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The Big Brother Celebrity Chalet

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Welcome to the Big Brother Celebrity Chalet! 


This space will be my blog for Season 3 of Celebrity Big Brother, where I'll beat TMZ to who's in and who's going out of the Celebrity Big Brother House. 


First, if you haven't already downloaded it yet, be sure to get the Morty's TV Celebrity Big Brother SA Season 3 Houseguest Reference Guide. If you can't figure out why any of these celebs are famous, you need to get a program! 


Now let's get down to business. We have 11 celebrities who had nothing better to do than spend a month cooped up in a faux house on a television studio lot in Los Angeles. That fact alone tells you that none of these HG have much going on, professionally speaking. So let's get down to it with first impressions.


Carson Kressley - Kressley is used to being the center of attention, from the moment Queer Eye for the Straight Guy hit the air on Bravo. The first one in the CBB House, he appointed himself official greeter, tour guide, bellhop and alliance-maker. In the wrong house, his dialed-to-11 personality could rub his fellow HG the wrong way. But this is a house full of Type A personalities, so he doesn't actually stand out. He's social and non-threatening, so as long as he doesn't get on anyone's nerves, he has the tools to go far.


Chris Kattan - Kattan is professionally funny, but whether by design or accident, he looks and carries himself as older than his mid-centennial years. His secret weapon should be his comedic skills, keeping the house laughing, but he's got strong competition, not only from Kressley but other HG who have pretty good senses of humor. They had to have when their agents brought them this opportunity. Chris doesn't come across as either a physical or strategic threat, so he could float through a couple eviction cycles.


Chris Kirkpatric- Kirkpatrick, the other Chris, is also a member of the senior circuit of HG, and does not come across as a serious game threat. But he may not bring much to an alliance either, which could mean he is disposable. I'm not sure what he has to worry about most - the ribbing he'll receive from his fellow boy band brothers, or the female HG who had his poster on their walls. If he tries to step up with a strategic move, I'm not sure he's got the the gravitas to get others to follow his lead.


Cynthia Bailey - Bailey is the oldest female HG but she's no physical slouch. In tight with Kressley, she along with Todrick Hall and Shanna Moakler have the potential to go far. With Moakler in charge, she should be safe from the first eviction, but that will only last until Friday. She seems to have a pretty good social game so far, so I'm predicting she'll get through to week 2 at least. She's crafty enough where she might go further.


Lamar Odom - Odom is a fish out of water. Of course, he's used to standing out in a crowd, but his belief that being a good team player is a strength could backfire in a game where everyone is out for themselves. He might be seen as a physical threat, but in Big Brother competitions, his size may be a drawback. We've seen it before where an athlete's drive is just not enough for the type of physicality required to win. Despite his Sixth Man status, I see him more as a faithful follower in an alliance than a leader.


Miesha Tate - Tate is a no-holds-barred HG who breaks out of the gate and never looks back or doubts her decisions. However, Big Brother is a game of subtle strategy and Tate may have stepped in it by not humoring Teddi Mellencamp's negotiating overture. And in a game that lasts just three weeks, memories are long and tolerances are short. It would not surprise me if her thanks for winning HoH was to be a target before Valentine's Day.


Mirai Nagusu - The youngest HG, Nagasu has been identified by Tate has her primary competition. If Tate targets her and fails to evict her, then Nagasur could retaliate. However, the way she carries herself suggests she's not one to seek revenge. Still, no one saw Tanya Harding coming either, so if I were Tate, I'd sleep with one eye open. Female Figure Skaters, like their gymnast sisters, often have an undeserved stereotype of being delicate. That could play in Nagasu's favor and help her get close to the end.


Shanna Moakler - Like anyone who has spent time in Reality TV, Moakler knows how to talk a good game but it will be interesting to see whether she can back it up. So far, she hasn't really stood out as either a competitive or social threat or organizer. I expect if the Gays & Gals alliance had a ranking, she'd fall near the bottom of the list. She could surprise me, however, and turn out to be a player. I'm hoping so.


Teddi Mellencamp - One of the worst positions to find yourself in at the start of the game is seen as a physical threat and not having safety. By coming in second to Tate, Mellencamp scored on both fronts. Despite failing to secure a deal, Tate may have other priorities. However in a short season like this, memories are long and tolerance is short. Unless Tate recognizes her faux pas and makes an ally out of her, Mellencamp could decide to get Tate before Tate gets her. With Tate focused on Nagusu, she might never see it coming.


Todd Bridges - It is interesting to see the dynamics between celebrities who themselves are used to the spotlight. The reaction to Bridges was that he was television royalty. Celebrities are people too. At 56, Bridges is the oldest HG and with age comes the wisdom to step back and avoid a physical competition you don't think you can win. And as television royalty, he's unlikely to be an early target in the game. Of course, he's not going to be able to avoid physical competitions forever. But there are other ways to win Big Brother than winning competitions.


Todrick Hall - Here's a bold prediction. Hall and Kressley will have a strong 2-person alliance, but one will stab the other in the bag before the end. I don't know who will go first, but their personalities won't allow for the both of them to reach the end together. Being an athletic performer, Hall needed to do well enough in the HoH competition to look like he wasn't faking, and well enough to look like he could be an ally. He also has a strong social game that could serve him well.


So who's going to win? Heck if I know. But these are all fun and potentially entertaining HG and the next three weeks should be equally fun and entertaining. So I'm going to sit back by the fire, unfold the foot stool, and put a marshmallow in my hot chocolate and watch the live feeds. Let the Celebrity Big Brother games begin!

