The producers of Big Brother have a tough job. They have to create three shows per week with only have a few days to create each show. They're at a disadvantage compared to other reality shows that not only have months to edit, but gorgeous settings for their shows. Unfortunately, one way the BB producers have decided to deal with tight deadlines is to follow set formulas, particularly on the Thursday live show. The Thursday live show is the same each week, no matter what is going on in the house.

This past week was a wild week in the house. The feeds have been great. But you wouldn't know that if you only watched the TV show.

One reason this recap took me so long to post was that I kept getting distracted by the live feeds. As I'm finishing this (Saturday evening), Kaysar has nominated Maggie and James for eviction, and James has won the POV. The feeds have been great today! If you haven't subscribed to the feeds, you'll want to go to and read the updates.

Hard as it is, I'll pull myself back to give you a recap of Thursday's live show....


As always, the episode begins with Julie Chen standing in front of the BB house. This week, Julie is wearing a sleeveless yellow satin shirtdress with a belt, with the front of the dress unbuttoned almost to her cue cards (that is, her crotch).

Every week Julie's delivery is wooden—it's been that way for six years now, hence her nickname of ChenBot. It's only the second week, and I'm already running out of clever things to say about Julie.

So, instead, I've devised a highly scientific way to measure the differences in Julie's performance from week to week—differences that would be unnoticed by the casual viewer, but obvious to those of us who are Big Brother addicts, uh, I mean, "connoisseurs." I'll be using a scale of 1 to 10 to rate Julie's delivery. A "1" is the Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is a valued U.S. national symbol, but is not known for its witty repartee. (If the Washington Monument talks to you, I don't want to hear about it.) For the "10" on the scale, I'll use Tom Cruise's recent manic performance on Oprah, declaring his love for Katie Holmes.

Normal would be "5," but since entertainment personalities are often expected to be extremely outgoing, up to a "7" would be treated as normal for a television host. (I'd give Ty Pennington of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition an "8" or a "9.")

If I had used the "Washington Monument/Tom Cruise" rating scale for last week's show, I would have given Julie a "2." This week, Julie was more animated, and I'd give her a "2.5," and going up to a "3" at times.....Julie deserves a little credit this week—she did try to ask the HGs a few tough questions. But, the HGs dodged the questions and, unfortunately, Julie acted more like a late-night talk show host than a journalist, and let them get away with it. C'mon Julie, show us what a journalist can do!

The Two Nominees—Michael and Janelle

Julie's introduction is followed by a segment on Michael and Janelle, the two nominees. After a brief flashback of Michael and Eric's fight earlier in the week, Eric comments in the DR how he wants Michael out of the house. But the segment is disappointing. It reduces Michael's problems in the house to a simple "Michael versus Eric" gunfight, when, in reality, it is far more complex (and interesting) than what is shown. For example, the accusations by Ivette, April and others that Michael is a "pervert" and a "sexual predator" are never mentioned.....Then, to try to mislead us, the segment includes a number of comments by HGs talking about Janelle as a threat....Those of us watching Internet feeds knew that the vote against Michael was a sure thing, but you'd never know that from watching the television show.

Julie Talks to the Houseguests

As she does every week, Julie interviews the HGs live as they sit in the LR....First, Julie asks Jennifer what it was like to eat chocolate-covered snake in the food competition. (I'd almost forgotten that Jennifer was even in the house—she's been MIA most of the time this week.)....Julie moves on to ask a somewhat tougher question. Julie says to Kaysar, "It was a pretty tense week in the house. There was a blow-up in the yard between Eric and Michael, and between you and Ivette. How has the house changed?" Kaysar gives a very diplomatic and noncontroversial answer. He says that he thinks the people in the house have come to appreciate each other more and that they've learned their lesson. Yeah, right.....Then Julie asks Ivette how SHE thinks the house has changed. Ivette laughs uncomfortably, and Julie encourages her to speak her mind. Ivette says she's learning to control her mouth (Sure you are, Ivette). After grasping for words a little longer, Ivette says, "Julie, I'm speechless," and, unfortunately Julie lets her go. Very disappointing.

