On Monday, the house guests gathered in the living room as Nicole read a special announcement on a laminated card. She announced that a new series of Big Brother would be started on September 28th, just days away, and the three of them sat in shock as the very basic BBOTT commercial played on the screen in the living room.
Nicole: Are you serious? What is going on right now?
James "joked" that he wanted to go back in to play the new season as they sat stunned, trying to process the information.
(I know I felt the same way when I heard the news.)
I heard Ian Terry talk about this on a podcast soon after the news was announced, saying that a few other former house guests had been grumbling about it, worried that it would dilute the importance of the traditional summer season. Ian also mentioned that there was concern that the BBOTT players might be considered to be in the same pool for All Star purposes, or in future seasons where returnees are involved.
I also heard Dan Gheesling tell Rob Cesternino that he'd "heard from a few people" who had been approached for BBOTT, but they were hesitant because they weren't sure how successful it would be, and they didn't want to waste an opportunity to play if the new series was a flop. Rob pushed Dan to tell him who it was, but Dan didn't want to say, and didn't even want to say if it was a returning BB player, or a newbie-type-of-person. Dan wrote a book about getting cast on Big Brother, and frequently couches people about getting cast, so it's possible he was referring to a newbie.
But I don't think so...I think former players were approached...just a guess. I heard a rumor at one point that the cast would be filled with former players who did not make the Jury, but I don't know if that is true or not. I know that the pre-jurors often seem hungrier, with more to prove. And it would be easier to cast from that pool, since most of the screening and interviewing has already occurred.
We haven't heard many details at all about the new season, and I think there's a reason for that. For one thing, they probably can't share too many details until the players are all in sequester, to avoid spoiling casting secrets or important game elements. But it's probably reasonable to assume that the pool of contestants may be sequestered already.
Here's What I'm Thinking:
If you're a Survivor fan, you will agree that one of the most exciting moments in Survivor history happened when America's votes to pick the Survivor Second Chances castaways were announced live, at the end of a live finale show. Those lucky winners grabbed their bags and headed up on stage, waving goodbye to the fans as they boarded a bus outside to head to the airport to parts unknown.
Now, that was admittedly a different situation, but what if Big Brother took a tip from that at tonight's finale? What if one of the BB18 cast members has already cut a deal to appear on the new season? I'm specifically thinking of the pre-jurors here, who have had the time to prepare for another absence from life.
Right after the new BBOTT season was announced, I saw a tweet from Robyn Kass to Glenn, saying she "owed him a phone call". But if you really wanted a cast that is "Over the Top", there might be a more obvious choice.
I'm just guessing here, trying to have fun and prepare myself from the potentially crippling disappointment with the results of tonight's Finale. I was prepared for disappointment last year, but when it came it still hurt. I really don't have a horse in this race, so I don't expect to feel crushed by the outcome of tonight's show. But if things go in one of three ways, I will feel like I wasted my entire summer, and will probably reconsider plans for next summer.
There hasn't been much to see on the live feeds in the last few days. It's been the same conversations over and over, and everyone watching has been analyzing and over-analyzing every word and gesture, trying to figure out who's taking who to the Final Two.
I'm really talking about Nicole here. Paul has already announced that he's taking Nicole if he wins the final HoH competition tonight. Nicole told Paul that she'd take him if she wins the HoH, but if that is the case, why has she been practicing a speech that mentions "sitting next to James" and throwing shade at him by saying he won safety for the first two weeks?
The following series of pictures were taken of Monday night's activities, if you can call them that.
And Nicole has been wearing this same tired look every day, because it's Corey's sweatshirt.
If you have a dog, try getting down on the floor with him or her, and imitating Nicole's "Coooorrrrreeeey", noting your dog's reaction. My dog cocked her head and seemed very concerned for my well-being. And probably her own well-being, too, since it was nearly time for me to feed her.
Nicole did some sewing to repair Paul's shirt and cautioned him to be careful when he's wearing it. Does this indicate that Paul plans to wear this shirt for the Finale?
Nicole practiced her speech, and also answered silent questions from a make-believe Jury while she crunched through a bag of granola. She's certainly preparing for the event, just like she studied and studied to be prepared for any competitions that would feature game knowledge.
