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Feb 9 – The Awful Spirit of Vanessa Russo Haunts the CBB House With Tears, Gameplay Overreach, And Sanctimony (OR: You Get A Blindside! You Get A Blindside! Everybody Gets A Blindside!!!)

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BB3Roddy   

 

It’s time for the first live eviction of Celebrity BB, y’all! The CBB season has been off to a pretty enjoyable start so far, with these “celebs” actually playing the game right from the jump, which is so great to see after so many summer-campers in recent BB seasons.

Our Lady Chenbot greets us on stage in her slimming Friday Night Black Dress (a nice change from her Helen Roper muumuu/bathrobe mess from last night) but perhaps this black dress is being worn to mourn the death of yet another “this time, it’s different!” Female Alliance which is also simultaneously a “this time, it’s different!” More Than Half The House Mega-Alliance – two historically awful Week 1 alliance structures in one does not bode well, people.  #BBHistoryFacts

But we viewers enjoy watching alliances collapse in an avalanche of self-righteous indignation, overconfident “I’m in power now, so this must mean I’ll be in power forever” arrogance, mission creep, and petty in-fighting, so in the spirit of the opening ceremonies of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, let the games begin!

Previously, on Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig Brother!!!!

The Celebrity-version of Narrator Dude, fresh off the Julie Chen & Les Moonves high of seeing Celebrity BB being discussed from the podium of the White House Briefing Room this week, chimes in with some Previous’lies:

  • Eleven “famous” people move into the newly glammed BB house (and we all note that Ari is the first one to set foot in the BB house, telling us that since no previous first-one-in houseguest in 25 combined seasons of BB USA & BB Canada has EVER ended up winning the game, we can all confidently know that Almost-Miss Universe will once again not win on a televised competition show)
  • Shannon & Omarosa start a Day 1 Female Alliance! (Doh. RIP El Quatro & SpyGirls. #NeverForget)
  • Shannon impressively wins HOH, but Julie introduces the gift-bagged Re-casting Twist, and American Pie’s jaw drops to the floor
  • Shannon recruits Ross into the Female Alliance, and smartly plays  the remaining 4 guys into a false sense of security
  • But Chuck initiates the gift bag twist, prompting the ladies & Ross to get into formation, and little Rudy Huxtable re-casts to become the new HOH and nom’s James & Chuck
  • But (obviously inevitable) cracks in the 7 person Female + Ross alliance begin to form, and the overwhelmingly inevitable showdown between Omarosa & other women seems imminent
  • TONIGHT, “the opening ceremonies of Celebrity Big Brother continue” (Olympic-obsessed  @jennknee is clearly writing Narrator Dude’s script this evening), and America wonders: Will the POV save either member of the Celebrators Alliance? Will Baby Jason get a date with Baby Ari? Will anyone in the female alliance acknowledge Ross is actually seated in the room with them? Will Metta learn how to properly enter and exit the DR during a live vote? And will the White House have to address Brandi wearing Omarosa’s clear-heels from the podium of the daily press briefings next week?

Let’s find out….

…right now…

……on Biiiiiiiiiiig Brother!

(For a brilliantly on-point summary of these many plots from the CBB start, make sure to check out @dc20willsave's fantastic musings from the premiere!)

 

We join the proceedings on Day 5 right after Keisha’s nom ceremony, and James & Chuck DR that they are frustrated to be nom’d but will fight for POV, huzzah!  Keisha DR’s that she nom’d them both, but that James is her 100% target (BB story editor ironic foreshadowing #1, y’all!). Brandi seems to want to compete for the “Vanessa Russo I’m An Un-Self Aware Pot/Kettle” Award with her DR that matter of factly states that James’s ego is too big for the house and he needs to go, so there's that.

Up in HOH, all the ladies celebrate with confident glee at how perfectly everything is going (BB story editor ironic foreshadowing #2), and they all agree that boy band James is the most awful person in the entire history of the first 5 days of Celebrity BB, and thusly needs to go.

Omarosa DR: The women have total control of this game. Now we just have to execute our plan to take each of the guys out one by one. These boys should be very very worried. (BB story editor ironic foreshadowing #3) And sure, I’m full of unearned bravado and have actually never won anything in my life before, but in the spirit of Vanessa Russo, I am an expert in sanctimoniously blaming everyone else for my deficiencies, and on this bedrock strategy I will build my CBB empire.

