Big Brother 4, July 18: Jee, It’s Nomination Time Againby C. Brian Devinney -- 07/20/2003
Well, folks… I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack! It's so good to be back! I know you've all been wondering where I've been since the last edition of The Bachelor went off the air. I’ve been teaching classes at the Alex Michel School of Dating in the Joe Millionaire Wing. My first class, How to Become a Mercenary and Bathe Third World Children In Less Than Thirty Days, was a huge success and was soon followed up with the Zora Andrich Talk to the Animals seminar.
But I'm back, and yes, even though I've missed the first four episodes of Big Brother 4, I have been following the action in the house to really come to one conclusion - anything is better than what they had in the first season, even if it seems like the same stuff keeps happening year after year after year. Besides, who remembers that voice coming over the action in the first season saying things like, "The HouseGuests debate the effects of overpopulation is Southeastern China as it affects the United States' consumption of steamed vegetable dumplings"? And to top it all off, I got to see, as fellow writer Brian James put it in his first recap , the dramatic Julie Chen pivots!
We of course begin with the standard recap of the previous eviction and Head of Household (HoH) competition, won by Jee. As we hear Julie announce the 9-0 vote against Amanda, we see each HouseGuest vote against her in quick succession.
Nathan says everybody voted the way he hoped and Robert notes that there were no surprises. He sees it as being one step closer to the $500,000. Dave, who had just shared an evening and a bed with Amanda the night before, says that on one hand he doesn’t regret the vote because if he didn’t vote against her, he’d have been the next target; on the other hand, he does regret it because he wanted to spend more time in the HoH room with her. OK, he doesn’t say that – he just say that Jee should have gone.
Jun repeats her statements from previous episodes by saying she couldn’t have manipulated Amanda as easily as Jun. Meanwhile, Alison says she just won the first round.
Skipping ahead to the HoH competition, Jack says when he got the boot from the contest, he realized that all four remaining were exes – “not a damn good feeling.” But Dana calls it a good kick in the ass and Justin can’t think of a better person to be HoH. Nathan doesn’t feel the same, calling it the worst-case scenario.
Alison notes that the Elite 8, er 7, is not dead, just struggling. Dana, on the other hand, says the supposed alliance is nonexistent for her. If this statement were to be made public within the house, it would surprise exactly nobody.
To prove that everything old is new again, we get the obligatory "Let Go Check Out the Head of Household Room" moment where everyone goes in pretty much just to see the new stuff that's there for the new HoH, which is, for this week, the former nominee Mr. Jee. Why do they do that? I'm pretty sure the producers make them do that as some sort of bonding ritual, but for the life of me, it's starting to get a bit old, don't you think? [On the other hand, what else do they have to do? - Assistant Editor]
Jee kindly offers to those present the use of the room should they ever need a moment of privacy. This, of course, could be for a moment when you just need to get away from your other housemates and throw pillows against the wall in a fit of unrepressed anger. It could be for a moment to say your prayers, should you be Muslim. Or it could be for a moment for you and another HouseGuest to have sex in front of a worldwide audience right before one of you gets eliminated from the game, but only if one of you promises to get violently ill in the middle of it and have to throw up. Of course, you would still go on having sex afterwards.
And while we're on the point of talking about Dave and Amanda having sex, let me go on the record by saying it's a little creepy for Dave to mention his grandmother watching the live feeds of him having sex with Amanda. Am I wrong here in saying that? I mean I know some people go through a Harold and Maude stage in their lives (not me thank goodness), but that's just a little gross. Even for me.
So back to the recap: Jee makes this offer and his Jun immediately finds a place on my "Who the hell are you and why are you being such a complete ass?" list. Of course, she's his ex and I can immediately see why he dumped her. She's making an asinine comment to the women that all they need to do is show up in his room half naked and he wouldn't have the foggiest idea of what to do - clearly hinting that in the bed department, Jee is a complete zero (and yes, I totally bogarted that line from the musical Chicago because when you've seen it as many times as I have, well, you just start speaking in show terms). Jee properly questions why she is behaving as she is, but Jun just walks away with this holier than thou look on her face that you really just want to slap off her face. People like that really irk me, if you can't tell. I'm sure I'm going to have plenty to say about Jun in the coming weeks.
Of course, now the conversation turns to whether or not Jun is safe for the week, and Jee bluntly says that she shouldn't consider herself safe because she's not. But what does everyone pick up on - Jun is treating Jee like the proverbial dog poo that my neighbors fail to clean up off of the street. Nate even brings this up (and for the record, can I just say I don't see why the women are gaga over him or David as neither of them are really as hot as last year's trio of Eric, Roddy, and Jason and the only one that even comes close is Justin) and says that he doesn't want to see Jun go up on the block either but she has been treating him rather shabbily since he got into the house. Robert, however, seems to be siding with Jun, saying that Jee knows she was there for him when times got tough.
