Some of our questions about “Big Brother 16” are truly unanswerable. For instance: Do Julie Chen and Les Moonves joke in their monstrous bed about what a crybaby creep Caleb is? Or: Is Jocasta outfitted by Brooks Brothers? And most importantly: How can Frankie be 31-years-old and thrilled about receiving a Justin Bieber album? I'll leave the FBI or NASA to understand that one.
Wednesday's episode was a so-so hour that mostly confirmed what we'd already guessed: Frankie would find a way to remove either Jocasta or Victoria from the block and replace that person with Amber. Hayden, in fact, won the power of veto in a highly libidinous cowboy-themed challenge (We'll get to it in a moment), and Frankie seized that opportunity to replace Victoria with the totally blindsided Amber. Poor girl. If you weren't calling her Leona LEWZER before, now you have an official reason. Girl will be bleeding love right out the door tomorrow unless she finds a miraculous reason to get everyone to vote out Jocasta. Doesn't seem possible to me, kids. Imagine being asked to vote Jocasta out of your life. You couldn't! You need to keep at least one friend around who talks in tongues, and that friend should be Jocasta. That's an obvious survival tip.
After Wednesday night's silly hour (which culminated in Zach's pathetic “argument” with Amber that wasn't even juicy enough to earn Team America their milk money), we had seven questions we wanted answered. Here they are.
1. Did we just witness the most sexually suggestive game in “Big Brother” history?
Was anyone else clutching their pearls (and their favorite pair of chaps) during the veto challenge? I was positively scandalized watching Hayden, Christine, Donny, HoH Frankie, and potential evictees Jocasta and Victoria ride a fake horse like horny coeds on a spring break dare at Saddle Ranch. There was a lot of… pelvic pulsing? Hip swiveling? Er, y'know: SIMULATED SEX-HAVING. I have to give Frankie credit for riding with one arm soaring in the air. That's how all the great cowboys ride — or at least the one in Madonna's “Don't Tell Me” video, who counts as the only cowboy I've ever really seen. Tell the rain not to drop, Frankie!
2. Why/how on Earth does Caleb think he's running the house?
We don't have enough time to discuss all the ways in which Caleb is the worst person in the house, but the ordeal can basically be summed up as such: When he follows around Amber, I am scared for Amber. He is a man possessed by “love,” a.k.a. furious entitlement disguised as affection, and he is chilling. This week he inspired me to kick over a plant when he referred to himself as “the king of the house” who allegedly controls the game. Uh, what? Huh? Look, I know when you're stuck in the BB house for weeks, you're entitled to get a little bit delusional — but in what way could Caleb possibly justify the idea that he runs the house? Does he think he was responsible for Brittany's elimination? Or… anybody's elimination? Or… anything? What is he thinking? What isn't he thinking? Why aren't we thinking of arresting him immediately after he leaves the house?
3. So, Zankie. Is that bond satisfying for either party?
Say what you will about Frankie's phony screen presence or Zach's arrogant attitude, but I don't think I've ever seen a relationship between two guys on reality TV quite like Zankie. They're seemingly attracted to one another and they're raring to discuss that bond in explicit detail — but they're not willing to actually consummate because 1) “Big Brother” is a perverted goldfish bowl for the universe to ogle, 2) They're not actually dating, and 3) Zach is not actually gay. But there's chemistry there, somehow? They're like a living episode of pseudo-gay fanfiction. We think we understand their characters, but a gigantic sexy force is threatening to take over their bond. Frankie told us that he's waiting for Zach to make a move, and Zach tells us he'd make a move if only he were gay. I don't really know why they don't at least make out, but in case nothing ever happens between them, we can write naughty Tumblr posts imagining what it'll be like. Maybe then it'll finally come true? I feel like we're only 2-3 episodes away from a little Zankie-panky.
4. Is Christine actually screwed?
For weeks we've been noticing that Christine is situated ideally in the game. She's ensconced within protective alliances and no one had quite noticed (until the past couple of episodes) that she was a savvy but somewhat ineffectual player. Sometimes sly, unthreatening social skills can propel a player far in the game (Andy Herren, anyone?), but I'm wondering if Christine has too many friendships too early. Zach threw a tantrum establishing her as the weak player in his alliance, but is that a damning enough allegation to stick? I question and re-question Christine's chances in this competition so often. She doesn't seem like she'll make it as far as Frankie and Derrick (the two obvious frontrunners at this moment, at least to me), but I can't see her being eliminated immediately either. Christine! You and your IMAX-sized glasses confound me again.
5. Is Victoria a functioning organism with a respiratory system and means of obtaining food?
Remember when Victoria participated in the veto competition? It was almost like she was a contestant on the CBS series “Big Brother.” She even tried throwing us a soundbite: “Everyone thinks I'm a princess in this house. But I'm a warrior princess.” Nice try, production, but there is no way Victoria is aware enough of the universe/anything to make a reference to Lucy Lawless. She was fed that line, which means Victoria is capable of being fed like a functioning organism. Victoria lives! But as what? My guess: a spore with a MAC counter gift certificate.
6. Could Zach be any worse at starting fake arguments?
I don't know why Zach was so quick to fabricate a fight just because Frankie asked him to do it (in the name of Team America, secretly), but his display of “hostility” towards Amber after she'd been nominated was pretty random. And she didn't even flinch, which is probably a sign that the entire house is fed up with Zach's volcanic outbursts. I want him to be a great game player, but he's mostly just a bizarre one. For now.
7. Is it lame to say I enjoy seeing all these women get booted?
The strangest problem with “Big Brother 16” is that — with the possible exception of Christine, who at least develops gameplay tactics for herself — there are no interesting female players left this season. Nicole, Amber, Jocasta, and the mysteriously tall spore known as Victoria offer nothing to shake up house dynamics or even compete with the prevailing alliance. This is the polar opposite of last season when Amanda, Helen, and even Aaryn could wheedle everybody for at least a few episodes. This year we're waiting for the gals to crumble like Stilton as self-satisfied dudes power on through. I have to say: I'm OK with the male domination. If the male players are unanimously more interesting (and I do think that's the case), they should be the ones competing. Hell, Donny is a better player than all of the remaining women. That is remarkable considering Donny is a kindly old prospector with innocent Beanie Baby eyes.
This brings me to my final question, which I'll leave open to you: Is it even possible for a woman to win “Big Brother” this year?