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Entries in spencer (17)

Tuesday
Sep172013

Guide to the #BB15 Season Finale

Big Brother still drives me bat sh!t crazy.

When I joined all of you in this ridiculous obsession, it was Week 4, Judd was HOH, Aaryn was hated by everybody, Elissa had been MVP for weeks, America had been given new power, GinaMarie wasn't mean yet, a showmance had already started and ended (with David's eviction), and Helen was on her way to becoming my favorite house guest of all time.

Going to this screen has become automatic during free moments.See what I did there? "Of all time"?! That's just to poke fun at those of you who have turned Big Brother into something of a religion -- with all the nonsense which comes along with blind devotion. This is a game! Let's not forget that it is meant as entertainment. All the fighting and mud-slinging amongst fans who are active in social media drives me batty. Was it this way in BB's early years? Or is it more prevalent today because more people are active on the Internet and because divisiveness and incivility is the norm in our country these days?

Playing cards 24 hours before the season finale.That said, I'm pleased to report that there have been far more people posting respectful, thoughtful commentary here on BigBrotherGossip.com, even when in disagreement with me or other contributors or other commenters, than there were people who were simply inarguably crazy or idiotic. I applaud you for being fans without being fanatical.

I asked a lot of questions in my first post here. For example:

Can viewers influence what happens in the house? What's a lockdown? How and when do supplies (groceries, meds, booze, etc.) appear in the house? What are they allowed to ask producers for, and how often? When, how, and why do they get punished?

Although I didn't post answers to all those questions, you (and Ash, Scott, and Mike) helped me understand how Big Brother works. Mostly. As to remaining details for newbies like me ... we'll cover such things if/when they come up during #BB16.

GinaMarie, Andy, and Spencer, doing that ridiculous "exterminator" thing.So ... Andy, GinaMarie, and Spencer have made it to the final three. The #BB15 season finale airs in the east about 20 hours from when I'm posting this -- and don't forget that it's 90 minutes long and that it starts at a special time (9:30p Eastern on Wednesday, September 18, 2013). Here's the order of events we are expecting for tonight's show:

- Julie's brief show intro.

- A couple minutes of clips from the entire season.

Reading cereal boxes together. Yes, friends, this is the excitement live feeders get during these remaining few days.- Julie talks about what's coming up during the 90-minute finale while they show the final three sitting in the living room. Just like #BB14 (with Danielle, Ian, and Dan), #BB15's final three consist of one woman (GinaMarie) and two men (Andy and Spencer).

- The conclusion of Part 1 of the three-part final Head of Household competition (recorded last Thursday night, with portions shown to live feeders, and a bit shown on CBS this past Sunday night), with related clips and Diary Rooms. You know from our Ticker and from being a regular BigBrotherGossip.com reader that GinaMarie won part 1. This was an endurance comp.

Part 1 of the final HOH competition.- Part 2 of the HOH comp (recorded last Saturday), again with clips and DRs. We know that Andy won part 2, but we haven't seen any footage of this comp yet. The feeds were on trivia and CBS didn't show any of it during the final Sunday broadcast.

Spencer, please work on your level of control for endurance comps first if they ever ask you back for an All Stars season, k? Thanks.- Clips from the past few days of the three house guests posturing and/or scheming about who will be taking whom to the final two.

- Jury house footage showing McCrae's arrival ... and a few minutes of the jurors debating the merits of the final three -- how they betrayed various jury members, why they may or may not be worthy of their votes, etc.

- Live (everything is live from this point on), we will see part 3 of the HOH comp between GinaMarie and Andy. It will be a memory quiz of some sort, and the winner is guaranteed at least second place in #BB15 and a $50,000 prize.

- The HOH winner will evict one of the other two. The only thing we know right now is that Spencer has no control over his own destiny.

- The evictee leaves the house and is interviewed by Julie.

- Julie introduces each of the jurors as they reenter the studio. After a couple of questions to the jurors, Julie reveals the last evictee.

- The jurors interview the final two.

Danielle chats with finalists Ian and Dan a year ago in the #BB14 season finale. Right: The voting box.- The finalists each make one last speech about why s/he deserves to win.

