Big Brother July 11 – He Blinded Her With Science, and Then Got Them Both Nominated.
Hi there, Hamster Watchers, and welcome to this season’s first Sunday night episode. First, a brief note about this brief recap: we’re officially calling my recaps for the Sunday and Wednesday shows this season “mini-recaps” because: 1.) I’m currently covering two episodes a week, along with alternating weeks of The Bachelorette, so I’m writing these as fast (and correspondingly short) as possible so FORT folks can read them and I don’t get behind, and 2.) honestly, not that much happens on Sunday and Wednesday nights on these shows. Luxury competitions, nominations, veto competitions and veto ceremonies, yada yada yada, and sometimes a peanut butter bikini competition thrown in just to keep the hamsters from dying of boredom in the house.
Ashley will be covering all of the actual “news” of this show that happens on the Thursday shows – evictions and HOH competitions. So, I apologize in advance if I post the recap prior to it airing on the West cost, and will try to keep spoilers out of the thread title. So here’s your official (and hopefully unnecessary) warning for the whole season: Don’t read this if you don’t want to know what happens before it airs on the West Coast as this is a recap, so yes, it will spoil the episode. However, I’m not a live feed watcher, so my spoilers are specific show-based only. I can’t even imagine how anyone gets anything done while watching live feeds day and night, but feel free to visit our Live Feed Forum if you want someone else to doing the watching for you, including recaps – a very useful service.
Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? Searching For the Saboteur.
We just met this year’s cast of houseguests a couple nights ago when the fearless thirteen entered the house, and they were first introduced to this season’s twist – the Saboteur. Similar to the role of America’s Player a couple summers ago when hapless Eric needed to try to accomplish tasks of the viewers’ bidding, this Saboteur will be responding to the America’s Choice poll questions. However, unlike Eric, this role won’t screw up the Saboteur’s chances to win the grand prize, as he or she is playing for a different prize: $50,000 if they can last half of the season in the house (and presumably is not eligible to win the grand prize if for some reason they make it to the finale undetected – but that wasn’t 100% clear).
In my many years at this site, I’ve recapped a lot of shows, and have come to realize that there are very few original ideas in reality shows. Everything old is new again. I recapped The Mole two years ago and correctly called out Craig as the Mole when there was 5 contestants left (you can check it out here if you’re into “vintage recaps” FORT Smack-A-Mole Column - Week 7 ), so now I’m wondering if my saboteur sleuthing skills are still sharp, and whether the show (or live feeds) will actually spoil it before the houseguests crack the case.
When we last left the houseguests, the Saboteur had put a padlock on the door for the food pantry while they were all sitting in the dark. Andrew managed to draw suspicion in his direction by getting up and laying behind the living room couch, and Brendan for searching for his toothbrush during the blackout. Hey, hygiene is important, but they hadn’t even had dinner yet, Brendan. Andrew has double the suspicion because he had also volunteered to not participate in the HOH competition before it was announced that volunteering to sit out meant immunity for the week.
Everyone goes to check out Hayden’s HOH room, which has a blue and green and silver theme with some funky pictures from his youth. And there’s also a big basket of junk food, so no-one on Hayden’s good side needs to dig into slop just yet.
A Hammock Built for Three People, But a Conversation Appealing to Two – Two Bad These Science Fans Are So Bad At Math.
Cocktail waitress Rachel bonds with Brendon when he reveals that he has a masters’ degree in applied physics. Rachel is very enthused to find out his inner geek, and wants to talk science with Brendon, comparing different scientific group memberships and research papers. Annie was sitting in the hammock with the two of them and felt awkward, like she was “watching [her] parents making love.” Rachel was quite turned ready to jump his science geek bones, and I think Brendon has The Big Bang Theory to thank for the popularity of this geek chic. Short aside, I love Big Bang and think that Penny should definitely get back together with Leonard, as she can no longer overlook the failings of her not-so-smart suitors. Geeks are definitely hot, but Rachel and Brendon should be smart enough to realize that ever since Dr. Will and Shannon hooked up in Chill Town in Season 2, coming out as a twosome is a risky move in the Big Brother house.
