Power to the delusional, a challenge screw-up, Big Brother

Devin winning HOH on Big Brother‘s first regular live show wasn’t exactly a classic power shift, since he already has power in the house, but power is now in temporarily in the hands of the person who’s closest to a villain. It’ll be interesting to see which Devin emerges: the one who often has good ideas about how to play the game, or the one who executes those plans and his made-up fantasies with all the finesse of an elephant fingerprinting on a thimble.

Devin went on a tear insisting that everyone vote unanimously to protect and conceal the alliance; he told people that “nobody wants to vote against the house,” which was another of those odd phrases he uses to tell someone how they should be thinking about the thing he’s telling them. And he added a threat that whoever votes against the house will be a target.

Frankie rolled his eyes at this, and I so wish he or someone else would have cast a single vote for Joey, especially someone who wanted to vote for Joey, just to throw the house into chaos a little.

The start of the episode spent a couple minutes on Caleb’s crush on/obsession with Amber, and we learned that it was all God’s doing: “He know exactly what I want,” Caleb said, apparently not meaning good grammar. The editing played this mostly for laughs, slowing and stopping the soundtrack when Caleb told Amber, “there’s a certain way you look at me.” Amber told him “I don’t feel weird in a bad way” but said in the Diary Room, “this is so uncomfortable.”

Joey exited on a high note, both as Alex, a fun male character (“I need a bulge or something–can I use your glove?”) she played in the house to alert everyone to Caleb and Devin’s control. Most interesting was that Zach gave up Caleb and Devin as the ringleaders; right or wrong, it shows that they’re not a solid block, and one that will hopefully crumble both for entertainment and opening up the strategizing beyond what we’ve seen so far.

Joey never had a chance, though, because Paola and her “funness,” challenge incompetence, and bad grammar are much less threatening.

Amber and Cody won Head of Household thanks to their ability to walk across a balance beam carrying faux kegs, though before the commercial break Julie Chen alerted us that they’d have to “review the tape.” That wasn’t tape we could review, since the only angle we had during Cody’s win was of Hayden falling. Post-commercial, Julie said bluntly that “Cody fouled and is not the HOH,” saying his foot hit the ground before he buzzed in, and then awarded HOH to Devin.

In the range of challenge screw-ups we’ve seen over the years, this was innocuous and really just a bad call in the moment on Julie’s part (or whoever was talking in her ear). But showing us the replay would have been a better use of the show’s time than the useless minutes we spent eavesdropping on the house at the end.

In good news, fuck yeah, Donny is the next member of Team America. In bad news, that twist may be cursed by the ghost that lives in the fire bedroom, and I’m sure Devin is about to nominate that ghost for secretly being controlled by Donny via Donny’s robot brain.

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.