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*This recap covers noon Wednesday to noon Thursday.

It’s not possible to watch the feeds without wondering how you would fare in their position. I like to think that I would chow down the free food with a grateful smile on my face, or that I’d get in marathon workouts in the free gym. Perhaps I would participate in enlightened conversations about international politics or an Oprah book club selection. Okay, maybe I wouldn’t make for good TV, but at least, I wouldn’t resort to sharing how much I look forward to a “taking a dump. It’s nice…pooping, farting.” Shouldn’t All-Stars know better than to share that much information? It’s almost as scary as another overheard comment: "Isn't it strange how so many of us have phobias about clowns?" If BB is paying attention, then…mime alert!

Hamsters Du Jour
  • The mood of the house is visibly lighter now that voting is over with.
  • We don’t officially hear the results of the vote until the live show, but Alison has been voted out, and it could be unanimous, unless Nakomis or Diane threw her a sympathy vote.
  • Joking, bragging, name-dropping, and general gabbery were the watchwords of the day.
  • The houseguests were surprised to find that they had no milk or eggs in the morning, and no replacements in the storage room. Worry about the next food competition is increasing.
  • Will is trying to psyche out the house by claiming he will purposely disagree with a partner HOH if he wins so that he will be put up on the block; in reality, he’s trying to get people to throw the HOH competition.

What Happened to the Vote?

All Star hamsters have a few tricks up their sleeves, as we all know, but Alison’s failure to swing their house her direction is a good litmus test for what is going to work and what won’t in an All Star season. In her short time in the house, Alison displayed an impressive amount of lying, but the killing blow was that she was observed hiding in the giant urn so that she could eavesdrop. She didn’t hear anything of use, and she incurred the ridicule of everyone, even Diane. The urn incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the players who were waffling on who to vote out. Now Alison is being trashed soundly by the other hamsters for overplaying the game -- which is what got her and Danielle nominated in the first place. And yet, for all these All Stars are pretending to be smooth, more than one has complained that no one is talking game to them.

Despite her flirty manner and advantageous use of exercise poses to show off her toned, athletic body, Alison made the fatal mistake of being deadly serious behind the fake smile. She was desperate to stay in the house, and the hamsters could smell it. Lying in the game is expected – in fact, the hamsters seem to consider lying to be a charming quirk in some; namely, Dr. Will. Cramming yourself into a jar crosses the line into freaky psycho liar land.

The other contributing factor was the official word from BB that the privilege of breaking a tie would fall on the veto winner; this week, that would be Janelle. Hamsters that were ready to sway in favor of evicting Danielle (Marcellas, Erika, Chicken George) found themselves mighty nervous to be caught holding the bag if Danielle survived a tie-breaker. And just like that, Alison is toast. It sounds possible that even Diane voted to evict her in a fit of she’s not my friend I swear she’s just some psycho I don’t know.

Discussing the morning’s vote later, a few of the hamsters get cold feet. Diane and Nakomis point out to Marcellas that Alison may be a psycho, but she was their psycho. She would have focused like a laser on those rival platinum-blonde tresses and decimated the S6 alliance so that fewer of them would end up on the jury. It’s not long before Marcellas is swamped with remorse. “It’s like we’ve put our eggs in the wrong basket,” he says. “A wacky basket.” This is the first he’s hearing about Alison in the pot, and he’s taken aback at how over-the-top she is. He’s probably the last to hear, not counting Chicken George, who is pretty much out of the loop.

James observed Erika talking to Mike Boogie before going into the Diary Room, so he is nervous that she changed her vote at the last second, but Janelle doesn’t think it means Erika has been playing them. She says that after she was done voting, she came up into the HOH bedroom where Janelle was and said, “It’s done.” Janelle doesn’t think she would lie to her face this early in the game, and James relaxes a little, but the vote has him nervous.

Alison was tripping along in blissful ignorance that the house knew about her spying until Janelle popped out of the Diary Room with the HOH camera. Like last year, the HOH wins the use of a digital camera for one hour every Wednesday, and the pictures are put on the CBS website along with the HOH’s “blog”. I suppose it could be interesting to someone, so I’ll just report what Janelle and Jase say they wrote and get it over with. Janelle thanked Jase for being “cooperative” and gave shout outs to friends. Jase wrote that Janelle is even hotter in person than she appears on TV. Okay, enough about that.

