'Big Brother' recap: A new HoH takes control of the game
While every HoH competition is important, and CBS likes to sell us on the idea that This Is The Most Important HoH Competition EVER, I will admit that this week's HoH competition is, yes, pretty important. If Amanda or McCrae win, well, I'm still not sure they'd make it to the final four but it would certainly increase their chances. If almost anyone else wins? Well, I'm pretty sure everyone else in the house wants to put McCranda on the block together. The question is whether or not anyone has the guts, especially after Amanda's full-bore crazypants attack on Elissa. While everyone wants to win the prize money, I'm not sure having to listen to Amanda honk insults at you for days on end is a fair trade off.
Gina Marie feels that watching Aaryn walk out the door was one of her worst "Big Brother" experiences yet... except for Nick leaving. We are going to get a prolonged Gina Marie/Nick reunion at some point, aren't we? I really want to know what Nick has been thinking watching from home. Maybe he's falling in love with her just by watching the show. Or maybe not.
Back to the HoH competition, which is pretty cute. Yes, there's something unsettling about all the hopping occurring because the hamsters ankles are tied together, but still, it's hopping. It's sort of a Spanish Inquisition-style bunny hop, I suppose.
Gina Marie is taking a solid lead with Andy not far behind. And that's it! Gina Marie takes it. This will be INTERESTING. I really couldn't say whether she'll stick with her new alliance, or just follow Amanda's orders. If anyone has the guts to stand up to Amanda's abuse, I think it might be Gina Marie. Of course, at this point I think everyone is so tired of the screaming they might find the guts. I can imagine living with Amanda is like sharing a bunk at an insane asylum. Getting her out isn't really about smart game play anymore. It's just volume control.
Tied for last place in the HoH competition, Spencer and Judd have to wear chicken suits. That's an unlucky tie, I'd say.
The usual round of congratulations are bestowed upon Gina Marie, but Amanda has to bring everyone down by telling Elissa to wipe the smile off her face, since she sent Gina Marie's best friend home. Amanda is determined to have Gina Marie put Elissa on the block.
Sidebar: I understand that Amanda is a control freak and yes, believes she's smarter than her fellow hamsters. But why doesn't she see how her behavior is affecting everyone? Sure, the venom is aimed at Elissa, but it's hardly contained. Even McCrae looks like he's served a tour overseas and lost the war.
Amanda doesn't wait a moment before she starts hammering away at Gina Marie, albeit in her "charming" mode. Gina Marie nods and nods and nods, but guess what? "I might be blonde, and I might be cute, but my name isn't Aaryn, it's Gina Marie," she says, referencing how Aaryn meekly did as she was told. I have high hopes for Gina Marie. Though I could totally understand why she might put Elissa on the block as payback for sending Aaryn home (really, no one could fault her for a vengeance move), I think she might actually make a Big Move to break up the showmance. Huh!
Judd, Andy and Gina Marie have a shared happy dance. And that's when Gina Marie confirms she plans to put McCranda on the block.
Amanda, perhaps sensing danger ahead or a distinct lack of interest from Gina Marie, is nervous. Spencer tries to assure her he and Elissa are the likely targets, but he's not really nervous. I'm amazed Spencer has lasted so long at this point, and I have to say, he's been pretty smart about playing nice.
Judd and Spencer get their chicken suits, which are furry in a San Diego Chicken kind of way. Gina Marie dubs Judd a chicken nugget while Spencer is the big chicken, which is pretty clever. Gina Marie, of course, has said plenty of offensive things and acted like a screaming loon in the past (I'm curious to know if Julie Chen will also call her on the carpet as she did with Aaryn), but at least for one week she seems to be channeling her inner nutjob toward smart game play.
Guess what? Amanda is not done trying to tell Gina Marie what to do. She tells Gina Marie how angry her friends will be if she goes on the block, while there will be dancing in the streets and a ticker tape parade if Judd and Elissa go up. Huh. Who are these friends who will fight to the death to defend Amanda's memory? Oh, right, no one.
Time to see Gina Marie's HoH room. There's a picture of Nick? Really? Oh, Gina Marie. I wish someone had just torn a picture of Ryan Gosling or Robert Pattinson out of a tabloid and stuck it in a frame. It would have been less disturbing, really.
Amanda and Elissa glare at one another while Gina Marie hops on furniture, positively giddy that her HoH basket has her teeth whitening stuff. I see a sponsorship, don't you?
Amanda, perhaps unable to pull Gina Marie into a bullying headlock, decides to taunt Elissa as Elissa talks with Andy and Spencer. "You're going on the block tomorrow!" she sneers. Elissa laughs and tries to exchange meaningful looks with Andy and Spencer, who are very busy examining their shoes. Unfortunately, Elissa can't just quietly gloat, knowing that Amanda is really the person facing the block. No, she has to start prattling on about how Jessie was the only "real 10" in the house. Elissa has apparently forgotten that America is watching, and she just decided to dive into the mud pit with Crazypants.
