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Entries in victoria (9)

Thursday
Sep252014

Big Brother 16 Season Finale Results - The $450K Mistake

Cody makes an unconvincing argument to jurors as to why he, rather than Derrick, should win.By ignoring the "rules," Cody lost $450,000 in last night's Big Brother 16 season finale. Let's all turn to page 37 of the handbook, shall we? See right there in the middle of the page? It says "Be loyal to the alliance(s) you've made ... right up until loyalty is bad for your game. When that happens, be disloyal, deceitful, and/or duplicitous. Because this is a game, and you're here to win!"

The only scenario in which Derrick would not have won the grand prize would have been for Cody to become the final HOH and have chosen to evict Derrick. The jury would not have picked Victoria over Cody. Most house guests never especially liked her, and it was obvious to the jury that Victoria was allowed to stay in the game only because she was completely inept at competitions. A couple of jurors might have thrown a sympathy vote Victoria's way, but the majority would have awarded Cody the half-mil. It would have been an easy win.

Cody did beat Derrick in part 3 of the final HOH comp -- it even required the tie-breaker question. But for reasons which evade all logic and common sense, Cody evicted Victoria! And then the jury did exactly what we've predicted pretty much all season: They voted overwhelmingly (7-2) for Derrick over Cody. Derrick won the $500,000 grand prize (not to mention a thoroughly ridiculous Team America bonus prize of an additional $50K).

As the runner-up, Cody won a mere $50,000. Cody, Cody, Cody. What were you thinking?!

Left: Final HOH part 2 comp, a physical + memory test; Derrick needed only 15 minutes, Victoria took twice as long. Right: Final HOH part 3 comp, a mental test; Cody beat Derrick in tie-breaker.

Congratulations to Derrick. He was the master analyst, strategist, and manipulator from Day 1.

By the way, once again this is John writing, not Scott -- so this isn't one of Scott's play-by-play recaps but just a summary of the episode's results.

Julie prepares to announce who won America's Favorite Player. Notice that Media Mogul positioned himself exactly where he'd get the most camera time. Typical.Zach would have been my choice for favorite, deserving of some reward for all the Team American manipulation he unwittingly endured. But I'm not unhappy Donny got it. Good guy.After Julie announced that Derrick won, the only remaining drama was to find out which house guest won America's Favorite Player and its $25,000 prize. Over 10 million votes were cast, Julie said, the most in Big Brother history.

If Julie had one true surprise for us in the #BB16 90-minute live finale, it was this: The three house guests who received the most votes from fans were ... Donny, Nicole, and Zach!

FRANKIE WAS SHUT OUT! I was absolutely astonished! So much for being Ariana's brother! 

With more than 5 million votes, America's Favorite Player is ... Donny!

So that's it! Big Brother 16 is officially over. Not to worry -- CBS has already announced that Big Brother has been renewed for two more seasons.

Meanwhile, want to see how they do it overseas? Big Brother Australia's 2014 season just got started a couple weeks ago. I've been watching #BBAU for the first time and am finding it to be highly entertaining. It's very different from the CBS version -- actually, it's more accurate to say that the CBS version is the unusual one, as #BBAU's format is the one predominant around the world. I'll be writing more about #BBAU here soon, but check out IndyMike's #BBAU 2014 playlist right here.

A couple more #BB16 finale photos:

Newly declared #BB16's winner, Derrick exits the house.Media Mogul realizes that he's not even one of America's top three favorite house guests.Thanks, everybody, for reading Big Brother Gossip all season long! As usual, there will be occasional semi-relevant posts during the off-season. And of course we'll be back for #BB17.

I did appreciate Derrick's game skills. Unfortunately, there just wasn't anybody else in the house who could come close to playing like that! No competing alliances of substance formed. Julie repeatedly asked evicted house guests who was running the house, and time after time (until Donny) they had no clue it was Derrick. This made the live feeds rather boring week after week, and the TV episodes were wholly predictable. My hope for next season is for drama! Several strong, strategic game players to form multiple, competing alliances! NO STUNT CASTING!! Any and all comments about #BB16, #BBAU, and/or your hopes for #BB17 are welcome in the comments below or @uselesstraffic.

Wednesday
Sep242014

Guide to the #BB16 Season Finale

What Derrick has wanted in this game, Derrick has eventually gotten. Now he wants the grand prize. It's difficult to think of a scenario in which he wouldn't get the required five jury votes. The only apparent obstacle to a #BB16 win for Derrick is Cody, who would have to do two things:

  • Cody has to win part 3 of the final HOH comp, giving him the power to evict one of the two other remaining house guests.
  • And Cody would have to be disloyal to Derrick, recognizing that he (Cody) has a better chance of winning if he takes Victoria to the final two rather than Derrick. (The jury would reward Cody for his comp wins and for being a generally likable guy; they've never been enamoured with Victoria. But Cody versus Derrick? The jury has more reasons to vote for Derrick.)

