Big Brother kicks off with a summer full of new twists

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Welcome to the summer and the eighteenth season of Big Brother! This year we’re going to do things a bit differently, bringing you a weekly post after the Sunday show, recapping what’s happened in the house — both on TV and live stream —
and throw in some spoilers for things we haven’t yet seen on the air … so beware, but we will hide them so you don’t accidentally see something you don’t want to see.

Big Brother kicked off this year with a two-night, three hour premiere that introduced us to twelve new Houseguests and a whole lot of twists. Right off the bat, some of the more aware BB HGs knew that they’d never get through a 99 day season (the longest ever) with just twelve people, and they were right. Host Julie Chen alerted everyone that there were four stowaways in the house (keeping with this year’s travel theme), and they have been there before. Now, we originally posted a rumor about who the four returnees were (and that they were possibly going to be coaches again) … and that rumor turned out to be wrong, wrong, wrong on every level.

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So let’s set the record straight. The four returnees were Nicole (BB16), James (BB17), Da’Vonne (BB17) and Frank (BB14). Naturally they had huge targets on their backs with the newbies vowing to stick together and pick them all off first. Of course there was another twist to throw those plans into the dumpster as each vet became a team leader who had to pick three newbies each. Which did not set well with the newbies (who don’t seem to be sticking with their teams) or Da’Vonne, who practically had a mental and emotional breakdown upon learning the news.

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Another twist involved the first challenges … or I should say challenges. The first challenge, Ride the Rocket, was typical BB with HGs straddling a large phallic symbol, this time a rocket, and being blasted with goo. With four teams, winning was imperative. The first team to fall off would land in Notburgh, making them the Have Nots for the week. The second team to fall would arrive in Mysteryland, which would dole out a mystery punishment to the team. The third team to fall would land in Cash City, which would give each member $2,500. The last team with at least one member on the rocket would arrive in Safeville, guaranteeing the entire team safety for the next two evictions — with another twist being that the first eviction would happen before the two-night premiere was over, because this is a three-part competition!

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So the teams are Frank, Michelle, Paulie (Cody’s brother) and Bridgette, with the team name of Category 4; Nicole, Corey, Tiffany (Vanessa’s sister) and Glenn (the oldest at 50), Team Freakaziods; James, Victor, Natalie and Bronte, Team Unicorn; and Da’Vonne, Paul, Jozea and Zakiyah, team Big Sister. The comp rankings:

  • Notburgh: Team Big Sister
  • Mysterland: Category 4
  • Cash City: Freakazoids
  • Safeville: Team Unicorn
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The remaining three teams then had to compete in the Hit the Road competition which required them to build a 15-piece pyramid on top of a disk that was being suspended between three team members. One person had to get a piece from the sand, place it on the disk and swap out with another player, all while keeping the disk steady. If the pyramid fell, any pieces on the ground would be disqualified and the pyramid had to be rebuilt. This was one of the tougher BB comps we’ve seen (thanks in part to a new comp designer from BB Canada) and it was stressing everyone out because the winning team would be safe from the next competition. And that was Frank’s Category 4 team.

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That left Freakazoids and Team Big Sister to compete in part two of Hit the Road which would require each team to work together to build a sand castle out of puzzle pieces strewn around their designated area. Unfortunately, there were decoy pieces added to really trip them up. The winning team would be safe for the night. This comp tested the patience of more than one team member, including Glenn who felt no one was listening to him (and he was right since they finished their puzzle but it wasn’t correct). In the end, Team Big Sister won, sending Freakazoids to the final round which would determine the first player automatically evicted from the game.

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The third part of Hit the Road required the players to climb a palm tree, grab a coconut and place it in an SOS space on their “beach.” The beach, however, was an unbalance platform, and one bad move could send a coconut plummeting into the “ocean” below. Nicole and Tiffany managed to be the first two safe (much to the displeasure of the rest of the newbies who wanted to send Nicole home first), with Corey and Glenn battling it out for the win. In a photo finish, the winner was Corey — Glenn lost some coconuts has he grabbed his flag at the same moment — and Glenn was sent packing. But there was yet another twist. The three survivors had to choose among themselves the first HoH of the season. Nicole had previously talked to Corey and turned the conversation in such a way as to make him suggest her as the HoH, and it worked.

By the way, kudos to the production team for putting together the challenges and for some amazing directing, camera work and editing for making everything truly edge-of-your-seat exciting!

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But who would Nicole nominate for eviction from the two unsafe teams? Victor made one of her choices easier than she expected by basically blabbing to her that Jozea was targeting her first. He really handed Jozea to her on a platter, but who would she nominate that was a safe choice as a pawn? If I was her, I would have just nominated Victor for his blabbery, or Paul because he’s already playing the game way too hard and has really been the ringleader when it comes to targeting the vets. But she consulted with and ultimately chose Paulie.

Oh, but there is another twist.

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This summer instead of Battle of the Block (thank God) there is a new challenge called BB Roadkill. When the RV “drives” into the backyard and sets up camp, each HG has a chance to compete, and the winner gets to secretly select a third nominee. Picture an unhappy Nicole, who thinks her nominations are now worthless, and a happy Jozea, who has already proclaimed himself the house’s Messiah (although for an all-seeing, all-knowing being, he did not foresee his nomination coming). The first BB Roadkill challenge required each player to enter the RV and drive. Well, hold down three buttons at the same time while stripping down to their bathing suits. If any button was released, the timer would speed up. When they were done, they had to run and hit a fourth button to stop the clock. The individual with the fastest time would be the winner. Everyone had to put on a poker face when they got their results, and Frank ended up with the fastest time. He secretly nominated Paul.

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The Mysterland losers also received their punishment: wearing pixelated outfits to “blur out” their naughty bits. For a week. We also saw some alliances being formed. The vets already have a four-person alliance, but Da’Vonne saw strength in numbers, so they brought in Michells, Tiffany, Zakiyah and Corey to form the 8-Pack. It’s puzzling as to why they didn’t include their pawn Paulie. Later, Bridgette, Bronte and Natalie formed an “all-girl” alliance — with only the three of them — in clear earshot of a “sleeping” Tiffany.

And that’s where we are as far as broadcast episodes. If you want to see what’s been happening since Paul’s nomination, go to the next page.

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