- Each juror steps forward to say a word or three to the finalists ... and to cast his/her vote. To vote, the juror inserts one of two keys (each key has a finalist's name on it) into slots in a box (similar to the round gizmo that HOHs use for a nomination ceremony in all the previous weeks).

This has nothing to do with anything today. Except this: If the producers want to do stunt casting next year, I think they should make Zingbot a regular house guest.- House guests evicted early on, prior to jury selection, are welcomed to the studio by Julie and discuss their thoughts on the season. (Remember that HGs who left prior to jury got to watch the show, seeing everything we did; only the jury was sequestered.) And there may be a bit more back-and-forth between the jurors, the final two, and the early evictees.

- Then the big moment arrives: Julie pulls out each key, revealing each juror's vote ... and the #BB15 winner is announced! This year there are nine jurors, so the first finalist to receive five votes wins $500,000.

- The winner comes out of the house and is embraced by family, friends, and fellow house guests. (And the runner-up comes out, too.)

- Finally, Julie reveals America's favorite house guest, winner of $25,000. (Helen, if you ever read this, please know that I voted 10 times for you!) CBS will treat us to a few more seconds of celebration, and credits will roll. That will be it!

I have really enjoyed being part of the BigBrotherGossip team and getting to know many of you via comments and Twitter. Thanks! See you back here in 2014 for #BB16.

This also has nothing to do with anything today. Before signing off, just wanted to make sure you didn't miss this fine bit of Indy Mike's journalism. :-)Who do you think will be richer by 500 Large? If Andy wins HOH, who will he evict? Or who will GinaMarie evict if she gets HOH? What do you think has been the bat-sh!t-craziest thing this season? Tweet me all year long @uselesstraffic and/or comment below.

Monday
Sep162013

Conspiracies, theories, facts, fiction.....

Here is a LONG post I've been adding to over the last several weeks.  First some things about this season of Big Brother and then more general information about the ways production can influence the HGs or the game.

I started this a right before Amanda’s eviction so take that into account (yes it took me ages to write this).

Show connections, casting, recruiting:

Amanda is not 'friends' with Alison Grodner (BB Executive Producer) and was not 'recruited' to be on Big Brother.  I heard (via the twitter grapevine) that during the baseball HoH competition Amanda said she knew one of the 'production' people that was throwing the balls at them. Amanda DID previously work in LA so its possible she saw someone she knew from her past life when she was trying to become a star.  Amanda was not 'pre-destined' to win Big Brother 15 (As we saw she was evicted and not because the 'secret' plot was posted on facebook 2 months ago).

On the other hand, Elissa IS at the very least acquainted with Alison Grodner and was recruited to be on Big Brother by CBS.

With the exception of Kaitlin who said she was approached to apply while bartending - the other HGs seemed to have all applied.  Aaryn's agency may have applied on her behalf or encouraged her to apply but you get my point, the only members that were 'cast' for this season were Elissa and Kaitlin and they were two very different situations. Helen also was not 'cast' but that goes in a different conspiracy (mini update - someone tells me Candice has said she was sort of recruited - so toss her into the mix as well).

Helen was not a CBS plant and did NOT 'throw' the HoH competition where she fell off the platform. Why she would quit the game right when she had a chance to get back in is beyond reason to me. How much could CBS have paid her to give up a shot at $500k? And I come to that conclusion without even watching the "live" video (and not the 5 second copy floating around) - its very obvious she simply lost her balance and jumped off. GO back – watch the last 2-3 minutes before she fell – you could see how she was struggling.  No pushing or 'tapping.'  Candice also lost her balance and fell off just a few moments later.

Money: Yes the HGs are PAID for their time on Big Brother.  The Hgs last season and this season have implied they now get about $1,000 a week while in sequester, the BB house, and Jury House (the number $13,000 has been tossed around a lot by the HGs when talking - BB is about 13 weeks).  In the previous seasons the number was always said to be about $750 per week. Alumni are believed to GET MORE. I think the 'coaches' last season had separate contracts with as the very least a guaranteed minimum they would get to come back on the show.  I also believe Elissa is being paid much more than the other HGs this season because of her connection with her sister Rachel.


Who’s actually been fired?

