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Entries in Christine (5)

Wednesday
Sep032014

Double Eviction #2 Episode Guide - Expect the Expected

It's not just that the show and feeds have been dull and predictable this season. It's that I still haven't found any house guests to root for. It would be easier to deal with a house so mind-numbingly controlled by one person all season (Derrick) if I simply could find a reason to call somebody my favorite and then cheer him or her on.

Hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t think it will. That, along with everything which fellow contributor Scott wrote in his brilliant piece on Wednesday (see “Big Brother 2014: What went wrong?”), makes me wonder if the best seasons of this show happened years before I began watching.

Thoughts on the remaining house guests and final-three predictions in a moment. First, a guide to #BB16’s second double eviction episode:

1. Recaps for 10-12 minutes. 

2. Julie will chat with the house guests and we’ll see Nicole’s and Victoria’s repeat “save me” speeches. (Extra propz to either of them if they would simply stand up, say “Hi Mom & Dad!”, and sit right back down.) Julie will also mention, to feigned surprise, that it’s a double eviction night.

3. Unanimous eviction vote (yawn) and Julie’s interview with Nicole by about 25 minutes after the hour.

4. An HOH comp lasting three to six minutes. (If you Expect the Expected, as we all now do for #BB16, the winner will be Frankie, Cody, or Christine.)

5. Strategizing for a couple of minutes, and then nominations.

6. POV comp.

7. Strategizing again, veto meeting, and potential replacement nomination.

8. “Save me” speeches, the second elimination vote, and Julie’s second interview of the night. And then Julie signs off.

(Remember that the next HOH competition will take place off the air.)

Last year, mainstream news media coverage of #BB15 controversy led me to sample the show for the first time, and Helen quickly became my favorite.  I’ve been trying to get on somebody’s team this year but I’m just not feelin’ it. Donny almost became my favorite but his game naïveté lasted too long. Here’s my take on everybody who’s left.

Caleb. Thank heaven that he’s (mostly) over Amber. (Maybe Zingbot ... er, Kathy Griffin helped on that count. “You think she’s drop dead gorgeous. She just wants you to drop dead! Zing!”) When he’s alone with the boys, though, too often he falls back into behavior which seems to indicate he thinks of women not as people (much less respect-worthy equals) but rather only as mindless objects for pleasure. After being everybody’s #1 target in the weeks after Devin’s departure (and pulling off a string of predictable comp wins which kept him safe), the house seems to have forgotten how much they once hated Caleb. That’s Big Brother, I guess, and I admit that he did become a savvier player after Amber’s departure. But I am astonished that he’s still here, and I’m honestly worried that some bad luck for Derrick (such as getting evicted during tonight’s double, unlikely as that is) could make Caleb an actual frontrunner. I can’t stomach the thought of Caleb winning.

Christine. Meh. As the strongest female player this year, I wanted to like her. But she’s done more to swing my feelings toward “nah!” than “yeah!” She played Nicole pretty well earlier -- not that I’m a big Nicole fan either, but I was hoping perhaps Christine would lead an alliance with the other women. But her loyalty to the Detonators will be her undoing.

Cody. He has mostly stayed out of trouble, game-wise (I’m leaving the Christine friendmance thing alone), and his decision early on to ally with Derrick has certainly proven smart. Why not root for Cody? Because he’s all talk. He whined on this week’s Wednesday episode in the DR about having wanted Frankie out for weeks. But as last week’s winner of both HOH and POV, he had multiple chances to make a big move. Did he? Obviously not. Oh, and remember back in week 4, the previous time Cody was HOH? He had the chance to get Caleb (much hated at the time by HGs and me as well) out of the house when Victoria saved herself via POV ... and Cody even said “If I put up Donny instead, my brother say I’m such a p#ssy.” Sure enough, he wimped out, and Brittany went home instead. If Cody had taken even one of these opportunities, my respect for him as a player would have increased exponentially.

Derrick. My opinion is unchanged. This guy remains an absolute master analyst, strategist and manipulator. He gets everybody to do what he wants, often without their realizing it. He sets eviction targets but ultimately bends to the will of the house. He avoids winning comps to keep from getting dirtied by nominations. (Except once when he won and remained HOH. But because Devin went home that week with much rejoicing, nobody had reason for lingering resentment toward Derrick.) He’s never been on the block. The only thing which could prevent Derrick making it to the finale would be lack of luck in some chance-based comp, which seems quite unlikely. I definitely appreciate Derrick’s game mastery. But his very expertise keeps me from actively cheering Derrick on because it’s his fault the season deserves an #ExpectTheExpected hashtag.

