Lydia, Chima, and Natalie’s pity party and Jessie memorial not interrupted by reality

That Big Brother‘s editors ignored the weekend drama on Sunday’s episode isn’t a surprise, considering that it happened post-nomination ceremony, and the formula holds that Sunday’s episode ends at the nomination ceremony. While it’d be utterly tragic for actual reality to interrupt that pre-planned narrative arc, at least the episode set the groundwork for the meltdown with some entertainingly obnoxious footage, even if it did include a segment on Lydia’s damn unicorn, Dae Yum Yum, which I honestly couldn’t tell was intended to humiliate her, humanize her, or just waste time.

Although this season has been pretty bad–poorly edited, especially weak challenges, a pointless twist–it finally clicked for me with this episode, because there are now clearly divided alliances, complicated by the way they’re formed from groups of people who previously hated each other.

I also feel like I finally have a less ambiguous take on the cast; I initially liked Lydia, and then was annoyed by her, but now I’m just appalled. Chima was a whiner but was smart, but has proven herself to be a terrible person. And Jeff has won me over, between his game play and witty commentary. (Although I’ll still argue against the insane and disingenuous argument that what he said during his early-season fight with Russell was somehow acceptable because other people use the same language, he hasn’t repeated that, as far as I can tell, but has proven himself to be one of the more likable people in a house of nutjobs.)

Anyway, Jeff and and his idiot girlfriend Jordan–to whom he mock-proposed, and who called Chima “what’s-her-face” because Jordan couldn’t remember Chima’s name–aligned with Michele and Russell, who’d repaired her relationship. That’s a fascinating alliance all around, especially since it’s facing off against the weepy alliance of Lydia, Natalie, and Chima. Kevin’s ostensibly with them, but really he’s with us, providing fantastic commentary on the meltdown.

Oh, was it a meltdown. Natalie illustrated how total delusion and self-righteousness has set in among them when she said, “The ugly and the bad get rewarded in this game, and the good just seem to go down in burning flames even when they do everything right. It’s just not right; it really isn’t.”

Chima cried that Jessie’s departure was like a “family member dying,” and watching Lydia, Natalie, and Chima bawl about Jessie was too much to handle, because it was so damn absurd. Clearly, the house has made them even more insane, because they sounded comical as they mourned him. Kevin said, “OMG, these girls are acting as if Jessie just got hit by a Mack truck and had been killed. He got evicted from Big Brother.”

Jeff pointed out that “they’re having a pity party ’cause they don’t have the numbers, they’re pissed at me.” During the have/have not competition, they were split into pairs, and Jeff identified the four as “miserable team number one,” and “the half-miserable team” of Lydia and Kevin.

Even better, the three women were totally delusional. Chima said Jessie “never said anything bad about anybody in this game” and, as Kevin pointed out, ignored that he nominated her, just as Lydia and Natalie ignored his moves in the game that had the potential to hurt them. “Please, girls, the guy was an idiot,” Kevin said. Maybe Jessie will wear that on a t-shirt next season.

At the end of the episode, Chima said in the Diary Room, “I don’t care if I’m nominated. This game is fucked. I’m fucked. My friends are fucked.” Well, that’s true. And if you thought Chima’s eventual departure constituted some kind of spoiler, well, CBS disagrees. Besides the fact that it made national news over the weekend, the episode ended with the announcer saying that on Tuesday, “one houseguest self-destructs and is removed from the game.”

The saddest part of the whole episode–besides the loss of Jessie, of course–was Michele saying, “Now I’m the HOH queen, woo!” Queen for a day, at least.

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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.