The planets are in alignment for April, but not in her favor. Somehow, this self-deluded little hamster thought she could shrug off her last eight years of smoking and go a month or so without missing her cigarettes. Wrong! Now, she’s needing a cigarette so bad she was caught hoping Michael gets returned to the house so she can get her paws on his fancy European cigarettes. As if the nicotine monkey riding her back wasn’t enough, she’s on the PB&J diet, and she’s PMSing. She’s all primed for a freakout of Nakomis proportions. All she needs is a little push...
- James won the Power of Veto, making it his fourth technical win (he won it for Sarah last week).
- Despite saying before the competition that he would use the veto to save Sarah, James now refers to Sarah leaving the House.
- The pinatas made on Friday night were sacrificed in the competition.
- Big Brother surprised the houseguests with a peek at the America's Choice segment that is probably intended for Tuesday's show.
- The hamsters made tie-dye t-shirts expressing who they favor for America's Choice.
- The alliances show sign of rifts, especially between April and Ivette.
Since it’s the week of Howie, it’s time to share what makes up about 75% of what comes out of his mouth - Howieisms. He’s highly edited on the show, so here’s a list of catchphrases that you’re missing (the PG-13 ones, at least):
- Boobies: More specifically, whenever one of the girls is told to adjust their microphone, saying “Sorry BB, it’s her big boobies!”
- The Booxum Beautiful Blonde Bombshell of Big Brother 6: No, that’s not a typo, that’s what Howie calls Janelle. She always corrects his pronunciation. “It’s bux-om. Not boox-um.”
- Ooooh! Gross! Howie, no! Said in a girlish, giggly voice, Howie breaks into this routine often. Imagine if Howie were imitating a girl he has just asked to do something unsavory...I think I had better stop here.
- Whaddup, Kaysar! Whaddup, Janie! Usually, it’s one of these two but he also says it to others in the house. Just one of those things that develops in groups of people with nothing better to do, and now he says it all the time.
The Power Player
The feeds were blocked for three hours during the Power of Veto competition. When they returned, James was spotted with the coveted medallion around his neck. From all accounts, the pinatas were used in a competition similar to last year’s piggy banks. The hamsters who were playing for the veto (Howie, Rachel, James, Sarah, Ivette, and one other - Beau, maybe?) were given twenty ping pong balls to put in pinatas without knowing how everyone else placed theirs. The person with the most balls without going over thirty would be the winner. A person had to have at least one ball to qualify; if at the finish there were only pinatas containing more than 30 balls, and the rest with zero, no one would win the POV. *cough* That’s a Big Brother first; did you notice?
Now, if four of the six players want to make sure two people don’t get the POV, and have no time to talk about it, you would think they would play logically - put 10 balls in Sarah’s, and 10 balls in James’. It wouldn’t matter if no one won the veto, because they are all in agreement not to use it. Right? Right, guys? *poking Howie with stick*
Obviously, the hamsters didn’t think of my simple solution. It comes out in the Monday morning quarterbacking discussions - they didn’t think as a team, they placed their balls as if they expected the others nominally on their side to try to win the veto, instead of playing to keep James from winning the veto. Somehow, everyone split their balls, but put a few in their own and their friends and next thing you know, James had under 30, but the highest amount.
Rachel takes responsibility for ruining the competition, and both Howie and Rachel agree that Janelle should have played, even though she was nursing a nasty hangover from the previous night’s pinata party. Janelle watched all the previous Big Brother seasons religiously, and knew how the competition should have worked. It’s too bad she didn’t share any of that knowledge before the game, but they envisioned one of those quizzes combined with smashing the pinatas. In past games, the hamsters have clearly seen a link between the HOH and the veto competition (the way Kaysar’s was a variant on chess, for example). But Howie’s POV game didn’t reflect his interests too much...or did it? What was Big Brother trying to tell us with the near-lifesize dolls in bikinis?
”Stop It, Sarah!”
Being nominated is devastating to Sarah and James. Sarah truly believes that she hasn’t done anything to anyone. James shies away from that kind of proclamation, but he believes that he hasn’t done anything wrong. Out loud, he tells Howie and Janelle that he never would have backstabbed them. He denies swearing on the Bible, repeating his mantra endlessly: “watch the tapes.” His only chance to get back in with Howie and his group is to convince him that he never targeted Howie and Rachel. James knows that it’s his word against Ivette’s as to the Bible swearing, and he hasn’t even come clean with Sarah about that moment.
