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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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.


  1. Target John, for a newbie you have a good grasp of the nuances of the game. I've watched from the very first season, and sometimes I still don't get why people in the house do what they do. It must be that their isolation and constant exposure to each other warps judgment, or they're just dumb. For instance, I still don't get why they see Nicole as a threat. Maybe they think she's like past BB winner Jordan, but Jordan had Jeff to carry her a long way, plus she was more likeable (in my opinion). But then again, most of the remaining players probably
    have never watched BB before, except for Christine. Nicole, I know you can't help that voice and accent, but my God it's like nails on a blackboard. I can't believe Derrick felt threatened because she compared him to Gheesling! Most of the dummies in there (with the possible exception of Christine)don't even know who he is! Derrick is mistaken if he feels safer with Frankie, the ultimate snake and backstabber. Cody is just floating on Derrick's coattails. Caleb's downfall is that he thinks he is smart (he's not). Victoria is still around simply because she is malleable. The real threat to everyone is Frankie. He has CBS on his side, he's so full of himself he's about to explode, and he will do whatever it takes to win. They should have seen that a long time ago and ditched him. I predict either Derrick/Frankie or Christine/Frankie final two. Even if Frankie doesn't take first place he still gets 50 grand. And he deserves none of it.

  2. I hope Frankie gets evicted. He's such an arrogant ugly person. And due to his most terrible "I can say what I want like the terrible raping comment he made towards Victoria. That was totally uncalled for and I can't believe that the producers of the show didn't kick him out of the house for saying that because it's such a horrendous crime that show never be the butt of any joke. There are enough creeps out there with demented minds they don't need any help from some self absorbed wannabe, riding on the coat tails of his sister, only in his own mind famous social media mogul!! And last night on the live feeds when he inappropriatlly put a whole water bottle in his mouth as a sexual gesture...that was gross. And one more thing he thinks he's brain washing everyone by telling them that he loves them, please. He's a looser and he needs to go!! Then there is Christine, who has no respect for her husband and hasn't done anything to further herself in this game. And last but not least victoria, she just needs to go. She's trying to flirt with a married man, her parents must be so proud. And she hasn't even played the game. And Nicole's high pitched whinny voice is a waste too!! That leaves Cody, Derrick or Caleb as final three....I guess that's the best we can do this season. It's been so predictable that you can use the live feeds as a sleeping aid!

  3. I agree with everything except your final 3. I think somehow Frankie will be there with Cody and Derrick. I think CBS is misdirecting us with the not so nice edit of Frankie. I don't expect him to win though. I do expect him to be the second HOH tonight. He always wins when I don't want him to. I think both he and Derrick will throw the first HOH because they won't want to be unable to play for the second one. Christine will be the next target. Victoria will go whenever it gets to a point that plans fall through and either Derrick or Cody are in trouble. Yes they could win against her but they still have Frankie who is not liked by the jury. Caleb will be the "shocking eviction" when the guys have to turn on each other.

    Your comments about no changes for next year are spot on. Nothing will change unless the tv viewer numbers drop significantly.

  4. Your last point is the key one. CBS does not care about the quality of the houseguests, feeds, or honestly the quality of the show itself. All CBS realllly cares about is ratings. The show will not get better until the ratings drop. For me personally I have watched FAR less feeds this year but I have watched the show. In fact, I would submit there is a point at which there is an inverse relationship to the quality of the feeds and show viewership. For me, the only palatable way to track the houseguests this year is through the show, blogs, and podcasts. For the first time in years I have no interest in actually watching the houseguests on the feeds. I want my info about them packaged and summarized for me because they are worth no more than that. Unfortunately, if there are others like me, that is perfect for CBS because they get to show what they want and not reality. Once again, fundamentally the stunt casting, feeds, lack of drama, nor the lack of live entertainment will change until the ratings drop.

    A ten year BB fan

  5. There has been a lot of big move game talk by the guys in this house . The only one with a pair of balls to actually make a move was Nicole. Would have loved to seen her win. My picks for final 3 Derrick/Codyans Victoria. The only hope to save this season rest with Victoria winning that last hoh for the final 3. Then I think the jury pick her to win.

  6. I think Christine will go in the DE tonight. I can't say I'd be sorry about it. I would like for Frankie to go for my viewing pleasure but would be just as happy with Christine or Cody to go for Donny . He tried to warn them but they wouldn't listen. I would be OK with a Derrick Victoria, Caleb F3.As I've said before, Victoria for the win! Perfect ending to this disappointing Season.

  7. Thanks, everybody, for your comments so far. BBfan, there's one nuance toward predicting my final three which didn't occur to me -- and it's chris' comment above which got me to think about it. Derrick could indeed decide to keep Frankie around for the finale purely for the jury votes. I agree completely that the jury would definitely vote for Derrick over Frankie.

    If there's a risk to Derrick in keeping Frankie over Victoria, it's obviously that only Frankie is a competition threat.

    Tony, I respect your thoughts about a Derrick vs. Victoria jury vote, but I must disagree. They'd still vote for Derrick to win. For weeks, Derrick has made a point of smoothing things over (*cough* manipulating *cough*) with the to-be-evicted house guest, often like this: "Hey, you know that I respect your game and that it would be better for me too if you stay. But I've been trying and I just can't swing the votes. It's looking like you're going home." So the last thing the evicted house guest thinks about Derrick is, "He had my back, and he tried to save me. I can't blame him for voting with the house -- that's safer for him." Whether Derrick really intended to save each of not is irrelevant ... He feigns the effort entirely to swing jury votes his way. (Remember that most HGs are still clueless that Derrick has been running the house all season.)

    Or did you mean Victoria would win over Cody?

    Above, Larry said, "I want my info about them packaged and summarized for me because they are worth no more than that." Yes -- I feel very similarly. This is my first full season of BB and I was looking forward to it. But the twists the producers tried (dual HOH, Team America nonsense), not to mention the worthless continuation of Have Nots and the comps so predictable that the HGs know exactly what's coming, combined with Derrick's quiet, total dominance, have had me turning on the feeds only when I'm preparing to write something for Big Brother Gossip. Which, as you've seen, has been infrequently.

  8. Don't be so sure about those jury votes. Hayden is no fan of Derrick, and neither is Jocasta and Donny. Nicole is very impressionable, so even though right now she thinks he's the modern day Dan, that could change once she's in jury. Who knows what they're telling Zach? Who knows what the remaining people will figure out when they start talking?

    Even if they do have that chat, though ,they could end up giving him the votes for playing so hard. But I would NOT be surprised to see a repeat of Ian beating Dan.