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Entries in Julie Chen (57)


Big Brother Season 16, Episode 1 Recap

We’ve all watched Julie Chen hint at the twists. We’ve taken a look at the interview videos, and made fun of the backyard “group” pictures.

It’s now finally time for the game to begin. It’s time for the twists to be explained (or some of them, at least), and it’s time to truly meet this season’s collection of freaks, cretins, models, and recruits!

Well, some of them at least. For tonight’s show we’re only going to meet half of the cast, as the “twistiest twists” are so shocking it’s going to take two days to explain! Well, we shall see about that, as I’m one of those who are generally let down by these types of production games.

So let’s get those season off to a start!

Strangely, Julie Chen starts the show inside the house, just outside of the hallway. She goes through the usual lines of “no cellphones, no internet, etc.” before heading onto the Big Brother stage. She goes through all of the catchphrases before we get to the phoniness of the first eight house guests receiving their keys.

We first meet Paoloa, a DJ from New York. She says her DJ life has helped her develop a thick skin, “so bring it”. We get a bunch of shots of her partying while she talks about how she hoeps there are “hot guys because I plan to manipulate them...even the ugly ones”

We then meet Donny, our resident Duck Dynasty hick. His brush to fame is that he was “Kelly Pickler’s janitor when she was in high school”. Ok then. He goes through his usual boring day, and his dad says to “not take any wooden nickels”. He says that he’s not as dumb as the others will think he is, “but I ain’t as smart as I think I am”.

On to the beefcake, as a shirtless Cody is next. He knows he’s going to be great at physical challenges, and he’s close to his family. He also wants to meet cute girls.

And now the season’s nightmare. Frankie Grande overdoes his Hollywood 101 reality show acting as he jumps for joy after “finding” his Big Brother key. He is shown dancing around a New York City street as we hear about how he’s a Broadway performer. “And I happen to be the brother of one of the most famous people on earth.” Ugh. We then have to endure her song as they flash back and forth between pictures of him and his sister. He says he’s not going to tell anybody about his famous sibling, but has to add that he’s the “queen of YouTube”.

Thankfully, we now move on to Amber, and after a spread eagle shot on a rock climbing wall, we get a bunch of bikini pictures. She’s an athletic country girl, which gives us an opportunity for more camera shots of her ass. She also likes to shoot guns and ride dirt bikes. “You don’t have to worry about my dad. You have to worry about me.”

Speaking of country girls, we then move on to Nicole driving a tractor. She says she’s quirky and talks weird, and we get a lot of down home shots of her doing small town things. She’s a super fan who has been watching since she was eight, and says that she’ll have to lie if necessary, despite what her parents say.

Next up is Devin in a batting cage, just so we know that he used to be a professional baseball player. Professional as in the minor leagues, that is. “Now I’m a full time dad.” He says you can never “underestimate a full time dad”, and that his athletic ability will help him win. “If that fails, I’m just going to go to the charm”. Oh yeah, and he says he looks like the Rock.

Finally, we head to Seattle to meet Joey, a makeup artist with a pseudo-alternative hairstyle. For some reason, we hear that she’s a liberal. Way to create a fanbase, girl! She wants to find some “hot liberal men in the house”. What the hell is this?

With the introductions over, they’re all “told” that they have one hour to pack. Come on, CBS, we’re smarter than that! Yeah, I’m no fan of watching them pack, especially having to listen to them talk nonsense. Frankie, in particular, with his whining about not being able to keep up with his sister’s career (including a phone call to her). Did you know she’s famous?

They’re all now shown on Julie’s stage. After going through a few of the usual catchphrases, she tells them they’re going to be on the “most twisted summer ever”, and the “most grueling and outrageous social experiment”. She notes that there’s a reason why there’s only eight of them, but they’ll be told later why.

After some canned applause, four (Cody, Amber, Donny, and Joey) head inside. Joey is the first in, and the two girls rush in to claim a bed. The boys take their time, and we get some down home talk from Donny. They reconvene in the kitchen to introduce themselves, and Cody loves Donny’s voice.

A bad cut takes us back to the stage, and the other four now run in. Paoloa is first with this crew, and Nicole says all she can think about is not peeing her pants (because that happens when she’s excited). Frankie and Joey compare hair colors, and there’s an awful attempt at a bad joke.

The eight then go tour the house, and they are questioning why there are only eight of them. Paloa knows this has to mean a twist.

