Big Brother Recap: It's All Greek to Kalia

The problem with a demented social experiment like Big Brother, where the cameras always roll and the live-feeds percolate day and night, is we know exactly what doesn’t make it to TV. We know what conflicts have been truncated, misrepresented, or eliminated entirely in the edit bay, and in the case of our HOH Kalia’s decision-making this week, we didn’t even get to watch one of her fellow houseguests sway her judgment. And I mean really sway her judgment.

Big Brother fans are clamoring on Twitter about the real story behind Kalia’s gameplay on Wednesday night’s P.O.V. show, since we saw a strange, contorted version of the truth. Now, do editing tricks infuriate me? Not really. I expect some dubious cutting here and there for the sake of brevity, and this particular short-change isn’t too devastating. I will say, though, that the real story paints Shelly (the manipulator in question) as a much different kind of player, a true Svengali in the house who cleverly protects her alliance with Jeff, Jordan, and their ally Rachel. Shelly is one of the few fascinating puppeteers on Big Brother this season, and I personally watch the series because of its creepy characters and their fascinating, endlessly conspiratorial powers. It’d be nice to see more of those from Shelly, whose gawky Ace Ventura expressions conceal her schemes. On TV, she’s a casual two-timer — but on the live feeds this week, she proved she’s a bit more cunning and effective. We’ll revisit this business momentarily.

The episode begins with caterwauling frightwig Rachel, who throws herself to the floor and shrieks about the death eviction of her histrionic preteen companion fiance Brendon again. Shelly uses her favorite technique (lies) to calm Rachel down.

“You have more class than this!” Shelly belts, her beige face beige-ing hard in anger.

“Daniele’s turned everyone in the entire house against me!” Rachel hollers back. She adds some strangulated mule noises for effect, and crocodile tears that are big enough to wear actual Crocs.

“Don’t let someone else make you feel that way!” Shelly retorts.

“Why do people constantly make personal attacks at me?!” Rachel shouts, now at no one in particular. Before Shelly can reply with the news that Rachel is making up reasons to be offended, Rachel helpfully adds, “Shelly, I just don’t want to talk about it.” Rachel runs off to the loser asylum, where an unamused Jordan must listen to Rachel’s insanity, since apparently she wants to talk again. Quickly, Rachel’s tearful yelping becomes an octave-jumping monologue of Richard III proportions. Enjoy the theater:

“Daniele tore apart Brendon and I, and she did it on purpose! She did it on purpose to hurt my feelings! I lost Brendon, and they all come back and attack me! What do they all want from me? What do they, seriously? What am I supposed to do? My best friend, my fiance, my soulmate is out of the house? And they still have to personally dig at me? AHHHAHEHHEHHHH!”

Of course, it’s laughable that Rachel would pretend anyone’s actions are personal in Big Brother. It’s even greater that she can slip into a woe-is-me monologue over completely fabricated paranoia. No one wants to hurt you, Rachel. They just want you to live in another house where your clucks and whinnies won’t rupture eardrums across this nation. That’s not personal. That’s a public service. Even Porsche admits, “Rachel started losing it. I have to distance myself, which makes two smart quips this season from Porsche. Let’s take a moment to watch the pig flying over our computers. Stunning.

Next, the quavering HOH Kalia listens in as Jordan and Rachel call her Daniele’s lackey. For some reason, this upsets the hell out of Kalia, and I cannot understand why. Aren’t all the veterans each others’ lackeys? Doesn’t everyone in the house have to align with someone? Aren’t some players bound to be more dynamic than others? Isn’t being a floater necessary sometimes? Kalia’s sensitivity to their meaningless comments — which were said mostly to calm down Rachel — bothers me. I want Kalia to be a rogue upstart with more on her mind than the approval of others, but she always finds a reason to second-guess herself. You know Daniele’s not standing around waiting for Jordan to blow kisses, Kalia. Take some hints from her resistance and iron-tough jawline.

But please, Kalia, continue not to take hints from Jeff, who responds to one of Jordan’s emotional outbursts with the classic catchphrase, “You girls all have YER PERIODS right now?” God. He redeems himself slightly by assuring Shelly that she’s his teammate, but if I were Shelly, I might respond, “Why are you being so personal with me? Are you on YER PERIOD?” And maybe he’d cry?

After Kalia and her nominees Rachel and Jeff draw three other names to compete in the P.O.V. challenge — Adam, Shelly, and Jordan, much to Daniele’s chagrin — the sextet lines up for a Greek-themed game of Sisyphean ball-rolling. Everyone wears a toga, since Big Brother is a sincere recreation of any party from The Sims. The first player to roll a ball up and down a pyramidal incline 300 times without allowing it hit the ground wins. 300 times. Without fumbling. That’s a lot. That’s how many electrified goat screeches Rachel emits in a weekend. We’re talking serious quantities.