Comments From Howie, Sarah, and James

As always, the show is interspersed with segments of HGs in the DR commenting on the two nominees...James says that the only reason to keep Mike is that he's not a threat. He goes on to say that Janelle is a better liar and has no self-respect, so would be willing to do anything (to win)....Sarah says that she doesn't think Mike is as smart as people give him credit for. She also says that if Janelle were to stay, she might be able to do some of Sarah's "dirty work" (by nominating people that Sarah might like to see leave.)...Howie says that people were gunning for Michael from Day One. He says Janelle is a friend of his, and a possible hook-up. (Only in your imagination, Howie.)....Interestingly, the producers didn't show us any votes this week. But, since there were no surprises in this week's votes, that wasn't a loss.

Julie Interviews Eric

Julie's interview with Eric in the HOH room is a little better than last week's HOH interview...Julie brings up the fight Eric had with Michael earlier in the week, and asks Eric what exactly Michael said to him about his family. Eric replies that someone had told him that Michael had made remarks like, "Eric must have been abandoned as a kid," and that is a sore spot for Eric because his family means so much to him.....Julie asks Eric if he thinks that things got blown out of proportion. Eric doesn't really answer the question. Instead, Eric says that he didn't like Michael's behavior and attitude in the house, and up to that point Michael had tried to intimidate Eric a couple of times. Then Eric says (a little smugly) that (after the fight), Michael never used his intimidation tactics against Eric again. So, Eric feels his methods may not have been right, but he got his point across....Julie brings up the fact that originally Eric had an agreement with Michael, Kaysar, and James, but that Eric said that Michael had lost Eric's trust. Julie asks Eric what Michael did to lose Eric's trust. Eric answers that Michael lost his trust by hanging around a lot with Janelle. Eric knows that Janelle is a tough competitor, and that if Janelle had won HOH, Eric would probably have been nominated....C'mon Eric, you know it was more than that! But, Julie doesn't pursue the question further.

Janelle and Michael's Relationship

Although there had already been one segment about Michael and Janelle, the next segment is about their relationship....Janelle tells the DR that she started flirting with Michael as a strategy, but has ended up liking him. Janelle also tells the DR that before she came in the house, she had a boyfriend on Manhattan, but says she probably doesn't anymore. She apologizes to her New York boyfriend and tells him she'll understand if he never wants to see her again....Michael tells the camera that he hadn't come into the house to start a relationship, but surprisingly found he had a strong chemistry with Janelle.....Janelle tells the DR she'd prefer if Michael was an investment banker, but she likes Michael for himself—then adds that she knows that Michael isn't poor....Michael says the relationship has developed to be quite romantic and sincere....Janelle admits (with difficulty) that Michael is the type she could even marry....Throughout the segment, there are shots of Michael and Janelle kissing, with porno-type music in the background....We also see several romantic moments between Michael and Janelle—the kind of moments that are wonderful when you're alone with someone, but nauseating to watch....And, if you hadn't realized before this that Janelle has an obnoxious giggle, you know it after this segment. (But, Janelle's giggle isn't nearly as bad as Holly's from BB5.)

I hope I'm wrong, but I get the impression that Janelle probably likes Michael more than Michael likes Janelle. I suspect that, for Michael, Janelle was mostly a way to stave off boredom in the house, particularly since none of the other HGs but Kaysar would even talk to him. I think Janelle may wish later she hadn't broken up with her boyfriend in New York.

Interviews with Ivette, Beau, April, Jennifer

In the second round of interviews, Ivette calls Janelle a "typical South Beach money-hungry girl."....Beau likes having Janelle around because they can talk makeup and styles.....April says that Janelle knows that she's pretty and (April hates) the way Janelle says "Hiiii" when she sees a guy. (I don't like April, but her imitation of Janelle is right on target.)....Jennifer says she's not a lesbian but Janelle is pretty to look at....As for Michael, Ivette says that Michael has become "the most uncomfortable person to be around in BB history." Jennifer says there is no reason to keep Michael because he would be a good competitor. Beau feels that Michael is misunderstood, because he is European and came to the U.S., and a lot of people don't get where he's coming from. April says she could go on and on about why she doesn't want Michael in the house, but bottom line, he is a pain in her butt.

