The following is a guest post from Rob Has a Website Contributor, Andy Baker
As I process the linguistic reality that “mad jelly” is engineer-speak for “extremely jealous,” allow me to Monday morning quarterback last night’s episode of BB:
1) The Nominations: I agree with Boogie – this early in the game, the HoH should put up two non-controversial candidates and then blend back into the still-evolving social hierarchy within the house. There were plenty of obvious candidates, even after Boogie protected Ian; assuming that the male Coaches remain the strategic focal point, I would have put up Jenn and Danielle. The nomination of Frank wasn’t a mistake in and of itself, but Willie breaking a promise (one that he set in motion in the first place) is a move that puts all future deals in jeopardy. I like the idea of pitting Dan and Boogie against each other – and eliminating the best player on one of their teams in the process – but if that’s your plan, don’t make any promises you can’t keep, and don’t put yourself in a position where you have to make up lame excuses at the nomination ceremony. (“Frank, it got weird” – that’s the best you’ve got, Willie?)
2) Speaking of Willie, was it ever in doubt that he’d admit to being a Hantz? I found it amusing that Britney helped with spin control (“You didn’t want that stigma”), while clearly tucking the new info away for later use. It’s all in the eyes – what little trust Britney had in Willie is now gone.
3) Back to the nominations for a moment: The Coaches twist is having a massive impact on the game – the opening weeks, I would argue, are fundamentally different now. In previous seasons, the game would begin with a social “sorting” period, a week or two when the group dynamic would form. During that stretch, natural nominees would emerge from the pressures of the game; some people fit in, others did not – some players forged alliances, while others were left adrift. But now, with the Coaches starting the game simultaneously vulnerable (only three players on their teams!) and invulnerable (the producers want them around as long as possible!), strategy is front and center, different types of players are being targeted, and everyone is scrambling for a foothold. It’s like the game is on fast forward, and the houseguests are going to be fighting their way through four endgames instead of one. I’m not saying this is a bad thing – we may end up with more drama and chaos this way – but you have to admit, it’s different.
4) A quick thought about the Coaches: One can only assume that the producers chose these four knowing full well that Janelle and Britney would team up against Boogie and Dan. Not only are the guys BB winners, but Janelle and Britney were both played and betrayed by male alliances. Casting for conflict: Reality TV 101.
5) Best line of the night: Boogie’s invitation to Dan, “Will it up with me.” The humor and self-awareness in this moment (which is destined to become a season-long catchphrase) almost made me forgive Boogie for proclaiming that he’s the best BB player ever during the premiere. Almost.
6) I’ll forever be a fan of Chill Town, but I have to admit that I enjoyed seeing Boogie underestimate Janelle and Britney. Even better was his facial expression at the nomination ceremony – moments of realization like that are why we watch BB, right? On a related note: Both Dan and Dr. Will are Big Brother champs, and they both have dark hair – the similarities end there. In less than a week, the “best BB player of all time” debate has, for all intents and purposes, been settled: Unless Dan stages a highly-improbable comeback, it’s Dr. Will in a landslide. (Can you picture Dan telling the houseguests he hates them all – as Will did in BB All-Stars – and getting away with it? Yeah, me neither.)
7) HI MY NAME IS JOE AND I SCREAM LIKE A PENTECOSTAL PREACHER! I AM TRYING WAY TOO HARD TO GET SCREEN TIME! PLEASE VOTE ME OUT!
8) Semi-serious question: are the BB competition designers on strike? First, we get the lamest pajama party in recorded history, and then that travesty is followed by… a circular slip and slide? Really? That’s it? Thursday’s HoH better be an insane endurance challenge filled to overflowing with soapy ejaculate. (Did I just write “soapy ejaculate”? Yes, yes, I did. My mom would be so proud.)
9) Once again, though, I did like that there was a powerful incentive to win the competition (even if Dan “Losing Credibility One Bad Decision at a Time” Gheesling would disagree with me). The ability to protect one of your players adds an intriguing layer of strategy to a game that desperately needs it (the power dynamics of BB have gotten predictable over the years); this will play an even more pivotal role when a Coach is down to one houseguest, because there will now be two opportunities to avoid eviction (the other being PoV). Of course, this also means the producers have yet another way to rig the proceedings… but you take the good with the bad.
10) What sort of sadistic HGTV rejects do the BB producers hire to create the Have Not room? A metal bed is bad enough. But narrow? Tilted? And with a rivet-studded surface? One look at those beds, and I’d punch my Coach in the face for picking me.
11) Fortunes rising: Wil. At this point in the game, Janelle is calling the shots (with both the houseguests and the Coaches), and no newbie is closer to Janie right now than Wil. Let’s just call him Marcellus and move on.
12) Fortunes falling: Ian. I take back every nice thing I said about him in the last Baker’s Dozen. Turns out, my initial read on Ian was right: his social intelligence is catastrophically low. Let’s forget about his odd, late-night behavior and the solo streaking for a moment; what the heck is he doing hanging around the bathroom while female houseguests take showers? At this point, I don’t know if Ian is going to get voted out of the game or forcibly removed from the house by producers for “exceedingly creepy behavior”; either way, he has no chance at the $500k.
13) Prediction time: I hate to say it, but I have a sinking feeling that Frank is going home this week. It’s an easy eviction to rationalize: Frank’s stronger than Kara… it won’t be hard to take Kara out later (and use her as a pawn in the meantime)… both Boogie and Dan will be down a player… and Frank doesn’t look as good in a bikini (although it’s closer than you might think). I hope I’m wrong – the game would be far more interesting with Frank still in it – but the houseguests would be foolish not to take advantage of an opportunity that might not come around again.
That’s it for this edition of The Baker’s Dozen – see ya Friday!