Friday, July 19, 2019

This Time the Leader Led the Flock Straight Off the Cliff. #BB21


Who wants to see Cliff's HoH room?   Well, everyone sure pretended that they did, when he finally burst out of the Diary Room hollering out that iconic question.  The last two house guests to drag ass up that spiral staircase were Jackson and Jack, who admittedly had a hard time accepting defeat at the hands of Cliff Hogg III.

Only a few weeks ago we saw the now-familiar scene of those two Alpha Men declaring to each other that they planned to "trade off winning HoH's all summer long".


But let's back up just a second.  It was a long, eventful day for Cliff and the rest of the BB21 cast.  There were three dramatic events that made the evening one of the most memorable in BB history.

1.  Cliff's Eviction Over Nicole - 6-4

The live feeders know that Cliff was the planned evictee by the majority voters in the house.  Looking at the big picture though, blindsiding Nick and Bella seemed rather pointless, because it only served to fire them up and make them look innocent in Cliff's eyes.  But of course I have the benefit of some pretty good hindsight as I type this.

Both of the nominees were blindsided as well.  Nicole truly believed she would be joining the Camp Comeback kids in a fight for her life in the game.  And Cliff was rather relaxed, thinking he would be the pawn this week.


What ended up happening is that after the votes were read, Nick's face fell, and he and Bella and Sam stood stone-faced watching Cliff hug everyone goodbye as they drifted together to the back of the living room, obviously reeling from shock.  Nick probably most of all, finally realizing that the group that he trusted as his alliance members are not working in his best interest.


I look forward to the next CBS episode so we can hear what these three said to each other in the moments following Cliff's eviction.  Also, there seems to be confusion regarding what Kathryn said to Julie Chen after she voted for Nicole to be evicted.  She told Julie "don't think I don't know what is going on", which was rather brilliant and refreshing.  What she meant by that is that Holly told her beforehand what the plan was, and part of that plan was for Kathryn to play dumb about it so they could work on opposite sides of the house.

CBS should show that part on the next episode, because Holly and Kathryn will likely both be in the game for weeks to come.

2.  Cliff's Absolute Domination of the Camp Comeback Competition

I was not the only viewer who was disappointed with the nature of this competition.  We've seen "the snake" several times over the years, dating back to BB13. Instead of a snake though, today it was a "path" that the Campers had to follow.  I was hoping for an endurance competition, to stretch out the suspense so we could see who wants it more, but as the week went by without CBS pimping out the live feeds, I lost hope for that. (Usually CBS gets their affiliates to push live feed sales in advance of an endurance comp, but there was no sign of that this week.)


The competition was to be three minutes long, with the first to maneuver six balls into their chute declared the winner, or the one with the most balls after three minutes.  It was both the longest three minutes of the day for me, and also the shortest.

And probably the most painful.  I wanted David to win it so badly.  I could see the look on Kemi's face and didn't think she would be a contender.  I think she went through too much in the house to want to go back in there.


Cliff burst out to an early lead immediately with Julie announcing that Cliff had three balls and everyone else had zero.

Cliff:  HELL YES. YEE HAW!

The house guests on the sidelines cheered with varying levels of authenticity as the reality dawned on them about what was about to happen.  David had several promising runs down his chute, but Ovi was the only competitor to get even one ball in the targeted spot.  I'm sure that once Julie announced Cliff's score, it only made things harder for the others, because stress is probably a big factor with this type of competition.


Julie announced there was one minute left and Cliff said "I won't even need that long" before sinking Ball #6 and holding up both hands in the "cash money" position.

Later Christie said that when Cliff threw his cowboy hat, it hit "the squirrel" and put the hat on the squirrel's head.


Then Julie said it was time for David, Ovi and Kemi to leave the backyard and also the game.  A vigorous round of hugs happened then, but this was one of the tightest.  Sam said later that David told him he loved him as he left and Sam critiqued his own response, picking it apart word-by-word.

Sam:  I think it might have sounded romantic, but I didn't mean it like that.  I said, 'love ya, look for me when you get out'.  What's he gonna do, message me? And that doesn't even make sense, because if anything he should look for me in here, because he's the one that's getting out.


The outcome of the Camp Comeback competition wasn't what any of us expected, that's for sure.  For what it's worth, I think they all had practice time on this comp, likely after the feeds went down for the day, but they probably didn't know if it was for the Camp Comeback or the PoV.



After the live show ended, there was a relatively long period of time before the live feeds returned.  This isn't uncommon in situations where the house guests still have more work to do before they clock out for the night.  In this case, they still had the HoH competition looming over them, and the scrambling began in all corners as they all prepared for the next round of play, trying to manage their odds the best they could.

2.  Cliff's Lucky Streak Continued As He Won HoH

It was some sort of competition that involved questions about previous competitions, I  think.  From the chatter it sounds like the final rounds came down to the Six Shooters and Cliff, with the final head-to-head battle between Cliff and Jack.

Jack was mad when the feeds returned, making some bold claims about all he had to do was THIS and THAT and he would have had HIS HoH room back.

Personally I think Jack needs to save some anger to use throughout this week.  I think he may need it.

But back to Cliff's HoH room reveal...it happened a little later than usual, due to all of the action that happened overnight.  He led everyone up the stairs and had a brief statement outside the door, saying that they're all a family, and he's happy to be playing with all of them.   As everyone entered the room Cliff stood back as everyone ooh'ed and aah'ed as they looked at his pictures.


