Big Brother Gossip Search
Recent Posts
Navigation
CBS Interactive Inc.
Big Brother Show

I now have a website set up where you can go to hear current and old episodes of the Big Brother Gossip podcast.  Please go to BigBrotherPodcast.com!

Twitter Feeds

Live Feed Links Coming Soon!
Syndication Links
Live Feed Links Coming Soon!

Entries in elissa (37)

Saturday
Aug242013

The Perfect Backdoor -- Or Not

Amanda on the block with no ability to save herself!

That's what I woke up this morning thinking about. #BB15 events had finally led to a scenario which helped this newbie better understand the concept of the "backdoor." Indy Mike helped me learn it in generic terms:

Elissa holds court in the HOH room.- Head of Household nominates two people for eviction.

- In the Power of Veto competition, players consist of the HOH, the two nominees, and three additional randomly-drawn house guests. (Sometimes one of the chips drawn says "house guest's choice," so one player is slightly less random.)

- Earlier in the #BB15 season when the MVP picked a third nominee, the POV players consisted of the HOH, the three nominees, and two additional randomly-drawn house guests.

- If the HOH wins POV, she or he might save one of the original nominees -- so that s/he can nominate somebody different, who would then have no opportunity to compete to pull her/himself off the block before the eviction vote. This new nominee (who, by the way, would be labelled on our Ticker graphic at right as "Nominated via POV"), if evicted, would be considered to have been "backdoored."

- If one of the nominees wins POV, s/he virtually always saves her/himself ... so whomever picked the saved nominee (HOH or, earlier in the season, MVP) picks a new nominee. This new nominee, if evicted, is considered to have been "backdoored."

Power of Veto.- If a non-nominee wins POV, s/he gets to choose to pull somebody off the block. And then ... yup ... a new nominee goes up. If the new nominee is evicted, is s/he also considered to have been backdoored?

- The POV winner may choose not to use his/her veto, leaving the original eviction nominees in place. (Andy did that last week.)

As the day started this morning, the situation was this: Elissa is HOH, Aaryn and McCrae are on the block, and the POV competition was coming up. Elissa was Helen's strongest ally and she's no fan of Amanda. I haven't myself been much of an Elissa fan (I certainly had nothing good to say about her in my last post), but there was reason to think Elissa had been scheming to backdoor Amanda. And this, to me, was indeed good news.

Oh, noooo! See what Amanda's wearing today?What I didn't realize until reading Ash's "Night Owl" post this morning is that the house guests selected to be the additional POV players today were Judd, GinaMarie, and ... Amanda. Uh oh!

Here's another thing newbie viewers need to learn: An unnominated house guest who wins POV also wins immunity for the week. She or he can't be nominated.

You get one guess who won POV early Saturday afternoon. So much for the perfect backdoor! It was exactly the right time for somebody who had previously won nothing to win a comp.

My dream scenario for this next week is ruined. Since my favorite house guest (Helen) was evicted, I was hoping to see Amanda go next -- thus eliminating the two most powerful players in consecutive weeks and necessitating an entirely new power structure to be formed in #BB15's remaining weeks. That would have been absolutely delicious to watch.

Let the next speculations begin. Current thinking is that Elissa will put up Andy, Spencer, or GinaMarie. Who do you think is most likely? Amanda will save McCrae, obviously. Will Aaryn go to jury or the new nominee? Comment below or hit me up @uselesstraffic.

Knowing they're potential replacement nominees, Andy and Spencer try to get on Elissa's good side.

Friday
Aug232013

Back and to the left.

I'm always one for a good conspiracy, but last night's "Helen Jumped" one takes the cake. 

Before I go too far, if you have the live feeds - use the flashback feature to go to 8:06pm on Thursday night.  You can watch Helen fall/jump off about 12 seconds later.

She isn't pushed, she isn't 'tapped' by someone to tell her it is her turn to get off, she simply lost her balance, realized she was falling and jumped to the ground.

What has people CONVINCED that there was something else at work it because you can see someone moving behind the wall the HGs were leaning against.

The platforms the HGs were standing on were all synchronized together - they moved in unison.  Apparently there were one or more production people behind the wall controlling or monitoring the machinery.

Right before Helen went down the platforms pulled back very close to the wall - which cause the 'mud flaps' above the platforms to pull back.  You could see someone moving from left to right through the opening by Helen's feet (update: A twitter follower pointed out she saw the flap behind Elissa being adjusted by someone earlier in the competition - this makes sense as the flaps would move as the platform did and production probably did not want the viewer distracted by the big hole behind the HGs feet so they would adjust them after big platform moves).

It was just at that moment that Helen went off and people are adamant that because they see someone behind the wall at the same time, there must be something amiss.

So WHY, if Helen was pushed, did she prance off the set wishing everyone well and not yell FOUL!?!?!

The crazy people (5 of whom I blocked from my twitter last night because I was so annoyed), came up with the theory that Helen was IN on it, that she was paid off to quit.

Why? So Judd could come back? Seriously?  And how much would Helen need to be paid to give up on $500k?  As much as she annoyed me in the house, I have NO doubt she was one of the most passionate about the game this season.

If you want a conspiracy, you would be much better served watching Elissa today and seeing how she acts.  Helen was the one giving her instructions on what to do and say this last week, without Helen around I expect production, via Diary Room visits, to influence Elissa greatly because frankly I don't think Elissa has a game plan except to get out people she doesn't like.

Feel free to discuss....  not that I think anyone can give me ANY viable reason why Helen would have willingly quit the game.

Friday
Aug232013

The Night Owl

Wow, what a night! First off, "Guess who's back, back again!"  I could not be more excited that of the 4 people competing, Judd won the competition to get back into the house!

And just as the whole house didn't want Aaryn to win HOH when she stayed, but she did, they all did not want Elissa to win tonight, so of COURSE Elissa got HOH.

As soon as the HOH comp was over and everyone came inside, the HGs scattered to their various corners to talk about how unhappy they were with both the return of a HG and with Elissa getting HOH.  Amanda immediately started her same old loop. She pulled Andy and McCrae into the cockpit so she could talk about how she is still SURE Judd was MVP and he just HAS to go because he has been trying to get her out of the house for WEEKS now.  Andy was more than happy to jump in with about a million "it's not fair's" and McCrae agreed.  Amanda also went straight to Elissa to try to get Judd put on the block. Elissa flat out told Amanda she would not be putting up Judd.

Elissa did tell Amanda that she would definitely be putting up Aaryn and possibly McCrae next to Aaryn.  What she said out loud was that she wants someone on the block that can beat Aaryn in veto, and that she wants someone who will fight their heart out to keep Aaryn from getting it.  It's very possible that this is the case, but I'm hoping that Elissa has bigger plans.  Amanda ran straight to McCrae to talk to him about what Elissa told her.  Amanda started crying over how she didn't win HOH and how McCrae might be going on the block, and they both schemed about how to get GinaMarie put up so they could still vote out Aaryn but keep themselves safe.  They also schemed about what to tell Judd about his eviction and eventually decided to blame it all on Helen and tell him that Helen had been telling them that he was MVP and he was after her.

McCrae then pulled Elissa into the cockpit to tell her how "dumb" it would be to put him on the block next to Aaryn.  He told her he would do anything to win the veto anyway including shave his head, and made a pretty long and convincing, if not somewhat forceful argument.  For a while it seemed like Elissa bought it.  She told McCrae she would consider not putting him up, but that Aaryn MUST go and if she feels like ANYONE doesn't fight as hard as they can for the veto, she is putting that person up next to Aaryn.

  Then Elissa pulled Spencer into the have-not room.  She made the same threats about veto that she made to McCrae to Spencer and also made a deal with him for 2 weeks of safety if she didn't put him on the block and told him she would likely be putting up McCrae and Aaryn.  Spencer acted like he was cool with all of this but then ran to McCrae and Andy to report all that Elissa had said. 