Cody certainly has a great shot at becoming the season's final HOH. He hasn't shown any willingness this season to make big moves when he had the power -- but evicting Derrick would be the biggest move of all, and doing so would be absolutely essential to Cody's game. Will Cody do it? In a predictable season which revolved around Derrick, which produced no competing alliances (like #BB15's allies of Amanda vs. allies of Helen), and in which the producers' twists resulted in no significantly-changed outcomes, will Cody finally treat viewers to something unexpected in the #BB16 season finale?

We find out tonight (Wednesday, September 24, 2014) at 9:30p Eastern during a live broadcast (tape delayed on the west coast). Here's how the show might play out.

- Julie's brief show intro.

- A couple minutes of clips from the entire season.

- Julie talks about what's coming up during the 90-minute finale while they show the final three sitting in the living room. For at least the third year in a row (I didn’t research further back than #BB14), the finalists consist of two men and one woman.

- The conclusion of Part 1 of the three-part final Head of Household competition (recorded last Wednesday night live on the feeds, and a portion shown in last Friday’s TV episode), with related clips and Diary Rooms. As usual, it was an endurance comp. Victoria lost early on; Derrick and Cody discussed for a few minutes who would have the better chance of winning the next part, and then Derrick dropped off the wall. So Cody won part 1.

- Part 2 of the HOH comp (recorded last Friday), again with clips and DRs. Footage of part 2 has not been aired yet. You know from the Ticker graphic at right that Derrick won over Victoria, likely ending Victoria’s chance at winning any monetary prize. Part 2 is typically a combination physical / mental comp, e.g. hunt for objects representing each house guest, then place those objects in a specific order requiring accurate memory.

- 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. (Cody has a seemingly unbreakable alliance with Derrick. Victoria also believes she has an alliance with Derrick, but only an HOH win would have cemented any real power for her. My dream that Victoria had been throwing every competition all season long to surprise us in the three-part final HOH comp was ... Yeah, maybe in some other universe.)

- Dr. Will returns to host the jury's "round table" discussion. We'll see jury reactions to Frankie's and Caleb's evictions. (Or does the Dr. Will segment happen slightly earlier in the finale? At any rate, Dr. Will, winner of #BB2, makes an appearance with the #BB16 jury.)

- Part 3 of the final HOH competition between Derrick and Cody airs live -- everything is live from this point on. It will be a memory quiz of some sort, and the winner is guaranteed at least second place in #BB16 and a $50,000 prize.

- The HOH winner will evict one of the other two. Derrick and Cody have a “final two alliance” called the Hit Men, so the expectation here is that they will remain (blindly) loyal to it and evict Victoria, regardless of who becomes HOH.

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

- Julie introduces each of the jurors as they reenter the studio and talks with them a bit. Julie reveals that Victoria (unless something highly unexpected happens) is the last evictee.

- The jurors chat with the final two.

- The finalists each make one last “why I deserve this” speech.

- Each juror steps forward to say a word or three to the finalists ... and to cast his/her vote. In previous years, the juror inserted one of two keys (each key has a finalist's name on it) into slots in a box to vote; not sure whether they will have come up with a different way to vote this year since they had revamped the weekly nomination “mechanism.”

- We might have a visit from non-jury house guests (those evicted early in the season).

- Then the big moment arrives: Julie reveals each juror's vote ... and the #BB16 winner is announced! Five votes are needed to decide the $500,000 grand prize winner.

- 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. We are hoping Zach wins since he so often was the unwitting pawn who helped Team America score some dough. But it’s difficult to imagine that the producers’ stunt casting of Frankie, with his pop star sister’s millions of fans, won’t have caused the ballot box to be stuffed here.

That’s how tonight’s live season finale might go. Thanks very much for reading Big Brother Gossip again this year! We all appreciate that you’re here.

I’m working on at least one more post for this season, coming in the next few days, which compares Big Brother Australia 2014 to what I’ve seen in #BB15 and #BB16. Please stay tuned! Meanwhile, what are your overall impressions of Big Brother 16? What would had to have happened for somebody else to win? Did the season unfold as you expected? Comment below or @uselesstraffic.

Wednesday
Sep102014

Big Brother Season 16, Episode 35 Results

Caleb won HOH after the Wednesday live show, and this time it counts. That is the one and only thing which happened during the last six days which wasn't meaningless, insulting drivel.

By saving the "Rewind" twist for this late in a season so thoroughly dominated by one house guest who has never even been nominated, CBS pretty much hocked a loogie at all Big Brother fans, both new and long-time. Why would you tell viewers in advance that there will be absolutely nothing happening for a week which will affect the game's outcome?

Do you think the remaining house guests are interesting enough to watch just because it's fun and we like them? It isn't and we don't.

