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Sunday
Aug232009

Big Brother - Season 11, Episode 20 Recap


Yo yo yo, my fellow Big Brother fans. Yes, it’s another Sunday evening episode, which means that there won’t be too much exciting news. Sure, we’ll see the results of the semi-endurance competition that began as time ran out on Thursday’s episode, but outside of that we’ll have the usual HOH room reveal, a bit of scheming, and the nominations.

So we begin with the HOH players on top of a platform, attempting to drop cans into a pair of tubes. Jordan says it’s nervewracking, but that Jeff needs to win as he’s the only one she trusts. Kevin says it’s important for him or Natalie to win, as they’re the only ones left. Russell and Natalie pretty much repeat what we already heard.

We then see a flashback of Lydia’s eviction, and Kevin is sad that his best friend is gone. Natalie adds that the goal was to somehow get rid of Russell, but since that didn’t happen she’s “going to make friends with people I don’t consider friends”. Yeah, we know, and those that fall for it deserve everything that happens to them. (I’m talking to you, Jordan and Jeff.)

We continue with more reaction to Lydia’s eviction. Russell laughs at how Lydia didn’t hug anybody but Kevin, while Jordan babbles about how she was such a drama queen. “She made our lives here a lot tougher than they should be.” Kevin apologizes to Natalie for voting against her.

Back to the game. Kevin is now in the lead until Michelle ties it at four apiece. Poor Natalie is in last place. That’s when the sliding boards begin to move, and they all complain about how hard the game has become. Kevin and Jeff are now fighting for the lead, but Russell’s stomping around is causing problems for Jeff.

Natalie and Russell are starting to catch up to the other three, and Natalie again describes how tough it is to drop cans into these tubes. Jeff adds that he came up with a strategy of pulling the tab to somehow aim better. As they continue to play, Jordan reads a card that states the two players with the lowest number of cans will be this week’s “have nots”. Kevin says that “put a little fire underneath my feet”.

It’s still between Kevin and Jeff when we see Kevin nail two at once. We see a nice little score when a can lands on the platform, and somehow drops in anyway. Russell has now jumped into second place when Jordan reads another card about how special gold cans get to close down other players for 60 seconds. Michelle opts to not use them so that she doesn’t become a target. Russell does not have that issue, and will do anything to win.

Kevin is well on his way to winning when Russell opts to use a gold can to freeze out Kevin. He makes it, but Kevin is still confident he will win. Jeff says that he has “gotten into a rhythm, and catches up during that time. Meanwhile, Kevin has decided to try to use two gold cans to stop Russell, and indeed makes one. Jeff says that this actually helped him, as without Russell’s stomping around he was able to focus.

Jeff and Kevin are indeed tied at 22, and Kevin says it caused him to “step it up”. Kevin grabs two gold cans to use on Jeff, but misses both. Jeff makes another one to tie him, and after we see Kevin miss two, Jeff finally makes the winning card. Jeff is HOH, with Michelle and Russell this week’s “have nots”. Jeff and Jordan are obviously ecstatic, while Kevin and Natalie are bummed because he knows he’s going to be nominated. Russell says that he “should” be happy, but because he’s the “strongest competitor in the house” he’s worried. To add some phony drama, Jeff says it’s time to make a bold move. Yeah, right.

After commercials, we see everybody babbling in the kitchen about making it to the final six. Natalie remarks that everybody but her and Kevin have been HOH. “We’re losers, big time.” Jeff notes that he was “right there”, but Kevin complains that he always chokes. In the diary room, Kevin hopes to continue to play the “floater game”, and convince Jeff that there are bigger players to go after.

Natalie and Kevin have moved into one of the bedrooms, and even though she lost Natalie is happy that she beat Russell. “I’m so upset at myself”, says Kevin. “Now I’m fucked…please Jeff, nominate Russell.” They decide to go to Jeff and Jordan with a final two deal. “We’re loyal, and he can tell Russell and Michelle aren’t.”

Before they can talk about such a deal with Jeff, we have to endure the HOH room reveal. Jordan says that Jeff’s childhood haircut reminds her of “dumb and dumber”. Um, yeah, Jordan, I’m sure that makes you feel right at home. Kevin adds that every picture is “various stage of Jeff hotness”. The letter is like all, the family loves him and watches every week. We get it, BB.

With one fluff segment over, we move on to another one, as Jordan hints that she’d like Jeff take her on the Hawaiian vacation he won. Yeah, CBS, push the showmance angle. Jordan babbles nonsense in the diary room about how men think with their penises and not their minds, and that if she went to Hawaii all they’d do is kiss and cuddle. Sure you would.

