Hey there, “Big Brother” fans. With most of the HitFix staff currently in an insanely long line at Comic-Con, I’ll be filling in for a few days covering the show. I’ve spent the last few weeks watching the program with as much enjoyment as dread: while certain aspects of the show have been as compelling as ever, the sheer amount of bigoted hatred on display has dulled almost all pure enjoyment. Watching “Big Brother” has turned into hanging out at a family reunion with THAT RELATIVE who always spews the craziest nonsense at the loudest volumes. “Big Brother” isn’t above rigging the game in order to keep controversial players in the house as long as possible. But if Aaryn isn’t sitting with Julie Chen this Thursday (and my God what an interview THAT would be), I’d be shocked.
Then again, stranger things have happened in the show’s history, so far be it for me to put tons of stock in that prediction. Maybe she’ll win MVP and spark the country’s second Civil War. Anything can happen! So let’s find out, as I liveblog the next three episodes.
8:00 p.m. ET. That new disclaimer kills me. Shorter version: “We’ll do better research on our contestants next summer, we promise.”
8:01 p.m. McCrae’s improved hairdo is the biggest upset this season thus far. Who saw THAT coming?
8:02 p.m. “Watch out: here comes Helen!” claims this week’s HoH. Having just seen “Pacific Rim,” it’s not that big a threat, to be honest.
8:03 p.m. “You are both really strong competitors” is a phrase that should be banned from every future eviction nomination ceremony. No one believes that, and it’s just insulting to everyone’s intelligence. (Even for those that have exhibited very little thus far this season.)
8:04 p.m. With nominations over, Helen meets up with her alliance to help shape the third nomination. She, like Jeremy, assumes Elissa will be MVP again. Amanda wants to get either Jeremy or Howard up for eviction as the third nominee, brushing aside Helen’s suggestion of Spencer.
8:06 p.m. On cue, Spencer enters the HoH room to make peace, revealing the origin of The Moving Company. Helen munches her snacks with great passive aggressiveness, using tears as a strategy to align Spencer with her going forth. Yay feminism! Afterwards, Spencer tells Howard that the gig is up. “I don’t know if I’ll be able to fix this one!” he laments in the interview room. You and me both, Howard.
8:08 p.m. This week’s MVP: Elissa. AMERICA, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT THIS. For the first week, I got it. You didn’t “know” anyone else, even if you only knew her by association. The second week? We can chalk that up to inertia. But now? You’re not even watching the show, people! She’s barely been on-air! She hasn’t done anything! Why am I getting mad about this? Damn you, “Big Brother.”
8:10 p.m. Amanda and McCrae ask Elissa to put Howard up for eviction after learning about her MVP status. “I feel very used!” says the woman who relies on her sister’s identity in order to constantly obtain a position of power in the house yet never understands how to properly wield that power.
8:11 p.m. Howard finally comes clean to Helen about The Moving Company, while others watch his confession to her. He states that he was bullied once in the alliance, even if his job outside the house revolves around teaching kids how not to be bullied. Helen unleashes “Operation: Waterworks” once again. This is a less than flattering approach towards attaining/maintaining power.
8:13 p.m. Elissa and Helen connect one-on-one, and decide to backdoor Jeremy rather than nominate him outright. That leaves figuring out whom to put on the block, so they get Amanda, McCrae, and Andy into the HoH room to determine the nomination together. Elissa worries about putting up Howard, whom she dubs “another strong male,” in her third week as MVP. (I’m not sure David was a “strong male” so much as a “walking surfboard that achieved minimal sentience,” but whatever.)
8:16 p.m. The more Elissa hedges about nominating Howard, the more agitated Amanda gets. “If you don’t put [Howard] up, he will ruin our game!” Amanda whisper screams, before leaving the HoH room in disgust.