As of this writing, 9/16/2013, the only two CONFIRMED people that have lost their jobs are Aaryn and GinaMarie.  Keep in mind that Aaryn was simply dropped by her agency – she considers herself a college student.  GinaMarie’s job couldn’t have been that much of a full time gig since she was able to take off the entire summer.    Actually EVERY house guest this season was not fully employed (Spencer being the one exception) – they all were part timers or between jobs.

Rumored job losses are just that – false rumors.   

Spencer has not lost his job, he took a leave of absence before starting Big Brother – I believe he is off until the beginning or end of October – they can’t ‘fire’ him – I don’t think he will lose his job no matter what but nothing will happen either way until he is back on the job.   He is a union member and you can be sure that they will work their tails off to keep him from losing his job and that is if the company even feels it has a reason to fire him (again, I don’t think he is in any danger of losing his job).

Andy is listed on the show as a “College Professor” but that is a HUGE stretch (one made by CBS in my opinion and not Andy). In reality Andy has done stints with a SMALL college in the Chicago area (a two-year community college) as a “Part Time” instructor.  Folks that means he may have his Masters degree at best and they paid him to teach one or two classes a semester.   He said in the house that he couldn’t go back to that job if he was still in the house after a certain point.  The college put out a statement saying he is not employed by them BECAUSE HE ISN’T – not because he was ‘fired.’  Huge difference.

Amanda’s name has also been tossed out as having lost her job.  Amanda’s most recent occupation before Big Brother was / is as a Realtor.  Having done this type of work for a couple of years myself I can tell you that it’s not a job you can be fired from.  You are your OWN boss.  At best you work for a broker but you are paid on commission only and if a broker were to drop you, you could just walk down the street to another broker and sign up with them.

These are all rumors stirred up by people looking to generate traffic to their websites.  Go to trusted sources only for your info.

And now some more general Big Brother stuff about competitions and such…

 

Certain competitions favor certain Hgs:

Production CAN, to some extent, control the 'game' if they choose to (I'm not saying they always do - but sometimes we sure wonder).  CBS does EXTENSIVE 'testing' of applicants - they know each one's strengths and weaknesses. 

Hanging competitions WILL favor lighter & smaller framed Hgs (same goes on Survivor - see who lasts the longest when they hang over water - 90% of the time its the small women). Yes McCrae won the first competition that involved hanging but he also said later he has the body of a woman (yes he said that).

If a certain Hgs is good at memorizing, then perhaps production would choose a important week for that HG to give the house a competition involving memorization. Example? BB14 Ian claimed to have a photographic memory and won a critical competition near the end of his season that required a good memory (As a side note BB15 Jeremy said he had a "photoshop" memory - poor guy).

Ask Brendon about competitions that favor people with SMALL feet (standing on a ledge?).  Balance can also play a huge factor. I said it on the night of the baseball competition this season that Elissa had a HUGE advantage with her yoga background as she was able to grab balls and maintain her balance while others struggled to do both.

Comps that involve cold/wet conditions may favor HGs with more 'body fat' because they won't lose their body temperature as quickly.

Drugs? Its hard to argue about the talk in the house this season of certain HGs being on ADD meds or Xanax and that it might help or hurt them in competitions depending on when they were given. Some HGs feel that certain comps were slated to take place when these HGs were at their 'best' from the meds they happen to be on (Aaryn, Amanda and Judd all are taking medications - others might be as well). I for one doubt it gave any 'advantage' but at best evened the playing field.

Production giving certain ‘lanes’ an advantage?  In theory the way the Hgs line up for competitions is done by a ‘random’ draw – but we never see the draw so we can only guess how that works (if any former HG wants to chime in and tell me they think its always legit – please do!).  What we do know is there have been several times in the recent years where things have seemed to be set up to ‘help’ a favorite to win that POV or HoH when it was needed.  Two quick examples would be:

1: The ‘clown shoe’ competition (BB13) that Jeff lost because he accidently tossed out a clown shoe that was seemed  very close to the top of the ‘bouncy balls’ he had to dig though.  Had he seen it he would have beaten Porsche by a huge margin and would have stayed in the game (so this is viewed by many as a attempt to influence the game that failed).

