Shaven Hips Don’t Lie
*This recap covers noon Wednesday to noon Thursday.
It’s common knowledge amongst the FORT recappers that Wednesday is the week’s cushiest time slot. The houseguests vote in the morning, and knowing that there’s no going back, they relax and natter like there’s no Chenbot waiting in the wings to give one of them the axe. Big Brother ponies up a little booze, and everyone gets a little nutty. Need I remind everyone of the screencaps of Janelle and Erika licking whip cream off Mike Boogie’s concave chest?
But the tension in the house is unrelieved tonight, and the hamsters are all astir in the habitrail. Big Brother did something unexpected. What was that winning POV phrase, Expect the…unshaven? It was something like that, wasn’t it?
- Big Brother did not ask the hamsters to vote today.
- No one knows what this means, but theories abound.
If you read Mariner’s excellent recap, you know that Kaysar and Janelle had stayed up all night, did cardio and weights in the morning while the rest of the house slept, and pledged to eat better – more specifically, Janelle promised to lay off the potato chips and ice cream. They also promised each other not to sleep until nightfall to reset their jet-lagged, lazy-assed night-owl selves. I can’t help but notice that when the noon hour approaches, they’re already violating the agreement by snoozing away. They’re in separate rooms, so maybe each thinks the other doesn’t know they’re sneaking in a nap.
At first, the hamsters thought Big Brother was running late with their video voting, but Diane comes out of the DR wondering why they told her they wouldn’t be voting today. Before the other hamsters can talk about it, though, the disembodied voice of BB admonishes them, “You may NOT discuss diary room sessions with other houseguests.” This has always been the norm, but usually they can let the rule slide a little when it comes to mechanics; it’s pretty common for a hamster to ask another what they were told in the “DR” about the day’s schedule. They want to groom and put on makeup if they’re going to be on camera, after all. So it’s a little jarring to hear BB cut them off at the first mention of the non-voting, and the day’s paranoia is set in motion.
Shaking That Thang
If you got to know Diane on Season 5, you’ll know that she’s not above using what God gave her to swing a deal. In the All Star house, the players are little more sophisticated than the likes of Drew the Humorless. With only a few women left in the house, you’d think she had plenty of folks to work on, but when you get into individual players, you see the difficulty. Kaysar? Not really into sluts. Will? Has a girlfriend. Boogie? You don’t exactly see him letting the females push him around. Letting them lick whip cream off his chest is one thing, but he’s not the lovey-dubby type.
Diane sees an opportunity in Howie; he’s always gushing about women’s body parts, right? She offers him a piece of the action if he will give her a vote. “Do you want to touch this on Friday?” she taunts. Howie tries to negotiate the finer points: will there be nipplage involved? Diane draws the line at nipples. Obviously, the deal is a joke, but with Diane you get the feeling that on some level she’s not kidding. She really wants to stay in the house, and we hear a lot from her today about how she ended up in this position.
Diane vents that it’s a cop-out that “people” are telling her their vote was promised to Erika before the veto. She’s distressed by the veto competition, saying it wasn’t her competition to play and she doesn’t understand why she was singled out for all the tortures. It sounds like if she did win the veto, she wouldn’t have used it for all the boobie-grabbing in the world. From her perspective, she wasn’t involved in this week’s power plays, and she doesn’t even have the chance to campaign on her own behalf because the house is falling back on a vote that was promised before she knew she was a target. Mad she may be, but she has a point.
Adding insult to injury, being on slop has made Diane dizzy and nauseous. She’s not the only one, and Will has a problem with the way Chicken George will make a protein shake and only drink half of it, since their supply of the protein shakes is limited. “I didn’t tell him to write sixty days on that card,” he gripes. Will goes into doctor mode for Diane, making her a shake and urging her to get something in her stomach.
Looking around the BB house in early afternoon, it was houseguest after houseguest sacked out on couches, beds, even the floor. Not to creep anyone out, but it reminds me of those Victorian post-mortem photographs of people posed in chairs and beds as if they are merely sleeping. They were up late, and they’re all tired. The lack of sleep only adds to the paranoid speculations on upcoming twists.
