First impressions are difficult to overcome, and several of the new contestants on Big Brother 2 are not making very good ones -- either on me or on each other. Indeed, those first impressions even serve as the method for choosing the first "Head of Household," who will play a major role in determining who stays and who goes.
And so it begins – the new, improved, hopefully more interesting Big Brother 2. We get our first impressions and while I don’t have any favorites yet, I definitely have some I’d like to see leave ASAP. Kent says he will be happy to get on our nerves – and he immediately does. So does Autumn, who says she is “only good when I’m bad.” Oh give me a break. Mike needs to learn how to wear a hat. Hint: You’re not a gangsta (though, from later actions, he sure seems to think he is). And let me just say: “Bunky”? C’mon, man.
Their first task is to go in and get a bed. Kent gets stuck with a sleeping bag; I’m not shedding any tears. Shannon checks out the bathroom and we get a peek at the shower cam. Yow! Alas, she’s dressed when she does it. Where’s that nudity promised by the producer? It’s already several minutes into the first episode and everybody is still dressed!
Nicole immediately starts annoying her fellow contestants. And we find out that Bunky has a secret: Bunky is not his real name. OK, that’s not the secret (but, jeez, I hope it’s true). He has told them that he is “married.” But that’s not technically true. He is in a committed relationship – with another man. They talk about his wife and he doesn’t correct them; he thinks it might not go over so well if they find out his wife’s name is “Greg.”
Anyway, one of the changes this year is that the contestants will be competing for food. The winners each week get fresh groceries while the losers get peanut butter and jelly (I dunno – I could go with PB&J for a week and not consider it “losing,” but maybe that’s just me). I notice they didn’t have a peanut butter sponsor – no “Skippy” promo. I guess peanut butter makers don’t want to be associated with being the prize for losing.
So after about an hour of getting to know each other, they have their first food contest. In this one, either they all win or they all lose – and, frankly, it isn’t all that difficult. While BB2 didn’t have a promo for peanut butter, they do for this challenge. The contestants have to pile all their groceries and themselves into an all new 2002 Buick Rendevous. Big deal. Anybody with kids does that every week. So they do it.
But then things take a different turn. The last person to leave the car gets to keep it. No bathroom breaks, no sleeping, no smoking. No big deal. This obviously isn’t Survivor, where contestants are willing to stand on wooden pillars for most of a day to win something. Most of the contestants evacuate the car when Nicole mentions that the person who wins the car could easily be the first one targeted. Only Kent, Sheryl, and Autumn remain. Autumn is a single mom with no car because hers was totaled in an accident. Kent says his wife needs a car. Sheryl feels in the middle and bails. After a short while longer, Autumn bails and is visibly upset, saying she knows there was no way Kent was going to give up. For his part, Kent says he doesn’t feel bad – if she wanted it that much, she should have stayed in. It’s all over in about an hour and a half.
Switching from that rather dull contest we start to see some potential conflict. Bunky is already feeling the pressure of keeping his big secret. Well, that didn’t last long. Kent is looking for the gay guy – he knows there is one somewhere. The only thing keeping Bunky out of the running is that everybody thinks he’s married to a woman. Kent even talks about how homosexuals are “Deviant. Perverse.” And they have a lifestyle that “90% of Americans don’t want anywhere near their families.” Thanks for that blast from the past, Kent. The Religious Right will be so proud.
The amusing thing, of course, is that he is talking to Bunky about these things, and then goes on to tell us that Bunky is a super-sweet guy, honest, and sincere. Well, this has potential to be amusing.
At night, Autumn starts hitting on Hardy and is acting incredibly needy. Indeed, that word will come up in association with her in the future. Bet on it. And then we get lots of close-ups of Shannon’s various, um, body parts. It may not be nudity, but it’s network television’s next best thing.
As we near the end of the episode, we finally find out the secret of the locked bedroom. One person will be made “Head of Household” (HH) each Thursday. They get maid service, the private bedroom, a specially stocked refrigerator, and, most importantly, the responsibility of choosing which two fellow contestants are nominated for eviction the following week. The HH nominates on Saturday, and then the rest of the house votes on Thursday.
The competition this time involves a wheel of first impressions, where two descriptions come up each time and the spinner picks two people who are best described by them. People vote for who they want to be HH and gradually eliminate the contestants down to two. This time it comes down to Mike and Sheryl. Both are given an opportunity to speak on why they should be HH. Sheryl doesn’t say much. Mike breaks into a rap/rhyme (must I say it again? You’re not a gangsta). The two leave the room and the others vote overwhelmingly for Mike. He gets to be Head of Household, and realizes that he is going to be the one to essentially end one contestant’s dream. Fade to black.
So who will be the first two nominated by Mike? Check out the second episode to find out!.