The game commences, and after Shelly, Kalia, and Jordan drop out early because their rolling abilities are embarrassing, Rachel starts to falter too. In fact, Rachel’s work this challenge is astoundingly gauche. She bobbles, flails, and loses control of her ball multiple times, and it provokes a glorious Daniele soundbite.

“Rachel, being the best competitor to ever play this game, sucks,” she tells us. It is so lovely to be a Daniele fan. I’m really enjoying it. She delivers on so many levels of goodness (snark, defiance, stoic lovelessness) that I can’t help but send valentines to her Big Brother cubbyhole. After Rachel drops out of the game, Jeff and Adam square off in a homestretch — and finally, Jeff secures the victory and the Power of Veto. Very cinematic in its evil justice, no? Jeff is understandably cocky and happy to save himself.

I’ll sum up Kalia’s televised response to Jeff’s self-save as such: In the package we saw, Kalia consults Daniele about sparing Rachel and choosing Lawon to replace Jeff on the chopping block, since Lawon says he doesn’t mind being evicted during this weird week of mysterious, Chenbot-ordained rules. Daniele thinks it’s the wrong move, and she warns against it. As any outraged Big Brother zealot will tell you, that’s not really what happened. In reality, Shelly wheedled Kalia into switching her original choice of a replacement nominee, Adam, and told her to pick Porsche, who would almost certainly earn enough votes for elimination. This way, Shelly reasons, Rachel wouldn’t have a chance to win the eviction duel (against one of the four eliminated players), come back, and make Kalia her prime target. Shelly successfully protects her alliance this way, all while appealing to Kalia’s camaraderie with the firebreathing veterans. Accordingly, Kalia’s conference with Daniele actually concerned switching her vote to Porsche, not Lawon as we thought we saw. In fact, Lawon’s name came up in the conversation of eviction as a wild lark, and he surprised both Daniele and Kalia by agreeing to the plan. Confusing? Yes. In fact, it’s much too complicated for TV. But it can’t be denied that Shelly warmed Kalia to the idea of a different nominee, and for that she should be commended. Or hanged? Studied? She should be given a week’s supply of Beige-On Bodyspray, I think. The lady is impressive.

So, when the nomination ceremony occurs, Kalia dutifully switches out Jeff for Lawon. Which is so weird. Now Jeff, Jordan, and Rachel enjoy a renewed partnership with Kalia (and, by default, Daniele), and it doesn’t seem like any of them will be double-crossing each other in the next week. Lawon, I fear you’re jive-stepping to an early demise tomorrow. Don your plaid pants of sorrow, because I think Rachel just cajoled her way out of a sure elimination. Ugh. Now I’m emitting an electrified goat screech of my own.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Dramatic and twisty enough for you? Were you impressed by anyone in particular? Were you mad about what you didn’t get to see? Hit me in the comments, read me regularly at, and follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sivat says:

    What are these idiots thinking? Lawon will obviously go home (and go home for reals, because I’m willing to bet it’s Dominic coming back into the game), and stupid, annoying Rachel will remain in the house. Kalia will have wasted her week as HoH.

    Honestly, if Daniele gets evicted, I’m done with this show.

    • Don Draper says:

      I cannot wait until Daniele gets evicted! Evel Dick she is not! Team Jeff and Jordan all the way!!!!!!!! I’d like to see Cassi come back into the house.

      • davey says:

        If by “Evel Dick she is not” means that she’s not a disgusting, dragged mess of a human who verbally assaults and cigarette burns his female competition than yes…you are correct…Evel Dick Daniele is not!

        • Sivat says:

          You are awesome, Davey!

        • Don Draper says:

          “Evel Dick she is not” means that she sucks at the game. I agree Dick was a douche bag, but the guy was a master strategist in the Big Brother game. Daniele is playing a horrible game. She was in the best position in the house before she turned on the veterans. Think about it, if she stayed with the vets she would have basically never been a target. All the newbies would target either Jeff and Jordan or Brenchel to break up the two power couples. When the veterans ultimately turned on each other it would be Jeff/Jordan fighting against Brenchel, with each power couple both trying to woo Dani to their side to have the advantage over the other couple. Dani could have road that all the way to the end. Don’t even get me started about Dani agreeing with Kalia’s idiotic plan to evict Lawon over Racheal. But what I’m really looking forward to seeing is when Daniele tries to flip the vote back to keeping Lawon but he still gets evicted. If Chenbot reveals anymore about the twist and Dani doesn’t like what she hears then she is going to clap to signal all of the other newbies to vote to evict Racheal. The thing is Dani and her troop don’t have the numbers to control who goes home. That could be the highlight of the season.

