In Case You Missed It:

The September 2002 finale of Big Brother 3 was an all-California affair, coming down to Los Angeles's favorite bartender, Lisa Donahue, and Fairfield's classy sassy diva, Danielle Reyes. When the dust settled, Donahue took home the $500,000 grand prize. It marked the second year in a row the survivor of the first "couple" to be broken up won the game...

Did I say couples? Rumor has it this season of Big Brother might have just something to do with that..


Big Brother 4 opened with longtime host Julie Chen walking down the steps of the redesigned house we've all gotten to know and love. All 13 houseguests are show in a clip receiving their keys, but only eight of them, Erika, David, Scott, Allison, Nathan, Jack, Jun, and Dana getting to enter first. This year's opening provided a twist on the bed selection ceremony. Instead of three groups of four, two groups of three and a group of two each, in turn, entered the house. Each member in each group had to choose a DIFFERENT bedroom from the other members.

Oh by the way, let me describe the bedrooms, one is orange colored and has two double beds, occupied by Jun and Nathan. Another is in a desert wallpaper motif and has three burlap beds, occupied by Erika, Jack, and David, and lastly are three beds in wallpaper chock full of psychedelic 1960s style circles, and Dana, Allison, and Scott are the brave souls who'll get their groove on, Austin Powers style.

The houseguests introduced themselves to each other, and even though more than eight glasses existed, they toasted each other on making Big Brother 4.

The opening food challenge proved to be a unique experience. Instead of an easy challenge, Big Brother made sure that even for starters, nothing is taken for granted. Two groups of four had to stand on beams that go up and out in diagonal fashion. The eight were asked true or false questions about themselves as a group. Each incorrect question would result in the beam being raised, and with the houseguests on them, they could possibly fall to the mats surrounding them. If three or more failed, the group would begin with a week's worth guessed it, Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Our group of houseguests did not get off to a good start, answering incorrectly on their first 4 questions. Those four increments failed to deck any of the houseguests. But, the second half of houseguests did much better, only getting one incorrect. That also failed to knock off any of the houseguests from their beams. The food challenge is won, and all the houseguests will be eating nicely.

With the group gathered around the living room of the house, Julie gets on the new vertical plasma TV and tells the eight houseguests that five more people are on the way. Those five people, Julie informs the group, are people from five of the eight houseguests lives..former boyfriends and girlfriends. The original group quickly gains a consensus, and vows to destroy the newcomers by forming an alliance. The most frightened is Allison, the beauty queen, but Dana quickly consoles her.

In the next segment, Julie introduces the five exs in a he-said, she-said montage.. Scott's ex Amanda, Allison's ex Justin, Jun's ex Jee, who is, like Jun, a Korean American, David's ex Michelle, who is all of 19 years old, and Erika's ex, Robert, who openly cheated on Erika while in a relationship. This leaves Nathan, Dana, and Jack in as single. The five exs gather in the front of the house, rip roaring and ready to go.

And in our final segment of the evening, the exs make their way in. Julie briefs them that the first food challenge has been won, and that beds have been selected. In they went, and needless to say, the houseguests were not amused, some hiding their heads in utter disgust! Erika even shoots an extended middle finger at the camera's direction. Yep Erika, you're number one, all right.

"I have to go throw up or something", remarked Jun. Several of the others were scurrying around in shock.

Some of the exs weren't happy. "The first thing I thought was, 'where's the door?'", replies Justin, the University of Pittsburgh amateur wrestler.

And one could only wonder, what lies ahead?


Arguably, the best opening episode Big Brother has had from a TV production standpoint. The exes twist truly worked to perfection. The question is: how stable will the house be in the days ahead?

As many of you veteran Big Brother observers know, big alliances do not work. I was amazed that the houseguests, some of whom seemed to have watched previous editions, would agree to one so quickly. Don't expect this to last!

I am a little surprised that the last second casting change involving to-be houseguest Brandon Showalter was not mentioned in any way, shape, or form. It would be nice if CBS and the Arnold Shapiro led production team specifically answered why Brandon was turned away on move-in day, and not spoke in generalities to the New York Post.

Don't know about you, but bring on Episode 2!!