This recap covers Wednesday noon to Thursday noon.
How do you diagnose a showmance? The camera creates an illusion of intimacy, as if we’re peeking in the window like a nosy neighbor who has planted bugs in your house so that every whisper is captured. But our little hamsters are aware of the cameras, and they know their every action will be recorded, analyzed and dissected by the fans. Would two hamsters chuck everything they know about the reality television experience, leaving their significant others at home, and give into a summer fling? It’s the talk of the Big Brother internet experience. Quite frankly, there’s nothing much else to talk about. Feed watchers are bored silly with the long, endless days with almost zero plotting and lots of sleeping. Get out the cattle prods, BB!
News of the Day
- Nothing, really. James looks to be getting the axe, and he’s blissfully unaware of it, except that nothing about James is ever blissful...until he's drunk, that is. During the day, though, he’s bitter and sarcastic, but he’s confident that he’s staying.
- James is upset that the vote might go 3-1 for him instead of 4-0. Yep, he’s irritated that Erika would vote to keep Chicken George. He’s in for a surprise.
- Danielle dramatically wore her sunglasses all day because she’s crying, supposedly.
- The house thinks Big Brother’s choice of wakeup call – Rubber Duckie, and a Michael Jackson tune – was a nod to Boogie and Erika’s tub time the night before.
- Screencaps from the afternoon can be summed up as a big pile of sluggish, sleepy hamsters. The entire afternoon was one big old napfest.
- Will and Janelle continue their showmancin' ways; feeders everywhere are either sighing with disgust or smiling dreamily.
- James actually cracked a smile or two when Big Brother provided some beer.
When my shift starts, Danielle fills my screen. She’s in full drama mode, sniffling and dabbing at her eyes, which she is hiding behind dark sunglasses even though she’s inside the gloomy red room. She’s talking to James, and they’re discussing who he should put up next week if he wins HOH. *sniff* I guess she’s not telling him the rest of the house is voting him out, but you think he would start to wonder why she’s so down in the mouth. For the record, she advises him to put up Erika and a Chill Town member. But let’s be clear: if James is still in the house Thursday night, I will be shocked to my toes. Every voter except for Danielle is against him at this point.
Danielle asks James why they were so against Jase during his HOH week, and James says that they were convinced he was working with Chill Town because of some information that got back to them. The important point to note here is that Danielle is starting to be aware of how well Boogie and Will have escaped nomination and eviction for so long. She’s putting some of it together. She tells James that if he’s voted out, she’s going after them.
The HOH camera arrives, and for a while the hamsters can play at being entertained. George tells James they need to take a photo together; he responds irritably that they’ve done that before. But he relents, and they take a joke photo of James with Chicken George in a headlock. One thing that George didn’t get to do as HOH was have control of the digital camera for one hour on Wednesday like the others got to do. What a gyp.
The afternoon drags on…Will is actually drilling with Boogie for a change, and this time he’s getting answers right, although he’s not as quick on the draw as Boogie has been. Even though it’s early afternoon, it’s obvious that most of the house hasn’t been up for very long, but we learn that Boogie isn’t feeling that well after last night’s sunglasses and hat shenanigans in the HOH bathtub. Ugh, my stomach curled in disgust just typing that sentence. Either Boogie is tired of his showmance partner or he’s just plain hung over, but he wants to go back to bed instead of drill – and he wants to be alone this time, thank you very much, Erika.
Danielle and Erika share a heart-to-heart in the red room. Danielle is still in grieving mode, with her chin up and her sunglasses perched on her nose as if she’s at a memorial service instead of earning money for being on camera 24 hours a day.
Have you ever told a really great joke, only to have someone respond, “That’s funny,” but they don’t actually laugh? Well, that’s what it’s like when Danielle cries. She talks a lot about how the game makes her cry, and dabs her eyes a little, but she doesn’t really seem to actually cry in the sense that her emotions are so overwhelmed that she wells up with tears. It’s more of a theoretical crying, a “look at me I’m so sad” crying. To shore up that image, she tells Erika:
Danielle: I'm nuts. It's official, I'm mentally unstable. *sniff* I'm psychologically traumatized....
Erika: No, you're not.
Danielle: Yes I am! I can't stop crying. I'm crying all the time. *sniff* I cried yesterday. I cried the day before. Why can't I stop crying?