During this time Aaryn (who I am sure knows the deal) mostly just laid around and looked like she might die, and Andy revived his old game of "pop goes the weasel" into every conversation he could fit himself into. 

Pretty late in the night Elissa got her HOH room.  She got her Yoga matt (though it wasn't the right kind) and pictures (though they were not the ones she wanted), Fake eyelashes (that she said she would NEVER wear), pictures her little boy drew for her, a necklace from her mother, A letter from Rachel, and a large bottle of Skinny Girl Tequila.  Aaryn was the first to say she was tired and leave the HOH.

Once Aaryn went downstairs, Andy eventually followed her so that he could talk to her.  He told her he did not want GinaMarie going up next to her and that he thought McCrae would probably be the one going up with her.  He told her that he would prefer that over GM going up.  Now, I don't know if Andy is totally serious about his final 3 with Aaryn and GM or if he is just saying things to her in case she comes off the block, but if he is serious, McCrae, or whoever takes that spot next to Aaryn tomorrow could actually be in trouble.

Not to be deterred from being able to control the nominations, Amanda wasted no time in snuggling right up to "her new best friend".  I'm hoping all of this has no affect at all on Elissa just like everything else anyone tells her.

It's very hard for me to tell if Elissa really does live on another planet, or if there are actually wheels turning, but here is what I am HOPING she is doing.  I am hoping she is trying to break up the two major duos still left in the house by putting one of each up (McCrae and Aaryn).  If Aaryn won veto I am hoping she would put up Amanda next to McCrae to break them up, or put up GinaMarie next to Aaryn if McCrae came down.  That way you break up one of the couples either way.  I'm not positive this is what she is doing, but it's the only thing that I think would make sense with the nominations she is making. 

At this point a lot of them are still awake and I'm not sure how much more game talk will happen tonight, but I THINK it's likely that Aaryn and McCrae will go on the block today with Aaryn being the target.  Elissa is a little different from all the previous HOH's though, and that could be subject to change..especially with Amanda and McCrae constantly in her ear.  It should be an interesting week depending on who goes up and who wins veto.  Elissa seems determined to make her HOH count (that's what Helen told her to do) so maybe a decent sized move will be made.

I'm SO happy Judd is back! I'm not an Elissa fan, but I'm happy to see the person they all did not want to win HOH actually get it, and if she sends out Amanda, all the better for me.  This has the potential to be an interesting week between all the paranoia, campaigning, and fighting.  I don't think it will go exactly as any one person has planned out...for once.  As always, you guys can follow me on twitter @ashes2ashes13 for more overnight feed updates.  Until tomorrow night...

Thursday
Aug222013

HOH-Jury Competition Results

Elissa's the new HOH, Judd's back, and Helen's heading to jury. (But you knew those key points without even reading this by glancing at the Ticker graphic to the right, right?)

Elissa was the first to catch 10 balls, and she looked well-balanced for virtually all of the competition -- except for one near-fall. As for the jurors, Jessie, Helen, and Candice fell off the wall in that order, which returned Judd to the house.

Will Elissa make big moves as HOH? Could the two biggest powers go down in consecutive weeks? Or will she nominate weaker players because she dislikes them more? Sound off in comments or @uselesstraffic.

Thursday
Aug222013

There's Logic Behind My Loyalty

HelenThose here who like me, if anybody does, won't like me at all after reading this: I have been, and proudly remain, a loyal member of #TeamHelen.

Helen is the only house guest who hasn't annoyed me with confrontational mannerisms and deceit.

Don't misunderstand ... I'm not at all saying that she hasn't been confrontational and deceitful. As does every game player, she absolutely has employed her share of each. It just didn't annoy me.

Unlike, say, Amanda. Who has won nothing yet controls everything. Who has nothing kind to say about anybody. Who treats even her allies with disdain.

Unlike GinaMarie. Who is quite possibly the most mean-spirited non-fictional character I've ever seen on television. Geez, did you hear what she said to Candice the very last second that unfortunate woman was in the house? That was the moment when I was simply done with GM.

Amanda, you'll go eventually. Won't miss ya. GinaMarie? Sorry, I'll miss you even less than Amanda.Unlike Aaryn. Who was seemingly hated by all house guests (and viewers) for weeks yet survived it. Who has become, whether via actual skill or blind luck, one of the strongest players in the house ... yet who has resolutely and dutifully wasted the many opportunities given to her. Who has dreamt out loud in the Diary Room about big moves but who did only what others dictated.

Unlike McCrae. Who lives in the shadow of an autarch without realizing he can't win unless she goes first.

I will do what I want as HOH. I will do what I want as HOH. I will -- d'oh!! (Aaryn channels Homer Simpson.)Unlike Andy. Who lies and floats and lies and floats, feigning loyalty throughout. Who, except during his HOH week, purposely avoids success during every competition.

Unlike Candice. Who deserved none of the disgusting comments thrown at her by ignorant bullies but who literally slept through her eviction week, totally refusing to compete.

Unlike Elissa. Who is there only to shill for Elissa Slater Enterprises Company Incorporated, apparently under license and permission from CBS, if rumors about her higher stipend and special considerations are true.

And, at least a little, unlike Spencer. Who seems to survive not by being likable but by being less dislikable than others.

Helen's & Elissa's alliance is inherently less powerful than McCrae's & Amanda's. Showmance trumps friendship. Would Amanda have been as powerful without McCrae?Resigned to her fate, Helen packs.Helen has played the game enthusiastically, unapologetically, and, especially this week, constantly. She talked with everybody, trying to shape events and to prolong her time. Her strategy worked for many weeks, effectively sharing power with Amanda. You might not enjoy Helen's ceaseless talking and/or the ways she manipulated (or attempted to manipulate) people, but can't we agree that Helen is way more of a game player than many others in #BB15 are or have been?

Who makes you feel like this more often, Spencer? Amanda or Helen?Yes, I'm still new to all of this ... and, yes, she's been my favorite since I started watching. But as I've learned more about this game, my respect for Helen has grown.

I have no expectation that this will convince anybody to join me on #TeamHelen. Also, despite lots of speculation, to me it feels quite unlikely that Helen will win the jury comp to bounce right back into the house tonight.

Even so, even if you don't like her, wouldn't that be delicious to watch? After endless weeks of unanimous, predictable, boring eviction votes pre-arranged not by the HOH but by Amanda and, somewhat less directly, Helen, I would love to watch the following turn of events:

- Helen wins the jury competition and comes right back in.

- Elissa or Helen wins HOH.

- The HOH nominates, say, GinaMarie and Andy, with the intent to backdoor Amanda. Or Amanda and McCrae, for the sheer theatrics of it.

Helen dreams of a miracle. With Helen or Elissa as HOH, how hard would it be to convince Aaryn, GinaMarie, and Spencer that they'd last longer with Amanda gone -- and be happier, too?  For the second week in a row, only a three-vote majority would be needed to make it happen.

Only three votes!

On the other hand, this newbie has learned that Amanda's nastiness, while universally acknowledged by the house guests, apparently has no bearing on their strategies.

I haven't yet learned why.

"Unfortunately, this is how it ends. Unless a miracle happens," Helen said (at 6:46 PM last night, August 21, on camera 4). And she's right.

I hold one hope for #BB15 redemption: If Amanda goes the week after Helen, it'll be a whole new show.

When Helen goes, I'll be sad ... but Ash and Scott will be delighted. And for the record, I will enjoy reading their snarkiness about the entire episode in their next posts, as I have in their last ones. Don't take anything we write here too seriously, folks! We're glad you're reading, even when you might not be agreeing. What's your miracle scenario? Share it below or tweet me @uselesstraffic.

Sunday
Aug182013

The Night Owl

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present your veto winner:

I know. I was surprised too.  Apparently the veto comp was this year's version of OTEV. OTEV was a love-sick beaver.  From what I have heard on the feeds, Elissa went into beast mode and was unstoppable in the competition even managing to someone half-blacken Andy's eye.

The most hilarious part of this veto win for me is that Helen was jumping up and down, dancing embarrassingly, and arrogantly boasting about how she and Elissa are both staying and Spencer is leaving when in actuality, Helen is definitely still leaving.  The scary part of course is that with Helen leaving on THIS Thursday, she could potentially bounce right back into the house if she wins the competition to re-enter.

Right after the veto comp McCrae and Amanda had a bit of a debate about next week.  Amanda already has her plan in place to ditch Spencer, but McCrae thinks that Elissa is more dangerous since she has now won more comps than Spencer and cannot be controlled once Helen is gone.  I'm pretty sure Amanda will end up winning again as usual, but it's worth noting there was at least a debate about it.

Speaking of Amanda and McCrae, they also had a small tiff when Amanda decided to have a meltdown because....wait for it.....she had not seen enough of McCrae today.  I'm not sure how that's even really possible in the BB house, but she manged to freak out about it.

Helen wasted no time after the veto comp in trying to make a new alliance wtih GinaMarie to secure GinaMarie''s vote.  She is sure that she has Amanda, McCrae, Elissa, and Amanda, but she wants it to be a unanimous vote, so she went to work on GinaMarie.  GinaMarie did her usual "agree with everything but mean none of it" thing and later told Aaryn about the whole conversation.

GinaMarie also had a meltdown tonight.  She was apparently sad that OTEV did not ask any questions about Nick, and "that's all she wanted".  While she was crying to Aaryn about it, Aaryn leaked Andy's suggestion from earlier in the day that the three of them got to final three instead of taking Amanda and McCrae.  Aaryn was not supposed to tell GinaMarie, but I doubt Andy will find out she knows since GM is probably the ONLY one in the house that is good about keeping her mouth shut when it comes to Game info.

Amanda once again told Elissa tonight that Helen is leaving.  She told her it's done and there is no point in her trying to get a campaign together because it will just put a target on her.  Amanda had dropped hints to Elissa before about Helen possibly going this week, but apparently it did not sink in until this time.  I'm curious as to whether in the coming days Elissa will tell Helen or not.  She doesn't really have any reason not to as she has her veto and can't be sent home this week.  She is also much closer to Helen then she is to Amanda, so chances are high she will tip Helen off at some point.

The rest of the night was mostly spent drunkenly (for the ones that could drink) talking over each other and hanging out.  Since Helen has no idea she might be the target, there really isn't a lot of campaigning or gaming going on yet, but I am sure as she gets more paranoid it will ramp up in the next few days.

That's pretty much it. As always,  you guys can follow me on twitter @ashes2ashes13 for more overnight live feed updates.  Until tomorrow night...

Friday
Aug162013

The Night Owl

Well, Aaryn is HOH for the freaking 4th time this season, but for once I am actually kind of glad that for the most part Amanda controls her.  I want to see Helen or Elissa evicted this week, and that is likely going to happen. 

As soon as the feeds returned after the HOH live show, we found Amanda once again crying and picking a fight with McCrae because she didn't win HOH.  The amusing part about this particular time was that both McCrae AND Aaryn tried to throw it to her, but she STILL couldn't win it.  I take that back, the MOST amusing part about it was that she crawled behind a trash can in the pantry to cry about it.

Shortly after the hiding behind the trash can incident, Amanda pulled herself together to go immediately get in Aaryn't ear and let her know they were evicting Helen this week.  Aaryn was totally okay with the idea of putting up Elissa and Helen, and Elissa did not help herself by apparently making comments about not wanting to sit near GinaMarie or Aaryn during the live show.

Right before or after (I don't remember which) the time that Amanda and Aaryn were deciding to put up Helen and Elissa (with Spencer as a replacement if one of them comes down) McCrae and Andy had a chat with their fake alliance member Helen and promised her to try to pitch for Spencer to be the one to go up on the block with Elissa so they could vote out Spencer.  This of course won't actually happen, but everyone is trying to get Helen to believe she is not the target.