Erika has a theory based on the numbers. When we started the season, there were 20 houseguests; 6 didn’t make it into the house. After Thursday, there will be 4 evicted houseguests this season, leaving 10 in the house and 10 outside the house. Could BB be planning to pit the two groups of 10 against each other somehow?
From outside the house, this seems unlikely. Rumor has it that the evicted hamsters have already returned home; Ivette is posting on the CBS blogsite “Revenge of the Houseguests”, and it’s hard to imagine them allowing that sort of activity if she were sequestered and preparing to re-enter the house. But the hamsters are convinced someone is coming back in the house.
Janelle has a similar theory, but thinks they will use the tool of a double HOH again. They could let the 10 rejects play an HOH competition, then let the 10 current houseguests play their own, and force the two groups together under a double HOH. Well, I really don’t get how she thinks it will work, but the house is really stricken at the thought that any of the evicted hamsters will set foot in the house again. Jase is not wanted back by many, not just the Sovs. Alison is seen as a completely wacko wild card that is pretty much unreadable. Janelle and Marcellas both say they wouldn’t mind having Nakomis back, but the Sovs know that any of the evicted houseguests will be a step backwards, since they have been dominating the HOH competitions so far.
Will and Boogie steal a moment in the storage room to worry about the twist. They don’t know if they will be blindsided and have to make a decision on the spot without being able to talk something out ahead of time. They agree to use a code phrase during the live broadcast if the plan is to reverse their votes. Right now, the plan is to vote out Diane; if one or the other says, “you forgot your flip flops,” Erika will be voted out instead. I’m sure they can work that awkward phrase into a conversation with the Chenbot.
But they’re very happy with their position in the house at the moment, saying that no matter what happens, they’ve won themselves a free week unless Marcellas wins HOH. They’ve extracted promises from the Howie-Janelle-Kaysar group, and separately from the James-Danielle group. Erika is already in their back pocket, so they are sitting pretty. In fact, Boogie says he trusts Erika more than Diane because he and Erika’s foot shared a special moment on the couch. She also lets him do a little grabbing over the shower door, the little minx.
Not long after this conversation, Diane appeals to Will for his help in securing more votes. She thinks she has James and Chicken George voting for her, and only needs the Chill Town vote and Howie to save herself. Will tells her to speak to Boogie, who makes a lot of sympathetic noise but I don’t hear him promising her anything. They’re interrupted and quickly change the subject, but my impression is that the plan to evict Diane hasn’t changed.
I hate to sound so jaded, but so much of the strategy talk today is rehashing of the same old grievances. Marcellas and Danielle talk about how many votes the Sovs have lost by not putting up Chill Town like they were supposed to. Danielle listens to James rant about Janelle. Howie listens to James rant about Janelle selling them out for a smaller, tighter alliance with Chill Town. Erika vents to Janelle that Diane is campaigning, as if she doesn’t have the right. Diane campaigns hard for votes, any votes.
But more than the people politics, the hamsters who are on slop have reached their limit. Marcellas tells anyone within earshot that he nearly fainted getting up from the couch, making it sound like a veritable brush with death. Will goes on and on about needing to eat, saying he didn’t sign up for Survivor. Marcellas says that if he ends up on slop next week, he will walk out, stipend be damned. “I have three f**king publicists. I'll f**king make it look like Viacom vs the black kid from the South side of Chicago.” The other hamsters say that Chicken George has been more and more erratic, and wonder if he’s reaching a breaking point.
The Chicken Man
Despite his dietary hell, Chicken George is never far from those buckets of Big Brother slop. I can’t explain it, but he spends an inordinate amount of time eating and crafting concoctions out of the stuff. Whenever I take a screencap of George, he’s either got a spoonful headed towards his mouth, or he’s got a tray of mealy crap meant to be a cookie or a tortilla chip or a loaf of bread. You get the feeling that he’s sick of it, but he can’t keep his hands off it.
I suspect the Chicken man is conflicted about slopsville. On the one hand, it sucks, plain and simple. It’s bland, and it can’t be easy to watch Janelle and Howie plowing through their own bags of potato chips every damn day. On the other, the slop deal is what earned George respect from his younger, cockier housemates. Refusing to complain and making crazy concoctions adds to the image of a doggone good sport trying to make the best of a silly situation.
