‘Big Brother’ Weekly Recap: Racism, Blindsides and the End of a Showmance

This may be only season in Big Brother (BB) history that there is more controversy and drama off-screen than on. Two contestants, GinaMarie Zimmerman and Aaryn Gries, have both lost their day jobs as a result of their use of racial and homophobic slurs caught by viewers on the live feeds. Aaryn has been dropped as a client from her modeling agency, while GinaMarie is no longer employed as a pageant coordinator for East Coast USA Pageant, Incorporated.

BB Aryn RacistThere’s no reason to delve into the details of their comments since most fans already know from multiple media outlets exactly what was said. These revelations definitely put producers of the show in an awkward position. While CBS has made it clear that the network does not condone prejudice of any kind, they point out that Big Brother is a reality show, and that means that the contestants may reveal intolerable character traits such as bigotry. This strikes me as a bit hypocritical since the racial slurs have been conveniently edited out of the thrice weekly episodes. It seems that CBS is laboring under the delusion that there is no such thing as bad publicity, but the network could soon find itself in the midst of a firestorm if they continue to let this behavior go without reprimanding the offending houseguests, or televising the incidents. As I write this recap, it remains to be seen how many sponsors will want to continue to be affiliated with BB at all.

As difficult as it is to put aside this unfortunate turn of events, the show does go on. So, now it’s time to focus my attention on all of the houseguests and how the game is progressing.

Sunday                                                                                                                              

Now that the houseguests have settled into their new digs, they have time to speculate just how much the “Big Brother Most Valuble Player” (BB MVP) will affect their game play. Amanda says the scariest thing about the MVP is his or her anonymity. She says it makes this person a secret assassin. Aaryn is convinced she’ll win America’s vote not knowing that BB fans already despise her. McCrae realizes that he runs the risk of putting a huge target on his back and not even getting what he wants. But, this has always been the case in Big Brother. Jessie says it encourages people not to be floaters and actually play the game. Andy says that instead of just having to suck up to the Head of Household (HOH), you have to suck up to everybody.

Jeremy is convinced that a female player will win the MVP title every week. Since he doesn’t know who BB Jeremythat lucky lady will be, he’s going to be forced to have snuggle sessions with all of the ladies. He feels he’ll have no trouble charming the women in the house. What woman can resist a man with greasy hair and a widow’s peak who’s covered in tattoos?

Nick and Jeremy start to determine who will make worthwhile allies. Nick is all about Howard because he’s physically fit, trustworthy and loyal. He also feels he’s clicked with Spencer, and he’s down with McCrae, who in addition to being the current HOH, is in it to win it. Jeremy suggests they might need a girl, but Nick says they are all floaters. He plans to use the female players on an as-needed basis. Nick goes to work making his dream team a reality. Everybody agrees, so the last piece of the puzzle is MacCrae. Nick approaches McCrae, and the guy who looks like he belongs in every Kevin Smith movie ever made, says it’s an offer he can’t refuse.

The group gathers to talk strategy, specifically, possible nominees. Nick thinks David poses a big threat, but McCrae is leaning towards nominating two girls. Spence says if he puts up two girls, it will set off a bomb in the house. It’s discouraging that it is still acceptable to devalue and dismiss women as savvy competitors. Nick suggests David and a girl. I still can’t figure out why they think a guy that makes Spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High look like a Rhodes Scholar is such a huge threat. Every all-male alliance has to have a ridiculous nickname, and this group chooses “The Moving Company.”

BB Aryn and DavidDavid and Aaryn form their own much more intimate alliance. David admits that he came into the house for more of a showmance than the money.

