Too Much Too Soon

With 16 contestants, Big Brother 15 is the largest cast in Big Brother history, which makes the accelerated pace of the game even more confounding. First week HOH is widely considered to be fool’s gold: By winning the first competition, you reveal yourself to be a threat and—on top of that— you have to nominate two people, consequently creating a rift in the house.

So how does our new cast respond to the conundrums of first week HOH? Four hours! Are you guys kidding me!? They were hanging onto these popsicles as if it were the final four! Production had to start bribing people to jump off![1]

Jeremy is the epitome of this mentality. He cavalierly boasts that he will win any competition that he is a party of. And here’s the remarkable thing: Everyone believes him. “She’s so stupid!” says Kaitlin mocking Elissa for daring to nominate the invincible one. Even his enemies are skittish. Helen frets about Jeremy winning every competition and everyone seems to think that Jeremy’s competition prowess might afford him the esteem of the audience, making him a shoo-in for MVP.

But Jeremy’s hubris doesn’t just end there. He tells Aaryn and Kaitlin that he had the votes to stay even, if by some freak occurrence, he didn’t win veto. “I have eyes and ears everywhere and I’m going to be here for awhile,” he says haughtily. He then tells Judd that he knew that David was getting evicted. The man just can’t help himself.

It was a coup for him to win POV. He was clutch; he needed that victory. But that is also the issue: It is week two and his game hinges on him winning every competition.

Sorry Again

I’ve seen Jeremy give about three apologies in the house thus far. And I’m not talking about the “hey-I’m-sorry-I-was-curt-with-you-but-I-was-in-a-hurry” affair. These are profound gestures. These are the kinds of apologies where you have to pull someone into a cloistered room and have a private heart-to-heart with them.

Jeremy gives a good apology. It’s hopelessly recursive and there is usually one point where he makes an accusation, but it mostly comes off as contrite and sincere.

The most interesting thing about these apologies is that they are identical to each other. This either means that (a) he keeps making the same mistakes, or (b) he has honed the perfect apology over the years and now employs it whenever he offends someone, like some kind of apologetic Mad Libs.

Here is my impression of Jeremy apologizing:

“Hey, I just wanted to pull you aside and tell you that I’m sorry. I came at you loud and hostile and if that hurt your feelings, I’m sorry. Don’t cry. You know, I’m a 23 year old boy. I know that. I have a lot of growing up to do. I’m not as mature as you. You know what it is? It’s the house. This house makes you crazy. I wouldn’t usually come at you like that, all loud and hostile, under normal conditions. But I know that is still no excuse. I will add that people have told me that you were talking shit about me, and I don’t know if that is true or not, but that isn’t what we’re here to talk about. I’m a 23 year old boy…”


Oddly enough, my early Big Brother predictions have been relatively accurate. But there is one person in the house that I misread entirely: Howard.[2]

Howard is playing very well right now. He is one of the few people in the house is actually laying low and he is a pro at it. Is anyone not disarmed by this guy? He is protected by The Moving Company and also seems to be trusted by the trio of Helen, Elissa, and Candice.

Howard will eventually have to start making effective moves, but it’s a long season. It’s a good idea to chill for a few weeks. He has plenty of time to shake things up later.

The other person who is doing a good job of being discreet is Judd. Good thing no one knows about his secret celebrity relation.


The Bearded One Doth Protest too Much

During the week one scramble to evict David, Spencer came up with a conceit. He assured his alliance that he would talk to Candice to secure her vote. He specifically told everyone else to not interfere; he would take care of all of it.

He told Candice to vote Elissa, planning to make Candice a scapegoat for both sides of the house. It seemed like it might be a clever move, but it has blown up in his face. After Jeremy and Aaryn won HOH, he immediately came to them, livid that David was voted out. He hurled invectives behind Elissa’s back (to fit in with Aaryn’s crew) and trotted Candice out to tell everyone who he told her to vote for. He protested vehemently to any insinuation that he voted against David.

There has been a two pronged effect to this lie, both results being disastrous. Firstly, Aaryn and her minions have figured out that he lied to them, making his outburst particularly suspect. His oversell has reflected very poorly on his perceived trustworthiness. Secondly—and most problematic—he unwittingly gave Candice too much information and she has deduced the existence of an all-male alliance.

The problem with his plan is that it was founded on his dislike of Candice. It was an emotional decision and it is exposing his five man power-alliance in the second week!

Slow down guys! It’s going to be a long summer.

[1] Although I acknowledge that McCrae’s HOH was wildly successful.

[2] In my defense, Howard clearly exaggerated his religious persona to fulfill the religious zealot personality type.