Flashback moment (and we know it's a flashback since they are showing it to us in black and white as if we couldn't figure that part out ourselves) where Jun tells people that Jee's father passed away "from, like, cancer." OK, was it cancer, Jun, or was it something else and you’re just using the generic "cancer" as your response since you have no idea of what he really died from because you're a complete moron? Jun says that she was there to support him during this time and Robert thinks that this will help Jun escape the nomination process. But perhaps even more laughable is Jun's statement that she wants to stay and win and she's not leaving earlier… oh wait… everyone needs to pause for a moment for this one… she's not leaving earlier than she wishes.
OK, Jun, honey, baby, darling. I hate to tell you this, but for the most part, you really have no say in when you go. I know you'd like to believe that you have the power to change everyone's mind about you, but for the most part, you gotta just accept the fact that if they are going to vote against you, they are going to vote against you, and there is nothing that you can do about it. Shall we go back to last season when the decoy was sent home three weeks in a row? Or was it four? Anyhow, you of all people should know that no one and nothing is sacred in this house.
So enough about Jun (even though I could probably go on about her for weeks) and let's turn to Dana. Now Dana, to me at least, looks a bit like Shannon from the second season of Big Brother which would, at the very least, make me want to hide my toothbrush from her. Everything apparently pisses Dana off. I know a lot of people like Dana who have to be upset or mad about something that they pretty much have little or no control over because that makes them happy. Isn't that kinda sad that you have to be upset about something in order to be happy? Doesn't that just sound wrong on multiple levels?
First, it's the fact that there are so many glasses around the house that have to be cleaned because no one seems to be washing dishes but her. OK, so a few people are washing dishes, but Dana is definitely in the minority when it comes to this. But overall, Dana just seems to get pissed off about everything. I think it was Alison who said that all you have to do is just think about Dana and she gets pissed off. Dana isn't coming across as a Stable Mabel here. Something tells me that if they had rabbits, a few of them would have been boiling on the stove right now.
In fact, Dana makes her way into the HoH room to talk to Jee and Robert. She goes on this roundabout diatribe about how his winning Head of Household was probably the best thing in the world that could have happened to her and in fact, she's prompting him to put up one of the women she doesn't like under the guise of hanging out with the people in the house that she does like until the end of the game and not having to deal with the riff raff. Well, that's all fine and good in theory, but if my memory serves correctly, this didn't always happen, did it? At some point, the people started to find something that grated on each others’ nerves when it came to their housemates and they just had to get them out of the house?
Outside, Alison, Nate, and Jack are wondering what they have to do to get Dana nominated. Of course, they don't trust her at all because they think she can keep a secret about as well as Martha Stewart can conduct a legal stock transaction. Alison openly admits to hating her - well, if the subtitles are to be believed, she "______" hates her. Nate somehow thinks he has some form of control over Jee and I'm wondering what kind of control it could be. Is it mind control? Is it remote control? Is Jee just a figurehead Head of Household, or does he actually wield power?
What I find most interesting is that Robert is also sitting there and I have to wonder if he is a part of the conversation, or if he is just eavesdropping to see what he can do in terms of swinging the nominations in his favor… whichever way that may be. That, of course, makes me wonder even more when Nathan and Robert are in the Head of Household room passing on the info that Nate hates Dana and that's good for them because they know that would be one vote in Dana's favor to get her out of the house and keep them in for one more week.
Of course, here I am sitting at home thinking to myself, "Golden veto, golden veto, golden veto. All she has to do is win the freakin' golden veto and she's outta there and then what people?" Dana, from what I have seen so far, seems to be far more astute than Hall of Shame inductee Marcellas Reynolds in that she would take herself off of the chopping block instead of trusting that the vote would go in her direction. I mean, why would you not take yourself off the chopping block? I don't care what reasons you may have; it just makes sense because it's the only way to guarantee that you will be around a week longer.
Am I on crack here, or does that make perfect sense?
The next day comes to the Big Brother house and everyone is getting ready and doing their morning rituals. I, for one, am glad that I am not in that house (no, I didn't audition) because I cannot fathom sharing one bathroom with all of those people and not getting the time to spend in front of the mirror to take care of some necessary things like shaving. I would say doing my hair, but since I switched to a buzz cut, I would just need someone to clipper me down every four weeks or so and I would be fine.
