Big Brother 11 Episodes

2009, TV Show

Big Brother 11 Episode: "Big Brother 11"

Season 11, Episode 2
Episode Synopsis: Nominations for eviction are revealed.
Original Air Date: Jul 12, 2009

Big Brother 11 Episode Recap: July 12, 2009 (First Nomination) Season 11, Episode 2

With the opening night niceties (sort of) out of the way, it's time to settle into gameplay. Jessie sifts through the waves of kiss-ups on his way toward picking the season's first two nominees for eviction. Plus, the houseguests compete in the first ever "Have or Have-Not" Competition which guarantees one clique will suffer through much more than eating slop. All that plus a Big Brother life lessons are ahead in the recap.

First things first: Why is CBS not marketing this season as Big Brother 11? It's not in the title card like it has been in past seasons. Oh well, the slightly remixed theme song makes up for it, I guess.

The show opens with all of the houseguests reacting to the introduction of Jessie into the house. My reaction: Get that clown out of the confessional. His singing and dancing almost made me lose my dinner. Oh, and he wants to be a WWE Superstar now. Love him or hate him, you have to admit he'd probably make a good pro wrestler.

As expected, some are less than excited by Jessie's arrival (namely off-beats Lydia and Kevin, who worry they don't have anything in common with him) while the athletes' team is thrilled. (Russell thinks they are now an even more formidable force.) The one surprise might be Ronnie, who is stoked about Jessie's arrival — for both personal and game-related reasons. The gamer geek now has a personal trainer to show him around the weight bench, but Ronnie also says he knows Jessie's weaknesses having watched him play the game last year. FYI: Rain Man Ronnie claims to know the order every houseguest has been evicted from every season of the show.

So Ronnie instantly hatches a plan: the brains and the athletes should form an unlikely alliance. With his clique members on board, Ronnie pitches the idea to Jessie, who is all about playing "Let's make a deal." Ronnie makes sure Jessie knows that Chima and Michele are not game players, and promises Jessie safety when he becomes HOH. Jessie bites, but tells Ronnie not to make the mistake of telling his clique their individual discussions.

However, Jessie is quick to blab to teammate Natalie about Ronnie's proposition. Natalie thinks Ronnie would be a loyal ally and supports the move... provided one of the brains goes up as a pawn to prove such loyalty. Ronnie, knowing Big Brother history, isn't keen on the idea and suggests Michele or Chima be the pawn. Chima begrudgingly agrees, but makes it clear she's not comfortable with it. (We'll get back to more of her grumpiness in a bit.)

Elsewhere, houseguests are making nice with Jessie left and right. Laura says Jessie is the cutest in the house, while Lydia compliments his muscles. (She says he could be Zeus at a toga party; like he needs that kind of ego boost!) Jessie is put off by Laura's "desperation compliment" and the flaunting of her "assets," and says he's not buying whatever she's selling. He ignores her, which Laura claims is a "schoolboy game" that annoys her. (Get over yourself, honey.) Lydia, however, seems genuine in her resolve to not judge Jessie before getting to know him, as she too has been judged just because she has tattoos. It somehow leads to her giving Jessie a massage in the HOH room, which would appear to make her a better salesperson.

The "Have or Have-Not" competition was a neon disaster classified by the producers as a rave-themed challenge. (Way too many bad drug and club puns in Jessie's remarks to even comment.) Since Jessie is an athlete, they are automatically guaranteed normal living conditions for the week. The remaining three cliques must connect tubing and pipe liquid through oversized H-A-V-E displays in order to not become the "have-nots" who will suffer the worst living conditions in the show's history. In short, they must eat slop, take cold showers and sleep in a barren bedroom with only a slab and thin inflatable mattress for a bed.

