Thursday, June 7, 2012

Countdown to BB14 - A Look Back at BB2

As we countdown to the premiere of Big Brother 14 in July, I'll be taking a brief look back at all of the previous US seasons.  We've come a long way, and a lot of things have changed...

Dr. Will Kirby, winner of BB2, needs no introduction to the hard core Big Brother fan. The casting of the self-proclaimed Evil Doctor took Big Brother to a whole new level, and made up for the disaster that was BB1.  The US producers made a few bold changes to the the show in its second year, breaking away from the model created in the UK. 

Here are a few of the notable highlights that come to mind.

1.  The first episode of BB2 introduced the Head of Household concept for the first time.  The house guests were instructed to vote among themselves to choose the first HOH.  I don't remember all of the details, but I do know that Mike "Boogie" Malin was chosen by the group to be the first HOH.  Apparently the other house guests were impressed with his rapping skills.  True story.  I think this was the picture of him that was posted on the BB2 wall in the house, but this is what I remember him looking like everyday.

2.  The HOH digs were quite different back then than they are today---looking back at it the room was a total dump.  It was a tiny space that seemed full just from the double bed.  There was also a tiny round table and a mini-fridge.  The room looked just like any room at the Hampton Inn if it were the size of a jail cell.  There was no HOH bathroom--just a room where they could have some privacy, I guess.  The house guests oohed and aahed when they saw it--it seemed like some sort of plush treat back then but would be easily overshadowed today by any of the other bedrooms in the Big Brother house.  There was a big window in the room that overlooked the living room.  There were clanky Levelor blinds over the window and the HOH would crouch on the floor, trying to peek through the blinds.  Peeping HOH.

 3.  Cliques formed right away in the house.  Will became friendly with Mike Boogie, and they both had showmances with two girls named Shannon and Krista.  Along with a Jersey Guy (pre-Enzo) named Justin, they formed a group called Chilltown.  The bedroom where they all slept was very, very cold, giving them the inspiration for the name Chilltown.

4.  I didn't watch the live feeds back then, but I did start following the live feed updates on  It was actually called by a different name back then, though.  It was called "Poppy's Pain Forum".  True Story #2.

5.   I can remember HATING Dr. Will based on the first few weeks of the CBS show.  Although he was clearly a handsome devil, he was narcissistic, bossy, and cruel to many of the people in the house.  Basically, all of the non-Chilltown people.  But then America became riveted to Will's Diary Room sessions.  He would talk about how idiotic everyone is, and would talk about the lies he told on a daily basis.  His strategy was to win nothing, and be hated by everyone so that they would take him to the end.  And that strategy worked.  Clearly.  And America loved it.

6.  Back then, Big Brother wasn't so stingy with all of the booze.  It seems like they were drunk a lot.  Then Justin from Jersey held a knife to a house guest named Krista's throat one night.  I think she was laying on the kitchen counter when he did it.  They had been flirting and drinking and yadda yadda yadda the knives came out.  (ha ha ha)   Justin was abruptly removed from the game and the kitchen utensils have suffered ever since.  They can't have good chef's knives now, I guess.  After Justin was removed from the game, Krista began her showmance with Mike Boogie, who proposed to her on the finale.  As you might guess, that relationship later fizzled out before the wedding took place. 

7.  Let's get back to Shannon.  She and Will continued their showmance right up  until her eviction from the house, and converted it to a romance after the season ended.  I think they actually lived together and carried on for a year or more.  Tell me, is she hot enough for Dr. Will?  Her mullet really bothered me at the time, but she did have a great body.  She did Playboy and if you google her you can easily find some skin.  She is most remembered for taking some sort of revenge on another house guest named Hardy Hill by using his electric toothbrush to clean the toilet.  Nice girl.

 8.  Hardy Hill.  Yes, Hardy Hill.  Not much to say, but a lot to look at.  He didn't get along well with Chilltown (see #7) but did do some boy band dancing with Will and Mike Boogie in the back yard.  He turned up in a Bravo series a few years ago called Miami Social.  He was employed as a manager in some big club in Miami and had some girlfriend he couldn't commit to.  Or something like that.  The series fizzled after one season, but Hardy still looked good.  That's for sure.  Not much dialogue though.

 9.  Back then, for a few hundred dollars you could hire a plane to fly over the house to deliver a message on a banner for the house guests to see.   This has since been outlawed, since the information on a banner can ruin the game, but it was fun to speculate on the banners.  I think the banners began by giving fan shout outs (i.e. America loves Bunky!) but then quickly disintegrated into game-changing statements (i.e. Don't trust Chilltown Krista!)  The one that I remember most was the banner that flew over the backyard during a live competition, near the end of the game.  The remaining three contestants were all laying on a waterbed in the back yard holding on to their keys in an effort to win the final HOH.  Shortly after the competition started, a banner flew over that appeared to be a message from Nicole's husband proclaiming his disappointment in her.  (See, Nicole may or may not have given Dr. Will a drunken "toe job" in the hot tub after a few bottles of red wine...)  Of course Nicole started bawling and banners are now a No No.

 10.  Survivor was in its early days back then, and the Survivor contestants used to enjoy a pretty high level of celebrity after the end of their season.  During BB2, a handful of Survivor contestants visited the BB2 house.  I think they camped out overnight in the back yard and participated in a game.  That's all I remember, but I do know that Jeff and Alicia were two of the visitors.  Surreal, huh?

11.  The September 11th tragedy happened in the final weeks of the series.  CBS episodes were pre-empted, and Big Brother really didn't seem to matter anymore.  One of the Final Three contestants, Monica Bailey, was from New York and her cousin had reported to work on September 11th to her job in the World Trade Center.   She was never seen again.  The Producers sat Will, Nicole, and Monica down and explained what happened.  (Can anyone ever really explain September 11th?)  Monica took the news with grace and strength, deciding to stick out the final days in the house.  Nicole felt badly about it, but still evicted Monica in order to take Dr. Will Kirby to the end with her.

 12.  And the rest is history, as they say. Dr. Will has proven to be just as successful in real life, if not as dastardly.  He became a dermatologist in California,  married another reality star---I didn't watch the show, but I think Erin Brodie won For Love or Money TWICE (would that be $2,000,000 in prize money?).  Will and Erin had a son named Cash.  (Yes, Cash, ha ha ha)  Will has appeared on Dr. 90210 and is a frequent guest on QVC to sell various skin care products.  He also founded a popular chain of tattoo removal clinics, Dr. Tatoff and also appeared on BB7- All Stars, helping his buddy Mike Boogie win.  But that's a story for another day.