Shannon in HOH: This Week 1 shared HOH is going to be totally successful. (we’re 11 minutes into a two hour broadcast, and are now at BB story editor ironic foreshadowing #4…this doesn’t bode well of the Female Alliance + Ross, methinks)

We now zip out to the BB house spacious backyard  astroturf narrow corridor for a meeting of the minds between Mark McGrath & nominee James.  McGrath wonders where Chuck is, and imagines him in a “Vengeance Is Mine!!!” Beastmode session up in the gym (he is not, as BB shows us that he is #Beastmode snoring in bed, because hello, this is the Big Brother house). Conversation then turns to Mark & James working together (RIP #Celebrators alliance, you had a nice 2 day run!), and Mark says if he wins POV, that he would use it on James.

Omarosa and her oddly curious pink onesie roll into the speakeasy parlor and join Rudy Huxtable.  It’s seems alleged BB superfan Omarosa realizes that a Day 1 alliance with over half the house never ends well, and she wants to start the Black Girl Magic side-alliance with Keisha. Keisha seems down for it, but instead of simply accepting Keisha’s agreement and talking about next steps, our political veteran Omarosa fast forwards to the end of the game when their BGM alliance will apparently make history by being the Final 2. Uhhhh, OK, thanks! I guess we should all just stop the game now, and turn CBS’s Olympic counter-programming over to the Two Broke Girls.  But since we're already here, we may as well play out the next 1:45 minutes of tonight's show and see what happens. 

Or said another way...

“Girl. Settle down. Slow your roll. Playing too big, too quickly, from the start of the season will only come back to bite you.” –BB16 Devin, likely screaming at his television

Keisha ponders if the rest of the house assumes that they’d be able to pit Keisha & Omarosa against each other, and Omarosa replies with a bluntly confident “Never.”, and the BB story editors are having a field day with ironic foreshadowing moment #5.

It’s time to pick players for POV, and Keisha/Jason/Chuck are joined by Shannon/Ari/Mark for the comp.

After names are picked, Keisha pulls Mark aside and asks what he would do if he wins POV.  Now Mark seems like a sincerely nice guy, a dude that wants to shoot straight with people and not be shady. That said, he needs to learn how to not lay every single thought he has on any table put before him – read the moment, Sugar Ray! Learn to parse your words & motives a bit.  You’re talking way too openly to anyone who asks you a question. 

Keisha hears him say “I’d probably use POV on Jason”, and in an anger that could only have been equaled if Theo & Cockroach had stolen her allowance money, she DR's that Mark seems shady to her now and that she’d have no problem blowing up his game.

Keisha then fakes a workout in the gym with Chuck to let him know that he doesn’t have support among the other guys and he needs to “fight like hell to win the POV” because she wants him to stay in the house.

We’re back from commercial and Julie “Hello, Houseguests!” to the houseguests and decides to let them all in on current event headlines (because being “shut off from the outside world” was soooooooooo BB1-BB19). The HG’s seem happy hearing about the Grammys, NBA trades, Kylie Jenner’s birth canal, government shutdowns, and the Eagles upset win in the Super Bowl.

Back from the next commercial block, and it’s time for the Veto comp!  We zip into the back yard where the “spa” comp of giant noses await them (and Ross Matthews channels his inner-Tiffany Jacob Pun Queen, by musing “it’s a spa with noses, but who nose what’s going on? I have so many nose jokes, it’s hard to aaah-choose which ones to say”). It’s the annual spelling comp, where they have to search thru the snot of the noses to find letter tiles and then the one who spells the longest word wins the comp (while the person who finishes last will have a penalty costume to wear).

Lots of stock footage of HG’s slogging thru the grossness unfolds before us, while all of America wonders if native-Colombian Ari is actually at an understandable spelling disadvantage since English is not her native language. Her word ends up being “W-A-I-N-G” (an attempt to spell “warning”), as lots of HG’s politely smile and DR joke that it’s a good thing she’s so sweet and pretty. 

