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Tuesday
Sep092014

Big Brother 16 Recaps: An Apology

Just a quick note here to let you guys know that there will not be recaps tonight, tomorrow, and probably next Sunday. No, I haven't given up on the season. There's a couple of reasons why this is happening.

Given my success in predicting Sunday's episode, I gave some thought about returning to that gimmick for the next two shows. As I said on Sunday, this week doesn't matter anyway thanks to that "rewind" button. Tonight will include a meaningless veto comp, speculation on the button, and the worst Team America mission ever. Tomorrow night will include meaningless game talk from the nominees, some jury house footage, a visit from a dog, and Julie's announcement that the week didn't count. A new HOH will be played, which may or may not end before the episode's conclusion.

Notice I didn't say there would be an eviction tomorrow night. As many of us have speculated on twitter, it appears that Julie's announcement will come right after the halfway mark of the broadcast. There's not enough time to run through a new HOH, noms, Veto, and eviction. Just like on Big Brother 14 when the coaches voted to become players, we will go almost another week before the next eviction.

This allows the show to carry on the tradition of a "surprise" eviction to go from five players to four next Tuesday, which will probably be filmed on Monday. I know, this sucks, but they do this because it's hard to fill those last few episodes. With jury footage and the dog, they have enough material to make it through tomorrow's broadcast. 

Back to my reason for no recaps, though. I honestly just don't have time. This is a big week for me, as I'm travelling to Minneapolis to see the Replacements this Saturday. Besides the show, I'm cohosting a benefit party on Friday night for former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke two years ago. Some of this party will be broadcast on my live internet radio show, Live Ledge, on realpunkradio.com on Friday night from 7-9 pn ET. Due to this party, I have to break down my little homemade broadcast studio to haul with me on this trip. Because of this, along with other obligations, I don't have time to devote to these two episodes that don't really matter anyway. I'll be driving back on Sunday, but may not make it back in time for that night's episode. (Oh yeah, and there won't be a live Big Brother Gossip Show this Saturday, but Mike is working on our own version of a "best of" recording.)

I apologize for missing these episodes, but this concert is something that I've been waiting for since they broke up in 1991. I'll be back for the last handful of shows, and our podcast's season finale on September 20! 

Thursday
Sep042014

Big Brother Season 16, Episode 32 Recap

Even in the most tepid seasons, double eviction are quite fun. Tonight should be no exception, especially if the ringmaster doesn’t get his way. Or, even better, a certain relative of a famous pop star walks out that door.

Adding to the suspense, Julie Chen (or her assistant) tweeted out an ominous picture of a button inside a glass box, along with the promise of a “new twist”. Yesterday, the feeds had gone down for a few hours as the Have-Not room was cleared out. Could there be a special deal where one trades safety for a certain time (24 hours or so) locked in that room?

There’s other business to attend to before we get to that moment, including the boring and predictable nomination of Victoria to replace Christine as the second nominee to sit next to Nicole. For some reason, we start off with Frankie and Caleb talking about what they want to have for dinner. Oh, they’re doing it to torment Nicole, who is a Have-Not. She’s not happy. “I just feel like they’re heartless...I’m just so pissed.”

She heads into the fire room to break down in tears with Nicole. “It’s sad that this girl is so willing to make big moves than big Beastmode because he wants this five foot two, blonde girl who is alone in the game out of the house. How does it benefit him? I don’t know.” Victoria replies that she thought he was going to put up Frankie, but Nicole says he didn’t “because he’s a wimp”.

Up in the HOH, Caleb is talking to Frankie. He doesn’t want to hide anything from Frankie, so he (stupidly) admits that he gave some thought to putting up Frankie. This may be the dumbest conversation of the year. Caleb, if things don’t work as planned tonight, Frankie will probably dump your ass, despite what he says in this chat. His diary room reasoning is that he didn’t want somebody else telling him, and he does save himself a bit by including what the others said. Oh wait, he does throw Cody under the bus. Maybe it wasn’t so dumb after all. Frankie concludes it by saying he is Caleb’s “biggest ally in the house”.

