Alright it has been a crazy first week or so in the house so let’s break it all down as I give you my thoughts on the week and where the house guests stand!
We started this week with a crazy episode that featured a self-eviction and the Den of Temptation coming into play. The self-eviction mess started when Cody was off talking to Alex and a group of people sitting to the side. Someone, I think Raven, mentions Jessica should go save Cody, but Jessica says she won’t because “Pao Pao” is over there. Now the nickname “Pao Pao” is a reference to a former contestant named Paola Shea from Big Brother 16. That is what everyone called her that season and from what I understand (I have not seen the season), Alex looks and acts remarkably like her. Now Megan misunderstands what Jessica was saying and thinks that she just called Alex “Panda” because she is Asian. Paul is here for this comment and explains to the audience exactly what she means. Then he is also there to over hear Megan tell Alex all about it and relay the “Panda” comment. As we all know Paul is a devious one and likes to stir up trouble so he immediately goes and tells Jessica that Megan is spreading something about her being racist. This sets off a whole chain of events where Jessica clears the air with Alex about the incident and Alex gets mad at Megan for spreading lies. This is Megan’s second shouting match with another contestant in as many days. She tries to calm herself down and get her emotions under control, but she can’t and self evicts herself from the game.
Now a little background on this. Since the incident Megan has come out in defense of herself. Apparently she has had PTSD from a sexual assault that occurred sometime while she was in the military. All of the shouting and blaming her for everything kind of triggered that and for her own mental health she decided to get out of the situation. Listen I feel really bad for Megan and really do not blame her at all. The fault in this situation lies with production. They should have better screening in place for mental health issues and she should never have been let in the house. The enclosed place and intense auditory, visual, mental and emotional stimulation is no place for someone with PTSD. This should never have happened and that is one them.
Also Jessica is not without fault here as Megan is kind of right, she was being racist in a way a little different than she originally heard though. Calling someone the name of another contestant just because they are the same race is kind of problematic. It leads to the assumption that all Asians look the same, which they do not. Just something to keep in mind in this situation.
The next big thing in this episode involves the Den of Temptation. One by one the contestants must go in and see if they have been tempted. Of course as we all predicted Paul won the first vote and was tempted with three weeks of safety. Being the only vet of course he took it and as a consequence someone will have a curse put upon them. He must randomly select a bottle that corresponds to a number and that person will be cursed, more on that later. At this point no one knows Paul has won the temptation.
Also in this episode we get the introduction of the have-nots room. It is pretty awful as the beds have spikes on them and seem impossible to sleep on. The house guests can get out of it though. Anyone of them can go to the DR and say they want to take the temptation involved. This only goes for the first person to do so and they get a key. There are two spikes on the wall with tokens in them. If they pick the right one they are out of the room for the week, if they pick the wrong one they have to stay in it for an extra week. Cody took volunteers on the have-nots for the first week and Paul, Josh, Ramses, Jillian and Megan volunteer. Paul eventually takes the temptation and wins so he gets out for the week.
Finally, Cody has to pick a new nominee since one of his (Megan) left. He tries to work with Alex because he respects her as a competitor, but she just tells him to eat poop. In many ways I think that makes him respect her more, but in the end he follows what his alliance wants and puts her up on the block beside Jillian. This will be the last correct thing Cody does in his reign as the first HOH.
This is where things get crazy. In this episode we find out the curse and witness the POV competition. First up is finding out about the curse. Big Brother tells the house guests to make a line to go into the Den of Temptation to find out if they are cursed. The number in line will match up with the random number Paul chose to reveal the cursed person. They do this really cheesy thing where they have to stick their hand in a snake’s mouth and its eyes will turn green if they are safe or “poison blue” if they are cursed. The number of people who are either really afraid or playing up their fear of the snake is quite frankly ridiculous. It’s fake! It cannot hurt you! Anyways the number Paul chose was 2 so the second person to go into the room will be cursed and that happens to be Ramses. His curse is that sometime in the next three weeks he has to put himself up on the block as a special third nominee. Play this right and it will not hurt that much, but play it wrong and you could find yourself walking out the door.
A couple things about this temptation. First of all it was rigged for Paul, we all know this so let’s move on. I did really like how they determined who got the curse. It is truly random and does not favor one person over another so that was cool. My problem with the curse comes with the fact the consequence to the temptation has nothing to do with the person who took the temptation. What does Paul care if someone else is in danger? If its an enemy of his who cares, and if its an ally there is a way to set it up that they are safe. The temptation should hurt the person who takes the temptation.
The next big thing is POV competition. In the competition they have to gather starfish and stack them so that they have to most on their balanced structure. They also have to keep an eye on their draining water clock because they can only compete when it is draining. They can add as much water as they want and take as much time as they want as long as there is water in the tube. Also as with everything this season there is a temptation. There is one golden starfish and if you take that and set it up then you cannot be a have-not for the whole summer. Cody tells us he does not mind if Alex wins because he likes her and regrets putting her up on the block. The competitors for the veto are Cody, Alex, Jillian, Matt, Raven and Jason. The competition is rather ho hum as Raven takes the golden starfish, and Matt takes a gamble with ten. Jason puts out a strong showing, but Alex takes it as Cody kind of gives up and obviously throws the veto to her. Honestly the best part about this was Kevin in the mermaid suit.
