Janelle evicts Will with help from Erika, the world rejoices, and Mike Boogie is left alone with “these bitches”

I’ve complained non-stop about this season of Big Brother 7, and for good reasons, but all of the boredom and disappointment was, I realized last night, totally worth it. Because tonight, we ahd our first truly exciting and suspenseful moments for the first time this entire season, and they came right before Janelle evicted Will from the house. Yes she did!

To her credit, Janelle finally recognized what an idiot she’s been, letting Chill Town manipulate her. “I really feel like this summer I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the house, and after tonight, I’m done making mistakes,” Janelle said, before casting the lone eviction vote. “For Marcellas and Howie, I vote to evict you, Will.” And the world momentarily stopped spinning.

My exultation about Janelle’s decision will keep me giddy for weeks, but seeing the look of utter horror and disbelief on Mike “Boogie” Malin’s face after Will left was like a check for a million dollars hidden under the frosting of the cake.

Surprisingly, Erika deserves a lot of credit for helping to bring Janelle back on track. Just two days ago, she was pondering squeezing out Mike’s baby, but then she came to her senses and gave one of the most profoundly obvious yet completely necessary speeches ever in the house. She did this in the back yard, with the two guys just yards away, whispering to Janelle,

“I’m over it. I’m over these two boys. They’ve lied to everybody on the way out this door. Why let them get to the final two? They think that you and I are a joke. Like they’ve manipulated us. I’m just being honest with you. I mean, they’ve already pitted us against each other, let’s not let that — why should we continue to let them do it? He’ll tell you how beautiful you are, how smart you are, how funny you are, but he cannot guarantee you he’ll take you to the final two. I can look you in your eye and say I will take you to the final two and I will kick them out.”

The women went inside together, and Will knew his fate. “Okay, Boogie I’m going home. She’s opening the wine, no eye contact, and Janelle was the one who said, ‘Let’s go inside.’ I have no control, dude.” That’s when his friend spoke one of the most shocking but not really surprising lines this season.

“This is our show, and these bitches think they’re going to try to steal it from us,” Mike “Boogie” Malin said. With just a few modifications, that line could work as a new slogan for all of his Dolce Group restaurants, one that would undoubtedly help them attract new patrons who enjoy giving their money to people like Mike. (Tangentially, the official Dolce Group web site says “Mike Malin is best known for his role as “Boogie” on the CBS reality television show.” Nice how they try to separate his asshole persona in the house from the real person by pretending it’s just him acting like an asshole. If that’s the case, give the man an Emmy.)

Now all that’s left is for Erika and Janelle to hold each other to their bargain to take each other to the final two, and for Janelle to win. First, though, one of them needs to win the final HOH, and Erika has won part one. Yet again, a live show crumbled on-screen, which would have been amusing had it not been so dull. The producers constructed a giant volcano in the back yard, one that was probably going to erupt and spew crap all over the houseguests, who were clinging to its sides. But that never happened, because the competition ended approximately 10 seconds after it started.

First, Mike Boogie, who was still seething from Will’s eviction, said, “Hey, Julie. Remember Richard Hatch? They both have to take me to the finals.” Then he jumped off, eliminating himself from the competition. It was an interesting move, strategically, but instead of just walking away and letting his words sink in, he quickly exposed his insecurity. “You can’t take each other. You have to take me. You won’t make that big a mistake. You won’t,” he insisted. “You did the smartest play ever tonight Janelle; you can’t make that mistake, you can’t take her.”

Interestingly, the moment Boogie jumped off, Erika won, because Janelle momentarily let go of the key she was holding with one hand. Janelle definitely let go, and to the producers’ and Julie Chen’s credit, it only took them one whole commercial break to notice what every viewer noticed at home the second it happened.

The rules were somewhat unclear, however, although basically that’s true of every half-assed game on this show. As usual, Julie Chen awkwardly tried to explain what the rules were. She said, If you let go of your key, or your feet touch the mat below, you will be eliminated.” Clear enough.

Erika then asked, “Both hands have to be on?” And Julie said, “For now, yes.” What the hell does that mean? For now? The first few moments until the competition starts? Until some other point in the competition when they’re allowed to let go with one hand, something that would make little to no sense? Still, Janelle did let go, and she’s benefited in the past from the producers’ stupidity.

Janelle now has to defeat Boogie in HOH competition number two; the winner of that competition faces Erika in the final HOH game, which I predict now the producers will find some way to fuck up. The winner of that final competition selects which person they want to evict, and thus who they want to take to the final two. That happens Thursday, and our (abbreviated) three months of time-wasting comes to an end on Tuesday. If Janelle walks away with the $500,000, it may have all been worth it.

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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.