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As you may have noticed, I’m not one of your regularly scheduled Big Brother recappers. I’m filling in for one of our lovely and talented writers, and I have to admit something. I haven’t watched a single episode of this season. But lo and behold, I turned on my TV Thursday night and there were Janelle and Erika. They were on last time I watched Big Brother! Clearly I haven’t missed a thing.

Tonight we’ll find out who the final two are, but first there are 45 minutes (plus commercials) of HOH competitions and filler. Last time, in what was apparently a stunning move, Will was evicted. I’m sure you all know exactly how this was accomplished so I won’t go into it here. Also, I don’t know. But it seems to have been something Janelle did.

Will’s departure leaves his bosom buddy Boogie just bereft. He tells Janelle he gives her props for executing that maneuver, and that none of them could have beaten Will, and that she did a good and hard thing.

Janelle says what goes around comes around – she felt betrayed by Will and his and Boogie’s “Chilltown” alliance, apparently.


The Ghost of Richard Hatch. Just Please Don’t Get Naked

Then, oddly, we cut to a previous scene – the first part of tonight’s three-part HOH competition, which involves Janelle, Erika and Boogie hanging off a fake volcano in the backyard. Boogie announces to the everpresent Julie Chen, “You remember Richard Hatch? They both have to take me to the finals.” And then he leaps off the volcano, giving up on that particular part of the competition. Apparently he believes both the girls would take him to the final two because he’s disliked, and as we all know, no one wants to sit next to a popular person in a final two on a reality show. Too many people have gotten burned that way. Still, it’s a bit cocky of him.

Also, when he said it, Janelle turned to look in his direction, and inadvertently removed her hand from something she was supposed to keep both hands on. Julie says she lost by doing so, and Erika wins that part of the competition. Erika says she’d been about to let Janelle win, but of course that’s easy to say now, isn’t it?

Inside, alone, Boogie looks a little more distressed than he did earlier. He throws down a towel and sort of stomps around. Clearly, he says, the girls had a deal to get rid of Chilltown. “I just don’t know what happened,” he says. You got outplayed, that’s what happened. Boogie says he had a dream of being in the final two with Will, and he’s seriously sad. He says he’s never been in the Big Brother house without Will, and that it’s odd, and then he cries. Yes, CRIES. Tears. On TV. Over a boy. “The emotions are all over the place,” he sobs. Oh, honey. Try living that down when you get home.


I Guess Bromance Break-ups Are Hard, Too

Meanwhile, Janelle and Erika are talking. They’re surprised that Boogie jumped off the volcano, and Janelle is nervous about playing against him in round two of the HOH competition. Erika reassures her that she’ll be fine.

Janelle, in confession, says that any woman who’s ever been played by a guy should be proud of her – I guess that’s about her eviction of Will.

Back in some private room, Boogie continues his breakdown. He vows to “regroup” and “circle the wagons,” apparently oblivious to the inaptitude of that cliché given that he’s the only cowboy left here. And then he does some weird thing where he’s pretending a phone – i.e. his hand – is ringing. I think the real drama tonight is going to be whether Mike Boogie can get through the next hour without completely falling apart.


It Turns Out a Trapeze and a Floating Car Only Make for Mediocre TV

As mentioned, the HOH competition is a three-parter. Since Erika won the first part on the volcano, Janelle and Boogie will compete in the second part for the chance to go against Erika in the final round.

The three houseguests head for the backyard, where they discover a car hanging in midair. It’s a Solstice convertible, and whoever wins this competition wins the car, unless they take more than five minutes to do it, in which the car goes to Erika. Given a little lead time, I’m sure she’d have tried to give them both pot, to make them slow, but as it is all Erika can do is hope.

Janelle and Boogie will also be suspended in midair, and they’ll have to make their way around this scaffolding thing, pointing mirrors to bounce a laser from mirror to mirror. The mirrors represent past Big Brother winners, and they have to get the order right. I’m thinking the car will be in their way for this, but whatever.

Janelle tells us she has to win, because she wants a say in the eviction. I.e. she does not want to BE evicted. She goes first, and it’s a struggle – she says it’s hard because she’s physically not as strong as Boogie, and she has to pull herself around this scaffold while suspended by wires. Also, the mirrors are hard to line up. When she’s done, she hits the finish button, and we just see smoke – we don’t know if she got it right yet.

Meanwhile, it’s Mike’s turn. He wants to win because he wants to control his own destiny. He says he’s made a map in his head of the shortest distance between these mirrors. But at one point, he has misaligned the laser and has to go back. He fears he’s taking too long. “When you’re up against Janelle, there’s no room for error,” he says. But, he grunts his way through to the finish button, yelling, “Beat that! Beat that!”

Back on the ground, the three line up to see their times. Mike did it in 1:57, which seems pretty darn fast. Especially compared to Janelle, who took 3:45 to do it. So Boogie wins. He yells that the car is for his mom. Aww.

Erika says she’d rather be up against Janelle, because they have an understanding – I think she means they both promised to evict Boogie if they win. Janelle says there’s no other reason why either Erika or Boogie would take her to the final two. Apparently Janey’s pretty popular with the jury.


