BB18, Day 7: The Habitat

The one thing you will likely never hear me complain about is the design of the house. As long as these guys and girls have a roof over their head, and the house doesn’t have any big-time problems, I just don’t tend to notice it.

To me, not to diminish the work done every year, it’s just a sound stage built to look a like house, kind of like how Rick Harrison says what’s in his Las Vegas pawn shop is just stuff. An oversimplification of what exists, I suppose.

That said, Scott Storey did another outstanding job on this year’s house design, at least from my untrained eye.

So, if the above video works (today or ten years from now), give it a click.

That’s all I have for today with an considerable absence of news and the houseguests all reviewed and ranked. I’ll have a little more tomorrow.

BB18, Day 6: Ranking The Returnees

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Frank Eudy, as he appeared on BB14, rumored to be returning on BB18.

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:

1. Michelle
2. Da’Vonne
3. Paul
4. Paulie
5. Frank
6. Nicole
7. James
8. Bronte
9. Jozea
10. Natalie
11. Corey
12. Tiffany
13. Bridgette
14. Glenn
15. Zakiyah
16. Victor

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.

BB18, Day 5: Rounding Out The Newbies

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Jeff Schroeder introduces everybody to Tiffany Rousso, Vanessa’s sister.

Nothing new in the news about how the game is faring, in fact it’s likely we won’t know anything before Wednesday night. But don’t worry, I still have plenty to talk about, including analyzing the last three newbie houseguests. If you don’t see you favorite here, check over the past few days, as I’ve already reviewed 9 of the new 12.

At age 50, Glenn Garcia from The Bronx is the oldest houseguest since Jerry McDonald finished third in the tenth season behind Memphis and Dan. Usually, the cast consists of contestants in their 20’s and 30’s, usually with a token 40-something thrown in. Do I think that’s fair? No. But these shows are not about doing what’s fair, it’s about producing ratings. Just the way the TV world works, and has for decades.

A lot of people make a big deal of Glenn being a Donald Trump supporter, and I wish they wouldn’t. I don’t think politics has anything to do what makes a houseguest good or not so good, as we saw with Helen during BB15. It’s the personality you bring to the table. That being said, I do wonder what made Glenn a former detective and a current dog groomer, as I’ve seen a few others on social media wonder about. Did he get jaded as a detective, or did he merely seek a better, more rewarding profession?

Usually, older houseguests do very well on the show when they’re on. They have to be good to get on a show dominated by younger adults, right? But, there are exceptions to every rule, and I think it’s possible Glenn gets lost in the early alliance shuffle, not being able to fit in with a younger crowd. He’ll be a “hit or miss” kind of contestant, going quickly or going very far.

PREDICTION FOR GLENN: 14th.

Over to Natalie Negrotti, 26, who comes to us from New Jersey via Venezuela, and was once a cheerleader for the New York Jets. One thing that immediately sticks out about her from her bio pic is she appears to have had breast augmentation done, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just another one of those thing we see in Big Brother every season, by necessity or otherwise. Maybe it’s because those who get that kind of surgery get a confidence, a pep in their step they wouldn’t ordinarily have. Just my guess from a male perspective.

Natalie being a former cheerleader reminds me that these are usually the type of contestants who are unafraid of mixing it up in the house and doing some ruthless things, regardless of the bigger picture not favoring such big moves. Jennifer Vasquez from BB6 comes to mind looking at Natalie’s bio, as does Victoria from a couple of years ago. Think she’ll have a hand in taking out some big players, leaving herself open for her own ouster just past the jury level.

PREDICTION FOR NATALIE: 10th

The final stop on the tour of newbies is Tiffany Rousso, who is the sister of Vanessa Rousso, the third place finisher a season ago who just missed winning the season on a single question in the last HOH competition. Kind of the BB equivalent of losing the Super Bowl by one point. Tiffany and Vanessa now join the Montgomerys, Reillys, and Nolans as the fourth set of sister to play a Big Brother season, either in different seasons or the same season.

Surely Tiffany realizes that she’ll need a totally different game than Vanessa had in order to go far this season. I have to think the other newbies and returnees will be looking for a master manipulator among them. From what I’ve read, Tiffany might be honest from the onset as to who her sister is, and I have to wonder if this won’t be mistake.

She might be able to make some Vanessa-like plays early on, bur as the final eviction before the jury looms in late July, I see the house pulling off a major blindside to take her down, a move that will go into the annals of Big Brother history and lore that leaves the live show crowd gasping. Tiffany will be back teaching math class in Florida in time for the start of the next school year in August.

