Sunday, June 30, 2019

Everybody's Changing and I Don't Know Why. #BB21

This is the BB21 banner that is rotating right now on the CBS website.  As usual CBS wants to let everyone know that the cast is relatively diverse culturally, but you know it's a good-looking group of characters when they don't even have space to feature Jack, or Kathryn, or Miss Wyoming Holly!  Take note of that animal print dress that Bella is wearing in that picture---I'll have some news about that later.

APOLOGY:  I've actually been watching A LOT of live feeds lately, but not in my usual spot in my home office where I can easily post on this website.  Instead I've been watching on a notebook while I lounge in a lazy fashion in my guest room, where I will be living for the next month, at least.  I have been tweeting while I watch the live feeds, so I'm not a total slacker.  I'm going to try and get caught up with the action today as best I can so we can move forward.  And there is A LOT of stuff going on in that house.

Way back in the wee hours of Thursday morning (I've had so much insomnia over all of the construction in my house that I've been waking up at around 2:30 - 3:30 AM and not even pretending that I will go back to sleep.)  I was skipping around on Flashbacks to try to take a picture of Jack massaging Sis' feet in the HoH suite, but instead I landed on what ended up being a scorcher of a scene with Tommy, Nick and Bella on the bathroom couch talking.

The gist of the mood was that Nick and Bella have had an attraction for each other since they moved in the house, but both have tried to avoid dealing with it for various reasons.  One big reason is apparently Bella's mother and the overall Asian culture that would not approve of such a public display of emotions.  Nick also said that he does not want to act on it in the house out of respect for the trauma that Bella has been through. It is clear that Bella has previously discussed her story out of range of the cameras with Nick and Tommy, and possibly more house guests, but the relationship with these three is very strong.

Nick said that he feels like he will love and be connected with both of them for the rest of their lives, and is surprised to feel that way with only knowing each other for a certain number of days. They joked about Swaggy C and Bayleigh having an additional seven days together in the house and how they can understand now how the two of them say they fell in love during such a short time period.

Tommy said that even though he's outgoing and friendly, he's only been intimate with about eight men which is not the impression many people would have of the gay community.  Clearly they have talked about this before in the house, because Nick asked about the straight guys that Tommy had claimed to "turn".

Tommy: was really only one. And he wasn't straight.  He was just closeted.

Tommy said he's not really stimulated by the good looking men in the house because he's generally not attracted to straight men.

This bathroom conversation is going on at the same time as a long conversation between Jackson and Christie in the HoH room.  I'm not sure when it happened, but Jackson had confided in Jack about some sort of physical encounter with Kathryn in the first week in the game, before the cameras went live.  And then Jack told Christi about it, which devastated Jackson when he learned that from Christie.

He thought Jack was his boy and this caused a lot of suspicion and ill feelings in both directions, but I think they have gradually tried to rebuild their connection (as least as far as the game goes) since then.  Jackson summarized to Christie that he "messed up" with Kathryn before the feeds went live and "they didn't do THAT", but they apparently did something.  He said he feels badly about it because he doesn't like girls to feel used, but they have discussed it and are just friends now.

Jackson:, if we all go to Vegas, I'm going to hook up with other girls right in front of her and she's okay with that.  We're really just friends and she knows that....

(I can feel Kathryn's disappointment from here.  I don't think women are genetically built to be okay with the arrangement that Jackson describes, but maybe that's just me.  And Kathryn was surely banking on having a showmance edit to build her social media profile after BB21 is over, not to mention attracting a top publicist like Lori K who scouts and signs the most bankable, high-profile reality couples like Tyler & Angela (BB20), Jessica & Cody (BB19), and Jax & Brittany (Bravo).)

***UPDATE***  After listening to this week's Big Brother Gossip podcast, I now know that Jackson did indeed brag about having some actual sex with Kathryn.  It's a weekly podcast that I am often frustrated with due to mangled facts and questionable opinions, but I love the way they pull important snippets of live feed footage throughout the week.  They've been at it for years and it's a nice long treat to listen to each week during the BB season.  I went for a 3 mile walk in my hilly neighborhood last night and don't even remember half of the walk because I was so engrossed in the podcast.  I am also updating my Premiere #2 post for some additional information I learned about David's exit, too.

OK, back to the scene on the bathroom couch.  Because we didn't see the first week of the feeds, I didn't realize that the Nick/Bella connection was so strong, but apparently it has been growing and they said they will try to ignore the physical attraction and wait to act on it until after the season ends.  Tommy indicated that he supports them 100% and will help protect the secret as well.  As all this was happening, I was thinking that Tommy probably planned to pull Christie into this small group and the four of them could run the game in a stealthy manner, but I think Christie needs to finish her HoH reign and calm down before she can be approached with something like this. More on that later though.  But what you need to know is that the plan was to avoid and deny a showmance because Bella wants to win this game and Nick doesn't want to interfere with that.

Anyway, at some point Tommy left the room and the conversation shifted into another gear, but just after Tommy said his "number" was eight, Nick did some quick math and said that his own "number" was probably around 48-51.  When he said that Bella made a "hmph" sound and I thought it was a "OH HELL NO" sound but it wasn't.  She didn't want to say her "number" but acknowledged that it was higher than 30.  Nick wasn't surprised at all and said that some things Bella said previously resonated with him and he feels they will have much to discuss later on a deeper level as they get to know each other.

