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Entries in Amber (6)


The Day Timer - POV ceremony

Hayden used his Power of Veto to save Victoria this afternoon, so Frankie put Amber on the block as the replacement nominee. House guests will decide this Thursday whether to send Jocasta or Amber home.

That's the newest news. What follows is my usual lack of understanding of why things play out the way they usually do.

My logic goes something like this: Caleb is seemingly more of a game threat than Amber. His obsession with that woman makes his motives untrustworthy and irrational -- and potentially damaging to former allies if he wins HOH next week. Further, although his unrequited puppy love is a source of comedy to the house guests (and live feeders), it's also a source of annoyance. So why wouldn't they try to backdoor Caleb rather than Amber this week?

In another of our near-daily lunchtime Big Brother conversations (which I really should refer to as "lunchtime Big Brother learning sessions"), IndyMike explained it to me this way. "Caleb is like play-doh," he said. "Once molded into a shape [by the Powers That Be, typically Derrick], he stays in that shape, thinking and doing more or less what they tell him to." On the other hand, Mike says that Amber will go talk with others, break confidences, spill the beans, and pretty much question everything and everybody. She's more of a wild card and therefore more dangerous to their games. If she wins HOH, Amber is more likely to target the likes of Derrick, Cody, and Zach than Caleb would be.

So that's why Amber has to go first, at least if I want to think like the house guests. This disappoints me for a few reasons:

  • I want Caleb to go before her in the hopes of seeing a taped "goodbye" video of Amber saying "Look, dude, I tried several times to let you down easy, but now that you're gone will you please understand that I don't want to see you again? Ever?" That would be delicious.
  • If Caleb makes it to jury, my faith in the world will have been reduced by more than the usual daily amount.
  • Are there no strong women in the #BB16 house? By that, I mean game strong. I really disliked Amanda last year, but, geeze, she could play the game!
  • Victoria (and her whining) will be around for another week, and I'm concerned about her personal well-being, mental-health wise. Every week she spends on this show will probably equate to another year of therapy she will need.

One line of thinking is that Caleb might be the only person these next few days not to realize that Amber, not Jocasta, will be going home. I suppose that depends on whether he really is play-doh and on what (mis)information Derrick and the others feed him.

But then these eviction votes are almost always boringly unanimous. CBS will find the only 60 seconds occuring over the next 72 hours in which house guests consider voting Jocasta out and edit the TV program to make it seem like the decision is actually in doubt. Ugh! I'm still trying to find somebody to root for, but heroes are in short supply this season.

Jocasta annoys me way more than Amber, but there's no point in prodding you for thoughts about what might have to happen to save Amber. Jocasta's here for another week and that's that. I continue to respect Derrick's game skills (master analyst, strategist, and manipulator) and as such that makes him the most likely winner, in my view, but it also makes me want to see him lose his power. So, two questions: Who do you want to win? And who do you think is most likely to win? Comment here or at @uselesstraffic.


The Night Owl - Saturday Night

Tonight was a pretty eventful night as far as gaming goes.  The POV was played today and Hayden won! When the feeds returned after the POV comp, Jocasta was recovering from another heat related illness and a knee injury, and Hayden was busily talking to Frankie in the HOH about how he was definitely going to use the veto to pull Victoria off the block.  Frankie told Hayden his plan to possibly backdoor Amber and the tow of them started scheming about how to get Caleb on board.  This has of course already been talked about between other various members of The Detonators, but today the plan was actually put into action.

Frankie had various members of the Bomb Squad plus Nicole and Hayden coming in and out of the HOH room and each one except for Caleb was sort of tipped off to what the plan may be.  Frankie had a short intervention with Zach, Nicole, and Christine to try and smooth things out after Zach's veto speech.  Nicole is still whining about the whole thing, but Christine is pretty much over it after talking to Frankie a bit more later on in the night about how it wouldn't really be a good idea to get Zach out right now when he is a bigger target than they are.  Don't get me wrong, I still think Christine will be gunning for Zach, or at least put him up, but she is not determined to get anyone else to put him out this week and is on board with being cordial and working together to get Amber out.

Frankie's plan to get Amber out was to talk to Caleb and tell him that Amber actually hates him and that she has alliances with everyone in the house so that Caleb would be mad enough to give Frankie his blessing on nominating her and voting her out of the house.  When Zach was told about the plan, he went to work on turning Caleb against Amber.  The whole thing was super amusing, and it actually worked. He told Caleb things Amber had said and only skewed them slightly and then did the same to Amber then went back to Caleb and did the same thing over again. Each time Zach returned to Caleb he would feed his ego a little more about "how much he has done for Amber" etc.. etc..   The whole thing was very amusing to watch.