  2. Katie says:

    CBS is too busy editing BB13 to be The Rachel Show. They can’t be bothered by gameplay. Personally I think most viewers would enjoy the drama of who is going to go up Porsche or Lawon or Adam, etc. I usually get up from the TV and fold laundry or something when Rachel’s doing her fake tears. I’ve gone to Twitter for most of my BB fix and really only watch the live Thursday show religiously.

  3. darclyte says:

    I don’t think there’s any way Brendon would have won “America’s Vote.” Now that it looks like Rachel will be staying, I fully expect TPTB who run BB to “make” Brendon be the person who got the most votes. I think the fact that there was still voting allowed until last night will give them the “opening” to say that there was a surge of Brendon votes after last night’s episode and the votes for Cassi & Dom were split allowing Brendon to sneak away with the win. If it’s Brendon competing to get in, I won’t believe it wasn’t fixed. If he makes it back into the house, I may stop watching.

    I think that Dustin offering himself to be nominated in Season 8 was dumber than Lawon because although Lawon expects to be evicted, he at least knows that he COULD come back (although he believes that he WILL come back and have a “special power” like the Diamond Veto or Coup D’Etat.) When Dustin volunteered to go on the block, there was no offer of coming back dangling in front of him. For me, that makes it worse.

    • BBFan says:

      I agree that somehow Brenden will be the one returning and not because he truly won AC. The producers love The Rachel Show with the comic stylings of Jorff. However, I truly hope there is no manipulation and that Cassi or Dom won AC and get the chance to compete. I’d be happy with either of those 2 or Lawon reentering the house. The game (and more importantly the show itself) needs a shake up and having Team Vets in power again isn’t what it needs. The show became much more interesting when there were fractions and alliances and power moves. The show does not need more Brenchel/Jorff yelling, gloating, intimidating, and being all around sketchy people.

    • forrest says:

      If Brendon re-enters the game, I am done for this season. I’m a fan of Dani’s and now the plotting of Shelly, BUT I cannot stand Brendon worse this season than previous.

  4. BRETT says:

    This is why Rachel is a great game player. She was the entire house’s number one target, she is on the block, has not won veto, and is STILL going to stay in the house. I love her! The plan is in motion for Brendon to come back into the house, and I love THAT as well. I have never disliked them. I find them to be great at competitions, but also a little immature. But like Rachel said, I don’t find her deliberately mean. Yes, she will react, but I feel, in most cases, she isn’t the instigator. I don’t have a problem with annoying people; it’s once you do something to me that I will get angry. I see the house is going with the flipped version of that. If Cassi or Keith come back I will be pissed. Cassi came into the house to hangout, and Keith is crazy. And not the ‘this is entertaining’ crazy. Go Brenchel!

    • websnap says:

      Wow, that’s a special sort of crazy you’re throwing out there. She is the most whiny, snivelling princess that pats herself on the back when accidents fall her way. The reason she’s staying is due to shelly keeping a target in the house and helping Jeff and Jordan, not her own actions. She’s deluded, mean and a horrible competitor with our brendan because she simply gives up because the “wold is against her”.

      I wish they would send her to Brendan somewhere un-televised.

    • ty says:

      Nothing about this shows that Rachel is a good game player. This whole thing was done by Shelly. It shows that Shelly is a good game player. All that Rachel did was cry the whole episode. I agree with you that Rachel is not intentionally mean. Unlike Dani who seems to go out of her way to be mean. They didn’t show it on Sunday night, but apparently Dani and Porsche were being quite nasty to Jordan.

    • abbymac says:

      This whole “Rachel is so great at competitions” myth has got to stop. She hasn’t won a single competition on her own all season. The two times she was HOH she was given the key – first by Dick and Danielle and the second by Brendon who deliberately through his game. She hasn’t won anything when she is competing on her own. (She wasn’t a winning competitor on her previous season as well – Brendon again protected her)

      Rachel is staying this week solely because Shelly (and Jeff) know that she is a bigger target than they and therefore helpful to their game. If she last 2 more weeks I will be astounded

    • Katie says:

      Rachel and Brendon are horrible game players. Their social game is non-existent. They put huge targets on themselves by gloating anytime they win any competition. And they don’t know what the word floater means and it drives me crazy!

  5. Lisa says:

    Every poll I’ve seen had Brendon WAY ahead in votes.
    Some poll numbers had Brendon with double the amount votes over Cassi and Dom.
    Keith isn’t even in the election his numbers are so low.
    So if Brendon does come back it may not be TPTB at BB.

    • ?? says:

      Where did you find these polls? All I find our blogs that want Cassi back in.

    • ty says:

      From what I understand all of the polls are just guessimates. The only people who know the true numbers are CBS. It just makes sure they can bring back the person they want, which is most likely Brendon. I think Dom would be fairly interesting if he came back. I also wouldn’t mind Cassi. As long as it is not Keith I will be fine with it.

