Janelle becomes HOH after redo, nominates Erika and Danielle

After the debacle that was Thursday night’s HOH competition, Sunday’s episode of Big Brother 7 began with the show’s executive producer, Allison Grodner, awaking from her coma to address the houseguests and deal with the problem. As she spoke, she sounded as if she was reading from a prepared statement that desperately needed some translation. Hover over the underlined words and footnotes with your mouse to see what I think Allison really meant:

“We take fairness in the competitions very seriously on Big Brother1. After going over the technology on the game and the tapes, we have come to the conclusion2 that there were a number of technical issues that ultimately affected the outcome of tonight’s Head of Household competition. Chiefly among these technical issues was that the buzzers did not function properly.”3

Doesn’t it make you feel like you’re watching a show produced by competent people when it takes them hours to figure out what even Howie figured out as it was happening? Dumbasses.

Julie Chen stuck around into the evening to preside over the second HOH competition, and she managed to not screw up this time. The producers pulled out the old cardboard A and B wheels to ensure that nothing could go wrong, at least electronically. This time, there was no attention paid to how fast questions were answered. After just a few rounds, Janelle was the only one left, winning HOH post-Kaysar eviction yet again, and for the third time this season. “I’m here to crush dreams. What can I say?” she said, humble as always. (By the way, CBS revealed her victory in a press release on Friday.)

Danielle was appalled, but gave Janelle credit. “Honestly, if she keeps doing this, winning these competitions and getting her way, how can you not give her the money?” Well, how about because she’s failing to nominate the people she needs to nominate every week? Janelle told us, “The four people that are on my radar for betraying my alliance and mostly Kaysar are George, Erika, Danielle, and Marcellas.” In other words, the four people least responsible for Kaysar’s eviction.

Danielle also expected what was coming: a nomination from Janelle. “I threw the first punch, and I expect her to throw the second,” she said, and Janelle threw that punch, nominating her alongside Erika. Nominating Danielle makes sense, but Janelle also played it off way too much as payback; those who play emotionally (Crappy, I’m looking at you) walk out the door a lot faster than those who play strategically.

Meanwhile, the houseguests tried to win the mysterious coup d’etat power by guessing what the sheep represented. Danielle and Erika drew a connection between the female (it had a pink bow) sheep and Dolly, the cloned sheep, and answered “Do Not Assume,” which is a decent guess, if a major stretch. James used his one guess to suggest that it meant “don’t pull the wool over your eyes.” Most surprising, though, was Chicken George, who drew the connection between a female sheep, or ewe, and the word “You.” But old George guessed, “You are expected to expect the unexpected.” I hope his driver’s license prohibits him from operating heavy machinery, including cars.

But George’s moronic response wasn’t the most disturbing part of last night’s episode, nor was Will’s shower in the kitchen sink, where the houseguests still have hot water. No, it was a few seconds of night vision footage the editors included after the credits. Mike Boogie and Erika were in bed, and he said to her, “Can I have one kiss?” They kissed, and Erika said, “Night, Boogie.” In print, that sounds perfectly pleasant, but filmed in night vision, it made Paris Hilton’s video look a show fit for PBS Kids.

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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.