The People Keeping Things Interesting
For the first number of weeks there was the usual feeling-out of everyone and quick dismissal of the most annoying house-guests (self-proclaimed, "Messiah," of the house-guests Jozea was quick to be booted much to his oblivious surprise) and then a routine started-up where it looked like the guys would slowly pick-off all the women, with a man named Paulie leading them. The younger-brother of season 16's runner-up, Cody, Paulie seemed like an okay guy and pretty smart planner at first. However, in the recent weeks he did the one thing winners of, "Big Brother," never do: He ran his dumb mouth. Paulie began getting into squabbles with everyone in the house enough that folk started talking about him, and realized he was not-so-secretly trying to run the game. This resulted in Paulie getting nominated to go home and he continued his evolution from solid player to mean person to his final state: Crying and angry mess.
It was a fascinating change in personality as Paulie realized he was screwed-over by the very people that he had been taking advantage of. When he got sent to the jury house (a place where players of the game who got relatively far are put to vote on the eventual winner when two people are left) it was a wonderful moment of catharsis as the three women he had all played a part in getting there absolutely gave him a verbal lashing and ripped his ego apart, with spurned showmance (show-romance) Zakiyah taking great pleasure in repeatedly calling Paulie, "A little bitch." Paulie is stuck there in the jury house now and his family is embarrassed enough by all this they put out a statement blaming CBS for making Paulie look bad. The thing is, not too long ago Cody was a contestant and all of us viewers liked him, so I think this is more an issue of, "Hey, you can't look bad if you keep your mouth shut," than it is CBS actively trying to hurt the image of a person and make them be hated by America (he's not hated as much as Aaryn in Season 15, but that would be hard feat to pull-off). Still, while Paulie was a part of, "Big Brother," he was at least entertaining, especially when things started going down-hill for him.
Talk about a surprise. Victor at first glance appeared to be a boorish fool, a muscle-bound dummy whose personality upset many and resulted in his being the 3rd person sent home. Done deal, right? Well, there was a surprise competition where the first five house-guests could, "Battle back," to re-enter the house, and Victor won a match against the 2nd, 4th, and 5th person evicted to earn the right to re-enter the fabled, "Big Brother," household. That itself is pretty impressive, but once back he started playing a whole lot smarter, carefully making alliances with arguably the best player in the house, Paul (more on him in a minute) and actually proving he is amazing at competitions as he had stated before quickly going home--repeatedly winning positions of power in the house via both physical and mental competitions (he ain't just a muscular dumb-ass after all).
It looked like Victor's triumphant return would face another ending, however, with some other house-guests unfortunately gaining power who wanted Victor out and a swing-vote successfully finding him evicted again last week. However, there was yet another competition where jurors could compete to re-enter the house, and 15 minutes later he was back fighting for the chance to become a resident for an unprecedented third time. On Sunday viewers saw that Victor did not win the entire competition, but he did indeed beat all the other jurors--or as the house-guest James put it on the live internet-feeds, "Is this guy the Terminator?" Victor is the kind of player you have to look out for--able to evolve his game when things aren't working-out, and a competition beast who has the sheer determination to keep coming back--even though he's been evicted twice! Should the house-guests get even another hint of solid shot to take Victor out they probably ought to jump on it, because if this guy makes it to the final two all he has to do is say to the jurors, "I got kicked-out twice and somehow made it this far," and he'll win the money.
Not to be confused with Paulie, Paul started out the game seeming like an abrasive loud-mouth. The thing is, he has really, really grown on me to the point he is my favorite player. I don't know if it is sense of humor, the fact he has been at risk of being evicted multiple times but always finds a way to survive in the game, or just his luxurious beard, but Paul is awesome. He will at times get into squabbles with house-guests, and is prone to changing alliances at the drop of a hat, but part of, "Big Brother," is being willing to see which way the wind is blowing in terms of friendships or alliances, and bend that way as hard as you can, because the people who don't bend often break. Speaking of, "Friendship," the fact that such a word has become his catch-phrase is very humorous too.
Paul isn't the perfect player of, "Big Brother," because he does draw attention to himself (many winners often coasted by quietly until toward the end when they struck), but his ability to navigate socially between all the various shifting alliances, and his skills at winning a variety of competitions has endeared him to me and made me truly hope Paul wins, because besides Victor there ain't anybody too interesting still playing.
Where are the Women?
Right now the only ladies left in the house are the always-sobbing wreck Michelle, returning alum-Nicole who has hooked-up with Corey (who is in fact a musclebound dummy), and Natalie who admits she isn't the smartest tool in the shed, but is quite nice...and really dependent on another past-season returner, self-described, "Asian redneck," James. It has been years since a woman won, "Big Brother," heck, it hasn't ever happened during the time I've watched the show, and I doubt it is going to happen this season. It is sad to think this is yet another Summer where the guys overshadowed the gals, but it indeed occurred once more.
|The apparently-mandatory picture of everyone in their bathing suits.|