A Whole Lot Of Nothing

This week, it was Ika Wong’s turn to depart the house, losing the eviction vote 8-1 to Heather Decksheimer. Canada (meaning the show’s viewers) have been declared the week’s Head of Household, with the relevant facts of the new HOH cycle not yet known, due to a live feed blackout going from Saturday morning to Sunday’s show.

Making the viewers de-facto HOH’s is something that’s never been done in North American show history, obviously. This is bound to favor Allison White and keep her from going home for another week, since “Canada” voted her into the house from the War Room.

I know the fans of the show love getting “power” to make their decisions, but I again remind everyone that this is a reality TV show, where reality is often times not reality. There are shows in this realm who say we voted a certain way, but have been revealed by the media as ignoring those votes, as evidenced recently by the New York Daily News article concerning the inner workings of the NBC show The Voice. If the producers do make the ultimate choice, I’m sure they will use the show’s voting (which they can only see, since no media organization dares to audit them) as a gauge as to what to do.

If only somebody went to the media anonymously and told the media of what really goes on behind Big Brother in the US and Canada. That would be a good thing.

That’s why I’m not a big fan of all the twists that go on in a given season. I watch to see how strategies play out, not to see a zillion different twists that alter these strategies. But that’s just me. Your milage may vary as mine does.

They Buried Paul

In the past seven days, these were the developments:

Paul Jackson made history, becoming the first sole HOH to be evicted third or sooner in the 17 North American versions of Big Brother, evicted 6-4 despite most of the women wanting to get rid of Heather Decksheimer. Rachelle Diamond, who had been playing a stealthy game up until Day 22, became HOH in the fourth cycle, thus nominating Decksheimer and the newest member of the house, Allison White.

Last night, White saved herself from going out the door this Thursday by winning the Power of Veto, meaning Miss Diamond will likely have to pick a replacement nominee.

Back to Jackson’s eviction and his record-breaking performance, and not in a good way. In season seven of the US version, Jase Wirey was evicted third after co-winning the first HOH that year with Janelle Pierzina, so he wasn’t leading the house by himself. The much bashed season nine had the “power couple” who made the first eviction all by themselves, with Sharon Obermuller and Jacob Heald leaving the house at the hands of Jen Diturno and Parker Somerville. Diturno and Somerville wound up out the door next, followed by the first co-HOH’s that year, the pairing of Amanda Hansen and Alex Coladonato.

Personally, I always love it when someone the house wants to get rid of en masse goes home. Not because that particular houseguest should or should not be reviled, but because they then have to turn on each other and find a new person to target. Deals get cut, and the game moves along.

As it turned out, Paul’s gambit of wanting to evict the first wave of departures in the first HOH competition was his undoing. It was a rarely used gambit, but when you do something like that, half the house doesn’t want anything to do with you, and you get no where playing to 50% of your potential base.

Allison In Wonderland

The facts of the past seven days as the second season of BB Canada rolls on are these: Paul Jackson is still in the game after nearly becoming the first person in the North American format’s history to be HOH in its first cycle and evicted in its second cycle. (Not counting BB14’s Willie Hantz, who was not evicted, but expelled.) Kyle Shore, the Nova Scotia personal trainer, went home instead.

Allison White, the Newfoundland nurse, entered the game from the war room where she and two other houseguests-to-be had resided in secret the week leading up to Thursday’s decision by Canadian fans…or was it? Allison could not be the season’s third HOH (Andrew Gordon was HOH number two) by rule, but in turn could not be nominated either. So far in the third HOH cycle, the former Jamaican Ika Wong has won HOH and veto powers, likely keeping Paul Jackson and Heather Decksheimer up until one of those two is eliminated from the game.

This week, I found it very hard to keep up with events in the house. The world seems more focused on a missing airliner somewhere on the other side of the world, and the ever-growing tensions between Russia, the Ukraine, and the rest of the western world each seem a bit more important, much as the events in Boston after the bombings there last April seem to have the world on edge.

It’s also harder (or so it seems) to watch the shows here in the United States, as our country continues to pretend other versions of the shows do not exist. Nethertheless, we will soldier on and provide another update in seven days, Lord willing, and if the creek don’t rise.

One Out, One In

Fear The Beard?  Houseguest Kenny Brain hasn't made any waves yet in BB Canada 2, and that's a good thing.

Fear The Beard? Houseguest Kenny Brain hasn’t made any waves yet in BB Canada 2, and that’s a good thing.

The second season of the Canadian version of Big Brother is now underway, actually into it’s 11th day of competition.  Anick Gervais was this year’s “Gigli” (like the 2003 movie that was one of the worst bombs ever), eliminated at the hands of Paul Jackson, who used a unique gambit to win the first Head of Household competition.

Fair warning from this point out: I do not do spoilers.  Just because the TV show airs events behind what happens in real time doesn’t mean I’m beholden to that timeline. But just this once for the season, I’ll provide a “stop sign” here and now in case you don’t want to know.  That is, if you are seeing this post on the Big Brother Diaries website.  If you’re seeing this post elsewhere, that may or may not apply.

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Handicapping BB Canada 2

Who are these guys?  They're the new cast of Big Brother Canada.  They always look so happy before the "go to war" with each other for big bucks, don't they?

Who are these guys? They’re the new cast of Big Brother Canada. They always look so happy before the “go to war” with each other for big bucks, don’t they?

I have to be honest here. I didn’t really think all that much of the first season of Big Brother Canada. I felt the show was basically a clone of its American counterpart, and really didn’t do enough to separate itself from it to make the franchise stand on its own merits. The show did have the cliffhanger of the mistaken vote by Topaz Brady that cost Gary Levy the change to become the first gay North American winner ever, something Andy Herren accomplished a few months down the road in the fifteenth American season.

That being said, my first impression of this year’s cast is that it will be a wide open field.

You’ve probably seen me say this a few times, but I think occupations are usually a big clue as to who will win and who won.  At least 13 of the 15 US winners (although the argument can be made that you can say this about all 15 winners) have been people who interact in a group or a series of individuals on a daily basis: college students, financial planners, bartenders, and so forth.

If you’re a model or an entertainer, more often than not you don’t fare all that well, unless the show was cast in a way to make that more likely, as was the case the years that Rachel Reilly and Andy Herren won.

I could see about 10 of the 14 houseguests winning this season, and that’s something I usually don’t say often before a season begins.  If I had to make a pick, I’d take Andrew Gordon, the Calgary restaurant manager, with Paul Jackson of Toronto as a second choice.

Look for weekly commentaries here as the season progresses.  If the season has one thing going for it, it’s the fact that there are no repeat contestants, no US contestants, and no relatives of previous contestants.  New casts are not a bad thing at all.