BB18, Days 78-80: Grand Theft Pablo, Studio City

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Corey looking amorous, Nicole looking uncomfortable…

Here’s the latest news:

  • Wednesday’s CBS show: 6.20 million viewers.
  • Corey’s “BB Bribe” as part of this week’s final America’s Care Package has gone to Victor. In exchange, Victor will be required to vote out Michelle.
  • BB’s spin-off fall season now has a name. Big Brother: Over The Top will begin shortly after BB18’s finale on September 21st and will have a few new “bells and whistles” to it. The biggest wrinkles being that all competitions scheduled to take place live, and that the winner will win $250,000, not $500,000.
  • Michelle was evicted 3-2 when, as HOH, Nicole was needed to break a 2-2 tie. Victor and Corey voted Michelle, James and Natalie voted out Paul.
  • Victor won HOH in the annual “move eggs around a chicken wire” competition.

First, some thoughts about the fall season: I’m not impressed. The reasons why I won’t be blogging about it this fall were well defined by yesterday’s roll-out: it isn’t truly Big Brother with a lower prize and more interactive opportunities. While they do throw us the bone of letting us watch comps, the increased interaction only will increase production’s interference. It will be an all new cast, but hell, that’s what the show SHOULD be doing. Thus, I think BBOTT it’s a Trojan horse.

The show continues to do well in the ratings, probably due to the showmances. But, if you watch the live feeds, each relationship has significant chinks in its armor. I don’t expect either couple to last in the outside world too long.

Michelle went out with a bang, but you all knew she would, right? It gave Nicole the chance to play “avenging angel” but couldn’t even do that well, quickly playing the victim card once more, as that’s all she seems to know. If Big Meech had waited a few years to do the show, I have no doubt she would have been a legend. Her lack of filter and blindness at times to what was going on around her made her very entertaining in the house. I also don’t think production liked her all that much, so I wouldn’t count on a return in a future season, and that was before she had to be bleeped on the way out the door.

James threw the HOH comp that Victor won, which made no sense because he’s going to need to win something outside of endurance sooner or later. Natalie then promised to used the veto on him if they’re on the block together, so their collective game is a comedy of errors.

I’ll be back with more on Sunday. Right now, I have to keep watching and make sure this lady named Hermine is totally evicted from the Gulf of Mexico.

BB18, Days 76-77: Valley Of The Doll

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A female sex doll was dropped into the house by drone on Sunday afternoon, and that’s what was written on its belly. I have no idea what it means.

News of the past couple of days:

  • Ratings continue to improve after being in a slump most of the year, as the Sunday show got 6.81 million viewers, which did better than the Cincinnati-Jacksonille NFL preseason game on NBC.
  • POV and HOH winner Nicole kept nominations the same, so either Paul or Michelle will finish in 7th place on Thursday night on the 79th day.

The biggest event in the house these past couple of the days was the unplanned visit of a drone, dropping a sex doll into the house. Everyone speculated what it all meant, with several houseguests coming up with all kinds of different possible answers and perceptions.

We’ve sunk pretty far when that serves as excitement.

Michelle looks done for, and I don’t think there will be an 11th hour miracle to save her as was the case during the double eviction a few weeks ago. Nicole keeping Victor around, a proven competitions winner, is in my mind a big mistake. Then again, Nicole was never going to be known as a great in-game tactician.

The ratings continue to rise over the past week. The show will probably average downward from the 6.18 they had last year, but not the 5.5 I predicted early this season. Could the boost in ratings be due to 4 of the 7 survivors (and soon 4 of the 6) are so-called “couples” in the house? Bold prediction: the fall BB spin-off will be couples related, ala BB9 in 2008. Why? CBS loves to spin new seasons as something new, when in fact it’s just a different spin of stuff we’ve seen before. It’s what they do.

Back Friday with more, sooner in the unlikely event things change dramatically, though I don’t see that happening. Let’s put it this way: this season can’t end fast enough for me.

BB18, Days 74-75: Great TV, But Terrible Feeds

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Corey and Nicole early on Day 74.

The latest developments:

  • 6.10 million viewers for the live show Thursday night.
  • Over in the UK, BB16 fifth placer Frankie Grande went to the end of the 18th Celebrity Big Brother or Friday, but finished in 6th place in their season-ending mass eviction. Stephen Bear, a British reality star, won.
  • Corey won the America’s Care Package: $5,000 for any houseguest to take any action within the game that Corey wants (as in voting a certain way, vetoes, etc. If a houseguest accepts the $5K, they must take the action desired, they cannot back off from it.)
  • Paul and Michelle are the current nominees.
  • Corey and Victor are this week’s Have Nots. They get to eat seaweed and squid to go with their slop.
  • Everyone but Natalie plays in the POV competition, which Nicole won.