What James doesn’t know is that Rachel and Maggie had heard James and Sarah in the shower one night, discussing that they needed to target Howie and Rachel at some point. Every time James declares his innocence, Howie is mentally chalking up another strike against him. Howie refuses to be swayed by James and Sarah’s pleas, always countering that he had to strike before Sarah and James could take him down. When Sarah and James steal a moment alone in the Gold Room, James shows real emotion for once, apologizing tearfully to Sarah for getting her “into this mess.” Ugh, what’s that strange pain in my chest? It’s hard to admit, but I actually feel a pang of sympathy for James, who entered the game eager to lie and is now stuck listening to his clueless girlfriend whine endlessly that they have been backstabbed by everyone in the house and they won’t be together in the sequester house. Maybe that’s why he constantly tells her to stop talking. She’s beyond listening to him, though, and manages to get her angry ranting out.
Saturday night, the tension between Sarah, James, Howie and Janelle comes to a head. While Howie walks laps around the back yard, Sarah and James sit on the round lounge chair and shout at him. Sarah angrily demands to know why they would take Maggie, April or Ivette’s word over their word, when they were supposed to be their allies? At one point, Howie tells her that it hurt his feelings to hear that James swore on the Bible that he would put him and Rachel on the block. Sarah responds angrily, and James ducks the accusation by saying they wanted him to say he would put up Kaysar, and he refused. Sarah says she would have felt better being ousted by Maggie’s team than to be shoved out the door by someone she thought was a friend. Howie looks grim, but sticks to his guns - they were going to get him out, he had to act before they did. “You’re using people!” accuses Sarah. James summons up some tears, says he doesn’t want to “look like a bitch” on national television, and tells Sarah it’s time for bed. She scurries away faithfully, as only a girl in love can.
Janelle is quiet through most of the discussion, and when she and Howie are alone, she surprises him by saying she believes James. From her perspective, the “friendship” can’t be trusted, and she believes that James expected to take them to the end before turning on them. Howie points out that James would have done that if the conditions were right - but that if the friendship had won HOH, he would have offered up Howie and Rachel as a sacrifice. He thinks James was faking the tears, too.
Janelle points out that the “friendship” (ironically full of folks who are just tolerating each other) have one consistent manoeuver: when a new HOH is crowned, they rush to the room to tell them all the crap that was said about that person up until that point. But Howie remains firm on James, saying he’s told so many lies he is fighting desperately to keep them all straight. He compares James to a serial killer who proclaims his innocence all the way up to the electric chair. Janelle gives in, saying simply that it’s “a crazy game.” They agree that they could use Kaysar back in the game to help them strategize. Time for a chorus of, “Whaddup, Kaysar?”
But even though Janelle is not in total agreement with Howie, she has kept her head when talking to James. She successfully convinced James that Kaysar had no plans to get him out of the house, and that Kaysar will be shocked and dismayed at Howie’s move if he is America’s Choice. Also, Janelle pleaded with Howie to keep up the fiction that the other side convinced them with their stories about James, when in reality they were considering James as a target for a while now. It might seem like a minor point, but it makes them appear less threatening, and they might need to align with James again, especially if Eric returns to the house.
With Friends Like These...
With none of their members nominated for eviction, and the numbers to make sure they can’t be “back-doored” this week (insert joke here, those of you with your minds in the gutter), you would think that Maggie, Ivette, Beau, April and Jennifer - known to themselves as “the friendship” - would be cruising through the week. Oddly, they seem to be pulling apart at the seams. Ivette is still having long conversations with James, which really makes April and Maggie frown. They don’t believe her when she swears she is not giving up information. Actually, Ivette's conversations with James are pathetic wastes of time. James tries to prove to her that Eric was going after him, that he had to save himself, and Ivette stubbornly sticks to her belief that Cappy wouldn’t do that. So April and Maggie have nothing to worry about, really.