He acknowledged that they both likely acted out in similar ways in response to trauma and emotional problems but are here together now on the other side, saying they are drawn together and he felt it instantly.

Then the conversation really started going there, as in THERE and the feeds cut out for several minutes at a time while Bella apparently recounted some truly horrible things that happened to her when she was either in middle or high school, traumatizing her to the point where she said she'll "never step foot in New Jersey ever again".  She was sobbing as she tried to speak and you'd have to be a robot (or Jackson) not to appreciate what the two of them were going through in the conversation.

As a therapist Nick wanted to know how she talked about the issue with people in her life and she admitted that she never did that, and basically tries to not even think about it now.  This conversation and what followed was one of the most raw scenes I have ever watched on the live feeds, even though it was interrupted a few times to allow Bella to speak to Nick without us watching.  I know I felt creepy watching some of this, so I can imagine how the crew felt listening to it all.

I know everyone wants to know what happened to Bella.  None of us really know, but I could certainly wager a guess based on what I heard, what I felt tuning into the energy of the conversation, and what I know about life in general.  In the most respectful way I can, here is my guess as to some overarching generalities:

*  Bella went through a horrible incident during high school, or maybe even middle school, probably involving boys.
*  This incident impacted her friendships to the point where she didn't feel they existed anymore.
*  Her father started cancer treatments but Bella feels that her words to him or maybe her actions hastened his demise and she blamed herself for his death ever since.

(Bella's mom has since remarried.)

So that may be off-base, but it's enough to know that Bella has some heavy baggage that Nick understands and assures her that none of it was her fault.

Nick was aware of the camera coverage and started talking about his own experiences to take some heat off her, I think, particularly since he's apparently willing to share his own story.  I don't know what brought on Nick's problems, or even if there was an inciting event, but he says he had extreme anxiety and was unable to go to school, or last an entire day there without having physical distress, so he was eventually home-schooled and still struggles with anxiety to this day.  He freely discussed the various medications he took and still takes to manage it.

I think Nick chose his current profession for obvious reasons, because he understands children in distress and can relate to them and just wants to help.  He told Bella that when he was sitting in his hotel room during sequester, he was engulfed with anxiety and "went through every tool in the toolbox that he knew of" to help calm himself.

Nick: But that didn't work for me, because in order to work through it you need to talk it out with someone.  That's what therapy does.

He reminded Bella of day two or three in the house, when he was having a severe anxiety attack and Bella sat with him and whatever she said or did at that time really helped him.  He said he's always looking for her in the house whenever he enters a room and that he just wants to be around her all of the time.  He said he wouldn't still be in the house if Bella wasn't there that day for him and it's fate that brought them together.

Nick:  Look at'll never be alone.  Did you hear me?  You'll never be alone, as long as my heart beats.  What you went through is so hard.  You're so strong.  You went through more than most people will go through their whole life, and you're still here and you're a success.

Bella:  I like, didn't even really go to high school.

Nick:  But you went to college and you got a degree.  You're the person I look for in here all the time because I feel comfortable around you and I feel like I can trust you. That's weird for me but it's true.  I want to be around you all the time.  You are amazing.  You're beautiful, you're funny, and you're smart.

LOOK:  I don't know who you are or where you live, but I think one thing that is common about all human beings is that we all want unconditional love, where you can freely be exactly who you are and feel loved, appreciated and supported.  Some people are lucky enough to have that with their family, and others are fortunate to  find true love at the right time in life with the right person, in the right place. But I actually think the most common experience is to feel like you haven't ever had the unconditional acceptance that everyone seeks. That's where having a dog comes in, because a dog is always waiting at the door for you, so excited to see you and showering you with needy acceptance.

What bothered me about all of this is mixing the therapist-speak with the lover-talk.  Therapists can lose their license over stuff like that.  And from Bella's point of view, honest treatment shouldn't be conditional on some sort of lifetime love commitment.  If she and Nick are going to be romantic partners she needs to find another therapist, obviously, but it's got to feel great to know that even when someone you're interested in knows the very worst things about you, they're still interested and want to learn more.

She was self conscious about the cameras during this conversation, but sort of shyly told Nick about a conversation she had with Tommy in the early days of the game.  Apparently Tommy wanted to work with Bella so he asked her what she felt about the other house guests.  Bella told Tommy that Nick made her feel safe, and Nick said he feels the same way around her.

So.. we don't know what will happen to these two, and as of now they are trying to play this connection down, because the other house guests have noticed it in the past and brought up their names as a pair.  I don't see them hanging around alone much during the day, but the next picture shows them the next afternoon when they were in the room talking to Tommy ( who is complicit, obviously) but you can feel the energy between them when you see it.

After the bathroom conversation above, I think they crawled into the same bed and apparently they were kissing at some point.  The next day in the backyard I saw Nick trying to do some damage control, kind of casually mentioning it to Sam like it was a fluke, saying there were five other people in the room so maybe someone heard them.  He said he tried to kiss her but it was so dark under the covers that he couldn't see and indicated it was kind of a disaster.  (We all know you can be in the dark and figure it out, so....)

Sam and Nick are sort of a pair in the game, or at least wise-cracking besties, so it means something for Sam to tell Nick not to tell ANYONE in the house that he and Bella kissed.

