Why am I watching ‘Big Brother’? I don’t know. I’d like to blame it on the heat, but I live in San Diego and I don’t think 79 degree weather is enough to really fry my brain. More likely it’s that I’m missing ‘The Voice’ and looking for a replacement. Will ‘Big Brother’ be it? We shall see! Onto the recap…
Note: I have never watched ‘Big Brother’ before and my understanding of the show is facile at best. What could go wrong?
-Host Julie Chen welcomes us to the “biggest Big Brother ever” (really?) and lets us know that this season’s 16 houseguests will be competing for a $500,000 prize. Is a 1-in-16 chance at half a million dollars worth your dignity? Hold your answer, please. Let’s meet our contestants first.
Aaryn is rather attractive blonde student from Texas.
Nick is shown skateboarding, confidently states that he’s “a lot like Spiderman”, but quickly notes that he “can lay down the smack” when called upon. His occupation is nebulously listed as “entrepreneur”.
Helen is a Type A with “2 full time jobs”, being a mom and working in politics. A political background would seem to be an advantage on a show such as this, as it implies that one possesses the single most important trait for winning reality TV: the utter lack of a soul.
Spencer is a self-described country bumpkin who works as a railroad conductor. Lest you think he’s likable, don’t worry, he quickly assures everyone that he’s a horrible person (and thus qualified to participate in this reality show)
David is a total broseph, a lifeguard who “can’t leave home without his v-necks.” I hate David.
Elissa is the sister of a former winner, apparently a bigger deal than I would believe at first. She is ADAMANT about keeping this fact a secret.
Andy calls himself a “Big Brother superfan”, and quickly connects his job as a public speaking teacher to his ability to lie convincingly. I’m losing faith in humanity.
Kaitlin describes herself as “possibly too friendly,” then gives a knowing look that would seem to imply that she really means “slutty.”
McCrae, a pizza delivery boy, proudly states that he “doesn’t aspire to anything” and calls himself a “clown”. So far he’s winning the self-awareness race.
Ginamarie has an indecipherable accent and organizes pageants for a living. She seems 100% insufferable.
Howard is a youth & family counselor, an athlete, and a Christian. Oh, Howard. You are my light.
Jessie is quick to call herself a “leader,” then we see her awkwardly bossing people around on a volleyball court. Seems like a winner.
Jeremy lives (LIVES?!) on a sailboat despite only having been on a boat twice before he bought the one he now LIVES on. I’m still reeling from this admission when he notes that he’s “a little bit Cherokee” but that he “embraces his Cherokee side.” What…what is going on?
Amanda is a luxury realtor and there is literally nothing else interesting about her.
Candice found out she was adopted at 26, now has “a white family AND a black family!” Ok then.
Judd describes himself as a “good ol’ boy” who “likes to have cookouts.” Don’t worry though, he’s very interested in “starting schemes.” Not sure Judd is the sharpest knife in the drawer.
-Julie sends everyone off to the house in groups of four, making non-jokes that the audience inexplicably laughs at.
-All right, everyone’s in the house now, and interacting! Judd is really into Ginamarie, though he’s barely able to string together a sentence that expresses this sentiment. Jeremy gets lost in the house quicker that you would ever have thought possible. Everyone is irrationally excited to be there, squealing like Oprah just gave them a car. Uh oh, my boy Howard is already being tempted by the attractive ladies. STAY STRONG HOWARD, you are my only hope! Jessie cattily states she’s the prettiest girl, which…I mean, I respectfully disagree, but sure Jessie. Aaryn notes that she “doesn’t sleep with strange boys on the first night,” which makes me like her more.