The current setup of the house might be great for the TV audience, but I’m finding things continuously monotonous on the feeds. Guess which audience production is going to cater to? Hint: it won’t be the feedsters. Last year we had the ongoing Vanessa Rousso drama of whether or not she can hold her psyche together to the end and win. This year, it’s Michelle, and it looks likely at this point that she’ll get picked off before she can get to the end.

I’m pretty sure at this point either Nicole or Natalie win the big money at the end, possibly maybe finishing 1st and 2nd together. The blond Michigander has been savaged on social media, and for reasons I understand. Her game did not improve from two seasons ago, as I find her more catty than she was back in 2014. The opposition deteriorated: no Derrick, no Christine, no Frankie to play off of, all three of whom may be better players than what’s left this year. At least Frank tried to play the game this season, and Da’Vonne served the season well as an early going agent provocateur.

Andy Dehnart wrote a brilliant piece on Reality Blurred about the show and the problems it’s been having now for many years, or at least it seems that way to me. The meat-headed, misogynistic men. The wishy-washy young women who can’t get along, always finding ways to divide themselves and rarely work together. Andy believes the show has potential, and so do I. But it never lives up to what it could be, always settling for, as I said to Dingo over at Hamsterwatch before the season again, being an economy sized car in the CBS reality lineup. (Which, I guess, makes Survivor the Cadillac and The Amazing Race the Mini-Cooper.)

With Nicole doubling down her power by winning the veto yesterday, it looks like Michelle is either done for, or will have to prove herself a great player by flipping a vote that seems set in stone against her. That America’s Care Package that made her co-HOH last week seems to have done her in, but she never really lived up to the preseason hype many saw in her, at least in my view.

More on Tuesday when the nominations are locked in.

BB18, Days 71-73: In, Out, In Again, Out Again, In Again

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A random quad from Day 71…

In case you missed it, here’s what you missed:

  • Wednesday’s CBS show received 6.40 million viewers, one of the highest ratings they’ve had this season.
  • Victor was evicted 2-1.
  • Victor then did the best among the returning jurors to win yet another return trip to the house. He’s the first contestant in show history to return twice within a season.
  • Nicole won HOH for the 2nd time this season.

The past three days leading up to the eviction and revival of one of the houseguests have been one of the more dullest stretches outside of the final week of a season that I can remember in the five seasons I’ve been doing this blog. There was a total lack of mystique surrounding the eviction itself, as everyone’s position was quite clear leading up to the vote, despite the theatrics on Wednesday. At least with the return of Victor (again!) there were nothing but questions and…dare I say…scenarios for us to figure out.

Going into the live show, the battle lines were clearly drawn. Whoever did return wasn’t going to change group dynamics all that much, or so I thought. It was still going to be the couples (Nicole, James, Natalie, and Corey) against the uncoupled (Paul, Michelle, and whoever came back) probably to the point where one side was vanquished. The odds would favor against either side pulling off a clean sweep, or the uncoupled side getting rid of the couples without taking a few casualties.

Right before the live show began, I found myself asking a significant question, which was, “Why do I care?” The revelations of production deciding that the James/Natalie showmance should work with the Nicole/Corey pairing, then the word of James and Nicole each wanting to bribe the houseguests to ensure a better standing in the game, I can’t lie and say that hasn’t changed my opinion on why I should care. So, I missed the live show, on purpose. Guess you could say it was a boycott of sorts.

But since I have started covering this season, I should probably finish doing so. I have no intentions on covering the online fall season, and I’ll have to think about whether or not I continue to do this when June of 2017 comes around. Until then, I’ll be back Sunday with more stuff.

BB18, Days 69-70: Sunday Shenanigans

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Friendship and cheers at last week’s carnival…

Here’s the latest news:

  • As the POV winner, Paul took himself off of the block.
  • As the co-HOH who placed Paul up for eviction, Michelle named Corey as the replacement nominee. Either Corey or Victor will be evicted and will be the fifth participant in the jury buyback.
  • Sunday’s ratings: 5.92 for the CBS show that went up against the closing ceremonies of the Rio Olympics.

It has become quite apparent now that the case of HOH-itis Paulie had in his 65 day stint (with a 1 in 5 chance to re-enter Thursday) is now contagious, and that former New York Jets cheerleader Natalie came down with the disease. She went from being one of the most popular houseguests this season on social media to one of the most despised in a matter of a few days, as many of us thought they would go after Nicole and Corey. Instead, they went at Paul and Victor with unexpected relish.

The conspiratorial chatter continued on Sunday. In a few days, the America’s Care Package winner will get $5,000 to give away as an in-game bribe in exchange for whatever action the ACP winner desires. However, James and Nicole spoke of doing exactly that, but with their winnings, not with money BB is giving them, thus against long-standing show rules. Both vets were reprimanded by production for doing so, with James getting the more severe reprimand according to a few published accounts on Sunday night.

