On BB6 there is a new house, new houseguests, and a "Summer of Secrets." But, apparently those changes were considered sufficient information, and the producers have kept the format of the Thursday live show exactly the same as last year. <Yawn>

I've tried to make this recap as interesting as possible, but the show didn't give me much to work with.

Julie is Still Julie

As usual, the live show began with a review of what happened last week, followed by the opening credits. The opening credits are new, along with a new BB theme song. Could the new BB theme song possibly be more bland? I admit, we used to complain bitterly about the old BB theme song, particularly when we heard it repeated thousands of times over the course of the summer every time the cameras went to the Front of the House (replaced by fish on BB5 and this season). I never thought I'd be hankering to hear the old BB theme song, but at least it was recognizable, so I knew what show I was watching.

As she has so many times before, Julie Chen opened the live show standing in front of the BB house. After the show, a lot of JokersUpdates folks trashed Julie's robot-like delivery. Actually, I thought Julie seemed just a little more animated than last week. (Granted, that's not saying much.) Since Julie has delivered same wooden performance week after week for six years now, all I can figure is that the producers want it that way. (Or they don't want to annoy the head of CBS by replacing his wife.)

For the show, Julie wore wearing a peach jacket that I liked a lot—it looked like something I would wear. Unfortunately, it appeared to be about a size too small. (Has Julie gained weight and is now a size 2? Horrors!) With the jacket, Julie wore capri-length, white linen pants. But, unlike the usual capris that taper at the bottom, Julie's pants were wider at the bottom, so they cut off her legs and made her look fat. Since Julie is tiny, it must have taken a lot of work for wardrobe to find pants that make Julie look fat. As always, Julie carried her cue cards at her crotch, thus drawing our eyes to her crotch to check for her famous camel toe. Nope, no camel toe this week. Very sad that Julie's capris were one of the highlights of the show for me this week. Okay, I'll move on, since I know that not all of you are as fascinated by Julie's wardrobe as I am.

Kaysar and Ashlea Scramble for Votes

The first segment of the night showed the HGs plotting and discussing votes. For example, Howie, in his usual debonair way, told Ashlea that he'd like to keep her in the house as "eye candy."

There was one telling scene between Michael, Eric, and Kaysar. Kaysar went against Eric's advice (aka "orders") and warned Mike that the other HGs thought he was flirting too much with Jennifer. Dummy Mike went straight to Eric and confronted him. This caused Eric to fly off the handle with Kaysar, accusing him of betraying Eric's trust. The segment was a good example of Eric's need for control, Michael's naivete about how he should be acting in the house, and Kaysar, trying to be honest and helpful, caught in the middle.

Julie Talks to the Houseguests

After these segments, Julie went live to the LR where the houseguests were gathered. Julie asked the HGs such probing questions as "What was the worst thing about being on PBJ?" and "Which HG has the best sense of humor?" With all controversy that went on in the house this week, Julie could have asked some tough questions. Instead we got to hear how Howie feels about being in a house with eight beautiful women. Arrgghh! Thankfully, Howie remembered he was on live TV, and didn't say "boobies."

Ivette, Sarah, and Janelle in the Diary Room

As in previous seasons, we were shown short vignettes of HGs in the DR making comments as they cast their votes. And, also like previous seasons, the clips we were shown were alternatively helpful and designed to mislead us about which HG was voted off.

Ivette commented that Ashlea is obnoxious, has to top everything anyone says, and gets into conversations where she has no idea what she's talking about. Regarding Kaysar, Ivette said that she has no reason to try to save Kaysar's butt because Kaysar said that he'd nominate Ivette and Beau if he won HOH. On the other hand, Sarah felt she can trust Kaysar, and that Ashlea is not a threat so she'd be someone to keep around for awhile and pick off later. The last comment shown was Janelle saying, "I vote to evict Kaysar." (This vote was no surprise, because, despite the fact that Janelle likes Kaysar, Ashlea is Janelle's partner.)

The Pairs are Revealed

Next, Julie revealed the identity of the secret pairs. Most live feed watchers had already figured out the identity of the pairs, but not the relationship between each pair.

