Big Brother

Big Brother 10: Nominations and Veto, Week 7 (Aug 27)


Previously, on Big Brother: Dan and Memphis named their secret alliance “The Renegades”, which is endearingly dorky. Everybody was afraid to go against Renny, because she’s crazy. Ollie and April decided to live together, which nobody thinks is actually going to happen. And then there was stuff with April trying to bribe Dan, but April Sapien was evicted in the end. Man, that was satisfying. That took us to an endurance challenge for Head of Household, so let’s find out who won, if we didn’t already read the spoilers online which we totally did.

So, everybody’s hanging from vines which sometimes swing back and forth, sometimes smacking the houseguests into the soft wall behind them. Dan (I think) says “If you’re going to be a monkey, be a gorilla.” I don’t know what that means, but it’s hilarious. Ollie quotes Tupac in a misguided attempt to convince us he has street cred.

Rather than watching people hang from vines, we suddenly go to a flashback of April’s eviction (which I can’t see often enough). I think Big Brother is dabbling in experimental storytelling this week. Remember Sammy Jankiss! Or, you know, Brian.

Back to the vines. Memphis compares it to swinging it into a tree as a child, but he phrases it like it’s a universal thing that everybody did. Memphis grew up in the opening theme to George of the Jungle. On the wall are balloons full of water and green stuff, and the houseguests start plucking them and whipping them at each other. This seems like the most fun challenge ever!

Jerry is getting tired and losing circulation. He also references his groin, but you don’t want to go there. Finally, at 41 minutes, he drops and has a hard time getting up again. He does, though, so no need to worry. You know, that’s a long time for a guy his age to hang from a rope. Man, I wish Jerry hadn’t turned into such a dick, because I’d really enjoy rooting for him.

Michelle gets absolutely pasted with a water balloon, which is hilarious. She complains both while on the vine and while in the Diary Room. She also continues to pronounce Ollie’s name as if his last name were “Baba”. Then Michelle decides to whip a balloon, only she pulls off the end so she gets sprayed in the face with green liquid. Hee.

At 59 minutes, Keesha kind of slides off the vine – it looks like her foot gets caught on the mat when it’s swinging. And again I say, if this HoH challenge were a ride, I’d stand in line all afternoon for it. It looks awesome!

Much later, Michelle gripes about how hard she hit the wall, because she can’t possibly enjoy anything. I mean, they’re really nailing that wall, but it’s not made of spikes or anything. Michelle claims it was like hitting a cement wall. Made of foam. At just under 2 hours, Michelle falls off, and she claims that her shoe got caught. You know, the thing that actually happened to Keesha.

So it’s Dan, Ollie, and Memphis. Memphis reminds us that he and Dan are “the renegades”. You know, it’s hard to write about Memphis without putting something in quotes.  Like “Mixologist”. At 3 hours and 19 minutes, Memphis falls. It looked like he tried to adjust himself, and it just didn’t work out right.

Dan reminds us that he’s not safe because Ollie is seeking “vengeance”. That seems overly dramatic, but then Ollie says it’s “life and death”. These boys love their hyperbole more than anything in the world, I bet!

There’s an ad for Big Brother cell phone alerts, which makes me laugh for two reasons. First, I like the idea that I could get messages throughout the day that say things like “Jerry and Keesha fight over who ate the potato chips”. Second, every single shot of Jessie in the ad looks like it came from a gay porn site. (Dear Google users who found this site while searching for “gay porn”: Uh, sorry to disappoint you.)

Dan thinks he’s got the upper hand because Ollie is shivering. That doesn’t really go anywhere, though. After another day or so of hanging, Dan tells Ollie that he’s just hanging up there to get a picture of his girlfriend. What Dan does not say is “You know, you’ve got that black and white picture of your girlfriend on the wall downstairs.” They’re both exhausted, and they start dealing. Finally, Dan pretty much has a Going-out-of-Business Sale, and gives away the store.

He explains in the Diary Room that he wants to win HoH, but still seem weak. And he’ll do so by giving Ollie most of the power. You know, I like the way Dan is focused on the endgame, but he keeps forgetting that he has to actually get through the next couple of weeks. The overall strategy is good if he ends up in the Final Two, but he’s making it a lot harder to get there.

Dan says Ollie can protect one person, pick one of the nominees, and choose who goes up in the event of a veto. OK, that’s insane. You know Ollie’s going to pick Memphis, so the only way this can possibly keep Dan’s alliance intact is if Keesha wins POV. It’s ballsy, but also very, very dumb. Unless he totally lies.

