I’m not much for prognostication, as a general rule. But even if I were a long-term “Big Brother” viewer, I would have ceased long ago trying to figure out who is the favorite to win this season. Trying to apply things like “logical reasoning” to what’s gone down this year is a sure fire way to drive oneself crazy. The best way to think about anything that happens is to assume that the person making the latest bizarre decision just got hit in the head with a shovel by Julie Chen. If you go off of that premise, then everything else falls into place.

When last I dropped in on the show here at Monkeys as Critics, Kalia was HoH, Brendon was out of the house, and Lawon had only just come up with what certainly has to be considered one of the worst strategic moves in reality television history. Daniele managed to win HoH at a critical time in the game…only to put up two relative floaters instead of purging the field of fellow veteran competitors. My best guess at to why she did it?? Brendon is in fact a Dementor. It makes sense, in that every time I look at him I worry that I will never, ever feel happiness again.

Guess that means the next hour will be sour, if you’ll indulge a brief moment of recap poetry. Only one way to find out…

“Here we go again,” says Adam, now on the block for the third time. Daniele thinks she’s played this well, with the option to backdoor Brendon still in play. Shelly’s still a lying liar that lies about her previous deal with Brenchel. (I CAN’T BELIEVE I have to use that combo name again. I thought I was past this. Sigh.) The two women agree to unite and cleave that couple once and for all. “I suck at lying,” Daniele says once alone. Heh.  Next up in the HoH Room: Adam! She reiterates that Brendon needs to leave, thereby neutralizing Rachel on her own. “You’re just a pawn in my game,” she says. “Pawns go home,” says the newly shorn Adam. Had he decided to grow a Fienberg-esque beard, he would be my prohibitive favorite to win. Oh well. That whisker war is over.

OK, more drama time: Shelly tries to go on offense about her earlier deal with Brenchel, essentially trying to be so loud in her denial that no one will believe it could be true. Brendon doesn’t want to get in the middle of the Shelly/Rachel squabble, which instantly puts Rachel on the defensive. Seriously, if this were a role-playing game, all of Rachel’s stats would go down 50% without the Power Ring that is Brendon. Jordan’s really confused as to what to believe. To be fair to Jordan, confusion is her perpetual state.

Back from commercial break, Shelly is wearing sunglasses at night. Corey Hart 2.0 is puffing cigarettes to stem the flow of tears. Awesome, more crying. Just what we need on this show. Jeff and Jordan try to calm her down, letting her know that they recognize Rachel’s probably lying and they are still willing to play with her. They just prefer to put on a happy face in front of Brenchel rather than the splotchy mess Shelly’s sunglasses are barely concealing.

Time to the PoV nominations! Playing this week alongside Daniele, Adam, and Shelly will be Jordan, Kalia, and Jeff. Wow, neither Rachel nor Brendon get picked. That was everyone’s hope going into the vote. Then again, what people normally wish to have happen to the pair often backfires. I half-expected Brendon and Rachel to both get picked and then dry hump in the Barney Room in celebration. But not this week! In another shocker of shockers, Porsche gets picked to host the competition. You can add that to “death” and “taxes” in terms of things you can count on at this point in history.

Next up: Porsche’s boobs! I mean, next up: the PoV competition! The backyard has been turned into a farm, and Porsche Duke leads the flock into a field of hay and fake veggies. Jordan notes that Jeff looks like a member of a '90s boy band. She’s 100% correct in this assessment. Turns out he’s also a boy band fan as well. Just take “Big Brother” step by step, my good man. Otherwise, it’s bye, bye, bye for you. And trust me, you don’t want it that way.

This week’s game: “Big Brother Cornhole,” which sounds dirty but is essentially just a bean bag toss on steroids. Atop the target is a small hole worth one point. If the bean bag doesn’t make in the hole, it slips to a spinning wheel below with slots between 2 and 13 points. The person with the highest score each round is eliminated, and then picks a prize out of the bucket. One of the prizes? The PoV necklace. Sounds like it’s dumb luck in terms of winning it, until you learn that prizes can be exchanged in a Yankee Swap-type fashion. That’s actually a fairly interesting way of making each elimination count for something. Is one of the prizes “Porsche has to wear this outfit for the rest of her time on the show”? Let’s hope so.

 

Round 1: Adam gets a 13, the highest score possible…except Shelly misses the board entirely, which means she automatically gets the highest score. And her prize: the PoV necklace, which she calls “bittersweet.”

Round 2: Daniele gets a cornhole. (I can’t wait for someone to Google that exact phrase and find this recap.) Jordan loses the round with a 13, earning “24 Hours Solitary Confinement” with a phone call from home as her prize. Jordan initially takes it, but then gives it to Shelly so she can talk to her daughter. She reasons that with Jeff there, Shelly needs it more than her. Aw. Kinda sweet.

Round 3: Daniele scores AGAIN! She’s a freakin’ cornhole assassin. Adam actually gets one as well. Kalia gets eliminated, and gets…a Caribbean vacation. “Kalia needs a vacation from what…taking a nap all day?” grouses Jeff. “There goes our honeymoon!” mumbles Rachel. People have a lot of opinions about this prize, apparently.

Round 4: Jeff worries about winning the competition, with Adam whispering in his ear and Brenchel staring daggers into his JC Chasez-esque physique. Daniele confirms that he’s not the target, and then ends up eliminating herself on purpose. She wins a Veto Ticket, which guarantees a place in next week’s PoV competition. She keeps the ticket, recognizing it’s strategic potential. (See: Brenchel.)

Round 5: Jeff tries to throw the veto, but makes it look like he tried for appearances’ sake. He gets an 8, which Adam beats barely with a 7. Jeff’s prize? A cool $5,000, which he keeps. Adam’s prize is “The Humilitard,” which is a unitard that the winner must wear for a week. He promptly trades it with Jordan to win the competition, completing a trifecta in terms of staving off elimination.

 

“This is the worst-case scenario for my fiancé and I,” says Rachel. (I know! It’s awesome!) Upstairs in the HoH, Daniele confirms to Jeff over and over again that he’s not the target for backdoor voting this week. He’s still not on board with Daniele as an ally, but is fine teaming up for now to help himself and Jordan. With Shelly in the Have Not room in isolation, Jordan busts out the Humilitard. It features a dunce cap and “I’m With Stupid” written across the chest. And this is the last time I will ever type out the word “Humilitard.” My spell-check is getting annoyed with me already.

 

Shelly gets a call from her husband while in isolation, and instantly starts breaking down. She’s acting like she’s been gone longer than Tom Hanks in “Castaway.” Yikes. If you turned off the sound, you’d swear that she was learning that her family had been kidnapped by terrorists. The following day, the group greets her with food and drink to celebrate her release from solitary. They also inform her that the terrorists shot her husband after she failed to come up with the ransom in time. OK, not really.

 

Brenchel visits the HoH room to fight for their lives. Daniele lies about having a deal with Jeff, which they don’t really question. Then again, they can’t: they realize that for now they have to eat crow and worship at the altar of Daniele. However, she’s once again confused as to what to do, after an hour in which she was solid in her plan to remove Brendon. DAMN YOU, DEMENTOR! I need to whip up a personal Patronus to stave this dude off. Luckily, she comes to her senses and puts him up for eviction anyways, likening him to a “zombie that won’t die.” Wait, is Frank Darabont now working on “Big Brother” and no one told me?

 

Do you have a favorite to win it all at this point? Will you be happy to see Brendon permanently leave, or did his return signal just how strong a player he really is? Will Rachel spontaneously combust if she’s alone again? Sound off below!