Cliff:  I already know all of these pictures by heart, so I just want you all to see my family now.  I'll look at them later.

I think Production usually pulls the HoH pictures from social media, but since Cliff probably isn't big on all of that, these are photographs that were provided by Cliff's family.


It must have been KILLING Jackson that he wasn't in control of any of this, so he abruptly interrupted to issue orders to Cliff to inspect his HoH basket.  Jackson had to clear his throat and make the statement again, a clear tell that his square-jawed world is crumbling.

Cliff reeled off the names of a bunch of goodies and then I think it was Jackson again who urged Cliff to check his little HoH fridge.  As Cliff walked over to check it, there was a discussion about what types of beer Cliff might get.

Kathryn: Maybe some Texas beers?

Cliff:  I just drink alcoholic beers.


Cliff made his wife some roses out of paper that he put in a vase and everyone marveled at the craftsmanship.  Cliff said he spent hours on the internet learning how to make the roses, and now his wife sent one back to him.


Cliff's letter was from his wife, and it started in the generic fashion that most HoH letters do, saying "if you read this, you must have won HoH..."  His wife reported that she checks Cliff's crop of grapes and loofahs daily, and the loofahs are doing well with lots of tiny yellow blossoms.

Cliff:  So it looks like ya'll are getting loofahs for Christmas.


It will be interesting to see how the big alliance turns on itself this week, because Cliff has said he wants to put up two of the six, to make sure a big target goes home.  Christie went to Cliff last night to tell him all about the Panic Power she won, under the guise that she was doing it as a token of trust, but I think he took it as a threat.

Christie is a real moron to tell everyone about such a powerful tool in her toolbox, because now Cliff is keeping her power in mind, making sure that he doesn't end up in a situation where a low-risk person is evicted during his HoH reign.

For example, Jack and Tommy might go up on the block, so Christie will have to make a hard choice if she has the chance to save someone.  You're not that slick, Christie.


And it's ironic that Kathryn came out of this smelling like a rose, because Cliff knows she voted to evict Nicole, so she is now in a better position than the Six Shooters, working as a secret double agent who has Cliff's trust.

It sounds like Jack had some sort of outburst after the live show ended that he had to apologize for, and it might have involved Kathryn and her vote.  But I guess we'll see on the next CBS episode.  One thing is for sure, you might love or hate these house guests, but all of them are playing this game.


Cliff tried on his HoH robe and commented that the shoulders were tight, and that's not typically the spot where his clothes are snug.

In the kitchen earlier, everyone was buzzing around getting food and Cliff made the statement that people who had been sitting on the block this season didn't need to worry about sitting on the block again this week, and the cameras found Jackson angrily cooking up some food that was probably bitter due to his emotions while preparing it.

(PLEASE. MAKE. JACKSON. A. HAVE. NOT.)


****

This was tough for me, seeing David's BB run come to a screeching halt.  David was a class act all the way around, and I heard Christie saying she wanted David to come back in the game and a number of house guests agreed.

On RHAP Kaitlyn said she came in the house to tell the house guests to get ready for the PoV, and David was one of the most handsome men she's ever seen in her entire life.

Kaitlyn:  I met him and then the Campers had to run upstairs to their room and I never saw him again.

Kaitlyn also said before she left Sam asked her if America was watching the season and if they were popular.  Kaitlyn couldn't answer that but told Nicole to give the Campers her love.  Today she said she sent Kemi a DM asking her to call her when she can.  Kaitlyn said after she was evicted last summer she spent hours on Facetime with Josh and Paul, and that the BB community supports each other with love and understanding in times like these.


Unfortunately several house guests continued to trash Kemi after she left the sound stage.  I heard one of the girls say she hoped Kemi "only got a few more social media followers" and Jack said he would "put her water bottle in the fridge one more time" for old time's sake.

Kemi will have the last laugh.  I promise she will.


This is a sorry sight and a disgrace that I didn't think we'd have to see in 2019.  For all of you that think everyone is so "woke" (or whatever), we're still stuck in the same patterns that the world has been in for decades.  We just call it something different.

I did hear some regretful chatter from the Six Shooters later, as they said if they evicted Nicole Ovi would be the one to return to the game, since he had one ball in his chute.  (But who knows what Nicole's capabilities would have been on that comp?)


The network obviously wanted a frank discussion of racism and discrimination, because Julie Chen dug into David for an explanation as to why he was crying during the commercial break.  She asked questions twice to get him to repeat his earlier DR statements about not fulfilling the usual stereotype.

She moved on to Ovi, who answered the question by talking in circles, chasing his tail as he did throughout most of the game.  They didn't want to appear too combative, I think, and were all drained after such a long period of stress and adrenaline.

David had kind words for Cliff, who beat David soundly twice in this game, saying he deserves to win the season because at 54 he's beating the odds every day in the house.  Ovi agreed, but Kemi said she's pulling for Sam.  She's watched the way Sam carries himself in the house, and how he speaks and doesn't speak according to the conversation, and she "loves all of it".


This is the last view we'll see on the live shows of the entire cast.  It was nice to get to know the early evictees as we did this season, and for that reason the Camp Comeback program was to me a success.  It added new layers of consequence and planning to the early rounds of the game.

It's just too bad that it ended up as it did, with people falling back on "us and them" to make their decisions.  I think the people involved will look back in horror as they realize how they behaved and what followers they all are.

At least, I hope so.


Even JESUS is addicted to the L word now.  It's an EPIDEMIC.

(Although the usage is actually appropriate here.)