But Production has their timeline already planned out for the season....they needed to get some footage relating to the "secret room", and they needed to get it fast, so they can edit it into the Wednesday night episode.
The first Big Hint that Production was about to pull the trigger on some action was this tweet from Heath Luman, who is on the creative team creating the competitions for Big Brother, The Amazing Race, and several other reality or game shows. (One of you kids with some ingenuity and maybe some craft and construction skills should try to get an internship or something with Heath....imagine getting paid to do what he does someday?)
Within an hour or so after Heath posted this rather obvious message, trolling us, a message appeared on the TV screen. Most of the house guests were napping---it was around 4:15 PM and James, Natalie, and Paulie were hanging out by the pool, but I think BB asked them to go indoors. As soon as they came in, the screen over the sliding doors went down, but I don't think it was a formal lockdown.
"CLUES TO THE SECRET"
"ARE ALL AROUND YOU"
"YOU MAY WANT TO KEEP IT TO YOURSELF"
And for everyone who is trying to make this into some sort of "Hail Frank Pass" by Production, you should note that Frank wasn't even in the area when these messages started scrolling. Paulie, Natalie and James were, so think about that for a moment. And James is the one who noticed it first.
James: HEY GUYS......HEY GUYS.....COME TO THE TV!
Natalie came out of storage and started whisper-reading the words....
James may have realized that he should have kept his mouth closed, but it's hard to tell. Natalie was planning to make pasta, so I am impressed she didn't drop anything due to the excitement of it all.
James, looking around nervously: Secrets revealed.....
And then Paulie is there. And Paulie isn't playing around.
Note that much later, after all was said and done, Paulie was putting it out there that James and Natalie were the ones who were loud about the scrolling message, blaming it on them. Because once this action kicked off, Paulie wanted to keep it close.
Once Paulie saw the "you may want to keep it to yourself" part, he looked at James.
Natalie: What is it? Tell me.
James, weakly, asking his boss Paulie: Maybe we don't want to tell anybody?
Paulie agreed, and the three of them stood in nervous silence.
And right on cue, here comes Frank the Tank, awakened from his slumber.
Frank silently stares at the message while James awkwardly reads the scrolling message again, in a normal "street" voice. (Clearly trying to pretend he just saw it, too.)
And now Bridgette arrives, silently absorbing the message.
James reads the messages again, adopting a puzzled sort of tone, trying to get someone to make the next big move.
Paulie: It's Monday.
(Why yes it is, Paulie.)
James: They just locked the back door.
Frank, finally speaking: Did they?
Bridgette didn't even have her microphone on yet, after napping. James says maybe this is what Julie was talking about, that a secret will be revealed soon.
James: ....clues to the secret are all around you...
Everyone looked around. Natalie still clutches her ingredients. James wondered how long the message would be scrolling on the screen. The five of them finally left the room. Frank and Bridgette went into the bedroom, where Bridgette whispered that she had a dream about this.
Bridgette: Let's look for it...let's find it.
All of them started quietly scouting around. Frank already looked in all of the nooks and crannies in the Nairobi room earlier this week, and also the luggage stacks. The cameras keep flashing on the four travel signs that will point them in the right direction.
They started looking in the luggage, and we had a quick FISH where I think they were told not to break or tamper with the various props and decorations. (Bridgette "broke" one of the masks in the Nairobi Lounge and couldn't get it to stay on the wall.)
James went to the phone booth upstairs and pushed a few buttons. Natalie came up and wanted to show him something.
She whispered that the flight to Paris was departing, and they stared at that for a moment.
(The damn flight to Paris has been departing for nearly 40 days now, so....)
Then Paulie appeared and Natalie wondered if they should tell anybody.
James: There might be another veto....we probably shouldn't have told them (i.e. Fridge).
While they were whispering, they heard Big Brother tell Frank to "STOP THAT", and they realize the race is on. But it's a quiet, tension-filled race.