PREDICTION FOR TIFFANY: 12th

Tomorrow, a look at the four rumored returnees.

BB18, Day 4: Baffled By Bronte

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Bronte is no stranger to a camera, which isn’t a bad thing.

Continuing to analyze the 12 newbie houseguests before moving to the rumored four returnees:

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what to make of Bronte D’Acquisto, the Denver student. If you’ve ever read BB10 winner Dan Gheesling’s book about how to get into the reality TV genre, you know that Big Brother producers love to hype their typecasting of houseguests early in the various seasons. For example, in Dan’s first season, they made a big point that he was a Catholic early on, which became a big point of discussion when a blindside took place later on that season. It seems that Bronte is being typecast as a nerdy woman (nothing wrong with that) to camouflage her model looks.

Something else I see every year: it seems that each year, they get someone who’s more than comfortable in front of the camera, and has TV or online video experience thru YouTube. Meg Maley fit that role last year, Frankie Grande two years ago, Amanda on BB15, and so on. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, either. Probably helps to have someone who understands the camera and can take (and possibly) give direction among the cast.

As for Bronte, she’s most definitely the wild card houseguest of the year. I could see her as a female Andy Herren, who won BB15. I could also see the house getting annoyed with her, or seeing through whatever “act” she puts on. I think I’ll split the difference here, but she’s the kind of houseguest that could finish anywhere in the standings.

PREDICTION FOR BRONTE: 8th.

As many of my social media colleagues have pointed out, Michelle Meyer, a Michigan nutritionist, looks like a brunette version of BB16’s Nicole. One of the things I often say is that Nicole had more of a dark side or killer instinct, she would have gone deeper into her season, but it looks like she’ll be one of the four houseguests coming back this year.

Everything I have seen Michelle screams at me that she’s going to be very entertaining to watch. She seems to get that you want to weak while being strong, something Vanessa played to the hilt last season. We haven’t had a woman win Big Brother since Rachel won BB13 back in 2011. Michelle just might be the one to break that streak.

PREDICTION FOR MICHELLE: Winner.

On to that other Paul on the show this year, clothing designer Paul Abrahamian. Another one of these guys who does his own thing and dances to his own drummer. Got a feeling not only will we see Paul this season, but brought back for a future season if Big Brother lasts on CBS into the 2020’s.

I can see him playing the game much like Evel Dick did on BB8, unafraid to say anything or do anything, even if it means getting under the skin of other houseguests. Much like Vanessa last year, I can see him losing the season by missing some random question near the end, but he should have a legendary run.

PREDICTION FOR PAUL: 3rd.

Tomorrow, a look at Glenn, Natalie, and Tiffany, then the four returnees on Monday. Enjoy the weekend off…we don’t get another one until late September!

BB18, Day 3: Down Goes BOB!

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Jeff Schroeder and Zakiyah Everette…

Before moving on to the analysis of the next three houseguests, word came down yesterday that show producers have gotten rid of that horrible Edsel of a twist, the Battle Of The Block. That gimmick will be replaced with another comp that will take place during the week right after the nominations on Friday in real time, and Sunday on the TV show.

My personal guess as to what replaces it is that this will be a spin off of another tried and failed twist, the MVP from BB15. I’m thinking whoever wins the contest will be immune from being nominated (a power the MVP winner did not have), and will get to name a nominee of his or her own, or grant immunity to any houseguest. The HOH can compete and win the power as well as the rest of the house.

But that’s just my guess. Let’s see what the producers come up with.

Funny how you see houseguests from one location in one season, and then different contestants in later seasons from roughly the same location. Seven seasons ago, Jordan Lloyd came into the house as a waitress from Matthews, North Carolina, which is basically a suburb just southeast of Charlotte.

This year, we have Zakiyah Everette, a preschool teacher from the home of the NFL’s Panthers in Charlotte. I don’t think we have ever had a preschool teacher on the show before, so it’ll be interesting to see how Zakiyah’s game plays out. But, knowing how the women oddly never seem to get along all that well in the house, I can see several women being voted out early, despite how good their character may be.

PREDICTION FOR ZAKIYAH: 15th.

Next up is Bridgette Dunning, a traveling nurse based out of Fresno, California. Haven’t been a lot of nurses or women in the medical profession on the show, outside of BB6’s Maggie, who won her season. That should suggest that her personal networking skills should be good enough not to be one of the first causalities of the season. But like I said with Zakiyah, women don’t tend to work together when $500,000 is on the line.