===>  So I'm saying Nick was trying to cover their actions to get their games back on track going forward, but the kids watching this on the live feeds were like "NICK IS A SNAKE AND A PIG TO KISS AND TELL".  Sam is a G.D. adult ya'll.  Nick knew what he was doing by telling him this, and Sam can handle the information like a man.  In fact, I think Sam and Nick have potential to be a great duo in the franchise, sort of a new-age Chilltown.

And Analyse ("Sis") apparently never thought she'd have so much competition in the house for the small number of available men.  She clearly likes Jack, but he was more interested in Christie, who has more experience and a more confident outlook on life.  Sis was saying to Holly & Christie that she'd like Nick if only he "did something else with his hair and worked out more".  Then the next day she started flirting openly with Nick in front of Sam, saying she thought he was hot.  After she walked off Sam teased Nick about it, with Nick saying he never even considered Sis because she was so hot he didn't consider her to be a possibility for him.

===>  So Nick is human and any human has to concede that Analyse is an unbelievable physical specimen whose natural beauty is undeniable.  Even Miss Wyoming Holly told Kathryn that she feels ugly around Analyse, particularly in the morning.  Kathryn assured her that guys all over the world look at Holly's pictures and want her, but Holly shot back "not in this house".  Anyway as I've stated here over and over, Nick is playing a damn game here.  He is KIDDING about wanting to hook up with Sis and of course he's going to flirt with her.  But that doesn't change what he has, or is planning to have with Bella.  Sis is like a little girl next to many of these women, without much substance, at least at this point in her life.  So you can stop trying to contact Nick's employer to "get him fired".  And for what reason, exactly?   Even your dad, yes, YOUR DAD, would entertain some flirting with Sis and stare at her when she walks away and joke about it with his golf buddies.  YES, YOUR DAD WOULD DO THAT.  But the good guys leave it at that, just harmless locker room-type talk.  And that wasn't invented yesterday, or even 10 years ago.  Even the CAVE MEN bragged and exaggerated their talk about the cave women in their forest.  Or whatever.  The adults or adult-wanna-be's reading this understand what I'm trying to say.  And the rest of you aren't reading this because I don't use emojis or memes.  Or whatever.

OK I'm going to blow through the rest of these pictures so I can start fresh with today's feeds.  And I told myself I could eat breakfast today after I finished this post.  It's almost 2:00 PM here and I am STARVING.

Cliff has been getting up and having a little chat with the live feeders in the Boat Room each morning.  I've learned that the fans have been calling this "Cliff's Notes".  Cliff misses his family terribly and says he's trying to play this game, but it's harder than he thought to penetrate some of the alliances, or even some of the game conversations.

On Saturday Cliff said his tightest ally in the game was probably Nicole at this point, then Jackson and maybe Kathryn (probably through Jackson).  On Friday he acknowledged that he's uncomfortable seeing Ovi getting shunned but he's had to kind of laugh about it in order to stay in good graces with the strong male group in the house.  (And that's life.  At some point we've all sat quietly or even joined in while someone else is being teased or made fun of, all just glad it's not us in the hot seat.  You can either admit that or lie about it.)

Cliff addressed the parents of the house guests, particularly Tommy's dad on two different morning sessions.  He told Mr. Bracco that Tommy told him about his key ceremony and that he knows Mr. Bracco is very proud of Tommy.

In the interest of time and hunger, I am taking a Twitter shortcut here.

I haven't heard anything about anybody being a Have Not.  If they have any punishments like that this season, maybe they will be short periods of punishment time, because we were to the point where the Have Not program had no bearing on the TV show, only serving to make the house guests act like zombies.

Which probably does end up impacting the TV show, eventually.

After a long pool day, Nick caught up with Bella.  You have to watch for these moments, because they happen quickly and then they are gone. Once again I think Tommy was in the room with them, giving them a good excuse to take a quick moment to connect.

And Christie seems to have lost her damn mind in there.  She spent much of the last two days crying to anyone who would listen, mainly railing on Jack and how she feels like he's been pushing her to do his dirty work by blindsiding Kemi after Sam uses the PoV (ceremony on Monday?).

And now she shouts from the rafters that she "DOESN'T EVEN LIKE MEN" so everyone needs to stop thinking that she's in a pair with Jack in the house.

(Um, you can still be working with someone who you aren't romantically interested in....)

Christie tried to tell Jack all of this at one point yesterday, and he launched into a little speech about how whatever she wants to do on Monday, he's with her in this game and he'll "DIE FOR HER".

Christie, later:  ***WHATEVER***

All the house guests had to take a shift with crying Christie in there, listening to her vent about the same shit over and over and over.  Ovi was supportive.  But he might not be so supportive when he learns that a crazed Christie suddenly changed the backdoor target from Kemi to himself, Ovi.

Yep.  Ovi and several others will be shocked.

At one point Christie's mission was to get Sam not to use the PoV, leaving Cliff and Kathryn on the block together.  She told someone yesterday that "Kathryn came to her in sort of a weird way that she couldn't discuss on the feeds" that indicated it "might be her time to leave the game first".

I wonder what brought that on?  Did someone in the DR say something, or get Christie to realize something?  Because I think it had to do with Kathryn's social media mentions, or something like that.  Maybe the current activity is being mentioned to the house guests to juice up their behavior.  Or maybe we'll learn about that when we see one of the new comps on TV tonight.