This is the scene in the HoH room, where the bodies of Victor and Corey are sprawled like a mini crime scene. Note that James didn't wake them up, but moved around the room silently, being careful to be quiet.
Paulie tries a different vantage point. We don't get to see the common flourescent lighting on the ceiling very often, but here it is.
Then Nicole appears, and since the message on the TV appears to be gone, Paulie tells her about it, saying that they don't want everybody to know about this.
(This will become a HUGE issue later, as Zakiyah realizes that Paulie didn't wake her up to share the news, and Nicole didn't, either. And Da'Vonne wasn't on the "Need to Know" list, either. So both of those girls are quickly realizing the truth about Nicole and her two-faced gameplay.)
Nicole: Should we try to call somebody? Like on the phone?
Paulie: Who are we gonna call?
Nicole: Well maybe there are clues hidden around the house.
Bridgette came upstairs and they all jumped when they heard the phone ringing. The phone that was ringing, of course, is the one on the table in the HoH room---James was calling it from the phone booth in the London Room.
Bridgette, walking over to the phone booth: How come this one never rings?
She went inside and started pushing buttons.
She closed the door to see what would happen and Frank tried pushing on it.
Bridgette: Who should I call?
Frank announced that he didn't expect to find anything inside, he thought they were setting something up outside since the backyard was locked. Production didn't like that train of thought, because we had a quick FISH and when we returned, the backyard was open again.
And Zakiyah was there, looking like a confused E.T. reading the TV message that was scrolling again.
What followed next was first a quiet search, with the house guests walking around looking and touching things, and whispering their ideas to the people they trust. Natalie was observant about the travel signs, and started searching inside the mailbox in the London room.
Natalie later told James that the poster said the plane would depart on the quarter hour, but she prefaces every idea she has with saying she's "not good at this stuff".
Bridgette realized the green lettering on each sign, and whispered to Frank about it.
Oh boy....Da'Vonne has arrived, probably alerted by Zakiyah, and now Paul is here, too. The room is silent, with James occasionally repeating "you may want to keep it to yourself" as he wanders through the room, with a slight tone in his voice.
Bridgette points out information on the Departures sign, whispering to Frank.
Nicole: Should someone wake up Meech? She's still sleeping.
Paul: I don't know. I was just woken up.
Victor and Corey arrive on the scene, and Victor quickly grasped that something big was going down.
It is unclear what Corey thought about this, or anything.
Someone finally dragged Michelle out of bed and as she entered the room she said "Coup d'Etat".
But then shit really started popping off in there, as Paul announced that he might have figured it out, and he started running around the house, up and down the stairs in a crazed manner.
Paul: I think your boy has figured it out!
It is important to know that at this point, no one knew that this would be a prize for everyone, not just for the first person who discovered it. So both the house guests and the live feeders were in a FRENZY watching this, wondering who would get there first.
James kept going in the phone booth, and looking over the ledge at the Departures board.
You could hear him punching the buttons as whispers and Paul's pounding feet filled the air.
It was exciting.
Nicole: We've got to frickin' get this...it could be a diamond power of veto or something....we have to....somebody....
Meanwhile Paul is here, there, and everywhere as he tries to solve this thing.
Paul: Your boy's about to solve this...your boy is good at puzzles.
(I want to point out that Paul is not MY boy. Not even close.)
We know Paul was getting close to figuring it out, because he kept telling us that. Meanwhile Nicole was already getting interrogated by Zakiyah about why Nicole didn't wake her up. Clearly these girls have a list of priorities and finding the secret room was not one of them.
At one point, Nicole, Zakiyah and Da'Vonne were in the phone booth, and Zee got on her hands and knees and looked under the back edge of the phone booth, and said she saw something under the crack. Da'Vonne got down there, too, and tried to pull up a flap covering the back wall.
BB: DA'VONNE! STOP THAT!
Da'Vonne: Well, if they don't want us touchin' that, it ain't in there. That's probably production stuff.
(Actually, that flap that Day was pulling on is the entrance to the secret tunnel, as we soon found out.)
