Over the last decade, CBS's perennial summer-filler voyeurism-fest Big Brother has lowered its rock-bottom contestant standards into the lowest depths of Hell in search of ever-more-intellectually-challenged narcissists to fill the Big Brother House. This is why every year there has seemed to be increasingly-greater numbers of the religiously-deluded: lots of Bibles, and praying to Jesus to decide who gets evicted. Consequently, the house has come increasingly to seem like a societal-safety net. As long as the Big Brother houseguests were locked in the Big Brother House or The Sequester House, they were removed from society, and we were all safe from them for three months.
But this year, I was envying the "Houseguests," for they are locked securely away from all coverage of the ongoing Michael Jackson Death Circus. Lucky Houseguests. Poor us. This summer the BB walls seem to be in place not to keep them in, but to keep us out. If I'd known in January that Michael Jackson would die in June, I'd have applied to be a Houseguest myself. (For more on my reaction to the recent Death Circus, read my previous column, We All Killed Karl Malden.)
As usual, Big Brother is on 37 times a week, plus the no-lifers out there can watch the live feeds online, and can also watch Big Brother After Dark, where an additional fee allows you to watch them snoring in bed at 4 AM. Adults Only! However, as I have a life, I will only be watching the CBS broadcast shows, and will comment here only once a week, on Fridays, after the Thursday Night eviction.
I groused a lot here during Survivor, but watching this summer's train wreck I'm a Celebrity; Get me Out of Here which, ironically, had no actual celebrities on it, just notorious wanna-bes, has left me with an increased respect for Big Brother and Survivor; they are The Olympics next to that trash. Even the all-time worst BB houseguests pale for sheer, horrific narcissism next to Speidi or Janice Dickenson.
We will also be watching for certain typical BB behavior, such as:
1. Screaming like a banshee at any stimulus whatever. (The Chenbot: "Houseguests, sit up straight." Houseguests: "[SCREAMING WITH ECSTASY!]")
2. Shouting "I knew it!" about stuff they didn't know. (The Chenbot: "The loser of this challenge will be loaded into a missile, and fired into the Sun." Houseguest: "I knew it!")
3. Praying. (Houseguest with drawl: "Dear Jesus, please eliminate the homo and keep me here another week.")
4. Being proud of their own hypocrisy. (Houseguest A to houseguest B: "You're my best friend. I'm your ally." Houseguest A in confession room: "I hate Houseguest B's guts, and the little bitch thinks I'm her pal. Ha, ha! What a fool! I'm great.")
The gimmick theme this season is "Return to High school," like someone would want to. The 12 houseguests were separated into 4 "cliques":
The Popular Kids: These would be the pretty kids who were popular with themselves. No one else could ever stand the little snots. They grow up to marry money and have pretend "careers." Their Goddess Emeritus? Julie Chen.
The Outcasts: These kids would "grow up" (well, age anyway) to be the people weeping outside The Staples Center back on Tuesday.
The Brains: The smart kids. Since these would be people too smart to go on Big Brother, they've had to fudge it, and have instead used "The Least Stupid."
The Athletes: The jocks, obviously. How well I remember our golden afternoons together underneath the bleachers after practice.
In high school I was in the Drama Club Clique. Where were they? I felt left out. Then a competition was held to determine which clique got an additional member who would be Head of Household and thus keep all clique-members safe from eviction this week.
But the first show was all about meeting this year's batch of losers, and setting the game in motion. So let's meet them, and then I can hit the bar. In no order, they are:
Jeff: A Chicago advertising salesman. Imagine being locked up with an advertising salesman for three months! Great quote: "I'm definitely not an arithmetic type person; or reading books, you know?" I likes me sum sports, not all that thar fancy book-larnin'. I'm guessing Jeff's Mensa membership hasn't come through yet, or maybe it has, but he doesn't know it, because it would require his reading it. He has no girlfriend, despite being one of the better looking guys. Or maybe he has, but he can't read her love letters. Clique: Athletes. (The other cliques must have been full.)
Ronnie: a 30 year old computer-gamer nerd apparently still living in his room in his parent's house. His parents were seen tearfully hugging him goodbye. (First time he's ever left the house?) My guess is that they've rented out his room already. He squealed (Behavior #1) like a 10-year-old girl on a roller coaster when he got his house key. He called his room in the BB House "Posh." He clearly doesn't know what actual posh is. He also said, "I plan on having kids someday." How? Mail order? Additionally he said, "I'm definitely the smartest person inside this house," while unaware that the woman sitting next to him has a PhD and is a "neuroscientist," not to mention that most of the guests (not Braden) have real jobs. Ronnie is undoubtedly still a virgin and will probably die that way. Clique: Brains.