On to gameplay - Michelle and Russell are heading up to HOH because Russell wants to know where he stands with Jeff and Jordan. Jeff brings up what Kevin lied about Russell wanting to split the couple. Russell says that “they” are going to say what they need to say to “make a last stand”. He wants to know what the advantage would be to do that, and asks Michelle to verify that this conversation never happened. She really doesn’t answer in a way to help Russell, but he does make good points on his own.

Once they’ve left, Jordan tells Jeff that she doesn’t trust either of them. She believes Kevin and Natalie over them, and they decide to head outside to talk to Russell again. Jordan heads right to Russell, and they have the same argument they just had. In the diary room, Russell says he has thought about going after Jeff, but that he never told that to anybody. Jeff complains in the diary room that he never got the answer he wanted. Um, you did if you had listened.

Time for more fluffy material. Jeff is watering the plants in the backyard, and Michelle is acting like she cares. At least we get a pic of Jordan in a bikini enjoying the “garden boy” without a shirt. Kevin also enjoys watching him “water with his hose”. Ugh.

As if that’s not enough fluff, we get the big reveal of what the have nots get to add to their slop diet - churros and chitlin. Both Russell and Michelle are not excited, but Kevin is bummed that they got something worthwhile to eat when he was forced to endure squid and squash.

Ok, back to game play. Wait, never mind. Natalie is telling everybody that she was a professional poker player, and she adds in the diary room her lie about not being 18. If Jeff had any brains, he could put two and two together. Unfortunately, he’s just a hot gardener. Natalie makes a crack about Russell’s game play, and they end up going off on each other - live and in the diary room.

Russell is now seen talking to Michelle, worrying that Jeff is going to “flip the script”. Just cue to a few paragraphs ahead to see how this conversation goes, but Michelle decides to head upstairs to find out what’s going on. Russell tells her to “go for it”, but in reality he should be with her as Michelle is not good at this part of the game. Jeff adds the usual “I’m the HOH; the decision is mine” babble. Michelle goes back down and tells Russell the “plan’s on”. Russell says that he still suspicious, though.

Time for yet more fluff. Jeff and Michelle are babbling about tans, and Michelle’s job as a neuroscientist. Michelle says in the diary room that everybody in the house is clueless about what she does, and we see more filler as she explains to Jeff what she does. Wake me up when this is over.

Back to game play - we see Natalie and Kevin corner Jeff in the backyard, and we hear Natalie talk about how with nominations coming up she needs to come up with a proposal to stay off the block. Kevin starts with a nice lie about how they’re strategy has always been to be truthful. Oh god, please tell me Jeff doesn’t buys into this crap. Natalie adds that a deal with them would at least give them people worth trusting, instead of people who are “shady”. She adds that she also heard what Kevin had reported, and Jeff says that he does believe them. Despite this, though, he says that he’s going to put them up but will take one of them off to backdoor Russell.

As you may expect, Jeff runs into the bedroom to inform Jordan of this new plan. “Or I could put up Russell and Michelle. And be like, ‘something going on between you two. I don’t know what it is. You guys didn’t come clean with me. One of you guys has got to go.” He would then tell Michelle that she’s not the target. Jordan wants Russell out, but she questions whether they can trust Natalie. Good point, my silly little southern minx. “I trust Natalie”, she finally adds. Nooooooooo!

So it’s finally nomination time. As the script always reads, Jeff stares at the wall of pictures while everybody babbles about how they’re not nominated.

Interestingly, Russell says the smart plan would be to put himself and Michelle up. The first key pulled, though, belongs to Russell, followed by Michelle and Jordan. Yes, Natalie and Kevin are nominated!

Jeff jokes that he nominate them because he didn’t like them, as Jordan says that he doesn’t tension. Nobody really says anything worthwhile in the last quotes of the night, so I’ll sign off right here. See you Tuesday!

Thursday
Aug202009

Big Brother - Season 11, Episode 19 Recap


Welcome to another eviction episode of Big Brother! I probably should have included the word “live”, since unlike last week we are back to viewing the developments as they actually happen. Not just an eviction, either, as the house has yet to play the veto competition, let alone have the veto meeting. Add to that the start of an endurance HOH comp, and we have a full sixty minutes of action. Of course, tonight’s show would have been even more action-packed if Chima hadn’t ruined the yearly double-elimination special.

This is also the rare episode where we have no idea what’s going to happen. Even without the veto competition, we really have no clue who will be going home tonight? Did Russell’s pleas to Jeff and Jordan thaw the growing coldness between them? Is Natalie still Jeff and Jordan’s new best friend? Can Lydia survive another spell in the nomination chair?

After Julie’s intro, we start off with the reactions to Jordan’s nominations of Lydia and Natalie. After high-fiving Natalie, a pit-stained Lydia bitches about being nominated for the fourth time. “This is just a poopy feeling.” Oh boy. Natalie says the game has “changed for the worst for me. I’m outnumbered. I have no true friends at all in this game.” She threatens to go after Michelle after she wins the veto, but Michelle plans to play as hard as possible to win the veto. Meanwhile, Jeff calls the attempt to get out either Lydia or Natalie a “clean up operation” because they were both close to Jessie.