Paul examined the BB Airlines plane, with Frank standing next to him. This is really the last part of the clues, because the actual code is printed on the windows of the plane. It says "Call Paris", indicating that the house guests need to punch in letters, rather than numbers. And the model plane has the Flight #221 printed on it, which is the same flight number on the Departures board.
Paul picked up the plane and was examining it, and I think one of the wings fell off.
BB: PAUL, STOP THAT!
For once, Paul kept his mouth shut about his discovery, and paced around before taking another look at the plane, but from the bottom of the table.
But Paul's mouth would not be closed for long. He burst into the HoH where Zakiyah and Michelle were just standing around, probably bitching about being the last to know.
Paul: I just figured it out, but in the interest of Homeboy not figuring it out, I'm gonna wait.
Michelle thinks she saw something out there, and Zakiyah says that people keep blurting out information.
(Not to you two, apparently.)
Paul is anxious, and runs to the phone booth again, where Frank is dialing all the numbers that he can see on the Departures sign, conveniently right there for him to see.
This happened several times, with Paul trying to keep tabs on what Frank (aka "Homeboy" Yes, I'm rolling my eyes.) was doing in the phone booth before going back in the HoH with the girls.
Michelle tells Paul that inside the phone booth is a flap, and under the flap there is a red room with a sign that says "don't close". This is what Zakiyah saw, and what Zakiyah told her, but Zee is probably too worried about why Paulie didn't include her in this that she can probably barely breathe.
Paul: It's probably production stuff.
The tension built, and you could hear various house guests do some low talking about what they think the answer is, as the cameras track Frank, deep in thought. I hear Zakiyah tell Michelle that she thinks the kitchen is involved somehow. Paulie doesn't think it's something they actually have to find.
Frank went over to the phone booth, and started punching numbers again. We all waited, hearts pounding. The internet was going WILD at this point with excitement.
Paul arrives with James, creeping up on Frank. You could feel how anxious Paul was, breathing hard, clearly nervous about Frank. Paul announces, "I was gonna try that after you", in an attempt to get Frank out of the phone booth.
(I have to tell you, we were having a thunderstorm here in Atlanta, and at this EXACT moment the power flickered, and both of my computers went down. Paul's comment rang in my ears for at least 10 minutes as I tried to get everything booted back up with my heart pounding.)
Once I rebooted, I had to flash back to catch up. Paul went in the phone booth after Frank, and when he was finally able to key in PARIS, a recording picked up, but the cameras closed in on Frank as we listened to what sounded like an old spy movie, with a man's voice giving us instructions in a thin, reedy tone.
This is what the man said.
Paul came out of the phone booth and said "Nope" and then started a ridiculous farce of trying to get everyone to go outside, telling them that there is a tunnel out there. Obviously he did not want to go into the secret room with everyone standing there, so he wanted to misdirect everyone so they would leave him alone in the phone booth.
But Paul still needed to keep an eye on Frank, who went over to the phone booth several more times. Then Corey went in there, and Paul didn't like that, either.
Paul: It's not...that doesn't work....I already tried all of the numbers.....it won't work....I already tried it.
(No one said Paul was subtle.)
Then Paul pulled James and Corey in the HoH again and gave them stern instructions.
Paul: I already found it. But you need to keep Frank and Bridgette away from the phone! Did you hear me?
Corey: But what's the code?
Paul: I have it! I am going to use it! But you've got to keep Frank and Bridgette away from the phone booth.
James: Frank's in the phone booth now.
Paul continued his farce of running up and down the stairs, insisting that he was "positive it was in the yard". At one point he told Frank this, while standing in the loft, overlooking the living room, which kind of negated the point, right?
Frank kept pushing the phone buttons, and told Paul that he's sure the phone booth is involved, because there is a camera in the ceiling.
Paul: But there's a camera in the phone booth downstairs, too.
Frank: But that phone works...you can't call anybody with this phone.
