Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome.
It's time for another season of CBS' “Big Brother.” It's Season 16 and the hamsters have changed, but the Julie Chen remains the same. Exactly the same. Disturbingly the same.
As always, HitFix will be recapping here at the Monkeys As Critics blog. With some variation, I'll be recapping one night (probably the elimination show so I can be lazy and live-blog), Louis Virtel will take another night (which may not be live-blogs, but they'll be funnier than my recaps) and we're still ironing out that extra night. But don't worry. We'll be there to cover all of the racism, homophobia and showman's that CBS sees fit to put on TV. Probably none of us will be watching the live-feeds, but just because it happens doesn't mean it's canon.
Anyway… Click through for my live-blogged recap of Wednesday (June 25) night's premiere and check out Louis' interview with last year's winner Andy.
8:00 p.m. ET. What a lovely red dress The Chenbot is wearing. I'm not sure what it's appropriate for. The off-the-shoulder look says “Too casual for prom,” but the length says, “Too dressy for a cocktail party,” but I guess the answer is, “Wandering around an empty treehouse.” “It's summertime, America and that can only mean one thing,” she observes. “It's time for 'Big Brother.'” Why yes, it is! Julie promises big twists and an interactive twist and a twisted summer. I suddenly want a pretzel.
8:02 p.m. Paola is the first cleavage… errr… hamster we meet, followed by Duck Dynasty Don. DJ Paola has thick skin and thin attire. She's the leader of her crew and she's open to manipulate hot guys. Duck Dynasty Donny is the groundskeeper for a school system, but not just any school system! He was Kellie Pickler's high school janitor and he shares Early Kellie's wonder at the outside world. Duck Dynasty Donny loves Pop Tarts. Cody is a single former soccer player and he vows to be flirtatious.
8:03 p.m. Adriana Grande's brother Frankie is a dance teacher and a former Broadway performer. I wish Ariana were going to be on “Big Brother” instead, but she probably has other things to do. Frankie is hoping to keep his celebrity genetics to himself, which wouldn't normally sound that hard, but he's also the Queen of YouTube. Amber is a gun-shooting, wall-climbing country girl from Knoxville.
9:05 p.m. Speaking of country girls, Nicole is a super-fan from a small town called Ubly. She's so down-home I wish she could audition for the second season of “Farmer Wants a Wife.” Devin used to be a professional baseball player, which is technically true. [ He's now a professional father and he's figuring that he's going to dominate the physical challenge.s People tell him he looks like The Rock, but those people are mostly racists. Joey is a hairdresser and she's looking to meet Hot Liberal Men. How long before she and Ducky Dynasty Donny start butting heads? Ducky Dynasty Donny is bringing his fancy jeans. Paola is bring three-months worth of eyelashes, which may run afoul of Amber, who dislikes high-maintenance women. Joey and Amber are pretty much going to be making a bee-line for Devin. Nicole is scared of ghosts, so she wants a “cuddle-partner,” even if it's just “butt-to-butt.” Stop thinking of “Requiem for a Dream.” STOP IT.
8:09 p.m. The first eight hamsters agree that they're ready for a summer they'll never forget, even after Julie warns them about the twists. Why are there only eight of them out there? We'll find out “in time.”
8:12 p.m. Cody, Amber, Donny and Joey enter together. “My God, it's so real,” Duck Donesty agrees. The girls pick a room together. Cody wants to be in the front room. Duck Donesty is agog and throws his stuff down in a random room. “I very seldom get out of North Carolina,” Donny reflects. Cody loves Donny's voice. Devin, Nicole, Paola and Ariana Grande's Brother enter. Nicole has to tell herself not to pee her pants. This sounds like a silly worry but, um, it's a genuine concern. In the house, Pink-Haired Frankie and Blue-Haired Joey bond instantly over their shared love of Proust. Oh, I'm kidding. They both like hair-dye. The numbers are causing trouble for the first eight hamsters. Paola has math issues, but she knows there are more than eight beds. Close enough.
8:14 p.m. The first eight gather to drink and introduce themselves. Paola introduces herself as “Pow-Pow” (or maybe “Pao-Pao”), which intrigues Cody, who wants to know where her name came from. I'm just gonna guess it relates to her name, Cody. Frankie worries that Paola could know who he is, or at least who his sister is. Nicole loves Donny, thinking they may be out-of-place in a similar way. Cody's crush on Paola is reciprocated, but Frankie is also into him. Frankie introduces himself as a Broadway chorus boy, while Joey recognizes a fellow peacock. Devin, who says he stopped playing minor league baseball to be a dad, is just Amber's type. But Joey is Devin's type, which is already worrying Amber. Donny likes Nicole's reserve, or he likes the reserve of the blonde girl whose name he can't remember. “To pretty colors in high definition,” says Duck Dynasty Donny, clearly getting the memo.
