Egg On My Face

Sometimes in life, you make a judgement call, and your judgement winds up being wrong. I had one of those moments tonight, and I believe I made a mistake interpreting a statement Amanda Zuckerman had made at about 4:26pm BBT today, August 3rd.

In the cockpit room talking to McCrae Olson and Aaryn Gries, it seemed at first that Amanda had called Candice Stewart, a black woman, a monkey. In light of some other things Amanda had said in the house, it seemed a totally logical development.

I listened to the comment myself closely on the flashback stream of the live feeds. It had certainly sounded to me that Zuckerman had said the word monkey, and I said as such on Twitter and on Facebook.

Then others chimed in, saying that Amanda had slurred her words, and that she had ended on sentence with the word “block” and began another with “He” in reference to Spencer Clawson. At first, I scoffed at that notion. But when I put together my own clip, it began to dawn on me that the latter explanation was indeed correct. Amanda didn’t use the word “monkey” after all. Had she done so, the house would have gone into yet another tizzy, and that didn’t happen.

So I apologize for my error, and will try to do better from here on out. For those of you who criticize me for coming to a snap conclusion, as I said, it sounded like a logical development at the time, thus the matter wasn’t as “cut and dry” as these situations usually are.

It has been an unusual season, which has put bloggers, fans, friends and family of houseguests all in unusual positions.  Everyone keep calm and carry on.

He Said, She Said

Against the odds of a month ago, Amanda Zuckerman has become public enemy number one in the house, surpassing even Aaryn Gries.

Against the odds of a month ago, Amanda Zuckerman has become public enemy number one in the house among some live feed and social media followers, surpassing even Aaryn Gries.

So we’re now up to the 43rd Day in this debacle that has been the American version of Big Brother’s fifteenth season. Howard Overby was the fifth evicted from the house by a 7-1-0 tally (Candice Stewart, Howard’s showmance partner, was the only dissenting tally, cast by Spencer Clawson), and after a briefer than expected Head of Household competition, it was Ginamarie Zimmerman walking away with the honors to commence the sixth eviction cycle,

The highlight (although I submit it was a low light) of the week was the allegations of sexual harassment made by Amanda Zuckerman against the now departed Howard. According to Amanda, Howard whispered in her ear that he wanted to “f*** the s*** out of her” when he got out of the house. Amanda didn’t appear to be offended by the remark at first, but started ranting and raving a few minutes later. What was said between the two cannot be independently verified, since it wasn’t shown or recorded by the live feeds. Without that kind of information being made clear to the feedsters, what was said and what wasn’t may forever be a mystery, so no use attempting to answer a question that cannot be answered here.

Increasingly disturbing as the season progresses is the fixation by producers, host Julie Chen, and her husband Les Moonves of the racism perpetrated by Aaryn Gries and, to a much lesser degree, that of Ginamarie Zimmerman. Chen and Moonves have often stated that they are “appalled” by the comments, which strikes me as disingenuous, especially in the case of Mr. Moonves, since he has the ultimate authority over all programming at the network.

Conversely, there has been no real focus of the comments made by Amanda over the first six weeks of the house by the show. Lucky for us, the hard work of a You Tube user “pronkoforder1″ benefits us by putting together a “highlight reel” of the comments Amanda has made in the house.

So now the houseguests re-circle their wagons, preparing for they think will be one eviction next Thursday when in fact there will be two evictions that night. Double evictions are usually chock full of excitement, and hopefully things will be no different on August 8th. It doesn’t appear that the house will flip against Amanda anytime soon at this juncture, as she has consolidated her power in the house by engaging in verbal spats with Candice and a lengthy alcohol-driven tirade against Jessie Kowalski.

If the house doesn’t get rid of Amanda soon, her road to the $500,000 may get much clearer.

The Victim Card

Jessie Kowalski smokes a cigarette early on Day 26, July 16, 2013.

