Season 19 isn’t getting any less weirder, as evidenced in the events in the house the past two weeks.
Seeing BB18’s Paul Abrahamian in the house, getting advantage after advantage and playing den mother is one thing. It’s another thing when the broken footed Christmas Abbott gets to phone in her vote from a hospital bed after her surgery. (When she returned on Friday from surgery, she revealed that she heard on the phone hookup that there were three votes to evict Ramses in an unsuccessful effort, then inquired about the voting order after reentering the house.) But then again, why do we continue as fans to expect fairness and integrity from a show that continues to breach it on its own? Bring back Christmas on a future season and give her a chance to play when she’s a bit more healthier, that seemed to me to be the easier way to go about things.
Jillian Parker and Cody Nickson met their in-game demises, although that might be temporary for one of them with another Battle Back competition in the offing next Friday. Parker surprised me with the swiftness of her ouster and the lack of a social game. A similar problem befell Nickson, but seemingly good strategic moves backfired in ways he nor anyone else could have perceived. Even Nickson pointed out the cheating production had performed on Paul’s behalf on the eviction show, which got mentioned and ignored just as quickly.
When exiting houseguests mention the cheating in the game that is fair game, perhaps it is a sign the show’s repetitive twists have gotten predictable even to those who play the game?
Adding another element to all of this was an endurance contest won by Alex Ow to become the third HOH of the season. These endurance events are usually a staple of the initial competitions of a given year, and it’s very rare to see another one so soon on Day 23. Endurance comps usually cause a reshuffling of alliances as deals are usually made to determine a winner. Perhaps with Paul puppeteering most of the house, production had the foresight to figure out such shifting was not likely to hurt his game?
As things stand now, Dominque Cooper and Jessica Graf are nominated, with Jason “Whistlenut” Dent holding the veto. Paul is in the third and last eviction cycle where he holds immunity, while Christmas can insert herself in any veto competition during the season in place of anyone she chooses. At this point, Cooper appears to be on an collision course for her eviction on Thursday, butting heads with Paul a few times the past few days. If she’s evicted and winds up getting back in the game via the Battle Back, she may lead the charge to Paul’s eviction sooner rather than late.
It should also be noted that ratings for the CBS broadcasts are up a bit from last season’s average, so maybe giving Paul an early advantage works on some level. I don’t think he will last long in the house once his immunity expires, maybe long enough to be in the final 11 and be guaranteed a jury spot. But by then, production won’t need him, as whoever wins will have credibility in that they defeated a more experienced player. Then someone else who was popular comes back and becomes the vet in a future season. And so on, and so on. Anyone else seeing the cycle, the trend? Maybe inequity and the appearance of same creates the need for us to watch?
Back on July 30th with a bit more, enjoying doing these blog entries once every two weeks. It might become a permanent thing.