She tells Erika that she just wants to eat some Top Ramen, her comfort food. Big Brother never ponied up the cash for sushi, but they might be able to spend a quarter for a pack of cheap noodles.
Erika contributes her share of spin by saying she doesn’t remember last night at all. Something about wearing a hat and sunglasses, yada yada yada…she woke up with her bathing suit on in the HOH bed. Whew, it’s a good thing she had that suit on, or I would thought she was trying to win Boogie’s protection by sleeping with him or something! My mind is completely at ease with her thorough and rational explanation, isn’t yours?
Outside, James is talking to Chicken George in that manner which makes it seem like he thinks George is going, and he is staying. He’s lecturing George about the game, saying that you can be friends with people but it comes down to you having to win the money for yourself. George seems to agree with this philosophy, but he’s floored at how many people James knew outside of the house. James had met Danielle at his own wrap party, and they became friends. He also knew Diane and talked to Alison on the phone a few times. He says that Marcellas came to Chicago and hung out with him and Sarah. George wants to know why Season Six went after Nakomis, and James tells him she was an incredibly intelligent player. We learn that Chicken George is planning to wear bright yellow clown shoes and a big flower on his lapel for the live show. Hey, if you ask me, it’s better than that bizarre couture jacket James wore a few weeks ago.
Gradually, more houseguests emerge from naps and start to hang around in the kitchen. Danielle has someone else go in the DR to request ramen noodles; has she used up her quota for the day? I don’t know, but by evening she will get her request. I picture some hapless PA being forced to scour the aisles of Ralphs for a variety of MSG-laden flavors.
Will, Janelle and Erika are reminiscing about the night before, and they decide Boogie probably had nine drinks; no wonder he’s hung over. Will calls out Erika a little on her “showmance” with Boogie right there in the kitchen, but Erika won’t define it as anything, as if the house is still blind to the two of them. She accuses him of having a showmance himself, but he says that he and Janelle aren’t bathing together, nor are they sleeping in the same bed. Ouch. But then he adds that Janelle wants him to, and he doesn’t want to be “ho’d out” like Amanda was during Erika’s season. Janelle is fake mad, and Erika laughs a little too loudly. I get a sense that she’s either uncomfortable about her relationship with Boogie being talked about openly, or she’s just plain embarrassed about the night before.
Danielle Cries Again
Erika and Danielle are back in the red room, where Danielle is saying she’s at her breaking point. If they told her she could leave today with the money she’s earned so far this summer, she would leave without a glance back. The reason for her “nervousing”? She’s upset about the choice between Chicken George and James.
Now, as I understand it, Danielle can safely vote to keep James and look great to him on the jury. She knows that James doesn’t have a chance at this point; what is really bothering her is that if she gives him a sympathy vote, she’s giving Chicken George a reason to come after her. She would be the only hamster left holding the bag. There was that talk she had with him way back in the first week, where she promised to have his back and vice versa…hmm, what a pesky thing that is now for her.
Danielle: My feelings get hurt easily. This is not the Danielle the producers meant to be in this house. I'm an emotional wreck.
Erika advises her to talk to the shrink, saying she helped Erika feel better when she talked to her. In fact, Dr. Zack’s a crack up. Danielle worries that she will make her cry even more. Okay, did everyone get that Danielle is crying? She’s reminding us again in case we missed it the first few hundred times that she mentioned it.
She tells Erika that she knows the “smart thing to do” is to “keep this man” – but she’s between a rock and a hard place. She tries again to convince Erika that Chicken George is the most dangerous player in the house because no one knows where he stands. She’s convinced he’s going to pull out encyclopedic knowledge of the game when it counts. “He has watched five seasons, Erika!” Erika’s not convinced, saying that George hasn’t really played this game before (the first season was a different set-up, strategically).
Chicken George himself interrupts their talk, and the conversation switches to slop waffles. Danielle suggests that George try to make waffles out of sifted slop, and he tells her he’s a genius. He wanders off to MacGuyver up a sifter out of a paper cup with holes poked out of the bottom.
In another room, Janelle is telling Will that she’s worried about voting out James because she doesn’t want to look like she’s backstabbing a friend to America. Will tells her that he’s the bad guy, she’s the good girl, so there’s nothing to worry about. She can give Sarah all the banana bread she wants when the whole thing is over (my Big Brother decoder ring tells me that banana bread spells out “splitting the moolah illegally”). With all these nervous nellies, maybe James does have a chance to make it through the next eviction.
In the middle of this conversation, Janelle and Will shared an interesting little exchange for all you showmance watchers:
Will: Are you going to continue living in Miami definitely?
Janelle: Yeah, for two or three years.
Will: So you're going back to Minnesota for a few weeks, but then back to Miami?
Will: So you're happy in Miami…or are you open minded? I loved it there.
Janelle: Would you ever move back?
Will: Well, it wouldn't be hard for me to get re-licensed there. I'm open minded.
Around 4:45, Big Brother called for an indoor lockdown, and everyone is excited – could BB be giving them a crapshoot for tomorrow’s HOH competition? “Crapshoot” to the hamsters means a contest that’s basically built on luck – like the bocce balls and hockey shoots from last season.
Boogie and James come inside to find a slop explosion in the kitchen. Danielle tells them that George tried to separate the chunks out of the slop so that he try to make waffles out of slop flour. They shake their heads at George’s craziness, and James dubs him Jorge Loco. Boogie gives himself a bangs trim in the bathroom with no regard for the hair falling on the floor. It’s that kind of day in the Big Brother house – boring, quiet, and long.
George says he hates slop – we’ve all heard it. But while he’s in the kitchen putting his makeshift sifter to work, he keeps sneaking bites of raw, dry slop. This guy either secretly loves it or he’s angling for a sweet slop sponsorship. Or he really is Jorge Loco.
Work It Out, Boys
Boogie and Will get some strategy talk in over a backyard workout, and they decide that tonight will be the right time to handle Danielle about voting out James. Will is worried that Erika will be taken in by Danielle and possibly Janelle against them; Boogie says that he’s done what he can – and he gets a little explicit here about what exactly he has done, and it’s not clean enough to make it into my recap, thank you very much – so there’s nothing more he can do to get Erika on their side. They know that they’re stabbing people in the back, but they rationalize it by saying Danielle is doing the exact same thing.
Will: Deny, deny, deny – then place blame elsewhere.
Will says that he’s not a game threat as far as the rest of the house is concerned; he’s the “Chicken George with abs”. But he’s going to go all out to win the final HOH competitions, especially the physical and/or endurance comps. Boogie tells Will to throw the next competition to Janelle if he can.
Will says that he will be taking the fall for when they flip on Janelle, and that Danielle and Janelle could easily band together against them if they don’t handle them just right. He tells Boogie that if he’s going to lose his job and ruin his relationship, he at least wants some money out of the deal.
Boogie says that Erika is a sure thing; for one thing, she knows James would come after her sooner than Chicken George, so it’s “not a leap in logic.” He laughs that the DR asked him whether he “got lucky” last night.
Boogie: I said Corey, you want girls up there, don’t you? I’m on my own schedule, if the honeys can’t get with it tell them to check my schedule ahead of time.
Janelle comes out and interrupts their strategy session, and the three of them compliment each other as players and make small talk about banana bread, then wonder how they’re being portrayed on the edited show. Soon, they break up again – Janelle and Will run laps, but Boogie is done working out.
James catches Erika alone and asks her about her vote, and is not happy when she admits that she promised her vote to Chicken George. He says he has kept her safe for weeks – he assumed he had her vote. She says she made a deal with George that if he put up Janelle or Howie, she would vote to keep him safe. James says that he was keeping her safe all those weeks, and he expects her to return the favor. She backpedals and says she’s leaning towards keeping him, but she has to talk to Danielle, Chicken George, and the rest, then makes her escape.
James comes running back with one last thought for Erika: “Who would you rather have cooking, me or Chicken George?” Because we all know the way to get to Erika is through her stomach, right?
Again With the Strategy Talk?
Danielle and Erika are having yet another pow-wow in the red room. They re-hash a lot of the same arguments about James versus George, with Danielle pushing hard for keeping James. Danielle has a light bulb moment – or at least she pretends to, with Erika – about Chill Town’s influence over Janelle, telling her that “this whole time we've been going after Janelle and who's been the brains behind her? Will!” Erika resists Danielle’s arguments that Chicken George is an uncontrollable wild card, and says she can’t count on him not to put Erika up. Erika, getting nowhere with Danielle, says she wants to talk to George right away.
