What Was Learned

Jeff Probst, Julie Chen, and Kevin Frazier in one of Julie's many selfies this year.

Jeff Probst, Julie Chen, and Kevin Frazier in one of Julie’s many selfies this year.

What did I learn watching BB16?  Not a heck of a lot, really.  But I’ll share with you three points:

Was Derrick The Best Ever BB Player?: Kind of hard to say, really. It was a boring season because he was laps ahead of the field. Was Memphis and Jerry in BB10 better than Cody and Victoria were? For that matter, were Nicole and Monica from BB2 better than Cody and Victoria? In retrospect, the answer is easy. But BB2 didn’t have Power of Veto, and neither BB2 or BB10 had four nominees for a majority of the season as BB16 had. Derrick would definitely be in my “All-Time 16” and would have his face on the “Mt. Rushmore” of US Big Brother players (with Dick, Dan, and Dr. Will the other three), but a comparison between himself and the others would be a comparison of apples, oranges, mangoes, and grapefruits. Wouldn’t be fair to any of them.

Stage Casting Here To Stay: As much as I disliked Frankie and how he had the effect on the houseguests as an antichrist depicted by Nostradamus, I have to admit the format of the last three seasons works, ratings wise. I don’t see it going away, and I think you can count on someone’s relative or offspring making it on to BB17 next year.

Worth noting is the “Hailey Jones” notes from last year, because the exact same thing wound up happening this year as was the case last year. On BB15, a stunt casted houseguest (Elissa) and a controversial houseguest (Amanda) paved the way for the winner, although “Jones” got the winner incorrect (it was Andy, not Amanda as predicted). This year, a stunt casted houseguest (Frankie) and a controversial houseguest (Caleb) went out back to back, paving the way for Derrick’s win. Coincidence or luck?

A Down Year For Production And TV: Notice how there were more “holes” on the live shows and in the production of the feeds this year, and how some in the production end of the show openly cater to TV viewers and not feedsters. For instance, one of the HOH question-and-answer competitions couldn’t be finished before the live show ended, causing a “cliff hanger” for the feedsters and the TV viewers, whether it was planned or not.

I’ve been saying this for a while, and I think this happens eventually: expect a season to air sometime in the future (maybe 2015, maybe some time beyond) with either limited live feeds or no live feeds at all. The show wants to wean new audiences onto the franchise, and wants old time live feeders to quit the show cold turkey, and CBS thinks they can do that by bringing in someone’s brother, sister, relative, son, daughter, father or mother onto the show every year. Killing off the live feeds also only gives the side of the story they want to share, and it’s something the other CBS reality shows do anyway.

Time to take a bit of a BB hiatus with not as much news coming in. Catch you all next month!

The Tying Up Of Loose Ends

Could Andy Herren become the first LGBT winner of a US Big Brother season?

Could Andy Herren become the first LGBT winner of a US Big Brother season?

Alas, Hailey Jones was wrong after all.

The tension grabbing double eviction claimed two prominent victims this Thursday past. Amanda Zuckerman got to stepping first, losing on a vote that required HOH Ginamarie Zimmerman to break a 2-2 deadlock, the first tie we’ve seen since BB13 when Jeff Schroeder took his leave after Kalia Booker broke up a similar tie.

In the one hour eviction cycle proceeding Amanda’s exodus, McCrae Olson won HOH, nominating Elissa Slater and Ginamarie Zimmerman. The nominations were kept the same after Judd Daugherty won the veto, and Elissa Slater was unanimously sent packing to Juryland.

In eviction cycle number thirteen, Spencer Clawson won his first HOH reign of the season, nominating McCrae and Ginamarie, who were chained to each other for 24 hours in an HOH competition penalty. Yesterday, McCrae punched his ticket into the game’s final four round with his third POV win. The most likely scenario has Judd going up as the replacement nominee, with Judd (I think) going out in fifth place, although Ginamarie could be gotten rid of just as easily.

The problem with conspiracy theories is twofold: one, they rarely come through as the exact truth, and secondly they are often used as a shortcut to prevent us the fans from doing our own research. A lazy way out if you will. In the case of Hailey Jones, it should be noted that she did get one part of her “prophecy” exactly right: that Elissa Slater would not win, proving to be a “distraction” to the eventual winner which now appears to be Andy Herren.

Also, it should be noted that everyone who said in the house that the game was rigged for Elissa was evicted before she was, right up to Amanda Zuckerman a few minutes before the departure of Rachel Reilly’s now famed sister,

Why did the script change so that Amanda got the proverbial axe? I don’t think the axis of Les Moonves, Julie Chen, and Allison Grodner are dummies, nor have they been the driving force of this show by sitting back and being lazy. They probably knew that Zuckerman would prove an unpopular victor from gauging the show’s unfavorable reviews on social media, thus it is my belief they went to a Plan B. The show has never had a LGBT winner in its fifteen seasons on the air, and with Andy Herren making some game winning moves during the double eviction that fooled the other contestants, he seems the logical choice to take the $500,000 in a week and a half. Plus, with all the toxic and negative publicity that has surrounded the season, it would send the show off until 2014 on a high note.

But could I be wrong? Could there be another plan in the works? Absolutely. Stay tuned.

Another Message From Hailey Jones

Hailey Jones sends another message...

Hailey Jones sends another message…

So on the 65th day of competition, Amanda Zuckerman finally won something. In a clutch situation, Amanda won the Power of Veto, so she likely saves boyfriend McCrae from the block. Confidence is somewhat high that Andy Herren makes his first trip to the block on Monday as his replacement.

The POV contest was another Zingbot themed event, and apparently Andy got zinged over being a floater (someone who gravitates to wherever the power is, not true to any side at any time) which got him upset.

We can talk all we want about whether or not the show is rigged, for who, and why. But what gets lost in all of that is how the show is interfering with the game play this season. A couple of weeks ago, Julie Chen asked a highly suggestive Twitter question (or so she said) as to why nobody is playing the game this year. That is, all the votes for a stretch were unanimous, and that with Helen Kim in the house, everyone always seemed to take paths of least resistance.

Personally, I find that kind of interference more disquieting than the “it’s rigged” rumor mill out there in the Twitterverse.

Assume for a moment that every conspiracy theory out there is absolutely true. Who would we all appeal to restore order? The very people who caused the disorder to begin with. It’s kind of a variation of a Stockholm Syndrome, really.

Is Hailey Jones right in what “she” says? If she is, we won’t know until the show is nearly over. Plus, Amanda has several more obstacles to dodge before she wins, including how she will win the Final 2 vote against anybody as she has angered a lot of the prospective and current jurors.

Did you catch Jessie Kowalski saying “F**k you Amanda” a couple of times in the HOH competition Thursday night?

I wish some of you out in the realm of social media would smarten up. Whether or not the show is rigged is irrelevant, since we all continue to watch it. If this is what you think, simply turn the show off, or go watch something else on the Internet. That’s all you need to do. As for me, I starting covering this season, so I intend to finish covering it Lord willing. When and if season sixteen comes around, I will make my decision to cover it then and only then.

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.