Veto Not Used – Frank & Kara Nominees

In an unsurprising Veto ceremony this afternoon, Shane, the winner of the first Veto Competition of the summer decided to not use the Power of Veto to change Nominations, leaving Model Kara and Unemployed Frank on the block.

With the votes still up in the air and deals being made between everybody and their (Russel Hantz’s) Brother, what will ultimately happen on Thursday is unknown. It seems alliances are being made, including but not limited to, a potential ‘Brigade’ between Frank, Shane and Willie under the tutelage of Mike Boogie himself, a one week deal with Willie and Kara, and Britney and Janelle’s alliance of their teams, but which one is a true long-term game busting deal is a huge question mark for us viewers.

With the game only in its first week, the amount of game play, deal making (and obvious future deal breaking) happening this soon is a feedsters paradise. The inclusion of legendary players as coaches has turned up the speed of the game from zero to sixty in less than eight days. While it is great for us as viewers, the long term effects of such strenuous game play so early is already starting to show on the stress levels of some of the newbies, and the coaches themselves have mentioned numerous times that this first week has much more happening than their previous seasons.

One thing is for sure – things are heating up fast in the Big Brother house!

Day One Recap and Veto

When the feeds came on last night all we knew was there were only 11 players and Willie, the latest Hantz to grace a CBS reality series, is HOH. That soon changed when 5 minutes after the feeds start Super Fan Ian, catering to us fans, slipped in to the vortex of a Have-Not Room and gave us an update.

Willie nominated Playboy Model Kara, from Dan’s team, and Boogie’s Unemployed Beach Bum Frank for eviction, He (Ian), Shane, Ashley and Daniele are Have-Nots and the Veto would be played today. Willie, Frank, Kara, Shane, Daniele and Wil would be the competitors.

The mysterious new competition Julie closed out the episode with was mentioned multiple times during the night, making it clear that a Coaches Competition took place before nominations and was won by Boogie. He won the power to save one of his team from being nominated for the week and thinking that Frank was safe, he gave ‘immunity’ to Ian.

In another development, it seems that the Pandoras Box room is now a full bedroom for the Coach of the reigning HOH, and it allows a more private place to speak if the HOH room is too busy.  Britney and Janelle are sharing the room making it clear that they are tight in the game. No surprise there since Britney has idolized the former player since her debut in season 6.

With the house already divided by the Coaches, Janelle and Britney teamed up quickly and Boogie and Dan seemed to be working together, the lines have already been drawn. Not sure how long it will be before the players openly defy their coaches and send the game into a tailspin, but with lots of game play in the first week, it can only get better.

Deals are being made all around and an alliance was revealed between Willie and, ironically enough, Frank, who he had just nominated for eviction. The majority of last night was spent by Britney and Janelle trying to pound the fact that Frank is a major competitor and more of a threat than Kara, then stating that it was a useless conversation until the Veto was played, then starting the same conversation over again a minute later. By the wee hours of the morning they laughed their butts off every time they mentioned it. The Dynamic between Britney, Willie and Janelle is pretty priceless, and when Wil is in the picture nobody can keep the funny out of a conversation.

On to the Veto….

When the feeds came back it was obvious that it was a slippery competition; all of the participants were freshly showered and clean. Helped out by the copious amounts of dish soap they apparently had to dive through to retrieve coins to fill their ‘bank’.  A fresh competition, according to Ian and Britney all of the competitions so far this season have been new. Climbing through things, sliding, finding and tossing coins seemed to be the nature of this particular game.

And of course in Big Brother there is always someone playing dirty. Hiding coins from other competitors was something that was being talked about in the HOH Suite, and apparently they were the targeted party. If some sabotage did go on, it should be fun to watch since it failed spectacularly and their side won anyway.

Shane ended up proving himself a good choice for Britney by winning the first POV with a total of $1.30 in his bank, and was closely followed by Willie who scored the same amount of change, but was behind in time. It all now rests in the hands of Shane, the quintessential good looking all American man. As a member of Britney`s team he is in a strong position this week with his alliance in power and the Veto in his hands.

With it only being week one, the chances that he`ll go against what his team has said is slim, but anything can happen before the Veto ceremony, so we`ll have to keep an eye on all the gameplay between now and then. If a target is placed on someone else’s back on the opposing side, it is entirely possible that it will be used to take (most likely) Kara off the block and Willie will place that unlucky person up in her stead.

Stay Tuned Ladies and Gentlemen – the game has just begun.

Episode One Postmortem: Game Change

Well, you can’t say they went with the Same Old Big Brother.

In a night of big surprises, Grodner and Co. surprised us with a healthy infusion of changed gameplay and fresh blood. The standard big Brother gameplay format has been adjusted with the Mentors game within a game, and the first episode showed just how good an idea this really was.

Before we get to that, we have to look at the major developments that happened within the first 60 minutes alone. In the first episode, we had:

– 12 new, never-played-before Houseguests;

– Surprising attraction to the wormy guy in glasses from one of the Blonde Bombshells;

– Nervousing from 3 Houseguests over who would be evicted before anyone had even unpacked;

– Major Game-playing strategy falling by the wayside as the biggest detriment to one player turned out to be that he looked, sounded and reminded everyone of his older brother;

– 4 Veterans returning to the game- and fans actually cheering the development, and;

– Our first eviction and HoH.