Jordan goes into one of the bedrooms with Natalie, and after asking if she’s crying, tells her that she’s “just a pawn”. She claims that she has nothing against her, but in the diary room Jordan says she has the right to change her mind at any time if it would be better to eliminate Natalie.

As always, Kevin has to cheer up Lydia, but Natalie comes in and whispers to Kevin what Jordan just said. Both Lydia and Natalie complain that they’re awful at competitions, and “I never lie” Natalie lies that she doesn’t believe she isn’t the target. “We just have to win the veto and take ourselves off.” Kevin complains that Lydia never listens to anything he says, so he thinks that using the veto on Natalie might be his smartest move.

We move on to another bedroom, where Michelle and Russell are chatting about being “lone wolfs”. Russell says that if she’s ever up, he’ll use the veto on her because they’re both playing the same game. Russell is worried about Jeff going against him, and at that very moment Jeff walks into the room. Russell says that the two of them are even, and if Jordan was smart she’d go after either him or Michelle.

We move back into the other bedroom, and Natalie asks Lydia how many times she hooked up with Jessie. Lydia won’t answer, but Natalie says that she knows. She eventually spills the beans about their “good times”, as we see footage of Jessie’s tent. Natalie says that’s why she didn’t like her, but the room gets a bit chillier when Kevin says that he was playing both of them - with Natalie being plan A and Lydia being plan B. Kevin complains in the diary room that the two women needed to has this out on their own, which they indeed do in another room. They both conclude that Jessie was an ass.

It’s now the next morning, and to make it so none of them go home he says they have to create a “complete fabrication”. Natalie’s idea is that they overheard a conversation between Russell and Michelle for a final two deal. “If this plan works, I am a genius”, claims Natalie. I hate to admit this, but she’s right. They also stupidly come up with a name for their plan, but I’m not going to waste time with it here.

Kevin begins the operation by talking to Jeff, although he says that it’s hard for him to lie. He claims that from this point on he’s going to be looking out for Jeff, and then tells the phony story of the overheard conversation. “Russell said that next week was important because we have to split up the couple. After he’s gone, us two can go all the way to the end.” Jeff stupidly tells Kevin that they were thinking of going after Russell next week, but they may have to do it this week. Even Kevin admits that Jeff is an idiot for believing this.

Jeff runs upstairs to inform Jordan of this conversation, but Jordan says she thinks that Michelle was just listening. Jordan still wants to evict Natalie, but Jeff says they may have to backdoor Russell. For once, Jordan is the voice of reason, pointing out that they need the numbers. Jeff asks if she thinks Kevin would lie. As Jordan says no, we see Kevin jumping for joy with the other girls.

It’s now time for Julie’s insipid talk with the house, and she starts with asking Jeff about the mystery power. He says he has no regrets, and that it was good game play. Kevin is then asked about feeling guilty for “HiroChima”’s expulsion, and he says that he felt he could do more to calm her down. Lydia is then asked about shedding tears over Jessie, and she emphatically says she’s completely over him. “Let’s just say that if I get put in the jury house, he’s got one angry pink-haired lady for a week”. I say she protests a bit too much. Julie jokes that she almost wants to see this happen. Jordan is asked what she thought was the best part of being HOH, and she predictably says the letter, pictures, and being able to take a bubble bath.

After commercials, we see Natalie claiming her HOH competition prize of the phone call from home. It’s sweet, but let’s get to the real stuff!!!

Ok, here we go with the veto competition, with everybody but Russell playing. The game is called “Before and After”, and they have to step ahead or behind based on two events that Julie describes. Everybody gets the first question correct, but Lydia, Jeff, and Natalie are eliminated on the next question. Everybody is correct again, but Kevin is eliminated on the next question. Jordan and Michelle are the only ones left, and they both are right on the next four questions, so Julie has a tie-breaker question of how many truffles were in the giant mud pit. Jordan guesses 60, and Michelle guesses 50. The answer is 104, so Jordan has won again!

It’s on to the veto ceremony, and Natalie and Lydia both spout silliness before Jordan decides to NOT use the veto. One of the girls is going home!

After commercials, we go right to the final speeches. Natalie goes first, and she talks about losing her two best allies but really wants to stay. “I have no alliances; no deals.” Lydia then says to vote for whomever will get them the farthest in the house.

Voting now starts with Russell, who votes to evict Lydia. Michelle also votes to evict Lydia, as does Jeff. Kevin, though, votes to evict Natalie. It’s 3 - 1, with Lydia off to spend a week with Jessie!