Paul tried to mislead Frank with talk of Nairobi, and the rooms, and ended up saying that the key is "something in this room", even though just minutes ago he was sure it was in the backyard. Needless to say, Paul was excited, and his actions got a little messy.
Paul kept telling James and Corey that he "had it", but was also "still working on it". He said he needed the situation to calm down so he could "be alone up there for a minute".
Paul: All I know is we have to keep homie from pushing buttons, Because he's gonna get it, and it's gonna fuck me over.
James: I think Frank already got what you got.
Paul: I don't think so, because if he did he would keep on punching numbers, to crack it.
Corey, brilliant in his simplicity: Why don't you do that then, just crack it?
Paul: Um.......because I don't want everyone to know what I'm doing up here. Everyone can just take a nap and let me go back to it. And if I get it, we'll pull Paulie in for a Boy's Thing. But not Victor. We can't tell Victor.
Paul left the HoH room, but is now announcing that he "thought he had it, but he didn't", and he started throwing out false clues to distract people, saying that they should watch the TV screen for more info, etc. Paul finally went back over to the phone when he couldn't stand it anymore, and with a large crowd of house guests watching him, called PARIS again and stayed in the phone booth for the 5 seconds necessary to open the door to the tunnel.
You could hear Paul breathing heavily as he listened to the recorded message again, and he bounced up and down, preparing himself. After he hung up to start the 5 second count, he looked around and saw who was standing there.
It was super exciting....very suspenseful. No one knew what was going to happen.
You could hear a "click" as the tiny door at the bottom of the phone booth unlocked itself, and we saw this tunnel, like a red runway.
(I think this is actually one of the many "camera runs" where the camera crew lurks for the handheld shots of the house guests----note the window in the picture below....that is likely the HoH room in there.)
This is Paul crawling into the tunnel, leaving a crowd of gaping house guests in his wake.
Natalie: OH. MY. GOD-AH.
Once inside the "Paris Room" Paul read the card from Big Brother, and we had a quick FISH while someone told Paul to read aloud to us.
As Paul started reading, there was a horrible racket in the background, that may have been the sound of a plane preparing for take off. But to be honest, the plane did not sound healthy. I would have run for the escape hatch, but thankfully the sound stopped quickly.
Basically there are 12 envelopes to choose from, and each contains a Big Brother airlines ticket. Paul can take just one of them, but it must remain unopened until after eviction, where Julie will open it onstage. One of the envelopes includes a "Round Trip" ticket, which will allow that person to turn around and go right back inn the house.
It is unclear if the other envelopes have any value on their own, but they are not allowed to tamper with anyone else's envelope. The envelopes are numbered to track who has each one. The card mentions that it might be best not to tell everyone, to prevent someone else from potentially winning the Round Trip ticket.
(Note that since Julie said the Secret Room would remain in affect for 4 weeks, so I'm assuming that the next four evictees will have this Round Trip opportunity, if they are lucky to pick the right card.)
We experienced a beautiful moment in Paris, where Paul sat quietly and thought about what to do. He asked Production what he was allowed to say to the other house guests, and we had a quick FISH where I assume they told him that he couldn't lie.
So...yadda yadda yadda, Paul crawled back out of the tunnel to applause, and he commanded everyone to go back downstairs so he could explain everything. He said that he might win a trip or something, and did not mention the Round Trip ticket twist.
But all Paul really did is cause a lot of suspicion with people like Victor, who surely noticed how sketchy Paul was acting. He couldn't even stand still---he kept shuffling his feet and walking in place.
Victor: How many envelopes were in there?
Paul: I don't know. Your boy didn't count them. I was too busy screaming and running around.
Victor: Do you think there was one for each of us?
Victor: Can we go in there, too?
Paul: I don't know....they didn't tell me.
Frank: What's the code?
Paul: You'll have to figure that out for yourself!
Natalie: What's the first number you punched in?
Paul: Um...I don t know...it might not work for you.
Paul told Frank that he had to add all of the departing times together to get the code, but of course he was trying to lead him astray. It wasn't long before they all gathered outside, waiting for someone else to crack the code.