After some dumb dinosaur moves by Cody (why?), Derrick runs into Frankie in the bathroom. He asks him if he’s ok, and Frankie tells him that he knows about the previous night’s conversations. “It wasn’t anything serious”, Derrick lies, but then informs him that “he (Caleb) brought it up”. He says it’s all due to the fact that he’s paranoid all the time, and says he was never really concerned about it. Frankie doesn’t agree. “I’m not stupid. He was seriously considering it.” Derrick now has some work to do.

They head into the kitchen, and Derrick asks if he really thought he was in jeopardy. When Frankie says yes, Derrick responds that he doensn’t agree. Frankie then says that “if I do go out of this game, I want the knife to come from the front”. Derrick says that he has nothing to worry about from him, but Frankie says in the diary room that he’s not buying it.

In the bathroom, Derrick tells Cody what’s going down with Frankie. Cody thinks Caleb is an idiot, but Derrick downplays not only what Caleb told him but Frankie’s reaction. Cody says in the diary room that Frankie is still his main target. Derrick says that Christine has to go home next, but if she saves herself again then it has to be Frankie. “That’s why he should have fucking went home”, replies Cody. You dummy! Last week, you were HOH AND POV holder! You could have done this!

That’s it with old footage, as Julie now tells the house that it’s another double eviciton night (which they alerady knew anyway). Only Frankie pretends to be excited by the news. Anything to get on TV, I guess.

We jump right to final pleas, and Nicole thanks her family and then babbles about “forgetting to leave my heart at the door”. She thanks Victoria for being a “great friend”, and then tells the rest of them to “stop playing Big Baby. Let’s play Big Brother, and make some big game moves.” Good for her!

Julie says “well done”, and then Victoria flashes her panties before thanking her family. She says that she loves them all, and wants to stay in the house. Typical Victoria nothingness.

Voting then starts with Christine, who votes to evict Nicole, as does Derrick, Frankie, and Cody. As expected, Nicole is evicted for the second time. She hugs them all, and heads out the door.

Julie starts the interview by asking about the difficulty in returning to the game. Her reply is that the first HOH threw her off as she didn’t remember any dates. She is then asked about her thoughts on the final six, and Nicole says they’re all good and has no idea who is going to be in the finals. Julie follows it up by asking who will be the first to be targeted, and Nicole thinks it could be Frankie and Cody. Ugh, Julie also has to ask about Hayden. Nicole says “better than before”. Julie wraps it up by asking who she wants to see follow her tonight, and Nicole replies “sorry, ladies, but probably Cody and Christine”.

After commercials, it’s HOH comp time, and not surprisingly, it’s a question comp called “What the Bleep”. A series of videos from evicted houseguests are played with a word bleeped, and they have to say true or false to what Julie says could be the bleeped word.

The first question is from Donny’s HOH letter, and Derrick is the ONLY person who gets it right. Really??? What the hell??? (I don’t think he wanted to win this comp.)

When we come back from commercials, Derrick is alone in the fire room. Victoria is shown coming in to talk to him, and he hugs her as he tells her that she has to go up. His target is either Christine or Frankie. Christine then comes in and hugs him, and tells him to “do whatever you want”. Caleb comes in next, and he tells him the Christine/Frankie plan. “Let’s do it”, he says to the camera that’s not on his face.

Julie calls everyone (well, only Derrick is not in there already), and he has to now nominate. He says that after talking to everybody he’s not going to make any waves, and this means that Victoria and Christine are nominated. “Nothing personal; going with the house.”

There’s another series of adverts before the veto competition. This one is a maze (big shocker) called “Mazed and Confused”, and they have to navigate a ball through three “crop circle mazes”. Frankie is the first to the second maze, followed by Christine, Caleb, and Cody. Frankie gets to the third maze (dammit), and jumps way ahead. Yes, he wins. Ugh, our big chance to be rid of him for this season!!!

