached Will to make sure that he was indeed protected by the Legion of Doom. “So everything’s still going? I’m not going to be a Howie?” James asked. Yeah, you probably will be Howie 2.0. I mean, no, you’re safe! Totally safe!
Of course, Will said yes yes, James was safe, but then he went up to Danielle and told her he wasn’t sure about James. “Listen, I’m not going to do something we don’t discuss,” he said, lying happily through his pearly whites. Meanwhile, in the diary room, a teary-eyed, messy Danielle insisted, “He cannot walk out this door!” CBS was so setting us up for a massive James debacle, and I loved it.
After all this lying and scheming, Will then returned to the HOH room where he checked in with his loyal sidekick, Boogie. The doctor noted that after tonight, there was no turning back. They had to get rid of James because if he stayed, he was coming after them next. On the flip side, he knew that Danielle had to be okay with this, otherwise she was gonna come after them. Looks like the Legion Of Doom was about to get real nasty, real quickly. Just the way we like it.
At this point, Julie returned to us and began talking to the house guests. She asked Boogie about Howie’s grandiose departure, and he replied, “If I sold light sabers for a living, I’d be angry too.” Well played! It’s amazing how funny someone can be once you take off their thirty-five arm bands and oversized basketball jerseys.
We then went to commercial, and when we returned, it was time for our first visit to the sequester house this season. Yay! And when I say “sequester house,” I mean “beautiful, palatial, heavenly sequester house.” That is, unless you’re Marcellas, in which case the house may as well have been a condemned tenement in Spanish Harlem. The man was not happy in surroundings. “Welcome to my banishment,” he said. “My own personal hell. This is the worst experience of my life.” He then walked by a gorgeous infinity pool, and just as I was vicariously gushing over it from my couch, he scoffed, “I can only imagine how annoying these idiots are going to be with an infinity pool.” Now here’s a little TVgasm inside track information (don’t get too excited. I didn’t say this was useful info, just inside). As avid readers may remember, just prior to the beginning of this season, I actually ran into Marcellas, and he told me that the one thing he dreaded was being in the sequester house, especially if he were to be the first one in. The prospect of pointless, endless weeks without the creature comforts of a phone and internet was understandably his worst nightmare. So, yeah, sucks that it came true. Hahaha (sorry Marcellas. But it is funny).
The good news was that Marcellas was going to try to embrace his surroundings, and he even said he was looking forward to spending an entire week alone. His only hope was that Howie would not be the next person to enter the house. “Howie walking through this door a week from today would be my absolute nightmare,” he said. Well, Howie joining him in seven days from now was the absolute nightmare, how did he feel about Howie joining him in twenty-four hours instead? Because that’s what happened. This odd couple was begrudgingly reunited (I believe Marcellas’s exact words upon hearing Howie’s voice were, “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!”), and soon the fun times were rollin’.
Talk about bad housecalls…
“As much as I ripped on him, threatened him, hated him, trashed him, bashed him, and evicted his fat ass last week, Marcy’s not a bad guy at all,” Howie said. Well, he’s no Busto. That’s for sure. The two then cozied up with a DVD of the latest action (good to see they’ve upgraded from the standard VHS tape), and Marcellas watched in shock as George nominated James and Erika. Howie, meanwhile, took this time to eviscerate his fellow cast members. “Erika, she is disgusting looking on television. Will is the ugliest guy I’ve ever seen,” he said before Marcellas chided him for being a bully and attacking people based solely on their physical descriptions. Of course, I’m sure Howie wouldn’t like to hear the kind words we here on the internet have been saying about his impressive physique this summer. I think the words “manboobs” and “human beanbag” may or may not have been used.
Marcellas then balked during the Veto Ceremony when George replaced James with Howie. “Everybody’s been playing stupid all season. This is just another example of that,” Marcellas said. And don’t we know it, Marcellas. At least you had the power to effect change in people’s games (theoretically). We just have to sit here and watch one mistake after another, week after week. It’s torture, I tell you! Torture!
Anyway, we then watched as Howie babbled inane comments and the producers ran the same footage of Marcellas turning his head and glaring over and over and over again. Eventually, Marcellas barked, “Stop calling me Marcy. I don’t like it. We’re not in the house anymore. I don’t have to be nice to you. My name is Marcellas.” To which Howie replied, “Sorry, Marjealous.” When did Big Brother turn into a cheesy ’80s sitcom? I half expected some canned laughter to play on the soundtrack, followed by Kristy McNichol storming in with flour all over her face and saying, “Don’t even ask!!!”
After the commercial, we then watched a segment about Chill Town and their women, which meant we got to see the highly disturbing image of Boogie and Erika swapping spit in the bathtub. I don’t know if anyone’s ever seen the movie Microcosmos, but there’s a scene in there that shows two snails having sex. It’s gross, slimy, and generally awful. This was worse.
Ew. Ew. Ew. Ew. Ewww.