While I’m sure CBS legal is 1000% joyfully consumed with the Mueller Investigation and eagerly awaiting the moment that Omarosa gets subpoenaed as a direct result of something said on the live feeds, Ari’s lawyers should probably at least make a phone call to try and get a do-over comp having HG's spell words in either English or Spanish.

More HG words are revealed, and the comp beast named Shannon Elizabeth spells a BB record 16-lettered word “responsibilities” (Wow. Seriously. The word box had no more room, she used all the spaces!) and wins her 2nd comp in 4 days.  Ari (excuse: she doesn’t speak English as her first language), and James (excuse: he’s just an idiot) tie for last place and will have to wear a baby costume & bottle for the next 2 days.

Back from commercial, and Julie coyly teases, “Who would have ever believed that an alliance formed on Day 1 would begin to unravel?”  Ok, y’all, fasten your seatbelts for more of the awful spirit of Vanessa Russo to work its magic into CBB gameplay collapse.

Up in HOH the ladies + Ross celebrate that they won POV and control everything.  Keisha, who had been playing a relatively smart/strong/thoughtful game up to this point, suddenly decides that she wants Shannon to use the POV to pull Chuck down (what?), and then put Mark up as replacement “to send him a message” that the women notice his maleness strategizing in a house (huh?), only to then still vote James out.

Ross (understandably) explains that a plan to get-blood-on-our-hands-for-the-sake-of-blood-on-our-hands makes absolutely no sense, if James is still the one being voted out.  Their alliance has the block of votes that it needs to execute the James objective, done and done.  So why should they risk making more of a mess, just because they feel so comfortable this week?

Omarosa seems a bit sketched out by Ross’s (admittedly, rational) challenging of Keisha’s proposal, which definitely adds a bit of unexpected Vanessa-like tension to the room.  But then Shannon enters the HOH room, and the dial gets turned to 11…

Shannon starts to talk about possible plans/usage of the POV, and in doing so, frames the implications in terms of the guys being mad at her. Omarosa, the model of absolute personal sacrifice and altruistically  selfless behavior, perks up and stares Shannon down with, “I’m just going to say this because I love you, but you’re talking ME ME ME ME, and there’s an alliance here, and I don’t think you are listening to the group.”

Omarosa’s sanctimonious DR: Shannon keeps saying ME ME ME, what’s best for “MY” game, but the  more I see Shannon focusing on just her game and getting herself further in this game, THAT’S not really good for MY long term, and I always have to look out for ME. I mean, sure, to the objective listener this could sound like incredibly self-absorbed doublespeak, like I’m a White House-credentialed Vanessa Russo overdosing on sanctimony pills, but I assure you, I’m the most selfless person you will ever meet.

Back to HOH, Shannon apologizes to the entire room and concedes that her use of terminology was not appropriately acknowledging of their alliance.  Keisha then states that “We always said we wanted to stick together as women…”, as the camera hysterically cuts to a quizzical look from non-woman Ross (but Omarosa decides to let that non-inclusive terminology slip by Keisha slide).

But Keisha continues in the Woman Power speech (sorry, Ross!) by saying, “Let’s not lose sight of what we look to accomplish. We have our children looking at us, we have other little girls aspiring to be where we are looking at us, so let’s just let the best woman win.”

Ross hysterically DR’s: HELLO!!! I’m over here! May the best woman win??!

Back in HOH room, Shannon again apologizes to the group and publically states that she is with them and she is sorry. The toxic spirit of Vanessa Russo then infects Shannon, and she starts to cry out of absolutely nowhere, leading most of the women to immediately get up and hug her in affirming support, while Ross Mathews hysterically plays the role of America and watches in utter confusion as to why everyone in the alliance is suddenly crying.

Ross DR: I want to hug her. I want to hug her so hard. But I also want to say GIRLLLLLLLLLL, PULL IT TOGETHER!!!!

That sound you hear is a construction crew building a monument to Ross Mathews next to his star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame.  He speaks for us all.