Jordan: Pretty, not-too-bright southern girl first seen bowling. She gave her profession thus: "I work in a hair salon, and I serve at night." Serve what? Drinks? Tennis balls? A strict dominatrix? Satan? Be specific, Jordan darling. Normally she'd be right at the top of my "I Hate Her" list, but given the rabble of crazy creeps assembled here, I actually found her not obnoxious so far, and tentatively like her. She calls sex "Boogers." Maybe she's not that likable after all. Clique: Popular. (That may change when they find out she's vowed not to have sex in the BB House. The genuinely popular girls are always The Sluts. My crowd!)
Natalie: She's a tough little Tai Kwon Do enthusiast. At the meet-and-greet, she told everyone she was 18. The other houseguests politely didn't laugh in her face, although Kevin let her know he wasn't fooled. To be fair, there are probably several people still alive who were also alive back when she actually was 18, but only blind houseguests would buy her outright lie, and none of them are visually blind. (Moral Blindness on the other hand, is at epidemic levels in the house.) Clique: Athletes.
Kevin: "29," a "graphic designer." (I hope he's not too "graphic"!) They always have a token gay guy in the house. Often they have been nice, personable, witty, and fun to be around. Unfortunately, this time they went for an affected, effeminate attitude queen stereotype that makes Perez Hilton look butch. I'm usually rooting for the gay contestant, but the sooner this guy gets evicted, the better. He says he is "Blasian: half-black and half-Japanese." Fortunately for black people and for Japanese people, he doesn't look remotely like either. Unfortunately for Hispanics, he does look quite Latino. Did his Mother have an Hispanic gardener? Clique: Outcasts. (Duh.)
Chima: "Freelance Journalist." This black woman refused to give her age, which means that she is, of course, the oldest person in the house. My guess? 50 at least.
[ADDENDUM: I originally had a paragraph here of mean comments about Chima Symone's unfortunate facial work, assuming that it was the usual vanity-uinspired face work that has ruined such famous faces as Joan Rivers, Janice Dickenson, Helen Gurley Brown, Ursula Andress, and Burt Reynolds. However, I have since learned that Chima was brutally raped 10 years ago by a serial killer (since caught, largely due to her identification), and that her face is the result of reconstructive facial surgery. So I have removed the remarks I had here about her surgery as, in this case, even I'm offended by me.]
Chima thinks she's funny. Really funny. She isn't. Clique: Brains. (No, really.)
Braden: Surfer dude. He calls surfing his "business." What kind of surfer spends a summer locked away from the ocean? He said his name is easy to remember (it is) because "it's like a braid in your hair." Does he ever misspell his name as "Braidin"? Let's hope he doesn't get confused when flustered, and start calling himself "Ponytail" or "Weave." He gave this quote: "Surfing is better than sex; at least Mother Nature doesn't talk back." Apparently he's never tried to surf in a hurricane, and I guess his ideal woman is a deaf mute. So that's who fathered Johnny Belinda's child! Braden, you left out a couple words. Try this: "Surfing is better than sex with you!" Casey described him as "real surfer doody." Well, he's half right. Braden packed a blue stuffed plush elephant to take along. Outside he's a hot male surfer. Inside, he's a tween girl mooning over the Twilight books. Clique: Well he has no brain, so "Brains" is out, no one takes surfing seriously as a "sport," so "Athletes" is out too. He loves himself though, so he's popular with himself, thus: Popular. (When I was in high school, surfers would have been in the Outcasts.)
Michelle: "27," Married, a "neuroscientist," whatever that means. Smart, sort of pretty in a "no I'm not" way. Thinks she's witty. She's not. Looks like she'd be on the yearbook staff. Clique: Brains.
Laura: A gigantic pair of artificially-created boobs and their life-support system. Her job is listed as "Bikini Model." It's a more-challenging job than it sounds, given that each one of her huge breasts is larger than her head. (No joke. They're bigger than her head! Look for yourself.) Although she looks like a flotation device big enough to keep the Titanic bobbing on the surface, those poor puppies are so filled with silicone (the substance rocks are made from) that she would probably sink like a boulder. On the show, she called herself a "sweet bitch," but I doubt she's actually all that sweet. Clique: Popular.