Meanwhile, Janelle and Will were getting pretty close as they engaged in their highly effective cardio routine: walking-across-the-lawn-and-then-back-again. It was almost as amusing as my other favorite Big Brother fitness effort: swimming laps in the kiddie pool. Anyway, with both guys growing close to these ladies, a strategy needed to be formed. “You’re gonna showmance Erika. I’m gonna showmance Janelle,” Will said, thus introducing the use of “showmance” as a verb. The real question for Chill Town was which showmance-target should come into the fold? Boogie trusted Erika, Will trusted Janelle, and neither trusted each other’s girls. But seriously. Did Boogie really think he could bring his woman into Chill Town over Will’s? He’s the sidekick! The second fiddle! The Corolla to Will’s Camry! No sidekick can ever outrank the Master.
Still, that didn’t stop Boogie from having major doubts. “It is very possible that Janelle is setting up a master play to come after Chill Town,” he said, adding, “If she touches one of my headbands, I’ll kill her! I’ll fucking KILL HER!!!”
Will, meanwhile, returned to his Beatles analogy and told Boogie, “We’re the Beatles. You’re John Lennon. I’m Paul McCartney. This week, we’re bringing Yoko into the Beatles. We just have to figure out who Yoko is.” He then went on to call James Ringo Star and Chicken George, well, some wayward member of the Monkeys. So where did this leave Danielle? I’d like to think she was Jefferson Airplane, specifically, Grace Slick.
We then returned to the studio where the Chenbot questioned Mike in his HOH room. She wanted to know where he stood with the ladies, and he replied, “Will and I launched Operation Double Date with Erika and Janelle.” He then went on to say that he was going to keep Janelle in the house a little longer, if only to make sure her target outshines theirs. Julie then asked Boogie if Will felt the same way, and he guffawed excitedly, “OH YEAH! It was Will’s idea!” REALLY??? He then added, “I love being his sidekick! Isn’t he so dreamy, Julie?”
Ah, but not everything was perfect in Chill Town paradise. Mike noted that in season two, Will chose money over their friendship, and Boogie was willing to return the favor this time around also. However, he did want both of them to make it to the top (seriously, no sidekick can ever truly sell out his Master like that).
After the interview, the Chenbot dazzled us with another “BUT FIRST!”, and then we headed into the diary room where the house guests contemplated who to send home. Most notable was Erika who looked like she’d just spent the past three days sleeping on Hollywood Boulevard.
Danielle, meanwhile, was about to lose all her marbles about James. She threatened Chill Town, saying, “Do not do this to me because I will get rid of them one by one. Mark my words!!!” There’s nothing better than a player scorned, and I could only hope this episode would wind up with Danielle on a tear for vengeance.
When we returned from the next commercial break, Julie told the house guests that the secret power had expired (much like her 30 Day Trial Period of Adobe Chenbotshop v.3.0.1). We then had some final words from our nominees, starting with James who said, “Some people are here to play so that America will like them. Some people are here to play for their votes in sequester. I’m here to play the game.” Huh? What does that even mean? Everyone’s there to play the game. I don’t think you eat slop for sixty days for fun.
George, on the other hand, had a shorter, sillier speech. “Cool beans!” he said, blatantly cribbing Nakomis’s hokey catch phrase. Well, with that out of the way, it was time to vote. I’ll make this quick: Erika and Will voted to evict James, but then Danielle voted to evict George. With only Janelle left, would she stick by her old ally, therefore causing the tie and forcing Mike Boogie to cast the final, decisive vote? Nope. She voted James’s ass out. Payback’s a bitch…
Julie then read the results, and of course, George’s jaw went completely slack. James, on the other hand, was a real class act. I thought he’d be bitching and moaning and lashing out with little passive-aggressive comments. Instead, he hugged everyone with his matronly smile and even told them all “Good luck.” In response, Boogie patronizingly said, “You played a great game, James. You’re a great player.” Everyone then applauded him, but I’m surprised no one started it off with the slow-clap. It really would have been perfect. It could have been more emotional than the end of Cool Runnings.
James then navigated his way into Julie’s lair of awkward conversation, and as he sat down, he joked, “It’s not nice to see you again!” Don’t bash the Chenbot, yo! Back in the house, Danielle was crying, of course, and Erika whispered to her, “C’mon. Let’s go get an HOH.” It sounded like they were almost working together, but weren’t Erika’s loyalties to Chill Town? George, meanwhile, sat despondently at the kitchen counter, acting as if he were shocked and devastated by what had just gone down. Oh be quiet, George. Don’t act like you were gunning for James just five days ago.
Back in the studio, Julie asked James how he was feeling, knowing that his alliance screwed him over. “It’s All-Stars. I got beat by the best,” he said, as if that really meant anything (which it didn’t). He then confessed that he played the game way too seriously in the beginning (or “too serious” as he said, becoming the latest reality star to join the adverbally-challenged). This then led to Julie doing her weekly recitation of dirty words as she read some of James’s quote about Janelle: “Dumb. Stupid bitch. A whore. And an Anna Nicole Smith wannabe.” Man, I’d love to see Julie on Wild in Out.
Don’t worry, James. There’s always custard modeling.
James told us that he was mad at Janelle because she had sold him out the very first week over the Mr. and Mrs. Smith alliance or something like that. We then saw the goodbye messages, which featured one from Erika saying, “There can be only one great floater, and that has to be me!” Oh SLAM! In your face, second-to-best floater!!!