The girls find the champagne, and introductions are then made. Cody is impressed with “Pow Pow” (Paola), and Frankie says that it’s an immediate red flag when Pow Pow says she’s a DJ. “She definitely knows who Ariana Grande is.” Ugh, really? “This girl could know who I am.”

The hayseed music kicks in when Donny introduces himself, and Nicole says she loves his outsider appeal. Pow Pow and Frankie both love Cody, though! “He’s so hot.”

Frankie claims to be 28 (he’s 31), and says he’s a Broadway chorus boy. Joey says they’re perfect “peacocks”. Devin jumps right in with the fact he’s a single dad, and that he had to quit baseball because of her. Amber loves him. “He’s tall, dark, and handsome. Just my type.”

Amber, Joey, and Nicole continue on with the introductions, but it’s not too exciting. Devin, though, thinks Joey is “smoking hot. She’s a ten!” Donny thinks he wants to work with Nicole, but can’t remember her name.

In case you forgot, there’s another eight people coming in. Devin says he wants to “circle the wagons” to be ready for them. Donny reads off an obviously-prepared toast about High Definition, and we head to our first commercial break.

When we return, Devin is telling Amber, Frankie, and Paola that they “have to stay tight” no matter what happens. They bring the other four in, because Devin wants these eight to be the first super-alliance of the season. Sure, that will work, and Joey admits in the diary room that she’s not too sure about this idea. Frankie, though, loves the idea, and wants to name them the “Crazy eight”! Devin then takes off his shirt, as do the rest of the boys for some crunches. What the hell? At least Donny is smart enough to refrain.

Devin and Donny are now alone, and Devin asks if he’s a fan of the show. Donny replies in a loud whisper, complete with a little lunge towards Devin, “every season”. He doesn’t want the rest to know, and Devin claims that he will keep the secret. His great plan is to have a secondary, top secret alliance with somebody nobody would expect, and Donny fits that category. Donny is so happy he feels like he won the “best beard contest at the county fair”.

Frankie and Cody sit down to play some chess, and Pow Pow comes up to hang out. “Is this the HOH room”, she asks as she walks by the door. “Oh my God, chess!” She doesn’t want any guys to form their own alliances, ala the Brigade. “I want it to be all about girl power this year”, she says.

She runs downstairs to tell the other girls, and they all agree a girl needs to win this year. “It is time for a girl to win, and that girl needs to be me”, says Amber. Pow Pow believes that Frankie and Cody will form an alliance, and they all admit their plan was to create Big Brother’s first all girl alliance. Yeah, with a little prompting from CBS. Pow Pow even has a name for the final four of girls - El Quatro. Nicole just wants to know what El Quatro means.

Julie then calls everybody together into the living room. Julie hints that more people will be coming in shortly, but one of them will be the first HOH of the season. Julie goes through the usual rules of being HOH, but adds that the HOH is not safe. Remember, it’s the “most twisted summer ever”. She repeats that HOH is not necessarily safe, and the backing track of drums increases in intensity. Frankie is confused. “There’s got to be something else”, he says, and Cody says he’s panicking.

After commercials, Pow Pow and Cody are talking. “In the real world, I can get any guy I want”, she says in the diary room. “But being in the Big Brother house, you have to really be careful because you don’t want to be a target if you’re going to start a showmance.” This doesn’t stop her from flirting with Cody a bit, though. “Cody is such a cute, good guy that I want to just go into bed with him. That would be cool.” Hey, this is the first filler segment of the season!!! (Oh wait, maybe the second after the key segments.)

Julie then calls for the house guests once again. She tells them to put on their swimsuits, as it’s HOH competition time. It’s a beach theme, which gives Frankie the opportunity to read the script that “it’s not an ordinary day at the beach”.

This is the clip that we got to see online last night, and “Go Fly a Kite” is a balance act on a rolling beam. If their “kite” falls, they are out. Cue the surf guitars! We get the usual diary room nothingness from most of them, but it is funny that Pow Pow falls immediately after saying her goal is to “stay focused”.

Joey is shown struggling, but surprisingly it’s the athlete who says the competition is hurting him. Joey falls next, though, and then “sunscreen” is sprayed on them. Nicole then falls, and we get some more footage of Pow Pow fantasizing about Cody. Donny almost falls, and then the platform changes directions.