2: The reward/penalty POV competition this season where Elissa got the most points and won the POV when she needed it most.  After the competition the HGs commented on how all the high numbers were on one side of the ‘mud pit’ – the side that Elissa was on.  As a matter of facet the top three places were from one side of the mud pit.  Once has to wonder how Elissa, who would most likely have been voted out had she not won, was selected for that lane – or were the numbers places in the pit AFTER lane selection?

 

Power of Veto Selection:

The Power of Veto was introduced in BB3.  It has gone through several changes.  It was introduced as a way to give the nominations a chance to be changed up.  Originally everyone played – then the number was limited. In Big Brother 5, Nakomis came up with the plan to “backdoor” Jase by not nominating him and NOT letting him play for the POV.  This eventually led to the addition of the “Wheel” to select players which only lasted 2 episodes during Big Brother 7.  They then moved to the ‘bag’ that names were drawn from.    This bag has raised all kinds of questions and theories.  Most of the time the HGs are NOT allowed to dump out the bag after selecting names to verify all names are there (yes they did dump it out at least once last season).   We just have no way to know for sure that the current name selection process to play for POV is legit.

 

Coup d’Etat, Pandora’s Box:

Because there is no rhyme or reason to when the things happen, most hard core fans agree the Coup d'Etat & Pandora's Box are only vehicles used by production to help certain players (or just for entertainment value when no special powers are awarded with Pandora). 

The  Coup d’etat, where the holder gets to whipe out current nominations and make his/her own at a moment’s notice, has only been awarded twice – the first time Mike Boogey won it and didn’t use it (since his alliance was in power those two weeks) – the second time Jeff won it and used it to save himself (we felt it was used that season for this very reason - to keep Jeff in the game). 

Pandora’s box is often just sillyness – but since there is no set rules on what the award / penalty is – or if it’s just a ‘for fun’ thing – production can announce it ahead of time and change how it is presented depending on who is the HoH at the time – thus having the chance to majorly influence the game. 

 

Diary Room ‘Influence’

Every season we hear the Hgs talk about the “DR” wanting things – or not wanting things.  I’ve always felt that the Diary Room is where production can work on the HGs mindsets and, by asking certain questions, get them to think in certain ways.  They can also brow beat a houseguest into thinking about nominating or not nominating someone by presenting may many alternative options while asking those leading questions.   I’ve talked about this one enough in previous seasons and actually this year I didn’t feel it happened as much – except perhaps when we thought Howard was going to get nominated by MVP Elissa and instead she put up Spencer.  Helen, Elissa and others all felt like the DR was pushing very hard to NOT have Howard go up that week (and he didn’t).

And there you have it.  A HUGE post about loads of rumors, gossip, speculation and a few facts tossed in for fun.  I may or may not post again this season but in case I don’t – thanks for sticking with us or finding us this year.  Assuming there is a Big Brother 16 we will be back reporting all over again.  And yes we will probably have some ‘favorites’ but in the end I probably won’t care who wins – just like I don’t care who wins this season.

-Mike aka ‘indy mike’ aka @bbgossip

Monday
Sep092013

33-Hour Blackout

Don't freak out: The #BB15 live feeds may go "dark" (trivia) for about 33 hours beginning 12 noon Eastern / 9:00a Pacific on Tuesday.

Chat rooms will be full of the typical "I'm paying for this! How do I cancel! CBS sucks! #BB15 is the worst season ever!" Indy Mike will be tweeting (@BBGossip) answers to the same questions over and over again until he gets sick of it. But as BigBrotherGossip.com readers, you'll know exactly what's going on:

Starting Tuesday morning/afternoon, house guests will be doing an early eviction (going from five remaining house guests to four) and then doing the next Head of Household competition and nomination ceremony. This will air on Wednesday night's CBS broadcast.

And then, around 9:00p Eastern / 6:00p Pacific on Wednesday evening, the feeds will go live again.

Full details about the possible order of events for viewers and house guests are in our Guide to the Last 12 Days.

