To complain that Big Brother is ridiculous is not to get Big Brother. It’s like complaining that Lady Gaga is pretentious or that Madonna is 55: These are obvious facts and not inherently damning ones. Big Brother should be infuriating, just like Survivor and The Amazing Race, except it doesn’t even bother with the ruse of achievement. This is a game about Cutting. B*tches. Up. Behind their backs and to their face. All the time. It is seriously ridiculous, and the seriousness is often sweet as hell.
Take for instance last night’s episode, where our new HOH Aaryn turned the game around with some thrilling eviction nominations. That’d be satisfying enough, except Big Brother 15’s cast is renowned for bad decision-making, and that brings us to today’s topic: 5 regrettable, hilariously dumb moments from the cast. Bring a hanky, because these five examples from Sunday’s hour will have you bawling with contempt.
1. Andy pretended Jessie’s eviction was sad.
After Jessie was eliminated in a 104-0 vote, Andy started rubbing his circular Hugh Downs-ish eyes in a teary fit and then — in a moment of emotion that would startle Uta Hagen with its shocking theatricality — claimed Jessie’s elimination was somehow sad. “Getting Jessie out during my HOH week was not a personal vendetta…” Andy began, before elaborating, “Jessie has been genuinely a good friend, and seeing her go was tough.”
I can understand sympathizing with Jessie’s arc in the game. She tried so hard to be anything — a player, one half of a showmance, a person who says thoughts, a thing that exists, a thing that pseudo-exists, a noun of any kind, whatever — that her defeat is in fact kind of sad. It’s a sad end to a sad game (unless she vaults back into contention during next week’s rousing-to-be-sure comeback event, of course), and it’s tough to watch anyone fail. But Jessie’s constant agitation and inability to ingratiate herself with anyone made her such a losing candidate in this game. She’s like a lippier Porsche from #BB13, a floater without the self-assurance to float. I liked that she stuck up for herself against bullies, but she didn’t represent herself as a player in any other way. I continue to admire Andy’s gameplay and hope he outlasts secretly unimpressive players like McCrae, but he needs to reserve his emotional outbursts for important moments like GinaMarie’s kindergarten graduation or his reunion with Nick Uhas’ shirtlessness. I’m tearing up already!
2. GinaMarie pretended to listen to another person.
GinaMarie is lovable once you realize she’s a harmless Cheri Oteri character. Or a photonegative of Smurfette. Or a wisecracking toucan. Because if for some reason you mistake her for a living, functional non-caricature, you’re doomed to feel pain. Human pain. And GinaMarie is NOT capable of human pain, so it’s not fair to feel it on her behalf. I can usually tolerate GM’s meaningless caterwauling because it unites the rest of the house in eye-rolling cynicism, but I actually bit my lip in anger watching her pretend to listen to Helen’s story about her Korean father who escaped to South Korea during the war. How did GM respond to Helen’s interesting tale? A forced and meaningless, “COOL” whenever Helen stopped talking long enough for her to chime in with a fake rejoinder. Imagine yourself yelling, “COOL” whenever you finished reading a sentence. That’s how it felt. Like you were announcing that you understood a sentence was over. Marvelously annoying and comically ridiculous. Thanks for everything you unintentionally are, GM.
3. Helen pretended to be Aaryn’s friend.
God, it continues to be shocking how obviously manipulative Helen’s social game is. The houseguests routinely call Helen a great person (Andy went so far as to call her one of the most amazing people he’s ever met in his HOH letter), but she is the Slugworth of #BB15. Whenever a big moment happens to a fellow houseguest, Helen is there to grab him by the shoulders, assure him he’s on the verge of an amazing new life, and tempt him with blatantly evil camaraderie. Case in point: Helen approached Aaryn, our HOH for the fourth damn time, and unleashed a monologue so cloyingly hopeful, I thought I was watching a dinner theater production of Our Town. “You know what? You won fair and square. Do not feel bad for your success,” Helen said to her. “If I was watching this show, I would love you. You’ve gone from everyone in this house hating you to having such admiration. You’re such a bright girl. You’re so humble. I am amazed by you. You’re playing an excellent game. You should be so proud of yourself.”
Few thoughts: 1) No. 2) Ugh. 3) No one in the history of Earth has ever been “amazed” by Aaryn. Maybe we’re surprised that her name is such an obvious anagram of “Aryan,” but that’s not really Aaryn’s achievement, is it? 4) UGH. 5) You can’t really say, “If I was watching this show, I’d love you, BUT REMEMBER WE ALL HATED YOU.” That’s just lame and an obvious lie. 6) “You’re so humble”? WHAT. To whom? Louis XIV? Nikita Khrushchev? Helen is just unreasonably confident in her abilities to outlast other players, and judging by Aaryn’s nominations, that’s going to be her undoing. Poor power-playing mom. You’re going to lose to a Smurfette impersonator who invents words on accident. Tough.
4. Amanda thought she’d recover from a childish temper tantrum by hiding behind garbage.
This. Was mindboggling. Amanda, who can’t go 45 minutes without composing a spoken-word opera about how unfair it is that she can’t win anything, lost again and felt the pain. McCrae tried to convince Amandame Butterfly how great it was that Aaryn had won the challenge because she’s still their lackey in the 3 A.M. alliance, but still Amanda spiraled into a third-grade recess meltdown. She stormed off, sat under a shelf, and dragged out a recycling bin to hide herself from cameras. Dear Amanda: Recycling bins can’t hide your shame whinnies. The girl practically brayed in agony. Obviously being in the Big Brother house for a couple months can do a number on your sense of dignity and decorum, but part of playing Big Brother is accepting the unpredictable nature of HOH status. The HOH challenges this season have been particularly bizarre. No use reusing, reducing, and recycling old Rachel Reilly hissyfits because you didn’t buzz in fast enough on a trivia question about a forgettable veto challenge, Amanda.
5. Elissa attempted to save herself from eviction by complaining about her yoga needs.
The other houseguests seemed awed by Elissa’s detachment, noting that she’s acting totally unlike her sister, the aforementioned Rachel. Uh, here’s a thought: They’re both self-absorbed people with no concept of how they’re perceived. Plus, though she did end up winning a season, Rachel Reilly complained several times during her #BB13 run about not wanting to play anymore once her beloved BRENNUHHHN had been eliminated. I think these sisters have a lot in common, and only in ghoulishly whiny ways.
Somehow Elissa outdid Rachel’s self-absorption in a key moment from last night’s show. Her sad, last-minute appeal to Aaryn included the already-infamous complaint: “I mean, my body hurts because I don’t even have a yoga mat and it’s really important for the type of exercise I do.” WHAT. Literally what. What on Earth did she say that for. What on Earth am I doing reliving this moment. I guess I’m trying to learn from it, guys. That’s all. I couldn’t believe I found myself concurring with Aaryn, who said in the diary room, “You want to talk about your yoga mat? That should be the last thing on your mind.” Yes, that’s Aaryn schooling somebody on priorities. Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this, because if you’ll look outside, you’ll see THE SKY IS NOW RED. Aw, endtimes! Ushered in by Amanda with that hyper-insincere Babs Bunny grin. Oh, endtimes! So tiny, so toony!
What’d you think of Aaryn’s nominations, Helen and Elissa? Will either of them end up going home? Is Amanda’s reign ever going to end? (Is she the “King of Pain” in this way?) And hey: Is my man Andy secretly going to win Big Brother?