8:20 p.m. Before the Veto game starts, it’s time to learn whom Elissa has picked. In the end, she chooses Spencer, not Howard. Why? “I was not excited about the way they were pressing me so hard to put Howard up,” she says in the interview room. Helen pulls the names of GinaMarie and Candice as Veto Competition contestants, rounding out the field. Jeremy is worried about plans to backdoor him. As he should be! The only way he doesn’t go up is if Kaitlin wins and then doesn’t take herself off the block.
8:22 p.m. Trying to maximize the odds, Kaitlin asks GinaMarie to save the veto should she win the competition. Since she’s not blowing her nose in Nick’s shorts anymore, maybe GinaMarie has enough of a clear head to not listen to this plan.
8:30 p.m. Amanda tells Kaitlin that she, not Aaryn, is the target should both remain on the block. Basically, “strong gameplay” is more of a threat than “racism.” So it goes.
8:31 p.m. This week’s Veto Competition is called “Keep Up With the Joneses.” Each cast member has his or her likeness painted into a replica of a famous piece of art. Contestants have to bounce on a trampoline to look at the art over the wall obscuring it, then match all the art on their side of the divide. Well, at least no one is going to be covered in sticky material, so I consider this competition brilliant.
8:33 p.m. After an initial screw-up, Candice gets her layout correct on the second try. Aaryn has a much harder time. “These are pictures of people I hate! I don’t want to look at them!” A charmer, she. GinaMarie gets inspired by a picture of Nick to compete effectively, and somewhere in America, Nick makes sure that the restraining order he took out on her is still binding. Next up, we get Spencer On Trampoline action, which is as terrifying as you might imagine. Kaitlin’s turn is fairly unmemorable. Finally, Helen has a horrific time, which is surprising given that she won HoH based on her memory skills.
8:38 p.m. This competition’s judge, Judd, reads the results. The winner? Kaitlin, which all but secures Jeremy’s place in the house for another week. (Because when you have to choose between a showmance and a half million dollars, you choose showmance every time.) “It’s like he has nine lives!” laments Helen.
8:44 p.m. “I’m just gonna turn on the Cherokee charm, and get her to do what I need her to do!” Why do I feel like that line exists somewhere on Jeremy’s OKCupid profile? Kaitlin’s plan after getting woo’ed by Jeremy: get Helen to put Howard up instead of Jeremy.
8:46 p.m. Oh boy, now it’s a Cry Off between Helen and Kaitlin, with both using the same manipulation technique. It’s like watching Voldemort and Harry Potter duel, only terrible. In the end, Helen doesn’t yield, and Kaitlin returns tearfully to tell Jeremy that their plan won’t work. “Maybe I should bite this bullet for Jeremy and stay on the block,” she confesses in the interview room. Showmances are stronger than gravity, y’all.
8:51 p.m. Kaitlin stands before the Veto Board, looking upon it the way that my dog looks upon a chessboard: with great curiosity but little comprehension. One thing that now stands out: not once in this episode has anyone mentioned Aaryn’s antics over the course of this game. One would think that would trump every other petty grievance. AND YET. Sigh.
8:53 p.m. Kaitlin calls everyone into the room, and reveals that she’s used the power of veto on herself. I was wrong! Greed triumphs! I’ve never been happier to be wrong! Thank you, misleading editing! On cue, Helen puts Jeremy up for eviction. Howard is ecstatic about these developments. Aaryn is somewhat happy about the choice, but also realizes the “Cherokee charm” might push votes her way.
8:55 p.m. Drink every time Jeremy says “Cherokee,” unless you like your liver.
8:56 p.m. Final nominees for eviction: Aaryn, Jeremy, and Spencer. No way Spencer goes home. It will probably come down to people deciding how long they can tolerate Aaryn’s attitude versus Jeremy’s overall strength in the game as a whole. Given the focus of tonight’s episode, Jeremy seems like the likely candidate, as the house has seemingly decided to solve racism another week. But then again, tonight was engineered to make it look like Kaitlin would take the fall. So who knows?
Are the correct three up for eviction? Who is going home tomorrow? How can anyone else win MVP this season? Sound off below!