Big Brother Recap: Total Soap Opera

I repeat the same five words before every athletic challenge on Big Brother: “It’s like the Soulless Olympics!” “Oh no. Jeff’s gonna win.” Most of the competitions at Chenbot Manor are suited for swifter, brawnier contestants, and the HOH detergent race on Sunday’s episode was no exception. To see ultra-lean Jeff jaunt into the lead (as we did on Thursday’s episode) wasn’t exciting. In fact, it was scathingly dull. But did he pull through on Sunday’s ep with the win, earning himself the distinction of Head of Household and a gold medal in the Soaptathlon? Join us as we relive the sudsy Sabbath.

The shuttle-run resumes as producers drench the contestants with suds, rain, and other factory-produced precipitation. Shelly, whose beige complexion has darkened to a dewy umber, mumbles about her daughter as she darts. Adam, Jordan, and Kalia saunter behind, losing steam like an old Fulton watercraft. Jeff and Rachel maintain a healthy lead, naturally, with Porsche almost matching pace. Daniele glowers from the sidelines, her eyes small with that signature Donato resentment. Just like me! It’s no secret that I root for Daniele, but I feel helpless watching her limping cronies try and compete with Jeff, whose metallic abs alone could bounce them clear across the yard.

But of course, the other contestants don’t even need a push from Jeff: They injure themselves on their own! Beardless Adam falls and disappears in a huge, cumulus tuft of suds. Jordan trips too, in her pink and green “humilitard.” Kalia topples and makes a Muppet noise to cover up the tangible shame. Porsche slides around in a daze. Everything she wears is an honorary humilitard. My high hopes for her are dwindling.

“How do I stop the Jeff machine?!” Porsche asks us in confessional. Before I can suggest an assassination attempt, the relay is over: Jeff wins in a literal landslide, and Rachel is the first to bark, “Congratulations!” like a frightened hyena daemon. Ugh.

Instead of dwelling on the ramification’s of Jeff’s victory, let’s just focus our contempt on Rachel. We see her in a flashback after Brendon’s eviction hissing the following nonsense at Daniele: “[The audience gave Brendon] the same amount of cheers as last time. Seems like America likes him, huh, Dani?” She’s trying to make Daniele feel bad for nominating him last week.

Allow me to respond on behalf of Daniele, who just looks dumbfounded at Rachel’s preteen prissiness. 1) Rachel, the audience is cheering because a blinking sign told them to. 2) What difference does it make who America likes? America once liked Lee DeWyze. 3) Brendon has had two seasons of Big Brother to build a following. It’s not impressive that America voted him back into the competition over three newbies. 4) You are clumsy with sass and intimidation. One TVLine commenter noted last week, “What’s the point of making fun of the houseguests?” The correct answer is: Big Brother is a game of social dynamics, and screeching self-absorption and vileness are Rachel’s main weapons in the warfare. It’s fair to note her unstable gameplay and obvious delusions. Because the nature of the competition prevents the other houseguests from calling her out, I serve up the catharsis here. I’m just trying to heal everyone! Except Rachel, of course. She breeds pain.

So, Jeff is Head of Household. After a smiley trip to his HOH room, we visit with Shelly, who is still flabbergasted that Rachel would “talk behind her back.”

“I don’t know how she lives with herself,” Shelly deadpans. After getting herself angry enough, she decides to crash the HOH room where Rachel, Jeff, and Jordan are meeting, intending to confront Rachel about her nasty behavior. Right, because confronting Rachel always ends in a stately compromise. She’s like Churchill.

“I want to get one thing cleared up with you,” Shelly begins, leveling a dark, sunken glare at Rachel. “You’ve got to stop making the eyes at me, rolling your eyes. It cannot continue. I can’t help that I was on the block against Brendon and that I won. The looks of death? That’s gotta stop. If it’s not and you’re gonna keep going to talk about me behind my back to people, then let’s get that out in the open now, and either solve it or decide that one of is not going to be in this group.”

Of course, Rachel hasn’t really been talking behind Shelly’s back, so that diatribe is kind of weak. And of course, since they’re teammates, there’s no reason for Shelly to be so huffy. But I still like that Shelly enjoyed a moment of honesty in a game devoted to dishonesty, particularly when everyone is afraid to acknowledge Rachel’s extreme hypersensitivity. Jeff tells Shelly and Rachel to bite their tongues before a real argument can happen there, but I think Shelly’s likability jumped up a peg — even considering her weird misinformation. Go, Jerri Blank, go!