Kathryn has been on the block a long damn time, yet she found herself comforting a crying Christie because this is just all so stressful for her, having to put people on the block and then not be able to play for HoH next week.

Christie:  BOO HOO  I'm afraid I'm going to be a target now.

Fun Fact:  I think Janelle had a bikini top made out of that same fabric.

Everyone has to be so sweet to Christie now, but as soon as the PoV Ceremony is over, her power is gone and there won't be much need to suck up to her, because she'll be back in the pool of commoners next week when her very, very, VERY long HoH reign is over.

I'll say this:

I had heard of Post Malone, but never actually heard his music until this time last year during Tyler's first HoH reign, the same two-week HoH that Christie is blubbering and sniffling her way through.  I watched Tyler hold all types of meetings and gatherings in his HoH suite, and then gracefully do some sideways talking in the kitchen with his real alliance, Level 6, giving and receiving information that allowed them to dominate the game because they had a plan, patience, and enough trust to play their roles in the charade week after week after week. Unlike these messy bozos.

But anyway: Tyler's HoH CD was Post Malone's Beer Bongs & Bentleys. I ended up listening to it and realized it sounded like Sunday Stoner music.  So that's what I did, caught a little buzz and sat listening to Post Malone while watching Tyler watching his Spy Screen and tapping his tan toes while he laid quietly in his HoH bed listening to the same song I was listening to.  Tyler had such a calm, tuned-in presence to him and he seems like such an old soul.

The game is fun but the people-watching is just as good, most of the time.  BB21 bears little resemblance to BB20 at this point.  Doesn't mean it isn't good, but it's just different.

Kemi has been real uncomfortable, it was uncomfortable watching her on Friday.  She must have felt something was off, entering the room quietly without being greeted or greeting anyone, just watching people talk and looking at all of the faces.

But at some point she kind of went on the offensive, talking to Nicole, Bella and also Holly about how the men were going to run right over them if they didn't take actions now. 

Kemi:  I just want all the guys to go home. Guys, guys, dropping like flies.

Even though Bella bears a lot of responsibility for Kemi being on the outs, because she told people about some shit-talking Kemi did during the first week of the game, she's gradually trying to help Kemi now.

Spirits were high as they moved around the house, frequently whispering about Christie's latest mood shift as she continued to cry throughout the day about mean Jack is, or how much he is obsessed with her, or how she has no problem personally with Kemi and doesn't really want to be responsible for evicting her,.

At one point yesterday, Christie talked about how Jack might be the best blindside target, but quickly backed down from that statement, saying that it would upset lots of people she worked with, and also Sis and Holly because "they both think Jack is gorgeous and are interested in him".

Sam met with Christie and patiently listened while she BOOHOOed about this and that.  About Jack trying to make her do things she didn't want to do in the game, and how she DOESN'T EVEN LIKE MEN and so forth.

I know Sam was drifting off to thoughts about how thankful he is to be able to go home to his lovely wife Melissa and never have to be in the mix again of all of this drama that singles go through that he's left behind.

Christie wanted Sam to offer not to use his PoV, but Sam ended up saying he probably would, and deftly suggesting that Christie nominate Ovi to fill the empty nomination chair and like magic Christie was like, "Ovi...that's a great idea".

Then Sam kind of tiptoed around Christie's moods with the other guys, saying he was surprised by all of this emotion out of her and he didn't think it was a good thing.

==>  I think Sam was laying the groundwork to replace Crying Christie with someone else in whatever doomed alliance they think they're in together now.

And I listened to at least four different podcasts this week that cover BB and on one of them, the host described Sam as a "fat old guy".  Um, look again to whoever said that  (probably not someone on RHAP but I don't know which podcast it was at this point) because if Sam is a "fat old guy" then we need to rethink the definition of that.  He's looking just fine to me and said he dropped a bunch of weight before coming in the house, on Keto I think.  I think he said about 20 pounds, and Nick said he lost a few in preparation, as well.

Unlike the other girls, Bella seems able to walk in on conversations between any of the guys and they include her immediately, which probably explains why she was in so many great alliances from the first few days of the game.

They walked right by Cliff yesterday, briefly saying "hi" before going out to the backyard under the guise of playing Cornhole to discuss Sam's meeting with Christie.  Bella was happy that it sounds like Kemi is off the hook this week.

Sam said he never really had a problem with Kemi, but he knows Kemi said something to Jack and Jackson with regard to being critical of their cooking, and that is what started them wanting to target her, along with the fact that Kemi didn't talk to Jackson in his Camp Director role.

Cliff's gangter lean.  He joined in a big conversation yesterday in the HoH and tried to give guidance where he can.  He's still on the block, you know, and hopes that will change, but also can sense that things are changing in that house by the hour and he wants to stay on top of things. After all, Steve thought he was safe last year, too.

This Jack character turned out to be a real asshole, being unnecessarily cruel and dismissive to those whom he feels don't deserve respect.  You can tell a lot about somebody by the way they treat the waiter.  And Jack thinks Ovi is the damn busboy around there, calling him names when he leaves the room.

Karma is coming for for Jack and watching it is going to be delicious.

If Ovi is indeed the one put on the  block tomorrow, he is going to be SHOCKED.  And will likely be evicted instead of Kathryn.  I guess.  I hope David can beat either one of them if we see some sort of battle on Wednesday's live show.  But I'm just guessing about that, of course.