8:22 p.m. Devin has decided that they need a First Eight alliance. “If this original eight can stick together, I guarantee you nobody's gonna be able to touch us,” says Devin, putting a lot of faith in this early alliance. “It's a little nerve-wracking, because I don't even know these people,” Joey worries. Franke proposes the name “The Crazy Eights” and Devin is determined to literally bust his ass. This devolves into all of the men doing sit-ups as Paola coos and drools. You'll be shocked to knock that Donny wants no part of this. “Oh Lord. I don't do crunches. I don't do sit-ups. No,” Duck Donesty says, temporarily winning my support.
8:25 p.m. Donny seems to be on the outside, what with his lack of visibly ostentatious abs, but he bonds with Devin over their shared fandom and their trust. Devin thinks that Donny is a side-alliance nobody would expect, suspecting wisdom behind his beard. “I feel like I just won the Best Beard Contest at the county fair,” says Donny, who is absolutely my favorite until he says something really dumb. Also bonding are Cody and Frankie, which threatens Paola, who wants this to be all about the ladies. “A girl needs to win this year,” Paola tells the receptive ladies. They all feel like “Big Brother” has never had a good all-girl alliance. Paola wants a “girlmance.” For Paola, this is all about giving girl hopes and she's already named them El Cuatro. “Forget about all these dudes, because we're gonna win this game,” Paola says. Nicole does not know what El Cuatro means. Come on. Really? Nicole. Please. It means butt-to-butt-to-butt-to-butt. Cuatro Culos!
8:28 p.m. Julie Chen has good news. One of them will be the first Head of Household. But then she breaks the first twist of what you may have heard is going to be a twistastic season. The HoH is NOT completely safe. The hamsters are shocked and displeased. Frankie thinks another twist is coming and conspiracy theorizing begins.
8:33 p.m. Time for banal getting-to-know-you conversation between Cody and Paola, who can get any guy she wants in the real world. She's ready to get into bed with Cody, even if she's 27 and he's 23. “You're like a baby,” she coos, unable to figure out the age difference between them. She wants to know what he's into. He's into girls who have a good body and like to work out and care about their physiques and really are in good shape and perhaps are also fit. Paola knows this doesn't exclude her and she's in love.
8:35 p.m. They go out to the yard, where Frankie is correctly able to identify that sand castles are, indeed, sand castles. The first competition is called Go Fly a Kite. They have to hang onto a kite string while balancing on a rotating beam. Let go and the sand castles — Frankie was RIGHT! — will be crushed. Sensing this challenge will require fitness, rather than brains, Nicole has ditched her glasses. Duck Donesty wants to prove that he's a competitor. Paola wants to stay focus and… WOOPS. Down goes Paola. Devin is in pain. He hasn't suffered this badly since he faced Single A pitching. Down goes Joey and El Cuatro is down to El Dos, or as Nicole would call it, “Huh?” Adding complication is a shower of something slippery and wet. Nicole slips off, leaving Amber to represent the girlmance. “You look like a lollypop. I wanna lick you,” Paola says of the greased up Cody. Way to play hard to get.
8:44 p.m. Duck Donesty and Devin go out next. Frankie is “in this challenge to win this challenge.” Cody goes out. Fearing the responsibilities of HoH, Amber throws the challenge in uninspired form, leaving Frankie as the first HoH. “I brought it and go Grande or go home,” Frankie observes, even though he doesn't know what this means. Frankie secures promises that everybody else will have his back, but he's “freaking the Frankie out.”
8:51 p.m. Stop saying twist! Stop it stop it stop it!
8:51 p.m. Frankie takes an orange chair in the living room. For the first time this season, Julie tells the hamsters to expect the unexpected and warns them that a second group of eight is coming and that one person from that group will be Head of Household. And then at the end of the week, there will only be one HoH. The other will be ritually slaughtered. TWIST! Paola and Cody are both confused by how this 1+1-1=1 HoH math works. “This is crazy,” Frankie laments.
8:53 p.m. Team America is another twist. The winner will be part of a three-person alliance formed by me. The next two weeks we'll add two more people to Team America. We've already voted on one member of the alliance, but we won't find out who that is until tomorrow.
8:56 p.m. Let's eavesdrop. Frankie is fanning himself and comparing himself to Rachel. Nobody knows if Frankie will even get an HoH room. And… that's it.
Bottom Line: I don't hate anybody! I'm annoyed by several people — Frankie and Paola mostly — but I don't hate anybody. So there's that. From Group 1, I'm currently rooting for Duck Donesty and Butt-to-Butt Nicole.
Catch y'all in a couple episodes!
How 'bout y'all?