Jessie Kowalski smokes a cigarette early on Day 26, July 16, 2013.

CBS once again took to a public relations offensive with the airing of the eighth episode of Big Brother and the airing of The Talk the following day, the subject matter being the ongoing racism of one Aaryn Gries.

As many of you live feed watchers know, there’s only one problem with that: Aaryn is not the sole person in the house these past 26 days engaging in racism or misogyny. The fact that they misrepresent the facts so grossly should be an indicator that the show and the network are being deceptive with us, the viewers.

You have Spencer Clawson making creepy comments about Jessie Kowalski to confidant Judd Daughtery, wondering if Kowalski’s womanhood tastes like butterscotch.

Then there’s Ginamarie Zimmerman, probably one of the more mentally unstable houseguests in show history, challenging Candice Stewart in a verbal altercation last Thursday to, paraphrasing slightly, get her black out.

But yet they want us to believe that Aaryn’s the only bad apple in the house. Get real with your reality, CBS.

They would rather run a disclaimer to permit Aaryn’s behavior then get rid of her for racially charged bullying. What does that tell you? And to be clear, I do not like Miss Gries and her behavior in the house, but it only tells part of the story here. The people who put her in the house to begin with now react as if they have been victimized. They create the problem, they react to it, and they will make us wait for the eventual situation where the problem is solved, whether it happens now, in September when the show ends, or somewhere in between.

In the tinderbox of racial relations that exists a few days after the trial of George Zimmerman, who may or may not have used self defense in killing Trayvon Martin in an Orlando suburb last year, CBS has to be extremely careful not to become pimps of racial division, even if it is to gain publicity and ratings.

Max Bialystock of The Producers wouldn’t even approve of that.

The Slow March

If you go to the live feeds, you now get this disclaimer.

If you go to the live feeds, you now get this disclaimer.

I don’t know about you, my fellow blog viewers, but watching the BB15 house is aging me. Hours seem to go by like days, days go by like weeks, weeks go by like months. With this group, you never know who is going to say what, and what will wind up on TMZ.

House dynamics and house cliques seem to change by the day. If you think it’s impossible for person X to dislike person Y, wait a few hours and it winds up happening. Maybe the three nominee/MVP rules are to blame for this. Or maybe it’s a very unpredictable group.

The most recent developments are these: Helen Kim, the third Head of Household of the season, nominated Aaryn Gries and Kaitlin Barnaby for eviction. To the surprise of only a select few, Elissa Slater won her third straight MVP, giving her the right to name a nominee of her own, choosing Spencer Clawson. So, in the three HOH reigns so far, ten of the sixteen houseguests have now been on the block at least once, including eight of the fourteen remaining.

On Saturday, Kaitlin won the Power of Veto competition, which sets up an interesting problem for her. If she uses the POV on herself, which seems the most logical play, her showmance friend Jeremy McGuire will likely be backdoored and voted out as things stand now. If she doesn’t use the veto, she probably wouldn’t be the target of the next eviction vote, Aaryn would be. Would she be smart enough to recognize this, or will she choose the obvious route of self-preservation?

There was a controversial moment on Friday night, as Helen Kim pretty much admitted on the feeds on two separate occasions that the production team of the show didn’t want Howard Overby, the former Southern Miss football player, on the block. That brought out the age-old argument on social media outlets about whether or not the show is manipulated behind the scenes, or how much.

Dingo over at Hamsterwatch points out that during season eight back in 2007, they had a similar station as to the present racism and homophobia controversy, but on a much smaller scale. Amber Siyavus spouted controversial views about those of the Jewish faith during the course of the season “Evel” Dick Donato won.  At a point after this became a much smaller scandal that the present one, Eric Stein was at risk of being evicted, and Eric was a Jewish houseguest. It also was one of those weeks were a dramatic voting turnaround took place, and instead of Eric going down, Kail Harbick wound up going home. In the present situation, you have two African-American houseguests and a very racist one in Aaryn. Does the show have a vested interest in assuring Aaryn goes home before Howard or Candice Stewart does?

