'Big Brother' recap: Judd as HoH and America as the MVP

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Image Credit: CBS

When we last left the Big Brother house, the Cherokee Charmer had gotten the boot (what a tragedy!) and Judd was quite literally crowned the newest HoH.  Since then, all of America has been restlessly squirming in their seats, dying to discover what’ll happen next.  Will Judd – who’s been somewhat of a dark horse in the game – shake up the dynamics of the house? (No.)  Will the terrible trio of Aaryn, Kaitlin, and GinaMarie – now all deprived of their showmances – regroup and manage to find some strategic footing? (No.)  Will Amanda give more Diary Room interviews in which she points at herself and makes playful references to her breasts?  (We can only hope!)  Will GinaMarie prove herself gifted at, uh, guzzling down frozen yogurt? (Yes – my god, yes!!!)

But first, let’s eavesdrop on the houseguests to find out how they feel about Judd winning Head of Household.  It looks like GinaMarie has something to say!  “Judd the stud wins HoH.  So, what myself, Aaryn, and Kaitlin gotta do is kind of” – GinaMarie takes a moment to coyly fluff her hair – “PERSUADE Judd a little bit to come on our side so we can be safe and I get the rest of these scrubs out of the house.”  GinaMarie really is remarkable.  In one 15-second sound bite, she manages to seamlessly transition from speaking like an aggressively flirty 1920s-era film starlet (all that’s missing is the seductive twirl of a feather boa and the beckoning curl of an index finger inviting a fella to come upstairs and keep a girl company) to using lingo from TLC’s 1999 hit song. A true wordsmith, GinaMarie is.

While GinaMarie tries to figure out how to use her feminine charms to keep herself and her allies in the game, Kaitlin feels she’s done enough for now: “Definitely with what this house just put me through, I think they owe me a little bit of safety for the next few weeks.”  That’s the right attitude, Kaitlin.  I mean, think of all you’ve been through!  It’s hard work mocking your fellow houseguests, making out with a complete lunkhead, and alienating yourself as quickly as you did.  Surely that should buy you, like, at least a month of safety from the block.  Anyway, it’s not as though Jeremy is completely gone from the house.  Like GinaMarie said, “Hopefully we find Jeremy’s cologne, and then you can smell ‘im.”

Although all signs point to Aaryn and Kaitlin getting nominated, Big Brother senses an alarming lack of suspense in Sunday night’s episode, and quickly establishes Howard as the decoy nomination for the week.  Amanda leads the campaign against hunky Howard, though she doesn’t do too great a job at articulating her reasons for wanting him gone.  I enjoy Amanda on the show, but she definitely mishandled her whole pitch to Judd.  The moment Judd let Amanda know that he’s friendly with Howard and doesn’t see how nominating Howard would benefit him, Amanda should have let the whole thing go.  Instead, Amanda overplayed her hand and just seemed overbearing and oblivious.  Judd didn’t care for it either.  “[Amanda] might run McCrae, but she does not run J-U-double-D,” he said with a smile, visibly proud of himself for correctly spelling his own name and for finally saying something that didn’t require subtitles.  Is Judd perpetually on Ambien or something?

And whaddya know, it turns out GinaMarie has trouble speaking, too!  Instead of having slurred speech like Judd, though, GinaMarie struggles with basic English vocabulary.  The taste of pickles “disguises” her.  “Worser” is the intermediate stage between “worse” and “worst.”  GinaMarie is open to compromises, but only if there is a “compenization.”  At least she’s is self-aware about it all: “I’m not a dumb blonde, America – I promise!”  Don’t worry, GinaMarie, no one’s ever suspected for even a second that you’re actually blonde.

Despite the failure of virtually every other showmance in the house, love nonetheless appears to be blossoming between Howard and Candice.  The interactions between the two seem cute and sincere enough.  Indeed, Candice’s story about the wooing rituals of penguins – which involve male penguins delivering a pebble to the object of their affection – was even a little touching.  According to Candice, when a female penguin accepts a pebble offering, the male and female penguins become monogamous mates for life.  Pretty wild, right?  To be fair, though, this really isn’t all that different from GinaMarie’s mating practices.  If you inadvertently leave an empty cereal box within a 300-yard radius of GinaMarie, you’re also bound to her for life.

With all the penguin patter and malapropism mania in the Big Brother house, it’s easy to forget that there’s a game going on in there.  Aaryn hasn’t forgotten, though!  The game is, like, ALWAYS on Aaryn’s mind, and she has totally insightful stuff to say about it.  As she explains to Judd, “I’m just scared that if there’s not someone up that’s a bigger target than me . . . I’m gonna go home.”  So that’s how Big Brother works, eh?  Aaryn imparts more game wisdom to her allies, GinaMarie and Kaitlin: “You guys: being on the block is so stressful.  I don’t want to go through it again.”  Fascinating stuff.  Aaryn is so stressed out by the prospect of being on the block again that she even gets a little irritable with GinaMarie.  GinaMarie won’t have any of it, and fights back: “Just relax and talk normal, honey, that’s all I’m saying.”  You know you’re in a bad spot when GinaMarie is demanding that you “talk normal.”

And Aaryn isn’t the only person who’s stressed out.  In his typical mumbling, mush-mouthed way, Judd muses on the perils of being HoH: “I just wish I wasn’t the one that had to nominate people.”  Yeah, maybe you should’ve thought about that responsibility before you pranced around the house wearing a plastic crown, Judd.  Are these people only learning the basic rules of Big Brother as they play the game?  Did Judd not see that each of the previous three Heads of Household had to, you know, nominate people?  Yeesh.

In the end, Judd predictably chooses to nominate Aaryn and Kaitlin.  A fittingly boring conclusion to what was an all-around uneventful episode.  It should be interesting, however, to see how this week’s MVP selection works out.  The shift to America serving as MVP is an intriguing one, even if it seems to go against everything the twist stood for.  Julie Chen sold the MVP twist as a way of discouraging players from being “floaters” in the game.  In light of this goal, the original MVP format made some theoretical sense – it was more likely that the big, boisterous characters and over-the-top strategists would capture the attention of viewers (and therefore their MVP votes).  Now, however, America’s MVP votes are a negative entity.  It’s doubtful these votes will function as a floater-deterrent.  I can’t imagine the house’s biggest floaters (Andy, Jessie, and Spencer, at this point) ever inspiring strong enough feelings in viewers to actually get America’s votes under this new twist.  Instead, votes will still go towards the most salient personalities.  With the show’s two biggest remaining villains – Aaryn and Kaitlin – already nominated, who will get America’s votes?  Probably one of the ostensible good guys: Elissa, Helen, McCrae, or Amanda.  Aaryn or Kaitlin will likely still end up getting the boot, but the reaction of one of the show’s “heroes” to finding out that America has nominated them should be pretty riveting.  As GinaMarie would say, this season just keeps getter betterer and betterer.

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