There’s lots of dead air before the commercials, which also seem to go on FOREVER, before we get to the veto ceremony. We come back to see him talking to Derrick, and it’s a tedious, self-important convo on both sides. Derrick wants safety for next week, and Frankie sort of tells him yes. Julie announces just one more minute before the ceremony, and Caleb and Cody both run in. It’s worthless. Come on. Let’s just get to it!

Finally! Julie struggles with reading the rules, and we have to get through the pleas before the actual decision. Neither Christine or Victoria say anything worthy of repeating, and Frankie announces that he’s not using the veto.

There’s even MORE commercials before we get to the voting. Ugh, they have to plead some more. Christine says “Tim is hot” and she misses him. She giggles and says basically nothing, as does Victoria. Seriously, why are they doing this?

Voting FINALLY begins with Frankie, who votes to evict Christine, as does Caleb and Cody. Another boring unanimous vote. CBS pumps up the dramatic music, but it does nothing to create any real tension. Julie announces the vote, and Christine heads out without any hugs or goodbyes. You’ve just been Britney’d, girl. Wow, she was booed as she walked out, and the house heard it! Frankie says that it was indeed proof that “we made the right choice”.

Julie asks why she didn’t say goodbye to anybody. “These were your Detonators.” Christine replies that she was expecting it. Julie then asks if she regrets turning on Hayden and Nicole. She does regret it, but she says that doesn’t mean that she would have lasted longer. The subject of Victoria is brought up, and Christine says that since she’s terrible at competitions they know they can beat her in the final.

Cody is then brought up to a few hisses in the audience, and Christine says that they were just friends. “He had a hilarious personality. I thought he was really funny.” She is mad that he voted her out, but she’s mad at them all for that. That’s it for Christine!

Before we head out, Julie shows us the mysterious button. If it’s pushed in the next few days, then whatever happens this week will be stopped. The nominees will come down, and the final week will be replayed. I guess my prediction was wrong, but it made more sense than that silliness. Ugh, and Jeff and Jordan will be on. The final moments then feature the house looking at said buttong.

So we’re now finished. What did you think? Are you happy that Christine joined Nicole out the door? Are you disappointed that Frankie won veto? Talk it out, my friends!

 

Wednesday
Sep032014

Big Brother 2014: What Went Wrong?

It’s pretty clear that the sixteenth season of Big Brother is a failure. In all of the years I’ve been watching, blogging, and/or podcasting the show, I’ve never found so much apathy in the fan base. My twitter feed used to overload during network broadcasts, and it would take an hour to catch up with the overnight posts in the morning. I now see more Utopia updates in my timeline than anything Big Brother-related.

What went wrong?

It’s easy to blame Frankie. He is in my opinion the worst person ever cast on the show, and even mainstream websites are starting to report on his diva ways. As I’ve stated before, since he outed his famous sister and his own supposed online celebrity status, he’s strutted around the house like it’s his personal stage. Everybody else is just an extra to the Frankie show.

It’s also easy to complain about the twists. We were promised the “most twisted season ever”, but there were really only two twists, and both the dual HOH’s and Team America were disasters. Otherwise, it’s been the same competitions and the same returning player gimmicks that we see every year. When the contestants whose only knowledge of the game is the DVD’s provided to them before the season starts know what’s going to happen every week there is a problem.

That still doesn’t fully explain why fans are leaving in droves.

The real answer is a bit more subtle. Like a high school boy mesmerized by his classmate’s short skirts, week after week we’re being teased mercilessly. Every Sunday or Monday, we have a glimmer of hope that the season will be saved. For a few hours, or a day or two, there’s a strong possibility of a big move.

Week after week feed watchers are played like fools.

Typically, it all begins with an idea that it’s time to blindside a so-called strong player. Hours of conversations are held; scenarios are played out. Quite often, the decision is made to make the big move.