While Andy and McCrae sweet talked Helen, Amanda filled in Spencer on what was going on in the other room.  Since it's necessary to put up Helen with Elissa (so that Helen can't win veto and use it on Elissa) Spencer will not be going up, so Aaryn and Amanda agreed they must make deals with him this week.

After Helen was finished talking to McCrae and Andy, she went and briefly spoke with Aaryn and GinaMarie about the things Elissa had been saying about them during the live show.  She could tell they were pretty upset and she then fled the room to go find Elissa and try to get her to apologize and play nice with Aaryn to keep herself off the block.  Elissa being..well..Elissa, was not okay with the idea of apologizing to anyone.  Most of her argument consisted of her talking about how she has more to worry about than some 22 year old. She has kids at home.. blah blah blah.  I really thought Rachel was weird in her first season, but finding out that Rachel was the normal one of the two sisters continues to blow my mind on a daily basis.  Elissa proceeded to talk about how she would walk if she were sent to Jury because she would rather go home to her family than spend time with the people in the jury house.

This conversation sent Helen flying back up to the HOH room where Aaryn, Spencer, Andy, McCrae, and Amanda were all hanging out.  Helen turned on the tears and sobbed it out about how she NEEDS Elissa's vote if she is in the final 2, and now she can't help Elissa anymore, but she has to play for herself.  In my opinion, all of this (including the tears) was Helen speak for "You can't put me up on the block if you feel sorry for me because I'm sobbing and I'm a mom."  Apparently I'm not the only one who felt that way since Amanda and McCrae want downstairs and chatted about how they both had no sympathy for what Helen was doing.

Helen eventually calmed down and after that everyone hung out in the HOH (well everyone except for Elissa) and chit chatted for the predominant part of the rest of the night.  They all spent a while telling Helen she just has to play for herself etc..  They did Candice impersonations. They talked about Jury house and how awkward it will be when Jessie gets there, and they tried to make Helen feel comfortable because no one wants her freaking out or knowing she is the target. They want her to believe the target is Elissa, and from what I understand, they want Elissa to believe she is the target as well until they blindside Helen. 

Helen has now gone downstairs and says she is going to bed.  Everyone else seems to be winding down, and I am about to give up since they won't stop talking about production and getting the feeds cut every few seconds.  I am very very VERY excited to see Helen on the block as the target this week, but I do have reservations.  The jury twist was announced on tonight's live show.  The absolute LAST thing I want to happen is to have Helen evicted this Thursday only to bounce RIGHT back into the house by winning the competition against Judd, Jessie, and Candice.  I feel like if Elissa got booted, it would likely be Judd or Jessie (hopefully Judd) going back in, but if Helen goes out...it makes me nervous.  I will just have to see how the week plays out.  For all we know Helen could win veto and save herself leaving them to oust Elissa. Or if Elissa makes them miserable enough this week, they may oust her anyway. 

Either way, there should be a have-not competition this morning followed by nominations in the evening.  Helen and Elissa should go up unless something drastic changes between now and then.  Hopefully nominations bring fireworks! As always, you guys can follow me on twitter @ashes2ashes13 for more overnight live feed updates.  Until tomorrow night...

Monday
Aug052013

Tactics 101

The welcome which you, both readers and fellow BBG contributors, have provided me here at the Newbie Desk has been warm. Thank you!

In my day job (which is in the information technology field), I achieve better understanding of complex technical processes by authoring our user documentation -- making things easy to understand for staffers who don't have IT backgrounds. Big Brother viewers who have been watching since the early years may not realize how complex this process is! There are deeply nuanced strategies at play which I'm only now starting to notice.

Tactical analysis is subjective, and best left to Ash, Scott, and Mike. But if there's an objective way I can contribute to our seasoned readers and not just to other newbies, it's with the new BBG Ticker which you see near the top of the right column. If Ash's daily "Night Owl" summaries, Scott's spot-on analyses, and Indy Mike's commentary help you fill in all the gaps, I hope the Ticker provides a useful at-a-glance outline. Creating it gave me a much better understanding of house guests' roles and goals.