And that dresser behind Ovi is from Anthropologie.  I saw it in the Ponce City Market store and had to walk over and touch it because it is absolutely stunning in person. The construction is solid wood and feels very sturdy and the pattern and look could easily be the focal point of a small bedroom.  I'm sure someone on the crew or staff has already called dibs on it.  I know I would.  And I would fold each T-shirt carefully before shoving it in one of those drawers, out of respect for the craftsmanship.

I forgot to mention that at one point Nick was Enemy #1 yesterday, with Jack and Jackson talking mad shit about what a "DAMN GOOD LIAR" he is, and they had Christie BOOHOOing about wanting to blindside Nick tomorrow for about 20 minutes, too.

Then Christie confronted Nick or apologized or something, and you can see Nick is trying to assess the Threat Level here, being cautious and using his listening skills to try and see just how crazy Christie was at this point, and what the true plan should be.

Sam and Nick both think Ovi is a threat to their games, so it's fine with them if the target switches from Kemi to Ovi.  They won't get any blood on their hands about it, and know Jack and Jackson will be angry that they didn't get their way.

Jack has been saying that Ovi is in his hip pocket and will do anything in this game that Jack wants him to do.


Note that no one even pretends to play the board games at a time like this.  I think Production realized that Chess is too complicated for the average BB contestant, but sometimes even checkers is too much.  When the feeds went live Nick was sitting right where Jack is in this picture, admitting to Tommy that he didn't have a clue "how to fucking play checkers" as they listened to the cameras spinning around them.

Christie BOOHOOed to Nicole about how hard she has it this week.

And everyone outside kind of nervously touched on all of Christie's drama, with everyone likely feeling the pressure and the risks of such an obviously-volatile situation.

Ovi may or may not be the eventual target this week, because Christie will still be the HoH until then and anything could happen.  Sam and Nick might even push for Jack to go...because unfortunately one of the themes for me of this season, even though it's early on, is that even strong women want men to tell them what to do.

DON'T @ ME. I'm including myself in that group, somewhat.  This is the ROYAL WE, people.  Let's not get all bunched up around here.  Look at what happened to to Jessica's bid for Camp Director, and how that worked out.  Because, Authority Figures.  Or Figurines.

A few pictures for Christie's scrapbook, for What She Did This Summer.  I  love the wallpaper in there.

There's Jessica, taking her turn placating crying Christie.

And Tommy, probably praying to whoever is on duty right now that Christie doesn't get so emotional that she fucks up and blows their cover about knowing each other for seven years.

And this is her meeting with Sam, while he watched her unwind and then calmly asserted that he still planned to save Cliff with his PoV.

And then Sam suggested Christie consider nominating Ovi instead of Kemi.  That's a nice piece of furniture in this picture too, that piece with swirly wood.

I'm making a mental note to keep an eye on that piece, too.  I'm in a major redecorating and renewal phase right now.  Things are changing in my life and the pace of movement is picking up.  I've been stepping out of my comfort zone and some surprising things have happened because of that.  Good things, all of them.

This side of the HoH room is a little dark for my tastes----the right side of the room needs a little something something, but I love the treehouse look of the tree wall behind Christie. Looks like birch to me.  Like I know the first thing about wood....NOT.

About Bella's black and white dress:  Bella, Kemi and Nicole were talking in the bedroom and Kemi brought up that Nicole had a stunning figure and she was surprised to realize that, because Nicole is such an understated dresser.

Bella ran over with the dress and both girls badgered Nicole to try it on. She did, over her clothes, but Bella convinced her to keep going, and not to be shy about it because she looks gorgeous.  Bella told her that dress now belongs to Nicole, but she has to promise to wear it on Finale night, or maybe the live shows.  Or maybe just wear it out on the town back at home because she looks great.

Bella: It's your dress now. I might wear it one more time, but I'm considering it your's.

She got Nicole to go out and show everyone in the kitchen and everyone agreed Nicole was a secret knockout.  So that's a happy little note on such a long, volatile day.

ABOUT THE TITLE:  It's an oldie but a goodie.  Years ago a guy I barely knew, basically just from my role in the BB scene sent me this CD when I was at home recovering from some minor surgery.  I had a new pair of navy blue high-top Chucks that were delivered from Zappos the same day as the CD and I remember wearing the new shoes and dancing around to this song, even though I was supposed to be resting comfortably.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Lost in the Wilderness: Premiere Night #2 - Just a Squirrel Trying to Drag Some Nuts. #BB21

Last night the second part of the season premiere of Big Brother 21 aired in prime time.  If you're reading this, you probably like spoilers, so you likely knew exactly what last night's end result would be.

David Alexander:  Banished to the Wilderness
Christie Murphy: HoH

Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like to be a casual viewer who only watches the CBS show, with no spoilers.  It's hard to even conceive of that, but we did have a few surprises on last night's show that I wasn't expecting.  I'll just hit the high points and then chat about the live feeds.

I wasn't sure about Julie's flowered frock when I first saw it on Twitter, but I did like it when I saw her wearing it on TV.  And her hair and makeup are fabulous.

Julie began the hour with reminding us that Jackson is the "Camp Director", but I'm still not clear about how long his reign will be, or if someone else will take that title later in the game.  The process that allowed Jackson to get the majority of the votes is interesting to me, so it's too bad we have to take the CBS TV version of the story, without seeing the action go down on the live feeds.