Ollie drops, and then tells the Diary Room that he’s actually HoH. Which is sort of true, but also entirely not true. This is weird. Really, Dan just had to wait for a bird to land somewhere in or around the yard, and victory would have been his.

Dan assures us that he made a terrible deal and that he’s very excited about it. Boy, I really thought Dan was one of those rare houseguests who can do simple math.

Memphis and Keesha talk about what deal Dan might have made, and Keesha assumes that said deal is “funky-ass”. Oh, Keesha. You have no idea. Also, I can’t wait to use the term “funky-ass” in conversation. In the kitchen, Ollie and Michelle gloat about the awesomeness of Ollie’s deal.

Then, Dan tells Memphis that “it may get sticky this week”. Memphis does not know the specifics of the deal, and he’s already upset. His funky-ass deal is getting sticky! Hee. I am six years old.

Time to see Dan’s HoH room! Man, Monica had better be freaking hot if Dan cut that kind of deal for the chance to see a picture of her. Dan’s goodies include a shirt that says “TAKEN”, which is probably not a reference to Steven Spielberg’s 2002 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries. He also gets all sorts of Michigan State apparel. Since my sister goes to University of Michigan, I’m conditioned to boo when I see these garments, but I don’t actually care.

Dan’s also got a letter. He offers to read it in front of everybody, but he tells us he’s going to turn on some fake tears. It seems to work, and it seems less fake-y than last time he tried to act sad, so it might be at least partly real. I feel briefly sad because I just now realized that my letter from home would probably be from the spunkybean staff, and would consist entirely of descriptions of recent episodes of my favorite shows. And you know what? I’d probably still choke up a little.

In a flat-out hilarious scene, Renny wants to know how many women Dan has dated. He wants her to define her terms. That is sort of vague, really. Also, who knows that number off the top of their head? Number of girlfriends? Sure. Number of people you’ve been on a date with? Not so much. Especially since Renny’s definition includes people with whom he may have shared a sandwich. Dan needs more specifics, and Renny is getting more and more frustrated. She then broadens her search to “women you’ve been with, other than studying”. Renny’s weird, you guys. She finally tells him to “suck an egg”. She’s frustrated way out of proportion to the importance of the question, and I find it exactly as funny as Dan does.

Ollie comes to the HoH bedroom, and Dan explains to us that he’s going to bribe him with soda. Hee. Ollie comes right out and says he wants to nominate Memphis. Raise your hand if you’re surprised. Strangely, Ollie starts trying to justify why this decision works best for Dan. Dude, he made a funky-ass deal. You don’t have to get him to like it. In the Diary Room, Dan says it’s “a huge mistake that could backfire.” You think? I believe Dan actually thought that Ollie was going to come up there and say “Nominate me.” Imagine his surprise when that didn’t happen.

The next day, Memphis asks if Dan is putting him on the block, and Dan answers “um”. Yeah, that’s not good. Dan explains “I gave up a lot. Not physically, though.” You know, in case Memphis thought that Dan had to make out with Ollie as a condition of the deal. Memphis is frustrated with Dan. Dan says to “trust me”, but I think that ship has sailed.

Later, Dan tries to get the two votes necessary to save Memphis. Keesha is an easy sell, but then we come to Renny. Renny is not having any of it. She doesn’t trust Memphis and thinks he’s a threat. (Not realizing that Memphis hasn’t won any challenges except the car, apparently. And even that one was more a matter of talking everybody else into giving up their shot.) At this point, Dan realizes the folly of basing his entire strategy around what Renny will do. Dan asks Renny to come up with an alliance name, which tickles her. Good move, Dan. But seriously, don’t name your alliance. That’s kind of pathetic. The only time it’s acceptable to name your group of friends is if you’re actually, like, the Justice League. Then it’s OK. (Also, when I’m on Big Brother, I’m totally calling my alliance “The Justice League”.)

In the kitchen, Memphis once again tries to talk some sense into Dan. Dan explains he’s covering their tracks. Yeah, getting the person in your alliance evicted is a pretty good way to throw the bloodhounds off the scent.

Dan talks to the pictures in the HoH bedroom about what he should do, because he’s apparently Watergate-Era Nixon. He really talks to himself a lot. I’ll give him the benefit of doubt and say that he’s just really aware of the fact that he’s on TV, so he narrates in a way that he wouldn’t in real life. Seven weeks ago, could you imagine me giving Dan the benefit of doubt? It’s all flip-floppy up in here!

Now it’s time to officially talk about nominations, but that’s pretty much what they’ve done for the last 20 minutes, so there’s not much new here. Everybody says what they’ve been saying all episode, basically. (Hey, no Food Challenge! How will we know who’s on slop? Damn, I should have signed up for those text alerts….)

