Big Brother Recap: Sycophants Go Marching

A lame rhythm has taken over the Big Brother house: The veterans call the shots, the newbies inexplicably cave, and Shelly, whose face and hair might be the same shade of ABBA-lipstick-beige, smirks at the camera with her ranchero sidemouth. This doesn’t mean the whole competition is mapped to completion, but until the Golden Key weeks end, we’re staring down the barrel of a vet-run contest. Find your Brenchal beercuzzi and drink it in!

Starting at the top of last night’s show, the newbies gawk at Keith’s eviction and gather in the loser asylum to talk out their fake feelings. Shelly defected, Kalia defected, and the others can’t figure out their deception, even after Kalia assumes out loud, “I think [the veterans] approached everybody!” They sure didn’t, Kalia. Just the malleable ones like you! Lawon glowers.

Porsche, the Golden Key-acquiring survivor in this mess, taunts us in the diary room with her petty victory. Rachel approaches her afterwards, tells her that Cassi said, “Some of us don’t like Porsche” (which she did, to be fair) and for some reason, Porsche takes that obvious manipulation to mean Rachel’s loyalty is pure and trustworthy. This is why I think we should stop calling Porsche “Porsche” and demote her to “Car.”

“Cassi started this ‘We Hate Porsche’ club that she’s the only member of!” Car clamored to us. Leave it to Car to analyze her enemies at a Little Rascals maturity level. Cassi’s He-Man-Woman-Hater bullying is no match for this contender.

Now, Dominic, who’s smart enough to know the veterans will gun for him next, needs a plan. Should he break from his partnership with Adam and align himself with Jeff and Jordan? Brendon and The Demasculator (Rachel)? God and the slop bucket? Nope. Instead he picks Daniele, who is kind enough to flirt with him in the hammock like the Nerf-cheeked serpent she is. To my surprise, Daniele seems ready to help out Dominic to a certain degree, though she makes no promise to stick her neck out (serpent-style) in his defense. Still, they canoodle. She works some predictable hetero-flirt material into the conversation. The “‘You’re a jerk!’ + shoulder jab” move occurs. He accepts. They don’t have sex in front of us, but some sort of pseudo-fake-punch-shoulder bond is formed, and it means something for right now. Soon, Dominic will continue buttering up the veterans in the yard, dancing manically alongside dunderheaded Brendon like a Sim at an out-of-control barbecue. If I’ve learned one thing from The Sims, it’s this: It takes longer to end a barbecue than it does to drown your neighbors in the pool. Here’s hoping the veterans understand and put Dominic out of his misery.

This leaves Cassi, who we quickly find is the only player to really root for. Her foot-long eyebrows jut and dip like exotic calligraphy, and her monotone accent packs Hailee Steinfeld grit. She’s like a more backwoods Adrienne Curry! Which I think is lovable, but I adore unamused ladies as a rule. She’s a noticeable threat to Rachel and the veterans, who decide they’ll have to address her adversarial angst, but for now she remains a staunch opponent.

In the Have/Have-Not competition, HOH Jordan toddles out dressed like a giant B-movie ant. She orders the remaining duos (not including Daniele or Porsche, who have Golden Keys, and her own partner Jeff) to don uncomfortable two-person ant costumes for the race. The duos will be crawling atop themselves through a Double Dare-esque course of giant sandwiches, condiments, and picnic essentials. I’d hate to disrupt all this Marc Summers-ian joy, but the end result is just too predictable to draw out any further: Brenchal wins — hard. Adam and Dominic come in second, Cassi and Shelly snarl in third, and Lawon and Kalia, who acts so injured in the tunnel of condiments that I wonder if she’s broken all 206 bones, come in dead last. Aw, Kalia. Sometimes when she’s not comparing herself to Carrie Bradshaw, I admire her vague intelligence. She’s still a pawn to the Brenchalliance, but she might be able to do her own taxes. Refreshing.

“Drama,” Shelly says of Kalia’s screamy pain. “Save it for your mama. But not this mama.” Shelly would make a fine American Gladiators contestant in 1991. She has that construction-worker-from-Santa-Monica charm that I respect in a lady jouster. She probably doesn’t have the wits to win Big Brother, but we can’t all possess the casual superiority of the braying Rachel or the bunny-faced serpent Daniele.

Before we close up, Brenchal picks the week’s Have-Nots: Dominic and Adam, Shelly and Cassi. That’s two weeks running for those ladies, who can’t subsist on slop, jerky, and cold showers for long. Unless they’re as Ford Tough as they act — in which case, never mind, maybe they’ve known nothing else their entire lives. Someone, please write a short story about this.

And finally, in a nomination ceremony that surprises no one, Jordan nominates Dominic and Adam. It looks like Dominic, the obvious ringleader of the hapless amateurs, is sure to go. But perhaps I’m being presumptuous: What do you think? Is it possible that Adam could leave? Will the POV change things? Will Cassi bounce Dominic off her eyebrows and jolt him into a fighting mood? Leave your opinions and worries in the comments, read me regularly at Movieline.com, and follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel!