The introduction of the “MVP” to this season of “Big Brother” seemed to negate the possibility of people simply floating through the season in hopes of not being noticed. Instead, making Elissa one of the contestants rendered the twist all but moot, and producers have already changed the MVP rules in order to break Elissa’s stranglehold over that position. The current House Of Household, Judd, took advantage of this oversight and has remained largely incognito thus far. But now that everyone will be looking to curry favor with him, will Judd have a strong, non-passive approach to the game? Or will putting him into the spotlight cause him to wilt?
Only one way to find out, and we’ll do so during tonight’s liveblog. This will be my last one for now, as the HitFix staff makes their way back from San Diego and Comic-Con. So I’m hoping for some fireworks tonight, but I’ll settle for “less racism.” You gotta set your sights low when it comes to “Big Brother.” Come back starting at 8:00 p.m. EST and follow along!
8:00 p.m. ET. These “previously on” segments are so long, I have to think that Peter Jackson edits them together. Jeremy went home, Judd is HoH, America is the MVP. Six seconds! Easy! Let’s spend out time wisely, like “watching GinaMarie cry into inappropriate articles of clothing.”
8:03 p.m. “If I get cocky, or I get too safe, this could all blow up in my face!” says Helen in the diary room. I wonder if it’s already too late for that. We’ll see. Kaitlin, who seems extremely upset about Jeremy’s departure, might have Helen in her sights this week.
8:04 p.m. McCrae looks more like “a guy who follows Phish around the country” every episode.
8:05 p.m. Prediction: Judd’s HoH room will be completely blank, in order to fit his contributions to the game.
8:06 p.m. GinaMarie thinks she can manipulate Judd to get the “scrubs” out of the household. Oh God, we’re going to see GinaMarie flirt. Why hath you forsaken me, God?
8:07 p.m. Andy, Amanda, and McCrae anxiously discuss the “twist” mentioned by Julie Chen in the last episode. The players don’t know that America is the MVP, and their guesses don’t close to approaching the truth. In the meantime, they put pressure on Judd to put up other members of the house besides themselves, with Amanda hoping that he remembers “where his bread is buttered.” Instantly, Judd chafes at being told what to do. NO ONE BUTTERS JUDD’S BREAD BUT JUDD.
8:09 p.m. Howard and Candice discuss Judd’s HoH reign on their own. Neither thinks that Judd has the courage of his convictions, so Howard vows to stay close to Judd in order to avoid the mistakes he made last week with Helen.
8:10 p.m. It’s HoH Room time! I never get this part of the game: it’s the same room with different pictures, right? And since everyone knows that all reactions to the room reveal are fake, it seems like a bizarre ritual. (Even for “Big Brother.”) The one nice thing: a letter from Judd’s parents, which is so nice and sincere that no one can even attempt an eyeroll.
8:12 p.m. Later in the HoH room, Judd confesses to Spencer, Howard, and Elissa that he’s thinking of putting up GinaMarie. Howard suggests putting up Kaitlin, and Elissa thinks Aaryn should go up again. Spencer doesn’t care, so long as it’s not him or Howard going up on the block. All four agree that ignoring the twist is the best way to pick nominees. Boo! I want to see these people try to think through complex scenarios! It’s adorable! They try so hard!
8:17 p.m. It’s “GinaMarie Butchers The English Language” Time. President Obama is going to use this footage to get more funding for education.
8:18 p.m. It’s Howard/Candice showmance time, everyone. Though they would prefer that I call them “friends that snuggle every night while talking about dates in the real world.” But that takes much longer to type.
8:19 p.m. Elsewhere, Judd confesses in the diary room that Aaryn isn’t a problem he wants to deal with at this stage of the game. This seems likely after last week’s vote: at this point, no one in the house thinks she’s a game threat, even if they by and large loathe her as a human being.
8:21 p.m. “I don’t want this HoH. It’s a terrible time,” laments Judd as he tries to way his options. This turtle wants to put his head back in the shell so badly.
8:22 p.m. In the bedroom, Aaryn, GinaMarie, and Kaitlin talk strategy. Aaryn worries the three people in that room will be on the block this week. GinaMarie laughs at that assessment, and manages to complete a sentence without making up a new word in the process. It’s good to see growth as the season progresses.