But this payoff in his image is offset by the brutal reality that he befouls the air of every room he enters. Heck, there was a day when the women fled the back yard after George let loose outside. They had to run indoors to escape the smell - now that’s some serious funk. And yet, he hits an odd note with people, like when he told the hamsters congregated outside that he could make bread out of the slop if he could only get a hold of some yeast, so do any of the women have female “infections” to report? As a joke, it falls flatter than his attempted slopcakes.
Will: I don't care what the twist is. I don't care what Julie has to say. I just don't want to sit next to Mr. Fart and I want some pizza.
Dude, Let’s Manscape
A good portion of the afternoon was given over to shaving and male bonding. What’s that you say? An unlikely juxtaposition? Not in the Big Brother house, where the electric razors are plentiful and the shirts are scarce.
The razor party starts in the back yard with Will, Boogie, and Howie. Will begs Boogie to let Howie shave his backside, and there’s a lot of joshing around between the three of them. They discuss the merits of being hairless, and agree that careful grooming is clearly a heterosexual activity. “Don’t confuse grooming with sexuality,” Will warns, shaving his armpits. Howie says he learned the importance of male hairlessness from watching Will on his season of Big Brother. There’s some snappy banter about fupas that goes in one of my innocent ears and right out the other.
Will: I'm not Tom Selleck. When I don't shave I look like a baby possum.
While shedding happily together, Will throws questions at Howie at a steady pace. His technique is to ask question after question in a leading tone of voice, like, “Who do you think is running the floaters?” Which implies that, a) someone is running the floaters; and b) that it’s not Chill Town. Howie does a good job of deflecting questions, answering with jokes or non-commital grunts. Will tries to make a point about his and Boogie’s word, saying their season gave them a bad reputation, but that joking aside, they stick to what they say. He adds that there’s always a sub-alliance, and Howie asks who he means. “You, dumbass,” retorts Will. He goes on to pitch a sub-alliance of Howie, Janelle, and the two Chill Town members. Howie listens and nods at appropriate times, but I notice that he doesn’t commit to anything.
Howie asks Will to shave his neckline, and with Danielle’s supervision, he goes to work. Acting like he’s spelling something out on the back of his head, Will asks Howie, “How do you spell penis?” Howie doesn’t miss a beat. “W-I-L-L.”
Hopped up on the adrenaline of shaving, Howie continues his depilatory streak by shaving Chicken George in the bathroom. Yeah, that’s a half hour of my life that I’ll never get back.
Danielle on the Rise
Danielle has played a subterranean game after the fiasco of her first week, when her machinations were exposed before the first set of nominations were even announced. She is poised and ready to win an HOH, and wants to go after the Sovs. She has laid the ground work carefully, making inroads with much of the house -- the floaters, an insecure Sov, and Chill Town. She won’t be throwing anything in Thursday’s competition except for the victory sign when she wins. She is fired up and ready.
Fueling her passion is a conversation she had with Janelle earlier in the day. While discussing the possibility that one of the evicted houseguests would be returned as a twist, Janelle said that it would be awful for her, but to someone who is in a weak position in the game, it could really help them out. After pausing awkwardly, Janelle clarified – for someone like you, Danielle, who is in a weak position in the game, it would be great to get one of the houseguests back. Gee Janelle, don’t pull your punches or anything!
Danielle was calm and collected at the time, but she’s furious about the comment that she’s in a weak position and is determined to show up Janelle as being cocky and misinformed about the true state of the house. She feels that Janelle was “clowning” her – making fun of her – by telling her to her face that she’s weak. She figures that Kaysar thinks the floaters aren’t after him, and he just might throw the competition this week…and she’s ready to pounce. “I can’t wait for 24 hours from now,” Boogie says, after listening to her vent.
As a side note, Janelle has not been winning the good will of the house by spending her days up in the HOH room napping or pigging out on Doritos. Evidence of how far she’s slipped in the house’s estimation is the fact that she didn’t know that the other houseguests hadn’t voted until 6:00 o’clock. No one told her, and it sets off a bout of Janelle “nervousing”, as Cowboy used to term it. The people around her – Marcellas, Kaysar, and even Erika at times – aren’t sympathetic to Janelle squeaking that the change in schedule makes her nervous. Erika musters up the courage to kid her about it, saying she’s the one who should be nervous, not Janelle, being on the block and all. Janelle doesn’t even acknowledge the jab. Has she forgotten what it’s like to be on the block? Something tells me that she’ll be remembering what it’s like soon.