CBS will try to keep the events of Tuesday/Wednesday secret until the Wednesday show airs ... but I'm told that audience members usually leak who is evicted (which will be GinaMarie or possibly Judd, even though Spencer apparently thinks nobody can beat Andy if he makes final two?) and who wins the next HOH comp. If we catch wind of the rumors and deem the info to be reliable, watch this space for a post and/or an update to the Ticker graphic at right.

Tuesday/Wednesday, we'll either get an extra-large serving of fish (left) or, more likely, trivia.McCrae will save himself again later today in the POV ceremony. Spencer has been saying he thinks nobody can beat Andy, yet apparently he's considering putting up Judd as replacement nominee anyway? Makes no sense to me, but it wouldn't be the first time that an understanding of game strategy has evaded this newbie. Who do you think will go? Who will the next HOH put on the block? Post a comment below or tweet @uselesstraffic.


Friday
Sep062013

Guide to the Last 12 Days

Who won HOH for the first time but won't get to enjoy it for a full week? That's right: Spencer. There remain five house guests now but it needs to be down to three by Thursday. Here's how #BB15's remaining 12 days might go.

First, the house guests (and live feed subscribers) will experience it this way. I'll give each set of events a number for easy reference:

1. Friday, September 6, 2013 (today): Spencer nominates two house guests for eviction. 

2. Saturday, September 7: Power of Veto competition.

3. Monday, September 9: POV ceremony.

And then there were five. The four "Exterminator" alliance members are Judd, Spencer, Andy, and GinaMarie. The fifth remaining house guest is McCrae, on his own without Amanda.4. Tuesday, September 10: Live feeders, be ready for what could be a whole day's worth of trivia! The eviction vote and the next Head of Household competition will happen some time on Tuesday -- all in a "live to tape" situation which will be the content of Wednesday night's CBS episode. This gets us from five to four remaining house guests. (My guess is that McCrae will rejoin Amanda to serve on the jury -- but will their showmance be rekindled? Doubt it.)

Spencer won HOH. And he's never smiled as often during any one-hour period as he did last night.5. Wednesday, September 11 and/or Thursday, September 12: Nomination ceremony plus POV comp and ceremony. This is the last and most important POV of the year, as the veto winner is guaranteed a spot in the final three ... and will (possibly) cast the only eviction vote. Live feeders: The blackout might continue from the previous day through 9:00p Eastern.

Last year in #BB14 (I've found the pattern for this year's episodes often matches last year's), Danielle was HOH and put Ian and Dan on the block. Danielle then won veto and used it to save Dan, so Shane was the only possible replacement. This handed the sole eviction vote to Dan (because Danielle, as HOH, couldn't vote, and Dan was the only remaining non-nominee) ... who blindsided Shane, and put in place a final three of Danielle, Dan, and Ian. If Danielle had not used the veto, Shane would have cast the sole eviction vote.

Back to #BB15 ... and assuming all "The Exterminators" make it to the final four, I'm guessing GinaMarie will need to be HOH again or win POV to survive ... unless the others wise up and recognize Andy might actually need to go first, in which case he'd better start winning comps again.

6. Thursday, September 12: The last Thursday show of the season, with a live eviction. (This was when Dan cast the sole vote to evict Shane last year.) Now we're at three house guests, so they will begin an endurance comp -- the first of three parts in the final HOH competition. The winner of the first part gets to skip the second.

7. Friday, September 13: Second part of the final HOH comp. The players are the two house guests who lost the first part.

8. Wednesday, September 18: During the live finale, the winners of parts one and two play the third part of the final HOH comp. So, remember, after this last comp, we have three house guests: The HOH winner and the other two. The very next thing to happen is that the HOH will evict one of those two others; there's nobody else left to hold a vote, so the HOH will make the decision unilaterally. That gets us to the final two house guests. The jury, which for #BB15 consists of the last nine evicted house guests, returns for (live) interviews and conversations with Julie ... and to pick one of the final two to be this season's winner. First finalist to get five votes wins 500 large.

Nothing happens in the house from Saturday to Tuesday? That's right. Fairly dull for both house guests and live feeders. For those who follow #BB15 only by watching the televised shows on CBS, here's what's left:

McCrae. Prime target?Sunday, September 8, 8:00p Eastern: CBS will show us last night's HOH comp (when Spencer won), Friday's nominations (event #1, above), and Saturday's POV comp (event #2, above).

