The House Always Wins

Strange things are beginning to happen in BB15 land.  Friday night, rivals Aaryn Gries and Elissa Slater hugged it out.

Strange things are beginning to happen in BB15 land. On Friday night, rivals Aaryn Gries and Elissa Slater hugged it out.

So since I last blogged, Spencer Clawson and Howard Overby become the nominees of the fifth HOH cycle as selected by current and former queen of the house, Aaryn Gries. Yesterday, Amanda Zuckerman joined the block being secretly selected by the audience. Then Spencer won veto privileges by winning the weekly Power of Veto competition, which he will likely use to take himself away from the risk of eviction.

With a day of negotiations and strategy sessions to come as of this writing, the thinking presently is that Candice Stewart will join showmance boyfriend Howard on the block and at the risk of being evicted.

With Spencer winning the fifth veto of the season, a couple of streaks have continued on that have continued to defy the odds.

Clawson was the fourth straight nominee heading into the POV comp to win that week’s contest. This year, with three nominees on the block each week, that has a 50/50 chance of happening each week.  Happening four straight weeks has only a 1 in 16 chance of happening, or 6.25%. In other words, it has a 93.75% chance of NOT happening. If it happens again next week, the odds of a nominee winning five straight times is 3.125%.

Spencer’s win also means that the Head Or Household or the three nominees have won each of the five contests, which has a 4 in 6 chance of happening in a single week. That happening five straight weeks has a 32 in 243 chance of happening, or a 13.17% chance. Should that happen again next week, the odds go down to 8.78%.

So what we are seeing isn’t impossible, but it is statistically improbable.  And just like in Las Vegas, sooner or later, the odds will likely correct the improbable. That is, unless someone or some force is stacking the deck.

A Believable Fiction

Believe it or not, Aaryn Gries won her second HOH last night. She and McCrae Olson have won two competitions each now, leading the pack.

Believe it or not, Aaryn Gries won her second HOH last night. She and McCrae Olson have won two competitions each now, leading the pack.

Call it a real contest, call it stagecraft, but the Big Brother summer experience is seldom boring.

The big story this week was not the actions of any houseguest, but the singular post of one Hailey Jones, which is an admitted psuedonym of some kind. Does the post have some validity to it? Absolutely it does, so let’s look at the post point by point.

About Elissa Slater being a distraction that will work in favor for Amanda Zuckerman winning: quite possible, but the game-slash-story-line has numerous opportunities to be proven untrue. I think the season start out with that idea in mind, but I think the story line morphed into a Elissa versus Aaryn Gries rivalry to enhance the smoke screen. Note how the TV show has focused in on Aaryn’s racist remarks and has aired Ginamarie’s similar comments to a slighter degree, but they have not focused in on everyone else’s loose lips.

With Aaryn winning Head of Household in the fifth such cycle, it sets up an interesting chapter in the season. With Elissa likely on the block regardless of whether or not Aaryn puts her there, Aaryn may have the chance to deliver the death blow to Mrs. Slater’s chance, or show her morality is improving by working with her, directly or otherwise. It seems that the ratings of the show would thrive if the Gries/Slater rivalry was prolonged as long as possible.

As a side note, look how many of the houseguests this year have openly admitted on the feeds that they take Xanax or Adderall, and how they continue to get these supplies while competing. It is often theorized that those who take drugs can be controlled to some degree. And with the houseguests continually getting these supplies gives producers the possible option to cut off supplies if the contestants refuse to cooperate.

And speaking of that, also notice how the early houseguests who have departed have either spoken of their refusal to cooperate with the Diary Room narrative (most notably Nick Uhas) or have openly said that Elissa Slater is getting coaching or saying that the competitions are rigged for her to win. Jeremy McGuire and Kaitlin Barnaby have been the most verbal about these theories, and now they are no longer in the game.

Of course, Jeremy’s wiping of Elissa’s hat on his ass may have had something to do with that, too.

Getting back to Hailey Jones’s Facebook post, she alleges that Amanda Zuckerman is in collusion with executive producer Allison Grodner, and that the two have a friendship. Worth noting is that Amanda was on another CBS show back in 2008 called Big Shot Live. This makes Amanda the first contestant in Big Brother history having originally appeared on another reality show, as opposed to many Big Brother alums who have appeared elsewhere since their days in the house.

But does that necessarily mean they are stacking the deck for her? If Amanda is evicted, we will know that this is false, and that Hailey’s post was merely an attempt at being a provocateur to get us “smart marks” thinking about other conspiracies.

A Prophecy From Within?

This Facebook post made the rounds on July 23, 2013.  We'll see if it comes to pass.

This Facebook post made the rounds on July 23, 2013. We’ll see if it comes to pass.

The only thing I would say is to challenge Ms./Mrs. Jones to present all of her information sooner rather than later.  Could it all be a ruse? Yes, it could.

The Unsinkable Elissa Slater

Elissa Slater gets dolled up like she's on the MTV show Jersey Shore.

Elissa Slater gets dolled up like she’s on the MTV show Jersey Shore.