Finally, Andy, Spencer and Elissa leave the room, and McCrae comes in to deal with his lunatic girlfriend. He makes the mistake of telling her to take it when Elissa is snotty to her. Good luck with that! "You have to play the victim," he tells Amanda. Hahahaha! Really, why not talk to your toothbrush, McCrae, because it will absorb just as much. Amanda has far too much pride to suck it up, play the victim or reel it in. But it's cute that you believe that it could happen, McCrae.
Elissa doesn't help herself by complaining about Amanda to Spencer, Judd and Andy. Andy tells her to be the bigger person and leave the room. Elissa gets defensive, because she's not the bad person! I think Amanda and Elissa both need to realize that regardless of who's the "bad girl" in this equation, just being part of it is going to make the hamsters consider getting either one of them out of the house a potential win.
More venting! Because there hasn't been enough this episode! Amanda cries to McCrae. Elissa is so evil! And I can't do anything about it! Boo hoo hoo!
Then, Amanda confronts Elissa AGAIN. "You're antagonizing me!" Elissa laughs and walks away. Hey, Elissa actually took Andy's advice! Someone's listening to logic!
Amanda runs out to complain to her fellow hamsters. She thinks Elissa has a God complex. Really? Amanda complains that she's trying not to fight with Elissa, but she's bugging the crap out of her and her refusal to engage is antagonizing her. I think she'd also feel that Gandhi was a big pain in the ass. I don't think Amanda fully understands the meaning of "antagonizing." Judd suggests Amanda make her a friendship bracelet. Amanda works up some tears. Oh, come on!
Thankfully, the waterworks aren't working. Judd isn't buying her tears one bit. "Is she more nuts than I thought?" he asks. Amanda complains some more. She's emotionally exhausted! Guess what? EVERYONE is in this house, mostly because of this never-ending fight.
The good news? Gina Marie isn't buying Amanda's tears, either. I really have to think Amanda is going to be shocked that her attempted manipulation of the hamsters has become so ineffective.
Time for fun, or what looks like fun. The house is filled with balloons! Filled! Somewhere a production assistant is cursing his job. Anyway, it's time for a luxury competition. In the sea of balloons is $10,000 for the first housemate to get a sequence of three chips (1, 0 and K). Spencer has two chips! And three. He wins! Then, everyone has to pop balloons if they want to move around in the house. Amanda thinks he should have to do this, since he won. Of course she does.
It's the day of nominations, and Amanda is getting impatient. She needs to talk to Gina Marie, and Gina Marie won't stop talking to stupid Judd! If that wasn't a clue that she's in trouble, I don't know what is. Still, Amanda thinks she has a chance to bend Gina Marie to her will. If Gina Marie doesn't put up Elissa, everyone will be completely enraged! So, she needs to put up Elissa and Judd. McCrae joins the conversation. Amanda and McCrae offers Gina Marie a final four deal (with Andy). Maybe she's not as dumb as we think, Amanda says. Though Gina Marie is not, shall we say, book smart, she's clearly street smart and pretty tough (sometimes too tough). Amanda underestimates her at her own peril.
Of course, everyone in the house knows what's coming -- the biggest, baddest nomination ceremony yet. "Stay tuned America. You're not gonna miss this one!" Judd says.
I'm fairly confident Gina Marie is putting McCranda on the block, but you never know. Amanda feels triumphant! I'm thinking this interview room stint was filmed after the nomination ceremony, only because Amanda is so fully unconvincing as she says this.
As Gina Marie says, these are two people who should have been put on the block weeks ago, but no one else had the balls to do it. Gina Marie clearly has the balls.
Nominations ceremony begins!
Andy is safe.
Spencer is safe.
Elissa is safe. Amanda looks surprised. McCrae looks depressed.
Judd is safe.
Gina Marie explains her Big Move, and her voice shakes a bit. She has big balls, but that doesn't mean she doesn't fear the wrath of Amanda just a bit. "You guys are a huge dymanic... dymanic... power couple," she says. She adds that McCrae has lost his fire, and Amanda's crazy, but she loves her. Amanda is crying. Crying. She's only been nominated, and she's crying. I really think this has at least something to do with how upset she is that she has been outsmarted by someone she feels is a total idiot. Plus, she knows that even if she survives, her boyfriend is probably going home. I'm a little shocked to think Amanda cares enough about her showmance with McCrae to really care, though.
Elissa is so thrilled. Amanda doesn't get it. She tried so hard! "It kills me that Gina Marie, who has no brain, is the girl who gets me out of this house." McCrae is crying in the interview room, too. I think this might qualify as Stockholm Syndrome, really.
Gina Marie says Amanda isn't making her cry, even if she's bullied everyone else. I believe her. I have sorely underestimated Gina Marie, who clearly is doing just fine even without her BFF Aaryn. Amanda never considered Gina Marie a worthy competitor -- which may be exactly why she's going to get the best of her.
Do you think Amanda is going home? Do you think Amanda could win the veto? Do you think she's going to try to terrorize Gina Marie the way she did Elissa?