Entertainment » Television

Big Brother 11 Week 1 :: In Full Effect

by Marcellas Reynolds
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Wednesday Jul 15, 2009

Every summer I can feel it coming like a weird storm on the horizon. It begins with increased traffic at my website and forum, many new friend requests at my Facebook & MySpace pages and of course requests for interviews. It includes emails from the producers about how and if I'd like to be involved. There's also a spike in fans of the show approaching me in public, which I love. It's like people forget about it for 7 or 8 months then all of a sudden Bam! 'Aren't you Marcellas from Big Brother?' Yeah for better or worse, I am.

I generally try to stay away from most things Big Brother. People say 'we know you're over it.' I'll never be over it. It's an experience that is a huge part of who and what I am. It's not something to get over. It's just something that I did. For many ex-house guests it's the biggest thing they have done or achieved. Seasons and years later they are still holding chats, going to reality conventions or even trying to create shows based on Big Brother. That's sad. You have to find new challenges and successes! Nothing is sadder than the proverbial 'Glory Days.'

Yet here I am covering Big Brother 11.

Why don't I speak to most ex-house guests? Simply because it's usually about drama, regrets and recriminations. All that is based in melancholy and living in the past. I like to look forward. And I don't need to fight on the Internet or some forum about some innocuous thing I said in an interview. It's not forwarding anything important like word peace or raising my followers on Twitter. That is a joke people though I am addicted to Twitter!

This season I have an additional reason to watch Big Brother. One of the house guests is my very good pal, Chima. Several months ago she approached me about doing the show. I sent a few emails and voila! Look who's on! Gosh I hope she does well. In 10 seasons there has never been an African American winner of the series.

Why can't the gays and the ethnics win Big Brother? There is a story there and I will use this weekly column to examine that. I also want to examine why it seems a woman cannot beat a man if they are in the final two. See? Big Brother isn't just about hooking up and laying out in the California sun. There are some potent, socially relevant questions that can be asked. Not just how big are Jessie's quads really or are there more naked pics of Braden on the Internet?

So my mission this series is to examine the social importance of a show like Big Brother and in a way all reality shows. Why do we watch (and love) them? Why are they the only genre expanding on TV when most others like hour-long dramas are dwindling? I want to look at how race and sexuality play out in the house and in the game. And I want to know who is hooking up and who is an idiot and who is gonna walk away with a half million dollars!

We're 3 episodes in and this is what we've seen so far: This summer is all about 'The Cliques' like back in high school. I get it. With movies like High School Musical and Fame and shows like Glee and Gossip Girl, I see where the producers got that idea. Interesting. And there are always cliques in the house.

So 12 strangers go in. My 1st impressions: Braden is hot. So is Jeff. I would like to marry Jeff. He plays touch football with his pals. That's hot. Jordan you are no Amy (season 3). Much like 7-Up, never had it never will. Robbie is the kind of Big Brother fan that scares me. I can't imagine living with him. It would be like living with someone that runs a blog or forum about the show and past house guests and wears their I <3 Big Brother tee all the time. Oh wait his name is Ronnie. Right. Kevin is really colorful and seems really gay. Bravo! I like that. Kevin is a warrior. I applaud gay men that live their life out and proud. Forget that straight acting appearing crap. I'll take the over-the-top gay every time. It takes balls, courage to be true to yourself and let the word see who you are.

Does any one hate the contrived "giving the house guests their key" surprise montage? After 11 seasons it's enough. Just bring them to LA, and put them in the house already.

I couldn't live with Lydia. That much ink is a bad choice. What the hell she gonna do for a living at like 40? Russell is cute. What can I say, I love a meat-head. Hopefully he will surprise us and be more than just the buff guy. I kinda like Laura. She reminds me of Lisa the winner from Season 3. Look for her to fly under the radar and get really far. The rest are just filler until you get to the twist.

The twist: Several past house guests got calls this summer about doing a return appearance. Said calls were vague about whether we'd be inserted back in as a normal guest, if there would be more than one of us, if it would be a comp to get back in... In the end many of us passed (most because the money per week wasn't enough.) If you've done it twice like I have you know winning is a long shot so you need to make it worth my while for time spent. Note to producers for next time: Much like L'Oreal I'm worth it. You pay for what you get.

The 13th house guest returning is Jessie. I love him. He's hot. And yes he's sort of a meat-head. And he can be a bully. But if you look past the bravado you see a nice guy trying to do what's right and figure it (life) out. The bigger part of this twist is the house is divided into high school cliques: the Athletes, the Brains, the Popular and 'the Offbeats'. One guess where Kevin is. Had I been in the house this season I would have been a popular. That's what I was in high school though I was lost in the closet.

So the HoH competition was a competition to bring the former house guest back into the house. It was called The Wedgie and the rules were too convoluted. The past 4 house guests who agreed to compete to play again are Cowboy (Season 5), Jessica (Season 8) and Brian and Jessie (Season 10). They called this the Big Brother Do Over. Wasn't that All-stars? If the clique won HoH then the returning house guest would be HoH. Ingenious actually because it makes the returning house guest immune. Go figure that the Athletes won in an endurance competition. Yea Jessie is back! Let the gun show begin. I feel sorry for Cowboy. He keeps trying to go back and it just doesn't work.

Jessie is the HoH. Jessie nominates Chima and Lydia for eviction. Chima is a pawn. Yeah right. I think his noms were stupid to piss off one person from 2 cliques. I would have put up 2 from the same then if the Power of Veto were used put up another from the same clique if possible. I re-watched the 2nd episode twice and can't tell if he had to put up one person from separate cliques. The Athletes do have a secret Alliance with the Brains and this is why Chima is nominated. Word of advice to Chima: Girl shut up! You talk too much and brag about your life too often. A little of that goes a long way... towards getting you bounced!

Lydia is devastated and crying instead of staying focused on winning the Power Of Veto. Laura feels like she's being targeted because she's pretty. Ummm... Sorry she isn't. She doesn't even rank where past beauties like Lisa, Janelle, Ashlea, and Carol are concerned. The Athletes are questioning Hot Ass Jeff's loyalty and bring Laura in to their side. Braden should have been on the Offbeats. He's annoying. And that damages his hotness. You can see him NAKED on Dante's Cove. Not as hot as Jessie's nude pics but very good.

Russel wins the POV in a stupid messy competition. The Athletes don't believe they can trust Jeff anymore because they see him spending too much time with Jordan. Russel then decides to publicly attack Jeff who is on his team! It's so stupid! The faultiest strategy ever. Did he run it by the brains or the rest of The Athletes? This leads to a public fight where the entire strategy is laid out! Stupid! Especially since he can't be nominated this week! Ridiculous.

Ronnie over-plays his "Persuasive Speaking" awards by cutting deals and talking too damn much and Russel figures this out. Since Russel holds the PoV he wants to use it to get rid of either Braden (he's popular and well liked) or Ronnie (he's just icky in that Josh Season 3, Eric Season 8 weasely sort of way). At the PoV meeting he uses the veto to save Lydia. Yep I don't get it either. Does Jessie then put up Ronnie? Nope he puts up Braden.

So my eviction prediction? It's a toss up. Chima has made some enemies by talking too much. Braden is well-liked and a very physical competitor. If it were me I'd ax Braden. But Chima is a brain and it might be smart to take out a smart person, though she's not acting very bright... Until next week readers, I'll be watching!

M*

TV host Marcellas Reynolds is a constant fixture on Fox News, E! and Style Networks. Look for Marcellas on upcoming episodes of How Do I Look premiering July, 23rd on Style. For more information, visit www.marcellasreynolds.com.


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