When Julie announces the news, Lydia doesn’t act too surprised. She hugs Kevin, while Natalie hugs everybody else for keeping her. Lydia’s not too pleased, though, as she almost sprints out the door in her Captain Unitard costume to loud applause.

Instead of watching the house react to Lydia’s departure, we head right to commercials before Julie’s interview with Lydia. Let me guess - lots of Jessie question. Not at first, though, as Julie asks why she snubbed everybody but Kevin. She says that Kevin is her only friend in the game, and that “everybody else can kick rocks” (what does that even mean?). Julie then asks about bonding with Natalie, and Lydia says “that was tough”. Good one! “I got a kid sister that I really didn’t want.” Julie notes that she seemed to throw in the towel in her last speech, and she admits that to be the case but it was worth it because instead of a half million she got a new best friend. Hmmmmm.

Julie then moves on to talk about Chima, and whether she was partly to blame for her eviction. Lydia agrees because her leaving really changed the game. “Having that strong female gone really weakened me.” She also is asked about Michelle, and Lydia babbles about “true colors”.

Ok, here’s the predictable question about Lydia being alone with Jessie for a week. “He’s going to need ice packs. He played Natalie and myself like a fiddle.” I bet they make up within an hour.

Finally, we move on to the HOH competition, and the players are on a ledge for a game called “Can Do”. they have to toss cans into a barell, and the first to get 24 cans wins. If nobody gets to 24 within an hour, then the person with the most wins. So much for an endurance competition. Kevin is the first to get a can in his tube shortly before we head to the final set of commercials.

When we return, Julie introduces a dumb “Mashup Video” contest, and Kevin and Michelle are tied with 4 cans a piece, with Jeff close behind at 3. To make the game harder, platforms start moving in and out. Yeah, exciting stuff, but that’s how we end tonight!

Tuesday
Aug182009

Big Brother - Season 11, Episode 18 Recap

AKA: The Ballad of Chima Simone


Before we begin with tonight’s recap, I must apologize for not having a report on Sunday’s episode. I spent the weekend with a lovely young woman in Colorado, and really didn’t feel up to doing anything but sleep when I returned home late Sunday evening.

From what I’ve been told, though, Sunday’s episode was a bore, particularly since the happenings in the house over the weekend completely trumped what they showed from Thursday and Friday. Our little Chima certainly outdone herself, and I find it hilarious that all of this came about because her simpleton buddy Jessie was evicted.

One last thing before we head to the recap. At times, I sort of liked Chima. Really, I did. She’s a pretty smart woman whose clearly gone through a lot in her life. Yet any sympathy I had for her has completely dissipated since I read these tweets:

“Keep talking bitches! You’re making me famous.”

“Facitious (sic), Simulated, Concocted, Fabricated, Manufactured, Deceptive, Delusive, Misleading, Unathenticated, Pseudo, Sham, Bogus, Unreal”

“I find it hilarious that most of my detractors are ugly or fat. Sometimes a combination of the two. High school all over again. LOL!”

Classy, my dear…if it is you.

So we start, as always, with the reactions to Michelle’s nominations of Chima and Natalie. Michelle says that even though she likes Chima, she has to “keep my mind straight and remember I’m in the Big Brother house to win a half million dollars. I don’t think my friendship with Chima is worth $500,000.”

Russell thanks Michelle, and hugs her as the girls walk into one of the bedrooms. Lydia is livid. “What the fuck?” Natalie points out that Michelle did what “they” want her to do. “I’ve done nothing but be kind to her”, claims Chima, and Lydia verifies this by saying that she stood up for her. “I know. I know. She totally fucked me on that.”

Russell and Jordan are up in the HOH with Michelle, Jeff, and Russell. They know that Chima is going to cause chaos because of her nomination (but obviously have no idea just how much she’ll create). Russell tells her not to worry, because they all know who each others friends are. Jordan adds in the diary room that “one of them needs to go, preferably Chima. They’re the biggest group of whiners I’ve ever met. They complain constantly. I think they’re rude. The list just goes on.”

Jeff turns on the spy cam, and Jordan notes that this is what they do after they nominated somebody from their group. “This is the exact scenario“, says Jeff, “except we didn’t run off and pout.” Jordan adds that Chima is one of the strongest people in the house, and Jeff adds that “she’s one of the hugest bitches I’ve ever met in my whole life. She’s a nightmare.”

Chima is now seen in the red room, telling the rest of her team that she wants to go home. Kevin, as usual, tries to be the voice of reason. “Don’t quit. Don’t ever quit. If you leave, you’d be screwing me. You’d be screwing us who are left, because then your vote would be gone from the jury house.” More Michelle bashing ensues, and Chima claims she’s always kept her word. “It’s a complete stab in the back.” Kevin says she just needs to win POV, and Chima adds that she’s not going to let Michelle boot her out of the house.