Will, meanwhile, took full responsibility for the ouster, saying he felt threatened by James. “The teacher never teaches the student all the tricks, and I had to keep this one last trick up the sleeve,” Will said. Of course, he was speaking theoretically because we have yet to see a true sleeve all season long from him. (His black polo does not count).
Danielle then provided another tearful, vengeful comment as she seethed, “If you’re out there for some reason, then Chill Town has not seen the bad side of me yet. I will take care of them. I guarantee it.” Dunh dunh DUNH!
As for final thoughts, James said, “Getting to work with Danielle and Will, I mean, that was — that’s an amazing accomplishment!” Okay, he’s gotta relax. It wasn’t an accomplishment at all. It was just Big Brother. It’s not like he got to play basketball with Michael Jordan or fly into space.
Anyway, we then went to commercial, and when we came back, it was time for the Head of Household competition. Or as I like to call it, THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER!!! Everything seemed fine and normal until Julie said, “This evening’s competition is called ‘But First.’” Oh. My. God. TVGASM HAS INFILTRATED BIG BROTHER. It was crazy when Julie Chen talked about it in Entertainment Weekly. It was downright awesome when she demonstrated who to say it on The Early Show. But now incorporating it into a Big Brother challenge?? Consider my head BLOWN!
Sadly, TVgasm got no credit or shout-out, but that’s okay because the mere thrill of seeing our But First joke in primetime was wonderful enough. You know, there’s been a lot of press about how Snakes on the Plane was influenced greatly by the internet. How about a little love for Big Brother and this here blog?
Okay, enough self-aggrandizement. Let’s get to the competition. Julie told the house guests, “We’ll start the game in just a few moments, BUT FIRST here’s how it works.” Wow. I was definitely having a TVgasm.
Hey look! That piñata is wearing sunglasses!
Basically, the rules were that Julie would tell the order of two events that the house guests had all witnessed. If they thought the sequence was true, they would step up (they were all on tiny staircases). If they thought the order was false, they’d step down. Let the games begin!
“Howie called Mike a punk before walking out the door, BUT FIRST gnomes threw pies in the house guests faces,” Julie stated. By the way, could this be a more confusing game? Actually, it’s not that hard, but when the first statement as a “before” and a “but first,” I could imagine being slightly puzzled. That being said, everyone answered false, which was correct.
Next true or false: “The houseguests got dolled up for prom night, BUT FIRST the grim reaper made an ominous appearance.” Okay, that was a better statement. Much less ambiguity. The answer was true, but unfortunately, Janelle and George both answered false and were eliminated.
This left Will, Danielle, and Erika. I was really hoping for Danielle to win, just to see her exact revenge, but I definitely didn’t want to see an Erika victory, only because I figured she’d do whatever Chill Town wanted her to do, which would be pretty boring. As for Will, I knew he’d throw the competition; so I really wasn’t too concerned about him. Anyway, Chenbot then said, “True or false: Jase refused to walk Nakomis to the door after eviction, BUT FIRST Kaysar became a human blueberry.” Well, Danielle and Will both said it was true, and Erika, well, she didn’t know what to do. She stood on the middle step, teetering towards true until Julie barked, “ANSWERS PLEASE!!!” Erika then stepped down to false, and it turned out she was correct. My worst case scenario came true, and Erika won HOH. Blast. With any luck, she’ll defy my expectations and surprise us all, and truth is that afterwards, she shared an awfully long hug with Danielle, which had me thinking that maybe she’s not such lapdog for Chill Town. The real question will be if Janelle and Danielle can convince her that Dr. Will and Boogie need to be broken up. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
As the segment came to a close, Will looked super pissed, as if he didn’t understand the directions. Everyone tried to explain them to him, but I’m sure this was just an act on his part. Didn’t the house guests remember? He full-on admitted he’d be throwing every HOH and Veto competition back in week three. Anyway, after the break, Julie killed some time by talking with the house guests. She told George that she had fried chicken and beer waiting for him in case he was evicted. However, he thought she was saying she was gonna actually give him fried chicken and beer right now, and as a result, he sprung up from his chair triumphantly, a look of pure glee on his face. Sadly, the Chenbot had to shatter his dreams by saying, “Would you rather be out here with the food? Or still in the game?” And with that, his face totally collapsed, and Chicken George looked as if he had just lost all faith in humanity.
Total, all-consuming euphoria!
Aaaand life sucks again.
We then learned that George had lost a whopping twenty-pounds on the slop diet (and honestly, it was starting to show), and then here’s a shocker: Danielle missed her family. Before things could get too teary, Julie left the house guests and then revealed to us that next week’s live show would be… a double elimination! We were going to have an HOH competition, nominations, a veto competition, and an eviction all live and all in one hour! Holy Canoli! I love when Big Brother pulls these stunts, but I always fear that it will yield chaos in a bad way. There’s something to be said for playing things out, letting intense scheming work its magic. But then again, when the season finale date has been bumped up a week and there are more houseguests than ever, I guess they gotta amp up the eviction pace.
What did you think about this episode? And were you as excited as we are about the But First competition?