Big Brother Recap: Ranking Your New Top 9!

The worst part about Thursday night’s bracing eviction episode of Big Brother, which allowed one eliminated player to fight his/her way back into the game, was not its crummy competition, lame voting results, or Lawon’s frightening use of the words “special powers.” Close, though. It was how predictable it all was, and in the most depressing way possible.

The minute Lawon confessed his plans to beat eviction and remain in the game, my glance moved solemnly to the floor. It’s hard to watch someone that excited and delusional — like a beaming, idiotic stud on The Bachelorette or a braying reject in the American Idol auditions. Once Lawon earned that unsurprising 6-0 eviction over Rachel, his fate was sealed, even though we didn’t know he’d be squaring off against Brendon in a contest requiring speed, quick thinking, and dexterity with sporting equipment. Then his fate was really sealed. Lawon, I’d hate to take the jive out of your step, but you deserve the boot if your only form of coordination is matching plaid slacks and a blazer.

We’re left again with nine competitors whose power rankings keep shifting. Let’s analyze the current ecosystem in the Big Brother house and tally up the remaining Sims. Wee, numbers!

9. Adam
Remember when Adam was given an elf suit for a week, and he mistook it for personal relevance? So far, that’s been his only move in the game. Yes, that’s right: wearing a festive costume and shouting his usual “funny jokes” about Tori Spelling and metal. He also shaved his beard this week, which was another bold power play. Maybe next week he’ll take a big risk and clean some dishes.

8. Brendon
He may have trounced Lawon in the soccer ball shootout, but Brendon’s horrifying reentry in the house — complete with ursine Rachel hug — puts him in exactly the position he last held: giant target. You can’t exhibit his athletic prowess and boast such obvious alliances without expecting rancor from your opponents. Daniele, Kalia (and soon Porsche, perhaps) will gun for him like unsmiling Charlie’s Angels.

7. Kalia
BB megafans hated Kalia’s gameplay this week, and I can’t entirely disagree, though I admire her for possessing actual intelligence, even if that’s just unnecessary baggage in an impulsive grudge match like Big Brother. For that, I give her a few extra points, but with Rachel, Brendon, Jeff, Jordan, and Shelly in a harmonious front, it may be lights out soon for the most quavery HOH of the season.

6. Porsche
Her new-found camaraderie with Daniele is exciting, even if we’re still waiting for the two ladies to team up and make Kalia their inessential underling. She’s floating along like a cadaver on the Dead Sea right now, but I expect Porsche’s stagnant game to produce a few moments of ingenuity in the future. She’s had no reason to upend her game thus far, so I’m unwilling to dismiss her as a combatant just yet.

5. Jeff
Truly, Jeff’s position on this list could be interchanged with Brendon’s, but I think his ferocity and viability as a social player give him a slight edge. He’s also a winning P.O.V. crusader, so even if he were put up for eviction, he’d be very likely to overpower the others and survive.

4. Rachel
Ah, it was mere weeks ago that Rachel, The Magenta Pimpernel, ranked 11th on our crib sheet. Since she scared off Kalia by offering up a weak truce in the eleventh hour, she finds herself in a pretty comfy spot now. She’s still the whining, snot-raining crybaby we all remember, so she can’t ever be top-ranked, but she’s got the powerhouses of Brendon and Jeff to hide behind if her opponents get the chance to pick off members in her coterie.

3. Daniele
For a split second I thought (embarrassingly) we had a chance of getting Cassi back and adding her to Daniele’s tiny army of believers, but that dream ended in a Brenchel-initiated grease fire. Ugh. I miss Cassi and her Olivia-Wilde-joins-Coyote Ugly charms! Anyway. Daniele is more than a tactician in the Big Brother house; she’s an out-and-out pugilist punching through the histrionic nonsense of her competitors with stoic self-confidence. I also love that she’s the one housemate who seems to see through Shelly, the transparent two-timer whose day of reckoning can’t be far off. But on the other hand…

2. Shelly
While the veterans clutch each other close like popular Varsity cheerleaders and Daniele’s team bites its nails frivolously like gawky freshmen at homecoming, Shelly ignores the sophomoric camps of Big Brother and truly forges her own game. Is that wise? When you’re effectively balancing relationships with everyone in the house, it is. The question is whether Shelly’s ambiguous alliances are sustainable, since no one quite values her as a primary ally. I’m also curious to see how Shelly will react when multiple skeptics draw attention to her shady game, but it’ll be a few weeks until anyone considers a thorough investigation.

1. Jordan
Odd choice for #1? Maybe, but Jordan’s the “least threatening” (whatever that means) member of the veteran squad who has no reason to depart in the next few weeks. Surely Brendon and Jeff, who act as bodyguards for their weeping paramours, warrant more attention from opposing forces than Rachel and Jordan. And let’s face it: You, too, would eliminate Rachel over Jordan in a heartbeat, even though she’s season thirteen’s definitive floater — as well as the definitive floater who hates floaters.

What do you think of the big, bad elimination/reentry episode? Are you excited for Brendon’s return? Are you sad about Lawon’s? In fact, can you help explain Lawon’s unflinching confidence in being evicted? Better yet, can you just explain Lawon altogether? Leave your thoughts in the comments, read me regularly at Movieline.com, and follow me on Twitter at @louisviirtel.