Back in the HOH room, a gather of people debate the identity of the Saboteur while munching on Brendon’s HOH junk food goodies. Hey, they have Red Vines, one of my very favorites. I could go for some Red Vines right now, but alas, I have none. Police officer Kathy speculates that the Saboteur is really a woman, and a likable one, that would be one of the last people that the houseguests would suspect. Perhaps she’s watched prior seasons of The Celebrity Mole, as both seasons of the Celebrity version of that show featured supermodels as the Mole (much to the chagrin of Steven Baldwin and Corbin Bernson) as other contestants were not giving them enough credit. I don’t disagree with this logic, but wonder why on earth Kathy would throw suspicion on a group that she happens to be in, rather than one that she isn’t. Logic is a bummer sometimes.
Annie pulls Ragan aside to come out to him and confess that she has a girlfriend outside of the house, and he thanks her for sharing as he knows that it is a risk for her. We don’t find out whether she’s living “out” in her life and why exactly she thinks telling just one person is a situation that will last. Apparently Annie and her girlfriend haven’t seen too many past seasons.
Science aficionados Rachel and Brandon are starting a budding showmance, which HOH Hayden sees as a threat. Enzo tries to seal his own safety for the week by bringing Lane and Matty into a four-person alliance. Enzo picked this group based on his perception of where they were all sitting during the blackout. Matt now declares that this foursome is the strongest alliance in Big Brother history. Enzo comes up with dumb nicknames for this “Brigade” and nicknames people the Beast, the Brain, the Animal, and himself, the MeowMeow – wow this is truly terrible. I haven’t seen alliance over-confidence like this since Brian came flying out of the box last season and won himself a week 1 eviction. Enzo thinks this is authentic mafia action. I think it’s pretty darn lame, and somewhere the four horseman are laughing.
Win This Luxury Challenge Or Else Starve – A High Stakes Challenge to Make Top Chef Jealous.
Time for the Luxury competition, which will determine which two teams are the “Have’s” who will gain access to the newly unlocked food pantry, and which team of four will be the “Have Nots” who will be eating slop and suffering other indignities. The creativity of the show’s producers is often tested with coming up with new and unique ways to torture our luxury contest losers – so I’m sure whatever awaits them is unpleasant.
This is high stakes for Andrew because he says he cannot eat slop because it is not Kosher. I’m not an expert on Kosher food rules, but what in the heck are they putting in the slop this year that violates the Kosher rules? Does it have both meat and dairy – don’t think it has either. Does it contain pork or shellfish – that sounds pretty odd. Couldn’t he grab some uncooked slop and boil it up in his own set of dishes (which we saw him pack) and have a lovely Kosher slop meal? Please chip in if you know what Kosher food rule would make Andrew starve for days if he survives long enough in the house to send up on slop (and bonus points if you can figure out why he’d come on the show if they couldn’t promise that he’d have something he could eat on a daily basis – I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t accommodate someone with celiac disorder by supplying some gluten free slop, etc.).
If it were “close to Kosher slop” or nothing for a number of days, I think God would forgive you, Andrew. Unlike Hippocrates (the father of medicine – source of the Hippocratic Oath), who is still ticked at Andrew for not coming to the aid of an injured fellow contestant on the first night, as he didn’t want to blow his cover as being a licensed physician. Um, you could have offered assistance without rattling off your whole resume, Andrew, as a contestant on the other team actually offered aid and comfort with no questions regarding her real credentials.
This Caramel Sauce is Like Quicksand – Only Tastier
HOH Hayden introduces the rather yucky Luxury Competition while wearing a lovely tooth fairy costume that Ragan immediately covets. The contestants are broken into three teams who need to crawl through a pool of very sticky caramel, and then climb into an enormous bucket of popcorn to look for buried form forms cut into the shape of teeth. Just another variation on the “go through some tough obstacle course and look for things while racing against others” theme that Big Brother loves.
The teams flounder around, demonstrating the stickiness of the caramel, depth of the popcorn pile, and how they all look like caramel apples covered with popcorn instead of peanuts. The mom in me wonders if they have an outdoor shower that they’ll use to clean up without bringing this sticky mess into the house on their way to the bathroom. Oh gack, can you imagine cleaning that caramel off the sofa and carpet – or worse yet, not cleaning it and waiting for the bugs to arrive?