In another part of the house, Boogie heard about Erika and Danielle asking to talk to George, and he tells Janelle and Will that Danielle has “called a meeting.” Janelle is scornful, saying that Danielle has been moping around all day fake crying, and after being a jerk to George all week she’s going to suck up to him now that it’s obvious James won’t be staying around. She says she’s going to bust up the meeting and takes off to do just that. Boogie looks a little startled, then turns to Will:
Boogie: That girl’s got balls.
Will: She’s in check…but Operation Double Date is becoming Operation Nightmare.
George has joined Erika and Danielle. You get the feeling that people don’t talk game all that often with George, and he’s happy to have the floor for a change. He tells them that he had lost focus for a while, but now he’s had a revelation – friendship doesn’t mean a thing in the house, he just wants the money. They all want the money, and that’s how it should be. You know how in the movies, there’s some point where everyone is discouraged and ready to quit, but the main character gives a stirring speech about heroes and everyone is re-energized and roars back out onto the field to a stunning victory? I think George thought he was giving that speech. But the problem is that his phrasing is confusing and it doesn’t really stir anyone’s feelings to restate the obvious that it’s a game with a cash prize at the end.
Janelle pops in as promised with a casual, “Whatchya guys doin’?” After a minute, she says something about feeling uncomfortable that she broke up an important conversation, and leaves. Trust me, it was funny at the time. As soon as she’s gone, though, Chicken George goes right back into his rambling thoughts on the game. He uses a lot of vague generalities and refers to a situation in the house that is “pissing him off” and they should be prepared to see him get “nasty” from here on out in the game. Danielle looks as confused as I am, but Erika is nodding knowingly. George says he will leave and let Erika explain to Danielle what he can’t put into words; she’ll name names and explain it all. Maybe Danielle is right – this guy is a complete mystery…or is he just a complete screw-up? It was an odd moment.
Either way, Erika tells Danielle that George is upset that he saved Janelle, and now she’s visibly cozying up to Will. She says the reason George won’t verbalize it is that he doesn’t want to bring down the wrath of the internet for disliking their favorite player. He got hate mail and threats in his season for taking out a popular player. Danielle points out that George is shady, because she asked him straight out if he would nominate her, and he ducked the question. She’s got a point there, but it’s not like that would worry Erika.
The house breaks out of the private conversations to make dinner. Danielle has been granted her ramen wish, and the talk turns into general joking and sharing the same old stories about Boogie’s restaurant empire and all the amazing escorts it provides his business partner, on whom he casted aspersions on his character related to his race. ‘Nuff said.
Bring On the Booze!
Sometime this afternoon, James told Danielle that he hopes they don’t let them have alcohol tonight, and she just about snapped his head off, even accused him of hiding some beer from her. Luckily, she won’t have to Jones for her fix or raid her stash too much. Big Brother allows them a few bottles of cheap wine to help pass the time. And James? Well, he certainly forgets that he didn’t want the house to be boozing it up before an HOH competition, because he ends up chugging a few beers before the night is up, all the while telling the others that they “have no idea” what he’s like outside of the house. Actually, the funny part was when Danielle produced beer when the rest of the house got wine; it was flat and all shaken up, and James wanted to know where it came from. (Answer: her secret stash?) She doesn’t tell him, and soon he’s too drunk to care. He rounds out his evening by joining the drinking crew in the hot tub in his shorts. Will tells him that it took until day 60, but he’s finally turned cool.
George tells the others that since he’s on the block and likely to be leaving anyway, he wants to go make himself a cheeseburger and have a beer. Everyone cheers him on, but he asks for confirmation in the DR just in case. A little while later, he gets an answer – that would be a big fat NO. He toasts the group with water in a wine glass instead.
The entire group plays cards together and seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves. When they drink, they have a tendency to burst into song, so the flames are rampant.
Janelle keeps telling Will to drink more, even pushing her wine glass at him at times. At one point they are alone on the couch together; Janelle is being flirtatious, and Will seems to be reciprocating and resisting at the same time. But how much is flirtation, and how much is game play, I wonder? Because Janelle is also telling Will how she doesn’t seem to have much a brain since Howie left; she can’t do all the hard thinking that used to come easily to her. Will says that he can be Howie to her, can’t he? She tells him that she would like that. He says – well, about now it starts reading like a cheesy romance novel. Throughout this conversation Janelle is acting exasperated but flirty, while Will’s words are cautious but he’s got an intense look on his face:
Janelle: I can't do it without Howie.