Basically the women (plus Tommy) had the votes to elect Jessica Camp Director, but they didn't trust themselves or the group to keep their votes locked in for her.  I think that is the direct result of the way Jackson conducts himself.  He commands respect by asserting clear authority over just about every situation, and gives off an intentional air of intimidation to those who need some prodding. Jackson is a natural leader, but I think a few of the house guests are natural followers, looking for safety or a way to belong however they could.

Maybe if they knew who would win the HoH competition, the girls could have stuck together for the Camp Director vote. Because we'll likely look back, maybe with regret, on Jackson's election to Camp Director as a pivotal point that impacted the course of the game.

Here is a picture for the record of Cliff visiting Jackson in the Boat Room wearing a towel around his torso and gently trying to talk some sense to him, but wisely not trying too hard.  Jackson banished him later, of course, but Cliff is still able to exchange pleasantries with Jackson and certainly gives the appearance of forgiveness as of today.

That's an important skill on Cliff's part.  I'm sure his overall maturity and life experience helps him react calmly to the betrayal, but the younger players should take a page from Cliff's play book here.  And maybe some of you, too.  Sometimes you have to put your pride aside and just keep your head down and grind it out, whether you report to someone that you don't like, or crawl through gunk to save yourself from banishment.

Because we already know the outcome, the scene of David trying to appeal to Jackson was very sad for me to watch. He seemed defeated already, but I'm sure he had been around Jackson long enough already to know that he is headstrong and doesn't seem open to listening to other people's ideas.

I think Jackson's reasoning behind banishing Cliff and Jessica was to target people who might have trouble winning HoH competitions, to prevent offending someone who could return to the game and target Jackson in revenge.

I'm not sure why he chose to banish Kemi and David as well.  I'm hearing that Kemi was playing too hard to fast, but maybe her reluctance to "scratch Jackson's back" led to her banishment.  Jackson obviously has a HUGE ego, and Kemi clearly didn't want to stroke it.  That's not the way you play Big Brother.

***UPDATE***  After listening to this week's Big Brother Gossip podcast, I now have more information about why Jackson may have wanted to banish David, and why Production couldn't show those reasons on the CBS show.  During his preseason interviews, David mentioned that he's been reading a book about ethics while in sequester.  Apparently he carried that book around the hotel, probably to read while waiting for interviews, or maybe even at the dinner table, and at least one of the other houseguests took note of the book title, which was something about becoming a better leader.  Once this person saw David in the house, they made sure Jackson was aware of it before he made his final banishment selections.  Production can't discuss this quite-valid reason for David's banishment because it would lift the behind-the-scenes curtain on the casting process.  So, mystery solved.  And apparently Christie was the one who discussed David's book on the live feeds.

I knew you would want to see this picture of Kathryn in a more natural state.  It doesn't look much like her at all, does it? I'm not aware of any private chats between these two girls regarding how they know each other, or indications that they may be working together.

Kathryn is on the block next to Cliff, and has been stressing out over that and seems hellbent on having some sort of relationship with Jackson.  I don't think she realizes that he started an alliance of six that doesn't include her.  I'm not sure if Holly told her that she's been included in that new alliance.  I don't think the alliance will be successful, but it's still nice to be included.

Holly slept in the HoH room with Christie and Analyse, and they watched Kathryn and Jackson staying up late all alone on the Spy Cam and talked shit about the way she was throwing her game away on Jackson.

Julie told the group that the "Camp Mascot" would be helping Jackson banish four house guests. That's where this evil-looking squirrel came into the picture.  He walked in the house from the backyard area and didn't say much, stalking around and getting in various house guests faces.

Look at Cliff.  He's LOVING it, but I'm sure he would have loved it more if the squirrel didn't come for him.  The squirrel said "Cliff" in a scary-sounding growl  and then something shocking happened.

Then the squirrel put a sack over Cliff's head and it certainly looked like he had Cliff's whole body in the bag...

And dragged him out of the sliding door and then Cliff was gone.  Clearly that isn't really Cliff in that bag...the dragging part was a show for TV.  As that squirrel made his way through the house three more times, there was nervous laughter as they yelled at each other not to make eye contact with him.  When he was circling Jessica she said she loved him and he walked away, but then he came right back and "dragged" her away.

What a delightfully evil way to banish house guests.  The element of surprise was unbelievable for the viewers as well as the house guests.  I'm sure they all dread seeing that squirrel come in the house again, but I'm kind of looking forward to it.  It was so trippy.

I like the squirrel more than Zingbot.  He's more productive, that's for sure. And he certainly chews up more scenery with just that one big tooth.

So then we had that horrible Black Box competition, which I always hate because I can't see what is going on and it always drags on and on.  I like to watch a competition and have a sense of who is in the lead, how close they are to winning, and who is behind. That is impossible with that Black Box so I just zone out every time, or look at my computer which is even worse.

David's banishment was heartbreaking.  He was my Atlanta homie and I was looking forward to watching him on the live feeds.  What he had to say about his hopes of showing America a different type of player in the game, and not just being the usual stereotype was very powerful.  Julie did say that David was out of the game "for now" but we would see him again on Wednesday night, the night of the first live eviction, for some sort of event "never seen before" on Big Brother.