Anyway, Dan (in his “TAKEN” shirt) does, in fact, nominate Jerry and Memphis. Even before the names are announced, Dan says he’s honoring the deal. Memphis is thrilled, as you can imagine. Dan tries to get all clever, telling Memphis that people wonder where he stands, referring to him as “a renegade”. You know, like their alliance! Memphis is so pissed. Dan explains his nomination of Jerry in terms of a football metaphor that doesn’t make any sense. I like that Dan still tries to convince us what a great move it was. “Who in his right mind would nominate his own alliance member?” Why, nobody. Nobody in their right mind.

There’s a lot riding on the Power of Veto this week. I can hardly wait to see what happens next! Luckily, you don’t have to. So read on, you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England. Let’s see what happens….


We begin with a recap of things I already wrote. Seeing it for the second time does not make Dan seem any smarter.

Ollie is still happy about his deal, and he claims that there’s no “blood on his hands”. Dan, conversely, said that all the blood is on Ollie’s hands. Huh. And I hope they’re speaking allegorically, or this is going to be one freaky elimination.

Memphis, wearing a t-shirt that lacks the necessary structural integrity to support the weight of a microphone, thinks that Dan’s plan is “crap”. Which it is. But also, it’s funky-ass. Don’t forget that part!

Dan once again explains his reasoning in the Diary Room, and I suddenly notice how tiny his arms are. You could snake a toilet with those things. (And of, if you could only take in the full picture to see the irony of me mentioning somebody’s tiny arms…) Memphis comes up to the HoH bedroom to tell Dan that he’s angry. Dan’s hysterical response “Keep playing that up in public, please.” Memphis assures him that will not be difficult, what with the way he really is angry and all. There’s “Not getting it” and then there’s “Dan”. Anyway, Dan assures Memphis that he’s not going to honor the part of the deal where Ollie gets to pick the Veto nominee. Apparently, Memphis didn’t know that part of the deal existed.

As a sidenote, I would like to see a revision to the game where it’s possible to have a PoV challenge where nobody wins. That would really mess up plans like this that hinge on the right person winning the Veto. I’m not saying every Veto should play out that way, but a couple per season should have challenges where a minimum level of performance is required. If nobody meets that standard, no Veto!

Memphis is not convinced that this is going to work. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, when your plan hinges on a particular person winning a competition, the specifics of which are still unknown, you run the risk of catastrophic failure.

Dan visits with Keesha, who says she doesn’t think it’ll work out the way he wants it to. Renny is running a little behind, and isn’t sure whether Ollie wanted to nominate Memphis or Jerry. Renny thinks he made the right decision, because she doesn’t like Memphis anyway. She threatens to “haunt” Dan if he nominates her after the Veto. Dan is increasingly less confident in his brilliant strategy.

Ollie and Michelle tell Jerry about the deal where Ollie gets to pick the PoV nominee. Nice. Give Jerry another reason to call Dan “Judas”. Ollie claims that Dan “already screwed the house once”. When was that? The time he agreed with three people in voting out Jessie? Or was it the time he stole all their kidneys as they slept? I bet it was that second one. They didn’t show that part on the air, because they had to leave time for a food challenge.

Jerry thinks Ollie made a terrible deal, which is pretty funny. Once again, Jerry doesn’t trust Dan. Remember how mean Jessie was to Jerry? Don’t you think Jessie’s amused that Jerry has made a lifelong enemy based on Dan voting him out? Then again, Jessie’s sense of humor runs more to watching a dog lick itself.

Anyway, Ollie thinks the fact that Dan nominated Memphis means he’s definitely going to follow through on the entire deal. You know, Ollie’s not looking too bright here, either. I say this as if it’s new and surprising. Anyway, Ollie promises that if Dan “screws” him, “hell will be unleashed on him”. Wait, wasn’t he already burning there? It’s an important lesson about not spewing your full measure of bile early in the season. There’s nothing to build on.

Commercials. I am so excited about the return of The Amazing Race, I can hardly see straight. Racer Mark is an official spunkybean buddy, so you know who to root for.

Dan tells everybody that they have to gather in the living room. They’re all excited, which is weird, since I would have assumed they were just picking players for the PoV. The TV springs to life and tells us that it’s time for “America’s Vote”, and that one houseguest is getting a call from a loved one. And then, the announcer says we’ll find out who America chose tomorrow. Just something for them to argue about for another 24 hours, I guess.

