I wish Gilbert Gottfried, who voiced Otev last night in “Big Brother's” traditional POV challenge centered around the fictional boss, had really ripped into the houseguests and said in his trademark screech, “What an annoying bunch of houseguests this year! What horrible voices! For Christ's sake! MORONS.”
Because they are annoying this year. Frankly, with Jocasta out of the house for now, we're really missing a core type of personality in the game: a happy person. Yeah, Cody is sort of affable. Christine seems friendly, and I loved her HOH blog this week. Donny is part possum, and possums always seem satisfied. But Jocasta truly beamed. She was never dogged by being on the block, and she usually responded to the threat of elimination by dialing herself up on a fake phone and throwing down an incoherent one-liner about God. Oh, how I miss it. Rumor is God does too.
This was an unusually embarrassing week for many of the houseguests. I thought we'd honor the memory of Jocasta, our Biblical bow-tied bisexual bae, by ranking the remaining houseguests in order of ascending embarrassment this week. Ahem:
9. Derrick (least embarrassing)
As far as I can tell, Derrick is still playing a flawless game of “Big Brother.” To call him an embarrassment would be calling the very institution of “Big Brother” an embarrassment, and we know that's impossible because nothing about a show with contestants who spell out “CALTORU” and hope it's a real word is embarrassing. I was mesmerized listening to Derrick narrate Frankie's attempt to endear his alliance by coming out as Ariana Grande's brother/stalker/oldish superfan. It was like he'd been watching his own season on TV along with us. “He's throwing a line and hoping somebody grabs on,” Derrick explained. “Frankie is extremely intelligent, he realizes that his back is against the wall, and he needs something else to spin this house around. He kind of diverts all the attention from the fact that he's told a bunch of lies these past couple weeks.” Perfect description, Derrick. It makes me believe Derrick can really mastermind something unbeatable against Frankie when the time comes. For this alone, I forgive Derrick for having a head shape and eyeholes that resemble a bowling ball exactly.
Did you know that “BB” fans consistently rank Christine as their least favorite houseguest? Here's a complicated question I have about that: Why? She's goofy, not petty, strategic enough, and clearly a fan of the game. I swear to God the average “Big Brother” superfan watches the show just to idolize the contestants who ask to be idolized. Note: Of all the cocky contestants in “Big Brother” history, only Dr. Will is worthy of that reciprocation. The others are just horrifying raptors in swimsuits. This week HOH Christine was forced to replace Zach on the chopping block with basically the only other conceivable pick, Nicole. You hate to watch Christine officially side with the Detonators over Christine, but that upshot wasn't embarrassing so much as awkwardly inevitable. I think a Derrick/Christine final two would make for an exhilarating, competitive final debate for the $500,000. Imagine BB15 winner Andy Herren in the final two arguing with someone like Helen for the final prize. Not saying she'd win, but she'd certainly be able to complete a sentence without screaming, “I'm an open book!” or “Miss you, Nick!” in GinaMarie's emphysemic smoker rasp.
Cody is a floater. Definitive floater. But he's not annoying in any way, so no one really cares to call him a floater. “Floater” is a term most often hurled at diplomatic contestants that people have already decided to hate. It's like when Madonna gets called “old.” The snarker is pretending to have a point when they're just pointing out that the houseguest/pop superstar is doing her job: surviving and thriving. But Cody has lucked his way into the pillowy embrace of Derrick and the good graces of Zach and Frankie; I'm waiting to see when he makes a move to eliminate Derrick, the true manipulator of this season, and become his own player. He's had it so easy in this game that an attack on Derrick is really the only move he needs to make.
Ohhhh, Donny. I want you to be the wizard of this game, magically winning POVs in a clutch and casting a spell of infallibility over the CBS lot. But you lost that damn Otev-branded POV almost immediately, and now it looks like you're about to be sent home in a near-unanimous vote. If you didn't sound so much like the twangy brother to “South Park's” Mr. Garrison (like the Spike to Mr. Garrison's Snoopy), I'd be less bothered by your elimination. But as such, you just don't have enough game to compete on “Big Brother,” even if you seem aware of the qualities that make a good player. So long, moonshine Merlin.
Caleb's been less embarrassing since Amber left the house, but he still is not self-aware enough to realize he says horrible things. Did I hear it right when he told Frankie, “If we were out of this house, I'd have kicked you straight in the teeth”? And he said that because… Frankie admitted his sister sometimes collaborates with Iggy Azalea? That's worth a quick slap, not a kick in the teeth. (Iggy Azalea is basically just the freshman girl waiting for Gwen Stefani under the bleachers in “Hollaback Girl.” Harmless, sassy, and a little scared.) I also cringed during the Otev-starred POV challenge when Caleb declared that he wasn't a tool. The gray henley tanktop says otherwise, kid.
It seems unfair to call Victoria embarrassing because it's only right to call her nothing. But come on. How can you be a functioning adult with a pituitary gland when you literally believe “escapegoat” goat is a word? “Escapegoat.” She said it. She said it loud. There was no escape(goat) from it. And then she had the nerve to break down when she Zach blabbed to her about Derrick's shifty allegiance. Basically, Victoria was horrified to learn that people on “Big Brother” are playing “Big Brother.” She thinks “Big Brother” is a conversion camp for people who want to be Sims. Except Victoria could never be a Sim because her gibberish isn't funny enough.
It's unfair to put Nicole this high. Her Cindy Lou Who whine has its charms, and her rapport with Hayden was always adorable. But man, when she got backdoored into potential elimination this week, her Diary Room complaints were awfully pathetic. With the most sluggish, pained wail I've heard this season, she cried, “I don't want to be around these people, honestlyyyyy.” Well, that's convenient. They're nominating her for eviction! It all works out.
On paper, Zach was the most embarrassing player this week even though he won the POV. He caterwauled that he'd “marry” his veto medallion, he screamed that Frankie “built a house of lies,” and he sincerely wept on camera when Frankie admitted he's on “Big Brother” for charity. “I have no chance! I have no chance!” Zach screeched about his game. “This kid's playing for f*cking children in Africa. Why wouldn't he win? This guy already won Fan Favorite! He's donating the money to kids in Africa. Why the f*ck isn't he not going to win? Give him the f*cking money, I'm wasting my f*cking time right now!” He was about a nanosecond from ending that speech with, “And I live in a van down by the river.” So histrionic and egomaniacal and extreme and hilarious. But as Mariah Carey once proved with her woozy, pre-hospitalization appearance on “TRL,” there is such a thing as being so embarrassing that you become heroic somehow. But then again, Mariah Carey never told Frankie Grande that he was “the smartest, funniest guy I've ever met.” Now I need to be hospitalized for exhaustion just remembering that. Ugh. Zach! Come on!
1. Frankie (most embarrassing)
I wouldn't hate if Frankie won “Big Brother.” He's sly enough to win. And his hair has morphed into a strange Neapolitan ornament on an ice cream cake from hell, so what can you do but fear and honor him, you know? I hope we can all admit that he's got a good head for this game. But right after we admit that, we must also admit that Frankie's soliloquy about his sister's true identity this episode was pathetic. Why did he have to bring up having “1.5 million subscribers”? Why did he have to call Ariana a “mega, mega pop star” when she has three singles and two mod dresses to wear? And most importantly, who did he think he was going to endear with that tale? Derrick diagnosed Frankie's intentions explicitly and no one else seemed too in the dark either. It was one of the weirdest moments of the season, and I hope Frankie reverts back to effective manipulation very, very soon. Or else this ice cream cake is going to melt into irrelevance fast.