Here's My Guess:  David will get a chance to Battle Back against whoever is evicted on Wednesday night.  Maybe the house guests will get to watch, knowing that whoever won will come back next week to fight the next evictee, until a point where the prevailing winner comes back in the game.  Maybe they will even use this event to sell live feed subscriptions, announcing it will happen on the feeds right after the live show ends.

This is just my guess, but it's similar to Redemption Island on Survivor, where the remaining Survivors got to watch the losers battle it out live like gladiators in an arena.  I feel like this method would prevent all of  the early evictees from having to sit alone in sequester for weeks. Victor faced off against each evictee weekly during BB18, but the house guests didn't know anything about it on a weekly basis.

Cliff looks sad here, but he's very even tempered in the house and does a good job of knowing how to participate in group settings.  Whenever his name comes up in his absence, someone usually says they love him, whether it's Jackson, or Analyese, or whoever.  I did hear either Christie or Holly say that Cliff was playing the game, and knows the game, but I think it was said to defend his presence in the game, rather than pointing him out as a threat.

Cliff is going to be a real game changer for this franchise. because he's as charasmatic and enteraining as Kevin Schlehuber, but he's also a bona fide Super Fan and a live feeder.  He told the girls today about his brother who was 15 months younger than Cliff, who died about 20 years ago after getting hit by a drunk driver.  His brother was married with two kids and Cliff says his brother's wife is like a sister to him now and they have frequent contact with his children.  Cliff started evaluating his priorities after that, trying to focus on what was most important.  He pointed out that around that same time, Survivor and Big Brother started airing on CBS and he remembers his brother's kids talking about the shows.

Cliff frequently badgers drinkers into giving him their car keys, etc, and doesn't care how much intoxicated people resent it.  He's trying to save their lives, he says, and is happy to discuss it calmly the next day.

He's not crying in this picture, by the way.  I think he was just rubbing his eyes after taking off his glasses, I think.

It looks like Kemi is going to be the back door target, possibly replacing Kathryn if someone uses the PoV.  That competition is actually playing out as I type this, and the feeds have been down for hours.

PoV Players:

Christie:  HoH
Kathryn & Cliff:  Nominees
Jack, Sam & Nicole:  Add'l players

Tommy:  Host

The guys told Cliff that the PoV draw went about as well as it could go, because apparently all of the PoV players would use it to save someone so Christie can nominate Kemi.  But will she?  I hope not.  I'm not even sure Christie wants to do that, but that is what the house apparently wants to do.

I've been enjoying Kemi's relationship with Bella, but Bella came here to play and I think she's been sharing some of the game talk that Kemi told her with other people in the house.  She's been approached for two alliances with very strong players who would always be bigger targets than she is, so she certainly seems to be sitting  pretty in there.

Bella certainly did something right in the first week when the feeds weren't available for us to watch.

Tommy is calming down but I heard some girls talking about how extra he is sometimes and how hard it can be to take.  Christie might have even been involved with that conversation, and if she was she'll tell him.  It doesn't seem like Christie has told Holly or Analyse, or anyone other than Nicole that she's a lesbian.

Christie seems to think Jack stares at her and seems obsessed, but Analyse said he looks at all the girls like that. I think Jack needs to start watching what he says because the BB fans are already in an uproar about several comments he made.  One of the comments was that Analyse was "asking for it" by wearing the shorts she put on today, but Analyse seemed delighted when Christie told her that.  Christie was just saying that the guys were all pent up and talking shit like guys always do.

You can choose to be offended by just about anything, if you want to be.  Watching the live feeds is like seeing how people really are, and to me that knowledge is powerful.  The fans shouldn't just sit on their high horses about it as if they never say anything offensive or hurtful to anyone.  (Have you SEEN Reddit?) The truth is, we're all awful in our own ways.  No one's perfect.

And let's talk about Sam.  Some fans say they already despise him because they think he's too loud, or whatever.  He's a delight on the live feeds, and seems extremely well-liked by the other house guests.  The girls talk about how funny he is, and easy to talk to.  He's a great conversationalist and seems to be thoroughly enjoying his time in the house.

He won't lay in bed with any of the girls out of respect for his wife and had some funny moments in the Boat Room with Nick where they tried to share a blanket while they lounged about. He and Nick give each other constant shit and it's funny.

The guys reacted when Christie appeared today in this outfit.  Tommy gushed over her and said she looked on point with her hair and the color of her top.  Sam thought she looked like a young version of Lindsey Lohan, particularly due to her low voice and Christie says she's heard that before.

Jack gushed over her look, too. I think I heard Christie say last night that Jack compares her to his ex-girlfriend and apparently they look alike.  Nick wants to visit her store to hang out with Christie and her dog.  She's doing a good job so far with being an approachable HoH with no big signs of becoming a tyrant.

This bedroom looks like a trailer park, doesn't it?  I haven't heard any mention of Have Nots yet, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been discussed.  I did hear a mention of something that might be the "Whacktivity" that Julie mentioned on the CBS show.

Holly said she was "in chaos" and looked forward to competing on Monday.  (?)  I guess we'll learn more about that later.  I'm impressed with the way Holly is fitting in and conducting herself.  Kathryn is the one who is having social problems.  After the feeds went live last night the entire house, except for Kathryn, played a game where they all held hands and then tangled and untangled themselves.

