Thursday, June 23, 2016

Welcome Back, James Huling. #BB18 (New Haircut, Old Visor.)

So, James is back in the BB house.  Sometimes the year flies by too fast, doesn't it?

A lot of fans were on the James Huling train last year---he won America's Favorite Player, in case you didn't hear the announcement on last night's premiere episode.  I think most of James' most ardent fans were fans that just watched the CBS episodes, because James got the Star Treatment from CBS during his last weeks in the game.

For example, James' frequent,"funny" pranks.  You know, like jumping out to scare someone, after hiding in a closet.  Apparently America found those pranks "funny", because we saw them over, and over, and over.  We saw them again last night, too.  And I suspect we will continue to see "funny" pranks as long as James is in the BB18 house.

(I've always said I would have been a lot happier in life if I were 93% more stupid, and 43% more naive.)

Don't worry though, James Fans.  I will cover his game in a fair manner, and will be open to changing my mind this summer.  From here on out, I will strive to report facts about James, and not opinions (if they are unfairly personal).

James' Pros:

*  Fierce competitor
*  Has fans on the Production Team & the BB audience
*  Not afraid to make a big move
*  Good sense of humor & social skills
*  Physique is well-suited to Endurance Comps

James' Cons:

*  Spends a lot of time napping instead of trying to win
*  May have let the Star Treatment go to his head
*  May pledge loyalty to weak players in the game


So far these twists have played out well for James.  For one thing, James' team, Team Unicorn, won two rounds of safety from eviction.  And the team seems like a strong one for James:

*  Victor Arroyo, muscled athlete, Latin hottie
*  Natalie Negrottie, physically fit, Latin hottie
*  Bronte D'Aquisto, lucky Mathelete

One caution here is that we are certainly being set up for a Victor-Natalie showmance.  That would put James in a Third Wheel situation since they would likely evict James over each other.  But I think this is a very strong team, and a good place for James to be in this game.

Some of the CBS-only fans might not know that James did a lot of drifting last year, and appeared very lonely for much of the early weeks of the game.  He hung around a lot with Jeff Weldon, until Jeff was evicted, and then kind of skirted the edges of groups until he found a position in Meg's group of mean girls, slipping into Jason's spot for the rest of the season.

This season's team concept works well for James, because he will have a ready-made group to hang with while he establishes himself with people.  Bronte will be a strong person for him to align with, too, since Production pointed out that she's one to watch now.

If these other players are smart, they will target James before some of the endurance challenges factor into the game.  Because James can win those easily, based on last year's results.  I think James could have a shot at this, if the Returnees can squash the Newbie Revolution in the next few weeks.


OK.  Before Team James gets pissed at me, these are facts I'm reporting here.

1.  James seems to have lost some support from his BB17 friends.  I know there are two sides to every story, but James has made a bad name for himself with Meg now.  Meg put on a big charity event last year to raise money for her arthritis cause, inviting scores of reality stars for a weekend-long event.  But something happened with James----Meg publicized his appearance, but then there was some sort of situation there where he didn't show up for her.  The story was that James wanted his plane ticket paid for, but that can't have been the only reason why he didn't show.  I know he got a day job recently that he really likes, but he's already said they are very cooperative when he needs time off for Big Brother events.  (I mean, obviously, right?)  Jason Roy went on a Twitter rant about James last week, but I'll let you find that yourself.  No need to get Jason Roy riled up about me now, too...(keep reading, please).

2.  James seems very salty now towards Meg.  This may result from #1, but maybe there are a lot of other factors involved, too.  Meg has been pretty tight-lipped about it, but admittedly I haven't been scouring the internet for the details.  (Please share in the comments section, if you have the scoop.)  One thing James did to hurt Meg is to disclose who Meg was dating, even though Meg and her boyfriend didn't want that information out there.  But now that the tea was spilled, Meg seems to be coming clean about this relationship.

It's Mike Holloway, winner of Survivor Worlds Apart, and frequent attendee of drunken Big Brother house guest events.  Mike is a Texas country boy, so that does seem to clash with Meg's "style and city-obsessed" persona.  Maybe opposites attract.  Who knows?  Whatever they're doing, it seems to be working, so good for them.

It seems like Meg is taking the high road here, tweeting out support for James during last night's premiere.  Good for Meg.

3. some news about James and me, the FeedWatcher.  Just like every Big Brother house guest, I watch their intro videos several times and document my reactions.  I watched James' interview with Jeff at least TWICE last year, and that is what I had to work with.  James provided very little insight into his life, about his job, etc, but did name names as far as his "family" is concerned.  James said what he said, and I reported on it.

But suddenly, out of the blue last February, James started trying to get in touch with me, and continued that effort right through March.  I was busy.  It was tax season and I have hundreds of tax clients to take care of.  James took issue with his mugshot photo that I posted.

I was thinking, "Why the hell does James care so much?  When the new season starts no one will ever look at that again."  But then I wondered if James was having trouble getting a job or something, so I did go back and delete the picture and blanked out some of the opinions about what he said about his "family".  I guess I was being nice that day.

Clearly, James had begun his casting conversations for BB18 at that point, at some level.  I have to say he was very gracious to me, and thanked me afterwards by "liking" a bunch of my Survivor tweets and tweeting something at me like "Get at me @FeedWatcher", or something like that.  I didn't know what that means, and still don't, but you can see in the comments of the post that he came back and thanked me.  So that's cool.

Re-reading it all now, I wouldn't have been as nice to me as James there's that.  I'm pretty sure James will come back and read this post, too, once he's able to do that.  (I also discussed being blocked by Caleb in that same updated post---I must have been exhausted from tax preparation because I don't remember typing that....)

James:  I admire the way you DGAF, but you don't put that attitude on display.  And you do have manners, so those are two good traits that will help you throughout your life.

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