It should also be noted that Eric was also America’s player during the course of the season, and was ordered not to use the Power pf Veto at one stage that kept the Donatos from simultaneously being on the block and would have prevented them from each finishing in the top two during that particular season.

Not even past houseguests have a total consensus or agreement as to the legitimacy of the contest, which I have always found interesting. It seems that those evicted early are more inclined to believe that production interferes often, while those who finish high or win their respective seasons seem to think highly of the production team. Think of that what you will.

As for me, I’m pretty sure the truth is somewhere between those two extremes. And the search for that truth continues here.

Fight Night

I hadn’t planned on doing a commentary today, but the ugly incidents of last night gave me other plans.

Aaryn Gries and her gang of thugs were baiting some of the women in the house who voted against Nick Uhas last night. First, Jeremy McGuire and Kaitlin Barnaby hogged the bed Jessie Kowalski was in as an effort to make her feel uncomfortable for her vote. Then Aaryn started to race-bait Candice Stewart after Aaryn had flipped over Candice’s bed several minutes prior.

Howard Overby came into the room, and you could see in that clip that he was barely holding his composure together. Ginamarie Zimmerman entered the conversation, and she and Candice exchanged words. Zimmerman quickly got up in Candice’s face and challenged Stewart to do something about the situation.

“Whatcha gonna say?” Ginamarie kept asking Candice.

Ginamarie Zimmerman challenges Candice Stewart to fight her... July 11, 2013.

Ginamarie Zimmerman challenges Candice Stewart to fight her… July 11, 2013.

Howard picked up Candice and carried her out of the room they were all in, with Stewart never losing eye contact with Zimmerman as she departed.

“Oh my God, I just wanted to smack her right there.” Kaitlin Barnaby said as Candice exited.

I’ve been watching this show a long time, and I’ve never seen an incident that ugly in the house as that one. Yes, even more disgusting than what Shannon did in BB2 and what Jeremy did with Elissa Slater’s hat just a week or so ago. And I must admit, it’s one of the rare times an incident on a TV show has made me angry to watch it, and it actually me feel ashamed to be white.

This was in your face racism, disgusting and uncalled for. Aaryn and her mini Aryan Nation showed a total lack of class, and quite frankly, NOW they should be disciplined for what they’ve done, more than ever. And NOT just Aaryn, the others as well. They are a national disgrace!

Will the show or will CBS do anything about it? Probably not. After all, it is good ratings. Prove me wrong, gang.

The Great White Whale

Kaitlin Barnaby and Jeremy McGuire are poolside on July 4th.

Kaitlin Barnaby and Jeremy McGuire are poolside on July 4th.

Finally, I get to do a blog about what’s going on IN the house and not the furor going on outside of the house.

Although it should be pointed out that another houseguest is now under fire for his racist comments, and such comments are not going away anytime soon to this day. And again, I cannot take the controversy seriously until a sponsor withdraws their advertising from the TV shows, but should that happen, the series may begin to take on water.

Funny how we watch a reality show, yet when people get real, we all are up in arms.

Aaryn Gries and her HOH reign was allowed to stand. BB14 winner Ian Terry gave an interesting explanation of Twitter about the contest Wednesday night worth mentioning here. He explained that before competitions, the houseguests get the rules in much greater detail, whereas on the live show host Julie Chen may not have the time to explain the rules clearly. Thanks, Ian. And as to my complaints on Friday about the contest, to quote the late Gilda Radner: never mind. Let’s move on, shall we?

As the 16th day winds down to a close, the universe that is the fifteenth season of Big Brother still revolves around Elissa Slater. Slater is not only once again the MVP holder, she has been nominated a second time in as many weeks. And as time is moving along, the odds of Slater’s ouster from the house seem to be improving. She nominated Jeremy McGuire, he who wiped Elissa’s hat in his ass a few days ago, but McGuire turned around and won the Power Of Veto competition today. Under the new MVP rules, if the MVP’s nominee is taken down, the MVP and not the HOH holder names the replacement nominee in secret.