And for Paul to shut up. But maybe that was just me.
So, needless to say a shirtless Victor went to Paris, too. And then Corey did as well, before the feeds shut down for what seemed like a long time. When the feeds finally returned, Michelle was in Paris, choosing the one envelope that was left for her.
***LET'S REVIEW THE DAMAGE DONE***
1. Surely Paul's behavior this afternoon will get him in some trouble, right? He repeatedly tried to explain to his alliance that he was being secretive so that "homeboy" and "homegirl" would not find out about it, but it was overkill on Paul's part. In fact, one time Corey said "okay, we got it", and Paul went through his list of excuses AGAIN.
2. Victor is no dummy. He realizes that Paul didn't even want to wake him up to tell him what was going on, much less share the information.
3. As discussed, Zakihay and Da'Vonne were PISSED that Nicole didn't try to include them on the action when she first knew about the message on the TV. The information that Frank gave Day about Nicole playing both sides is finally starting to sink in.
4. Apparently Corey found the code on his own, right after Victor did, but he did not share that information with Nicole. In fact, Victor is the one who not only had to tell Nicole the code, he actually had to key it in for her because that was apparently too difficult for her to handle. So Nicole certainly let everyone, and also Corey, know how upset she was about this. And Corey apparently told Nicole at one point that he didn't want to tell her the code, since she didn't wake him up immediately. So you can imagine what the Lovesick Nurse thought about that...
5. And while this was all going down, Zakiyah could be heard muttering something about "leaving his muscle-ey ass...", so this may be the end for her infatuation with Paulie. For today, anyway.
6. Michelle had an episode after a DR session, crying and wailing because she has finally realized that the world thinks she is being mean to Bridgette. Also, she knows she was the last house guest who was awoken to see the TV message. And Frank scolded her about the stipend conversation, because he knows she told several other people what he told her.
7. And there is paranoia now about Frank or Bridgette getting the Round Trip ticket. As there should be....it's a real threat now that one of them has the potential to leave, and come right back in. So now a fresh round of Frank and Bridgette Hatred has been unleashed, with everyone trashing them with both old and new put downs. For example, now they are saying that Frank and Bridgette are dating, and their respective significant others may be a lie.
***ABOUT THE STIPEND CONVERSATION***
Basically, a few days ago Frank told Michelle that the veterans aren't earning the $1,000 per week stipend that the newbies earn. Instead they get a flat fee for signing up, and if they make Jury they get another flat fee tacked on to that. I think Frank whispered that his flat fees are $30,000 and $8,000, respectively, and that second payment isn't enough for him to get locked up in Jury for the rest of the summer.
Frank: That's why Day keeps saying she wants to get to Jury, because she wants to earn all of that money.
Note that Michelle told both Nicole and Day what Frank told her, and maybe a few others. Nicole was mad that Frank was using this as game info, and wanted Production to put a stop to it. Da'Vonne tried to play it down, saying that Frank was earning the "top, top" money since he got so far in the game last time, but she went out 2nd in her season, so her contract wasn't worth that much.
(She's probably right about that.)
(I heard on a Big Brother podcast that FREQUENTLY reports INCORRECT information that Britney Haynes earned $100,000 for BB14, and I nearly choked. This IS NOT true and is vastly overstated.)
Anyway, Frank sat Michelle down after she stopped crying and rather calmly said he knew that she didn't keep the stipend information private, because he heard about it later.
Michelle: I'm not used to being called on stuff like this.
(Well, whose fault is that, Mr. and Mrs. Meyer?)
I tried to find the footage for this on You Tube, but in BB14, when Frank was first evicted, he actually got up and walked to the door to leave, but then an alarm went off that signaled the RESET that resulted from the Coaches entering the game.
It was FANTASTIC for a Frank fan, and upsetting for everyone else, but you have to blame the Coaches who pushed that RESET button, not Frank. Nor Mike Boogie either---he was the only Coach who didn't want to reset the game.