We now join Ross and Marissa in the astroturf hallway backyard, and Ross acknowledges that he does not trust his alliance at all and knows he is being used by the women, not valued by them. He shares with Marissa that sitting in a room and being discounted like that is something that happens to him all the time throughout his life, and Marissa suddenly feels badly about not speaking up during the meeting. Marissa DR’s that she understands when they say “A woman to the end” in his presence that they are marginalizing him, and that she wants the CBB house to model an inclusively acknowledging community, and she feels shocked/saddened that they are not doing so. Ross shares with her that he will smile it away for the next few evictions, but that they “will know when the time comes to do what we need to do.” Dun, dun, duhhhhhhhhhhh…

Back from commercial, and it’s time for Ari & James to get their baby costumes.  They have to wear the costumes for 2 days and suck on their bottle whenever BB plays the crying baby sound.  James also tries to use this moment to suggest a baby showmance with Ari, and all of America throws up their Friday night dinner before Ari thankful shoots him down.

Over in the kitchen, Ross pulls Shannon aside and helps her see that using her POV power will only create more of a target on her back.  Shannon says that she wants to do what HOH Keisha wants, but she is starting to see how the use of POV to save Chuck and attempt to “scare” Mark has little upside to either her own game, or the alliance objective to get Jason out (esp since the ladies + Ross voting block alone determines who gets evicted). The Ross & Shannon meeting ends with Shannon wanting to have one last meeting  with Keisha to clarify that they don’t need to curiously save Chuck right now and make a bigger mess in order to vote James out.

So we move to the bedroom where Shannon makes the case to Keisha (and Omarosa) to simply walk a straight line to get James out without the extra Veto activity. Keisha passive-aggressively concedes the point to Shannon, while self-righteously DR’ing that she’s annoyed that Shannon will not follow thru with the alliance’s wishes (well, it wasn’t exactly the full alliance’s wishes, just largely Omarosa & Keisha’s wishes, but like most people in BB and in life, when you are filled with an arrogant confidence of being bulletproof with temporary power, you aren’t much interested in factual details).

Shannon DR’s that she does not know what’s going on in an allegedly solid alliance when you can’t even express your opinion as the POV holder without being attacked, and Brandi animates in the DR that she is wearing Omarosa’s clear heels as her own clear heels, revealing this alliance is breaking off into such an obvious scientifically-certified entropy that even “scientist” & Vegas cocktail girl Rachel Reilly could identify it.

Omarosa then voices to Shannon and the ladies that “if we don’t make big moves early, we may not get a chance to later…this is a chess game” (as BB story editor ironic foreshadowing moment #5648 stands up and says hello in tonight’s episode --  #PendingBlindside).

Back from commercial and we visit the backyard where Omarosa & Shannon meet alone to discuss the state of play. Shannon explains that the keep-nom’s-the-same plan was presented to her by someone in the alliance. Omarosa, after first asking if this plan was presented by the same dignified lady that stole her clear heels, tries to pump Shannon up by saying that no one knows BB better than the 2 of them, and “shock and awe’ing” Mark is the best  thing to do (actually, it’s not, but thanks for your histrionics, Omarosa).  Omarosa then shares with Shannon that Keisha has already talked to Chuck, and this definitely stresses Shannon out, after the whole I/Me/I/Me Vanessa-like righteousness in the HOH room. Shannon shares that Keisha talking to Chuck without first telling the group seems very I/Me-like in behavior, and that this is no bueno.

The spirit of Vanessa Russo once again descends into the CBB House (production really should have exorcised the place of Vanessa’s evil by now), and Shannon starts to break down crying again. She literally buries herself in her blanket of tears (oh no, it’s the spirit of Audrey!), and Omarosa DR’s that Shannon is becoming “completely unhinged” (which is super fun coming from a woman who was allegedly led out of the White House by security on the day she was fired), and she wonders if Shannon is stable enough to be in an alliance with her.

This is all just so rich.  People who lack any self-awareness are just the absolute best.

POV Ceremony time, and Shannon decides to not rock the boat unnecessarily, and keeps the nom’s the same, guaranteeing that the ill-named Celebrators alliance will not survive CBB.

As if her circa 1986 playtime TV friend Bud took all of her cookies, Rudy Huxtable is not happy.