What are the Big Brother 5 "Pairs" Up To—One Year Later

In this "Where are they now?" segment, the first BB5 HG shown is Holly, standing in front of her house in LA with her dog, Pumpkin Patch. Arrrgghhh .That squeaky little-girl voice! Holly says that she and Jase dated for 10 months, but broke up she couldn't stand country music any more.....Jason is shown playing his guitar and riding his motorcycle. Jase says that he's a country boy and has moved back to Decatur, IL, because things are a little easier there—LA is a tough place. I strongly disliked Jase on last year's BB, but I felt a little sorry for him here. I wondered what he wasn't telling us because you'd only move back to Decatur, IL if you had nowhere else to go. (Yes, I'm a big-city gal.).

After a flashback from last year's BB of Nakomis and Cowboy finding out that they are half-brother and sister, the scene moves to the present, where Cowboy and Nakomis are sitting together outside. Cowboy says (a little sadly) that this is the first time he and Nakomis have seen each other since Big Brother ended. Cowboy shows Nakomis pictures of his wedding, and tells her that Drew and Scott came to the wedding. Both Cowboy and Nakomis look exactly the same as they did on Big Brother. Nakomis' hair is still lime green, just a shade darker than last year. (I liked Nakomis' purple hair better.) Nakomis isn't rude to Cowboy, but you can tell that this get-together was orchestrated by BB. Nakomis shows no excitement at all at seeing Cowboy again.

Next, the segment shifts back to LA, where Drew has moved to pursue an acting career. Drew had a small (read cameo) role on The Bold and the Beautiful, which appears to be Drew's sole acting gig (although he does have an acting coach.).....As for Diane, she has also moved to LA. She and Drew have broken up, but they live only a few minutes from each other, and they are friends. Diane looks awful. She has dyed her hair a fake black color, giving her a "goth" look that would better fit Nakomis.

Last come the twins. As always, Adria and Natalie are very enthusiastic. They say they've revamped their FitnessTwins Web site and have taken off with their book.

The BB5 HGs all seem to like this year's "pair" twist. (Not that we really expected the BB producers to show us any critical comments.)...The funniest comment about BB6 is comes from Holly. She holds up a cardboard cutout of Jase and says "This was my alliance, and it didn't help me in the game at all."...Diane comments, "I hope that James has more respect for Sarah than Drew did for I (sic)."

Interviews With Rachel, Maggie, Kaysar

In the last set of DR interviews, Rachel says she likes Michael. But, Maggie wants Michael gone for Eric's safety. Maggie says, "You mess with my friend, and I am going to come after you." Maggie also thinks Janelle won't be staying much longer because she's an easy target....Kaysar says he cares for Michael, but then admits (in a very soft voice) that Michael could be a detriment (to him in the game). Kaysar says it is difficult for him, because (the vote) is not only personal, it's strategic. Kaysar asks the DR interviewer to give him just a second (before giving his vote?), and then sits with his head in his hands.

The Vote is Announced

Back in the LR with the HGs, Julie asks Janelle and Michael if they have any last words for their housemates before she announces the vote...Janelle tells everyone it's been fun and she thanks them for sharing the experience with them...Michael says it's been up and down, but it's been a great time, and he wishes everyone the best of luck. (Ha! April spent Thursday freaking out that Michael was going to say something to stir things up. Sorry April.).....Julie then announces that Michael has been evicted by vote of 9-1....Michael doesn't seem particularly upset or surprised when his name is called....The HGs get up to hug Michael good-bye, except for Ivette, who stays seated.