By the way, if BBG's writers put #BB15 into high definition, then the Big Brother Podcast makes it pop in full 3D. You listen too, right?

Shall we move on to reader comments?

leopardgrrl1 writes, "HGs ... don't seem to find much irony or humor in their watched/controlled/scripted state. Where's the snark, the sarcasm, the cleverness?"

Thou -- Andy, Helen, Clownie (Candice), and Judd -- shalt NOT talk about production. Your comment came to mind two different times while watching the feeds -- Sunday, July 28, 11:49a, camera 3, and yesterday morning (Sunday, Aug 4), 11:39a, camera 4. On July 29, When Judd, Helen, and Elissa started talking about trying out for the show, we got fish for 15 seconds. Shortly after they were back, we heard Big Brother say "You may not talk about production." About 8 minutes later, conversation again strayed back to how they got into Big Brother. We got fish for a minute and then were treated to a four-camera view of Andy and Spencer sleeping.

And yesterday morning, Andy, Candice, Helen, and Judd were sitting outside talking about things of zero consequence when Andy said, "Can we just talk real quick? Let's keep it real. They do not need an hour and a half worth of shots of us being serious. They could get that in 5 minutes, and then we could f#ckin' hang out in the back yard." Helen agrees, "I know! Why does it take so long?" Andy: "Cuz they just want us to" -- and then immediate cut to fish.

Yes, indeed, I completely agree that it would be entertaining to see the house guests talk openly about the BB experience from a "meta, beyond-the-game" point of view ... but it's very likely we'll never see it. Why don't the producers like it? Is this a newbie's lack of understanding? I understand not talking about Dairy Room conversations. But, holy good gravy, we paid for the feeds and we know they're making a TV show! If what the HGs say doesn't somehow negatively affect game play, why can't we see it, unedited?

When I whined about Aaryn winning HOH for a second time, psychodrew wrote, "One reason you see a lot of repeat winners is that there are people who throw HOH competitions because they don't want the responsibility." Teagan, Zoe, and objkshn also helped open my eyes to the nuanced strategy in this game. I see now that it's more than just winning competitions, attempting to persuade others to vote your way, and forming voting blocs (i.e. alliances). For example, some don't want the target that comes with being HOH; some choose not to evict controversial players because they hope to be paired with a "weak" HG in the finale.

Helen invited Aaryn, Elissa, and Jessie to the BBQ. Did she make the right choices?Speaking of supposedly-weak HGs, controversial remarks aside, I'm starting to think that Aaryn has got some game. If true that she was a puppet to the Powers That Be during her most recent HOH stint, Aaryn appears to have some pull over HOH GinaMarie (unless things changed last night) ... and, when selecting people to invite to the barbecue, Helen was quick to continue a "you scratch my back"-and-forth arrangement with Aaryn. Does the perception of weakness equate to stealthy strength?

Or are there subtleties at play here which are totally going over my head?

Kelli wrote, "As a well seasoned BB fan, I absolutely cannot WAIT to read your perspective!" And ErinInTx wrote, "Love the questions you asked, they are the exact same questions I hear when I first introduce someone to the madness!" Thanks to you both! It's encouraging to know that you and others appreciate hearing a newbie's perspective.

If you too are a #BB15 newbie (or at least remember what it's like), strategize with me @uselesstraffic.

Next from the Newbie Desk: Has Big Brother gone too far?

Saturday
Aug032013

We Do It For the Fans!

Although I try to be an equal-opportunity snark, human nature precludes that I'll set my spears on an individual or two. In the past, it's primarily been the vets that have in my mind ruined the game. This year, it was initially Elissa as I didn't think the MVP twist was fair to the rest of the house (plus I feel that family's fanbase is batshit crazy). As the season has progressed, others have popped in and out of my sarcastic radar.

At the end of the day, though, I really don't care who wins. I just want there to be a combination of interesting people at the end so I don't lose interest. Seriously, the idea of a Helen/Andy/Candice finale is a nightmare scenario. There has to be one "villain" to last to the end, even if they have no chance of actually winning. 