-More observations! David is utterly flummoxed by whether to room with the boys or the girls. It’s not that hard, David! It’s a binary decision! One or the other! Heads or tails! Everyone hates Ginamrie (including me), and Candice unveils a devastating impression of her for the camera. David valiantly lays claim to Judd’s crown as dumbest person in the house, a fact that Judd seems to enjoy. Jessie, continuing to be the worst, instantly falls for Jeremy because he looks like “that guy from Twilight.” Of course she does. Amanda has a crush on Spiderman (Nick) and continues to be uninteresting. She’ll probably win. Jeremy falls hard for Kaitlyn, like a puppy seeing a bone. Let’s just say that Jeremy, Judd, and David aren’t going to be applying to MENSA anytime soon.
-Everyone continues interacting for some reason. McCrae admits he’d go gay for Howard. Everyone, led by Amanda, thinks McCrae is a secret genius, and the pizza boy schtick is just a cover. Nope. His life really is that sad, everyone. David is all-in on Aaryn, which is a better choice than I expected him to make. Judd, of all people, is the first to think something’s up with Elissa, though he of course cannot put his finger on it.
-Alliances are already forming! Dumb-as-a-stump Jeremy goes along with Howard and Spencer’s planning, then joins up with Nick and Jessie for a Jessie-led alliance based on…being athletic? Jeremy’s very excited about these developments, for some reason.
-Julie Chen calls everyone together to announce THIS SEASON’S BIG TWIST! Instead of two houseguests being nominated for eviction each week, this season there will be…THREE!! And the third will be nominated by…Julie won’t tell us! Oh Julie, you minx!
-Time for our first Head of Household competition, “Popsicle Factory”, in which contestants hang onto giant spinning padded rods as long as they can. Sure, why not. Judd and Howard lose quickly and purposefully, for strategic reasons that seem sound. Candice follows, though probably not intentionally. She’s just bad at this.
-A giant tongue starts squirting water at our contestants, and they start getting splashed with colored water and cold air. This is just vaguely sexual enough to make me uncomfortable. Then Jessie starts humping her popsicle to make it overtly sexual. Jeremy is 100% smitten, wishing he was that popsicle. Gotta be honest Jeremy, based on what we’ve seen from Jessie, it’s probably not going to take that much work to be that popsicle.
-Candice cracks the case, connecting Elissa to former winner Rachel. Judd latches onto her theory, curiously claiming he can keep the info to himself despite the fact that someone else thought of it.
-After 41 minutes, Amanda and Spencer drop. David laments the “messed up” status of his hair. Melanie and Jessie drop in short order, much to the dismay of popsicle sticks everywhere. They’re followed by Elissa, Ginamarie, Andy, and Kaitlin.
-3 hours in, and this seems like a fun first afternoon for everyone. Aaryn drops out, leading Julie Chen to offer the remaining four a chance to win a “Never not” pass if they pick the correct lunchpale. I guess there’s a “have-not” status that players can earn, in which case they’re treated poorly for a week, or something. Anyway, David jumps at the chance for it and promptly chooses the wrong pale. Jeremy takes credit for this, citing a “Cherokee mind trick”, a statement that frankly makes me uncomfortable. Jeremy quickly drops to claim the pass for himself, so, yay for him?
-That leaves Spiderman Nick and pizza boy McCrae as our last two left. Nick foolishly tries to negotiate with McCrae, who tells him everything he wants to hear in order to get Nick to drop. Will McCrae backstab him? Based on how much everyone on this show seems to value being terrible, I have to assume yes. McCrae celebrates his victory by yelling, “Pizza boy’s delivering, baby!”, a line he clearly thought of 3 months ago and is shocked that he had an opportunity to use. I am too, McCrae, I am too.
-Julie gathers everyone again to explain the rest of the rules. Turns out fans will vote on a “Big Brother MVP” each week, who will secretly be informed of his or her status and allowed to secretly nominate the third person for eviction. Everyone is very excited about this as well as the accompanying acronym, “BBMVP”, which is used approximately 400 times in one minute.
Julie tells us that Sunday will be the first “Have Not” competition, whatever that is. And with that, the Big Brother premiere is in the books! That sure was…something. Hey, I’ll be back next week, at least. Thanks for reading!