After more commercials, Donny does indeed go down, followed by Devin. Frankie now believes that he can win. Cody now falls, and its now between Frankie and Amber. Keeping in mind what Julie said about the HOH not being safe, Amber just drops her rope and falls. Frankie is the first HOH of the season! Afterwards, they’re all still talking about what Julie said, and Frankie wants everybody to have his back. They all agree. “I’m freaking the Frankie out!” Ugh, please.

It’s time for Julie to explain this twist, and she calls everybody into the living room. She explains that a second group of eight will be coming in, and one of them will also be a HOH. “By the end of the week, only one HOH will be left standing”, she adds. “I’ll leave you with that.”

They’re all completely confused by this, especially Cody. Silly Joey thinks there’s another house.

Julie then explains what “Team America” means. The winner of the online vote for “who would you like to team up with an alliance” will be a part of a secret three-person alliance “controlled by you, America”. Over the next two weeks, the public will vote on these other two people, and they’ll be sent on secret missions. Tomorrow we will find out who won the first vote.

We get a little montage of the other eight before we end tonight’s show. Oh, and we hear the name of a certain redheaded monster from Frankie as they continue to babble as the credits roll.

So that's it for tonight. What did you think of the episode? Or Pow Pow? Or the nightmare that is Frankie? How about those twists? Let us know your thoughts!



Those Strange Cast Photos

Last night, CBS threw us a couple of bones in preparation for tonight's debut. First off, we got a little taste of the first HOH competition, apparently featuring the half of the house that we will see enter tonight:

A little bit later, they released photos where the cast is separated by gender:

There's so much weirdness in these shots. Clearly, the person in charge of photohopping needs a little more training. Look at Frankie's neck. Or lack of neck. Caleb, meanwhile, appears to have the neck of a giraffe. Having Frankie and Cody do some weird sort of scizzors thing isn't the greatest idea ever, either.

As for the women, a couple of things stand out for me. First off, they appear to be allowing smaller bikinis than in recent years. And what's up with the bow tie? Amber's legs also appear to be simply drawn on to the shot.

Finally, we got a full cast pic:

The "work" on this shot make the previous two look like art! None of these people appear to be in the same room as each other. And what's up with Caleb's pink shorts and cowboy boots combo? Not only were these people together when the pic was shot, but the background is clearly a green screen piece of trickery!

At least we were given a couple of bones before tonight's episode. Any thoughts on this montrosity? Does it make you any more excited for the season? Tell us! Now!


Grodner Speaks...But Says Little!

This week’s Hollywood Reporter features an interview with Big Brother executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan. Neither revealed too much about what to expect this season, but here are some of the highlights of the conversation:

Impact of Last Year’s Controversies: “No, there's nothing different”, says Grodner. “This is a social experiment and we take people from all over the country — we're looking for great people, we're looking for a unique mix of people, there's diverse backgrounds, there's diverse personalities, points of views. I think it's really hard though for the cast coming in to this season to not be affected by last season.”

Battle of the Block: “It's a weightier competition than a Have and Have Not competition for sure”, says Meehan. “Battle of the Block is definitely going to shift and change the power in the house, so our Sunday episode has a lot of new elements because of this new challenge and the effect the challenge will have on the game.”

Dual HOH’s: According to Grodner, “in this case, they're two HOHs and each one will be nominating two people for eviction — a total of four — and they're operating independently. They are ultimately going head to head in this competition with Battle of the Block, where one is going to end up in power and one is going to end up not in power.”

HD/Additional Cameras: Meehan says, “we added more cameras where story typically happens, so we have better coverages of areas. We adjusted height so we're in the action a little bit more. We were able to do things that improve the show and the viewers' experience of watching the show.”

Plans For All-Stars: “We're in season 16”, explains Grodner, and “our last full all-star [season] was seven, so I'm sure there's one in the near future. [Right now] we're building up more all-stars.”

This Year’s Cast: “What's fun about this cast is they're like onions”, Grodner claims. “They're one thing on the surface and each one of them has some things that are unexpected...There are some very likable people this season of this bunch, as well as a couple of villains. You need some real gamers in there and we do. And a lot of them are fans.”

I’d love to hear what you guys think of this interview! Do you agree with her views on the cast? How about the concept of another competition on Sunday nights? Tell us your thoughts!



Big Brother Gossip #401: America F**k Yeah!

Tonight's first episode of the Big Brother Gossip Show ran through the bios of the entire #BB16 cast, and also discussed some of the various twists that Julie Chen hinted at earlier this week. This show is available on iTunes and Stitcher, but you can...


Thanks to everybody who tuned into Mixlr to hear our live broadcast!!!

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