Before Jeff can conclude the episode with inevitable eviction nominations, his two most obvious targets corner him on the patio for a last-minute plea. The first beggar is Kalia, who tries to woo him with the following argument (paraphrased for your enjoyment):

“Hey, Jeff. Hey. Remember a couple weeks ago when I tried to eliminate you? Me too. Heh. I hope you understand. Vote for Rachel! She’s not that nice. I’m speaking in a pleasant voice! Bye.”

Applause. The next beggar is Porsche, whose self-defense is somehow worse.

“Hey, Jeff. I’m not the best at this. I don’t want to be butt-kissing and stuff like that. But vote for someone else. I can save you if I ever get good enough to win a challenge. Goodbye. Wait — am I on Big Brother right now?”

Here’s where I have to give Jeff credit. In confessional, he tells us, “It’s Day 49, and Porsche came up to me and — let me get this right, because it’s hilarious — tried to talk ‘game’ for the first time in 49 days. It was a sight to see, let me tell you.”

When all’s said and done, if you want a chance to win Big Brother, you have to participate in more than one discussion about nominations. You have to establish active gameplay more than once a year. Though Jeff is tolerant of Kalia and Porsche’s pleas, he renders a quick decision when choosing the night’s evictions, who are (trumpets please!) Kalia and Porsche. Daniele is the obvious backdoor candidate, but for my sake, let’s pretend that Jeff would never, ever ruin our viewing experience with such a callous decision. OK? Great. I’m screeching hoarsely like Rachel to drown out the bleak potential. Brendon, hug me and weep into my magenta highlights!

What’d you think of Sunday’s episode? Predictable? Fun? Do you even care about the Have-Not situation? Does watching Porsche, Daniele, and Kalia eat jalapeno peppers and eggs thrill you? How protected is Rachel as a Brendon-free player? Leave your thoughts in the comments, read me regularly at Movieline.com, and follow me on Twitter at @louisvirtel!

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36 Comments
  1. Rhonda says:

    I have to say my favorite moment of the night was the Porsche/Jeff “talk” – Oh, and the fact that she’s so outraged that he told her it was time to start playing the game.

    Say what you will about Jeff, he doesn’t screw around – he tells it like he sees it nearly all the time – Witness his talk with Kalia – Paraphrasing here – Listen chickie, I told you what would happen if you put me on the block. I gave you chances to fix that, and you didn’t so suck it up.

    • Captain says:

      Only someone who’s never seen the live feeds would say that. That’s like saying Rachel is a straight-shooter because she’ll whine to you when you piss her off.

      • Rhonda says:

        You’re right, I don’t watch the LIVE feeds. I watch 3 episodes a week and that’s it :)

        While I don’t have the “insight” that you do, I still enjoy watching the show and will not make the mistake of commenting again :)

        Thanks for showing me the error of my ways :)

      • Teneille says:

        Actually, Rhonda’s got it completely right. Only someone like Captain who’s never seen the live super secret feeds would say otherwise.

    • Lily says:

      ummm, yea. Jordan can lay around and no nothing the entrie game though. Hypocrite Jeff doesn’t seem to have a problem with that!

      • Eimee says:

        Seriously Jeff, does that light bulb of yours ever turn on ?? If you and Jordan play a third time, will you carry her once again the whole way through ? Don’t understand your relationship with her at all. At least she can try to win a comp. Don’t want Rachel to win, but she does give it a effort, even without her man. Dani is the only one willing to shake things up. Porche is a waste of space who thinks she’s all that. Kalia should have been gone a long time ago but riding Dani’s coat tails is the only reason she has hung in this long. This season is boring and a total let down. Too predictable. Wish Dominic was still there. He could have stirred things up too.

  2. Rebecca Parker says:

    The problem with Jeff’s problem with Porsche is that it means he also hasn’t spoken to her about the game in 40-whatever days. Goes both ways, but of course he doesn’t see it that way.

    • Owen says:

      why would he talk game with her, she hasn’t won anything to put her in power of any kind and shes not part of his alliance…

    • Lily says:

      Exactly. I was digusted by his “how dare you speak to me about game” blathering. Would you want to talk to someone with that attitude?

    • Citizen Bitch says:

      yeah, and didn’t she have the golden key for the first 3 weeks, not much reason to talk game to him when there was no chance of her going home. And she has been talking game to other people (Dani, Rachel).