Will: Are you serious? Can't I be that to you?
Janelle (warmly): I'd like you to be.
Will: (quietly) I want to be more than that.
Janelle: You do? What do you want to be? Tell me in my ear, come on, tell me!
Will: I can't.
Janelle: Why not?
Will: (pause) You know.
Janelle: Oh you're so annoying!
They play pool there for a bit, and Janelle goes inside for a moment; Will and Boogie share a quick talk where Will tells Boogie that Janelle is all over him, and he’s really working hard at keeping up the flirting. Boogie says that they’re lucky it’s not him, because he hates the showmancing. Whether Will and Janelle are acting 100% is unclear, but one thing is for certain, that Will is worried that Boogie thinks he’s losing his perspective.
The Janelle/Will show continues on the backyard couches, where Will puts some pillows in between them and tells her to behave. She says she’s offended, so he grabs her arm and pulls her a little closer. But the pillows are still in between them.
We get a glimpse of other people in the house when they decide to get in the hot tub with Erika. Janelle comes out in a red one-piece bathing suit; Will comments that he feels like he’s on Baywatch. Danielle has joined the outside crew to talk, but they pull her into the hot tub, clothes and all. George and Boogie head off to bed, and the other five drunken houseguests are partying in the tub, marveling at how drunk James is and that he’s even in the hot tub, after being so serious and stern all season. There’s a moment when they all traipse into the house, dripping wet, to bang on the HOH door for Boogie, but he turns over and flips them off in the dark. Then it’s back to the hot tub for more drunken antics, peppered with drunken singing, which brings us drunken flames. They play spin the bottle, and Janelle lands on Will – literally. He kind of pulls her under the water, mid-kiss; when they come up for air, he doesn’t look happy. He tells her to “seriously stop kissing” him in a peeved tone of voice. She says okay, a little sadly, and the other three sit there awkwardly. Flames come up, and when they come back, Janelle is swimming in the pool by herself.
The hot tub party breaks up soon afterwards, and somehow Will and Janelle end up alone in the hot tub. It’s like Will is fighting to keep them separated, but somehow they end up in these situations over and over again. But Janelle looks mad this time; she’s got her back turned to him on the other side of the hot tub. He tells her that she intimidates him and he feels that their friendship boundaries are becoming blurred. She sounds exasperated, and tells him that she’s NOT into him so can he just drop it and stop acting weird? The banter goes back and forth until Janelle says the hot tub is making her dizzy, and leaves. Danielle comes out and talks to Will for a bit, who tells her that Janelle is scaring him – he doesn’t want to be left alone with her like that any more. More importantly, Will switches from appearing very drunk to stone-cold lucid when talking to Danielle about whether to vote out James or George.
Speak of the devil, James comes out and interrupts their talk by saying the DR is asking to talk to Will. He’s surprised, and thinks he’s in trouble for pulling Danielle in the hot tub earlier (she was wearing her microphone at the time). Later, James wakes up Erika to tell her drunkenly that he told Janelle and Will separately that the DR wanted to talk to him, but he was setting them up. What a card. Still, James’ setup must have work because they don’t come out of the DR for about an hour. Will asks Janelle if she’s still mad at him, and she replies cutesy-voiced that she’s not mad. The rest of the house is asleep; they shower, and Will heads to bed while Janelle stays up by herself for the first time in a while.
Big Brother wakes up the hamsters around ten o’clock, and Boogie is told that he must vacate the HOH by noon. It’s a slow morning, with everyone a little sluggish from the previous night’s drinking. James says that he decided he was treating Big Brother like a job, not a game, and he decided to cut loose. Danielle says that talking to Dr. Zack helped her feel better, and Chicken George shares with us that he’s hoping to get down to 180 pounds by the end of the game.
When noontime rolls around, Will and Boogie are breaking the news to Danielle in the gym that they have too many concerns with James to keep him. Their pow-wow is rudely interrupted by Big Brother: “Please turn off the gym equipment.” Way to point out that an important conversation is taking place and you don’t want any audio interference, BB!