We learn more about Nate. He's from Oklahoma, which prompts David to do his impression of Nate. It's a deep Southern accent complete with holding up three fingers to represent the number four and two fingers for the number three. Now, I have made a lot of fun of my own Southern heritage, but something about this just takes the cake. Considering that this is the guy that said something about his grandmother watching him have sex on the live feeds, coupled with the fact that he threw up while having sex, doesn't really do much to give him any credibility, now, does it?
Anyway, we get a litany of imitations of Nate and his trademark "Golly" that he tends to overuse (when some of us would just rather say something shorter, one syllable, and probably only found in movies rated "R" or higher), as well as other Southern terms that even I am prone to use. "Fixin' to" seems to be one of those terms that Nathan and I share, since I have busted that one out to the bewilderment of my colleagues at the office. Of course, if I ever hear Jee say, "I'm fixin' to make love to you" again, then I may have to reconsider my usage of the term.
Now we are up to the food competition. Last week, they only had carbohydrates to eat, which means that they have been dropping weight like you would not believe because they have not had any protein, fruits, or vegetables. For this competition, they had to divide into two teams of five. Dana and Jun made sure that they were split up on different sides since they tend to be the only ones that can do any cooking. Outside, there are five casseroles topped with various toppings such as French fries. The winning team gets to pig out on the good stuff while the losing team… well, it's PB&J for them for an entire week. When they are cued to go, they are to remove the topping and taste the meat and vegetable combo underneath. After tasting (just tasting; they don't have to swallow), they must go to their board and identify the meat and vegetable combo used in the casserole. Considering that some of the meats could be squirrel, possum, and rabbit (not to mention “testicles”), this is not going to be a very tasty meal.
Up first are Nathan and Alison. Alison freaks out when she has to dig into the bowl first. Nathan immediately knows that it's ham, but he blows the vegetable, sending him back for another mouthful. Alison, however, nails it quickly as she immediately gets the ham portion and also picks the right vegetable - cauliflower. Yep. That is one nasty combination.
Score: Red Team: 1; Blue Team: 0
Justin jumps into the second bowl while Nathan tries to redo the vegetable. He goes for mushrooms. He's wrong and so is Justin, who thinks his dish is corned beef and cabbage. Mmmmm. Corned beef. On rye. With spicy brown mustard. Yum. I'm so there. Justin takes another bite as does Nathan, who picks artichokes this time. Again he's wrong, and Justin doesn't really seem to be enjoying his casserole that much. So will he get it right this time? Oh yeah. His dish is venison (deer meat) and artichokes. OK, the gross factor just went up.
Score: Red Team: 2; Blue Team: 0
Erika is up for the red team while Nathan fails again in choosing bok choy (mmm… bok choy tofu mushroom soup… I'm getting hungry now). But finally he gets the vegetable, sending Michelle, literally, up to the plate next.
Score: Red Team 2; Blue Team: 1
Michelle takes one bite and grimaces, which is pretty much what Justin did as well. Erika's first guess is squirrel meat and cactus, which is wrong, and Michelle's first guess is pork and radishes. What do these people eat in real life is what I want to know? Michelle picks rabbit and artichokes next and is wrong, which sends her back, but she nails the venison and says it is sad she ate Bambi.
Dana is next and she says she's just going to taste but not swallow. They have barf buckets handy, which would be a good thing, since Erika correctly gets the third dish and it's a doozy - oysters and brussels sprouts. I used to like brussels sprouts as a child; then I grew up and came to resent them every time they were on the dinner table. I don’t think I’ve had a brussels sprout in about ten years. And that's a good thing.
Score: Red Team: 3; Blue Team: 2
Jack is up next for the red team, while Dana is still struggling. Dana says she's not eating it, but it looks like she's doing some chewing. Meanwhile Jack goes for shrimp and jicama, which for those of you who don't know is a Mexican turnip. I only know this because I was home sick one day from work and couldn't find the remote control when Martha Stewart came on and she was making a crudités platter with it.
Back to Dana, who has to be getting pissed right now because as everyone said, everything pisses her off. She thinks her dish is squirrel and lima beans. Nope. And back she goes. Jack takes another stab at his and he's right with the combination of liver and cactus. Personally, I've never had cactus before, so I have no idea how I would guess what it would taste like. Meanwhile, Dana has finally gotten her combo correct and sent Robert up to the counter.
Score: Red Team: 4; Blue Team: 3
Jun is definitely not into her dish. Her meat is cubed and tough to chew. She thinks it's squirrel and radish but it's not. She changes to moose and lima beans and is wrong again. Meanwhile, Robert thinks his combo is rattlesnake and radishes. Finally, Jun nails her combo of tongue and bell peppers to give her team the 5-3 win. The red team is ecstatic since they get to eat real food for a week. Dana and her blue team are all collectively pissed because it means that they are stuck with a week of PB&J after their week of nothing but carbs. I never thought I would agree with Jun, but her team did kick butt.