With one couple quickly established, Jessie weighs her options in the bathroom with Amanda. She’s torn between Jeremy and Nick. She says she feels like Bella from Twilight. Jessie asks Amanda to ask Nick if he “likes” anybody. Amanda says that being trapped in the house with Jessie is like being trapped with a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

While the girls seem more interested in hooking up, the boys, with the exception of David, have their heads in the game. Judd confides in McCrae that he knows for a fact that Elissa is Rachel Reilly’s sister. Of course, it is impossible to know this for sure, but his hunch is enough for McCrae, who suddenly realizes that Elissa is like Rachel’s clone. He says this piece of information won’t say under wraps for very long. Sure enough, a montage of clips shows various houseguests making the connection. Aaryn says if Elissa had come clean up front, she wouldn’t have thought much about it, but Elissa’s withholding her true identity makes her seem conniving.

The houseguests compete in their first “Have/Have Nots” competition, “Cooler and the Gang.” They are BB McCraedivided into three teams of five. Each team member has to cross a small lake inside an inner tube, jump into a freezing cooler, grab a soda can and return to the other side. Then the houseguest must place the can on to a wooden board being held by their teammates. Then he or she has to swap positions with a teammate and continue the process until the team completes a pyramid of 15 cans. If the cans fall, a team must start again from the beginning. The last team to finish will be the Have Nots for the week. The red team consisting of Howard, Judd, Helen, Elissa and Andy are the big losers.

Amanda says everybody wants a slice of pizza boy McCrae, so she’s certain to get some quality time with him to offer up her suggestions on who to nominate. She’s eager to kick Jessie to the curb. Amanda tells him Jessie is a perfect choice because nobody in the house likes her. McCrae sees the benefit in getting rid of a weak player since it wouldn’t put a giant bullseye on his back. But, at the same time, he also views it as a possible waste of his HOH.

Elissa’s concern about the other houseguests discovering her relationship to Rachel leads her to reveal the truth to McCrae. As a super fan, McCrae thinks it would be fun to play the game with Rachel’s sister. On the other hand, if the rest of the house knows who she really is, and he doesn’t take her out of the game, it could come back to bite him.

It’s finally time for nominations, and the only people who aren’t at risk to be nominated are the members of The Moving Company. McCrae nominates Jessie and Candice. Jessie says if McCrae doesn’t have a good reason for putting her up, she will win the Power of Veto (POV) and come after him. Candice says she’s not ready to go home and that she’s ready to compete and win.

Tuesday

McCrae decides to nominate Jessie and Candice because neither are very popular nor do they have any alliances in the house. He figures his choice is the best way to get someone out and not get any blood on his hands.

Candice says she’s not going to go sit in a corner and cry, she’s going to compete. Next thing you know, BB Candiceshe’s blubbering away in the confessional. McCrae tells Jessie to come and talk to him. Jessie feels blindsided since she just had a conversation with McCrae about him nominating Elissa. It never fails to surprise me how some people are so shocked to be nominated. There is only one winner, so eventually all but two have to go. McCrae, who has a very strange fashion sense when it comes to bandannas, assures Jessie that she needs to trust him. McCrae leads Jessie to believe she’s the pawn, so she won’t be angry with him but really has no idea who’s going home.

Candice has no plans to let McCrae off the hook and immediately pays him a visit in the HOH room. McCrae says he doesn’t deal well with conflict which is obvious when he starts gnawing nervously on a blanket. He tells Candice there is still another person going on the block which makes her odds “way better.” Candice is tenacious and isn’t letting McCrae off the hook that easily. McCrae tells her he didn’t want to put up any of the boys because they’d be mad. He basically babbles like an idiot, unable to give her a straight answer. Candice does suspect that he might be in an alliance with the four boys he’s been hanging with, who we have to assume are the other members of The Moving Company. McCrae denies it, but his body language gives him away completely.

The houseguests begin speculating on who will be named the MVP. They all seem in agreement that it will be Elissa. Jeremy says that if he was the MVP, he would tell. He says everybody would respect the honesty. That’s a load of crap. He would only tell his alliance, and he only wants to know so he can curry favor with the MVP and influence his or her vote. Elissa says that her sister’s fans are going to vote for her, but then jokes that her sister is supermodel Gisele  Bündchen. The joke goes over Jeremy’s head since he has no idea who the Brazilian supermodel is.

Elissa is named the Big Brother MVP. Elissa seems to lack her sister’s cutthroat mentality because she BB Elissaimmediately runs to McCrae to tell him the news and swears him to secrecy. She hopes McCrae can help her decide who to nominate because she considers him a friend and an ally. He tells her to put up David, but Elissa feels Nick is the bigger threat. Elissa also tries to make a deal with McCrae that he won’t put her up as a replacement nominee. I didn’t realize that the MVP could be nominated under any circumstances. McCrae won’t make the deal, telling her he can’t go against the wishes of the house. He says he wants to work with her and keep her safe but not at the expense of his own game.

The group gathers in the living room to pick players for The Power of Veto (POV) competition. But first, they get to find out who the MVP has nominated as the third nominee. In spite of McCrae’s refusal to guarantee her safety from the block, Elissa nominates David.

The players chosen to compete for the Power of Veto are Elissa and Howard alongside nominees David, Jessie and Candice.

After the meeting, a very disgruntled and always confused David feels betrayed and questions whether he can even trust Aaryn. He tells her he feels he just got used, and Aaryn asks him by whom. He doesn’t offer up any specific names, but says he just feels the whole house is against him. It seems David assumed he could just coast to the end on his mediocre looks and moronic IQ. Aaryn becomes panicked that the love of her life of two weeks no longer trusts her when he decides he needs an abrupt time out from her company. Aaryn goes into the lounge and cries because David “snapped” at her, and she says she cares more about him than the game. She’s heartbroken at the prospect that he doesn’t trust her.

David finds a distraught Aaryn and apologizes, but like many men, he’s not quite sure what he has to sorry for. Plus, the poor guy is still processing the fact that he’s now on the block. David tries to reassure the spoiled blonde that he does trust her, but she doesn’t believe him. David asks if they can kiss it out, but Aaryn finds it deep within herself to resist his charms.

BB AmandaAmanda advises McCrae to throw the competition. She says if he continues to win, he’ll be perceived as a threat and wind up going home. He questions Amanda’s intentions, and she asks him what she can do to prove she’s looking out for his best interests. The two are growing closer, and McCrae is considering a side alliance with her, so in an attempt to establish mutual trust, he sells out Elissa. He tells Amanda that she’s the MVP. But, he swears her to secrecy because if it gets out, it will come back to him.

Elissa comes into the HOH room, and Amanda makes a hasty retreat. McCrae admits that he told Amanda that Elissa was the MVP. Elissa is convinced that he must hate her and is trying to screw her over.

GinaMarie announces that it’s time for the veto competition which will be hosted by Marcela Valladolid a judge on The American Baking Competition. I wonder what Aaryn and GinaMarie had to say behind her back.

The guests head to the backyard where there’s a giant rolling pin, a large vat of a honey, gooey like substance and a tub of “batter” full of fake blueberries. The houseguests have to crawl under the rolling pin and make their way through the sticky substance. Once they reach the blueberries, which contain letters, they must pop one and bring the letter back to a board one at a time. They have 15 minutes to spell a word. The houseguest who spells the longest word correctly wins. David makes BB history by failing to form a word at all. McCrae wins handily after Elissa spells pot roasts as one word.

Elissa tries to convince McCrae not to change the nominations, but he basically tells her he has no choice. Surprisingly, Elissa has an ally in Nick who also thinks McCrae shouldn’t use the veto, so they can send David home.

At the veto meeting, McCrae decides to use the veto to save Candice and backdoors Elissa. He tells her itBB Nominees would be better for the harmony of the house if she went home this week. Candice is relieved, Aaryn doesn’t feel David is in any danger because she believes the entire house is set to evict Elissa. David isn’t thrilled to be on the block but with “these two girls next to me crying all the time and they’re super emotional, I feel good about my chances of staying in the house this week.” Elissa feels betrayed, but McCrae says she’s not the real target, and she has a lot of life left in the house.