Also on Sunday, this gem was overheard by Twitter poster @PollCourier which caught my focus more than the bribery:

Over the years BB has been on, I’ve always wondered about the “showmances” and how legitimate they were. While the show has had a few marriages over the years as a result, there’s usually about 5 “bad showmances” for every good one, and that is probably a kind estimate. Therefore, a show that can arrange for certain “groups” to work together who never have during the course of the game wouldn’t be beyond arranging relationships.

Who’s leaving Thursday seems given, but yet could wind up in the air with how wishy-washy James can be, and he’ll likely be the deciding vote. I still think production wants Victor gone, but who knows. Production might double back off of that just to throw all of us on social media off of the scent of a conspiracy, not to mention punish some of the “leakers” they’ve had recently. To that end, note how Paul and Victor suddenly don’t trust James. How much did the illegal bribery attempt have to do with that?

Shenanigans aside, it’s a good time to watch the show. The more competitive and greedy players are going for competition wins, while the more social players have to maneuver more to stay in the game.

More by Friday, sooner if anything develops.

BB18, Day 68: Paul Weathers The Storm

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“Jatalie” having a storage room discussion on Friday..

As always, I start with the “down low” on recent events:

  • James and Victor are the only Have Nots for the week. Michelle would have been one, but won the care package to make her co-HOH. They get to eat pies with their slop for the week.
  • Everyone but Nicole played in the POV competition, which Paul won.
  • Friday’s ratings: 5.37 million viewers.

Other than the POV, it was a rather quiet day. Paul will likely spare himself at the veto meeting on Monday. Michelle, who is the co-HOH who nominated the California apparel maker, has three options as a replacement. She can replace Paul with either Nicole, Corey, or James.

It still appears the fix is in here, and that Victor will be the one out. But with Paul now one of the three voters, and with Corey or Nicole likely the other nominee, whoever doesn’t go up between those two will vote to evict Victor. That leaves James as a likely deciding vote.

It’s been noted on social media that every time James returns from the Diary Room, he comes back with a more vigorous defense as to why Victor needs to go, and that a “good person” should win the season. I wonder what Victor has done that does not make him a so-called good person: perhaps evicting Paulie against the wishes of production, who reportedly called him “stupid” for doing so?

More in a couple of days. I didn’t watch the feeds at all yesterday, still reeling for Natalie’s revelation that “Mom and Dad” wanted her to work with Corey and Nicole.

BB18, Day 67: Dear Old Mom And Dad

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Scenes on the feeds as Michelle won her care package on Day 66…

The events that took place yesterday:

  • Ratings: 5.37 million viewers Thursday night. I’ll have Friday night’s numbers in tomorrow’s post.
  • Michelle won America’s Care Package, making her and Natalie co-HOH’s. They each get to make one nomination a piece.
  • Paul and Victor are the nominees.

It was pretty much a quiet 66th day in the house for the most part, though I wondered why all of a sudden Natalie and James wanted to work with Nicole and Corey when they appeared done for with Paulie’s eviction. It looked like my “prophecy” of a couples versus the uncoupled of a few weeks ago had come to fruition.

Then, around 2:00pm BBT, it became crystal clear what had happened. Production had intervened, wanting Natalie to work with the “Nicorey” couple. Natalie referred to production as “Mom” and “Dad” when speaking to Nicole in the storage room around that time.

Like I said in the tweet, I wasn’t all that surprised. It is their show, they can do what they want with it. I have posted show ratings in almost every blog this season, as the show’s been losing ratings four seasons in a row, and now, likely a fifth with viewership going past the 6 million mark only a few times this year.

My guess is they want a woman to win for the first time since Rachel won BB13 in 2011, and a Nicole/Natalie partnership is their best bet at getting it. Plus, in one of the pieces of the live show, Brendon (BB12/13 contestant) wondered why Nicole and James, the two remaining veterans, weren’t working together. Now, with prodding with production, they are.

It’s not the first controversy to hit the show, and won’t be their last dance at this rodeo. Though you have to wonder what will be that one controversy that does them in, and how many more they will able to survive. Can’t help but wonder when their “Don Imus” moment will come.

Back on the feeds, Paul raised a stink after nominations about going up on the block, which might make him the target this week as opposed to Victor, perhaps as a message to the Battle Back to “play ball” with production, I’d guess. He fought with Natalie, then Nicole last night, arguing over whether or not he’s a manipulator.

Remember, whoever goes this week will be the fifth person in the jury buyback competition on Thursday, so they still have a chance to get back in the fray.

More tomorrow.