The pairs put an odd twist on relationships in the house. Maggie doesn’t really like Ivette; if anything, she finds all the Cappy love annoying and infantile. But she can’t cut her loose, because she doesn’t know if Eric will be walking through that door, and she doesn’t doubt Ivette’s devotion to her Cappy. Conversely, Maggie seems to mesh well with both April and Rachel. But Eric distrusted and disliked April, and he openly loathed Rachel.
April and Ivette are clever enough to wait until they are alone with their group, but they have openly challenged each other in a ha-ha-you-know-I’m-kidding manner. Even that pretense is disappearing, as April without her nicotine has lost the ability to be fake friendly with Ivette. Adding to that tension is the fact that April has had positive words to say about Kaysar since his departure. More than one of her alliance has noticed the warmth in her voice when she mentions Kaysar. No wonder Beau was bogarting that hookah every night; he was on guard duty.
April is nervous about who Howie will nominate to replace James. She’s more than nervous; she’s nearing a panic attack about being up on the block against James. The numbers are solidly behind her, but she knows enough about Big Brother to know that the pawn is a deadly position to be in. She confronts Ivette and asks her to volunteer to be the pawn, but in her explanations, Ivette cuts to the chase: “You’re second-guessing us.” April denies that’s the case, she just doesn’t want to have to hear James gloating all week about April being on the block. Ivette says she’s happy to be the pawn, and she’s so confident it’s meaningless she won’t even pack her bags.
Later, April tells Jennifer that she wasn’t nervous about being nominated, she was having a panic attack about cigarettes. Well now, April, can’t it be a little bit of both?
Hippy Crafts 101
Howie announces that Big Brother has a surprise for them. They gather in the living room, hoping for a luxury competition. Instead, they’re treated to...a commercial! Well, at least it’s a product they’re interested in; namely, the candidates for America’s Choice.
This segment is longer than the one we saw on television, and is probably designed to air on Tuesday’s show. Still, the three candidates make their case much as they did on Saturday. Michael wants a chance to play the game, Eric demands crabbily to be voted back in, and Kaysar speaks in calm tones of wanting another chance. Oddly, everyone is silent through Michael’s and Eric’s pleas - but when Kaysar comes on the screen, they cheer him and whisper comments. “Look at him, he looks so cute!” I like Kaysar and all, but he’s not a troll doll. I don’t get the we-love-him-but-we-hate-him sentiment from half the house.
Watching a two minute video is not much fun. But the houseguests learn that Big Brother is providing all the supplies to make themselves tie-dyed t-shirts with painted slogans. Two crafts in one week? Everyone is happy to play along, except for James and Sarah, who don’t care to advertise who they would vote for on a t-shirt. (They eventually give in, making one shirt that says something like “it doesn’t really matter”, and another that says “America keep 'em, I want Sarah!” Party poopers.)
The shirt making goes on all afternoon in the backyard. Seriously, they were dyeing and painting and chattering about nothing for hours. Janelle chose to make two shirts, one each for Michael and Kaysar. Someone suggested they make pro-Ashlea shirts: “She had a great rack, so vote her back.” On the Eric side, one shirt reads to bring back the “feisty fireman.” A passing bird left a vote on Jennifer’s shirt, making her swear loudly. The hamsters chatter about the videos, and several people comment on Kaysar wearing a sweater, as if he’s somewhere cold. (California is still toasty hot, like most of the nation in these dog days of August.)
Janelle and Howie think that Eric’s video was belligerent, like he’s ordering America around. April, Jen and Maggie all tell each other that Eric has it sewn up; everyone loves a firefighter. Although everyone liked Kaysar’s plug, they feel convinced that America would never vote him in. I don’t know whether that’s a sad indictment of Big Brother watchers, or merely a sad indictment of their perception of the average Big Brother watcher. No matter who we choose, we’re not that shallow, okay? It’s not like it’s a choice between Janelle and Maggie, you know.
As the day stretched into evening, the feeds inexplicably broke down. Too bad for the houseguests, who didn’t realize they could burst into song at will without fear of a stern reminder from Big Brother to can it. I can imagine them now, from Janelle on down to Jennifer, lining up in the back yard for a chorus of Chicago’s”Cell Block Tango:”
He had it coming
He had it coming
He only had himself to blame
If you'd have been there
If you'd have heard it
I betcha you would
Have done the same!