Big Brother Recap: Ice, Ice, Baby

Julie Chen Ice Bucket Challenge

Big Brother, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

CBS’ reality staple has long been my annual guilty pleasure. While some may see it as nothing more than kitschy summer fodder — and, granted, it is — it’s also much more fun and clever than it’s ever given credit for.

Take, for example, Thursday’s live eviction show, which sent one houseguest packing and brought another evictee back into the game, all in the span of an hour. If you’re a Big Brother fan, you know episodes like these are enjoyable, intense and thoroughly entertaining. I wish I knew how to quit you, BB. But in the meantime, let’s revisit the highlights of Thursday’s broadcast:

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THE WEEK SO FAR | With two Detonators in power — and an early promise made to Victoria that she wouldn’t be nominated at any point this week — Derrick and Frankie had no choice but to nominate three fellow alliance members against Donny, their only remaining adversary. But the whole nomination process was a series of bad decisions, from using color-coded Skittles as the basis for which Detonators were nominated, to Christine doing a laughable job of throwing the Battle of the Block competition. Ultimately, Donny singlehandedly guaranteed himself safety for the week, while Christine mostly spent the past seven days stroking Cody’s hair and denying that she has a crush on him. (Sure, honey.)

Later in the week, when Team America was given the task of hiding their fellow houseguests’ clothing (and starting a neighborhood watch program to prevent it from happening again), the mission backfired on Zach, who was accused of being the Season 16 saboteur. Frankie saw this as a perfect opportunity to nominate his volatile other half, and promptly did so after using the Power of Veto on Caleb. (Zankie betrayal!) Also: Zingbot showed up, and it was awesome.

THE STRATEGY | Let’s all say this on three, shall we? 1, 2, 3: Pooooor Zach. Sure, Zach had a terrible social game and was a poor strategist. (I will forever get a chuckle out of this flustered line that Zach tried on Devin in Week 3: “Did I say I was coming after you? Yes. Did I mean it? No!”) He never stood a chance at winning the grand prize, if only because his jury members wouldn’t give him the satisfaction. But still, you can’t help feeling sorry for Zach Attack when his attempts to get the Detonators back on his side are utterly shut down. He tries to make nice with Victoria, too — someone he’s taunted all summer long — but the only thing she’s willing to do for Zach is steal back the pink hat he took from her weeks ago… and cut it up? Why? That was her hat! Oh, Victoria. I can’t possibly try to make sense of what’s going on inside your head.

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THE VOTES | Pretty much everyone knows that Zach is about to be evicted — including Zach himself — so it’s no surprise when he’s ousted. It is a little surprising that the vote is unanimous, even after Donny promised to throw Zach a line, but I suppose Donny can’t afford to make any more enemies by voting against the majority. With that said, Zach makes the exit that you would totally expect from him (“See ya, losers!”) and promptly delivers a hysterical post-eviction interview. Among the highlights: Zach admitting that he wanted to be so hated by his fellow HGs that they would never give him the satisfaction of evicting him. (“Clearly, that was not the case,” he deadpans. That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.)

But wait — there’s more! As part of ” the most twisted summer ever” (jury’s still out on that one), the four evicted jurors are able to compete in one last challenge that will put one of them back in the BB house. The shuffleboard-esque competition consists of seven rounds, each of which allows the jurors five seconds to slide a colored disc onto a rotating central platform. Nicole and Jocasta — Jocasta! — have the most discs on the platform by the end of Round 7, but Nicole is deemed the champ due to one of her discs being closer to the center of the circle. Hooray, Nicole! Operation Take Down Christine is officially a go.

Other highlights of the broadcast: Team America successfully completes their 24-hour neighborhood watch mission (cha-ching!); some footage of the jury house reveals that Nicole and Hayden are more in puppy love than ever; and Julie Chen herself accepts hubby Les Moonves’ ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, concluding the live show by having none other than Will Arnett dump a bucket of ice water on her. (Unsurprisingly, his appearance did not make me want to watch The Millers.)

How do you feel about Zach’s eviction — and Nicole’s return? Were you shocked to see Jocasta leading the redemption challenge for a few rounds? At this rate, does anyone really stand a chance against Derrick? Sound off in the comments!

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. Bob says:

    Honestly, unless Nicole or Donny win HOH, this whole reentry twist isn’t going to make much difference. A better twist would have been if the reentering houseguest was the new HOH.

    • John says:

      I agree completely they should have
      made whoever won the completion be the new hoh that would’ve definitely made the show more interesting. however I think nicole will be safe this week since it seems like everyone is after Donny.

    • abz says:

      Agreed. That would have been a better twist.

