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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?