Frankie. Textbook case of stunt casting gone awry. Ridiculously self-centered and pompous. Although in the early weeks I couldn’t stand his on-camera persona beginning with the very first CBS show of the season, on the feeds Frankie seemed reasonably normal and likable -- enough so that I was willing for several weeks to ignore his “I’m live on camera, better amp up the flamboyancy” thing. And even for a newbie fan like me (at 13-14 months in, I’m definitely still learning game strategy), it seemed like Frankie was playing an unbeatable social game and would be guaranteed (by virtue of a deck stacked by his sister’s followers) to win fan favorite. But then the Big Ariana Reveal happened and his mean tendencies seemed to come out and stay out. So I’ve totally gone from feeling like I wouldn’t be unhappy for Frankie to win to actively wanting him out. (I also tweeted the other day my realization that Frankie is a lock to appear on All Stars. Ugh.)

Victoria. Oh, Victoria. Do you even realize that your own inability to do anything has become your strength? Although thankfully I’m no longer worried about Victoria’s mental health, I have found no reason to respect her game -- if one could even legitimately refer to what she’s doing there as “game.” On the other hand, wouldn’t it be delicious to discover during the finale (by acing the endurance and quiz comps) that Victoria has been faking her ineptitude all season? Won’t happen, obviously, but such an unexpected twist would almost redeem the season.

Tonight’s first evictee will be ... Nicole. After Monday’s POV meeting, when Caleb wimped out and put Victoria up as the replacement nom rather than Frankie, it sealed Nicole’s fate (again).

My hope for tonight’s second eviction: Caleb or Frankie.

What will probably happen instead (since we’ve all learned to Expect the Expected this season): Julie’s second interview tonight will be with Christine or Victoria.

My “final 3” predictions back in week 4 (see “Mid-July Newbie Perspectives”): Derrick, Christine, and Frankie.

My new “final 3” predictions: Derrick, Cody, and Victoria.

CBS has zero incentive to change anything now or for next year, by the way, because TV ratings remain solid. It's irrelevant to CBS what we live feeders slash hard-core fans think. As long as the country keeps providing time-slot winning viewership two or three times weekly, CBS will change nothing. Expect the Expected for again #BB17, even if it’s All Stars. Who do you really want to be evicted second tonight, and do you think it has a chance of happening? Who are you now predicting will make it to the finale? Share your thoughts in the comments or @uselesstraffic.

Wednesday
Aug132014

Wednesday, the I'm too busy to type a lot update.

As usually happens - Mid-August tends to slow down inside the Big Brother house and my "real" life gets busy.  However I know not all of you are more busy now and depend on this site for updates so I wanted to give you a little something so you don't feel you are missing much.  This will be VERY short but tell you what you need to know game-wise.

Last night Nicole started campaigning, but it looks to me like it is a lost cause.  She continually told those she talked to (Christine, Derrick, Cody, and maybe others) that it made no sense to keep Donny over her because Donny is going after some of them while she would promise to go after Frankie, Victoria and Zach (#1 was Frankie).  Even though Cody seems to keep saying he wants Donny out soon he wouldn't commit to keeping her.  Derrick gave the standard "if you have the numbers I'm with you" answer that should be a clear sign to her that its looking bad.

Derrick did do something that he did with Jocasta (but didn't have time to do with Hayden), he promised to let her know if she was staying or going right before the show.  Think of that as a game move.  One of these HGs is coming back and assuming Nicole goes Thursday both Nicole and Jocasta will have Derrick to thank for letting them know they were going when everyone else was not being honest with them.  So the player that comes back may see Derrick as the only one they can trust and the others still in Jury will see him as the only one that was honest with them in the end.  Its a great move on his part and no one else is doing it.

A lot of the conversation that went on overnight had to do with future plans, I'm not worried about that right now as they can plan all they want but it all changes depending on who wins what.  The important stuff to me at the moment is that Nicole seems to be heading home.  There is still a chance Derrick may change his mind if he feels he can save Nicole, because I think he would prefer Donny leave since Donny is the only remaining HG that constantly talks about Derrick and Derrick/Cody as being strong players (and the only two that have still never been nominated).  There have been 38 chances to be nominated and Derrick and Cody never have been.  Someone in the house needs to throw out that stat.  It says a lot.