      • Batch of Citizens says:

        Yeah, the golden key just stops a play from winning hoh or veto, it doesn’t stop them from building relationships or getting a feel of the house. Oh yeah and voting for evictions.

        But hey, it’s not like Porsche wasted her time…nah, she was busy hiding people’s things and ruining the food. What a playa!

  3. Ron Swanson says:

    Big Jeff FTW!!!!!!!! I love how Shelly didn’t know what a pear was and finding out all she eats is peanut butter and jelly. Remember in older seasons of BB when the have nots had to eat PB&J instead of slop? Shelly would do just fine if that was still the case.

  4. Sivat says:

    If Jeff backdoors Daniele, then for me I guess this Thursday is the Big Brother 13 season finale!

  5. Cristi says:

    I am surprised Louis didn’t mention Shelly’s color when they all came in and found the eggs and jalapenos!
    She looked like walking Beef Jerky! Yowza!

  6. Rob says:

    I don’t see how “Shelly’s likability jumped up a peg”. Since her brilliant move to get Lawon put up she’s just plain gone off the deep end. Lying to other houseguests is fine, it’s how you play the game. But now she’s so delusional that she thinks she can rant and rave about Rachel’s “lies” (that are completely true) and get away with it in the DR too.

    • JD says:

      i agree. shelly gets less and less likable with every episode. all she does is talk smack about Rachel behind her back, and then she tries to accuse Rachel of the same thing. i don’t like Rachel, but i have to give her the benefit of the doubt on this one…she isn’t talking about Shelly even half as much as Shelly talks about her. she better hope Rachel doesn’t win the next HOH, or she is out the door.

    • ty says:

      It went up a peg for the recapper, because he hates Rachel so much that even when someone says anything negative to or about Rachel the recapper will like them.
      The recapper states “Rachel hasn’t really been talking behind Shelly’s back, so that diatribe is kind of weak. And of course, since they’re teammates, there’s no reason for Shelly to be so huffy.”
      Okay, so I agree why is Shelly more likable again?

  7. King says:

    I hate Shelly! After this game I hope she can still look in the eyes of her alliance!

  8. keysha says:

    i been stop watching when big brother rigged it so brendan could come back now that was the biggest crock ever n tv history

    • JD says:

      i bet they’re pissed about that now too, because if Dani goes home this week they won’t have enough time in the season to come up with a way to bring her back.

  9. Michael says:

    How did Shelly’s likability jump up a peg? She’s been on a steep downfall ever since the hint of insanity started showing. Her family decided not to acknowledge her craziness, either! She’s being ridiculous. This is Shelly: “I don’t like Rachel. She talks behind people’s backs and spreads lies. But I’m only spreading this lie and telling it to you behind her back because it’s okay to do that if your name isn’t Rachel. Ok? Ok.”

  10. The WB Frog says:

    Worst. Season. Ever.

    Glad Jeff won HOH. Hope Danielle leaves. Then Porsche and Kahlia. Porsche and Kahlia are two of the worst BB houseguests ever.

  11. Buffy Freak says:

    I hate when the HOH competitions extend to the Sunday episode because we are then subjected to over 15 minutes of them scooping laundry detergent and diary room quotes of how they HAVE to win this HOH to stay safe. It’s so tedious. I don’t watch the live feeds so I’d rather they showed more of stuff going on in the house.

  12. Lola says:

    I think I enjoyed reading your synopsis better than actually watching the show last night. It was a boring episode. Can’t wait for double eviction Thursday!!!

  13. Ben says:

    The Brenchel bashing is getting a little old. Yes, she’s annoying and only occasionally bright, but I see no reason to hate on her. When Kalia and Dani do it they don’t become more endearing to me, they just look like sore losers and petty people.

    What has Rachel done wrong this season other than being a little annoying? Brenchel went to make a deal with Dani, but so did Jeff and Jordan and everyone else. She never lied like Shelly accused her of doing (as the clip they show every time she mentions it proves) and she doesn’t play any dirtier than anyone else. It’s enough to make me root for her because everyone else is just being bullies.

    • JD says:

      i agree. you can say a lot of things about Rachel, but she’s a terrible liar. if she was really doing what Shelly was accusing her of, it would have been painfully obvious during the confrontation. the only real lie i can remember from Rachel was telling Dom that he was safe and should throw the veto…and really that’s no one’s fault but Dom’s. throwing the veto when you’re on the block is the stupidest thing you can possibly do. aside from telling people to please evict you for no reason (Lawon).

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