And that's certainly not something that James can say. He honestly didn't bother to study one damn thing this summer. I heard him tell Natalie and Michelle that he wasn't going to worry about any of that, because he felt comfortable that both of them knew the information.
And that's why he's in the situation he is now, at the mercy of either Nicole or Paul. But making the Final Three is an accomplishment, to be sure. I'm not taking that away from James, even though I wish I could.
James and Paul were playing pool in a spirited manner, hurling insults and derogatory catch phrases at each other as guys do. For example:
* Call you accountant...get ready to transfer some money over.
* When you swim with sharks, you get bit.
Paul said goodbye to the backyard and went inside. They were told by Production to gather all laundry and belongings, so they knew the indoor lockdown was coming.
Meanwhile Nicole fretted and worried, seemingly tortured over what choice she will make if she wins the final HoH competition. She's just so indecisive and wishy-washy. I think part of the problem is that Corey told her before he was evicted that she should take James to the end with her. And we all know that Corey Hung the Moon and Knows All.
I heard Nicole tell Paul that if she was in the Final Two with Corey, she wouldn't be so stressed out.
Nicole: Because I know that Corey would win, because everybody loves him. And I would just be there.....know what I mean?
(Yeah, I think we know what you mean, Nicole.)
By the way, the corner bed that Nicole and Corey camped out in all summer is a great place to be, because you can hear what is being said in the common areas, but cannot be seen while you're straining to listen. Strategically, it's a winner.
James sat alone and splashed his feet in the hot tub for a moment or two, before heading inside for the rest of the season himself.
James: See ya later BB backyard. See ya Wednesday night. Lots of good memories out there, but lots of bad ones, too.
James stopped by to say goodnight to Nicole on his way to the London Room.
Nicole: We might have one more "owl thing" tonight, but maybe not
(eg, the Orwell's Night Owl gifts and activities that they shit all over earlier in the week)
James: What a season.
Nicole: Oh my gosh. And another one is starting next week...it baffles me.
James: No live shows, though. All of it's on the internet.
Meanwhile Paul practices his speech to the Jury again. They've been told to keep it to a minute or less. Paul has his timing down, but Nicole's speech is all over the place and the timing isn't clear. If the Jury slams her with their questions, she's going to be frazzled, so I hope she's got her talking points down.
We might not get to hear Paul's speech to the Jury, but if we do he is going to start off with a joke about going to Berlin. Paul's frequent Berlin travel stories were a source of teasing this summer, and the Jury will probably get the joke.
Nicole got the munchies, and carefully compared the nutritional information on two different packages of microwave popcorn to find the best choice. She's been stressing about wearing that skimpy checked two-piece outfit on Finale night. She might be better off swearing off the packaged foods all together until then, due to the high sodium content.
The Final Three all got in bed, with a good hour to spare of BBAD. The camera guys did their best to entertain themselves, and us, with various closeups of the house guests with quick flashes of other parts of the house.
Here is the stuffed Orwell Owl that they were given the first night of the "Night Owl" gifts.
And the mini "Pablito" that was in one of the backyard competitions, taking the place of "Pablo" who was brutally kidnapped by Michelle, and callously tossed aside while Paul watched helplessly from just inside the closing front door.
The cameras closed in on Nicole sleeping soundly, and then the cameras flashed to Corey's memory wall picture, as if to suggest Nicole was dreaming about him. And then they did the same to James, flashing to Natalie's smiling picture on the memory wall.
And then there's Paul. After a close up of Paul sleeping, the cameras flashed to his own picture, as if to say that Paul did it on his own.
I watched the end of the live feeds, but it was extremely uninspiring and there is nothing that I found interesting enough to post about. Basically Production told them to do the dishes, and they kept asking if the feeds were still up, and if it was 9:30 AM yet.
Nicole: Thanks for watching live feeders. I'll see you on the outside. I'm scared to death.
Now THAT I believe. The "scared to death" part.
This was a huge contrast to the end of the live feeds for BB17, as the final three put on a little show for us, complete with a message made of chocolates on the floor. And also the end of the live feeds for BB16, where the Final Three sat on the couch and talked to us, actually seeming to care that we cared.