“Big Brother” Recap: Lessons From The Amazing Jury House


I hope Julie Chen mixed in a can of Raid with her usual vat of Vavoom hair product on last night’s Big Brother, because the Exterminators officially sealed their reign as the most effective alliance of the season. After Andy clinched the Power of Veto to buttress his HOH status, he, GinaMarie, and Spencer broke the news to McCrae that they’d been working together for weeks. McCrae was disheartened, but he also rightfully blamed himself for hiding behind Amanda the entire game. “Maybe I should’ve separated myself from her earlier,” he groused to the audience after Julie Chen asked him about regrets. That earned a smattering of applause, and there he had his answer: Yes, you played someone else’s game, and now you’re watching someone else’s game.

But that’s all the insight we need about the actual gameplay of Thursday’s eviction episode, because the real party — and I mean the most scathingly grim party since the one in Vera Drake where she’s dragged off to jail in the middle of cake — is in the Jury House. Oh my God, the Jury House. Candice, Jessie, Helen, Aaryn, Amanda, and Elissa (and eventually Judd, the absolutely perfect non-sequitur on that list) occupied and are occupying the same space, and it’s basically like the mean ladies from the locker room in Carrie (along with responsible gym teacher Helen) got a condo together. I learned a lot from their extended segment on Thursday’s show, including the following:

Jessie remains as flawlessly inconsequential as ever.


Jessie — or as my friends call her, “Jessie Unemployed” —  got in exactly one sentence of on-camera dialogue. Here it was: “I bet Andy is the next one out because I just have this feeling.” Wrong, Jessie. Your feelings were wrong again. And no one heard you anyway, because your feelings disappeared into water vapor and pollen once they hit the air.

Aaryn cannot even begin to apologize correctly for being the biggest racist in Big Brother history.

At this point we’ve become so familiar with Aaryn’s streak of racist proclamations that the last thing we want is to witness her (inevitable) whistlestop apology tour, but it’s kind of fascinating to watch Aaryn pretend to come to grips with her new-found reputation. Once she entered the jury house, she said hi to everyone, then looked right at Helen and Candice — seated conveniently near one another at a makeshift Arts & Craftz station — and said, scrunching her face with a sort-of feigned gravitas and concern, “I just wanted to say I’m sorry for saying some terrible, inexcusable things in the house. It’s not who I am at all.” I’m paraphrasing there, but Aaryn, newsflash: It is who you are. That’s why it’s offensive in the first place. A big part of apologizing for your actions is actually owning them and not pretending a bigoted ghost was responsible. Sigh. Props to Helen for surviving Aaryn’s weak attempt at reconciliation and continuing to execute a watercolor masterpiece or whatever she was doing.

Aaryn is appalled by Amanda’s uncouth behavior!


I’ll give Aaryn some credit for launching the following confessional about Amanda: “I was hoping Amanda would be different outside the Big Brother house, but she’s actually worse. She’s still campaigning, still fighting; there’s still drama. I, for one, am done with the drama.” This calls to mind a larger point: Amanda may have actually lost her mind. I mean, Aaryn has perspective on Amanda. I keep having flashbacks to Andy’s HOH blog where he noted that Aaryn “can be an ass at times, but I’ve also seen a side of her that isn’t totally evil, which I like.” If she uses her non-evil to teach us about Amanda’s Lady Macbeth-like scheme streak, I can tolerate that.

Amanda thinks if she keeps talking, everyone will remember her as having said something.

Guys, Amanda was shouting such nonsensical, fanatical praise for McCrae in the Jury House that it almost appeared as if she had powered down her brain, implanted an AA battery in her larynx, and just let it generate electronic code dialogue on its own. It was inhuman. She basically argued that McCrae wasn’t a floater because he was “smart” and “hid behind [her] the whole time” and “let [her] take the heat.” Uh? So you’re saying he was… a definitive floater. But you don’t want to use that word right now, so he’s something else. Fine.

Candice’s opinion is the only one that matters. Sincerely.


Thankfully, Candice — who I’ve decided to forgive for naming herself “CandyLand” at some junction in the game — is in the Jury House and raining perspective like hailstones. She was PSYCHED to see Aaryn because it meant she had lost the game. Aaryn flipped her damn mattress onto the floor. Candice is right to hate her for that! She also called McCrae a floater (“He never even got out of bed! He barely talked with any of us, Amanda!”) and she asserted that she would not be voting for GinaMarie. Which makes sense. Because GinaMarie WAS AWFUL AND RACIST TO HER. It’s easy to forget that given the hundreds of other examples of objectionable behavior this season. Candice, I’m rooting for a spinoff series called Candy Land Confessions. I nominate myself to play Lord Licorice.