Jase calls for Alison to climb in the pot to pose for a picture, the signal to her that the jig was up. She seemed a little embarrassed to find that the entire house knew what the joke was about. Her explanation for why she was in the urn? She says that she fell asleep in there. *crickets*

Alison is doomed, but doesn’t know it for sure; she tells Diane that she’s wondering if Nakomis changed her mind, unaware that Nakomis might be the only person who didn’t vote to boot her. She is driving Diane nuts by saying she doesn’t give a crap and just wants to get home to her boyfriend. What she doesn’t know is that half the house thinks her boyfriend is fictional, and that her best friend in the house isn’t telling her that she voted to evict her. Ouch.

The Long Goodbye

So everyone knows Alison is a goner, but they’re not allowed to acknowledge it openly so that CBS can preserve the element of surprise for the live show. The business done for the week, the hamsters get to gabbing.

Give Mike Boogie a comfortable couch and an adoring audience (Dr. Botox) and he can name drop at a fast clip. He recounts a basketball game where he was whisked away by a bigwig to an exclusive VIP party packed with adoring celebrities. Look, I don’t doubt that it’s true, but I feel like passing along the details of his megastar-filled life will just encourage him. Still, Marcellas tries to top his story by sharing this anecdote about his glamorous post-BB life:

Marcellas Meets Georgie Boy
*Reenactment for Live Feed Recap

George Clooney: (humbly) Excuse me, but are you Marcellas Reynolds of Big Brother fame?

Marcellas: (sipping martini at exclusive Hollywood party) Why yes, yes I am. And you’re George Clooney of the Facts of Life, aren’t you? (sly smirk)

He admits that he was only thinking that response in his head. There’s no rewind button in life, Marcellas; you could have pulled it off with the right laugh and a flick of the wrist.

Dr. Will has a few call-outs to journalists he has talked to since his stint on the show. He, Howie, and Danielle run down all the various websites they read, and Janelle admits that her mother is an “Internet addict” who hangs out in the chatroom of Janelle’s site. Jase likes the South Park characters someone made for his season (I remember those!).

We also learn all sorts of updates about the hamsters and their lives after the Big Brother experience. Jase didn’t keep in touch with anyone, not even Cowboy; he says he just “stepped away” from the experience. He’s pretty bitter about Drew, and says he had zero personality, that he never heard him crack a single joke when he was in the house. James is active on the Internet and mentions events he has been involved in since leaving the house, like the Reality for Diabetes event.

Janelle left the house expecting to go right into a relationship with Michael, but found that it didn’t work outside of the Big Brother pressure cooker. She says he was controlling and wanted to party all the time – and she’s just not a party girl. That made me do a double-take, but Janelle says that working at Mansion (a chic nightclub in Miami) was more than enough of the party scene for her. Janelle giggles as she tells how Michael called her mother to whine about her being destined for depression and loneliness. It may have taken Janelle a little longer to get there, but she finally realized what many of us could see in Michael when he was in the house -- that he was intense in a creepy way, not an adoring way. And that even he seemed surprised that Janelle liked him. Scornfully, Janelle leaves the subject of Michael by dissing his website, saying there was barely anyone there. *ice burn*

The Past is Present

Talk of the former seasons of Big Brother is incessant. If you think about it, all of these folks left the BB house and went back to their real lives, where their loved ones tolerated their anecdotes for a while, but probably grew tired of giggled stories about whipped cream bikinis and fart jokes. Now they’ve rediscovered the joy of finding others who have gone through the same experience. And once they got over the shyness of not appearing too knowledgeable about they game, they are finding they can talk about the most minute details imaginable with each other and not get bored. They’re nerdier and more obsessed than any of the crazed fans they like to roast, if only they could see it.

Here’s the tidbits I heard:
  • Maggie took the Nerds to Vegas, but Ivette didn’t go, because she hates April and Jennifer.
  • Cappy hates Ivette now.
  • Janelle still talks to Beau and Ivette; Howie still talks to April and Jennifer. Janelle says Howie hasn’t given up on trying to get into Jennifer’s pants.
  • Janelle saved every photochop from her season that made fun of the Nerd Herd on her hard drive. She’s worried that Beau will find them since he’s house sitting for her this summer. (He will now, Janelle!)
  • James talks to Big Brother hamsters from other countries on his myspace.
  • Howie talks about Ivette viciously, calling her a “fat cow” and says that America hates her.
  • Chicken George got a job with the guy who flew all the banner planes during his season. He slept in the airport hangar during the BB2 season.
  • In college, Jase weighed 230 pounds.
  • Nakomis didn't watch her season (supposedly).