Why should anybody have bothered to watch these last Sunday and Tuesday episodes? Honestly, why should anybody bother to watch any more #BB16 at all. Except maybe the finale.

Executive producer Allison Grodner, you should be ashamed! The international editions of Big Brother are so much more imaginitive and entertaining than your show. I'm still a newbie ... but determining that, say, Big Brother Australia is superior to the CBS version requires only to watch one episode on-line. Your "most twisted season ever" has been exactly the opposite. Dull, predictable, boring. You re-use so many competitions from previous years that the #BB16 house guests know exactly what's coming. The "Rewind" twist might have stirred things up, but you brought it on about four weeks too late.

Oh, and please skip the gimmicky former house guest interviews and engagements. You wouldn't need filler if your formula wasn't broken!

By the way, this isn't Scott writing this -- it's John. My fellow contributors Scott and Ash are the "A team" around here. But what's left of this season is not deserving of the efforts of Big Brother Gossip's starting players. They have more than earned a respite from this nonsense.

Déjà vu all over again.So I'm just providing the results of the Wednesday live episode, not a play-by-play recap like Scott writes. In a nutshell, here's what happened:

  • Julie called for a live eviction vote. But just as Derrick was about to enter the Diary Room, a klaxon sounded and the lights flashed.
  • Julie explained to the house guests that the last week was meaningless, Victoria and Cody were no longer on the block, and the game would rewind to last Thursday's HOH competition ... which would be repeated. The very same "Seed Saw" comp. Derrick would again not be eligible to compete (since he was outgoing HOH last time around).
  • Cody will have to wear the dino-costume again since he was still wearing it a week ago.
  • The repeat "Seed Saw" competition began during the live show and was in progress as the episode ended. When the live feeds came back about 45 minutes later, we determined that Caleb won HOH.

Upcoming schedule:

Sunday's episode (Sep. 14, 2014) starts at 8:30p.

Next Tuesday (Sep. 16), there be a special eviction episode. (It won't be live.)

Next Wednesday (Sep. 17) will be live with another eviction.

There will be an episode on Friday (Sep. 19) but no episode the following Sunday (Sep. 21).

The only thing left after that is the live season finale on Wednesday (Sep. 24) at 9:30p.

If #BB15 last year when I was new had been as much of a yawn-fest and as poorly-produced as #BB16, would I have stuck around? Hell no! I am astonished that the ratings have apparently held up this year. It is disheartening, to say the least. I hope that Grodner (or some future executive producer) changes the formula before the show tanks ... because it will, sooner rather than later. And ... that's all I've got. Comments welcome below (or don't bother, since this season just isn't worth it) or @uselesstraffic.

Wednesday
Sep032014

Double Eviction #2 Episode Guide - Expect the Expected

It's not just that the show and feeds have been dull and predictable this season. It's that I still haven't found any house guests to root for. It would be easier to deal with a house so mind-numbingly controlled by one person all season (Derrick) if I simply could find a reason to call somebody my favorite and then cheer him or her on.

Hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t think it will. That, along with everything which fellow contributor Scott wrote in his brilliant piece on Wednesday (see “Big Brother 2014: What went wrong?”), makes me wonder if the best seasons of this show happened years before I began watching.

Thoughts on the remaining house guests and final-three predictions in a moment. First, a guide to #BB16’s second double eviction episode:

1. Recaps for 10-12 minutes. 

2. Julie will chat with the house guests and we’ll see Nicole’s and Victoria’s repeat “save me” speeches. (Extra propz to either of them if they would simply stand up, say “Hi Mom & Dad!”, and sit right back down.) Julie will also mention, to feigned surprise, that it’s a double eviction night.

3. Unanimous eviction vote (yawn) and Julie’s interview with Nicole by about 25 minutes after the hour.

4. An HOH comp lasting three to six minutes. (If you Expect the Expected, as we all now do for #BB16, the winner will be Frankie, Cody, or Christine.)

5. Strategizing for a couple of minutes, and then nominations.

6. POV comp.

7. Strategizing again, veto meeting, and potential replacement nomination.

8. “Save me” speeches, the second elimination vote, and Julie’s second interview of the night. And then Julie signs off.

(Remember that the next HOH competition will take place off the air.)

Last year, mainstream news media coverage of #BB15 controversy led me to sample the show for the first time, and Helen quickly became my favorite.  I’ve been trying to get on somebody’s team this year but I’m just not feelin’ it. Donny almost became my favorite but his game naïveté lasted too long. Here’s my take on everybody who’s left.