Julie Interviews Michael

Michael leaves out the front door of the house, and joins Julie in her "interview hut." It looks like Michael hurt his hand as he walked out the door...Julie asks Michael why there was so much animosity between he and Eric. Michael says that there was tension because he and Eric had originally had an agreement and Eric wasn't honest about it. (C'mon Michael, you know that's not the whole reason.)...Julie then asks Michael about Janelle. Michael says his relationship with Janelle was unexpected....Julie asks if Michael and Janelle will see each other after the game and he answers, "Sure, why not?" Michael (in answer to Julie's questions) says that he and Janelle did talk about whether they'd see each other outside the house and the fact that Janelle had been dating someone....Julie shows Kaysar's good-bye tape for Michael. Kaysar says that all the money in the world doesn't justify hurting a friend. He says that people in the house made Michael out to be something he wasn't, and he was just a victim of circumstance. Kaysar says, "I know the real you, and I assure you, this situation will not be left unchallenged."....Michael says that nothing will change his friendship with Kaysar and he hopes Kaysar goes on to win...Julie tries to surprise Michael by telling him that all the HGs were playing as a pair, but Michael tells her he knew about the pairs...Julie then tells Michael that the top prize would have been $1 million dollars if he and Kaysar would have made it to the end, but Michael doesn't get upset (as it appears Julie wanted him to)....In fact, during the whole interview, Michael is very subdued and shows very little emotion, and gives very short responses to Julie's questions. (I wonder whether Michael 's hand was hurting, and he just wanted to get off the set.)

In some ways, I feel like I should be sorrier that Michael is gone, because there are other HGs that dislike far more than Michael. But, although my first impression of Michael was very positive, after awhile I realized that there was something "off" about him.......I think the other HGs blew things out of proportion when they called Michael "perverted" and a "sexual predator." After all, Howie has been constantly coming on to the other women (particularly Janelle) and is obsessed with "boobies." And, I deplore the "mob mentality" that grew up in the house against Michael....But, tough as it was for him to say it, I think Kaysar was right that Michael was becoming a detriment to him in the game. Michael was very socially inept at times, and didn't seem to realize or care what impact his behavior was having on others, and that he needed to act strategically. He also didn't seem to care much about how his behavior would affect Kaysar in the game. Kaysar gave Michael advice and warnings a number of times, but Michael wouldn't (or couldn't) change......So, although Kaysar has now lost his chance at the $1 million, Michael's eviction will probably help him get further in the game. And, since Michael was likely to go sooner or later anyway, I think it was better for Kaysar that Michael went sooner, even if there are other HGs that I think deserved to be evicted more than Michael did.

HOH Competition

After Julie's interview with Michael, we go back to backyard. The set for the Head of Household competition is the same individual booths as last week's HOH competition......In the competition, the HGs are asked a question, and must answer it not how they would answer the question, but with the answer they think the majority of their fellow HGs would give.....Several of the questions and the answers are very interesting and revealing....For the question, "Who is more intelligent--Eric or James?" the majority thinks James is more intelligent, much to the surprise of Ivette. (What? Everyone doesn't think Ivette's "Cappy" (Eric) is the smartest man in the world?)....Other questions: "Who is more likely read a boyfriend's email—Jennifer or Sarah?" (Jennifer)...."Who would the majority rather be stuck in an elevator with--Ivette or April?" (April)...The final question is a tiebreaker between James/Kaysar/Janelle/Maggie. "How many total coconuts were on both trees combined in the opening competition?" There were 184 coconuts, and Kaysar comes closest with an guess of "100," making him the new HOH.

I can't pretend that I'm not elated that Kaysar won HOH. Kaysar has grown to be my favorite HG. He has said that he came in the house to show people a more positive side of Iraqis and he has succeeded. And, Kaysar has managed to play the game with more dignity than any player in years. At times Kaysar has shown himself to be a brilliant player, although I've been disappointed that he didn't catch on to the identities of all the pairs until he was told by others. (Eric/Maggie and Howie/Rachel had identified all the pairs a full week before Kaysar did.) So far, Kaysar's strategy as HOH has been excellent, and (like Michael), I'm rooting for Kaysar to win.

Parting Words From Julie

In her parting comments, Julie says that on next Thursday's live show, she is going to reveal that everyone is playing as a pair, and that, if a pair makes it to the final two, there will be a $1 million first prize and $250,000 second prize.....Uh, just a little late, Julie. At this point, all the HGs know about the pairs, although some are still pretending they are not part of a pair. That won't last long, I suspect, so your announcement may be anticlimactic. It would have been perfect for this week's show. Oh well.

Until next week! It promises to be a great week on the live Internet feeds!