Big Brother 4, August 19: Look, Robert is Human!by C. Brian Devinney -- 08/20/2003
Greetings all… first, just a quick word to those of you who sent emails during the blackouts to make sure everyone here was OK - they were truly appreciated. It took two days to get home, but my loft bed never felt better.
But on to the show!
Sigh… these mega long recaps at the top of the show are really getting to me. You know it’s bad when the announcer starts off with, “Previously on Big Brother, Karen, Brittany, Josh, George, Will, Cassandra, Jordan, Curtis, Eddie, and Jamie entered the Big Brother house…” We’re going WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY back. Ya know… whatever happened to these people? I know George helped with banners for Big Brother 2 and Josh has his own production stuff coming out and Will is running for political office. But what about the rest of them? Instead of giving us recaps of things we really don’t want to see, I’d rather learn if Brittany’s hair color still morphs as much as it did when was on the show, if Jordan is still pole dancing, and if Karen is much happier since she left her husband after the show. It’s been three years, people. Don’t you think we deserve to see what happened to them?
Actually, we start off as usual with Nathan leaving and our lovely people being enshrined in cages with Robert leaving followed shortly by Jun who decided to announce that she’s safe causing the other two Stooges to really doubt their own place in the house since three of the four people left in the cages would love to see them on the chopping block. Sure enough, we get Erika’s crowning as Head of Household and the nominations of Robert and Justin to go on the chopping block for potential eviction. First, before I go any further, let me compliment Erika for being smart enough to realize that if she wanted one of the Three Stooges to go, she had to nominate two of them. Thank God she realized the decoy ploy was a dud.
Erika, after finishing out her nominations, ran off to the Desert Room to get all emotional when we’ve normally seen them run off to the Head of Household Room. She seems to just feel more comfortable in the Desert Room. For the record, if I am ever on Big Brother and I get Head of Household, I want to have either Claire Martin’s Old Boyfriends or Diana Krall’s Live from Paris CD with me. If I really, really, really wanted to be evil, I would ask for the complete box set of Ella Fitzgerald singing the songs of George and Ira Gershwin because it’s only three CDs and it would keep me nice and calm. I loves me jazz divas. And, if for any reason you’re inclined to buy me the Ella Fitzgerald box set, well… I’ll probably worship the ground you walk on.
Anyway, Robert and Justin are seemingly taking their nominations rather well and it’s rather shocking. We’ve had people who were sure they were going to be nominated get all worked up and in a tizzy over their nominations. Remember Chiara’s reaction to being nominated by Amy when she KNEW she was most likely going to be nominated by Amy? That woman wasn’t exactly a Stable Mabel there. She went freaking nuts. I know it’s not a great thing to have happen to you, but you could handle it with some grace and dignity.
Meanwhile, Jack is comforting Erika and telling her that she had to do what she had to do in order to stay in the game. Alison somehow manages to track these two down because she has a nose for being where she shouldn’t at the most inopportune moments. Erika is still broken up about having to make the nominations, which is kinda funny considering that the two men are somewhat calm about the whole thing. Yeah, they may be mad, but for the most part they are taking it as just part of the game. Speaking of which, Erika says that she’s playing the game strategically and not emotionally. Of course, this goes back to what I have said about her nominating two out of the three Stooges for this eviction round – it guarantees that one of them will go and only leave two. If she were playing emotionally, she would have put up a decoy - and we all know about the decoy.
Jun heads outside to talk to Robert and Justin just so she can make it clear to everyone that she’s riding both sides of the fence as hard as she can but she had this deal she made and she’s just living by the deal. Robert says it’s OK with him since surviving in the house is just part of the game, while Justin makes some comment about waiting until her urine dried up (which I know is a reference to her ability to go to the bathroom while in the cage during the Head of Household competition, but for some reason I’m not getting what other implications are in that statement). To her face, they are both somewhat nice; however, behind her back, Robert is livid and pissed and calls Jun the “S” word – scumbag. If he survives the next vote, then she is at the top of his hit list. And she thought flitting and floating from group to group to keep herself in the house would work. Well, babycakes, you’re not Rob from Survivor: The Amazon - when one person has all the power, you’d better learn to kiss ass really fast.
The next day comes and Robert is by the pool talking with Alison about Jun and his desire to see her get the shaft in the upcoming round – if not this round! Alison says that if one of them gets veto, she will team up with them and get Erika to put Jun up in the place of the removed HouseGuest. Alison thinks this is a great idea since she thinks Jun is being sneaky about everything and her status as a “floater” is going to come to an end sooner than she thinks. Frankly, there is no chance in hell of this happening since Erika is dedicated to getting rid of one member of the Stooges regardless of whether someone is removed from the chopping block.
Erika actually takes the proposal to Jack and he finds the entire situation laughable because they are doing something that Alison and Dana didn’t do, which was to put up Justin. Of course Dana would never put her playmate (and I mean Justin, not the cooler) up for eviction, but the fact that Alison didn’t either… well that’s a bit curious too. Didn’t she want to get rid of all of the exes first as well? Of course, this is the point where Alison rears her whiny head again and enters yet another conversation she has no business being in but she does get to hear Jack tell her that Jun is pretty much persona non grata and about as trustworthy as Enron was with its account balances.
The main reason is that they have figured out (well maybe not fully figured out) that Jun and Jee are tighter than they originally realized. If they tell Jun anything about their plans, they know she will “float” her way over to Jee and spill the beans to them. Alison, for once, seems to have nothing to say, which from her is something along the lines of a miracle that the Catholic Church should be investigating. Meanwhile Jun and Jee are in the kitchen making sure that they have each others’ backs because they know that the targets are soon going to find their way onto them. Of course, Jun is a “floater” and she’s going to keep going between the two factions, finding the safe harbor she needs for a few scant moments before she has to move on.