Nathan says he's a meat eater and going another week without meat is going to kill him. Michelle, meanwhile, has to run inside and puke her brains up because she isn't feeling well. I'm wondering if she's a vegetarian, and I have to go check her profile to find out for sure. We have to remember Liz from the third edition of The Bachelor, who ate meat for the first time in over a decade when it was presented to her. Now, the difference here is that in Liz's case, she could have refused, but Michelle didn't have that option. She had to eat… well, at least put it in her mouth. Dana says that she may get crabby this week but she will survive through it all. Of course, I have to say, how will they know when you’re crabby because of your lack of food choices when you're crabby pretty much all the time?
Alison wants to know how Erika and Robert landed together. She is gorgeous and he is rather dorky. That was Alison's assumption, not mine. If I had to make an assumption, though, I would have to say that it's not that far off base. Let's think about, it shall we? Julia Roberts' first husband - Lyle Lovett. Not the greatest looking of men. Dwight Yoakam (not the greatest looking of men either) has dated Sharon Stone, who stated that kissing him was like eating a dirt sandwich. Also, having worked this year's Daytime Emmy Awards, I can tell you that the really attractive actors and actresses tend to have very dumpy, dowdy, and, in some cases, outright ugly spouses. So I have to ask, is this a trend of really sexy people dating somewhat not sexy people? I think so.
But Robert just says that he has the confidence that brings the ladies to him. He even makes the cockiest statement that I have ever heard: he thinks he's doing people a favor by talking to them. Thankfully, I was born with a lovely bullshit detector that tends to signal when people like him come into my presence, so I know to treat them with kid gloves. I mean, really, now. The gall of saying that he's doing people a favor by talking to them. I think he and Jun need to hook up in the HoH room now because something tells me that they are made for each other.
Alison thinks he's down to earth while Michelle says he has a good personality. He's always laughing and smiling, she says, and that's a good thing. Well, yeah, I can see that, Michelle. I'm not gonna snub you on that fact, but then Robert has to open his mouth again and make sure that women across the nation will never have anything to do with him. Well, I'm sure there are men involved there too (gay and straight), because he says, and this is a direct quote from the Stuck On Myself Robert: "I love myself so much that it's a pleasure TO them if I get to know them." His method of getting women to come over to him in bars - he just points to the woman and crooks his finger, saying, "You come here." Oh yeah. That's gonna work now.
Justin just says that Robert is very upfront with everyone and that's why people like him. Yeah, wait until you see the tapes. Somehow the question of marrying a virgin comes up and Justin, whom I am rapidly falling for (how can you not?), says that he would do it but Rob… well, Rob says you have to take it (and he did say "it") for a test drive beforehand. So here's my question for Rob: if they are bad in bed, do you just dump them? Because, ya know, there’s more than just sex in a relationship.
Erika nails it on the head when she says that Robert is nothing more than a used car salesman who knows his product very well. It's the perfect metaphor. Would you trust Robert to sell you a car? OK, some of you might. Would you trust him with your daughter, though? I didn't think so. I'm still wondering how Erika got hooked up with him and want to praise her for getting out of it as soon as she could.
For the past few days, though, Erika has been having a hard time adjusting to spending time with Robert. And can we really blame her? We've just seen what a total sleaze Robert can be, and now we're seeing a really vulnerable Erika. She says she can't really be who she wants to be because she has to contend with Robert being there all the time and she's shut up for the most part. Dana, oddly enough, comes to her rescue and sits down and lets her just talk. She even wishes she could empathize if she was in the same position. Ultimately, she breaks down and Dana comments that she doesn't know if it's because of the emotional situation she's in or because of the memories of what Robert might have done to her in their relationship, but she's pretty emotional about it all.
Meanwhile, Alison and Jun are eavesdropping by the window and laughing about Erika crying. Apparently Erika has been crying a lot as of late and they are starting to wonder if her tears are fake. Robert even says that it's nothing more than crocodile tears designed to get a reaction out of him. It would have worked in the past, but he is immune to their effects now.
Jack has been a great father figure to her and they get along well. Jack says that the conversation in the house is pretty inane and silly and Erika is more compassionate. When she sees something that tugs at her heart, she emotes and doesn't hold back. He really likes her. Justin, however, wants Erika out. He even says to Jee that it would be another clean sweep vote to her get her out of the house. Personally, I am on Erika's side pretty much because I can't stand Robert right now.