Despite multiple claims to be a "smart guy," Ronnie and the brains have a lot of trouble. Casey uses his teaching/coaching ability to great effect, leading the off-beats through the challenge with ease to become the next safe clique. Braden confuses Jordan with his geometrical references (she has no clue what 90 degrees means), but the popular clique nonetheless finishes second and is also safe. This sends Chima into diva mode, especially when she sees the bedroom, which she likens to an asylum. She claims after a week in that bedroom she will be in a strait jacket herself. While Casey dubs her "Princess Chima," Ronnie crosses his fingers that Jessie will see this as a perfect reason to make Chima the pawn from the brains.

Jessie does, of course, but there is some debate among the athletes as to their real target this week. Jessie wants to get rid of fake Laura, but Russell — who claims he is running the house from the background — thinks Lydia is the biggest threat and should be nominated. Jeff is left out of these talks completely because he balked when Jessie asked him to be his eyes and ears. I understand Jeff wanting to lay the blame on Jessie, but that move doesn't indicate that he has any clue about playing the game as well. Very weird.

Ultimately, Jessie decides that the nominations have to serve what's best for his game. Chima is no surprise, but despite getting close to Jessie, Lydia is shocked when her key isn't pulled. Chima says she isn't going to go out like other pawns, while Ronnie is thankful that he wasn't the pawn. (It's almost like he wants Chima out.) Lydia feels Jessie had no reason to nominate her — and his speech didn't offer any insights — and doesn't think it's her time to go out. Guess she'll just have to bring it in the veto competition.

A few other thoughts:

• Life Lesson: "We're more than what we look like on the outside."
Perhaps we now know why the producers chose these cliques. They are more than just forced alliances (in fact, I think they will break down on that front very soon); they are reminders that no one should be quick to judge. The off-beats and brains both reminisce on that notion in the episode, with Ronnie (wearing a "DORK" shirt no less) and Michele both remembering being labeled gay in high school because people didn't like them. (Jordan, by the way, would never be mean to nerdy, smelly or tattooed people.) Lydia schools Kevin similarly. Thanks for making us think, Big Brother. (Wait, is this all too deep for reality TV?)

The HOH room may be "Zen and Asian-y" to Kevin, but I am not that impressed by the makeover. The fake ocean-view windows are pointless.

What was Braden babbling about at the end of the show? When asked if would be nominated, he rambled on about destiny and the forces in the universe. When he was safe he said the sky was falling and the gods had spoken. Deep, surfer dude. Deep. (Really, this is Big Brother, right?)

Finally, a word about spoilers. My comments in this blog will be restricted to the episodes aired on CBS, and occasionally what I learn from evicted houseguests throughout the season. While I encourage commenters to be respectful of other readers, spoilers in the comments section are beyond my control. If you do post information from Big Brother After Dark or other sources, please clearly label them as spoilers and leave space before and after the spoilery content. 

Furthermore, I have not, as some comments have claimed, been contacted by readers about spoilers or agreed to ban them. Again, we're all here for the love of the show, so whichever side of the spoiler fence you're on, be respectful of those on the other side.

What did you think of the episode and Jessie's nominations? Who are you hoping wins the power of veto? Now that you know the houseguests better, who are you pulling for/against? Share your thoughts below and check back Tuesday night for veto results.

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With the opening night niceties (sort of) out of the way, it's time to settle into gameplay. Jessie sifts through the waves of kiss-ups on his way toward picking the season's first two nominees for eviction. Plus, the houseguests compete in the first ever "Have or Have-Not" Competition which guarantees one clique will suffer through much more than eating slop. All that plus a Big Brother life lessons are ahead in the recap.

First things first: Why is CBS not marketing this season as Big Brother 11? It's not in the title card like it has been in past seasons. Oh well, the slightly remixed theme song makes up for it, I guess.

The show opens with all of the houseguests reacting to the introduction of Jessie into the house. My reaction: Get that clown ... read more

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Premiered: July 09, 2009, on CBS
Rating: TV-PG
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Premise: Strangers living together in a camera-filled house attempt to win $500,000 by being the last one standing after three months of confinement in the eleventh version of the reality series.

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