Overall, there was a lot of information to process from the first episode of the show. There is new life in the BB house, and a game renewed by a pretty major change to the format. Unlike previous “game adjustments” this has the potential to last for several seasons as previous fan favorites and game masters could return to the fold and guide newbies, giving Production the best of both worlds. We get the return fo legendary players while losing the complaints about retreads getting to play again and be overly bored by the whole thing. We also get a full crop of new players who get the added bonus of advice and guidance from people who know how the game truly works.

When the Feeds launched it became clear that there are definite lines being drawn, with the women all starting to side against Boogie. Britney and Janelle have aligned with each other, and Dan and Boogie are working together. Along with this is a clear indication that Janelle has not forgotten the events of Big Brother: All-Stars. Ashley is injured, and taking meds for back spasms and muscle pain. We will likely see the cause of this very soon on the tv show.

Week One-Half Results

Eviction #1 – Jodi Evicted on a single vote by Mentor Dan

Alas, poor Jodi. We hardly knew ye.

Truth be told, there isn’t much to be said about Jodi. We saw her struggle in the initial competition for HoH (major kudos to Production for a new and difficult game) and in the end, her good argument for staying in the house fell on deaf ears. Dan’s decision to cast off Jodi didn’t really have much to go behind it save for game performance to that point, and Jodi did struggle quite a bit in the physically tough competition. The biggest benefit is that she gets to return to her new marriage and family- unless, of course, she spends a few weeks in Sequester for some unknown Twist.

For her sake, I hope she gets to go home.

HoH #1 – Willie Mentor- Britney

Never let it be said that the Hantz Brothers don’t make an impression.

In the first episode, Willie has gone from “one of the last players picked by a Mentor” to “HoH.” We are still low on details for his first week as HoH, but Britney’s strategy for making him HoH was sound- this gives him a chance to consolidate some of his influence by having the others come to him.

Star of the Week –  TBA

Loser of the Week – Jodi- Sorry, but being dropped in the first episode is the perfect example of this category.

Gameplay of the Week – Britney’s pick of Shane on her team. In the first competition, Shane proved to be a hoss and easily helped win the competition. Though he didn’t get the reward of HoH, he proved to be a valuable physical pick for Team Britney.

Big Brother 14 Preview

Every year since 2000, this time of year has revolved around certain traditions that we as a collective populace enjoy. It may be the swing of a bat, the hoisting of a basketball trophy, the dip in the pool or the sweltering heat that serves as the best excuse for us to come together as a fanbase and sit in front of our computer monitors and television for hours on end.

That’s right, folks. It’s time for Big Brother to return to our airwaves.

13 years in, and as a fan I’m still as excited for the launch of a new season as always. It’s odd, really- knowing that we are less than a week away from the new season. This run of nearly three months brings us into the fall with the comfort of an old blanket, and this community comes together as fans even as we wonder if they ever DO anything sometimes.

Enough pontificating, though- let’s talk the show.

(Note: Much of what follows is based on conjecture and rumors, though some of this is based on CBS official channels. Thanks goes to the many rumor watchers on Twitter and websites out there.)

Big Brother 14 brings about a couple of announced twists along with several unannounced “surprises.” The biggest announcement is the return of 4 previous castmates as “Mentors,” who will each lead a group of new houseguests and compete for a separate prize. If a mentor’s team members all get evicted then the Mentor is themselves evicted, leading to at least 3 Double Evictions this year (along with assuredly one or two more). The Mentor idea is a variant on the usual method of bringing back former houseguests, but it is a welcome variant as these players are coaches rather than direct competitors. This reduces the chance of a repeat of BB13 where former players were seen as nearly untouchable.

Although the cast of Mentors has not been officially confirmed, in recent SuperPass shows the list seemed to be unofficially brought down to these four ex-players, with analysis of what they can bring to the table below:

Dan (BB10): Dan is the most recent Mentor to win the game, and brings a successful gameplay that was based on good social and good competitive skill. He’s your most balanced player to be brought back as Mentor. Additionally, he’s still seen as a “nice guy” by the tv crowds and could serve to be popular.

Janelle (BB6, BB: All-Stars): The Best Player Never to Win. Janelle’s gameplay is based purely on Competitive Excellence, and although she has the ability to play a decent social game she is most known for being the most hardcore competitor in Big Brother history. Her skills in fact memorization and physicality are unparalleled, and this will only benefit her team.

Britney (BB12): The Li’l Blonde Ball of Hate, and maybe one of the most enjoyable players ever to watch on the feeds. Britney gained a groundswell of fan support and won America’s Choice in her season, and while her style of play may not be the most effective (even Britney’s hardcore fans will admit she was riding Lane’s coattails as The Brigade steamrolled through the season) her ability to entertain and be a source of humor in the house can be seen as a social game.

Mike “Boogie” (BB2, BB: All-Stars): Chilltown’s CEO. Mike Malin has gone from a decent if mockable player in his first season to All-Star Champion, using a smart gameplay based in Mental Manipulation and Wielding The Knife (don’t forget, he was willing to cast off Will Himself in All-Stars if it meant he could go further) along with effective competitive play. He also has the benefit of being very effective socially. Although he isn’t exactly a fan favorite, he is a very effective game player and can teach his players well. His first lesson? “Hey, don’t propose to another player at the end of this season.”

Once the first night airs, I will re-analyze the list of mentors and offer new commentary as needed.

So far as the new players, we have an interesting list of the usual models, actors, “bartenders,” reality tv rejects and a smattering of normal folks. We have a former Playmate of the Year, a chef, a Rawker Lady, a nurse, and others. We have the return of The Chenbot, and 80 days ahead of fun and frivolity. The Game has returned.

Bring it on.