Now Alison has already said that she doesn’t trust Jun… well, guess what, folks? Jun doesn’t trust Alison either. Oddly enough, Jack and Erika agree with her and warn her to be careful of what she says to Alison. So to recap… Jack and Erika want Alison to watch what she says to Jun and Jun to watch what she says to Alison. Do I have this right? Someone please tell me if I don’t, because it’s really starting to make my head hurt. Ultimately, from what I think I’m getting here, the plan is for Jun to sorta be the scapegoat of the whole thing. Whomever Jack and Erika want to go, Jun has to be the executioner.
All of this is in preparation for the veto competition. Robert and Jee both say they are going for the veto win and if so, Robert plans to use it to save Justin. Justin, however, says that it would be stupid for him to do that. Jee tells us that he is there to support his fellow Stooges but in reality, he doesn’t want to win - so will he pull a Roddy and deliberately lose? Meanwhile, an unlikely alliance of Jun and Alison seems to be forming as they both seem to take their floater status as a badge of honor. Jun apparently thinks she’s taking the high road in being a floater and not tramping around like Alison.
So is it time for the veto competition? No. We get America’s Choice. Who gets the letter from home? Everyone wants it but Alison, who thinks that it will only be bad news from her boyfriend – maybe dumping her? Oh please! That would be great! Robert really wants to hear from his little girl but says that if he doesn’t win, he would want Jack, the other father, to take home the prize. Now, here’s what I don’t get - Jun is in the Head of Household room crying about getting a letter from her ex-boyfriend Bob because he would know what to say to make her happy. This so comes out of left field that I have to mention it because they bring up another ex, one that we haven’t seen or heard from, and Jun is getting teary over him while her other ex is in the house.
Fast forward for a sec - Robert does ultimately win the letter and turns into a blubbering mess on national TV as he reads it aloud. Elena gets her own onscreen appearance and we learn that she got a new puppy, she’s about to start school again, and that she has seen a lot of white butterflies since he’s been in the house. Now, if you’re wondering what that means, Robert told her that every time she saw a white butterfly it was a sign that he was thinking of her. Included with the letter are four white butterflies that spell out, “I miss you, Dad.” It totally humanizes Robert and for one moment makes him not seem like a used car salesman.
But back to the veto competition!
Jee is in the middle of one of his marathon teeth-brushing sessions when Erika walks in and says that according to their deal in the cage, he can’t use the veto if he wins. Jee of course is clueless but with the precision of a Paradise Hotel flashback, we do indeed see the words being said and agreed to while they were trapped in the cages. Jee takes this new development to Robert after he tells Erika that he’s still cool with the deal, but Robert says he can still use it anyway regardless of what he said. Balking, Jee sees this as betrayal of his honor and dignity (or something like that) and doesn’t want to do it. Robert says that they were lied to in the beginning by the “originals” (ugh - another Paradise Hotel phrase… are you sure they don’t this show on live feed there as well?).
The veto competition is to focus five cameras on the appropriate HouseGuest picture in the order in which they won the veto competition. The fastest time wins. Quite simple, right? Well, to make it fair for everyone, only one person will be allowed to do the competition at a time. Justin makes it in just over three minutes while Erika takes over four to complete the course. Jack just can’t seem to get it together and clocks in at over eighteen minutes. Alison deliberately stalls and comes in under four minutes, while Jee and Robert are still nowhere near Justin’s time. It all comes down to Jun, who stuns everyone with a performance of under three minutes’ time. Jun – thrilled. Alison – livid (or so it seems).
Filler time… ugh. And it’s boring filler too. Jun and Jee met at church while Alison and Justin had sex for the first time when Justin offered her the chance to shower with him at the frat house. Yeah. Gotta love those good girls. And she wonders why Julie brings up her bedhopping.
But the best part, which is perhaps the most touching and also makes Robert seem more human, is when Erika comes over and apologizes to Robert for the things she did after they split up. Robert cheated on Erika and apparently she called his office to get him in trouble, but it was more of a revenge tactic than anything else. Robert says that he really needed to hear that and they both agree to put things aside in order to get along better in the house. There’s some resolution there. Some closure. It’s nice to see.
Later that night, it’s hot lesbian action in the hot tub. Not really. Just Jun and Alison, who apparently have realized that once one of the Stooges is gone, that will leave two Stooges as a pair, Jack and Erika as a pair, and they will be left in the dark. They have to team up in order to ensure their survival. After all, how many more floats do they have left in them at this point? They also wonder if Jack is throwing competitions just to keep out of the spotlight. Hmmm… Sounds like Will from Big Brother 2’s strategy is coming back into focus.
Finally we get the veto ceremony, and Jee is concerned that his ex will use the veto and he will be put up in place of the removed HouseGuest. Robert just says that this is a game and whatever she decides is based on how she chooses to play the game. Justin says that Jun is sneaky and floats from one group to the next and she’s only looking out for herself. Well, that’s one way to get taken off the chopping block, Justin. Regardless, Jun decides not to use the veto.
Was it a smart move? Well, she still has that secret alliance with Jee, so she would have run the risk of him being put up had she used it.
But we shall see who gets evicted tomorrow… will it be Justin? Will it be Robert? Will it be Julie Chen and her DRAMATIC PIVOTS?
We shall see!
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C. Brian Devinney hails from New York City and has appeared on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show and MTV's Big Urban Myth discussing reality TV. You can read his other work on his website, Tales from the City, and can contact him at TheRealityFactor@aol.com.
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