By the time Zach was done with Caleb, Frankie had already had talks with pretty much everyone except for Jocasta and Donny and had them all on board for backdooring Amber.  He prepped all of them and told them that he may have to tell Caleb that she is the one that every single person in the house wants out, and they may have to all speak up.  But as it turns out, none of that was necessary.

Caleb talked first to Derrick and then to Frankie about "HIS" idea to put Amber on the block.  He had a long long LONG winded discussion where he said "at the end of the day" at least 100 times and called himself "Daddy" and "Beastmode Cowboy" at least 100 more...and I sat through it for you guys so I could tell you what he said.  His idea was to put Amber on the block to scare her.  He wanted Frankie to convince Hayden to use the veto (which he thought was not going to be used) on Jocasta so that they could throw Amber on the block and scare her into thinking she was going home, but then vote out Victoria.  He calls it a test.  He thinks putting Amber on the block will scare her into "realizing only he can save her" and will make her come running to him.  Not quite, Beastmode.

So after talking to Frankie, Caleb went out to the backyard to try to convince Hayden to use the veto on Jocasta.  Hayden told him that he would just let things ride for now since they have another day to talk about it, but that he was definitely open to using the veto. Frankie later talked to Hayden and tried to convince him to use the veto on Jocasta instead of Victoria to keep Caleb happy, but Hayden told Frankie there was no way he was doing anything other than using it on Victoria because he had already promised it to her. He said he would help do damage control with Caleb, but that he wasn't pulling off Jocasta.

Later Hayden talked to Donny and filled him in on what was going on.  Donny had previously talked to Zach and knew a little bit, but didn't know the whole story until Hayden told him what was going to happen.

Derrick and Frankie, and then Derrick and Donny talked about the Team America mission.  Since they failed to have Zach go off for a full 20 seconds at the veto meeting, they have to try their mission again at the nomination ceremony..and guess who is going to do the work for them again?  I don't even have to say it.  They are priming Zach to go off on Amber after she is nominated.  This could do a lot more damage to Zach's relationship with Cody in my opinion.  Cody already spent a good portion of the day whining about Zach to anyone who would listen because he THINKS Zach said that he said to nominate Nicole and Christine on Thursday night. I don't know WHY he believes that stupid lie that came from Nicole, but for some reason he does and he cannot stop talking about it.  He has stated several times now that if one more thing happens with Zach he is going to turn on him and vote him out.

The more hopeful side of that (for me anyway since I want Zahc to stick around) is that Cody and Derrick had quite a few game talks today.  Hayden approached Cody at some point yesterday about a final 5 alliance with he, Derrick, Cody, Christine, and Nicole.  Derrick and Cody discussed it and talked about how they have to say yes, but they also talked about how Hayden is a beast at comps and how they would likely get voted out over him and he might also be playing them, so they are not taking the alliance with him seriously.  They also talked about getting out Caleb or Frankie next week or at least very soon.  It's occurred to them (or at least to Derrick) that Frankie is friends with everyone in the house and has won three HOH competitions, and both of them want Caleb gone soon because he will likely still be after Cody.  Derrick still mentions Zach when he talks about the final 5 and the final 3.  So, this gives me some hope.  I think he realizes it's useful to have someone around who won't vote you out and is a larget target to blame everything on..and doesn't even mind being that target.

Zach and Amber had a "squash our differences" date in The Hive Room.  Amber talked about how she doesn't attack people personally and she feels that they should be working together in the alliance.  She said she thinks it's inappropriate to say some of the things Zach says to her about she and Cody because her family is watching.  Zach apologized for taking it too far and told her not to take anything he says seriously.  He played the game and made her feel safe about the alliance.  He didn't tip her off to anything that was about to happen, but just reiterated over and over that he is just very sarcastic and it's not meant to hurt anyone's feelings.  I believe he was foreshadowing the veto ceremony for her.

Amber also talked to Hayden and told him that she wanted him not to use the veto.  He too did not tip her off to anything weird going on.  The general idea is that Amber is supposed to be blindsided by the nomination, and both she AND Caleb may be blindsided by her eviction.

Frankie had a chat with Jocasta about the different "options" that may happen on Thursday and basically tried to wiggle a safety deal out of her if she gets saved.  He told her that there may be an option to put someone up next to her that will insure her safety and that he won't be putting up Donny.  Jocasta was Jocasta and didn't really give much away or say much of anything...but that's really how her game kind of goes.  She is just really good with the side eye and the eye rolls.  I'm afraid there may be a fatality in BB if she keeps trying to compete in BOBs and Vetos though..

