The following is a guest post from Rob Has a Website Contributor, Andy Baker
We’ve all heard the maxim, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Hard to believe, but some aphoristic laws hold true not only in the real world, but also within the cloistered confines of the Big Brother house. BB14 has become a totally different game this past week, but rather than acknowledge this, and perhaps do something about it, Danielle has nominated two newbies, targeted Frank, and acquiesced to the demands of the former Coaches. Sound familiar? At this point, I fully expect the former Coaches to be our final four, and when the last newbie is voted out, the other newbies will ask the Chenbot, “Wait, we could have evicted them?”
1) I’ll admit it: Danielle’s HoH victory was a bit of a shocker. I ruled out the taller, bulkier guys – this challenge wasn’t designed for them – but I would have put money on Ian winning. What I failed to factor into my prediction: Ian’s “I’ll give everyone else what they want” strategy. Of COURSE the slop martyr was going to make a deal when only a few players remained! Maybe in the next luxury competition someone can give this boy a backbone.
2) I’m also shocked that the HoH competition wasn’t blatantly rigged for the former Coaches. A moist, tilting, poop-splattered pirate ship favors the small, the young, and the wiry; one glimpse and you knew that Boogie was too old, Janelle was too top-heavy, and Dan was too “strategic” (he’s quiterrific!) to win. Only Britney stood a chance, and she wisely let Danielle claim the pyrrhic victory. By the by, would anyone have been surprised if the challenge had been one of those chalkboard quizzes, only with questions like, “How many times has Janelle cried fake tears today?” and “How many crane kicks did Daniel-san perform in the Karate Kid movies?” and “What pet names did Mike Boogie have for the genital wart removed by Dr. Will?”
3) I’m tired of calling them former Coaches… so how should we refer to them? “Returning Players”? “Inevitable Winners”? Hmmmmm – how about “Grodners”? I do know what we should call the newbies: The Expendables. On a related note, I now want CBS to have an “Expendables 2” movie night in the house. (It’s thematically irresistible: “The Expendables 2,” starring Arnold, Sly, and many others, comes out a week from Friday… and almost all of the newbies should have been evicted by then.)
4) I bet Dan, despite publicly coaching and cheering on his protégé, was angry with Danielle after the HoH competition. For Dan and others who subscribe to the wildly popular, undeniably effective, and exceedingly lame “Winning by Losing” approach to BB, you don’t want to win HoH, because nominees become enemies. Danielle could have stepped down and let Brit win the challenge. But her ego wouldn’t let her, and now she’s got the power Dan really wishes she didn’t. Guess you’d call that losing by winning?
5) Dan… Danielle. Does the suffix “ielle” mean “marionette” or “puppet” by any chance? Linguists, help me out.
6) Credit where credit is due: I’ve been ripping into the challenge designers for the past few weeks, but that HoH challenge was awesome and brutal and brutally awesome. On a related note, like everyone else who watches BB, I always wonder how I’d do in an endurance challenge like this one. Sprayed and drenched by freezing water? Shot in the face with fake bird poop? Leaning over until my forearm muscles wanted to snap like high tension wires? I’d like to think that if I needed to win to stay in the house, I could last as long as I had to. But if I’m honest – with myself and you – I probably would have been crying within five minutes, soiling myself in under ten, and taking a warm shower in fifteen.
7) Frank was nominated, you say? How surprising! Put up against Boogie, right? Hold on – what?! Danielle put up Wil? So, two Expendables are on the block? Might as well kick ’em all out right now, gather the Grodners in the backyard and shower them with half a million dollars. Can’t the Expendables see what’s happening? Didn’t they watch BB13?! Gaaaaaaaa! (By the way, isn’t the HoH contractually obligated to explain the nominations? Why the heck didn’t we get to see Danielle attempt to publically justify putting Wil on the block? “I nominated y’all because… wait, Dan, why did I nominate them? Oh, and Ashley, stop staring at Shane, or they’ll find what’s left of you in the hot tub. I love y’all!”)
8) So, was Dan telling Boogie about the plan to backdoor Frank totally asinine? Or was it inadvertent genius? The truth WAS going to come out at some point – that sort of thing almost never stays a secret in the BB house – so which is better, to get ahead of the story and come clean, or to have Frank and Boogie eventually find out about your involvement through the grapevine? Here’s what I think: The emotional reaction to a betrayal builds over time, so confessing early avoids the psycho-social explosion that would happen later. Even if there’s a slight chance that Frank and Boogie wouldn’t find out about the plan, Dan’s right: even if there’s short-term fallout, telling them builds long-term trust. It’s not that Dan needs to look GOOD, it’s that other players need to look BAD – and Dan’s going to come out of this looking a lot better than Janelle and Britney. Dan may think he made a mistake, but mark my words: The Expendables and the Grodners are going to target Janelle and Britney before they come after him, in part because Dan didn’t lie about the plan and they did.
9) If you want more proof that Dan’s blunder was brilliant, look at Britney’s attempt to deny the blindside. Britney expects Boogie and Frank to believe that Danielle – last week’s swing vote – didn’t tell Shane what she was doing? And that Shane wouldn’t have then immediately informed Britney? Please. (This reminds me of yet another Big Brother Commandment: The truth – and plausible lies – can set you free.)
10) I want to reach through my TV and kick Shane in the nuts. When he kissed Danielle after she won the HoH competition, he guaranteed that we’re going to keep getting the showmance edit. Channeling my inner Joe for a moment: SHANE, I HATE YOU AND YOUR HOT PINK WORKOUT CLOTHES AND LEANING TOWER OF GEL HAIR! YOU DON’T LIKE HER! YOU MIGHT LIKE FRANK AND/OR WIL! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT! SO STOP GIVING GRODNER WHAT SHE WANTS!
11) Fortunes rising: I thought Wil was going to go home early this summer, but now I want him to stick around. He’s the only Expendable who can see Dan and Janelle for who they really are (The Quitter and The Faker), he’s satisfyingly snarky in the diary room (giving us the catty commentary Britney was supposed to provide), and he’s strategically savvy: When Danielle and Britney asked him whom he would nominate, he got the girls to utter names before he did. Impressive. (I could do without the Wil-lage People blazer/banana-hammock dancing, however. Oh, and Captain, from Captain & Tennille, wants his hat back.)
12) Fortunes falling: Diary Room sincerity. For weeks, the Expendables suspected that the Grodners were coming into the game. For several days, they knew it for a fact. And yet, after the “Twist” was revealed on Thursday, they all expressed shock and dismay during their DR interviews? C’mon! You’ve been in the BB house for less than a month, and yet you want us to believe that you thought the game was nearly over? Sorry, not buying it. Hey, houseguests: If the producers ask you dumb questions when you’re in the diary room, how about refusing to answer?
13) Prediction time: Someone needs to talk some sense into Danielle (take out Janelle!); otherwise, Frank’s going home. As much as it pains me to say this about my pre-season pick to win it all, unless Frank wins the veto this week, I think he deserves to go. Being thrice nominated is like being at a party when the host says goodnight to you several times: they’re trying to tell you something (please go home). I hate to say this, Frank, but the party’s over.
That’s it for this edition of The Baker’s Dozen – check in again on Friday, follow me on Twitter (@GetOnSurvivor) and if you want, leave me a comment below!