Again - people, people, people. I bring up the fact that she could win the veto and take herself off. And what if Dana wins it and takes her off the block? You always said on the live feeds if anyone gets taken off the block with the veto that Dana would go in their place. Well what if she wins the veto? Then what? Man, I am so thinking ahead of myself, and the fact that these people aren't is really a sad thing. Then again, it's pretty typical of me to find the loopholes that they don't air.
Next, we get a small thing on the tortoises. Erika seems to have bonded with them the most. The smell in the room that houses them is pretty bad. Alison says that the stench may belong to her ex, Justin, who lives in there. Why they brought this up, I have no clue. It is useless filler.
Michelle is up next, and we are reminded that she is David's ex. David chooses to belittle her in front of everyone in the kitchen. David proves that he is a child by how he is acting towards her. He delights in pushing all of her buttons and he knows the right one to push to bring out the reaction that he wants - the one where she's pissed to high heaven and he knows that all he has to do is push just a bit farther to make her look bad.
She tries to make sure he knows how she feels and he says he will stop but apparently he hasn't and won't. Michelle says that his joking towards her is tinged with a bit more venom than anyone else. She's more concerned that he's making fun of her in some way and he doesn't seem to take it seriously. David, of course, says that he won't make fun of her anymore and Michelle says that one statement is another example of him being childish. Well, again, I'm on the woman's side, because David has done nothing but look and act like a freakin' three year old since he got into the house and has the IQ of toast. I am baffled that Erika and Michelle even went out with these men for an extended period of time, but such is life.
In the HoH room, Jee advises Michelle that she is possibly going to be put up against Erika, but that she would be staying since everyone wants Erika out. Michelle says she's being put up because she's too nice, but I think she remembers last year when all of the decoys wound up getting the boot out the door. She wants one of the guys to go up against Erika; she doesn't really understand why her. David comes up to her and tries to ease her fears because he wants Dana to go up.
David says he was ready to threaten Jee to put up Dana instead of Michelle. Now, I didn't catch much of what Jee and David were talking about, because 1) they were whispering, 2) their microphones sucked, and 3) I think if they were understandable, President Bush might make them part of his Axis of Evil. From what I got out of it, David wanted Jee to put up Dana against Erika because it was the smart move. Then there was something about Jack and Rob and being strong players and someone tell me how CBS could subtitle a third of the conversations on this show but not that one? I mean, I am not a freakin' lip reader!
With nomination time coming up, everyone appears to be on edge. Michelle is on the verge of tears as she tells Erika it's just a game and not her life. I think those two seem to know that it's them. Erika will probably take it well, but Michelle, if it's her… well, she's going to dissolve into a puddle of tears and probably dehydrate herself. With that, Jee puts in the keys into the Box of Doom and he's slowly wondering what to do, and we have to wonder ourselves if it will be the Erika/Michelle combo.
Jee calls them all into the room and with that, I am reminded of when Amy was HoH and she pretty much gave her speech, bawled all the way through it, pulled out the key, squeaked out the name, and threw the key on the table. Oh, those were the days. The days of calling Chiara by over thirty new names. Sigh.
Jee pulls out the first name and it's Alison. Alison takes her key and in turn reveals that Nathan is safe. The box is wheeled over to him and he pulls out Justin's key. Erika has this look that she knows it's her. Justin pulls out David's key and he pulls out Dana's key, which has to piss David off since he wanted her out. Dana reveals that Jack is the next safe guy. Personally, I want to see if Jun is squirming in her seat. The next key is Robert's, so it's down to Jun, Erika, and Michelle. Did he put up his ex? With a turn we learn that Jun is the last to get her key and she has this look on her face that says, "You ass. Why the hell did you do this to me? Are you still punishing me?" Personally, I say, bravo!
Jee says he picked Erika based upon how she relates to people in the house; she can make people feel uncomfortable. He says it's strategic and she says she doesn't take it personally. Michelle is chosen because he has to play the game and says she's a good fit to go up against Erika and it was, again a strategic move.
Erika says she has no idea what will happen but that everyone is whacked out of their minds. She says they think it's because she's too normal. Michelle says that the game has just begun for her. She thinks she was taken advantage of and this has robbed her of her innocence and the game is on. Interestingly enough, if you go to our main page, we already know who has the power of veto and well, folks… it could get pretty interesting.
Want to keep up with important events in the house? Check out our Big Brother 4 Spoiler Page for news on who wins contests and other ongoing info.
C. Brian Devinney is a human resources consultant from New York City. When not reporting on reality TV, he can be found rooting on his beloved Yankees or writing in his online diary, Tales From the City. He can be reached at TheRealityFactor@aol.com.
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