A few people are now sitting in the kitchen when Big Brother announces the inside lockdown is over. Kevin looks outside, and there’s a “practice version” of the POV competition. Lydia sarcastically says “sweet”, and Natalie repeats what Kevin just said. (BTW, it’s a one-hole miniature golf setup.) Natalie tells Kevin that he needs to go wake up Chima, “because we’re the ones who need to practice”. Kevin says he’s happy to try to motivate her because she needs to win, but Chima is buried under her blanket. She wanders out, and BB immediately implores her to put on her microphone. She says she doesn’t “give a fuck”, and Natalie tells Lydia to go get it. Chima tells her not to bother.

The rest of the house is still sitting in the kitchen, and in the diary room Jordan complains that Chima “is a diva. She’s been braking rules since day one, and she acts like the rules don’t apply to her.” We then see a montage of her ignoring BB instructions and promising chaos if Jeff uses the mystery power. “They tell me to get up, I’m laying down. They tell me to go to the diary room; it’s going to take a long time.” At one point, the covers the bedroom camera with a blanket.

But back to the backyard incident. Chima is now practicing the golf game, and Kevin describes the rule about wearing microphones as we see him wandering into the bedroom to get Chima’s mic. Natalie grabs it from Kevin, and she hands it to Chima, who lobs it into the sauna before continuing her practice.

Lydia says in the diary room that she ‘was mortified”, as Natalie attempts to dig it out of the sauna. Natalie says to say it “fell out of her hand”, and reminds Chima that she could be forced to pay for it. “Yeah, whatever.”

Everybody has now gradually come out into the backyard, as Lydia and Chima are sitting on the washer and dryer (to prevent others from using it, as per their genius plan). Again, BB instructs Chima to come in to exchange her microphone. “I’m not going anywhere.” Kevin again goes off to help Chima, who tells him to “stop”. Natalie warns her that she’s going to hit her with the mallet if she doesn’t stop.

In the dairy room, Jeff says that “all” the people in the house were telling her to “please” put on her microphone. Kevin has brought it out for her, and after BB instructs her to put it on, she says “fuck off. You guys can suck cock.” Lydia jokes that she’ll now be Natalie’s best friend if Chima leaves. Again, Chima takes off her microphone and lays it down on the dryer.

We move on to later in the night, and the girls (and Kevin) are in the bedroom. Chima says the she “feels defeated”, and Natalie advises her to not let the other side get to her. Lydia points out that there is an exit door, and Chima yells at the BB announcement for her to go to the diary room. She adds that her whole HOH week was a joke against her, and promises to “create all kinds of havoc”. She again says she’s not going to the diary room, and that they have to come to her. Producer Allison Grodner now comes on, and tells her that she has to come to the diary room. Natalie continues to try to inspire her, but Chima clearly isn’t listening.

Chima heads into the diary room, and is greeted by a staffer…and we go to commercials.

When we return, everybody is seen waiting for Chima’s return, and Kevin says he feels that Chima won’t be returning and that she’ll have to pay for that mic. Lydia repeats the lie about dropping the mic, and Kevin points out that “they’re (BB) not stupid. They have 10,000 cameras.” Again, Grodner’s voice comes on the loudspeaker, telling everybody to gather in the living room.

Grodner announces that because Chima obviously didn’t want to follow the rules, and destroyed a piece of production equipment she has been expelled. Kevin cries out, “this is stupid”, and Lydia asks if they should pack her stuff. Continuing to repeat that it’s stupid, Kevin breaks down crying.

Meanwhile, Jeff is outside calling her a “nuisance and a menace…we’re playing a game, man”. Jordan adds that she “lost all respect for all of them”, and Michelle wants everybody to treat each other with respect.

The other side is packing, and Natalie starts in on how it’s all Michelle’s fault. Lydia, of all people, tells her that “now is not the time”, and that Chima needs help. Natalie continues, whining about how they “took her HOH power away”. Again, Lydia is actually making sense, and that they need to focus on getting the people that screwed the three of them.

After commercials, Michelle gathers everybody into the living room to announce that since Chima left her duties as HOH are over. A new HOH competition is about to begin, and Kevin, Natalie, and Lydia feel they have new life.

They head outside, and the competition is indeed involving the mini-golf from the previous night. Jeff says that it “just looks like a fun day”. Natalie says that this is the most important HOH of the game, and also claims that she “has been running this house”. Oh really? Others basically repeat the same story about the importance of this game.

Lydia goes first, and after complaining about how “sick” she is at being on the block, her ball lands in the “6” spot. Jordan is up next, and has to beat Lydia’s score to stay in the game. She gets a “3” to stay in the game, and Natalie scores a “2”. (Like golf, the lowest score wins.) Russell gets a hole in one, as does Jeff. To stay in the game, Kevin has to score higher than Lydia’s “6”, and indeed gets a hole in one.