Just as quickly as the idea is sprung, it’s deflated. A “voice of reason”, aka Derrick, decides it’s not the right time to make this move, and some combination of Victoria, Nicole, Donny, and Jocasta have remained on the block. From Monday afternoon to Thursday’s eviction, there’s been little worth viewing.

Most viewers can be ok with this type of turn of events once or twice. We’re now at weeks and weeks of this exact same scenario. I’m tired of it, and I know I’m not alone.

What is sort of funny about this lame season is that a lot of the blame goes to a player who was dispatched the second week of the season. Remember how we laughed and laughed when Devin (who?) created that alliance that included almost the entire house? It’s because of his work that a group of five have controlled the house ever since. They’ve been a part of every week’s HOH, and have orchestrated every set of nominees. Even when their plans don’t work out, they’ve been able to regroup and ultimately end up with that combo of noms I already mentioned.

This week was no different than the week before, or the week before that. As you’ll see on tonight’s broadcast, Caleb had a moment of clarity on Sunday, and for a few hours it looked like our long summer nightmare could be dispatched. Frankie was all but guaranteed to be evicted, but Derrick (along with some paranoia-inducing chatter from Frankie) convinced Caleb it wasn’t the time to do this. When will it be?

It’s really time for CBS to step in and fix the show. Forget about “twists” or stuntcasts. Stop recruiting in bars. Don’t call a person a “superfan” just because she made t-shirts of the cute, nerdy boys. Find people who have some knowledge of the game, but not enough that they’ll be too guarded to let loose on the live feeds. Mix up the competitions. Do something to fix this mess, as it’s looking more and more outdated every year!

 

Sunday
Aug312014

Big Brother Season 16, Episode 30 Recap

This shapes up to be a fairly pedestrian episode tonight, highlighted by footage of Thursday night’s semi-endurance HOH competition. Otherwise, it will be the usual HOH room reveal, some scheming, a bit of filler, and the predictable nominations.

As expected, the broadcast commences with “ice” (aka Crisco) comp in progress. Yes, this is an opportunity for producers to slip in cheesy sound effects as everybody slips and slides down the course. In case you don’t know how this works, Nicole whines the rules. I’ll skip repeating them.

Ok, we get it. It’s hard to move, and we also get that everybody wants to win this HOH. Derrick has already decided to go for the five thousand bucks, but has to pretend that he’s going for the HOH.

Frankie then talks about how even hours before Thursday’s show, he was “begging” people to evict Nicole over Donny as it was a better move for his game. We get flashbacks to him talking to Caleb and Cody about this subject. Cody is against the idea. (We covered this on last night’s Big Brother Gossip Show.) Frankie then notes that this comp is “frankly, designed for someone like her”.

There’s more falls, more bad sound effects, and, even worse, more of Nicole’s voice. She was well aware of the plan to evict her over Donny, and we get more flashbacks of Cody telling her everything. It’s all about Frankie being scared of her, and Derrick then walks in and dramatically tells Cody that they’re going to keep her. She says this is “motivating” her to win and get rid of Frankie.

Caleb then says that his strategy is the Donny method - “slow and steady, because at the end of the day, slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. To be honest with you, Beastmode’s slow is literally faster than a lot of people’s fast”. Wait, what?

More silly music as we watch Derrick fall over. Christine says that she’s figured out how to make it without falling, but Nicole clearly has not yet figured that out. Even sillier music comes on as my girl Victoria has her usual problems. “This competition is a nightmare. This feels like it’s like running up an escalator at the frickin’ mall. It sucks.” Caleb says she looks “straight up pitiful.”

The dramatic music then comes up as we find out that Frankie is leading, followed by Christine and Caleb, who then falls again (as does Derrick). Cody remarks on just how bad Derrick looks, and we get footage of multiple falls (all with the awful sound effect). Derrick knows he’s not going to win, and he feels safe, so he’s going to go after the money. Ok, we get it!!!