Wednesday, September 11, 8:00p Eastern: CBS will air #3 and all of #4 as listed above.

Thursday, September 12, 9:00p Eastern (live): CBS will air #5 and the live eviction from #6.

Sunday, September 15, 8:00p Eastern: CBS will air the first part of the HOH comp (from #6, above). This episode will likely contain clips from the entire #BB15 season.

Wednesday, September 18, 9:30p Eastern (live, special time!): The 90-minute finale. CBS will air #7 and everything listed in #8.

Clear as mud? It's likely I munged any number of details, so please remember I'm a newbie and be kind when posting corrections / clarifications in the comments below or @uselesstraffic. And ... who will Spencer target? Who do you think makes it to final three and then final two?

Thursday
Sep052013

Double Eviction #2 Episode Guide

Double your (dis)pleasure? Amanda and Elissa, the most hated, loved, and/or controversial remaining house guests (each of you likely attaches varying labels to each), might both be leaving tonight.

Here's how things might happen during #BB15's second double eviction episode:

- Recaps.

- The eviction ceremony. GinaMarie, who happened to be HOH back when we headed into #BB15's previous double (putting Candice and Jessie on the block that week), nominated showmance power couple Amanda and McCrae for tonight's eviction in perhaps the biggest move of the season. (Like her as a person or not, and I certainly don't, I give her propz for doing what the previous two HOHs wouldn't.) McCrae won veto to save himself, and GM replaced him with Spencer as a pawn. Despite recent buddying with Elissa and the usual fake assurances from Andy, Amanda should be on her way to the jury house. If there's a 2-2 tie in the voting, GM will evict Amanda.

- Julie interviews the evicted house guest.

Amanda (top left) still thinks she's safe, but GinaMarie (top right) as HOH has conspired to keep her in the dark. Andy & Judd (bottom left) will probably be safe in tonight's double. Elissa must win HOH or POV.- New HOH competition. (As outgoing HOH, GinaMarie must sit this one out.)

- Nomination ceremony of two HGs by the new HOH. If Elissa or McCrae win HOH, she or he will likely nominate the other (plus one of "The Exterminators" alliance: Judd, GinaMarie, Spencer, or Andy).  If neither win HOH, Elissa and McCrae might both go on the block.

- POV competition. We think winning veto will be essential to either Elissa or McCrae.

- POV ceremony. One nominee comes off the block and another one goes up.

- Eviction ceremony #2. If Elissa is still up, current thinking is that she'll be on the way to the jury house.

- Julie interviews the double-evictee.

Next from the Newbie Desk: The next HOH competition might begin before or after tonight's live episode ends -- and it's likely to be a shorter-than-usual reign for this head of household. I'll tell you why in my next post.

Amanda's a goner for sure, but do you agree Elissa is the next most likely to go? If Elissa or McCrae wins HOH, which Exterminator(s) will s/he nominate? Share your thoughts in the comments or tweet @uselesstraffic.

Friday
Aug302013

Countdown to Meltdown

Amanda and McCrae are going on the chopping block soon and they don't even know it's coming.

This afternoon (Friday), Spencer and Andy have been feigning annoyance to Amanda about GinaMarie not being willing to talk with them ... and talking down about Elissa to stay in Amanda's good graces.

Amanda & McCrae mope. GinaMarie preps for her second HOH nomination ceremony.GinaMarie and Elissa have been plotting what could or should happen if the surviving half of McCranda doesn't win the next HOH comp -- while Amanda worries from downstairs what they're talking about.

Of the remaining four players (not counting McCrae), I've been wondering who Amanda could turn to for comfort or potential allegiance in the aftermath of the nominations.

Andy tried to come in while Elissa was talking with GM -- and Elissa asked him to wait outside.Not Judd. Amanda arranged his first eviction and wasn't cheery about his return. And she wants GM to put him up with Elissa.

Not Elissa, who Amanda targetted with her yelling and horn-blowing only days ago and who holds onto remnants of last week's HOH power.

Not Spencer. I could be forgetting (it's still difficult for a newbie to remember who allied with whom over all these weeks) ... but I don't seem to remember Amanda and Spencer having any particular closeness.