    • JD says:

      CBS probably has its interns stuffing the ballot for Brendan all day long. it is a realistic theory that Cassi and Dom would split votes in such a way that someone else could sneak in, but not if that someone else is Brendan. He is vile. I can’t imagine enough people voting to keep him in. I atcually like Rachel without him there; when he’s there I wish they would both disappear.

      that being said, it’s a no-brainer that now that CBS realizes that Rachel will probably not be evicted, they will claim that Brendan won the vote. even if she did get evicted, they would want him there. they would either get the big drama of them competing against each other, or their favorite: the payoff of having them both in the house again. Sigh. if CBS ever wanted the new people to have a chance, i’d be shocked. i’d be so mad if i was cast on this season as a new person.

    • I dunno, every BB website, blog, or forum that I’ve read usually has Cassi and Dom nearly tied for first, Brendon much further down, and Keith barely above a blip.

  6. Dave says:

    I’ll be VERY surprised if anyone other than Brendon has the chance to battle against Lawon … er, the evicted houseguest … to get back inside on tonight’s episode of Big Brother: Redemption Island. VERY surprised. Dani’s only hope at the point will be to win HoH … right quick.

  7. The WB Frog says:

    Sad that the most exciting thing that happened last night was Jordan’s “not-meant-to-be-off color” remark about Jeff’s balls. Worst season yet.

    • Please help us CBS says:

      “Worst season yet.” And that’s saying something especially since BB9: Til Death Do You Part has held that title for so long. But wow! BB13 is just really bad. I’m hoping that’s not the Fonz putting on skis I see in the corner.

  8. Speedracer says:

    If jeff and Jordan and Rachel hate floaters so much, why do they get rid of strong competitors. As soon as someone starts to step up, they go after them. Then they criticize Kalia for doing the same thing? I rooted for jeff and Jordan in their season but I hate them now. By the way, what’s shellys deal? Why do you want jeff and Jordan to go all the way? Are you not in their for the money? Idiots all of them

    • Katie says:

      I think Shelly thinks she can win against them/with jury votes since Jordan has already won. And Jeff’s been such a hothead I can’t imagine he’d win over Shelly. As annoying as I find her, Shelly is definitely playing a great game!

      • JD says:

        agree. if i was anyone in the house, especially a newbie, i’d want to be sitting next to Jordan in the final two…the bitter, jealous jury members will never vote for her to win the money a second time (unless she’s sitting next to Rachel or possibly Jeff).

  9. Susan says:

    Danielle needs to go!! She is crude, negative, complaining biach, who thinks she knows everything. Rachelle may be immature and a little over dramatic, but she has a heart. I hope that Lawton is evicted and that Brendon comes back and they clean house!!

  10. MEKISHA HALE says:

    I’m hoping that ‘Big Brother’ will allow either “Cassi”,”Dom” or even “Lawon” back into the game. Enough already with the “Brendon” and Rachel show. With those who didn’t get a chance to play the game. This time they who are the players who will re-enter the house will get that chance to play the game like it should be played. Plus what this game really needs a jolt. A different atmosphere in the “Big Brother” house.

  11. Speedracer says:

    STUPiD! The fix is in! This show is rigged. How can Danielle be so stupid to not think there would a competition among first 4 evictees?
    I thought America hated Brendonrachel so why would they vote to let him back in?

    I HATE This show and Im done watching. CBS I hope you read these message boards and realize how many viewers your losing.

  12. Keysha says:

    After tonites episode i will no long be watching big brother this show is stupid it use to actually b really good now its just terrible and needs to be taking off tv cuse Brenden for real thats just dumb

  13. jannecdote says:

    I love this season. I love that Brendon got back into the show. Sometimes Brenchel make me want to gag with their goo goo eyed love crap, but it does keep me entertained and that is what TV is all about.

    The big question for me is why CBS is underplaying the fantastic job Shelley is doing behind the scenes. It is extremely difficult to play two sides of the house AND stay aligned with a stray like Adam. The woman has been working some magic. Wouldn’t mind seeing her win–keeping my fingers crossed that she doesn’t get outed.

  14. light year says:

    If Donato gets evicted does anyone even watch out the season??? Big Brother producers made some terrible moves from a ratings standpoint… bringing back Brendon??? HOH competitions that were heavily weighted for Jeff to win??? I think I’m done after tonights episode… and Rachel is so damn ugly. yikes!!!

  15. Barb says:

    If Daniele is evicted the remainder of the season is going to be a snooze fest. If she can find a way to stay I’m going to be glued to my TV.

  16. Katie says:

    Go away, spammer

  17. Don Draper says:

    Hey look ^^^^^ It’s Lydia from BB11. Go cry over Jessie you freak and quit spamming.