Big Brother 4, July 29: One Day at a Time, Sweet Jesusby C. Brian Devinney -- 07/30/2003
Well apparently, the HouseGuests didnít listen to me in my last recap, because I specifically instructed them to not plan things out so far in advance that they have no control over. But weíll get to all of that in a few moments because we have to start off this episode with the obligatory recap from hell minus the vicious Julie Chen pivots (something that I am shocked our president hasnít classified as a weapon of mass destruction and ordered the Big Brother house invaded by Girl Scout Troop #429 from West Covina).
Pretty much I just realized during that flashback from hell that Dana won her new HOH title by not being faster on the buzzer or knowing more than her competitors but the fact that her competitors (Alison and Justin) just bombed on their questions. So it was like being the last spinner on The Price is Right and having your two competitors both go over a dollar and youíre automatically in the Showcase Showdown. You sorta feel ripped off by it. Dana really didnít outright win the Head of Household as much as she was probably just smart enough to not answer a question that she didnít know and let the two bumbleheads beside her go for it and bomb out. Yes, Justin may be a bumblehead but heís a cute bumblehead at that. Alison... well sheís just a freakshow.
Pretty much no one in the alliance of
Alison is, of course, pissed at her nomination. Why is everyone pissed when they get nominated? Can someone explain that one to me? You know itís part of the game. You know that at some point you are most likely going to be on the chopping block. Why canít these people just accept it and move on with the game and have some fun instead of being such whiny babies about it all? Alison just doesnít even want Dana coming near her or talking to her or anything otherwise she will be forced to put her hands around Danaís throat and strangle her until her eyeballs pop out and can be used in a nice game of marbles with Nathan. Erika tells Alison that she thinks that Justin had something to do with her nomination since, after all, heís her ex.
Of course, what I love the most is the Used Car Salesman. I have to be talking about Robert since he is so slimy and sleazy that he just oozes that stereotypical personality you would associate with a Used Car Salesman. Robert says that there are going to be no more surprises in the Big Brother house, which of course causes me to throw a shoe at my TV (knocking over my cable modem and temporarily knocking me offline). How can he say something like that? Itís been what? Three weeks? Three weeks and there will be no more surprises in the house? Has he seen any edition of Big Brother? Does he know what heís talking about at all? I mean, Robert, if you have watched just about ANY episode of Big Brother, you should know that you should expect the unexpected. Wait. That was last seasonís mantra. Well, anyway, it still holds true here!
Dana mouths off/whines/gets pissy/spontaneously combusts over the fact that Alison will not even speak to her. Again this is a common symptom of Post-Nomination Stress Disorder. No one ever wants to talk to the person who just nominated them for eviction. They either get really pissy and yell at them, stare at them incredulously, or just shut up altogether. Now, I know some of you are bringing up the bursting into tears portion of the disorder based upon reactions from Sheryl of BB2 and Amy of BB3, but those are just side effects. Dana tells us in the Diary Room that the power in the house has shifted yet again.
I am so sick and tired of hearing people talk about power in the Big Brother house as if it was something that had a stranglehold on. The closest that anyone has ever come to really having power is Danielle and Jason from BB3, but what good did that do for either of them since neither won the top prize. And the power shifts? Like you do in a manual transmission car? Whereís the clutch on this power and, for my sake at least, where the hell are the brakes? Everyone here thinks they have some little string of control when it comes to the power in the house and, frankly, after three weeks in the house, all I gotta say is that none of you really have power. Wait until it gets down to about six or seven of you. Thatís when REAL power will come into play.
So letís hear what our other nominee has to say... Jack is outside talking with Nate about his nomination and he pretty much echoes what we have heard in the beginning of this episode about how Dana made enemies out of everyone in the house. Nate didnít expect that set of nominations to come down the pike whatsoever and itís basically an attack on their alliance of three which I guess is a subset of the alliance of seven which is a subset of the alliance of eight. There are so many alliances here that I really canít keep track of it all and itís starting to make my head hurt. Why canít they do something nice like give me something really easy to read graphic that shows color coded lines connecting people that are supposedly in alliances with each other. That way I could just go, ďOh, Dana. Well sheís in an alliance with HDL and possibly Jun since Jun is more of a dotted line. But, look, thereís a yellow line extending out to Justin on itís own which could mean that sheís in a secret alliance with him.Ē Come to think of it, with the way alliances change in this house, that graph would be out of date in about three minutes.
Erika, who I think is just stunningly beautiful now that Iíve really gotten a chance to view her for an extended period of time, thinks that Dana has pissed off about half of the jury members and has pretty much thrown away any chance she has of winning the cash. Why would Dana do such a thing? It makes no sense to her. Well I never said Erika was smart. Just pretty. What it really boils down to is that Dana knows that Alison was gunning to get her out of the house so she made a pre-emptive strive to get her out of the house before any plans could be set in place to get her out the following week. Itís really a very smart move when you think about it. For once people are thinking with their brains although I canít really give Dana too much credit since I still think that Jack is a decoy and Iím scared to think that he would go early.
Erika hooks up with Nate in the backyard and Nate tells her that their very survival is at stake and all I keep thinking is that they must think that they are in some bad late Ď70s/early Ď80s adventure flick set in South America where a band of tribal leaders is hunting them down to make Gringo Stew and someone uses the line about how their survival is at stake when it comes time to make a very important decision that could impact the rest of the movie. Of course, as it goes in the movies, they make the wrong decision anyway, get captured by the cannibals, and barely make it out alive when they somehow rock the pot over and use it to roll down the hill. Wait. I think that was an episode of Scooby Doo. Anyway, you get the idea. Back to Nate and Erika.
Somehow these two come up with the earth-shattering conclusion that Dana wants Alison out of the house. I have no idea how they came up with that one on their own without the use of hand puppets, but it happened. Nate says that Alison has to stay and Erika now has to wonder about breaking her alliance with Jack. Okay, so thereís another alliance that Iíve just learned about. Let me take my periwinkle crayon and draw a line from the Erika bubble to the Jack bubble. My chart is starting to look more and more like one of those Jackson Pollack splatter paintings. Erika says that the way to play the game is to just go with whatever is happening in the house and just ride it to the end. Of course this all makes sense and itís what you have to do to play the game and keep your sanity but is she actually going to do it?
Now, this is where I have to question Erikaís motives. Is this a case of stirring the pot or empathizing when she goes up to Alison and says that she thinks her ex (meaning Alisonís ex, Justin) is evil and how she felt the same way when she was placed up for nomination last week. Just to remind you, Erikaís ex is the Used Car Salesman, aka Robert. Last week Erika and Robert went through some emotional upheavals regarding her nomination and actually it looks like the two have somewhat made peace after she consoled him when he broke down in the Diary Room. See, if this was me and my ex, well my big ex since the short relationships donít really and truly count... but if this was my ex, we wouldnít be making up so quickly.
Alison is in the Diary Room and she says that the man-troll (Dana) wants to do the midget (Justin). Apparently when she was with Justin, or immediately after, she called him the midget. Of course, his nickname for her was High Maintenance Super Control Freak Bitch but when they were together he just called her Snickerdoodle because saying the entire name was just a bit too much to do in one breath. Anyway, Alison says that Dana and Justin would have the ugliest babies and I would have to disagree there. I think Danaís an attractive woman and Justin sure is rocking my world. Their babies would have great physiques thanks to their dad and bipolar attitudes thanks to their mom. What more could you ask for? Personally, I just think that Alison is jealous that Justin has already found a woman in the house and itís not her. I just want to know what Justin saw in Alison besides five or ten minutes of a good time every now and then.
Yes, I went there. I went there, wallowed in it, got up, and kept on typing.
Dana and Justin meanwhile are curled up on the couch talking about her decision to nominate Jack and Alison. Justin says she made the right decision and I think he did too considering what she was going up against. If we remember last week, Jee was going to place her on the block had the power of veto been used to remove Michelle. Robert then enters the picture and says that he doesnít care who wins the power of veto this week because itís just a week of clear sailing for him. This is what I donít get about Robert. Doesnít he realize that Alison or Jack may have allies in the house that would stop at nothing to make sure that they are taken off of the block? I mean this really and truly isnít a slam dunk and for him to think so is making him look very naÔve. But I guess in his defense, he has to think that heís safe even if it is used since Dana doesnít seem to be targeting the exes for dismissal.
Now we get this little tidbit that I didnít pick up on before and I think it just made me love Dana even more than I already do. Dana thought out the nomination process so well that even the keys were strategically placed to that each person who pulled out a key had to tell the person they disliked the most in the house that they were safe. That is just so freakiní awesome and the fact that no one has even thought about doing that until that moment just makes me a really happy camper. Jun, of course, says she knew something like that would happen so it didnít really surprise her so I scream, ďShut up, Jun!Ē at the TV screen because sheís really starting to get annoying with her self righteous, smarter than thou routine.
Now to kill some time this episode itís time for a new episode of This Old Big Brother House starring our favorite HouseGuest carpenter Ė Jee! Apparently, this HouseGuest is a big Mr. Fix It (although I wonder if he could fix Junís mouth so she doesnít speak?) and Alison, being the whiner that she is, has to have something to say about it, but letís face it, sheís annoying enough as it is on the show, why would I inflict you with her actual comment here? But to prove that sheís the true psycho bitch of the house, Alison gets Dave to join her in a prank on Jee who just got done fixing the lounge chairs to make sure that they stayed in their right position. They sprang the release causing the chairs to collapse back so Jee would think that his work didnít pay off. Of course itís childish but Alison gets a kick out of it because she is a child (or at least has the mentality of one) and Jee goes back to repairing something that doesnít really need fixing. Robert (who was also in on it) later tells him about how they did it and Jee rightfully is upset about it and doesnít like being thought of as a doofus.
Over to the kitchen where Dana and Nate are now talking. Nate wants to make sure that Dana really wants Alison out of the house and Iím sitting there thinking, ďNo, Nate, why would she want THAT?Ē Dana says that Alisonís name kept coming up over and over and it was the right thing to do given the position she was in. It was time for a ďmove.Ē What move? Did the power move? Did my cheese move? What is this move? Of course, since this hour is now the Alison Show, we have to hear Dana talk about Alison in the Diary Room where she vows that no matter what Alison says behind her back, to her face, or standing on her head, sheís not going to let her off the hook for a second. She has the balls to do what no one else would do and made a pivotal decision to remove some key players from the game.
So now that people have talked about Alison in the Diary Room, what about Dana? Nominee Jack thinks that Dana effectively has no friends in the house after this round of nominations, which of course leads me to ask if she ever really did since no one really seems to like her but you have to admit sheís still playing a heck of a game otherwise. Now, David I have to disagree with when he says that Dana really doesnít make strategic plays when it comes to dealing with things in the house. I think she made a perfectly wonderful ďmoveĒ with her ďshift of powerĒ when she nominated two of the people that were promoting her eviction in the house. At the same time, sheís sided with a larger majority of people and knows that even if the power of veto is used, there are other people from the minority to put in their place. Itís a brilliant move and no one is giving her any credit.
But since this is the Alison Hour, we have to see Alison have it out with Justin about why he made Dana put her up for nomination. Actually I think she used the phrase about having Dana do his dirty work. Letís face it... when youíre as hot as Justin, you can get people to do your dirty work easily. Justin says that Dana made her own decision for her own reasons and I have to agree with him on this one. She knew who was planning to get her out so she did what she had to do. Alison makes the claim that Dana only hates her because of Justin while Justin nails it on the head and says that doesnít like her because of what Alison did in the house. Alison disagrees with the notion that she could do anything wrong and Justin comes right out and calls her fake, which Alison fakely says she is not. Justin says that he has to trust Dana because things in the house have changed and Alison puts her head under her covers and we all hope that Penn and Teller come in from their episode of Who Wants to Marry My Dad and will pull off the covers, revealing that Alison is gone. But that wonít happen, sadly.
More filler time in this episode as itís time for Stupid David Tricks. Actually itís just a single trick as all he tends to do is jump into the pool cannonball style whenever someone is in the hammock so the splash of water will get his intended victim wet. We see this go on and on and while itís somewhat amusing, you know what they say about turnabout is fair play as Justin sees David lying in the hammock and takes his revenge, soaking the poor sap.
Now thatís entertainment.
Now that night has fallen, a new alliance has been formed between Nate and Alison. For this alliance on my chart Iím using my orchid crayon. Nate says that they have to go behind everyoneís back to survive in this game because Alison is smart and he can do the athletic stuff. Well considering that most of the HOH games are more smarts than athletics, Nate is not going to be winning very much and Alison had better hope sheís still in the game if she wants to use her smarts, which I donít think weíve seen her do just yet but I could be wrong.
So now we are up for the Power of Veto competition, called Niagara Balls. A stream of rubber balls will come flooding down from above. They are to only retrieve the green balls and place them in their receptacles. Now going into this, Dana told Justin and Robert that Jack is supported by Dave and Erika while Nate is the only one backing Alison. They will have to bust their butts to get the Veto and make sure that they stay up for the vote. Ali says that Nate will win and take her off the block and she will win HOH and they will take over the house and make it theirs and the power will shift/move over to them. Big plans. She had better hope he wins because I have serious doubts about her winning HOH.
Now for this contest there are kneepads and helmets and goggles Ė though most of them choose not to wear the latter, which turns out to be a mistake. The first wave of balls is apparently without any green balls, or at least very few. However, soon injuries abound as Jun and Nate both take a bouncing ball in the eye and Jee takes several in the groin region. Nathan, however, does the smart thing Ė he stays near his mark and only picks the green balls off of the ground and doesnít go for any still bouncing in the air. Itís a smart move and pays off when he does indeed win the Power of Veto, much to everyoneís (except Alisonís) dismay. He canít wait to use his new power. Oh geez... Alison off the voting block? Say it ainít so!
More filler time. Itís the Burger King food. I swear their fat and cholesterol levels are going through the roof.
Back to the Alison hour and sheís now in bed with Nate... well on the bed and she lunges over and hugs him and all I can think is, ďLord, please donít let them have sex.Ē Nate tells her not to tell anyone that heís taking her off and she says that the plan is for her to pretend to be okay with going home, then she gets taken off the block, she wins HOH, and puts Dana up for nomination and gets her out of the house. Of course, with Dana gone that means she has nothing to bitch and moan about and man will she be... the same annoying person she is right now. Of course, I donít think that Alison is going to win HOH this time but thatís me planning a few days ahead as well so I should shut up. Erika and Jack later join them in the bedroom, where Erika finally says that Dana is losing it and being the nice person that she is, Alison points out that Dana canít stand Erika either.
In the dining room, though, are Dana, Robert, and Jee and she tells them that the other four are in the bedroom talking it up and plotting something that may never come to pass. Robert tells us in the Diary Room that Nathan should leave things alone because if he removes someone then another person from his group is going to find themselves on the chopping block. Itís not a smart move on his part. Dana is ready to take on that challenge should Nate be stupid enough to do it.
Another filler moment Ė this time with Alisonís blue elephant. Pretty much every night, Dave steals her stuffed blue elephant and kills it. So far it has been hung, toasted, placed in the bathtub with the toaster, in the oven, and so on. Personally, I would think that being owned by Alison was bad enough, but itís a pretty funny segment.