Just Because I Slept With You Doesn’t Mean I’ll Vote For You

Inside, Erika and Boogie have a chat. He tells her that neither of them can beat Janelle. Erika will have to decide if she trusts him, because if he wins HOH, he’s saying, he’ll take Erika to the final two. He’s not about to sit next to Janelle for that. So Erika can let him win the final competition, let him be the bad guy to evict Janelle, and be sitting in the final two spot – if she trusts him. If Erika wins and takes Janelle to the final two, Boogie warns her, she’ll lose his and Will’s vote both. What a nice guy. Erika says she hates him, and she hates that she’s still attracted to him.

Cut to Julie and her airheaded questioning of the final three. Will’s eviction was just shocking, Julie says. Do they miss him? They all say yes, and then Boogie collapses in tears. Ha, just kidding. I guess he got that out of his system. He does say the “bromance” and “showmance” is over. Well, at least until he gets out of here in five days.

The ever-astute Julie also notes that Boogie and Erika are no longer sharing a bed. Why’s that? Erika stutters and says “it’s just been kind of awkward.” Boogie says he thinks they’re both just focused on the end-game.


Wow, Both Cheeks? Really?

Now we cut to the jury house, to see how they react when Will arrives. Howie says he’s hoping Janelle doesn’t walk through the door, because he wants her to win. George says he’s just been waiting on the pizza delivery guy for a week. They all stand outside, waiting for …. Will! Shouts of surprise and hugs all around. “It’s sweet poetic justice,” says Marcellas.

Will seems to have no hard feelings – he says he’s excited to show everyone how he got kicked out, and they all troop inside to roll the tape. They watch Janelle remove herself from the block, leaving Boogie with no choice but to put up Will (at least, that’s how I saw it; if I’m wrong, just let it go). Janelle says she voted for Will for Marcellas and Howie, and Marcellas says he loves that, even if she did mention Howie along with him.

Danielle says girls talk, and the guys should have known that Erika and Janelle would work together. Will suggests that maybe he does have some hard feelings after all: “They spanked my ass, both cheeks, they’re still red and it still hurts,” he says. Well, there’s a metaphor for you.


So Did She Throw It?

Let’s return now to the final part of the HOH competition, live. It’s Erika versus Boogie, and the winner must evict someone on the spot. Janelle can’t compete, but she can hear it, thus increasing her torture.

The competition will have Julie reading the beginnings of statements from the six jury members. Then she’ll give two options for how that houseguest would have finished the statement. Erika and Boogie must guess how it ends, and whoever gets the most right wins.

George’s statement is first – he says the most annoying thing was …A) Howie or B) the mess? Both of them guess the mess, and they‘re both right.

Danielle is next. Her statement is that she’s afraid of her friends seeing A) her drunk or B) her crying? The answer is A, and both get it right again.

Anyway, it’s hard to keep this suspenseful in writing. The third question, Mike gets right and Erika misses. They both answer all of the remaining questions the same, which means that Mike wins the competition, guaranteeing himself the final two and getting the power to evict either Janelle or Erika. “That’s for you, Will!” he shouts. “Chilltown, baby!” I hope these two make a lovely couple after this is all over.


An Eviction Decision In -.05 Seconds

Julie tells Mike to think carefully about who he wants to evict, even though I think we all know which way the wind is blowing here. Still, Erika and Janelle are given a chance to go through the motions of pleading their cases. Erika says she’s had Boogie’s back, and he has a better chance of beating her than of beating Janelle.

Janelle says Erika has learned that Boogie was playing everyone and that he shouldn’t take the chance that Erika will reveal that in the final two in front of the jury.

Mike says he adores both of them and they’re both great players, and that he was a fan of theirs during their own seasons and that it’s crazy that he’s now got this power over them. He holds Erika responsible for Will’s eviction, but says he’s not there for vengeance. No, he’s there to save his own butt. He loves Janelle but she is too good a player with too many friends on the jury. So, surprising no one, he evicts Janelle.

As she picks up her bags, Boogie adds that she deserved to win. As soon as the door shuts behind her, though, he and Erika say “oh my god” and kiss. They’re clearly amazed by their own final two status. “Did that just happen?” Boogie asks.

Outside, Janelle stops for her exit interview with Julie. She thinks her eviction was totally strategy because Boogie would have a hard time beating her. Julie notes that Janelle has won a lot of competitions, but wonders what was the flaw in her game? Janelle says she trusted too many people. She also regrets having put Marcellas on the block, instead of Boogie, because they actually evicted Marcellas after assuring her they wouldn’t. Trusting Chilltown, she says, was a mistake.

Julie then asks about her feelings for Will, but Janelle won’t say. Dammit. Then we see taped messages from Erika and Boogie. Mike says he’s shocked Janelle won’t be winning this thing, and that she’s one of the few people he’ll be friends with afterward. I’m sure the rest of the houseguests will be flattered to hear that. Erika says something about a lot of women would choose their hearts over their heads – presumably Janelle did not – and that they will stay friends.

“I love them both,” Janelle says.

Come back Tuesday for the finale, and see whether Boogie or Erika wins it all! Also, in the meantime, you can vote to give a special $25,000 prize to one other houseguest. See, this is what always happens with me and Big Brother – I ignore it, until I see one episode, then I’m hooked. So I guess I’ll be watching Tuesday, too.