Random Happenings, Oh Boy!
On the feeds, you hear lots of little facts and anecdotes of interest. What did we learn today, class?
- Janelle tells the others she had a dream. A spooooky dream. She dreamed that Nakomis and Ivette were present at the HOH competition, and that the hamsters voted Ivette back into the house.
- James convinced Chicken George to eat tablespoons of olive oil, but George could barely swallow it.
- Danielle breaded pickles with slop mix and fried them up; they were a hit.
- Mr. Fart is making a costume. He even sacrificed another lime green shirt for the cause. Not to worry, there’s more where that came from.
- Kaysar had some sort of acting possibility that he thinks he can return to at the end of the summer.
- Kaysar has made references to a “friend” back home, and changes the subject instantly when anyone asks him about his love life.
- The hamsters discussed at length how much money they would have to be offered to walk out of the game instantly. Figures ranged from one cent (Marcellas) to $50,000 (Erika and Janelle).
- The hamsters were put on a whopping 20 hour lockdown, assumedly so that a set can be constructed in the back yard for Thursday’s show.
- Will talked about his current relationship possibly leading to marriage; just give him a year to get his [bleep] together.
- Will continues to pitch the idea of splitting the prize money at the end to Janelle and Howie, saying BB can’t control him if he wants to hire people and pay them a salary after the show is finished.
Will: The thing is, if you watch the show, you think we’re the happiest people in the world. “Thanks BB! I just jumped out of a car to watch the greatest movie ever!”
Thursday morning dawns to find Will and Janelle still awake, swapping jokes and stories. So let’s see…Janelle had resolved to stay up and not nap so she could go to bed at 11 o’clock.; she resolved to eat nothing but lean protein and vegetables; she vowed to be up early every morning to do cardio and strength training before anyone else woke up. She’s zero for three here.
I didn’t think the house would be up very late, what with the all-important HOH competition coming up -- which is still being constructed in the back yard – and the absence of a hot tub to keep the hamsters amused. Overnight, it seems that Diane stayed up late playing checkers with George. Later, she was waxing pathetic about her limited finances, and Will assured her that he would help her find a job outside of the house.
FORT transcriber MajiH caught the late night –make that early morning – interaction between Janelle and Will. Here’s a sampling, but you can read more by clicking here.
Janelle: There are these two guys from Boston at a party. On the invites it says pleased come dressed as an emotion to my party. They think it's awesome. Everyone is dressed as 'happy', someone in blue as 'depressed'. The first guy is naked and he has a pear hanging from his privates.
Will: In 'despair'?
Janelle: You ruined my joke! You ruined my joke!
Will: Sorry! Sorry! What did the other guy have?
Will: He was disgusted?
Janelle: You ruined my joke! You told my my punchline!
Will: It was funnier that way. You were cuter!
Big Brother had a bit of Thursday fun, tormenting the hamsters with wake up songs. Their first choice was Salt N’Pepa’s “Whatta Man” – could they be referring to the evil doctor, who has been alternately charming the women in the house then keeping his distance by discussing his mature, loving relationship with Erin from “For Love or Money”? They also play “I Wanna Be Sedated” by The Ramones, and a classical piano piece. Danielle and James, who are up and ready for the day since they didn’t make the mistake of staying up until 7 in the morning, are talking about the night of wakeup calls, saying their favorite was the two women who did the “wake up, wake up, wake up” rap. A few seconds later, BB obliges them by playing it. Will, who by my count got two hours of sleep, is sticking to his nest of pillows on the floor next to his bed. (Why he does this, I don’t know; but he hasn’t slept in his bed for a while now.) BB goes to work on Will, who’s not stirring. “Will. Will. Will. Will.” And so on, until he is forced to come up for air out of his pile of blankets.
The rest of the morning is lost to flames, as is typical on a Thursday. BB put the hamsters on lockdown in the HOH room – again, a standard Thursday move so that the production crew can iron out the camera positions and technical details that will be needed for the live show later in the day. Maybe they’ll run a vacuum for the hamsters, too; this pack of All Stars have really let the place go to pot.