Andy? As one of the members of their 3AM alliance, possibly. But Amanda doesn't know that he is conspiring with GinaMarie and the others to get her out.

Friday, 3:05p: "If you put up Elissa and Judd, I will voluntarily go up as a pawn," says Amanda to GM.One thing is certain: The live feeds are going to be very fun to watch after the nomination ceremony tonight!

How big of a meltdown will Amanda have? Is there anything she could say to sway votes her way? Share your thoughts here or @uselesstraffic.

Friday
Aug302013

The Night Owl

GinaMarie is the new HOH!! But that almost seems inconsequential compared to everything else that has happened since then.  When the feeds came back after the HOH comp tonight Amanda was already in GinaMarie's ear telling her that she just HAS to put up Elissa and Judd.  GinaMarie did a good job of skirting her demands though and pretended to go along with her to an extent, but gave us plenty of eye rolls and other expressions into the camera when Amanda was not looking. 

Shortly after GinaMarie got away from Amanda, the Exterminator alliance celebrated in the storage room since they are now able to go through with their plan of keeping themselves safe this week and putting up Amanda and McCrae together.  After their small celebration it was time for Judd and Spencer to get their chicken costumes they won for being last in the HOH competition.

After the chicken costumes were revealed, GinaMarie was called to the DR to have her diary room session before the reveal of her HOH room.  While she was in there, all hell broke loose again between Elissa and Amanda.  Amanda technically started it this time by going into the house and calling Elissa a liar and basically following her around jabbing at her for various reasons.  I think this was mostly spawned because Amanda was so angry about Elissa's answer to Julie's question about their fight on the live show.  It didn't matter that Amanda started it though, Elissa gave as good as she got for the most part.  For the ENTIRE night, each time those 2 were anywhere near each other it turned into a poke and jab fest.  Elissa would talk about how much she "misses Aaryn" just to get Amanda riled up, and Amanda would go after Elissa being a mom blah blah blah...  There really isn't any point in me giving specifics of what they said when and where because we have all seen every comment over and over again this past week.

Meanwhile everyone else just tried to stay out of it and tried to avoid taking a side when Elissa or Amanda would come to them expecting them to side with them.  That is of course with the exception of McCrae who was on Amanda's side.  He did do a good bit of yelling at her to try to shut her up tonight though.  Judd and Andy had a discussion about how Amanda is driving them up the wall with antagonizing Elissa and then playing the victim and crying about it, but they both agreed that McCrae is probably the bigger threat and the one that will likely need to go this week if he doesn't win veto.

After the first real round of low blows, it was time for GinaMarie to get her HOH room.  She got pictures of Nick, a letter from her mom and step dad, and the usual goodies in her HOH basket.  Most everyone was happy for GM except for Amanda and Elissa who were too busy taking shots at each other, and then the stand off began.  Everywhere GinaMarie would go, Elissa would be 2 feet behind her, and 2 feet behind HER would be Amanda.  They eventually ended up in one of the most awkward HOH wait out fests I've ever seen.

For the record, neither Amanda nor Elissa won the wait it out contest. GinaMarie decided to leave the HOH first and go downstairs and while Elissa went to bed and Amanda was busy crying to McCrae outside about how Elissa "bullies" her and how tortured she is and how Elissa tortured Aaryn and how it's not fair, Judd, Andy, and Spencer made their way up to the HOH room with GinaMarie to have a small exterminators meeting and make sure they were all on the same page.

GinaMarie told them she was definitely putting up Amanda and McCrae, and they all agreed that they would like to get McCrae out this week if possible since he is the stronger competitor of the two.  There is also the fact that Amanda would really go off the deep end and just be a flailing loose cannon who probably would not be able to play very well if McCrae walks out the door.  They also all suspect a double eviction is coming this week, so they think even worse case scenario for them is Amanda or Elissa getting HOH, but they would still likely put each other on the block next to one of the Exterminators, and they can just vote out either Amanda or Elissa depending on which one is on the block.  They also all agree they will do whatever it takes to win veto to keep McCrae from coming down and keep GinaMarie from having to nominate Elissa and piss her off. 