Itís time for another luxury competition, where the winner and a guest of their choice will get a gourmet dinner for two. They have to sit in a chair and be spun around for thirty seconds, then carry a glass filled with champagne (and we all know how much I love my champagne so this had better be cheap stuff they are spilling), place the tray with the glass on top on a podium, and ring a bell. Fastest time wins.
Lots of falling and stumbling and champagne-spilling ensues. Jee cracks me up the most when he walks into a wall before even getting to the champagne. Poor Jack actually suffers a small cut when he falls on his face, but he takes it like a man and laughs it off. It is nice to see the people actually concerned over someone getting injured during the competition and not about being total jerks to each other. Erika and Alison clock in the fastest times. Erika used a head spin technique used by dancers to spot a point on a wall when they spin and whip their head around to prevent them from getting dizzy. But Alison whines that sheís an ice skater so of course she can spin, using a similar technique, and gets in with eleven seconds. Alison hems and haws in a very fake manner before she chooses Nate for her dinner date.
Pretty much itís a nice dinner for the two blondes (although I think Alison is of the bottle variety) and they both look rather nice. But, of course, they get drunk because that is a Big Brother tradition that must be upheld. But when we come back from commercial Alison is in the hot tub Ė WITH JUSTIN! Justin tells her that since sheís drunk she had better not try to seduce him. And what if she did, Justin. What if she did? Showing that he really is the brains in the former couple, Justin gets Alison to reveal that sheís not leaving this week because Nate will be using the power of veto to rescue her from eviction and even says that there is no one in the house smarter than her. Oh really. If that was the case you would have won Power of Veto this week!
Nate is now pissed that Alison revealed his plans and tells her off in no uncertain terms. He thought she was a better class of person than to get drunk and spill her guts about what was going to happen. It was supposed to be a secret, remember? Now they can plan a counter attack. ďYouíve ruined all my evil goodness, Alison!Ē, he screams. Okay so he didnít say that but it was implied. Justin of course tells everyone about he plan to remove Alison and the plotting is afoot.
In the Diary Room, Nate says heís disappointed in Alison shooting off her mouth and lost a lot of respect for her. Wait... you have respect for her? You must be the only one. Jack is next the Diary Room and he says that his group of Dave, Erika, and himself believe that if the veto is used then Dave will be the one put up in Alisonís place and the group will have to decide who is more valuable to the whole.
We finally get to the ceremony and we have to wonder if Nate is still going to go through with pulling Alison off the block after she revealed everything. Jack says he just wants to stay and play the game since he likes the competition, while Alison says that people are saying hurtful things behind her back (as if sheís a saint herself) and she deserves another chance to play the game. Basically we all knew it was going to happen despite what little doubt was planted in our minds with Alisonís drunken rant, because Nate does take Alison off of the block.
Dana lets it fly with Nathan says that his decision was pretty much a stupid move on his part and if he was playing Superman then he has another thing coming. She puts David up in his place and says that David can thank Nate for his nomination this week. Back in the Diary Room Dana says that Nate pissed her off and I actually had to go back and rewatch the entire episode to see if she said those words at any other time and she didnít. We went nearly an hour without hearing her say she was pissed off. I think thatís a record. She only wishes she had put Nate up with Alison. In response to Danaís words about going against an alliance, Nathan himself tries to point out that Dana did it first, but is pretty much ignored in the general hoopla of the meeting breaking up.
Meanwhile the former original alliance says that Nate broke up the group even more with his decision. Erika and Jack both say it was a big mistake with both of them breaking ranks to say that they have to move to get Nate out of the house and soon. Nate, meanwhile, can feel the arrows about to pierce his body because the target on him, he says, has gone from his front and back to his full body.
He doesnít know the half of it...
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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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