Kathryn was too busy putting on makeup, and then more makeup, because she was expecting to be called into the DR to discuss her nomination. She was shook up about it, which is understandable, but I'm sure Cliff was, too.  And he was right there in the tangle of house guests clasping hands and laughing as they crawled over each other, trying to get free without dropping hands.

This is from the exact moment when Analyse heard what Jack said about her shorts.  It's flattering for a guy like Jack to think you're hot, obviously.  Analyse is complaining frequently about Ovi, saying she wants him out as soon as possible.  She's uncomfortable with him being a little too friendly towards her, and Jack isn't an Ovi fan, either.

I heard the guys bitching about how Ovi was standing right next to them in storage while they were "planning their macros" and he heard them talk about how they would use the eggs in their plan and then Ovi announce he needed the eggs to make cookies.

Jackson was incensed that Ovi was trying to use their eggs to make a high-carb dish, because he was right there listening to Jackson and Jack plan their protein intake.  But someone else said Ovi's cookies were delicious, and he apparently tried to do a little show on the live feeds that was a cooking demonstration.

Ovi needs to win HoH this week.  Now is a good time to pull out a win, Ovi.  Otherwise he needs to start going along with the crowd and stop making his own actions a topic of conversation.

The girls agreed that Nick is one of the horniest guys in the house.  Jessica is sort of a shit-stirrer, because last night she whispered to Kathryn that she walked into storage and interrupted a conversation between Jackson and Bella and she saw how surprised they were when she walked in.  She  knew immediately that she walked in on something and urged Kathryn to be careful.

But then Kathryn went to Jackson and told him, and he made up a plausible excuse for the conversation with  Bella, but I don't remember what he said. Kathryn was worried about Bella being a romantic rival, having no clue that Jackson is aligned with her for game purposes.

Kathryn doesn't really have any game right now, but if she survives she needs to get real about the game and stop talking about Kim Kardashian in there.  Everybody knows she tweeted you Kathryn, now get over it.

One thing I didn't like here is Christie looking in the mirror and saying how fat she looks and feels.  Jessica was right there in the group too and I thought it was very rude of Christie to fish for compliments with a word that might have meaning for Jessica.  To her credit Jessica asked Christie if she was bloated, or whatever, maybe to ease the tension.   Christie is allowed to feel fat, but she needs to be mindful of other people when she says that out loud.  Just my opinion. I like Christie though and want to see what she can do in that house.

The puppies are back during the live feed breaks.   I lost my sweet old dog on March 15th, which some  of you may recognize as the corporate tax deadline, which is my busiest day of the year since I have so many small business clients.

It was awful. I was gutted.  But when my eyes fill with tears the numbers on the tax returns look blurry, so I had to postpone my grief to get through the day.  You can't tell a business owner that you can't finish the tax return because your pet died.   It's unprofessional, and my practice depends on people being able to depend on me.

I'll probably wait until after next tax season to get another dog.  I'm doing some major renovations on my house and my dog would have HATED that.  If I see her in the afterlife she will probably bite me if she knows the new dog will have heated floors and a cushy chair in the bathroom.

I thought that I would be able to put on my headphones and focus on the live feeds during construction, but so far in the demolition and "rough plumbing" phase it's been sort of a nightmare.  A necessary nightmare, but still.  Today a guy was using a jackhammer for HOURS to do something and even on the other side of the house I could feel my teeth shake.

And I know I could NEVER do what these house guests do on BB, because just trying to be calm about these construction workers leaving coffee cups laying around, putting stuff in my freezer and just being in MY bedroom all day with the door shut is hard to take.  Today one of them called out for me to ask me something, and when I looked down the stairwell he had on FILTHY gloves and was touching the bannister, kind of drumming his hands on it.  I had to ask him to PLEASE not do that.

I LOVE the general contractor though, but he doesn't do any of the manual labor.  He just drops by to check up on his workers or calls or texts me as we finalize choices for various decisions.  Today it was picking out a barn door and tomorrow we are going to finalize cabinetry.  Yesterday he told me how loud the jackhammer was going to be today and suggested that I go somewhere for the afternoon so I didn't have to hear it.

I didn't tell him today was the LIVE FEED KICKOFF.  Hell no.  He's really tall and cute with a European accent.  He doesn't need to know I'm a live feed nerd.  Not that he would know what that means.  I asked him if he's seen that show Fixer Upper on HGTV and he said "my life is HGTV...I don't need to watch it".

I love this room and the way it looks on camera.  And I have to say Nick is one of my favorite house guests in there, too. I think he already told one of the guys (Sam or Jack, maybe?) that he is a therapist because he said he could give Kathryn some tips on how to calm herself down while she's on the block, but he didn't want to help her out in the game.

If Nick knows stuff like that, he can do very well in this game.

Jessica is always watching and picking up on energy.  I think she will figure things out but I'm not sure if she has the right instincts about what to say and when, to whom.

I'm glad Kathryn is relaxed enough to walk around with no makeup on.  I thought she would just be plastic the whole time she's in the house.  Without her cell phone, maybe she sees no need to be made up all of the time.

It's not like there are cameras behind the wall or anything, right?

Last night someone mentioned Toy Story in front of Sam and he groaned.  Everyone knows his sons' names and they asked if he thought Zachary saw the new movie yet and they all know how choked up Sam gets when he thinks about his boys.  It's sweet.