Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Here We Go Again. Let's Get Ready to Grumble... #BB20

The new season of Big Brother premieres on CBS just two weeks from today, on Wednesday June 27th, kicking off another two-night premiere event.  And the cast is supposedly being announced on Monday, June 18th.  So it's all happening now.


The level of preseason chatter and attention whoring isn't as high as it has been leading up to previous seasons.  Maybe the seasoned fans like me are weary, looking forward to the leaked news with a mixture of dread and cautious excitement, topped with a dusting of anguish.  If you've been a Big Brother fan for at least a few seasons, you know that Hamsterwatch doesn't post preseason rumors unless confirmed by at least two separate sources.

Yesterday, this happened.

So, sixteen "new" house guests, and four house guests that we "know".  This could mean anything, from the constant threats of international BB players joining the US edition, to the always-present potential for reality show crossover house guests.  But the format sounds like it could be teams, with captains or coaches.  We had the cliques in BB11, and the coaches in BB14, and then of course four returning players in BB18.

Until we know, we won't know.  Or until Hamsterwatch knows, we won't know.  So let's not get all worked up into a state of panic just yet.

REMEMBER:  We have all summer to be disappointed and angry.  No need to feel that way now.

Just kidding. Sort of.

This tweeter was internet-famous a few years ago when he correctly spoiled two seasons in a row of Survivor.  Turns out he knew Russell Hantz, who isn't very good at keeping secrets.  In order to squeeze every last second of Hantz Mania that year, CBS cast Willie Hantz on BB14.  And so this person knew all about those casting choices beforehand, too.

Here is what this tweeter is saying about BB20.  Who knows if it is true or not, but I think the implication might be the returnees (or "known" house guests) are being housed separately from the other contestants, with a different time frame, because if the reservation is booked through July 6th, we'll already be well into the game by then. 

And to close the Hantz loop for those of you who may not know:  Russell Hantz played Survivor three times and did well twice, but not well enough to win the million dollar prize.  His nephew Brandon Hantz played Survivor after that but was removed from the game after dumping his tribe's rice and running towards Corinne Kaplan brandishing a machete.  (She talked about this on her podcast, but that part wasn't seen on the show.)  After Phillip Shepherd claimed to be fearful for his own safety, Brandon was dis-invited from appearing at the Survivor Finale, but was still paid his $10,000 appearance fee.  So Production was afraid, too.

And Willie Hantz' time on BB14 was stormy but fast, culminating with him headbutting another contestant (Joe Arvin), throwing Cheetos at someone else (Janelle Pierzina), and hollering at the entire cast.  He was asked to leave and was arrested for DUI shortly after arriving at his home in the middle of nowhere.

Like cockroaches, the Hantz clan has grown exponentially over the past few years, scattered here and there across the lowlands and swamps of Louisiana (or wherever).  We can't be sure we won't see their kind again on our TV screens, but hopefully CBS has learned it's lesson.


We do know six former BB contestants who will definitely not appear on Big Brother 20.  They're too busy flying around the world right now, shooting the latest season of The Amazing Race:  Reality Clash.   The Race just began, so I guess it is possible that we'll see the cast appear at a competition or something later in the summer.  You know, for CBS to get some promotional bang for their buck.

In fact I'm pretty sure that will happen, because I'm guessing this TAR season will air sometime this fall.  The last season of TAR that aired was turned around very quickly for broadcast, so I expect CBS to promote the season heavily this summer on BB, and also on Survivor, which typically premieres a new season just as BB ends in September.

This poster, Martin Homes. is a talented TV writer who is always privy to casting spoilers for Survivor, and now TAR, I guess. He doesn't post spoilers about the game results, (which I'm sure he knows) but he always has the juice about casting and the theme of the series.  In fact, he's the guy who let us know that  Survivor 38 will feature four returning "captains"....sound familiar?

(NOTE:  I am openly IGNORING the idea of Your Boy Paul returning as one of the four "known" players this summer.  I JUST CAN'T.....  I CAN'T......I WON'T.)

So that's Janelle and Britney Haynes,  Rachel Reilly and her sister Elissa, and Victor and Nicole.  And you probably recognize Fucking Rupert and his wife over there in the Survivor section.  Can you IMAGINE the HORROR of having to sit next to Rupert on an international flight?  With him wearing a fucking TANK TOP and spilling over into your Personal Seating Area?  I feel the need to exfoliate, just thinking about that.

But I digress.

One of the most fascinating communities on the internet is the the fandom that actively traces the TAR contestants as they journey around the globe.  They certainly have their devious ways, and have been remarkably consistent with reporting valid information.  For example, here is a picture of Survivor Super Team Eliza Orlins and Corinne Kaplan in Japan, playing the first leg of the race.  I like their chances....they are both tough bitches who know a thing or two about every topic known to man.  They both travel to obscure locations for vacations, too, and obviously prepared for TAR like no other team.

