Big Brother, the guiltiest of guilty pleasures is back for another summer of scheming, sexing and backstabbing until one lucky player wins $500,000. But this summer, the lovely Julie Chen tells us, will be the summer of dynamic duos. As usual, the Chenbot promises a number of "expect the unexpected" twists, but we already know about the big one: three couples from past seasons will return to play the game. So, did your favorite player make a return trip? Let's find out.
But first...let's meet the newbies. My first impressions:
Dominic: He's got model good looks and is an adrenaline junkie who likes to ride motorcycles to get his blood pumping. But wipe that drool away, ladies: This 25-year-old virgin still lives at home with mommy. Although that's a major strike, he's got a good sense of humor and had me laughing a few times, particularly with the level of chagrin he displayed about his partner in the game. (More on that later.)
Cassi: She's a model from Texas/Nashville, but she's not just a pretty face. She likes fishin' and drinkin' beer too, y'all. Also she lies about being a model because she thinks regular joes view models as narcissists who want to steal other girls' boyfriends. She's probably right.
Lawon: I knew from the minute I saw his denim jacket that this guy would be a character. He says "no one can resist me" and wears bold colors because he feels bold. He's got a lot of energy, but I don't think he has the makings to mastermind the game. His basic strategy: "If they want me to be gay, I'll be gay. If they want me to be straight, I'll be straight." Also, just for good measure, a context-free Lawon quote from the first 45 minutes: "My mind is like a Twizzler." Do with that what you will.
Keith: He's a deacon and youth minister, but when he's not in church he's...chasing girls. And his good Christian sensibilities have taught him that the first thing you do in Big Brother is lie, so he claims to be a matchmaker instead of a deacon. He's also a horndog, hitting on every woman in the house. Or as he put it, when commenting on the female players in the game: "The Lord is my shepherd, and he knows what I want." Again, lots of energy, but I don't know if he'll go far.
Shelly: She's a Southern woman who loves the outdoors, her husband and her kid. She enjoys the outdoors so much that many of her diary room comments are hunting metaphors. ("They're going to pick us off like deer.") Her motto in life: "Look like a lady, act like a man, and and work like a dog." Hard to argue with that.
Adam: I have a feeling he's going to be a divisive character in the game. Some may love his contradictory personality (he loves heavy metal music but is also obsessed with Beverly Hills, 90210), but others like me, are probably already sick of his roaring rocker growl. No matter how good your game is, if you make annoying noises, you're going to become a target. (See also: The montage of houseguests already making fun of his growl in the Diary Room.)
Kalia: How to put this nicely? Kalia thinks she's really awesome. Like, she's an amazing writer who has her own sex and dating column. She's the real-life Carrie Bradshaw (her words) and her gift of gab is going to take her through the game. Hey, big egos have won this game several times. We'll see if she can put her money where her big mouth is.
Porsche: She's a VIP cocktail waitress. Which is Big Brother's way of telling the audience every season that this is the hot girl you're supposed to hate. But if you're not one to pick up on such subtleties, allow Porsche to help you: She has a dog named Tequila and she says that she's usually "the hottest girl everywhere I go." Also, her best asset is her personality, "but the doctors helped a little!"
Once everyone gets to know everyone (or at least the versions of themselves they share with the group -- seriously, I'm always baffled why these people think they have to lie during the introductions. Who cares what your day job is! That's not gameplay, it's just stupid.), Julie reveals the first twist: This season, the game will be played in pairs. Whoever wins head of household, their partner is safe for the week as well. Each week's nominees will be a specific duo, who then have to campaign against one another to stay in the house.
The pairs go like this:
Keith and Porsche: Dominic remarks that Keith chose his partner as if he was choosing a prom date.
Cassi and Shelly: Two country girls? Makes sense!
Dominic and Adam: Dominic doesn't want to be stuck with the martini-sipping bacon-eater, but he's afraid to say no to him for fear of death.
Kalia and Lawon: They're the last two standing. And Kalia is not happy about it.
Julie promises the houseguests that twist No. 2 is coming up. And sure enough, the doorbell rings and in come the three returning duos. And if you'll permit a humble brag, I correctly predicted three of them earlier this week.
Season 12's Rachel and Brendon: Ugh. Just, ugh. They're engaged now. Brendon's still a douche. Rachel still has an annoying laugh. Ugh. (Also, the entire house shared that basic reaction.)
Season 11's Jeff and Jordan: Yay! They're adorable, and unlike the reaction to Brenchel, everyone in the house is excited to see them. Also, Jordan doesn't measure months and years any better than she tells time.
Season 8's Evel Dick and Daniele: Dick looks old. Daniele has crazy dark hair. They haven't spoken in three years, which turns everything crazy tense. (Could just be a lie they're spinning.) Adam admires Dick so much, that he's star-struck. "It's like Tori Spelling just walked in the room," he says.
Now that the gang's all here, let's have a Head of Household competition! And because whoever designs the season's first challenge has a phallic obsession, the name of the game is hanging on to a giant banana for as long as possible. (Rachel makes several slutty banana jokes, which seems odd, given Brendon's recent Internet scandal. That's the last I'll speak of it.) And in case you weren't getting the metaphor, the houseguests are periodically sprayed with chocolate and whipped cream. Shameless. And awesome.
The newbies drop like flies, and so does Jordan. ("Shocker!" Jeff says.) Before long, only Rachel, Dick and Daniele remain. Evel Dick truly has gotten older, because he's willing to bargain right off the bat. In exchange for sworn safety from Rachel, he drops. Daniele quickly follows suit, which means Rachel is this season's first Head of Household. So, she and Brendon are safe. Ugh.
But her celebration is cut short when Julie reveals yet another twist: This year, being nominated is both a blessing and a curse: Whichever player from the nominated duo that survives eviction will get a "Golden Key," which is basically a free pass to the Top 10. (Basically, it's a way to keep the teams together for four more weeks before a reshuffling has to naturally occur.)
In truth, the HOH isn't just targeting houseguests to evict. He or she also has to consider which players they definitely want have hanging around for a few extra weeks. Or as "floaters grab a life vest" Rachel puts it, it helps weaker players float through the game even easier than ever before. I'm not sure how I feel about this yet, but I am sure there's more twists to come. And Chenbot, the wonder that she is, promises just that before she says good night. Ah, welcome back, Big Brother.
So, are you as excited for this summer as I am? What do you think of the new houseguests? Are you pleased with the returning players? What's your take on the "dynamic duo" partnerships and "The Golden Key" (Seriously, they spend like 15 seconds naming these things...) Share all your comments below!
, the guiltiest of guilty pleasures is back for another summer of scheming, sexing and backstabbing until one lucky player wins $500,000. But this summer, the lovely Julie Chen tells us, will be the summer of dynamic duos. As usual, the Chenbot promises a number of "expect the unexpected" twists, but we already know about the big one: three couples from past seasons will return to play the game. So, did your favorite player make a return trip? Let's find out...