      • abz says:

        Also, the fact that they made it a point to say that the HGs didn’t know that the jury competition was going to happen when right after Zach was evicted you could hear one of them say “see you in 10 minutes” really annoyed me. They shouldn’t have even told the HGs that there might be a chance to re-enter and if they planned on doing it, it should’ve been out of the blue when they don’t expect it and they should have the jury competition without the HGs watching. They all knew that someone was coming back so these “twists” are just pointless.

  2. Emily Tate says:

    This season is Derrick’s to lose unless someone wises up really quick. And even then, I’m not sure much could change to make him lose. Especially since Nicole is coming in looking for revenge on Christine…another week of taking the focus off of him.

  3. Karen MT says:

    Oh, I could plainly tell what was going on in Victoria’s head in regards to the hat. Taking it away and making sure Zach couldn’t get it back? The look on his face when she held up the tatters was priceless. Nicole will most likely head back to the jury house if she doesn’t win HOH, though she might have a chance if Donny wins it. (Or Victoria… like that would happen!)

  4. wrstlgirl says:

    I watch the live feeds and there was a lot of really good stuff that went on in that house this week and none of it made it on-screen. It’s really kind of sickening the way CBS edits this. And I agree with the other comments. If either Donny or Nicole don’t win HoH it’s pointless. This game is all Derrick.

    • safado says:

      They caught Zach hiding the cue ball in a trash bag, and told him that’s why he would be evicted. That never made it on the show.

  5. S says:

    I’m so upset. Zach has been my favorite all summer. I wanted Zach to come back. The competition they had to re-enter the house was too much of a crap shoot in my opinion.

    • Winter says:

      Agreed about the comp. It should have been something they really had to fight for to get back in. I’m gonna miss my Zack Attack.

  6. Tran says:

    I really want to see more of the network’s biggest TV stars take the Ice Bucket Challenge.

  7. Backdoor Derrick! says:

    I was hoping for Zach back, or Hayden, but thank God it wasn’t Jocasta. BB 16 is definitely rigged for Frankie and Derrick, so even IF Nicole or Donny win HOH it will be hard to get rid of either of them. Don’t like Cody, Christine, Caleb or Vic either, so will be happy to. See any of them go.

  8. Nate Mayhew says:

    It wasn’t an Ice Bucket Challenge, Michael…………. It was an Ice Bucket ILLUSION!

  9. Et al says:

    Now that we know who is HOH this season is over. They might as well shut this whole train wreck down.

  10. abz says:

    I miss Zach already. He may not have been the best game player, but he definitely was the best part of this season for me. Loved his exit and eviction interview and the fact that he didn’t bother with the ridiculous fake hugging ritual. The look on his face when he saw the destroyed hat was priceless!
    Honestly, there is no excitement really left this season for me unless Donny or Nicole remain in the game and pick off the rest of them.

  11. Angel says:

    Zach is the star of the season. Poor Donny will probably be out next week but I’d rather be in jury house than with those awful people left on the show.

  12. Bob Smith says:

    Like others have stated, they should have made the returning houseguest the HOH or been exempt from being placed on the block. The show has improved considerably over past seasons, but the producers still have no idea how to make the show better consistently and throughout the season.

    Derrick has it in the bag unless something happens this week. The HOH would be crazy not to put Derrick on the block!

  13. safado says:

    They’ve done the same thing with the first four jury members for the last several years, haven’t they? Of course it wasn’t a surprise to those still in the house.

  14. Yoki says:

    Hopefully Donny will win America’s Favorite Player. I can’t wait for everyone to find out Derrik is an undercover cop. It’s his to lose. He’s the puppet master. Derrick will get rid if Cody at first shot. No one believes what Donny says about pecking order. He may go home this week, but Cody and Caleb will be right behind. Victoria will most likely be final three. She’s the worst player in recent history. I wanted Hayden come back, because once again Nixoke us playing emotionally instead of strategically.

  15. Next year, if they want the “returning houseguest” gimmick to have any impact at all they should do it so the comp is actually for head of household — either only those four can play or keep the two heads of household gimmick going for one more week. That way, the person returning has some power. OR, make the twist that the returning houseguest is safe for that week.

    • Scratch that. I just had what I think is a much better idea AND would really make it the most twisted summer ever. Without saying a word to the HGs, the producers remove Nicole’s name from the nomination box (making her safe for the week — they can put a note in the place where her key would be). That way, when Cody sat down to do exactly what Derrick told him to do, his head would explode because he’d have to think for himself right in that moment. Then the reveal at the nomination ceremony would make Derrick turn green.

      God I wish the producers read these comments.

  16. Me says:

    Did anyone else hear one of the guys mention the doorbell when they all gathered a second time before Julie let the Jury in? Yet another let-down on the show’s authenticity.