Back from commercial, Julie visits with BB winners, Ian, Derick, Nicole, and Josh. Lawman Derick loves that Omarosa apparently did not sign a nondisclosure agreement when she left/was removed (details!) from the White House, and loves that they are all playing BB so hard right from the start. Josh thinks if he were in the house, he’d be going crazy like Metta, and also loves how much gameplay there’s been in just 3 episodes. Nicole rather astutely shares that Shannon is unnecessarily playing too boldly (winning multiple comps, and spelling a record 16-letter word when a 10-letter word likely would have been sufficient for a POV comp which she in no way needed to win). Ian and Derrick share that a bloated alliance is not ideal, especially if you are seen as the leader of the alliance where you become the most visible target for others to go after. Rooting consensus to win CBB among them seems to be some combination of Ross, Shannon, or Marissa, much to the audience’s approval.

Back from commercial, and after over 95 minutes of “We Hate James! Let’s Evict James!” narrative, a blindside seems to be sprouting from the broken soil of the All Female + Ross alliance. Shannon and Ross conclude that neither of them trust Omarosa, and that they find it a bit sketchy that Keisha seems to have made a deal with Chuck and seems mysteriously determined to keep him safe and vote James out.  Shannon DR’s that there’s already a huge target on her back, and that making the much-discussed BB Big Move – to make a house-flip deal with James and vote to keep him, and blindsiding Omarosa/Keisha/Chuck with a Chuck eviction – might be what she & Ross need to course correct the path after the alliance is formally destroyed.

Ross & Shannon pull Brandi, Ari, and Marissa together to discuss the vote flip to keep James and evict Keisha’s boy Chuck.  None of them are necessarily huge fans of how Omarosa & Keisha have run their alliance, and it appears that an amazing last-second vote-flipping blindside may just rear its head!

Back from commercial, and it’s time to vote! Will there be a blindside, or will this be another BB production tease??

Brandi: VTE….Chuck! (Wow, the blindside is apparently a go!)

Ari: VTE Chuck!

Omarosa: VTE “my dear friend James” (Rut-roh, you’re goin’ down, girl!)

Ross: VTE Chuck!

Metta: It’s honestly not clear what the Panda Bear does, as he hysterically enters the room before Ross has left, then sits down and starts talking/explaining something about his vote before Julie & production have even turned his mic on, and eventually says “I vote Chuck” and leaves the DR (NOTE: on the feeds today, he vehemently denied voting to evict Chuck, but instead said that he voted to keep Chuck safe, but none of us heard anything because BB only had Julie’s mic on, and Julie actually never asked him who he was “evicting” like she did with everyone else…so there’s that.)

Marissa: VTE Chuck! Its official, the blindside is complete!!

Shannon: VTE Chuck!

Mark: VTE Chuck!

Julie announces that by a vote of 7-1, Chuck is evicted from the CBB house.  Keisha is shocked, Omarosa is stonecold, and Ross & Shannon have a satisfied look of an accomplished mission.  

In the Chenterview, Chuck seems to have sensed that a last-minute vote switch was in motion, and wondered if the gift bag gambit may have hurt him. He said he laughed a lot in house, even had fun with the avocado masks and the press-on nails, but that he actually wanted to be on Amazing Race with his wife as partner, which then leads the wife of the President of CBS Network to say “I think you got a good shot”. So he and wifey can have that to look forward to sometime soon.

Julie discusses with him that he’ll be back on finale night as a member of the CBB jury, but (in an old-school shoutout to BB1-BB3) that the jury will not be sequestered, so he can go home and watch the episodes & live feeds to inform his vote. He says that he’ll vote for the person who he feels played the best game, so it looks like he won’t be a bitter juror. Good for him.

So that’s it for the first eviction, fun to see a blindside on the first week!  Tune in for the Sunday episode to see who won the new HOH comp last night (and who ended up going to the hospital!), and on Monday night for a live POV comp & eviction (I’ll be back for the Monday eviction recap!). 

Post-blindside, there was a ton of chaos on the feeds, so CBS may need to rig a Paul-like Friendship Bracelet (or perhaps something more hysterically on-point for the desired network buzz, a “CBS President Moonves Pardon Bracelet”?) to keep Omarosa safely rigged in the game this week. Here’s to the start of a great CBB season of actual HG’s playing the game! 

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