--Ivette/Beau—Ivette and Beau are former coworkers and friends.
--Kaysar/Michael—Kaysar and Michael are neighbors and have known each other for six years.
--Maggie/Eric—Maggie and Eric have been close friends for several years, and Maggie's boyfriend is on the same fire department as Eric.
--James/Sarah—James and Sarah have been dating for four months.
--April/Jennifer—April and Jennifer are from the same town and are sorority sisters.
--Janelle/Ashlea—Janelle and Ashlea are friends and former roommates.
--Howie/Rachel—Howie and Rachel have been friends for a long time, and one of Howie's comments suggested that they may have dated. Rachel said that Howie is a wonderful person with a big heart, but she's "out of his demographic scale." (I have no idea what that means.)

I had guessed who the pairs were, but I was convinced that at least one of the pairs (Howie/Rachel? April/Jennifer?) were related (e.g., brother/sister, aunt/niece). Oh well. I was also surprised to hear that James and Sarah had only been dating for four months.

In this segment, we also learned that, although the HGs know they will win a bigger prize if a pair makes it to the final two, the HGs haven't been told that the grand prize in that case would be $1 million.

Interview With Rachel as Head of Household

As in past seasons, Julie did a private interview with Rachel, the outgoing HOH, in the HOH room. Why do they keep doing this segment? Julie asks every HOH virtually the same questions ("How did it feel to be HOH?") and we rarely learn anything new.

Julie's interview with Rachel was no exception. The only new thing we learned was that it hasn't been that hard for Rachel and Howie to pretend they didn't know each other because they hadn't seen each other for several years before going into the house.

Michael, Howie, Maggie, and Jennifer in the Diary Room

In the second round of DR comments, Maggie started out by saying that Ashlea thinks she's prettier than everyone else. Howie (surprise, surprise) said that Ashlea has great boobies so he'd like to keep her. Jennifer says that Ashlea is young and young people are kind of "egocentrical." (It's funny, I hadn't realized that Jennifer is 27—she seems much younger.) As for Kaysar, Howie called him one of his strongest allies and said Kaysar gives a better hand massage than any professional masseuse. However, Jennifer commented that Kaysar causes trouble by spreading rumors. Last, Michael voted to evict Ashlea. Again, the producers showed us a vote we expected, since Kaysar is Michael's partner.

James and Sarah

The next segment highlighted the relationship between Sarah and James, and was actually kinda sweet. (I admit it, I'm a sucker for romance.) In the DR, Sarah said that, so far, she thinks no one in the house has any idea that she and James are a couple. (Sarah is very naive. Most of the other HGs have figured out that James and Sarah are a couple because Sarah and James don't hide it very well.). Sarah also told the DR that it's very hard to not show all her attention toward James because she loves him SO much.

James commented that his relationship with Sarah is one of the more serious he's been in. Then we were shown a cute scene of James and Sarah taking a shower at the same time on either side of the double shower (with a wall in between). Sarah sneaked a peek around the wall at James showering. Then James got out of the shower, and after checking that no one was looking, kissed Sarah (who was still in the shower). James also told us that when he and Sarah cross their fingers, they are saying, "I love you." Awwww.

But, James seemed bugged by the fact that Sarah gets jealous when he flirts with the other women. He commented that Sarah sees the other women as threats toward him, rather than threats in the game. James went on to say that when they get together, Sarah wants to discuss their relationship, not game strategy. Last, James commented that in his head he likes to think Sarah can pull this off, but in his heart he has some reservations.

Beau, Eric, James, and April in the Diary Room

In the third round of DR comments, April called Ashlea "very high maintenance." Eric smugly said that if Ashlea survives this eviction she is another tool in his bag. Regarding Kaysar, April said she wasn't sure if she could trust him, while Eric called Kaysar a "rat," and that he doesn't know if he can trust Kaysar as far as he can throw him. Last, James was shown saying, "I vote to evict Kaysar." (As with the other two votes shown, we expected James to vote to evict Kaysar. James had said before the voting that he wanted the vote to evict Ashlea to be 9-2, and to stir things up by not telling the other HGs that he was the second vote for Kaysar.)

Final Comments by Kaysar and Ashlea

The final comments by Kaysar and Ashlea were predictable. Kaysar stood up and said to Rachel that he knew it was a difficult decision for her, but he respected her decision. He thanked the other HGs for a very enriching experience in the house, and said he hoped he'd have more weeks to come with them. Ashlea (still sitting, and talking very fast) said that no matter what happens, she had the "best time" and thanked the other HGs for sharing this experience because she knows she'll never experience anything like this ever again.