Lydia is out, and the prize she chooses is the HOH. Unfortunately, she won’t get to keep it very long. She’s happy to learn there’s champagne, though.

Jordan starts off the next round with a hole in one, and Natalie gets a “7”. Russell again gets a hole in one, as does Jeff and Kevin. Natalie is now out, and her prize is a Hawaiian vacation. She decides to keep it, since the HOH key will be taken anyway. Kevin is not happy that it’s now up to him to win.

Jeff starts off round three with a hole in one, and Jordan scores a “2”. Russell bounces out of the hole in one hole, and is out with a score of “7”. His prize is the phone call from home, but trades it with Natalie’s Hawaiian vacation. Natalie starts crying because it’s the “best thing that could happen to me”. She thanks Russell, who say she did it for his parents and not her. Russell believes her crying was fake.

Jeff gets another hole in one in round four, but Kevin’s ball lands in the “5”. Jordan gets a four, so Kevin is now out. She tells Kevin that he’s safe when they hug. Kevin’s prize is $5,000, and he says he’s going to keep it. Lydia complains that “evil prevails”.

Jordan goes first in the last round, and scores a “4”. Lydia bitches from the sidelines that “they’re going ot string you along, and cut you at the end”, which sets Jeff off. Before his attempt, Jeff asks Jordan if she wants HOH, and she says she does. He purposely hits it off the playing field, which Russell says is a “classy move”. Jeff’s prize is a spa experience, which he trades with Russell for the Hawaiian vacation. Jordan’s prize is a Captain Unitard costume, which she trades with Lydia for the HOH key. “Be a puppet, Jordan”, complains Lydia. “The dumb ho will be cut at the end.” Again, Jeff goes off on her, which ends with Lydia calling her a “ho puppet” before storming off. Again, she starts bitching about how they screwed over Jessie and Chima.

Lydia’s not done, though. It’s later in the day, and Michelle is talking with Jordan about Natalie’s attitude. Lydia overhears, and slams the door open. “Good job”, Michelle sarcastically says. “Wear your unitard, bitch.”

After laughing with Natalie, Lydia runs out into the kitchen and dumps Michelle’s leftover HOH beers and food. “Vote me out, seriously.” Jeff says that she’s staying, and he and Russell start laughing. This goes back and forth before Jeff asks her how she’s going to get them out when she’s the first one out of every competition. Oh no you didn’t!

Jeff asks what’s wrong with her, and she complains again about kicking out Jessie. Jeff says that it’s just a game, and they should enjoy their time. Lydia says she’s going to keep yelling all week, while Michelle stands there with a grin. “You guys are a waste of space”, Lydia bitches with just a bit of a slur. Somehow, Lydia thinks that going into the diary room with her will prove what a man he is. She heads into the diary room alone, and starts bawling about wanting to talk to Ronnie, Chima, or Jessie as Jeff continues to try to create a truce with the rest of the house. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work, and he ends up as heated as the rest.

As we’re rushing to the end, Jordan finally gets to see her HOH room. Natalie and Kevin heads up, but there’s no sign of Lydia. As with most of these gatherings, Jordan starts crying as she reads her letter from home, especially when she finds out that after two years she finally gets her own room. They all laugh when Jordan reads a line about not using any more dirty words. We also rush through Lydia’s Captain Unitard outfit, and Lydia does seem to be a bit more cheery.

Now, it’s finally time for the nominations. At least we run through this quickly, and don’t have to deal with all of the babbling about how everybody doesn’t want to be nominated. The first key belongs to Michelle, followed by Jeff, Kevin, and Russell. As anybody could expect, Natalie and Lydia are nominated.

Jordan says that she nominated Lydia because the other day she said she wanted to leave. “I’m giving you the opportunity.” Natalie was nominated because she’s a strong player “but no hard feelings. You still have the veto to play…” “And I plan on winning it”, Natalie responds.

Neither are surprised, but Lydia says she’s “not ready to just let them evict me”. Jordan says she wants to evict Natalie, who complains how she’s been nominated three times in the past three days.

So that’s it. Not quite as shocking as expected, but still one of the best Tuesday episodes ever.

Thursday
Aug132009

Big Brother - Season 11, Episode 16 Recap

I must begin tonight’s recap with a bit of a confession. Last week I was guilty of hyperbole, but it was unintentional. Knowing that Ronnie would be evicted, along with the unveiling of the “coup d’etat”, I believed it would be a perfect episode.

Yet, it was a bit underwhelming. Outside of a bat shit crazy statement towards Michelle, Ronnie’s eviction was not as fun as I had hoped. And quite frankly, Jeff’s winning the mystery power was so expected that it was truly anticlimactic.

