It’s the weekend, and the hamsters have almost reached the end of their first week in the house. They don’t have a clear idea of the television schedule, and many of them are counting on a new Head of Household competition to be held on Sunday. *wiping tears* Oh, the innocence. This week is nowhere near being over. Frankly, they’re lucky to have survived the visual explosion of cheapo-Swedish-modern-meets-cheesy-urban-kitsch decor, much less the nutritional deprivation of the PB&J diet. I guess it would be too damaging to morale to tell them that Rachel gets the big room until next Thursday. *snicker*
First up: the lowdown. On Friday, nothing important happened. On Saturday, the Power of Veto competition was held. The winner was Rachel. The competition involved a rope course, and the contestants had to untie knots as they wiggled and crawled through the course. As far as I could tell, Howie played for Ashlea and Eric played for Kaysar. Ivette criticized Ashlea loudly after the competition for getting most of the way through, then just sitting down (implying she quit). Howie said that he got stuck on a particularly bad knot.
But Before That...
I understand Kaysar is on a grueling prayer schedule, but surely he’s not required to get up in the middle of the night and mumble at the gumball machine. Unable to sleep, that’s just what Kaysar did in the wee hours of Friday morning. He came away from the machine with a plastic ball containing a blinking trinket and some sort of message. He was heard to say under his breath, “Things you wear...three necklaces, three bracelets.” Could this be a clue? We’ll have to wait to hear him talk about it in the Diary Room, because he appears to be keeping this secret to himself.
Despite an early lights out from Big Brother Thursday night, there were no events scheduled for the hamsters on Friday. They were left with nothing to do - absolutely nothing. Think about that for a moment. What did you do on Friday? Maybe you went to work, ran errands, or chatted with friends. These people have no tasks to accomplish, no time-killing books or television, and can only chat with people who are by definition plotting their demise. Is it any wonder the plight of a listless fish was cause for panic? Ivette and Maggie nearly knocked each other down to be the first one in the diary room to report the sluggish fish. Add in one long chess game, some PB&J (toasting the bread, Ivette was shocked to find out, improves the taste immensely), and pool time and you’ve pretty much covered the day’s events. Faced with inactivity, the hamsters engaged in never-ending conversations, struggling to determine who they would vote to evict, who should play in the veto competition, and who would be put up in the event of a veto. Well, add to that a lot of natter about fake boobs and Ivette’s digestive tract, of course.
The pairs are transparent to live feed watchers, and even to some of the hamsters at this point. James and Sarah have traded a furtive lip lock or two, so it’s no wonder that Sarah has told others she doesn’t want it to be a “guy/girl thing” (meaning girls teaming up to vote off the guys) at every opportunity. Ivette and Beau let slip a shared interest in drums, and it’s obvious to everyone there are lots of people from Florida. Eric and Maggie shared a little early morning strategy talk (quickly cut short by Rachel joining them), and Janelle and Ashlea have had several conversations about the disaster of Ashlea being nominated. Michael and Kaysar revealed their connection by Kaysar giving Michael specific instructions on how to act (in other words, to tone down the drunken flirting). Let’s see, who’s left? April and Jennifer also had a quick strategy session, leaving Rachel and Howie as the only couple left. They’ve been discreet on the feeds, but the footage shown during the premiere episode hinted they were a pair, as they wondered which of them should win the surfboard competition. Did you notice how exaggeratedly relieved Howie was when his key was pulled last?
The clues are there for the other houseguests to pick up on, if they’re paying attention. Both James and Eric commented on pairs in the house, each quick to reassure the other that they themselves are playing alone. Several people have caught on to Janelle and Ashlea. Talk is limited to short whispers, though. Out loud the hamsters have talked about “the twist”, but everyone is being so careful that they prissily decided the twist will have to do with the power of veto. Whew! A good thing no one let on what they were really thinking, that they and their partner are the secret twist.
Toward the end of Saturday, Sarah was showing the strain of pretending she has no boyfriend. She found more than one opportunity to pull James aside and question him in her best PMS manner about his conversations with other women in the house. James countered that Sarah put her hand on his leg when they were waiting for the veto competition. It really doesn’t matter what they were squabbling about; their body language during these discussions was so painfully obvious that anyone watching would immediately think of a couple in a fight. It’s hard to believe they can keep it a secret for long.
Speaking of couples, Kaysar and Janelle make an unlikely pair...and they’re not a pair, but they spent a lot of time together Friday. Kaysar, dubbed “the Muslim virgin” by his fellow hamsters, teamed up with the hot blonde for a game of chess that seemed to drag on the entire day. Some notable moments:
- Janelle pouting that guys play chess better and she’s a girl; then Kaysar matter-of-factly replying that gender has nothing to do with how well someone plays chess. So much for her “poor widdle me” manoeuver.
