The following is a guest post from Rob Has a Website Contributor, Andy Baker
WARNING: Almost all of this blog entry pertains to Thursday night’s double eviction, but beware – #13 contains spoilers (the new HoH and nominations).
1) Alas, alak, my pick to win it all, Frank Eudy, has been sent to the BB jury house. Frank didn’t leave alone, though: when he walked out the front door, he took with him the only remaining sense of humor (seriously, has anyone other than Frank smiled over the last month?), almost all hope of keeping Dan from the F2, and Ted the Bear, who, thanks to his stoic but genial gameplay, is guaranteed a spot alongside Frank on All-Stars 2.
2) Ian taking out Frank was a forceful reminder of the massive impact the Coaches Twist had on BB14. Without Boogie working overtime in the first couple of weeks to help Ian with his social skills, Ian would have been an easy early eviction. Meanwhile, Frank was utterly screwed by the twist: the team dynamic kept him from forging his own alliances (which, given his social skills, Frank could have done with ease), the size of the teams guaranteed that he would be repeatedly targeted (“we have to take out [insert Coach’s name] strongest player!”), and once the game was reset, Frank had established himself as a legitimate endgame threat. Sure, he’s loyal and trusting to a fault (a trait that in some seasons is an alliance asset), but he was also this season’s most well-rounded player: a challenge threat who also happened to be the most upbeat and well-spoken player in the house (Dan and his funeral aside, can you name one player in the game who was as consistently articulate as Frank?). It’s really too bad that we didn’t get to see Frank play in a comparatively normal season.
3) You just know that Frank and Ashley are going to be hooking up in the jury house (Frank: “You wanna get naked?” Ashley: “Sure!”)… which invites speculation about other potential isolation/boredom hook-ups. How about Britney and Joe? Hahahahaha… ewwww. Britney will take one look at Joe, consider the possibility for a nanosecond, and then lock herself in a room until someone else is evicted. Left alone in the rest of the jury house, Joe will search for romantic outlets… which makes me fear for Ted the Bear.
4) At this point last week, it really looked like this was Dan’s game to lose… but his performance during Thursday night’s double eviction really didn’t help his endgame. The backstab of Frank went by without a hitch, but then the trouble started: Dan won HoH (I think he went into the competition with an “anyone but Jenn” game plan, and emerged as a reluctant victor), he failed in an obvious attempt to take out Ian, and then he raised everyone’s eyebrows by putting Danielle up against Joe. The latter “mistake” was likely Dan’s attempt to stay in Jenn’s good graces (“Look, I didn’t nominate you!”), and it’s not like Dan can’t spin this to an endlessly forgiving Dani (something tells me that boyfriends have cheated on Dani many, many times and have always been welcomed back). I highly doubt Jenn was won over, but you can’t blame Dan for trying. The real error was nominating, rather than backdooring, Ian; Dan could have nominated Joe and Jenn and asked the Quack Pack to let him win the PoV, a request no one would have questioned. Putting Ian in danger made him compete with determination borne of desperation; had Dan said, “Let the blood be on my hands,” he could have totally blindsided Ian (assuming Dan won the PoV) or sacrificed him (if Jenn had won).
5) The damage to Dan’s endgame isn’t as bad as it might have been, however, for a few reasons: one, Dan has time to spin his story; two, Ian may be in denial about what Dan tried to do; and three, even if Ian is fully aware that Dan tried to stab him in the back, he will still want to work with Dan, believing that Dan is beatable in the final two.
6) Last week, I would have told you that Ian would be utterly foolish to think that Dan can’t win over the jury. I mean, who wouldn’t be impressed by his return from the dead and his ability to do something that the other Coaches couldn’t? But now I’m not so sure. From the sounds of it, Joe would vote for Ian, and Frank would vote for anyone BUT Dan. If the jury members can’t appreciate Dan exploiting his Season 10 “honorable, religious, and virtuous player” reputation, and instead see his ruthless “swear on the bible, a cross, and my wife” approach this time around as offensive and hypocritical, then Dan’s in a lot of trouble.
7) Apropos of nothing: Is there anything more musically pathetic than “we don’t want to pay the licensing fee for ‘Jaws’” shark music?
8) Hold on a second – is Julie Chen evolving as a reality show host? When Dan was dragging his feet returning to the living room to make his replacement nomination, the Chenbot actually improvised, saying, “Don’t make me come in there!” Off the cuff humor! Who knew that was in her programming?
9) Speaking of spur-of-the-moment one-liners, props to Ian for his comment about Frank when Joe referred to him as Houdini: “Houdini died young.” In a season that has showcased some of the worst scripted diary room confessionals the show has ever seen (and that’s REALLY saying something), moments like this, when the comedy isn’t forced, become all the more precious. Which begs the question, why can’t reality show casting directors find more spontaneously amusing players? Conversational comedy isn’t THAT rare a skill, is it?
10) Amazingly, Ian didn’t deliver the best line of the episode. That distinction goes to, of all people, Joe, during his post-eviction interview: “I’ll rub [Shane’s] back, but that’s all he’s getting – there’s only so much a man can give!” Did Joe really just “out” Shane on national television? Or was he simply referencing Shane’s “relationship” with Danielle? Either way, the moment was genuine, unexpected, and extremely funny – heck, even the Chenbot couldn’t keep herself from laughing.
11) Fortunes rising: Dan. The other four houseguests in the final five include a floater (Jenn) and two players who Dan has used as pawns for most of the game (Shane and Danielle). Dan attempted to take out the only one left who could beat him in the final two – Ian – and if he has another chance to do so, he’s going to take it.
12) Fortunes falling: Dan. He’s hemorrhaging jury votes (Frank’s answer to Julie that there are “absolutely hard feelings” is quite telling), and if he gets to the final two, he’ll have betrayed at least two more members of the Quack Pack to do it. Unless the jury members collectively realize that they need to reward a player who has been so instrumental in shaping the endgame, then DanGheesling.com could be in trouble.
13) Prediction time: Ian, continuing his late-summer emergence, has won HoH and has gone the predictably safe route with his nominations: Jenn is on the block against Shane (who no doubt has been told, and believes, that he’s the pawn). If I’m Ian, I’m telling the Quack Pack that it’s Jenn’s time to go – but if anyone other than Dan or Danielle win the PoV, I’m putting Dan up on the block and attempting to backdoor him. Best case scenario, Jenn takes herself off the block; she’ll gladly cast her vote for Dan, and even if the vote ends in a tie, Ian would be the one to break it. If Ian wins PoV, he gets his hands a bit bloodier (since he wouldn’t be “forced” to name a replacement nominee), but the end result would be the same. If Shane wins PoV, though, there’s very little chance Ian could convince Shanielle to evict Dan, but he’s gotta at least try.
And yet, all of that is what Ian SHOULD do… what he WILL do is Dan’s dirty work: Shane will be sent packing this week. Dan needs to split up the power couple, so he’ll cut a deal with Ian to blindside Shane; Dani will vote for Jenn, Dan will vote to evict Shane, and Ian will cast the deciding vote. It’s the perfect storm for Dan: Shane would blame Ian, Jenn would be grateful that Dan voted for her to stay, and Danielle would forgive Dan while wanting to assassinate Ian on live television.
Think about it: With Shane out and Ian unable to play as outgoing HoH, Dan would be battling with Jenn City, who has won precisely one challenge this summer (after Frank got busted for cheating), and Danielle, who would be in the middle of an emotional breakdown after the Shane blindside, for the final HoH of the season. Assuming he won that competition – and how could he not?! – Dan could cut a final two deal with Jenn, nominate Danielle and Ian, and send Ian home. Ah, but I get ahead of myself… let’s save the endgame for next week, shall we?
That’s it for this edition of The Baker’s Dozen – see you next Friday!