So now that Alex has POV, Cody has to put up his fourth person on the block this week. Except this time he is being super tight lipped. He will not tell anyone what he is thinking, even his showmance partner Jessica. He just tells everyone in his alliance to trust him and that he will make deals to keep them all safe for a while. The alliances at this point just to update are the couples alliance of Cody, Jessica, Mark, Elena, Matt, Raven and Dominique with Paul and Christmas looking in and the outsiders alliance of Jillian, Alex, Jason, and Ramses with both Josh and Kevin playing both sides. This whole thing is a red flag and really shows that Cody is out of his depth here in this game. He is playing way too hard too fast and needed to just take the easy route. His alliance wanted Jason or Ramses to be put up, but is that his plan? Hell no it isn’t. He makes a deal with Jason to keep the couples plus Dominique safe while telling Jason he will not put him on the block and Jason takes the deal.
At the veto ceremony Alex obviously uses it on herself and now we need a new nominee. Cody tears into his new nominee without naming the person at first and then reveals it to be Paul. At that exact moment the pendant flashes up on the screen behind him and Paul stands up and explains it. You can see Cody’s face visibly drop and him start seething with anger. He then tells Christmas she got screwed and puts her on the block. That is the end of the episode, but the house is about to explode.
I am kind of sad that all of the post veto shenanigans got crammed into one hour long episode because there is a lot to unpack here. I have been following along on Twitter with an account that watches the live feeds and things have been nuts in the house. First let’s get to the post veto craziness.
Paul storms off and says about how he knows who he can trust now while everyone else is shocked. Christmas confronts Cody in his room and for some reason he cannot fathom how he effed up and blames it all on Christmas. Meanwhile Matt, Raven and Elena tell us how there is no way they are voting Christmas out and say they are done with Cody and Jessica now. Paul starts confronting everyone and they all swear to him they had no idea. He finds it hard to believe nobody knew it was coming and I can’t blame him because that is not how things are normally done on any reality show that contains strategy. No one in their right mind would blind side their alliance like that. It is right then and there that a coalition starts to form. In this new formation of alliances we have Paul, Christmas, Matt, Raven, Elena and Dominique on one side with Jillian, Alex, Ramses, Jessica, Cody and seemingly Jason on the other. In the middle once again are Josh and Kevin with Mark initially remaining loyal to Cody.
The next day things get even crazier as Jason and Christmas are horsing around and dancing like they do every morning (apparently) when with Christmas riding on his back Jason slips on the grass outside. Christmas is down in agony as Jason rushes to tell production. She thinks she broke her foot so Matt and Cody carry her to the Diary Room to talk with production. She leaves the house and comes back with crutches and a cast saying they think she tore some ligaments. It is not shown in the episode, but she leaves the house again for an MRI and comes back saying its definitely broken. She was given the choice to leave or stay, but she decides to stay. According to the live feeds the last 12 hours or so she is going to leave for surgery and come back.
Now back to getting the votes together. Paul is working everyone hard and is trying to get some of the others to flip. An unlikely pairing with Kevin is beginning to form though and Paul may have convinced him to vote with them. The best work being done though was not even shown on the aired episodes. Christmas really solidifies her bond with Josh as almost a big sister type figure and really sways him to vote with them. The other bond that has not been shown on the episodes is the one between Mark and Dominique. She convinces him to talk with Christmas and that leads to the tearful conversation that we saw on the show. Dominique really deserves the credit for getting Mark to change his mind. Meanwhile everyone on the outsiders side really thinks they have the votes secured to force a tie so that Cody can break it and send Christmas home. Jessica and Cody are the most sure and are super confident heading into the vote.
The vote comes around and as no surprise to the live feed watchers Jillian is voted out by a margin of 8-4. Cody and Jessica are floored and cannot believe what just happened as Jillian sits there open mouthed. You can see Cody immediately start seething with anger as Jessica gets up in Christmas’ face for calling her out during her eviction speech. F-bombs are flying everywhere as Paul reminds them they are on live TV. Boy this should be fun to watch.
The HOH competition is next and its a stupid Candy Crush show tie in, but the best part is seeing Cody have to host it while grim faced and clearly annoyed with how everything went down. We will find out who won on Sunday.
I am going to move my house guest analysis to a different post as this is way too long already, but wow what a week. I am guessing this is not too typical of a first couple weeks for Big Brother, but I am loving this. Check back later today as I put up my thoughts on where the castaways stand.
Big Brother airs Wednesdays at 8, Thursdays at 9 and Sundays at 8 on CBS.