Wouldn’t it be weird in there and have to wonder how much America liked you in comparison to the other houseguests? Remember Ivette from Season Six, who was so convinced that the viewers were going crazy over her, and then it turned out that even her own family liked Kaysar better?

Michelle goes to her room to cry, because the concept of a phone call makes her sad. Then she goes into the Diary Room to cry, and say that she hopes America picks her. If there’s one thing America loves, it’s people who get hysterical and call another person “a whore” who “should have her children taken away”, especially when the outburst is prompted by something like not winning a free vacation. Renny and Jerry both show up to cheer up Michelle, because they totally know she’s not going to win.

Jerry tears up in the Diary Room, and I once again wish I could go back to liking him. However, he’s the one person I think is a little bit selfish for being here. (Well, except for how everybody is trying to win money.) His wife has Parkinson’s Disease, and from all accounts, has had it for a long time. Once you get to be their age, Parkinson’s disease is really debilitating and it starts to affect your mind. It’s more than having the shakes and slurring words. You lose a little bit of who you are, and once it starts happening, it happens fast. This is different than somebody who misses out on three months of child-rearing. He’s actually running the risk that his wife is not even going to recognize him when he comes home. Obviously, he knows what her health is like better than I do, but you couldn’t pay me to give up three months with somebody who might not have that much time left.

Anyway, back to cruel personal attacks and turd jokes.

The next day, a phone in the living room begins to ring. Everybody stares and wonders if they should answer it, and I just can’t help thinking how funny it would be if, like, Keesha’s dad on the other end just decided “Well, I guess nobody’s home,” and hung up. Michelle finally answers and the voice on the other end asks for Jerry. It’s Jerry’s daughter. She hands the phone over to her son, and this poor kid who is terrified of the camera has an awkward conversation. And then Jerry’s wife gets on the phone, and my heart absolutely breaks, and despite our rocky history, I’ve got nothing bad to say about Jerry in this moment.

(Full disclosure: My grandmother suffers from Parkinson’s. This scene actually made me cry for about ten minutes. If the quality of my humor suffers for the next few paragraphs, I apologize. Please feel free to return the unfunny portions for a full refund.)

At night, Memphis and Keesha meet with Dan in the HoH room, and they wonder whether Michelle would vote him out. Yeah, that relationship changed pretty drastically, didn’t it? Michelle’s what they call a floater (which, yes, always reminds me of poo), but she keeps floating to the group that’s not in power. I’m not sure she understands the game, frankly. They decide that Michelle going home is the best-case scenario. Dan now seems set on breaking his deal, or as I like to call it, pulling his head out of his butt.

Time to pick players for the Veto Competition. Since there are only seven houseguests, it’s really about picking which one of them isn’t going to play, but we do like our rituals. Dan draws Renny’s name. Memphis gets Keesha. So far, so good. Their whole alliance is in it, and all Jerry has to do is draw Captain Can’t Win’s name from the bag. Jerry gets Houseguest’s Choice, and chooses Michelle. OK, Michelle winning is worst-case scenario.

Ollie goes to the HoH room so that Dan can reassure him about the deal. Because apparently somebody who would break a deal would never lie to you about their plans to break a deal.

They’re dressed like astronauts, and they’re walking out of the house in slow motion. The backyard is set up to look like Mars. Well, a version of Mars that’s heavily dependent on cardboard boxes and rust-colored bedsheets. There’s also a rocket ship. How long is it going to take until somebody uses the phrase “The Right Stuff”?

On “Planet Veto” (oy), their mission is to assemble a puzzle. They have to travel across the course on pulleys, bring back a single piece, and drop it off on the other side. There are unnecessary pieces in the stack, and the contest will take place in two groups of three, with the two winners facing off. They pick numbers, and Michelle, Dan, and Keesha are up first.

There seem to be enough extra pieces that this is a fairly challenging puzzle, by the way. Dan assures us that he doesn’t want to win, but wants Keesha to win instead. Yes, that would be the best case, but don’t throw this one, dude. If Michelle wins, you’re hosed! Dan and Keesha are putting their pieces on the puzzle board, while Michelle’s just making a stack. Dan thinks Michelle lacks in brainpower, and Michelle is indeed struggling. Keesha, on the other hand, is hauling, and she wins the first round. Woo!

If Keesha wins, she takes Memphis off the block and Dan can still live up to his deal – Ollie can only choose Renny as a nominee. Man, if this works out, Dan’s going to look like a genius. Well, not a genius, exactly. More like “lucky”.

It’s the second heat of Renny, Memphis, and Jerry. Memphis says he has to win the competition. I hope he means this round. Although, he might not know that Keesha won the first round yet. Damn your confusing chronology, Big Brother!

None of these three are the sharpest tires in the stack, so the puzzle-solving is not going well. Jerry manages to get tangled up in his own rope at one point. He does think that his skill with crossword puzzles will help, which is pretty funny. Regardless, Memphis wins handily. Damn, that couldn’t have gone better if Dan had planned it. Actually, given Dan’s planning abilities, it probably would have gone much worse if he had.

It’s Keesha vs. Memphis for all the marbles. Hopefully Memphis is on board with letting Keesha win, or we could have a mess. Ollie’s excited that his power will come into play, apparently not realizing that he will actually have surprisingly little influence. Unfortunately, Memphis wins it, which means he hasn’t thought things out as well as he should have. Or else he’s not concerned with making sure Dan can keep his word. Ollie still things everything’s working out according to plan. Holy crap, guys. April was the smart one in that relationship…

In the HoH room, Dan and Memphis freak out and jump around and dole out the man-hugs. They seem to agree that Michelle should be the one to go, because they can beat Ollie. Memphis says of Michelle: “Even if she’s a friend, she’s still, like, a bitch.” Dan also says that he’ll tell Ollie that he’s trying to talk Memphis out of using the Veto. If Ollie believes that, he’s, well, exactly as dumb as the previous seven weeks have indicated.

Dan now tells Keesha about the third part of the deal, reassuring her that he won’t carry it out. Then Renny shows up, and Dan starts to tell her. At this point, Memphis finds the whole thing pretty amusing. They’re worried that Ollie’s going to flip out, but really, what’s the worst he’s going to do? If you’re going to have an enemy, it might as well be a guy with a collection of fears who sucks at competitions. Heck, he won’t ever swear at Dan.

That night, Ollie asks Dan for a meeting. Ollie wants Keesha to go up, and he wants reassurance that Dan’s not going to back out. Dan then asks if Ollie’s promise not to go after him still holds. Ha! I don’t know what’s funnier: Dan trying to make sure that the deal he’s going to break is still secure, or the idea that Ollie will ever be in a position to nominate somebody.

The announcer tells us that we can get involved in this week’s HoH challenge, but you have to go to their website to find out how. No time for that – I’ve got recapping to do!

Time for the Veto Ceremony! Dan wants to take the attention off of himself and turn people against each other. In fact, he proposes “a game” at the Veto Ceremony. Oh, Dan. You’re so close to being home free. (Actually, the more I think about it, why not nominate Keesha? He keeps the deal, Renny and Memphis will definitely vote to save her, and he’s the tiebreaking vote.) Dan says he’s going to ask each person who they would pick for a replacement nominee. I don’t understand his logic here.

Michelle tells him, she would pick Keesha. He gets Ollie to agree to say Renny, even though it’s really Keesha. What the hell is going on here? Keesha agrees to pick Michelle, but Renny wants no part of it. Once again, Renny derails a perfectly ludicrous plan. Dan tells her that Ollie’s going to name her, so she should feel free to name him. That’s the clincher for Renny. Either Dan is a little dim or he’s so smart that I can’t even take in the magnitude from here. I’m really confused right now. Regardless, Dan promises fireworks.

Memphis just wants to have a nice relaxing Veto Ceremony. He hasn’t heard about the fireworks, I guess. Dan thinks this is all great, which is one more way that we’re very different people. In his position, I would just want to go somewhere to throw up.

I always think it’s funny when one of the nominees has the Power of Veto, but they still have to give the other nominee a chance to make their case. Memphis takes himself off the block, and this situation has me so tense that I’m getting stomach pains. Dan prefaces his speech by saying he likes to have fun, and they’re going to play a game. He’ll ask each potential nominee who should go up. He demands that they be truthful, and if they won’t name somebody, they go up on the block. If they say anything but a person’s name, they’re going on the block. This will not end well. Michelle names Keesha, Ollie names Renny, Keesha names Michelle, Renny names Ollie. There are no fireworks.

Dan turns this into a lesson about gambling, tells Ollie that he lost the bet, and that Michelle is on the block. Michelle is pissed. No fireworks at all, just awkward silence. In the Diary Room, Michelle freaks out, and she assures us that she knows what’s going on here. Dan is pleased with how he handled it, and he seems to think he somehow ignited a powder keg. I seriously can’t fathom his logic here. Ollie pitches a tantrum, and throws stuff around.

That’s all for tonight. I’ll be back for Thursday’s Double Elimination. They’re not even going to have time to show us a montage of Michelle screaming at people! I just checked the Magic 8-Ball, and all signs point to awesome!

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