I don’t know about anyone else, but I love it when reality shows like this bring back returning players. I love seeing the familiar faces, but I also think it’s an interesting dynamic to a show that can seem repetitive year after year. When the returning players are people that I loved to watch in their original seasons, I love seeing them get a second chance, especially when they were evicted too early or had terrible luck the first time around. I find it interesting to see how they interact with the newbies and how the newbies interact with them. It’s fascinating to see how their games change from season to season based on what they’d learned the first time around, and it’s equally fascinating watching how others treat them based on what they know of the returning player. All of this makes me root for the returning players, because I don’t want to have to say goodbye to them again. There’s a reason why they were asked to come back on the show; they’re obviously entertaining to watch. Once they leave, the house grows a little duller.
Unfortunately, we’ll say goodbye to one of the vets this week. He’d fought valiantly, but it’s his time to go and I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start off at the top of the week.
After the initial excitement over Victor moving back into the house, we’re taken back to the scene of the final battle back competition for the HoH challenge which requires the house guests to hold their hand over their head and “dance” to the rave-like music by stepping over a rope over and over again as it moves back and forth. If they make a wrong move or if they pull their hand down, the pin will come out of the box, and confetti will fall out, marking the end of their game. Sounds pretty simple and for some people it is yet for others, not so much. Paul drops his arm almost immediately, and others follow suit shortly after. Frank tries to be funny, but the joke’s on him when he triggers his confetti box and knocks himself out of the game. Three house guests are all really good, and I don’t know how they do it. James, Da’Vonne and Bridget dance all night, almost literally and it’s not until after the six hour mark that they start talking deals. The problem is that Da’ doesn’t trust Bridgette and Bridgette doesn’t trust Da’, so campaigning seems to go nowhere until Frank jumps in from the sidelines. Da’ makes it clear that she’s not stepping down unless Bridgette does too, so Frank offers her information instead. He lets her know that someone had spilled the beans about her wanting to get him out of the game early on and then offers to let her know who tattled on her if she steps down. She accepts and Frank throws Nicole under the bus. How anyone could believe Nicole when she’s called out on it is beyond me because she’s a terrible liar, but her denial is enough to keep Da’ from stepping down. After more campaigning, both women decide to step down and let James win since they both trust him. He agrees to keep both girls and Frank off the block in return.
But this is Big Brother and promises are broken all the time and this situation is no different. At first, James plans on targeting Victor since he’s the obvious choice for eviction. But one by one, all the other house guests tell him they want him to nominate Frank and Bridgette no matter his promise to keep them safe. So now James has a decision to make – anger the house and retain his integrity, or cave to his fellow house mates and ruin any credibility he’d ever had. Although, seeing as how he’d done the exact same thing to Shelli and Clay last season, I’m not sure credibility or integrity are two of his strong suits. Don’t get me wrong – I love James. I want him to win this year if it can’t be Paulie. But he proved last year that he can’t really be trusted to keep his word when it comes to keeping fellow house guests safe. So it’s not really a surprise when he decides to throw Frank and Bridgette up on the block.
So Frank is pissed and Bridgette is upset, but both of them are now determined to win the veto and it’s the veto we’ve all been waiting for. Otev is back! And this time he’s a DJing frog looking for the best records based on different past challenges. Competing today are James, Frank, Bridgette, Michelle, Da’, and Nicole, and as the game goes on and members of Team James are eliminated one after another, it looks like Frank and Bridgette might have it in the bag. But then Michelle comes through and steals the veto from them both! Suddenly the girl who has remained mostly in the background so far this season comes to the forefront, and I’m really not sure I like what I see. She’s got a crush on Frank and wants to work with him, but Bridgette is in her way. Apparently she and Frank were close to each other at the beginning of the summer, but then Bridgette wormed her way in and took her place. So now Michelle wants to Single White Female Bridgette and get rid of her so she can take her rightful place at Frank’s side. She even considers taking him off the block to make Bridgette a bigger target, and Frank is all about coming off the block. He even suggests they put up Da’ in his place, as if Michelle would have any say in the matter.
On the other side of the house, everyone is freaking out about Michelle’s conversation with Frank. She’s speaking to the enemy and not only that, but when Paul tries to join the conversation, Frank kicks him out of the room which just angers Paul and makes everyone freak out even more. So they call a house meeting for some reason because that’s always a good idea and Paulie lays it straight for him – Frank is going home. There’s nothing he can do about it, so there’s no point in trying. In what I think is a pretty classy move, Frank accepts Paulie’s words and even thanks him for having a backbone unlike everyone else in the house. He thanks Da’ too for standing up for herself when she’s called out.
Not surprisingly, Michelle decides not to use the Veto, and then she bawls because she feels so bad about it. Frank doesn’t really have a lot of sympathy for her. If she felt so bad about it, she should have used the veto. I’m with Frank on this. She might actually be feeling regret over not using the Veto, but to me, it seems like a bit of a manipulation device to garner sympathy from Frank when he’s the one on the block. This makes me dislike Michelle even more. I’m not a giant Frank fan, but trying to manipulate him into feeling sorry for her when he’s the one most likely going out the door is ridiculous. It kind of shows her true colours as it does when she badmouths Bridgette to everyone else and trying to vilify her when Bridgette is clearly the sweetest, most innocent person on the planet. I think it’s clear who the true mean girl is.
In another twist, there are clues around the house that will lead the house guests to a secret location and Paul is the first one to figure it out. He finds the secret tunnel that leads to Paris and once there, he has a decision to make. There are twelve envelopes, one for each person and one of those envelopes contains a round trip ticket, which will allow the holder to move back into the house once evicted and continue playing. It doesn’t take long for everyone to figure out the key to the secret room and soon everyone has an envelope. When Frank is unsurprisingly evicted, he hands his envelope to Julie who opens it up and reveals he’s got a one way ticket home. I can’t deny that I’m a little disappointed by this turn of events. Frank isn’t my favourite person, but he keeps things interesting in the house and it would’ve been great to see the house guests scramble after evicting him.
But we’re moving on. The HoH competition involves rolling a ball down a wavy lane to try to get it in the hole at the end. They can practice all they want with the practice ball but they only get one shot with the real ball, so they’ve got to make it work. By the time we leave them for the night, it looks like no one is really having a lot of luck with the thing, except Paulie who seems to have a decent grasp on the game. Unfortunately, we won’t find out until Sunday who wins the competition and becomes the next HoH.
As glad as I am that Frank has been evicted, I do wonder if maybe James made the wrong move this time around by nominating him and Bridgette. He’s proven once again that his word doesn’t mean anything, which could come back and bite him in the ass later on. He’s made the house happy for now, but considering the fact that almost everyone that’s left is in the same alliance, they’re going to have to turn on each other sooner rather than later anyway and since James doesn’t seem to be a part of the inner circle of the alliance consisting of Paulie, Zakiyah, Nicole, and Corey, he may find himself on the chopping block next week. It’ll be interesting to see how the alliance buckles. Now that their big target is out of the house, they’re going to have to turn their sights elsewhere, and there aren’t many sights left except inside their own alliance. I can’t wait to find out who becomes the first real casualty as Tiffany doesn’t count, since she was basically pushed out of the alliance long before she was evicted.
Who do you think will be the first alliance member sent packing? Now that we’re partway into the season, who do you think has a shot at the money? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll see you next week!
– This article and other Big Brother-related stuff by the estimable Rebecca Griffin