A Minor Stab at Strategy

If there’s one person who can be said to be coasting in All Stars, it’s Chicken George. He goes from being derided by the others (behind his back, naturally) to stimulating paranoia that he’s a secret Big Brother mastermind. Let’s just say that if he’s a puppetmaster, I’ll eat his hat. In moments of lucidity, most people want to nominate him next week because he’s a safe choice; the only hamster who doesn’t have numbers in his corner. And let’s face it, he doesn’t have anyone pining for his company, either. It’s sad, really. So it’s possible that he will cut his summer of BB short if the right (cowardly) person (or persons) win HOH tomorrow evening.

But Will, who has been saying that he’s ready to leave the house, he could leave the game at any time, and that the producers are running a shoddy, juvenile game (think that will make the edited show? I suspect not), throws down the gauntlet to Howie: if Howie wins HOH next week, he wants Howie to put himself and Will up. He wants a BB2 and BB6 showdown; let the house decide who is master. It’s all part of Will’s relentless plot to convince the other hamsters that he has no stake in the game whatsoever. He could walk away at any time; he’s bored, the show is full of manipulative editing and crappy set designs; what is he even doing there? The other houseguests aren’t buying it, saying that he’s acting bratty, and the shtick about the television show gets old fast, especially since they’re all a part of it. Plus, Janelle is positive he’s had liposuction.

Will and Boogie talk to Danielle alone, playing up how rock-solid the season sixers are and laughing about lying to their faces. The lie? They told Janelle they voted to keep Alison. Or maybe they’re lying to Danielle – it’s impossible to keep all these conflicting stories straight. In the words of Erika, “It’s like a game of Operator around here. Everything gets f___d up!”

If it is a lie, it’s effective, because Danielle shares some info that she heard about the Mr. and Mrs. Smith alliance. As viewers, we know that Boogie and Will have heard this rumor, and in fact, wasn’t it Boogie who brought up Toni Ferrari in the first place? The story as I heard it originally was that Toni Ferrari called Nicole from season two, who called Mike Boogie and told him that Toni had seen Jase and Alison in a restaurant eating together. I don’t know if any of it’s true, considering the source; but the story coming back through the grapevine from Danielle has now morphed into “a friend told someone” that Jase and Diane were in a secret alliance, and that if she showed up wearing black and white the day they went into the house, that was the signal to Jase that the secret plan was on. Not only was she wearing black, but somewhere in the first HOH competition, Jase mentioned Angelina Jolie. Busted! If Danielle wins HOH, she says she’ll put up Jase and Diane.

All thoughts are on the upcoming HOH competition. Janelle, Kaysar, Howie and Jase work tirelessly at memorizing details of the house. There’s always the possibility it will be a “crap shoot” – meaning, a contest that is more luck than skill. Big Brother had the hamsters on an indoor lockdown for several hours during the afternoon, and they were hoping there would be a game set up in the back yard, since BB often gives them a chance to practice an HOH game the day before the live show. But even though the yard was locked down for hours, they found it unchanged. The ways of Big Brother are mysterious and crafty.

Eviction Day

Thursdays are not much fun for live feeders. The hamsters get up, put on makeup for hours so they will look pretty for television; then they clean the house like good little rodents. They do a run-through of the live show, which is blocked on the feeds, so much of the day is spent watching the flame screen.

Besides the usual morning chit chat about how hyper Alison was the night before – “it was like she was on speed, and I’m old and I can’t take it!” says Danielle – Will and Boogie steal a moment in the gym to cackle about their latest scheme. Will has been going around the house and telling anyone who will listen that he wants to win HOH so that he can purposely disagree and be put on the block. He says he’s tired of the game, he wants to subvert all the producers plans, and cause a ruckus. Alone with Boogie, he reveals his real motivation: to psyche out the others so they won’t want to win a double HOH with him, meaning they won’t be giving their all to win the HOH competition. They note that the house is talking about it, so their influence could be successful. Will can’t wait until it comes down to the last few people and they write down the dumbest answers they can muster to avoid becoming HOH.

Many thanks to RENEEEEEE and Suncat7 for the screencaps!