Ninety minutes into the comp, and Caleb is still falling all over the place. “Beastmode Cowboy is starting to fall apart”. He begins talking to himself - “no pain, no pain”. Nicole whines some more, but she just has to win. Yep, more footage of her falling, complete with slow motion of her extremely tight shorts wedging into her ass.

Beastmode is still talking to himself, but Frankie says he’s determined to win as he feels in danger. Caleb dunks his head in the water, and continues to talk to himself. Nicole also feels a bit more confident. “I possibly have a shot at this thing.” Caleb says he’s “got to cowboy up, and rodeo this thing”. With that, we head to the first commercial break.

We return to more of the same - multiple people falling and Caleb giving himself pep talks. It’s between Caleb, Frankie, Christine, and Nicole, who says she has to push herself harder. Nicole whines about a cricket in her lane, and I’m ready for her to be evicted. That voice!!! She’s a nice girl, but come on!

Derrick then fills the smaller snowman to win five grand and five thousand “hollas”. Caleb has now taken the lead, with Christine and Frankie right behind him. Nicole starts giving Christine advice on how to find the thicker slush, and Frankie overhears them. Nicole hopes that this will help her later on in the game.

It’s between Caleb and Christine now, and Derrick says he wants Caleb to win as he would feel safer with him as HOH. Caleb agrees, worrying that she’ll team up with Nicole and Victoria. Caleb then takes a hard tumble, but he carries on. “You don’t need a break. Breaks are for sissies.” He says he’s doing it for his “comrades; my fallen brothers”. He’s got to push through to win. Finally, he sticks his hand inside and pulls out the ball at the same time that Christine is attempting the same thing. Caleb is the new HOH, but “I’m pretty banged up. I feel like a 90 year-old man sitting here.” That attention whore Frankie doesn’t help things by leaping on top of him. Nicole attempts to hug him, but ends up falling on his hurt knee.

Christine is mad she lost, but feels pretty safe as we see Derrick and Frankie help carry Caleb inside. Nicole, though, doesn’t feel safe. “I would absolutely love to work with him moving forward, and I need to tell him that.”

After more commercials, Caleb is brought into the house. Victoria is also limping, while others just lay down on the kitchen floor. “This is by far the most brutal HOH comp so far in this game”, says Derrick. Cody and Frankie deposit Caleb in the diary room, and Frankie says that he loves him. Derrick tells them he had no way of winning, but in the diary room he says it’s his favorite comp as he won the money. He says that he’s going to put the cash in his daughter’s college fund, and they talk about the video of her that he saw during Thursday’s broadcast.

Cody and Frankie head into the storage room to celebrate Caleb’s win, and how next week they’re going to win. Christine then heads out to take a shower, and she exchanges words with Nicole. Derrick then heads to join the boys in the storage room, and Frankie tells them what he heard during the game. Derrick downplays it, but Frankie is adamant that he was correct about those two working together. Derrick likes this chatter, though, as he’d rather see Christine go than Nicole. Frankie wants Nicole and Christine put up.

Frankie and Derrick then head into the fire room to complain about the failure of the Big Brother play, aka my favorite moment of the year. There’s a flashback to that great moment, but Frankie is happy that they’re now down one person of that phony alliance. “I cannot be toting around someone’s dead weight. Missions are going to be much easier without him.” Yes, that should help you win America’s Player. Frankie continues to complain, and looks at the camera as he says that Donny “didn’t pull his weight in this group”. Derrick finds that funny. “America, don’t include me in that bunch”, he says in the diary room. “I don’t want to be guilty by association.”

Cody and Derrick are then shown calling for some help with the door as they carry Caleb out of the diary room. He is then told about Nicole helping Christine during the HOH, which clearly makes his decision much, much easier.