This morning in a talk with Frankie Derrick told Christine and Frankie he thoguht the vote would be 6-0 to evict Nicole.  I'm still waiting to hear him waver and the Zach flip last week took place Wednesday evening so anything is possible still.  Just don't expect the unexpected this week.

Two other items....

An interesting idea tossed out by @Sunflo_BB to me via twitter today - will there be another double eviction?  Might CBS bring back TWO HGs with the extra long season (all of Sept this season instead of ending early Sept), and throw in a second double eviction?  While the chances are slim, its fun to think avout.

And finally - there has been loads of chatter on social media about Christine and Cody's flirty ways the last few weeks, some outraged that Christine is close to any male in the house since she is married.  My answer to that is what does it have to do with the game? I feel most of the 'hate' being thrown at Christine and her husband (leave HG family OUT OF IT folks) is because Christine's game is not helping their own favorite HGs game, whomever that might be.  (rief item here: Bustle.com - its worth a quick read and expresses similar opinions on the situation as mine.

Comment away or holler at me at @BBGossip on twitter.  Ash is online at Twitter @ashes2ashes13 - so make sure to follow here there and she will post again soon.  I can't come close to filling her shoes but wanted to give you an update :)

Tuesday
Aug122014

Tuesday Morning - POV Meeting Aftermath

Hey there everyone, so after a crazy weekend on the feeds, the last 24 hours have been mostly 'quiet.'

The POV meeting took place and as we expected, Christine blindsided Nicole and put her up on the block, replacing Zach who won the POV on Saturday.  Nicole told Donny later that she wasn't completely shocked because of the way Cody, Derrick and "Media Mogul" (You know who I mean) were acting.  As much outrage as there has been on the internet over Christine's move, I personally think had Nicole been the HoH she might have put Christine up in Caleb or "Media Mogul"'s place had they been saved by the POV so I don't think Christine was in the wrong.

Once the meeting finished most everyone went back to bed. Nicole was depressed and low and all in all it was a good day to do something besides watch the live feeds.  As of now I don't see Nicole staying, however, I still maintain that if Derrick (who wanted Victoria to be up instead of Nicole) sets his mind to it, he might be able to flip the house vote and get Donny voted out (which is how he wanted this week to go).  That may or may not happen and even if it does we may not see it until Wednesday like we did last week when he decided to keep Zach over Jocasta.

The next 'exciting moment' (if you can call it that) happened at 10:16pm when a couple of fans shouted from somewhere outside the house that they loved Zach.  Derrick, Christine and Cody heard it and it seems Christine was the most annoyed, having complained earlier that several people recognized Caleb and Frankie at the Cowboys practice but only one person gave her a shoutout.  I think they were a bit surprised as they have been pretty sure that Zach was disliked by 'America' and the shoutout shows them they may be wrong.  While it may hurt his game with Christine (if that's possible), I think Derrick (and thus Cody) may realize its good to keep a player America appears to like around a bit longer.

Finally I caught this gem this morning as the "Media Mogul" was going to bed, alone, in the HoH room.  First let me explain that Frankie (there I said his name!) has been sleeping in the HoH room every night since he won the Battle of the Block.  Christine had claimed he told her he deserved it but since I thought Christine might have made it up I was trying to find audio of Frankie saying it.  So instead of telling Frankie NO or sleeping in the same room alone with him, and perhaps being seen as conspiring with him, she has been sleeping downstairs, telling people she likes it better down there.  This morning at 4am he talked to the camera's for a while and said the following (I am paraphrasing you can got to that time on the feeds to hear the whole dialogue), "My strategy of telling the truth seems to have worked..."   "I'm sleeping in Christine's HoH room.... I don't feel guilty about it because you saw... I'm the only reason she is HoH"  and "It seems like no one is against me except maybe Nicole & lets be honest that problem will be rectified soon."  Priceless stuff huh?

Comment away or holler at me at @BBGossip on twitter.  I have not talked to Ash this morning but my guess is she was tied up with real life and lets be honest - game wise not a lot happened yesterday!

Tuesday
Jul222014

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?