Then, with ceremony, Julie opened the envelope she was holding and said "By a vote of 9 to 2, Kaysar....pause....you are safe. Ashlea, you have been evicted from the Big Brother house." Oh, that tricky Julie, making us think that Kaysar was evicted! Of course, the "trick" would have been more effective if Julie hadn't done it frequently in past seasons of BB. I found it interesting that during Julie's long pause, Ashlea almost looked upset that she might have to stay in the house, and gave a big smile when she heard she'd been evicted.

The vote of 9-2 was exactly what was expected. And, even though it probably wasn't intentional, the producers did us a favor by showing us the two votes against Kaysar, so we know for sure that Janelle and James were the two votes against Kaysar. In the end, despite all the Kaysar-bashing, Eric, Ivette and others stayed with their original plan of voting out Ashlea.

Julie Interviews Ashlea

As in prior seasons, Ashlea was shown walking out of the BB house for an interview with Julie. One thing I've always found interesting about evicted HGs is that, while they are in the house, they will do anything to stay, but, as they walk out the door most of them look relieved to be gone. Ashlea was no exception.

Julie's interview questions, and Ashlea's responses, mostly weren't memorable enough to bother reporting. At one point, Julie tried to make Ashlea feel bad about leaving by telling her that if she and Janelle had made it to the end as the final two, the grand prize would have been $1 million. Ashlea acted appropriately surprised at the amount, but not particularly upset. (I figure that Ashlea came on BB for the TV exposure and never really expected to win.)

As in past seasons, the HGs had filmed good-bye messages to the evicted HG. But, one welcome change was that Julie only showed Janelle's farewell message to Ashlea. In past seasons, most good-bye messages were repetitive and edited to be falsely nice. Like most HGs before her, Ashlea got a little teary-eyed when she heard Janelle's message.

There was one interesting moment in Julie's interview with Ashlea. Near the end of the interview, Julie repeated for the umpteenth time that this is the "Summer of Secrets" and "You never know what will happen." Ashlea spoke up and said, "Maybe I'll come back." Julie started to continue her scripted lines, then suddenly stopped and said to Ashlea, "What did you say?" Ashlea repeated her line about coming back and Julie looked very uncomfortable and said, "You never know." Even after all these seasons of Big Brother, Julie still gets flustered if she has to ad lib. Because of this, it's hard to know whether Julie's reaction means that a houseguest may come back, or whether it was just an indication of Julie's discomfort when she isn't reading from a script.

Head of Household Competition

While Julie was interviewing Ashlea, the HGs lined up next to the pool in small booths with walls between them for the HOH competition. The game was called "Fast and Easy." Julie asked a series of very easy true/false questions about the BB house. If a HG answered incorrectly, they were out of the game. If everyone answered correctly, then the person who pushed the button the slowest was out of the game. The questions were VERY easy, for example, "15 HGs moved into the BB house--True or false?" In most cases, all the HGs got the question right, and a HG was kicked out of the game for being too slow. However, a couple of HGs made dumb mistakes (or deliberately threw the game).

The last two HGs in the competition were Eric and Janelle. Eric was extremely nervous. But, on the last question, "There are only two safes in the Gold Room--True or false?" Janelle accidentally(?) pushed "true," making Eric the new HOH.

Eric was ecstatic. He wildly hugged the other HGs yelling "Yes!" Eric's performance wasn't as good as Marvin's last year when he jumped in the pool after winning HOH, but the same excitement was there.

Except for a few final shots of the HGs and parting words from Julie, that was the end of the show.

I had originally planned to do a longer version of the HG profiles I included in last week's recap, updated for the new information we've learned from the feeds. But, we've gotten so much new information, and, because there are still 13 houseguests to write about, the profile was getting very long and taking forever to write. I want to get this recap posted, so I'm going to skip the houseguest profile. Maybe I'll include it in next week's live show recap, or perhaps make it a separate article. Love 'em or hate 'em, there is a lot to say about this year's crop of houseguests.

On that note, I'll leave you until next week. With Eric as HOH, it's sure to be wild.