That's pretty much it.  There were other game conversations that went on in the house tonight, but everything basically leads back to the same idea.  If nothing changes today, Victoria will come down off the block, Amber will be nominated, and Zach will flip out on her post veto meeting on Monday.  But Sunday is 24 hours long and a lot could happen. Caleb may be back in love by the end of tonight.  As always you guys can follow me on twitter @ashes2ashes13 for more overnight updates.  Until tomorrow night..



Mid-July Newbie Perspectives

A full year after seeing (and writing about) Big Brother for the very first time, one thing remains abundantly clear: Ash, Scott, and IndyMike -- not to mention most of you -- have forgotten more about this show than I will probably ever learn.

The basics of the game (terms like HOH, POV, comps, have-nots, twists, etc.), when and why competitions and other weekly events happen, and the logistics of evictions are reasonably clear in my mind now.

Strategy is what still kills me. Most of the time I just. don't. get. it. Until I learn to predict with some accuracy what each house guest will do and be able to look two or three moves ahead in the game, I'll still be writing for the Newbie Desk.

At four weeks into #BB16, a few days before eviction #4, I haven't yet found somebody to root for. Useful analysis about these house guests is something I leave to my fellow Big Brother Gossip contributors ... so, settle in for some pre-midweek-show filler in the form of my random thoughts about all the remaining house guests. Hey, don't complain -- you're probably supposed to be working right now.

Amber. The way she handled Caleb's unrequited like (I don't think Caleb is mature enough to grasp genuine adult-level love in which you put the other person's needs before your own) a couple weeks ago was decent. Not Amber's fault that her words bounced off of him. Game-wise, after being more or less accidentally recruited into the Bomb Squad alliance (when Devin invited her without permission), I can't remember her doing much to make me think there's any chance she'll get to the finale. Her budding friend-mance with Cody (despite Caleb's evil-eye) might keep her safe longer than she would on her own.

Brittany campaigning -- er, complainingBrittany. Propz to Brittany for completing her 2400-goal punishment in about 21 hours even if it only earned her sore feet and did nothing to prevent her likely eviction this week. IndyMike pointed out to me at lunch yesterday that her strategy was for sh!t. She could have intentionally given up on the 2400-in-24-hours thing by saying her feet hurt too much to continue, which would have meant being ineligible to play in next week's POV comp ... and basically honestly campaigned that she might not recover in time to be a factor in this week's HOH comp. Voila! Not a threat next week. Would that have taken the target off her back ... or at least affected who they chose to put on the block in place of Victoria? Maybe not, but Brittany might at least have looked smarter. (It feels like I'm missing something else here about Britt's strategy-fail. Hit the comments to fix my analysis-fail.)

Caleb. Simply put, he annoys me. Dude, the girl just isn't into you. She tried to let you down easy. Now you stare at her like a jealous 14-year-old. And do you seriously think that they'll need extra security at airports, restaurants, and shopping malls to keep crowds of adoring fans from crushing you? It doesn't happen even for previous winners, and it sure as hell won't happen when you're the 5th or 6th evictee (I hope! I hope!). Grow up, and live in the now! The Bomb Squad has been defused. Oh, and #STFUCaleb!

Christine. There's something non-sequitur about this one. I can't quite reconcile Christine's ink with her glasses. I know this makes little sense, but there it is. If Christine hadn't also been accidentally brought into the Bomb Squad, would she have been targeted by now? On the other hand, she's found her way to stable ground right in the middle of the crowd, safe for now via the Detonators and (mostly) on good terms with orbiting weaker players (such as Nicole). Isn't this the kind of house guest who slips her way into the finale, because there are always "stronger players" they want to get rid of first?

Cody (right) laments being a wussy (or word which rhymes with that) to Nicole & FrankieCody. One of the two guys running the house, and a member of every alliance they've created. (He's not in Team America -- but that's a stupid producer construct, not a real alliance.) Cody seemed genuinely ashamed on Monday morning when, as HOH, he put Donny on the block as the replacement nominee only an hour after agreeing that nominating Caleb would have been a brave, huge move. If Brittany leaving is somehow better for Cody's game (I don't remember why, but remembering what I had for breakfast is also challenging), all right, fine, but making a gutsy move would have earned him more respect.

Derrick. This guy is an outstanding game analyst, strategist, and manipulator, and it's basically his house. My guess is he'll be around until the end, or close to it. I doubt that a strategic mistake on Derrick's part will result in eviction, but simply being on the unlucky end of chance-based competitions late in the game could set up his downfall. Or if by some twist his allies-to-enemies ratio has evened out later this season and an enemy wins HOH in a double-eviction episode, he could be the unlucky second Julie Chen interview that particular Thursday night. If bad luck doesn't get him first, Derrick's skills will take him far. I'm not actively rooting for him yet, but at this point it wouldn't bother me if he wins #BB16.