If you need any further evidence that Big Brother 15 has devolved into the Elissa Slater show, the past couple of days on the live feeds should wipe away any doubt. And I am not saying that it is a good thing or a bad thing; I’m just stating what the facts are.

There was a twist deployed this week after Jeremy McGuire became the third houseguest sent packing on the 28th day of the season. The MVP was not somebody in the house, but the audience itself. Our mission: to vote for the third nominee at CBS.com’s website. It was the first time the audience had this major of a show decision since the first season in 2000, when the houseguests were evicted by a public vote as is still done in the Big Brother seasons outside of North America.

At the same time, it should be noted that if you read the fine print of these votes, CBS.com can disqualify and void any votes they so choose, so essentially THEY are picking the third nominee and using our names to do it.

I thought there were a couple of problems with this off the bat: for one thing, it takes strategy and coordination out of the hands of the Head of Household, won this week by the very popular Judd Daughtery, because the HOH would not know who the MVP is, nor would anyone else. If Judd wanted to target someone out the door, it takes backdooring (waiting to put the target nominee up until the Power of Veto ceremony, assuring the target faces a house vote) out of play.

Secondly and most relevantly, one of the nominees Judd choose and whomever the audience picked could be the same person. Under the rules provided (unlike previous twists of late, the producers weren’t as vague as they usually are), whoever the next highest houseguest was in the veto tally would be nominated. Should the nominee picked by the audience win Power Of Veto, the next highest houseguest after that is the replacement nominee.  Had the contest been done after nomination, it would have produced a much better outcome.

Obviously, everyone wanted Aaryn Gries, the Texas State student and model who said some racially charged things in the house since “moving” in, on the block and out the door. As fate would have it, Judd wants her on the block as well. With the feeds blocked exactly as the MVP vote ends at 9pm, Judd nominates Aaryn and Kaitlin Barnaby as the first two nominees. Hours later, the house is getting antsy to find out who the MVP is, and so is Elissa. After a trip to the Diary Room, Elissa gets the brainstorm that since she’s not the MVP, perhaps America is the MVP. Later in the night, Elissa tells Howard Overby that she’s been nominated.

Too many coincidences, in my view, for this all to be just one coincidence.

Saturday arrives, and Elissa is saying all kinds of crazy things to Judd Daugherty, the one guy in the house who has the power to do something about it. Her strange behavior has Judd thinking perhaps Elissa should be nominated at the veto meeting on Monday. There’s a slight problem with this; it is revealed to the house shortly afterward her weird behavior that Elissa’s the third nominee. The social media outlets go in a tizzy, and the house is in shock. Elissa starts crying (even though she apparently knew LAST NIGHT this was happening), and the house comforts her like she’s ten years old.

Fast forward to the Power of Veto contest later in the day. The HOH and the three nominees are joined in battle by two randomly drawn contestants: McCrae Olson and Helen Kim, Elissa’s closest confidant in the house.

Want to take a guess as to who wins POV? That’s right, America’s nominee, Elissa.

There are allegations of rigging in the house from Aaryn Gries that the contest was designed for Elissa to win later Saturday night, and some of the other houseguests chime in that they too saw some weird things in the competition. So Elissa will veto herself on Monday, and the replacement nominee will remain a mystery until then. The house seems to be united at this point to remove Aaryn (The Spawn Of Satan) from the house, unless the replacement nominee provides an opportunity to deviate from that plan.

Could be a wild next few days, or a totally boring stretch, but yesterday was one strange odyssey.

The Victim Card

Jessie Kowalski smokes a cigarette early on Day 26, July 16, 2013.

Jessie Kowalski smokes a cigarette early on Day 26, July 16, 2013.

CBS once again took to a public relations offensive with the airing of the eighth episode of Big Brother and the airing of The Talk the following day, the subject matter being the ongoing racism of one Aaryn Gries.

As many of you live feed watchers know, there’s only one problem with that: Aaryn is not the sole person in the house these past 26 days engaging in racism or misogyny. The fact that they misrepresent the facts so grossly should be an indicator that the show and the network are being deceptive with us, the viewers.

You have Spencer Clawson making creepy comments about Jessie Kowalski to confidant Judd Daughtery, wondering if Kowalski’s womanhood tastes like butterscotch.

Then there’s Ginamarie Zimmerman, probably one of the more mentally unstable houseguests in show history, challenging Candice Stewart in a verbal altercation last Thursday to, paraphrasing slightly, get her black out.

But yet they want us to believe that Aaryn’s the only bad apple in the house. Get real with your reality, CBS.

They would rather run a disclaimer to permit Aaryn’s behavior then get rid of her for racially charged bullying. What does that tell you? And to be clear, I do not like Miss Gries and her behavior in the house, but it only tells part of the story here. The people who put her in the house to begin with now react as if they have been victimized. They create the problem, they react to it, and they will make us wait for the eventual situation where the problem is solved, whether it happens now, in September when the show ends, or somewhere in between.