But tonight is another story. There’s just no way tonight’s episode isn’t going to be action-packed. Will Jeff use the mystery power? If so, who will he use it on? Most importantly, how will everybody react?

That last question is obviously foremost on the minds of BB producers, as they made the unprecedented move of pre-taping tonight’s episode. Much of this is obviously due to the constant threats from Chima and others to disrupt the broadcast, but I’d say there’s other reasons that may even outweigh the possibility of bad words making it over the airwaves.

Historically, the BB producers have been pretty unimaginative and clichéd when it comes to the formatting of the shows. I criticize them every week over the predictability of the pacing of the show. The live eviction show is no exception. Outside of occasional packages on the contestant’s families, you can set your clocks according to what happens.

The mystery power throws a wrench into the tight format, and BB producers have historically had a tough time dealing with anything out or the ordinary. The mystery power is uncharted territory for them, as it wasn’t used the prior time it was in play. With this in mind, even without the chaos that it’s bound to create INSIDE the house, there’s going to be even more in the control booth. Prerecording the episode gives them a couple of hours to not only clean up the reactions, but also tie up some production issues.

So here we go!!! Yeah, yeah, yeah - recaps, recaps, zzzzzzz! Let’s get to the good stuff! Polka-dotted Julie Chen sets the stage as she always does, explaining how the mystery power works (as if we didn’t already know). But first…we start with Kevin’s decision to not use the veto earlier this week. Seriously, this material doesn’t need to be aired since it’s all meaningless.

Yes, Kevin, we know you don’t want any enemies, but Lydia says it’s “bogus” he didn’t save his best friend from the block. Chima is obviously happy that Russell MAY be leaving the house.

Russell heads into the bedroom and finds Lydia hidden under the covers. He hugs her, and says that he’s going to lobby for some votes. First candidate? Jessie. Oh wait, it’s not. Jessie’s coming into cheer up Lydia (and maybe get one last handy for the road). As always, Jessie turns it to himself because he’s worried about the “wizard power”. Lydia asks why he’s “psyching himself out”, and Jessie says it’s because he’s lost before.

Outside, Russell asks Jeff what he would do “hypothetically” if he was the wizard. Jeff emphatically answers the he doesn’t know “what this wizard power entails”. Um, yeah. Jeff adds that it’s been the talk of the whole week as we see a montage of conversation about it. Jeff adds that he “love, love, loves” having this mystery power.

Jeff is now sitting in the pool with Jordan as everybody looks on. Natalie says that her and Jessie believe that either Jeff or Jordan have the power, and they’re going to (shocker) actually spend the day outside with them. Are there beds in the backkyard. Jessie plays in the pool with Jordan, while Natalie attempts (key word) to play badminton with Jeff. Uncomfortable!!! Even silly Jordan understands that this is fraudulent. Well, she says it’s scandalous. Silly girl.

It’s now evening, and Jessie is playing pool with Russell, who points out that neither of them can win the finals next to any of the women. Russell says in the diary room that he’s trying to get Jessie’s vote, but Jessie again complains about being “kicked in the teeth” by not choosing him to play in the POV. Russell shows a bit of smarts, though, saying that the only reason Jessie wanted to play was to make himself safe from the mystery power. “Go get Natalie to massage your back.” He goes on about how he can’t win against the girls, and again Jessie complains that Russell chose Jeff over him.

We move on to Russell attempting to sway Michelle in the pool room by saying that with Jeff and Jordan’s votes all he needs is one more. Natalie is in the next room, though, and informs Jessie that the two of them are talking. Jessie shakes his head, especially since he thinks she may have the mystery power. “This may be the end of my game.”

Jessie walks in on the two of them, and immediately starts in on Russell. “Wasn’t it like four or five days ago that he was sitting there calling you crazy?” (Flashback to that scene.) “Yes, it was”, replies Michelle. Now the two of them get into it. Michelle finally leaves to let them argue.

Continuing to move around the house, we now see Jessie in Chima’s HOH bed. Chima hopes that Russell is unanimously voted out. “He deserves what he gets, and hopefully it’s outside with Julie”, replies Jessie. Chima adds that she hopes wants to “dance on Russell’s grave”, and that if “Jeff wants to see me wile animal-style, keep Russell here.” She adds in the diary room that she’s 99% sure that Jeff has the mystery power, and that the person who hates drama will now be in the midst of it.

After commercials, Julie addresses the house. She asks who is nervous, and Jessie, Natalie, and Jeff raise their hands. Interesting. She asks Kevin how hard it was not to use the veto on Lydia. He says he “kind of struggled with it”, but hopes that Lydia has forgiven him.

You know where the next question went, and Lydia says she still loves him despite the fact he didn’t save her. He claps in response. “It can only make us stronger”, she adds.

