James gets Howied and Erika is the new HOH for yet another double-elimination week

At one point during last night’s episode of Big Brother 7, James told us, “I will never completely trust anyone until this show is over, but I feel confident that I will still be here come Thursday evening.” Then he proceeded to show how insecure he was, asking Will, “I’m not going to be a Howie?” Then he foreshadowed his own demise, saying, “Obviously, I trust you guys,” and they voted him out of the house.

Will, ever the masterful ass-kisser, said in his goodbye message to James that he felt “intimidated” by James, which basically made James blush and giggle. Another jury vote for Will.

The only person who voted for James was Danielle, who cried when she realized that he was vulnerable, saying, “It makes sense for me to protect James for me. I feel like I need to do something.” She wasn’t able to do anything then, but she might be able to do something this week.

“If Boogie and Will pull something and James walks out the door, God help them,” she told us, and then told James in her goodbye message that “Chill Town has not seen the bad side of me yet. I will take care of them. I guarantee it.”

That sets up an interesting conflict in the house, one that may protect Janelle and carry her even further, although Will seems to want to keep her around to use her as a shield. But wouldn’t it be interesting if Danielle and Janelle ally to boot out Chill Town?

That won’t happen immediately, as Erika won the HOH competition (oh-so-cutely named after Julie Chen’s catchphrase “but first”). Erika and Boogie are engaged in a “showmance,” as Mike told us, although he’s not thinking entirely with his head-brain, as he told Will he trusts Erika a lot more than Janelle.

Whatever happens this week, there will be even more drama next Thursday night, even more than the horrific display of bad grammar that came to us courtesy of George. He wore a homemade shirt that said, “anyone for a alliance?”, and for a moment I thought all of his stupidity might just be an act, in which case he deserves an Emmy. But no, I really think he is that dumb.

Anyway, Julie Chen said that there will be “a week’s worth of big brother all in one action-packed live hour. That night two people will be walking out the door, and the houseguests won’t know what hit them.” And by “in one action-packed live hour,” what she really meant was, we’re trying to stop the bleeding by burning through another week in just one hour.

Perhaps the funniest sequence all season so far took place outside the house, at the jury house, where Marcellas was enjoying some quiet time alone, and by that I mean he was hating his life. “If I could swim the hell back to the United States, I would be in that sea right now battling sharks. That’s how badly I want to get the hell out of here,” he said. And that was before he got the worst news of the week.

In an interview, he said, “Howie walking through this door a week from today would be my absolute nightmare.” Exactly one day later, Howie walked in, having been voted out just a few days after Marcellas. As they watched footage of Howie’s eviction together, Marcellas’ facial expressions were priceless, and he backed them up with plenty of bitchiness. “Howie, stop calling me Marcie, I don’t like it. We’re not in the house anymore; I don’t have to be nice to you. My name is Marcellas.”

Howie replied, “Whoa. Sorry, Margellas.” (Correction: that’s apparently Marjealous; I just thought Howie was being dumb, not clever.) As obnoxious as that was, Marcellas’ completely exasperated look was worth the pain of the past two months, as he looked like he really was about to start screaming, run out of the house, and throw himself into the ocean.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.