Corinne didn't discuss being cast on TAR on her podcast, of course, but on a recent podcast episode  she said she had just taken a day-long "orienteering" (or whatever) class at REI.  She hikes, so I'm sure this class is useful for that, but of course being able to use a compass or GPS to get around fast would be a great skill to have on TAR.

If you see these two running around out there, for god's sake GET OUT OF THEIR WAY.  But take a picture and post it, please.

And Nicole and Victor are teamed up, and this should be interesting.  On the live feeds Nicole made it clear that she wasn't very well-traveled, but maybe Victor can make up for that. Speaking Spanish should come in handy for him, too.  (Nicole chopped off at least a foot of her hair, too, recently.)

At one point the rumor was that the entire TAR cast would be former BB players.  Corey Brooks and James Huling were rumored to be a team.....can you imagine the drama of THAT?  Frank and Ian were rumored to be a pair....that would have been fun.  I wouldn't be surprised if one of those people (hopefully Ian) is at least one of the  rumored "known" BB players this summer.

And here are Janelle and Britney, with Victor standing behind them.  I think Britney and Janelle will be good TV for the one or two episodes they appear on ......I don't give them much chance of going deep into the Race, unfortunately.

For one thing, look at that backpack on Britney....Janelle has her own huge backpack.  When you have to run, really run, and hike and climb and scramble the last thing you want is to have a huge backpack to carry.

Once Jessica Graf was eliminated from BB19 last summer, she she was cast on TAR with Cody, with plans to start the Race within two weeks of Cody being released from sequester after the Finale.  Jessica spent her time watching old seasons of TAR, and also reached out to Rachel Reilly for advice.  Rachel recommended carrying only one backpack between the two of them, to make it easier to get around.  So that's what Jessica and Cody did.

And that strategy worked for them....they WON.  Of course you already know that, but it's pretty amazing.  They had a few rough spots on the race course, but didn't fight and seemed to work together exceptionally well. 

And now they are engaged and have moved to Dallas.  So much has happened in a year for those two.

Also, I would like to be a bitch and point out that Mark and Elena, while apparently still a couple, were not approached by TAR casting for the Reality Clash season and were quite loud about it on social media.  I will also point out that I saw a picture of Rachel and Elissa running on the beach, and they both had huge backpacks, so without Brendon around to carry the load, I guess Rachel doesn't want to take her own advice about packing light.

I can't even imagine how Elissa will be on TAR.  I watched the BB15 live feeds, and saw how Elissa behaved then, so that's all I have to say about that.

Nicole and Victor seem to be in love and apparently he moved to Ubly Michigan (or wherever) to live with her.   It appears to be the real deal.  If you watched the BB19 live feeds, then you know that Victor has always liked Nicole.  Or at least liked her enough to be annoyed with her saying "Coorrrey" all the time.  And I remember watching Nicole laying around with Corey, listening to Victor guffawing about something in the kitchen and saying she couldn't stand him.

So a lot can change in a very short time.

Nicole spent some of that BB money on a house.  I'm sure you can get a lot for your money in that corner of the US.  Can they win TAR now?  I guess we'll see.  (I'll see on spoiler sites, but I don't think I will be spoiling TAR for you, when I do find out.)

When Cody and Jessica were running the race, the spoilers consistently predicted that they made the finals, with one spoiler saying they came in second, and another insisting they won the Big Prize.  It certainly was an exciting season and finale, a real nail-biter up until the last second.


And I guess I have to mention the whole MTV situation.  So far the movement has all been from CBS to MTV, rather than the other way around.  And hopefully it will stay that way.  I stopped watching MTV a long time ago.  I have fond memories of early seasons of The Real World and Road Rules, but I gave up on the entire channel eventually and haven't looked back.

I'll try to summarize as best I can.

1.  Paulie Califiore appeared on "Ex on the Beach".  There he is on the lower left, with the blonde on his lap.

I know this is a knock-off of a show on British MTV, and constantly provides cast members on the UK version of Celebrity Big Brother.  I tried to watch the Paulie Edition, not just to see him embarrass himself, but also to see Faith from Vanderpump Rules.  (Faith is the girl who had sex with Jax in front of her elderly hospice patient, and recorded audio of the action in an unsuccessful attempt to become a paid cast member of that series.)

I only got through two or three episodes before throwing in the beach towel.  Each episode, two of these people were selected to go stand on the water's edge and fret photogenically about which former "ex" would come walking out of the waves to torment their time in the beach house.

Yes, the "cinematographers" wanted it to appear as if these former fornicators came out of the water.  No boats, no floats, no flippers or masks.

Meanwhile the action inside of the house was like the set of Boogie Nights.  Remember the first season of MTV's Road Rules when Kit and Mark didn't want to kiss on camera?  Well, times have changed.  Ex on the Beach makes Raven and Matt look like The Mickey Mouse Club.

2.  Natalie Negrotti and Victor Arroyo appeared on The Challenge: Vendettas.  Victor is in the back row with the long flowing locks and Natalie is standing in the middle row on far right.