After Julie congratulates them for making the halfway mark, she explains to them that those evicted will now be a part of the jury house. Yet for some reason, she asks Natalie what is the most surprising thing about the game so far. She says it’s the boredom, which Julie doesn’t believe because of all the tension and drama. “I want to see what your real life is like.” Point to Julie.

Jeff is then asked if this game has been more difficult than he believe it would be, and of course he answers that it is. “(There’s) just all the tension (and) all the downtime…every day is a mind…” “Don’t say it”, pleads Julie!

Interview time over, we get to visit with Chima’s grandmother after she talks about how her family is a group of strong women. Grandma is adorable as she describes her, but it’s her friend Kimberly I want to know more about! Grandma is wise, though, when she is seen watching the arguments with Russell. “You should not get personal.“ Enough with the filler! Let’s get down to the real business!

It’s time for Julie’s HOH talk with Chima, and Julie begins by asking about the dissolution of her friendship with Russell. “I thought we were friends, but he was speaking of me behind my back…it was inevitable that I‘d find out all these things.” Julie asks if she has any regrets about the things she said to and about him, and she says she doesn’t. The final question is about the mystery power, and whether it’s affected her strategy. She says that she basically had to just forget about it, and do what she wanted to do which is to get Russell out.


We go back to the living room, and it’s time to see if Jeff is going to use the mystery power. Jeff stands up, and Jessie knows what’s going to happen. Jordan’s jaw just dropped to the floor. Kevin is relieved that he can’t be put on the block.

Julie asks if he wants to take Lydia off the block, and he then puts up Natalie in her place. He is then asked about Russell, and replaces him with Jessie, who for some ungodly reason takes off one of his shirts! Julie asks if he wants to say anything to the new nominees, and he says “as I learned from both of you, this is just a game. I know you’re upset, but you guys run this house, and haven’t had the chance to feel the block. I have the power, and now you guys got to feel the pain a little bit. Enjoy.”

They both get to plead their case, though, and Natalie says that she now knows she was right to “fear this power…I can’t say anything bad about Jessie. Not only has he been a good friend, but he’s been a great ally. I would love to talk to him outside this house. I’ve been loyal in this house. There are certain people I’ve given my word to, and I have not gone back on my word.”

She goes on, but let’s move on to Jessie. “This was worst case scenario, and the best move you’ve done so far (to Jeff). Congratulations, man. I saw it coming. I’ve been loyal to everybody that I’ve talked to, and I’ve proven it in my actions (Chima nods in agreement). You got the short end of the stick because you chose the world you wanted to choose, and Jordan did the same.” Actually, a nice little speech from Jessie, although he has to be cut off by Julie.

The voting begins with Lydia, who votes to eliminate Natalie. Jordan is next, and chooses Jessie, as does Kevin and Michelle. Russell is the final vote, and his meaningless vote goes against Natalie. Interesting.

After commercials, Julie announces that Jessie has been eliminated. He hugs Natalie, Chima, and Lydia, and the house is quiet as he heads out. Oh wait, he comes back to babble some nonsense. After hugging Julie, it appears that Lydia is taking his eviction the hardest. Wait, Chima is pissed, saying that somebody (Jordan?) “knew” Jeff had the power, and that she needs to have a talk with the producers. Still, not the rage we were promised!

Julie immediately asks Jessie about the mystery power, and he babbles that since America hated him last year, they obviously would choose somebody that hated him this year. “You’re blaming America for not giving you the coup d-etat?” She then asks why he didn’t spend “tons of face time” with Jeff if he thought he had the power. Jessie’s response is that he had given him his word that he had other people he was going after. Julie pushes the issue a bit more, and complains about him sleeping 12 - 13 hours a day. Jessie says that it didn’t matter because Jeff didn’t have any power anyway. “It was (the) best move for him…it doesn’t matter as I’ll be a sports entertainer no worries (as he flexes his muscles).” Julie makes a joke about the jury house, and the reign of Jessie is officially over!


As you may expect, we end with the HOH competition, which is called “Hit the Road”. Two people at a time face off with questions about previous competitions, and the answers are either “HOH”, “Have Not”, or “Veto”. The winner of a round causes the loser to be eliminated, and then picks the next two people to play. Yeah, we’ve seen variations of this in previous seasons.

Lydia and Kevin are up first, and Kevin is correct and chooses Jeff and Russell (with a little help from Chima). Russell is incorrect on the next round, so Jeff chooses Chima and Natalie. Chima is correct, and chooses Jeff and Jordan to play. Jeff is correct, and chooses Kevin and Chima. Kevin is right this time around, and Michelle and Jeff are up next. Michelle wins this round, and goes up against Kevin for HOH. Michelle answers correctly, and wins HOH! (Has she now won the most competitions?)

So there we go - not as many fireworks as we expected, but still pretty exciting!