So now, Slater has to make a critical decision as to who to replace McGuire with. The most likely play would be to replace McGuire with his in-house gal pal Kaitlin Barnaby. If Slater makes that play, she may get by yet again this week. But unless she gets some firm allies quickly or wins HOH in week three, her days are numbered, MVP powers or no.

With the “brat pack” of McGuire, Barnaby, and Gries with Ginamarie Zimmerman and perhaps the floundering sexpot Jessie Kowalski in tow, their sole mission at this point is to end the stay of Elissa Slater. It’s gotten to the point that, much like the Herman Melville novel Moby Dick, it has become their great white while. What the “brat pack” fail to realize that who they nominated was a moot point with Elissa holding the MVP. But in my opinion, Slater can’t keep getting nominated forever and continue to have hope of surviving.

How the game will go from here on out, who knows.

Asshats Unanonymous

Jeremy McGuire takes a hat belonging to Elissa Slater and wipes his ass with it.  Great group, huh?  (He says, sarcastically.)

Jeremy McGuire takes a hat belonging to Elissa Slater and wipes his ass with it. Great group, huh? (He says, sarcastically.)

Today, we find out whether David Girton, Elissa Slater, or Jessie Kowalski is the first to be evicted on season fifteen. However, events have been going on in a rapid pace that are worth commenting on.

Last night, we had some chicanery in the house similar to Shannon Dragoo using Hardy Hill’s toothbrush on the house toilet back in season two. Contestant Jeremy McGuire took the hat of Elissa Slater and placed it on his posterior and made a wiping motion. Later, McGuire apologized to Slater as the producers requested, but the incident continues to prove my theory that Elissa is the center of the BB15 universe and events always seem to happen to make her look more of a sympathetic character. I’m not saying the McGuire ass-wiping incident was staged, I’m saying the show was cast with a certain “cut of personalities” to make her look better than she normally would.

I would have liked to have seen McGuire disqualified for his actions last night, but they didn’t disqualify Shannon for what she did. The producers made Dragoo give Hardy restitution for her actions by giving him a replacement electric toothbrush, and I always like it when the show follows its own historical consistency.

Meanwhile, Aaryn Gries is in for some well deserved grief whe she returns to the real world, as a modeling agency she works for has fired her. CBS denounced her statements and the statements of others, but continues to employ all of those in the house making these comments. And the comments being made in the house that are racist and homophobic are still being made as of last night on the live feeds.

Since CBS continues to toe the long standing line that they cannot control the commentary of the houseguests, as they did when Jeff Schroeder said similar things on season thirteen, CBS is betting that the controversy goes away with time. While the comments are being covered in the entertainment realm by outlets such as TMZ and National Public Radio, this reporter sadly believes the controversy goes away unless sponsors start leaving the show. This is what happened over in the UK when the late Jade Goody showed her lack of class a few years ago. Unless “Aryan” Aaryn or another houseguest leaves saying “white power” over and over while making Nazi salutes as they leave, the show should (unfortunately) endure the criticism.

I would personally see a rule put into play for BB16 and beyond where houseguests should be warned, then removed from the show for making such disgusting remarks. Over in the UK this season, Jemima Slade was warned for her comments in the house regarding her dating habits with black men. Can we agree that the US houseguests have said much worse?

Finally, it should also be noted that the CBS schedule will be going back to a Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday schedule beginning on July 7. Ratings for the show have been down a bit in comparison to last year, and perhaps the new schedule and the earlier start of the season accounts for this.  If the ratings continue to slide, then its another sign that the viewing public has more complaints for the show than praise.

Maybe one of these days, I can get back to talking about events in the house revolving around less uglier things.