Believe in Yourself

Well it looks like Joey, America’s first selection for Team America, will be going home this week. After confronting the veracity of Caleb’s house-wide survey to select a replacement nominee, she was said to have sealed her own fate. Some of the prima facie dominant players (Devin and Caleb) called her announcement to the house the dumbest move in the history of the Big Brother, while some of the more clueless players (Jocasta and Paola) shook their heads in consternation.

But did she really seal her fate?

What we’ve seen is a classic Big Brother phenomenon. In actuality, Joey isn’t getting evicted because of her announcement. Joey was targeted as a replacement nomination (because of her role in the girl alliance) before the infamous announcement.[1] This harping about her announcement is merely a lie told to the more clueless players, explaining why Joey needs to go.

But now here’s the fascinating part: Devin and Caleb, the people spearheading this effort, have begun to believe their own lie! Even when they are among their confidants, they will talk about how Joey really screwed the pooch.

So how did this happen? Here’s the thing: When you have one week to evict someone you just met, you’re going to feel reasonably bummed out about ending someone’s dream. So you rationalize it. You make it seem like they did this to themselves, that they deserve to go home.[2]

It’s not like it’s easy to evict Joey. In fact, notwithstanding how much people like Joey, the thinking has always been to send her packing because this is a game, not a referendum on who you click with personally. Remember that upon entering the house, Devin himself was taken with Joey. She said she was his “type.”

While house announcements are generally a dicey undertaking, Joey’s announcement was one of the more decent tacks available to her. It exposed the sham of Caleb’s supposed house-wide survey and outed his partnership with Devin. She also correctly intuited that she was the target. Don’t get me wrong: Joey’s game has been a mess. But no one will remember this as one of the worst blunders in the history of the game.

Except for Caleb and Devin. They need to believe that.


Is This Thing On?

Zach: “There’s nothing to talk about. I wish there was more to talk about but there’s not.”

Frankie: “We can talk about the weather.”

It’s been some trying days for your House of Mirrors correspondent. I’ve watched group meditation sessions. I’ve witnessed the omnipresent presence of girls doing the hair and makeup in the mirror. I’ve heard romantic prescriptions in the form of paraphrased lines from Jerry McGuire. Sure, people talk about doing things—later. When they’re not under the scrutiny of national television.

Cody: “I cannot wait to see, like, what all the prior people say about us.”

Christine: “Me too! I’m so curious.”

Cody: “’What are they saying about us? Probably like, um, ‘Why do they like each other so much?’”

Yeah, and then there’s that. Come on, guys. Don’t you know how this works?

I know I’m being impatient, but this is one of the more uneventful first weeks of Big Brother I can recall. I remain optimistic, though. I have to believe it’s going to get better.


Amber Alert!

“[I] heard, through the grapevine, that a date was mentioned…”—Caleb

Poor Caleb. He is straight up swimming in the Caribbean right now. This obsession with Amber has eclipsed not only his game but his entire being. He interprets every look they exchange as evidence of their unspoken love: Every time Amber looks at him, it is an amorous look; every time she doesn’t look at him, it is to conceal the passion burning in her heart for him.

He makes his rounds through the houseguests, breathlessly filling them in on the latest developments of their relationship. He talks about seeing her outside of the Big Brother house, driving to Tennessee or staying in California—whatever it takes—and he spends his days developing harebrained schemes to effectuate that.  

Sunday night, after wearing Amber’s dress around his neck like some kind of love talisman and enjoying an alcoholic beverage[3], he finally marshals the courage to tell Amber how he feels. He tries to be blasé about it, but he repeatedly breaks into giggling jags.

What makes this so heartbreaking is the fact that Amber isn’t remotely interested in Caleb romantically. She is manifestly uncomfortable and aloof with this conversation. In response to Caleb’s outpouring, she thanks him (ouch!) and says she hasn't thought about their relationship in that context. The awkward silence pervading the room curdles into an agonizing silence. Caleb then broaches the scuttlebutt about her being open to going on a date with him when the season is over (an outright lie authored by Hayden,) and Amber denies it.

When Amber gets up leave, she says, “Oh, Caleb!” in a tone that translates to “Oh, you silly boy!”

And yet Caleb was not deterred by this. He is still hopeful about Amber. In fact, he believes that Amber is lying about the date comment to save face. “I just don’t think she wants all the world knowing all her business,” he says.

Whatever gets you through the week, man. 

[1] Certain houseguests have been floating the idea of backdooring her even before Donny won veto.

[3] America may have voted for Joey, but you’re always number one in my alliance, Alcohol.