Kathy looks like a fly on flypaper while she can’t get unstuck from the caramel, costing her team (the blue team with Ragan, Kathy, Rachel, and Matt) a huge lead and sentencing them to days of slop and discomfort. Kathy is looking very Sabateur-like as she let three members of the pink team fly past her to victory. Enzo makes a shrewd move and stashes a second “tooth” that he found for his teammate Britney to help her finish the challenge more quickly. Kathy stays firmly entrenched in the caramel pit until everyone else is done and they launch a rescue mission to pry her out – I wonder if they were given huge spoons for that task.
Here’s More Incentive To Win Those Luxury Challenges – Avoid Sharing A Room With Bunches of Maggots.
Not only does the Have Not blue team have to eat slop, but they are also sentenced to taking only freezing cold showers, and sleeping in the uncomfortable Have Not bedroom - which is truly a dump. The “beds” are lawn lounge chairs (and not the “luxury” ones with padded seats, instead the old strappy kind that leaves you looking like a zebra on the back of your thighs when you get up). What is that smell? Oh look, there are many jars full of maggots and bugs – leading to a truly unique Big Brother sleeping experience.
I’m old enough to be reminded of the scene in The Lost Boys where a young (and very hot) Kiefer Sutherland played a sexy vampire who fooled the two Coreys: Haim and Feldman, into eating a bowl of maggots, telling them it was rice. Did you notice that kids – there were movies about vampires starring good looking people way back in the 80s – my daughter will be shocked . This room is truly gross. Passing out in the yard is looking better and better for the blue team four this week.
The Saboteur Strikes Again, This Time With Masking Tape – The HORROR!
The next morning, Andrew is up eating something Kosher. He notices that on the wall of faces that there are green tape “x” marks on Kathy and Britney’s pictures. He is the only one awake, but runs up to the HOH room to alert Hayden to this most lame ever act of sabotage. Hayden thinks that Andrew even noticing this first makes him somehow even more suspicious.
Everyone wakes up and notices the tape. Some of the other ladies advise Britney not to react and freak out. They’re stuck in this house with no other source of entertainment – do you think this will just blow over?
Then the houseguests (and we lucky viewers) are treated to videotape from the Saboteur, claiming credit for the tape mark x’s (not unlike a terrorist organization, only instead of a bombing, this was masking tape, and less than 2 feet of it total). The Sabotuer’s video warned them that risk can come from even the smallest competitors. Britney pleads her case to nominate Brendon and Kathy to try to draw the attention away from herself, while still targeting her biggest rival, Kathy.
Despite Kathy’s truly pathetic performance in the Luxury Challenge, she had immediately picked a fight with Britney and called her out for being weak in the competition, pointing out that Enzo had located a tooth for her at the edge of the popcorn. Whatever, Kathy, you spent 20 minutes stuck in one spot and sentenced your team to a week in the maggot room, but obviously Britney did a worse job? And since when is this the first half of Survivor where eliminating folks due to their physical weakness was a priority? Since it’s not. Keeping around worthless people who do terrible at challenges is always a priority on Big Brother –which means finally slackers are reaping rewards for their lack of ambition. Participation medals all around, folks!
And The Nominees Are . . . The Tonight Show, With Conan, Not Jay – Oh Wait, Wrong Nominations.
HOH Hayden brings out the cheese wheel of nominations, and Annie is the first one safe, then Ragan. Don’t let it be said that Hayden isn’t a friend of the gays. Enzo and Christy are safe, followed by Britney and Matt. Monet has been quiet as a painting this week, but she is safe, as is slow as molasses Kathy and then finally Hayden’s alliance mate Lane. Hammock buddies Brendon and Rachel are the nominees, with Hayden announcing to the camera that Brendon is the real target. What a conundrum for the show – the viewers love showmances, but the HOHs often try to split them apart.
Hayden did a decent job of dispersing the safety keys for his own alliance so they were not all in a row. While he didn’t specifically call out Brendon and Rachel’s budding science-based romance as the reason for the nominations, others didn’t seem to object to the selection. Tune in Wednesday to see if these physics and chemistry nerds are able to use the elements of the veto challenge to change the molecular structure of this week’s nominees.