Donny. Confession: I'm slightly older than Donny and frequently about as awkward when trying to interact with people half my age. So I should naturally want to root for this guy. But ... ugh ... I just haven't been able to. At least not yet. Early on, I thought he'd be perceived as so out of touch and so useless that he'd be evicted in the first two or three weeks. But then Victoria earned that role and Donny started winning comp after comp. I think that earned him some respect amongst the youngsters. And while they clearly do not see him as a threat to their own games, they like him on a personal level and feel badly when he's pawn'd so much. I can see myself eventually rooting for Donny if he survives long enough. For now, I dislike other players more.

Frankie. When the two-part season premiere aired, I was convinced that Frankie would be the most annoying cast member of all. Most of his diary room sessions drive me bonkers. But the way he interacts with just about everybody on the live feeds seems friendly and genuine. Great social game! I haven't watched any of his YouTube videos. Are his DR sessions simply scripted lines the producers provide on cue cards, performed in his fingers-on-a-chalkboard over-the-top manner per producer directive? Or is that how Frankie is every time he knows he has any camera's full attention?

Hayden. Meh. His whole "Mommy, I want candy! Pleeeease? Can I have candy? Candy, Mom? Pleeeeease?" approach to starting a showmance with Nicole is excruciating. I was astonished in the early weeks at Hayden's cluelessness that all the other jocks had formed an alliance (Bomb Squad) without him.

Jocasta. Like Donny, it feels like I should want to root for Jocasta. But I've been waiting to be inspired by an expression of her learned wisdom. It hasn't happened, and now I don't expect it to. And some of her ... oh, goodness, somebody might be offended by this, and that's totally not my intent ... let's say some of her "spiritual mannerisms" serve only to test my faith in Big Brother. (If you watched this past Sunday episode on CBS, you know of what I'm talking.) Common belief is that God cares about our health and happiness, but nobody can name the biblical chapter and verse which says prayer will help you win a Battle of the Block.

Nicole. She was HOH before being dethroned but didn't want it even that long. If you don't want to get in the game, why did you move into this house? She's the sweet, pleasant, girl-next-door type, but she's not gonna last much longer unless she gets a solid alliance going with the strongest women (how about, say, Christine and Amber) and a strong guy player (who would at first feign loyalty but, if the game drove him to it, could eventually switch true allegiance). This is likely just wishful thinking on my part because I'd like to see a woman win. If the flirtation with Hayden lasts longer than that first made-for-TV kiss (if the producers are so desperate for a showmance, they should have stunt-casted McCranda back), she'll have lost my respect.

This photo of Nicole's broccoli and potato has nothing to do with the game. So it could as easily be a pic of Victoria.Victoria. When Victoria is evicted, which will be soon (and would have been this week, if not for the so-typical Big Brother just-in-time competition win), I hope this young woman gets the psychotherapy that she needs. Her low self-esteem is evident and painful to watch. I feel badly for her. Game-wise, rather than doing something (anything!) proactive to attempt to influence her own destiny, Victoria stays as far away from the sun as possible, way out there in a plutonian orbit. When the heat finally reaches her, is it any wonder that she finds it unpleasant? Dry your tears, dear, admit this game wasn't for you, tell everybody that leaving is what you want, and then you'll have 11 new friends and great new memories of a fun last few conflict-free days in the house. (It'll be boring for chaos-loving live feeders like we all are, but it'll be really good for Victoria's mental health.)

Zach. I'm not a doctor (and I don't play one on TV), but this kid seems kind of bipolar. One of these weeks when he's perfectly safe, he'll go on another unplanned, unexpected "put me up!" rant and be shocked to find himself evicted.

Wild, probably laughably stupid prediction at four weeks in:  Derrick, Christine, and Frankie will become #BB16's final three.

Astonished by how much I haven't learned in a year? Me too, but it's still just a TV show. Tell me the many ways I got it wrong in the comments or at @uselesstraffic. Who do you think will be in the finale? Is it the same people you'd have guessed a month ago?


Big Brother Gossip Show #403: Daughter

Holy mother of all gods we had a ton of stuff to cover this week. Somehow we managed to do it within two hours. We talked and talked about the Caleb and Amber "realtionship", Devin's house meeting about "intergral" and "honesty", and the wacky events of this holiday weekend.

Grab this episode from the usual sources, and don't forget to leave us a review on iTunes, or...


Thanks to Colette and Mike for being a part of this show, and also for Ash and her hard work in supplying us with the ton of cilps we aired tonight!