PREDICTION FOR BRIDGETTE: 13th

The last stop today is a check-in on Victor Arroyo, a 25 year-old gym manager, not a bad gig to get at such a young age. Seems to have some narcissistic qualities to him, much like Devin Shepherd a couple of years back. In his CBS bio, he says he wants to underplay some of his personality traits, and that may be a recipe for disaster with his personality being what it might be. I see him joining the BB “One and Done” club on June 30th.

PREDICTION FOR VICTOR: 16th.

Saturday: a look at Bronte, Michelle, Paul.
Sunday: a look at Glenn, Natalie, Tiffany.
Monday: our four returnees, if confidence remains high in who they are.

BB18, Day 2: Time To Analyze

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In one of the 12 taped interviews released Tuesday, Jeff Schroeder interviews Paulie Califiore, brother of BB16’s Cody, who himself is now a houseguest on BB18.

With a bit of time on our hands before the “TV show” version of Big Brother begins on June 22nd (Day 8), I’m going to do some analysis on each of the 12 new houseguests, three per day over the next four days. Confidence remains high that the returning houseguests will be Frank, Nicole, James, and Da’Vonne. Should that remain the case, I’ll analyze the returnees on Day 6, Monday.

In true Big Brother fashion, I determined the four groups of three by a random draw, and here’s how the groups broke down:

Today: Paulie, Corey, Jozea
Friday: Zakiyah, Bridgette, Victor
Saturday: Bronte, Michelle, Paul
Sunday: Glenn, Natalie, Tiffany

Paulie (not to be confused with Paul, the L.A. fashion designer) is, of course, the brother of BB16’s Cody, and the Calafiores are the first set of brothers to have each played the US version of Big Brother. Reading his bio (no, I don’t watch the Jeffy interviews) tells me he’s going to win a few physical comps, and will probably wow a lady or two in the house and be a figure in alliances. I wonder how he gets along with Nicole, assuming her return.

PREDICTION FOR PAULIE: 4th.

Corey Brooks is a baseball coach, which is fitting, because to me he looks a lot like Corey Dickerson of the Tampa Bay Rays. If Robyn Kass uses a general template each season with kinks thrown in each year based on popular culture, Corey strikes me as this year’s Caleb Reynolds. Seems to have a “people skills” side, and perhaps a darker side that is going to be tough to hide as the days in the house mount.

Then there’s this from Reality Blurred about Corey’s use of homophobic commentary, which reminded Andy Denhart of…Caleb. Hopefully, we don’t have what Dingo over at Hamsterwatch called the “rabies” situation of three seasons ago with repeated insensitive remarks.

PREDICTION FOR COREY: 11th.

Lastly today, Jozea Flores is a makeup artist out of Los Angeles. He’s a big Frankie Grande fan, but I won’t hold that against him. I’m kidding! Traditionally, I’m of the theory that artists, actors, and models don’t do well on BB, mainly because they tend to focus on themselves a bit much. I don’t think it’s an accident that students, teachers, waitresses, and nurses tend to do better season after season, as they tend to manipulate more frequently as part of their daily lives. That being said, I can see Jozea as part of some early alliances.

PREDICTION FOR JOZEA: 9th.

Three more to look at tomorrow, catch you then!

BB18, Day 1: Meet The Newbies

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Here they are: 12 brand new houseguests, with 4 more yet to be revealed.

Did you feel it?

Did you feel that rush of tweets on Twitter and posts on Facebook racing by around 2pm on the East Coast?

There were a lot of rumors and expectations this year, but from what I can see, the rumors from the most reputable sources proved correct.

Here’s the list of the names and occupations of the first dozen released yesterday, who now join the 212 who have played at least once in the first 17 seasons:

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Hmmm, I see a few familiar names there. For the second straight year, there’s a Rousso. Yes, Tiffany is Vanessa’s sister. And, for the second season in the past three, we have a Calafiore in the house in Paul. Yep, that’s the brother of Cody from BB16.

And we have at least four more houseguests yet to be revealed, so the rumors of returning contestants seem VERY true at this point. One school of thought is that the returnees are Derrick, Ian, Vanessa, and Audrey. The other theory is that it’s Frank from BB14, Nicole from BB16, DaVonne and James from BB17. At this point, it looks like the latter foursome is more likely to be correct, but we won’t know for sure until we see them in the house I suppose. It’s also possible that the four going up could be some sort of mash-up among this pool of eight.

Sometime today or tonight, these 12 (at least) move in. Best wishes to the houseguests playing and to production for a memorable season that puts this franchise back on track after four straight years of losing ratings.

What to do in the intervening time? I’ll be doing some houseguest analysis over the next four days, going thru the new dozen three by three. Plenty of time to look over the material in the intervening time.