- Kaysar saying he didn’t think the mikes or cameras would be on them playing chess.
- Kaysar admitting he’d never seen the show, and that he didn’t know there was a cash prize at the end.
Gab, Gab, and More Gab
Ivette made an impression by gabbing her way through the day. She involved several people in a long conversation about whether it’s worth it to go to college. It really seemed to get under her skin that she knows someone who only went to one year of college and found a $40,000-a-year job. Michael gives a speech about going out and doing something you love being more important than going to college. All I can say is, would you take advice from any of these wannabe actors and famewhores? Stay in school, kids!
On a more strategic note, Sarah, Janelle and Maggie shared a hammock swing and a discussion of that hasty promise made on the surfboard on their first night. Sarah, especially, seemed to be agonizing about promises and how long they should last. Janelle told her she thinks the promise didn’t extend as far as the first eviction vote, just that she agreed not to put up one of her fellow surfboard members. Janelle went on to say that she wants to pick off the guys, but Sarah replied that she didn’t want it to turn into a “guy/girl” thing. Sarah mentioned her personal integrity several times, insisting that she never lies. She’s going to need some verbal gymnastics skills to explain away her live-in boyfriend, when the pairs are eventually revealed.
Ashlea was worried about who to choose as her player in the veto competition. Visibly down on the entire Big Brother experience, Ashlea showed her lack of playing skills by not trying to make friends. You get the feeling that Ashlea thinks of those around her as less beautiful than herself, and therefore, seething with jealousy that they are not Ashlea. How else can you explain her strategy of asking people to throw the POV competition? Michael summed it up best when he explained to the others that he was offended by her request, because it implied she didn’t trust him; otherwise she would have asked him to play, win, and use the veto to save her. Ashlea admitted to Janelle later that his reaction was valid, and Janelle sighed that they had “lost Michael.”
On the bright side of her possible eviction, Ashlea pointed out that at least she would soon be getting a pedicure. Janelle offered to beg Rachel to put Janelle up in Ashlea’s place, saying she would probably have more votes than Kaysar (wouldn’t that be less votes, Janelle?). Ashlea said she wouldn’t ask her to do that, so they made themselves feel better by piling on the personal body spray and making snarky comments about the current HOH. “Rachel would never make it in Miami,” Janelle cattily told her friend as they bonded over their collection of Sephora cosmetics. I’m sure that would keep horse-loving Rachel up at night, if she knew. Meanwhile, April summed up Ashlea best: “She’s already sunk, and now she’s trying to swim.”
Howie continued to blunder along in unexpected directions. He first made eyebrows raise when he told Kaysar that he didn’t care who, um, serviced him, as long as it wasn’t himself. Just to clarify, he would welcome “assistance” from either gender. And yet, he still radiates macho heterosexuality. Maybe it’s the way he asked questions of openly gay Beau as if he were an anthropologist making first contact with an unknown culture; maybe it’s the way he proclaimed Ivette must be a lesbian for talking about her “cooter” all the time. He just seems like one of those guys who needs to establish the sexual pecking order in every room he inhabits.
And yet, he took it a step further by engaging Beau in an intelligent discussion of homosexuality and Christianity, wanting to know how Beau reconciles being the son of a Christian minister while being in a state of sin. How dare he show signs of depth, just when I had him pegged as the resident dumb jock who lives to announce his flatulence? One minute he’s wearing a mandana, and the next he’s telling Beau that Big Brother tried to make Beau’s sexual orientation an issue but failed, since he’s a cool person. All in all, it seems like the other houseguests don’t hate him - not even the gay ones.
Sleep Well, Little Hamsters
Big Brother has been turning the lights out on the hamsters early compared to previous years. Maybe in a few weeks the remaining houseguests will be playing poker until 3:00 A.M., but since the lights are doused at 11:00 P.M., the hamsters have been going to bed on time, more or less. There’s a few late night conversations conducted in the dark between beds, but there’s an innocent sleepover feel in the air. It’s quite a difference from the late-night bonding over booze or cards seen in past seasons.
With the Power of Veto competition completed, all that remains is the ponderous ceremony where Rachel declares her intent to use her power, or not. Since she’s the freakin' HOH, there’s really no suspense here. There should also be a food competition soon, and if we're really lucky, they’ll throw in a luxury competition sometime this week. Otherwise, it’s going to be a long, long time before Thursday’s eviction.
Thank you to the FORT transcribers, whose sharp eyes and fast fingers make these little recaps possible. firstname.lastname@example.org