8:24 p.m. Aaryn and GinaMarie are now fighting, and it’s both horrible and mesmerizing. Aaryn doesn’t feel like “checking herself,” and neither feel like actually getting out of bed to make this argument more confrontational. Lord Almighty, this is a dull episode so far.
8:28 p.m. It’s time for the “funkiest Have/Have Not competition of the summer,” blandly proclaims Judd. This competition, “Funky FroYo,” features two different mixes. One? Chocolate/vanilla. The other? Anchovy/habanero. Delish! The goal of the competition is to gain as much weight as possible as a team, which simply CAN’T be healthy. Will the Power Of Veto competition center on bulimia to balance things out? Yeesh.
8:29 p.m. Many contestants on “Big Brother” exhibits signs that they might have a career in entertainment outside of the show. Judd is NOT one of those people.
8:31 p.m. Candice literally explains the rules of the game thirty seconds after Judd did. America: we’re better than this! We can pay better attention! We are the MVPs! We have to earn this!
8:32 p.m. Let’s never discuss GinaMarie’s technique in this competition. Ever.
8:33 p.m. Andy: “Spencer, you look like an adorable little cat.” Spencer: “I feel like it!” OK, that was pretty funny.
8:34 p.m. So much worry about vomit right now. And not just on my couch!
8:35 p.m. The Red Team (Spencer, Candice, Andy, Jessie) gains eleven pounds. The Blue Team (Helen, Kaitlin, Aaryn, GinaMarie) gains thirteen pounds. The Green Team (McCrae, Howard, Elissa, Amanda) gains twelve pounds, making the Red Team the Have Nots for the week. The biggest takeaway? I will probably not eat frozen yogurt in the foreseeable future.
8:37 p.m. Late on, Amanda once against applies pressure on Judd to make the nominations go her way. She really wants Howard out, calling it a “big move.” When she senses that she’s pushing too hard, she backs off a bit. It’s a tough position for her now: her alliance with McCrae has yielded some victories so far, but that puts them in a vulnerable state. And while The Moving Company is no more, the Judd/Howard/Spencer alliance is a more manageable one with less obvious flaws at this stage.
8:43 p.m. Before the nomination ceremony, let’s get some eye candy in! Elissa teaches Howard some yoga. He thinks it’ll be easy, but he’s sweating like a bandit in no time flat. “She’s a freakin’ human pretzel!” laments Howard. That was a semi-boring segment of TV, but one great piece of advertising for the yoga industry.
8:44 p.m. Later on, The Human Pretzel visits Judd in the HoH room. She tells Judd that GinaMarie is a waste of a nomination at this point, suggesting that Aaryn should once again return to the block. If Judd could physically shrink into a ball and get sent to the Phantom Zone, he would. Whatever the posture of a leader is, this is the opposite.
8:46 p.m. Amanda continues to spread the “Everyone in the house wants Howard gone” gospel to anyone who will listen, even though she’s essentially creating that reality out of nothing. It’s smart, if deceptive, gameplay. Judd enters the discussion, looking for any way to have someone make this decision for him. Andy notes that Amanda’s aggressive nature will harm her. He is probably right: She’s been the best player thus far, but seems to be pressing too much tonight.
8:53 p.m. Aaryn is convinced she’s going on the block. Howard feels confident, but that confidence also worries him. “At the end of the day, I’m here by myself, playing my own game,” says Judd. He’s right. It’s a boring, terrible game. But he’s certainly playing it. The only way this episode redeems itself is if he nominates Amanda. That’s the twist this episode seems to be leading towards.
I won’t list all the people who are safe. Ultimately, the two nominated for eviction are Aaryn and Kaitlin. Meet the new nominations. Same as the old nominations. It was the safest play to make: There was no way he was going to pick Howard, whom Amanda already has plans to backdoor. I wish we had any real concrete sense for why she has him in her crosshairs, but since she's probably the only person actively playing the game right now, I guess CBS
had to focus on this storyline.
8:57 p.m. It will be interesting to see whom America votes to put up as the third nominee. My colleague Carrie Raisler hypothesized last week that voters will get confused and simply select Elissa again, not realizing they are actually selecting her to be on the block. Which would be hysterical.
Did Judd make the right choices? Is Amanda overplaying her hand? For those watching the feeds, is CBS editing out the more controversial remarks in the house or have contestants finally realized they are on camera? Sound off below!