‘Big Brother’ Recap: Send in the Clowns 

ALTJulie Chen and her fellow Big Brother overlords at CBS couldn’t have picked a better time to make “circus” the theme of last night’s POV challenge. Because last night’s episode of Big Brother was just that: a full-on, three-ring spectacle of sheer absurdity and terrifying clowns. (I’m certain Boogie the Clown is a thing somewhere, and I’m already having nightmares about it.)

When we left off on Sunday, Shane (pictured here, daydreaming about how many tank tops he can buy with $500,000 so he never has to wear another stupid tee shirt ever again) put Ashley and Joe up on the block for eviction. Or, as they shall be known for the remainder of this circus-themed recap, Tanny the Clown and Loudy the Clown. Tanny was 99 percent certain she wasn’t going to be nominated for eviction and Loudy was angry and loud. Like, Mary Murphy turned down her television loud. Boogie the Clown (actually, that nickname could work every week) celebrated the fact that Frank wasn’t put up on the block and took all the credit for swaying Shane, who had both Danielle and Britney telling him to vote otherwise. “It’s getting too easy,” boasted Boogie, who clearly missed that week in school when we all learned about foreshadowing.

But Boogie, as always, underestimated the power of his competitors. Especially Britney who, as it turns out, is more than meets her giant doll eyes considering she saw right through Janelle’s unfazed coach act. (Also, if Big Brother was Ocean’s 11, Britney would be the Brad Pitt of the house, as she is attractive and always seems to be snacking.) Still, Janelle had to use her pull-out-all-the-stops strategies to not only keep her players motivated, but to find a way to get them off the block. And by pull out all the stops, I mean she unsuccessfully tried to convince Loudy to be a reasonable human being and plead with Shane (a disaster). And then she attempted to save both the sanctity of marriage and her players by temporarily pawning off her wedding ring to Shane and Danielle as a trust offering.

Since the reality television gods seemed to be working in Big Brother‘s favor last night, when it came time to pull names for the POV competition, of course Loudy pulled the worst possible name to play against him: Frank. “Lord, what have I done?!” he cried. I don’t know if there’s a God, dear readers, but if there is one, s/he absolutely heard him. Not because he called out to the heavens, but because he is so very, very loud. Shane, Frank, Loudy, and Tanny were soon joined by Danielle and Wig to play in the Jenn-hosted POV competition, which leveled out the playing field perfectly. The aptly-themed circus POV featured the six players dressed like clowns (“Why is Frank the only one in a Bozo wig?” Britney zzzziiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnged) for a challenge in which the main object was to ensure they kept both their balls off the ground. This show writes itself. I love you Big Brother. Never change.

After a compelling explanation from Tanny about what a “gentle push” means, they were off. You know, I make fun of the Big Brother contestants a lot, but this POV game gave me total anxiety and I give credit to all of them for lasting as long as they did. In the middle of two ramps, the housemates had to move back and forth, pushing and catching the balls at just the right speed to keep them from falling. It ultimately came down to Tanny and Shane, but Shane emerged victorious in the POV for the third week in a row. Then it was time for Shane and Britney to celebrate, but much to the dismay of Britney, not for very long. I mean, jeez, can’t a girl get a little privacy in a house that is filled wall-to-wall with cameras and is being broadcast to millions of people 24 hours a day? Oh right, no.

With the exception of Loudy (who Britney did a pretty killer impression of), Janelle and her team took a break from allegedly “making up songs, braiding hair, and cooking” to strategize/kiss up to Shane. Meanwhile, out on the porch, Boogie discussed his workout routine. Hey, you can’t spell “Oh man, Boogie is the worst” without Boogie! But it didn’t take long for Loudy to realize that if he wanted to “follow his dream” of manipulating people on television for money, he was going to have to do more than cook and shout. He was going to have to prove to Shane that he’d have his back no matter what and he did just that when he assured the almighty tank-topped one that he would willingly throw his teammates under the bus to ensure his safety. Sorry, I mean throw his teammates off the cliff in order to pull Shane up. Loudy was big on the cliffhanger analogy last night. “You’re saving my life,” was a thing he actually said, leading me to believe Loudy isn’t totally aware he’s on a metaphorical cliff.

Oh, who cares about metaphors — it was time to party! Dan, who was all but absent until this point, showed up just in the nick of time to spice things up and get playfully racist by wearing a hachimaki to welcome Japanese restaurant owner Boogie (wuh?) and the others to the sushi bash he won. Shane ate sushi with a fork and Danielle couldn’t pronounce “tempura,” y’all. It was delightful. Still, that gathering wasn’t nearly as fun or raucous as the party that was going on inside, where Wig was throwing his pants-less sea captain-themed birthday bash. And, as is the case with most pants-less sea captain-themed birthday parties, Spin the Bottle was involved. Ian tried to plant an open-mouth smooch on Tanny, while Danielle and Shane shared their first “good, short, sweet” kiss in front of the whole gang. D’awww.

But it wasn’t Ian’s failed attempt to eat Tanny’s face that was the real kick in the head. Instead, it was his conversation with Britney later that evening. When she tried to get a feel for how he and the rest of the house would be voting next week, Ian clearly missed that week of school when we all learned the phrase “not in the foreseeable future,” and instead said, “not in the foreseeable options.” In other words, if you ever find yourself in a situation in which you can play poker with Ian, play it. And then when the poker game is over, make him do his kicking-himself-in-the-head trick, because that is ridiculous.

Ian’s inadvertent slip-up got Britney and Shane talking. If Shane was really going to be next week’s target, would it really be so wise to keep his biggest threat, Frank, in the game? More importantly, would it be so wise to keep Frank in the game and allow Boogie to continue his reign as the worst? Frank, sensing there was danger (a mystical curly haired power he possesses), talked to Shane and tried to convince him that it’s Ian who should go up on the block for eviction, not him. Shane had a lot of thinking to do. After all, there’s a million dollars and a lot of tank tops on the line. Whatever choice he made was absolutely going to shift the course of the game and send a message.

Despite all his best efforts at the POV meeting to be taken off the block, Loudy’s rousing Presidential pardon speech couldn’t sway Shane from removing him. But Shane did use his POV — only he used it on Tanny and replaced her with… yep, Frank. The game is officially on. While Boogie thought he’d be sitting pretty poolside again, Frank wasn’t nearly as blindsided by Shane’s switcheroo. It’s fairly obvious Frank has a good sense of how this game is played, although he probably should have campaigned to Shane much earlier than he did. Still, even with Shane pulling one over on Frank, I don’t think this ultimately spells Frank’s doom. After all, Frank isn’t in panic mode and is a pretty charming guy, while Loudy is just so, so loud.

What did you think of last night’s completely bonkers episode of Big Brother? Do you think it was fair for Janelle to declare herself the puppetmaster, or does Britney ultimately get that title? Do you think Frank still has a fighting chance? Or did Shane seal his fate during that POV meeting? I’m sorry, you’ll have to speak up, I can’t hear you.

[Photo credit: CBS]

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