Many people, though, seem incapable of looking at this game in any other vision than the eyesight of their favorite player. Anybody that is against that person is evil incarnate, and that person's fan base should be ridiculed, condemned, or, in the case of twitter, sabotaged by reporting it to twitter as abusive.

It's bullshit, people. Enjoy which ever player you want, and dislike those you truly don't like, but don't lecture others that don't think like you. Why should it matter? It would be REALLY boring if we all thought the same.

What set me off today? It's an issue that's been festering for days, especially after the discovery that the family's of a good portion of the case are being harassed at all hours of the day and night. I'm not just talking about those that have used questionable language, either. Portions of the Big Brother community have turned into complete morons. There used to be an unspoken rule that families are to remain off limits, but apparently that's no longer the case.

Furthering my anger at the community is the reactions I'm reading to Amanda freaking out at being the MVP nomination. As her critics salivate at being able to spend their entire day over-tweeting about how much they hate her, they also are digging in to toss the same kind of verbal grenades at those who do like her.

So let me toss this out at you. This MVP thing is a mindfuck now that it's not a weekly Elissa event. They're all freaked out about the identity of the "person" making this pick. Yes, Amanda is over-the-top paranoid about the identity of who nominated her. Isn't that natural?

What would happen if the MVP had been Helen? She'd be crying to some people, and interogating others. Or both. If it had been Candice, there's be another episode of her silly fake show where she'd attempt to call everybody out. Eliisa would run to the diary room to get answers from her buddies. 

The point is that any of them would be acting out in some way. None of them would look calm or gracious. I'm not saying that you can't criticize or poke fun at their reactions. But to say that person's fans are "delusional" for simply being disappointed or raising questions on how this happened is ridiculous. 

Tuesday
Jul302013

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

The only thing which I didn't want to have happen last Thursday (July 25, 2013, during #BB15 episode 13) is exactly what happened: Aaryn won Head of Household. Again.

This newbie's preference would have been for either of the following:

- For Amanda, Andy, Candice, Elissa, GinaMarie, Howard, Jessie, or Spencer to win ... so that we could see how things would go in the house from an entirely different perspective, since they have not yet served as HOH. For example, I don't think I've heard Jessie say more than about ten words in the many hours I've watched the live feeds since starting around July 17. She doesn't seem to get much air time. McCrae gets air time ... but given how often he sleeps (usually not alone), his part in this show apparently isn't a speaking role.

- For Helen to get HOH again ... because she's my favorite house guest, and I hadn't bought in to #BB15 yet when she served in that role the first time.

The cameras give the most attention to whomever the HOH is and to the noisiest, most controversial, and/or most scheming of the house guests. When they're bothering to focus on talk, that is.

The feeds seem to devote hours to Amanda and McCrae sleeping (or ... not) under the covers during the day. Why don't they let us listen into more conversations? With 12 people there, isn't there pretty much somebody talking somewhere in the house? Their conversations don't have to be about the game to be more interesting than watching people nap (or ... not).

My first exposure to Big Brother -- not just during #BB15, but ever -- was when news of Aaryn's distasteful speech spilled over into mainstream media a few weeks ago, so I didn't exactly leap for joy when she was re-crowned. (Neither did most of the other house guests, if I read them right.) Just when I was getting into the show, it felt like we'd be in only for a summer rerun.

Even a newbie wonders if the producers conspire to give people like Aaryn more air time for spurious reasons. Being attractive can't hurt ratings.

All right, all right -- maybe not Helen again, even though my enthusiasm about her remains high. Not Helen or McCrae or Judd or Aaryn.

Why don't they disqualify previous Heads of Household from HOH competitions? As a newbie, it feels like the advantages to the show of an always-different-HOH would outweigh the disadvantages. Or if they're going to leave it open to everyone, should they make it extra difficult for previous HOHs to win?

How would you change HOH eligibility? Or should they leave it as-is? Comment below or hit me @uselesstraffic.

Next from the Newbie Desk: Responses to your comments and questions.