We then move on to dinner time. Frankie is kissing Caleb’s ass about his “huuuuuge victory”, while Nicole is in the bathroom. “God, what a great, great, great comp”, says Frankie. Big Brother tells Nicole to put on her microphone, and Frankie says why bother? “It’s over.” Christine corrects him, saying that it’s just a typical request by Big Brother. “I’m not an idiot. I know what she’s doing”, he replies. Christine continues to stand up for her, and Frankie continues to be his usual self - an ass. “There’s no reason not to be nice to her”, she says with a tint of irony. “Whatever” is the reply. “She don’t get no special treatment.”

Christine then tells Cody about this conversation. Cody warns her that Frankie will try to “use” that conversation to hurt her. Cody then does what he does best - act like a pussy. “I’m caught smack in the middle between Christine and Frankie. Christine I like a little bit more in this house, but it’s a really tough situation when two people in your alliance are banging heads.” He’s just going to lay low and not take sides. Yep, that’s our Cody!

Filler time - Caleb’s HOH room reveal. Fast forward time!

Even more fille, as we get to see Victoria complain about Christine’s laugh to Derrick. “She’s so fake to a point where I can’t stand it.” Derrick is barely listening, though. At least Victoria made the show tonight, I guess. She’s right, though. Christine’s laugh does suck.

Back to the game. Nicole has come up to talk game with Caleb. She’s tired of being on the block, and thinks she can be good for Caleb’s game. They argue a bit about her win total, and then Caleb informs her that the boys are talking about her helping Christine in the HOH comp. Nicole now realizes that everything she says has been hurting her in the game. “I should just zip it shut.” YES!!!

After more adverts, it’s time for more filler. Derrick is now getting some of his “5,000 hollas”. Yeah, this is the typical fluff that makes Utopia a real threat to Big Brother.

Back to the game. Well, kind of. Finally, after weeks and weeks the Have-Not material has made TV. Everybody is brought into the house to see this week’s awful creation, and Caleb reads the script. Derrick immediately volunteers to be a have-not to take heat off him from winning the money. Caleb asks who else will volunteer, but nobody does. “You’ve all done it twice, right?” Christine points to Frankie, who has only been a have-not on one previous time. Caleb finally puts up Nicole, who is upset that she’s on it two weeks in a row.

She immediately heads outside crying. “I just want to go home. I’m sick of this crap.” Derrick comes outside to give her a pep talk. “I’m so sick of being picked on.” Derrick hints in the diary room that maybe she will survive the week, and this talk will “be used to my advantage”. He does lay it on pretty thick, and tells her to go after the veto instead of just wallowing in her misery.

Caleb and Cody are now talking about nominations, and Caleb is reluctant to put up Christine as she’ll probably come after him next week. Cody agrees, mainly because she’s a “valuable asset to my game”. Caleb claims he’s a “very good read of people”, but hasn’t been able to figure her out yet. Cody lays it on thick, saying it’s because he’s such a man. He’s leaning towards putting up Victoria instead, but that gives Nicole a better shot at winning. Cody then suggest going after Frankie, and talks about how Frankie told Christine that Caleb was trying to save Donny. (Hmmm, interesting choice of footage.) Caleb doesn’t like this news.

The final set of ads air, and then Caleb reads the nomination script as he stares at the memory wall. Yes, nothing is different than usual here. Nicole, Christine, and Cody say what you would expect them to hear, and Caleb inserts the two keys of his nominations.

Everybody is brought into the house, and Caleb reveals that his noms are indeed Nicole and Christine. Shocker! Oh wait, there was also an interruption of the stupid “holla”. A couple, actually. Caleb says that putting up Nicole was a “no brainer”, as she’s “already had a life in this game. You played it very well. You’re very smart. You’re cute. You’re funny as all get out, and at the end of the day you have honestly had three chances to save yourself in this game since you’ve been back, and you’ve failed to do so.” He tells Christine that she should know why she was nominated, but he hopes she wins as Nicole’s last lifeline was when Donny walked out the door.

With that the episode is over. It’s pretty interesting to me how Frankie is no longer getting the hero edit that he received for most of the season. Has production finally realized that he’s not the ratings grabber they believe he would be? Hmmm. What do you think? Tell us!