Big Brother Recap: State of Emergency!

The color in my face vanished after Thursday’s stupid eviction and horrifying Brenchel breunion, and now? I’m more colors than ever, frankly. I’m a healthy peacock gyrating wildly in a kaleidoscope. A Crayola riot. An LGBT triumph. I’m so overjoyed after Sunday night’s HOH competition and nomination ceremony that I don’t want to watch Wednesday’s episode for fear of tamping this unnatural high. In the meantime, let’s review the Skittle-dappled magic. Taste the rainbow of PAIN, Rachel!

Daniele, Kalia, and their dizzy apprentice Porsche saunter in from Lawon’s eviction. Kalia pouts that all the “work” she did last week to loosen the veterans’ stranglehold over the game is kaput now that Brendon has returned. Note to Kalia: I respect your general intelligence, but you did not have to submit Lawon for elimination last week. That was your fault. You get condolences from me, not sympathy. Stop spraying tears like Tammy Faye and start televangelizing the good book of determination! Get back in this!

Meanwhile, the four veterans and their overeager associates Shelly and Adam literally prance around in victory together, maypole-style. Shelly’s bouncing like a jackalope in Walmart sweats, always staring hard into Rachel’s big, cartoonish eyes. Rachel is pretty muchSonic the Hedgehog’s friend Knuckles — a strong-willed, mouthy echidna. She’s a fierce arm-folder, but one of the lamer mammals I can recall. This whole group’s excitement is just awful, and it only gets worse when Rachel and Brendon anoint themselves “the dynamic duo” in confessional. God. Let it end. You’d think Brenchel would acknowledge how lucky Brendon is to be back, but no, they’re too busy donning Gotham unitards.

Just before the HOH game is unveiled, Daniele opines that she must win HOH to remain in the competition. She’s so correct that it hurts. Even if you’re not on Team Daniele (for some ungodly, undiagnosable reason), you have to admire that she struck out on her own in a principled way. She didn’t like Brenchel and Jorff’s elitism, so she left their major label and struck out as an independent artist. Girlfriend is the Aimee Mann of ChenBot Manor. She’s ready for critical praise and the second stage at Lilith Fair.

This week’s HOH game combines the fun of “guesstimation” with the lameness of U.S. geography. Kalia, last week’s HOH, hosts as the eight other houseguests guess quantities of fun items pertaining to the home states of each remaining player. In each round, the houseguest who posits the estimate furthest from the actual total is eliminated. One houseguest will remain, and he/she will be declared HOH. Daniele warns us that she’s awful at math, which worries me, but then I remember she’s jockeying against Rachel, Jordan, Adam, and other arithmetical novices. Competition should be tight!

The game commences. Because the universe digs me, Rachel is eliminated first after dramatically overestimating the amount of Mardi Gras necklaces hanging on a foil tree (for Shelly’s home state of Louisiana). Hilarious enough! But then Jordan loses after a pepperoni question pertaining to deep dish pizza and Jeff’s home state of Illinois. Huh! Two vets in a row! Then, like dunderheaded dominoes, Brendon and “Big” Jeff are kicked out when they fumble on an olive count and a Hoyle card pile. In four quick slashes, every member of the veteran quad is eliminated. Only Daniele, Porsche, Adam, and Shelly remain, which means terror may await yet.

But no! Shelly is eliminated next, and Adam — who is just not cut out for these HOH games, it seems — makes a poorer guess than Porsche and Daniele on a question concerning airplane rivets. That means Daniele and Porsche remain, but in the last round, Daniele topples Porsche in counting up a big collection of gold coins. And Daniele, our hard-boiled heroine, is the champ.

“I really wish I could’ve seen everybody’s faces,” Daniele gushes at us in confessional. “Because I’m thinking there were like, nooses being tied, guns coming out of shoes, wah-wah. I don’t care. I want these people scared to death of me, as well they should be. That’s it.”

Fi-re.

Elsewhere, Rachel and the veterans throw a pity party around their once-proud maypole. Oh, the melancholy! Even Jeff and Brendon’s tanktops seem to sag in sadness. But without missing a beat, several of the team members stray and try appealing to Daniele, who has a tough vote to consider, in separate discussions. Here are their hilarious attempts, reworded liberally by your faithful author:

Adam: “Hey, HOH lady! If you don’t nominate me this week, I’ll try to save you next time if I win HOH for the first time ever. OK? OK, cool. I’m going to go shave my beard. Wait! I already shaved my beard! Never mind! Ha-ha! I guess I’ll have to do something else. Man, it’s been great forming this alliance with you. Later, Debbie! Er, Daniele! Two L’s, right? One? Great.”

Shelly: “Kalia and Daniele, I know we’re all best friends. We got each others backs, I know that. But sometimes I feel like you guys are too cool for me! That’s why I started making alliances with the veterans to get you guys eliminated, OK? I just ain’t that cool. Are you guys frustrated with me over that? You shouldn’t be, as cool people. Talk later. I have to go and make myself somehow more beige.”

Daniele and Brendon: “Daniele, vote for Shelly. She’s a two-timer. Brendon and I will protect you for a few weeks. Deal?”

And it is! Rachel outs Shelly as a turncoat and that leaves Daniele little choice but to side momentarily with Brenchel. In the ensuing nomination ceremony, Daniele selects Adam and Shelly, two defecting alliances, for elimination. Frankly, Shelly’s duplicitous antics became too obvious to go on without note. Porsche initiated a brief tiff with the southern lady early in the evening, telling her she knew about her deal with Rachel. Though Shelly pretends she never aligned with Brenchel, gritty archive footage proves her memory is selective. The justice is delicious! More candy-coated goodness for this episode! Willy Wonka’s chocolate stream flows through this whole hour, and Daniele stands atop it holding a lollipop and singing “Let the River Run.”

Shelly, meanwhile, weeps.

“I’m absolutely furious that Rachel would blatantly lie. It’s just disgusting!” she says. “The moral high road is impossible in this game… I will never let [Rachel] take my class away from me.”

Then allow me! You tried wheedling every player in the game and lost. You were dishonest and transparent, and Daniele was the first to spot it. See you in your fancy elimination dress, Shelly! Because Big Brother is the original, hungrier Hunger Games.

What did you think of Sunday’s episodes? Were Daniele’s nominations just? Are you on Daniele’s side? Is Rachel still getting everything she wants? And if either Adam or Shelly win the Power of Veto, who will Daniele pick for a replacement? Deposit your theories in the comments, read me regularly at Movieline.com, and follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel!