The only thing we know for sure about what happened yesterday in the house: it was pretty darn hot! Los Angeles, along with a good chunk of the southwestern United States, was in a major heat wave, with the thermometer in Studio City closer to 110 than 100. (Nearby Beverly Hills hit 112 Sunday.) I hope everyone in the house was able to take it easy on one of Big Brother’s hottest days in its history, as that’s the kind of heat you don’t want to be doing too much in.
Time to look at the returnees coming back, and how I think they’ll do. But first, a couple of reminders:
First, I’m making the assumption that Frank, Nicole, James, and Da’Vonne are the group of four returning for the sake of this blog entry. If it winds up being a different set of four, I’ll revise and extend (as they say on C-SPAN) my overall prediction.
Second, as you’ll see as the predictions progress, I have all of the returnees ranked in the top 7. The natural assumption I have is that the returnees, as was the case during the 14th season, will be given a head start of some kind. I’m also assuming that it’s more possible that they might be inclined to align with each other, buying them time before they have to wage war with each other. However, the show usually doesn’t throw the same kind of twist twice in a row in the exact same way. Keep in the mind that the coaches head start in BB14 and the “reset button” weren’t well received at all, so producers will have the motivation to do this kind of season a different way.
Frank Eudy, the son of two-time WWF champ “Sycho” Sid Eudy in 1996 and 1997, finish 7th four years ago, and was closely aligned with Mike “Boogie” Malin and, early in the season, Ian Terry. He was evicted on Day 62, but won the Favorite Houseguest poll of fans to win $25,000. Winning 2 HOH’s and 3 POV’s consecutively, he should prove to be a competitive force of nature in the more physical comps. He also played against 3 former winners or winners to be in Boogie, Dan, and Ian, so he should have quite an education in how to play. I see him doing well, but I tend to think he’ll be a big target in the late stages of the game, so also look for him to be near record territory in nominations
PREDICTION FOR FRANK: 5th
Nicole Franzel is another 7th place finisher, evicted twice in BB16, lasting 56 days in her first run, returning on Day 63 to last another 14 days. She’s also the first houseguest to be HOH and evicted in the same week of play, thanks to the (hopefully) now forgotten Battle Of The Block twist. I tend to think her game this year will have a bit of an edge to it, and with Cody’s brother Paulie and Michelle in the game, there tends to be some built-in alliance possibilities available. Like Frank, I see her doing slightly better than her first run.
PREDICTION FOR NICOLE: 6th
On now to Da’Vonne Rogers, who lasted 22 days last season and finished 16th. That being said, I was very impressed with her play a year ago. She figured out the twin twist, that the Nolans were alternating in the house as sisters in the first six weeks. On top of that she got into a verbal spat with Audrey, concluding that she was a disruptive force in Shelli Poole’s alliance, which later proved very true.
One of my personal theories about seasons of Big Brother that have returning houseguests is that you have to always keep an eye on those who do the worst on their first run. Even though Dan was a runner-up on BB14, the other two winners of seasons with multiple returnees were Boogie on BB7 and Rachel on BB13. I think the “power returnees” tend to cancel each other out. With Day’s superb game instincts, that may clear a path for her all the way to Day 99.
PREDICTION FOR DA’VONNE: Runner-up.
Finally, we get to James Huling, who finished 7th (notice a trend here?) on BB17, lasting 78 days. He was a good all-around player, building alliances and winning competitions in key spots. He, like Frank, won the $25,000 as America’s favorite last season. I don’t think he will bring anything new to the table, but if plays the same game and carries the same attitude, he won’t need to. The alliances just have to go his way this time. I have him finishing exactly where he did last year, but I wouldn’t be shocked if gets a notch or two higher.
PREDICTION FOR JAMES: 7th.
So, recapping the field, here’s where I have everybody finishing:
Tomorrow: a look at the house.
Wednesday: a trip through BB history.
Thursday: a look at the season’s TV debut.
Friday: Night two of the premiere, and getting up to speed via the feeds.