Caleb. Thank heaven that he’s (mostly) over Amber. (Maybe Zingbot ... er, Kathy Griffin helped on that count. “You think she’s drop dead gorgeous. She just wants you to drop dead! Zing!”) When he’s alone with the boys, though, too often he falls back into behavior which seems to indicate he thinks of women not as people (much less respect-worthy equals) but rather only as mindless objects for pleasure. After being everybody’s #1 target in the weeks after Devin’s departure (and pulling off a string of predictable comp wins which kept him safe), the house seems to have forgotten how much they once hated Caleb. That’s Big Brother, I guess, and I admit that he did become a savvier player after Amber’s departure. But I am astonished that he’s still here, and I’m honestly worried that some bad luck for Derrick (such as getting evicted during tonight’s double, unlikely as that is) could make Caleb an actual frontrunner. I can’t stomach the thought of Caleb winning.

Christine. Meh. As the strongest female player this year, I wanted to like her. But she’s done more to swing my feelings toward “nah!” than “yeah!” She played Nicole pretty well earlier -- not that I’m a big Nicole fan either, but I was hoping perhaps Christine would lead an alliance with the other women. But her loyalty to the Detonators will be her undoing.

Cody. He has mostly stayed out of trouble, game-wise (I’m leaving the Christine friendmance thing alone), and his decision early on to ally with Derrick has certainly proven smart. Why not root for Cody? Because he’s all talk. He whined on this week’s Wednesday episode in the DR about having wanted Frankie out for weeks. But as last week’s winner of both HOH and POV, he had multiple chances to make a big move. Did he? Obviously not. Oh, and remember back in week 4, the previous time Cody was HOH? He had the chance to get Caleb (much hated at the time by HGs and me as well) out of the house when Victoria saved herself via POV ... and Cody even said “If I put up Donny instead, my brother say I’m such a p#ssy.” Sure enough, he wimped out, and Brittany went home instead. If Cody had taken even one of these opportunities, my respect for him as a player would have increased exponentially.

Derrick. My opinion is unchanged. This guy remains an absolute master analyst, strategist and manipulator. He gets everybody to do what he wants, often without their realizing it. He sets eviction targets but ultimately bends to the will of the house. He avoids winning comps to keep from getting dirtied by nominations. (Except once when he won and remained HOH. But because Devin went home that week with much rejoicing, nobody had reason for lingering resentment toward Derrick.) He’s never been on the block. The only thing which could prevent Derrick making it to the finale would be lack of luck in some chance-based comp, which seems quite unlikely. I definitely appreciate Derrick’s game mastery. But his very expertise keeps me from actively cheering Derrick on because it’s his fault the season deserves an #ExpectTheExpected hashtag.

Frankie. Textbook case of stunt casting gone awry. Ridiculously self-centered and pompous. Although in the early weeks I couldn’t stand his on-camera persona beginning with the very first CBS show of the season, on the feeds Frankie seemed reasonably normal and likable -- enough so that I was willing for several weeks to ignore his “I’m live on camera, better amp up the flamboyancy” thing. And even for a newbie fan like me (at 13-14 months in, I’m definitely still learning game strategy), it seemed like Frankie was playing an unbeatable social game and would be guaranteed (by virtue of a deck stacked by his sister’s followers) to win fan favorite. But then the Big Ariana Reveal happened and his mean tendencies seemed to come out and stay out. So I’ve totally gone from feeling like I wouldn’t be unhappy for Frankie to win to actively wanting him out. (I also tweeted the other day my realization that Frankie is a lock to appear on All Stars. Ugh.)

Victoria. Oh, Victoria. Do you even realize that your own inability to do anything has become your strength? Although thankfully I’m no longer worried about Victoria’s mental health, I have found no reason to respect her game -- if one could even legitimately refer to what she’s doing there as “game.” On the other hand, wouldn’t it be delicious to discover during the finale (by acing the endurance and quiz comps) that Victoria has been faking her ineptitude all season? Won’t happen, obviously, but such an unexpected twist would almost redeem the season.

Tonight’s first evictee will be ... Nicole. After Monday’s POV meeting, when Caleb wimped out and put Victoria up as the replacement nom rather than Frankie, it sealed Nicole’s fate (again).

My hope for tonight’s second eviction: Caleb or Frankie.

What will probably happen instead (since we’ve all learned to Expect the Expected this season): Julie’s second interview tonight will be with Christine or Victoria.

My “final 3” predictions back in week 4 (see “Mid-July Newbie Perspectives”): Derrick, Christine, and Frankie.

My new “final 3” predictions: Derrick, Cody, and Victoria.

CBS has zero incentive to change anything now or for next year, by the way, because TV ratings remain solid. It's irrelevant to CBS what we live feeders slash hard-core fans think. As long as the country keeps providing time-slot winning viewership two or three times weekly, CBS will change nothing. Expect the Expected for again #BB17, even if it’s All Stars. Who do you really want to be evicted second tonight, and do you think it has a chance of happening? Who are you now predicting will make it to the finale? Share your thoughts in the comments or @uselesstraffic.