In the tinderbox of racial relations that exists a few days after the trial of George Zimmerman, who may or may not have used self defense in killing Trayvon Martin in an Orlando suburb last year, CBS has to be extremely careful not to become pimps of racial division, even if it is to gain publicity and ratings.

Max Bialystock of The Producers wouldn’t even approve of that.

The Slow March

If you go to the live feeds, you now get this disclaimer.

If you go to the live feeds, you now get this disclaimer.

I don’t know about you, my fellow blog viewers, but watching the BB15 house is aging me. Hours seem to go by like days, days go by like weeks, weeks go by like months. With this group, you never know who is going to say what, and what will wind up on TMZ.

House dynamics and house cliques seem to change by the day. If you think it’s impossible for person X to dislike person Y, wait a few hours and it winds up happening. Maybe the three nominee/MVP rules are to blame for this. Or maybe it’s a very unpredictable group.

The most recent developments are these: Helen Kim, the third Head of Household of the season, nominated Aaryn Gries and Kaitlin Barnaby for eviction. To the surprise of only a select few, Elissa Slater won her third straight MVP, giving her the right to name a nominee of her own, choosing Spencer Clawson. So, in the three HOH reigns so far, ten of the sixteen houseguests have now been on the block at least once, including eight of the fourteen remaining.

On Saturday, Kaitlin won the Power of Veto competition, which sets up an interesting problem for her. If she uses the POV on herself, which seems the most logical play, her showmance friend Jeremy McGuire will likely be backdoored and voted out as things stand now. If she doesn’t use the veto, she probably wouldn’t be the target of the next eviction vote, Aaryn would be. Would she be smart enough to recognize this, or will she choose the obvious route of self-preservation?

There was a controversial moment on Friday night, as Helen Kim pretty much admitted on the feeds on two separate occasions that the production team of the show didn’t want Howard Overby, the former Southern Miss football player, on the block. That brought out the age-old argument on social media outlets about whether or not the show is manipulated behind the scenes, or how much.

Dingo over at Hamsterwatch points out that during season eight back in 2007, they had a similar station as to the present racism and homophobia controversy, but on a much smaller scale. Amber Siyavus spouted controversial views about those of the Jewish faith during the course of the season “Evel” Dick Donato won.  At a point after this became a much smaller scandal that the present one, Eric Stein was at risk of being evicted, and Eric was a Jewish houseguest. It also was one of those weeks were a dramatic voting turnaround took place, and instead of Eric going down, Kail Harbick wound up going home. In the present situation, you have two African-American houseguests and a very racist one in Aaryn. Does the show have a vested interest in assuring Aaryn goes home before Howard or Candice Stewart does?

It should also be noted that Eric was also America’s player during the course of the season, and was ordered not to use the Power pf Veto at one stage that kept the Donatos from simultaneously being on the block and would have prevented them from each finishing in the top two during that particular season.

Not even past houseguests have a total consensus or agreement as to the legitimacy of the contest, which I have always found interesting. It seems that those evicted early are more inclined to believe that production interferes often, while those who finish high or win their respective seasons seem to think highly of the production team. Think of that what you will.

As for me, I’m pretty sure the truth is somewhere between those two extremes. And the search for that truth continues here.

Fight Night

I hadn’t planned on doing a commentary today, but the ugly incidents of last night gave me other plans.

Aaryn Gries and her gang of thugs were baiting some of the women in the house who voted against Nick Uhas last night. First, Jeremy McGuire and Kaitlin Barnaby hogged the bed Jessie Kowalski was in as an effort to make her feel uncomfortable for her vote. Then Aaryn started to race-bait Candice Stewart after Aaryn had flipped over Candice’s bed several minutes prior.

Howard Overby came into the room, and you could see in that clip that he was barely holding his composure together. Ginamarie Zimmerman entered the conversation, and she and Candice exchanged words. Zimmerman quickly got up in Candice’s face and challenged Stewart to do something about the situation.

“Whatcha gonna say?” Ginamarie kept asking Candice.

Ginamarie Zimmerman challenges Candice Stewart to fight her... July 11, 2013.

Ginamarie Zimmerman challenges Candice Stewart to fight her… July 11, 2013.

Howard picked up Candice and carried her out of the room they were all in, with Stewart never losing eye contact with Zimmerman as she departed.

“Oh my God, I just wanted to smack her right there.” Kaitlin Barnaby said as Candice exited.

I’ve been watching this show a long time, and I’ve never seen an incident that ugly in the house as that one. Yes, even more disgusting than what Shannon did in BB2 and what Jeremy did with Elissa Slater’s hat just a week or so ago. And I must admit, it’s one of the rare times an incident on a TV show has made me angry to watch it, and it actually me feel ashamed to be white.

This was in your face racism, disgusting and uncalled for. Aaryn and her mini Aryan Nation showed a total lack of class, and quite frankly, NOW they should be disciplined for what they’ve done, more than ever. And NOT just Aaryn, the others as well. They are a national disgrace!

Will the show or will CBS do anything about it? Probably not. After all, it is good ratings. Prove me wrong, gang.