While the meeting went on upstairs, Amanda sat downstairs still crying and bitching to McCrae about Elissa.  She really seems to have no idea whatsoever at this point that she and McCrae are going on the block.  Kudos to GinaMarie for her poker face, because Amanda truly believes that Elissa and Judd are going up.

After a while GinaMarie came outside and spoke with Amanda, McCrae and Andy.  Amanda tried to make a fake final 4 deal with them, and GinaMarie played it off as if she bought it.  Amanda then started asking again about who would be going up next to Elissa.  She wants Judd, but said that between Judd and Spencer she does not care which one goes up as long as it's Elissa.  GinaMarie played it off again and told them not to worry, that she sees what Elissa is doing by following her around etc..  And she isn't going to listen to her.

Everyone is kind of winding down and going to bed now.  I don't see anything else big happening tonight.  I personally am really excited about this week.  I think tomorrow's nominations are going to be a total blindside (possibly a first for this year) because Amanda and McCrae don't seem to have any idea at all that GinaMarie might put them up together, and they certainly have no idea that Spencer, Judd, Andy, and GM are working together.  There should be plenty of fireworks when they go up.  I'm excited for Judd that he has managed another week of safety provided he makes it through the double eviction this coming Thursday (and I think he has a good shot this time).  I'm happy about Andy's game and the way it is going.  He is breaking away from Amanda and McCrae at the perfect time for him.  They helped him get pretty far while he helped them also up to this point, but now he knows he has to play against people who are not coupled up and powerful, and he is easing into his new alliance very well.  I know people hate Andy for playing both sides, and I constantly get the "Andy is a rat and a snake and a floater" comments on twitter, but I feel that he is playing well and right now I am enjoying him.

I'm hoping GinaMarie tops her last nomination speech this week.  Her HOH's are always a little comical to me as she really is a cartoon parody of herself.  So here's to some great fireworks tomorrow afternoon when nominations happen.  Fire up your feeds and don't make any plans to go out or you might miss it.  As always, you guys can follow me on twitter @ashes2ashes13 for more overnight feed updates.  Until tomorrow night...

 

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.

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.

Tuesday
Aug062013

50 Shades of Wrong

Big Brother just didn't feel right these last few days.

On the one hand, I assume that any of this week's Power of Veto competitors -- Amanda, Candice, Gina, Jessie, Judd, and Spencer -- had nearly equal chances of being stuck with the dog cone, the clown suit, or the repeated spray tans. As long as producers intended no specific "punishment" for any specific house guest, perhaps we should think that all is as it should be in a game show which is outrageous by design.

GinaMarie & Candice, neither looking especially happy.On the other hand, in a season already infamous for insensitive, incendiary house guest commentary, why would CBS allow producers to design competition outcomes which seek to produce humor and/or humiliation by changing participants' appearances into caricatures? Candice was targeted early on by racial comments ... which, whether spoken in malice or ignorance, were unquestionably inappropriate. Now Big Brother dresses Candice as a clown, practically inviting us to laugh at the character she was required to become? After days of this, it's no wonder she mostly stayed in seclusion on Monday. And what would everybody be saying if, instead of Amanda, Aaryn had been the one to have the color of her skin changed so drastically?

It's as if they're trying to morph #BB15 into a farcical reverse-psychology whacky after-school special on race relations.

Candice's clown outfit; Amanda after repeated spray tans.At best, this is uncomfortable. At worst, it's outright disrespectful. I'm not necessarily sayin' the producers shouldn't have gone ahead with plans which were probably in place before the season started. I'm just sayin' that it troubles me when factoring in the present context.

This is an honest reaction from a newbie's perspective, and my commitment to sharing the remaining #BB15 experience with you is unchanged. But CBS should recognize that events like these do not particularly inspire new viewers to come back next year.

CBS added a disclaimer to the feeds and broadcast this season for the first time in show history. Do I need my own disclaimer? These views are mine only, offered with zero offense-causing intent, in the hope of inspiring civil, respectful discourse even if we disagree. Comment here or chirp @uselesstraffic.

Back to normal (if there is such a thing) next time at the Newbie Desk: Making sense of the different daily activities, weekly competitions, and TV schedules.