Wednesday Night

The POV ceremony left several houseguests disappointed. McCrae went with the majority’s choice of Elissa as a replacement nominee. What he’ll soon learn is that when trying to please everyone, you please no one. Now he has to answer to his alliance, specifically Nick, who has been campaigning like mad to get David out. While David might have some physical prowess, his head is not really in the game. He’s much more interested in chasing tail than strategizing. David is perpetually confused and would be easy to manipulate. If The Moving Company alliance were as smart as they thought they were, they’d bring him into the fold.

After being put on the block, Elissa goes for the Hail Mary pass and confesses to Andy and Amanda that she is Rachel’s sister and the MVP. Her motives would appear to be transparent, but Andy and Amanda not only let Elissa off the hook for her sin of omission but consider the possibility of working with her in the future.

The Have and Have Nots agree to all wait and start drinking wine together at midnight when the Have Nots finally get a respite from slop and are actually free to move about the refrigerator. Sorry, how can I pass on an airline joke when they are sleeping in a bedroom with an aeronautical theme? But Aaryn, who’s taking a break from racist rants, decides she’s bored and wants to get the party started early. Jeremy absconds with the bottle and pours both Aaryn, David, and apparently himself each a hefty glass. Kaitlin’s involvement is unclear.

BB HelenAt the stroke of midnight, the rest of the houseguests notice the wine is missing and are understandably pissed when they find out what happened. Aaryn lets Jeremy take the fall, and when he tells the rest of the roommates what he did, he shows no remorse whatsoever. It is quickly becoming evident that Jeremy is a bullying, misogynistic bore, and his latest tirade causes sweet mama Helen to burst into tears. Aaryn, even though she is guilty, is still out for blood. Am I the only one giddy with excitement at what awaits her once she exits the house?

While Aaryn and David are convinced he’s safe this week, Spencer, Amanda and Judd continue to weigh their options. Even though they are convinced Elissa will repeatedly win the coveted title of MVP, Spencer thinks they can use her power — her sister’s popularity to their advantage. She’s definitely in the market for a new alliance since McCrae threw her under the bus repeatedly. Amanda, one of my favorite players so far puts it best, “Elissa may not be the sharpest Botox needle on the tray, but she is related to one, Rachel Reilly. So, if she can win MVP every single week, we basically control that vote, if she works with us.”

Now Spencer goes to work on the rest of his alliance to get them on board with the plan. Everybody seems amendable, but as we all know, a lot of strategizing goes on off camera, and by eviction night, the plan could be null and void.

The time for the first live vote and eviction of the summer arrives. The nominees get their usual opportunity to address the other houseguests. Jessie tells everyone it has been a “joy and a pleasure” getting to know each of them. Elissa says she’s been a target from day one and how it would be smart for them to keep a target around because it keeps the focus off everyone else. She gives a shout out to Rachel and tells McCrae that no one comes in between her and her BB game. David says they should keep him because he’s a pretty stand-up guy. I don’t think anybody was expecting a Shakespearian monologue from this guy.

Amanda, Nick, Spencer, Helen, Howard, Judd and Andy vote to evict David while Aaryn, Candice, Kaitlin, BB Moving CompanyGinaMarie and Jeremy vote to evict Elissa. The mood is respectfully somber after David’s departure, and Aaryn looks ready to spit nails. Julie asks him what he thinks happened. David pitifully believes that his intellect but ultimately his likability was his downfall. He feels he would have been a big threat if he made it all the way to the end. A few hundred “likes” later, and David is gone.

The Head of Household competition is called “BB Barbeque.” The houseguests were paired off during the commercial break into teams of two. The first team member carries a measuring cup full of BBQ sauce to a hedge where he or she pours the contents of the cup into his or her partner’s cup. That teammate will transport the sauce the rest of the way and deposit it into a huge glass jug. The first team to fill their jug high enough to remove the ping pong ball residing in the bottom will win. There is also a smaller jug that if a team fills first, will release two larger cups to use in the competition. Since this is an endurance competition, the winners theoretically won’t be revealed until Sunday. They will decide who will become the new HOH. Of course, online and Big Brother After Dark viewers will know later tonight.

 

 

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