Russell: "24." "I'm Russell, and I won't go down without a fight." Perhaps, but I will. Russell, a feisty little skin-headed pugilist and real estate broker, is the hottest of the men. Although I have nothing but contempt for the "sport" of beating up people, Russell at least is some genuine eye-candy. He calls himself "Russell the Love Muscle." Oh dear. He's so cute, but I may have to watch him with the sound off. Clique: Athletes.
Lydia: "24." In an homage to Groucho Marx, we have Lydia the Tattooed Lady. Covered in tattoos, with a pierced tongue (And who doesn't love encountering a knob of cold chrome when French-kissing someone? Oh right. Me.), Lydia was nonetheless immediately appealing. I breathlessly await finding out if it's true that "When her muscles start relaxin'/Up the hill comes Andrew Jackson." Lydia is a "special-effects make-up artist." Lydia declared she's open to showmancing a guy or a girl. I'm starting to like her. Clique: Outcasts.
Casey: "Teacher by day, DJ by night." Casey is a 40 year old 5th grade teacher who thinks he's quirky. He may find CBS has a more sophisticated audience than a room full of ten year olds. Then again, he may not. He thinks he's the oldest, but that's just because Chima won't give her age. Casey has a son who turned 1 the day Casey went into the house. Who would sequester themselves away from their own 1-year-old? Does he think his son will stay that age forever? Daddy loves you, son, but he loves being on TV more. Oh, and he's also a "white rapper." Maybe his son is getting off easy. Anyway, I don't hate him -- yet. Clique: Outcasts. (Because of his age, or because of his being a "White Rapper"?)
Four "Mystery" contestants were given the chance to be the 13th housguest. I was expecting one of them to be Sarah Palin, as it would finally explain why she quit her job as Alaskan mayor or governor, or whatever the idiot woman was. But no. Even Big Brother hasn't yet stooped that low.
The four "Mystery" contestants, all former BB-losers, were:
"Cowboy" Ellis from BB 5. I remember Cowboy vividly. A total moron. No chin; no brain. He learned in season 5 that another houseguest was the sister he never knew he had, and she (Nikomis, Daughter of the Moon, Nikomis) learned he was the brother she didn't know she had. Nikomis, who was pretty darn sharp, also learned that sometimes ignorance is bliss, as she found her new brother to be an idiot. One suspects they haven't seen each other since the show ended. Cowboy explained that he would have won season 5 if he hadn't lost. I knew that. Clique: Outcasts.
Jessica from BB 8. She feels she was sunk by a showmance. I hated her then. Please don't bring her back. Clique: Popular.
Brian from BB 10. This smooth-talking egomaniac arrived last year already brimming with overconfidence, and proved to be such an obvious liar and would-be manipulator that he was last summer's first eviction. I don't want him back.
Jessie from BB 10. The ultimate, over-the-top exhibitionist, deeply in lust with himself. My guess is that he doesn't even masturbate, because he thinks that even he isn't good enough for him. Jessie has a magnificent, awe-inspiring body, as he will be the first to tell you, and the second, and the third, and the millionth, and all the numbers in between. He introduces himself in measurements: "I'm Jessie from Big Brother 10. Due to my 18-inch arms, rock-hard abs, and widest, most-insane shoulders ... I'm bigger than last year by 20 el bees, and almost a whole inch on my 'guns'. [Oogles himself for a moment] Ooh yea, that's nice." He actually said "El Bees" instead of "pounds." This is what passes for "Banter" in Jessie's mind. Also, however insane his shoulders are, his head is crazier. He is really impressed by himself. He also said, "I don't think my ego got in the way of my season last year," so he's incapable of learning. Jessie, you lost last year. Narcissus once said of Jessie: "My God, he's way too self-involved!" Clique: Athletes.
Needless to say, I wanted Jessie back. Eye candy, he's entertainingly egomaniacal, plus he thinks he's smart, when he's actually dumber than bacteria. He lost on Are You Smarter Than a Fetus?
The competition was a simple endurance contest based on giving wedgies. This isn't merely setting the bar low; this is burying the bar in a deep pit. It depended entirely on athletic endurance, plus, since it involved testicular torture, 'rioded-up athletes had an additional advantage, as their joybags have all long-since shriveled up and retreated to behind the pelvic bone. Surprise! The Athletes won it, and Jessie is in the house. Wake me for the So You Think You Can Dance elimination show.
Till next week, Cheers darlings.
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