I tried to watch this show, too, but only got to the part where Victor was about to be eliminated.  I already knew the spoilers, but I have to say Natalie seems well-suited for this type of show.  She was far from the only attractive girl on the cast, but seemed to take this in stride.  Her biggest coup was linking up with "Johnny Bananas", a constant presence on the Challenges, for some reason.  Everyone seems to fear him and kiss his ass, instead of just targeting him for eviction (or whatever) as soon as possible. 

I'll say one thing:  The competitions on The Challenge are hard as hell.  And scary, too.  Maybe that's why they film it in such far-flung locations.....less liability maybe?  They did this one thing where they were hanging way up in the air and had to jump from car to car.  Only two of the guys even got close to completing the course, and I think Natalie was the only girl to make one jump successfully.

Victor wasn't much of a player on this show.  I think he had just moved in with Nicole, and he didn't seem into all of the drunken messes that were happening all around him in the house.  He aligned with the wrong people, and Natalie may have had a hand in suggesting his elimination.  Because Johnny Bananas said so.  Or whatever.

The next time someone makes fun of you for watching Big Brother, ask them if they watch The Challenge.  Maybe you can have the last laugh.

3.  A new season of The Challenge will premiere on July 10th and features four former Big Brother contestants.  Yeah, they have teams.  Natalie and Paulie are a team.  And Da'Vonne and fucking Jozea are a team, too.

I really don't know what to say about this.  Paulie watched Natalie on The Challenge: Vendettas and knows that she has cemented herself as an MTV Star, so he must know he's lucky to be teamed with her.  I guess he's okay with Jersey Girls now.

But Da'Vonne and Jozea?  Is the MTV casting pool so shallow that they can't find anybody better than that to pair up with Da'Vonne?  I guess she's given up on her dreams of being an actress, if she agreed to be cast on this shit.  But on second thought, she's acting happy to be working with Jozea in that picture, so who knows.  Will Jozea call himself The Messiah on The Challenge?  Will he walk around in his tighty whiteys in the the Challenge house?

Maybe Paulie is bred for this.  Because he sure wasn't a fit for Big Brother.


Well, Paulie seems to have gone off his meds again, making quite a splash on Twitter with his various exploits and arguments.  A few weeks ago there was a flame-up on Twitter as the news spread that Paulie apparently cheated on some girl he was dating with a girl from The Challenge.

This one:

Someone posted some gossip about it and all hell broke loose, with everyone calling Paulie names, like it was some big surprise that he's a dirtbag.  (Are you new here?  Because we all knew that a long time ago.)

Well, it wasn't this Cara Maria's first time at the rodeo.

And somehow things devolved into Paulie making threats  against Your Boy Paul, dragging James and Victor into the mess, too.

And this:

I think "Homie" took this as an opportunity to make a new threat, which Paul promptly brought to the attention of the New Jersey State Police.

Paulie is apparently in California now.  All I can say is that if he is involved with BB20 then CBS deserves whatever happens after that.  But didn't he CRY about having to make APPLE PIES last time?

Then Derrick tried to make what I'm sure was a lighthearted comment about the situation, and Paul took offense at that.

Look.....I remember hearing Paul BRAG about being a "UFC cage fighter" on the live feeds.  TWO FUCKING SUMMERS IN A ROW.  And now Derrick mentioning a boxing match offends him?

I'm glad I saw this, because I was just about to feel sorry for Your Boy.  I felt a wee bit of pity.  But then I remembered what a loudmouth douche Paul is, and changed my mind.  Some of you know I had a change of heart about James Huling after seeing his brave battles against Natalie on Twitter.  Well, somehow James got brought into this fight, too.

There is a text chain featuring Paulie telling James that Natalie told him a bunch of dirt about James and then he apparently said some stuff about James' daughter.  So the baby's mother got MAD, DAMNED MAD about it.

Look, I warned you that this would be trashy.  Let's end on something a little more wholesome, and hopeful.

Everyone's favorite BB16 boo had some trouble with his appliances, and politely thanked the manufacturer and the retailer for helping him address the situation.

It's nice to have a happy ending.


CBS has been in a merger/takeover battle for months now.  Big egos don't want to report to other big egos.

It's a messy situation all around.  But if Les is out, we have to wonder if Julie Chen will remain involved with Big Brother.  Would Les let her do that?  Would the network want her around?

Julie is also a key player on The Talk, another CBS show.  Surely everyone has signed contracts to at least get through this upcoming season, right?  

There has to be a contingency plan though, even if no offers have been extended.  Probably Ross Matthews, right?  Do you think Ross will be the one to interview the house guests in the Diary Room next week?  I think Mark McGrath could step in, too, with his quick wit and experience hosting Extra.

One thing is relatively certain:  We won't have Big Jeff to kick around anymore.  He seems to be killing it on The Daily Blast, living in Denver with Jordan and expanding their family with another baby this summer.