Even if it's just counter programming to the Olympics.

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These Celebrity Houseguests came to slay, player!


So let's explore what happened in tonight's Gala Gift and Nominations episode.


Miesha continued her bull-out-of-the-gate strategy, inviting "athletes" into her entourage, I mean Athletes Alliance. Rule #21 of Fuskie's Rules of Big Brother is you don't invite HG to join your alliance before first talking to your alliance. Miesha not only invited Miria into the alliance, she exposed the other members without their knowledge. At this point, I'm not even sure Chris Kirkpatrick knows Mirai was included.


The problem with being a bull in a china shop is you get noticed, and Teddi and Chris NSYNC (cue the music) were likely not the only ones to get negative vibes from Miesha against Teddi. Except maybe Todd and Chris SNL Which is why they were so surprised when the noms were not Teddi and Chris SNL or Todd, but Mirai and Carson.


I'll take a moment to point out the obvious that seems to have escaped these HG. Rule #36: Any deals with the HoH are usually intended to secure the vote goes the HoH's way. This pairs with Rule #37: Any deals with the HoH are usually intended to secure an HG's safety for that week. In other words, what goes on in the HoH room usually doesn't survive outside the HoH room because it's based on self-interest, not alliance-interest.


Before I get to Mirai, let me touch on Carson. His mouth is his greatest asset and his biggest liability. I don't know what he was thinking whispering to Todrick during the Gala Gift ceremony, or the suggesting out loud that he and Todrick were working together as he handed him the hat. He's the House Clown, so the rest of the CHG may just brush his comments off as defensive humor, but when you're paranoid, one person's joke can flame another's distrust.


I'm trying to figure out what Mirai did wrong. Yes, she reported to Teddi what Miesha told her, but Teddi and Mirai are in an alliance, and all Miesha offered was a one-week alliance. Rule #68 - nothing says you can't be trusted like a one-week deal.  Mirai may look young and innocent but she comes from the world that brought you Tonya Harding - don't mess with a figure skater! 


But sometimes you get so focused as an athlete preparing for competition, you miss what is right in front of your eyes. When she asks Todrick if he's part of any alliances, he tells her no. Then, when she proposes an alliance between her, Todrick, Teddi and Cynthia, Cynthia reveals she's already in an alliance with Carson, Teddi and Todrick. Mirai never made the connection that Todrick had just lied to her. If she had, she might have been more careful about who she trusted.


So Mirai told Teddi, and that's where things started falling apart. Teddi doesn't know the game well enough to understand that when you learn something, you keep it to yourself. Instead of figuring out a strategy to protect herself but to protect her source of information (Rule #16), she blabbed to Todrick, who is making the worst of a great situation. But more on that in a minute. Credit to Teddi for regrouping and offering Miesha the thing the HoH seems to like most - a one-week deal for safety. At least this time she didn't let on that she knew she was being targeted or how she knew.


Of course, Miesha already knew Teddi knew, because Todrick is a terrible BB player. On the one hand, he's in the catbird's seat being part of the two alliances in the house, the Formation and the Athletes. He even has two F2 deals (Miesha and Chris NSYNC). But does he use it to his advantage? No, he betrays a member of the Formation alliance because his paranoia is in overdrive. And it's causing him to make bad decisions.


Just because Miesha brought Mirai into the Athlete's Alliance does not mean Mirai is playing both sides. She is clearly loyal to the Formation, as he and Teddi agreed. The fact that Miesha is making moves on behalf of the alliance without the knowledge of the other members of the alliance should be a big red flag that she's a control freak and he's not a managing partner. Rule #52 - Never trust an alliance you cannot control.


So Todrick rats out Mirai to Miesha, and Miesha immediately revises her plan to go after Mirai instead of Teddi. In the BB House, secrets tend to not stay secret, and if Mirai or the rest of the Formation find out that Todrick was not loyal to the Six, his performance could receive bad reviews and the curtain come down on his game. He was in a great position but now his game hinges on his actions not going public.


Now what should have happened if we had strong strategists in the game is Teddi should have gotten the Formation together to form a plan. If in fact Miesha wanted to backdoor Teddi as Mirai informed, then the game plan should have been to make sure she nominates non-Formation pawns. Even if the Veto is used and Teddi is nominated, they still have 5 votes to evict, and with only 8 CHG voting, that overrides the HoH's wishes. The Formation would have been protected, and the HoH wouldn't have been the wiser.


One last thing. Breath Right nasal strips, BB. They really work. 

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We're two evictions into the short celeb season and backstabbing is flying at a Olympic Record pace.  


Let's get the elephant out of the room first. This weekend was all about reverse age discrimination. Chris Kirkpatrick nominated and targeted (how could you describe the nomination of Chris Kattan any other way) Mirai allegedly after some kind of pre-feeds spat that the CHG are talking around but not about. Apparently was some kind of difference in generational perspective that led to bad feelings between the two and this evolved into Mirai feeling like she was being marginalized by the rest of the much older house.


5 of the CHG are 50 years old or older.

3 of the CHG are between 40 and 50 years of age (2 after Teddi's eviction)

2 of the CHG are in their 30's.


Only one CH is in her 20's and that is Mirai. She also doesn't come from a show-biz background. Neither does Miesha but ultimate fighting is a lot different from the faux gentility that is figure skating. Mirai's sport is performing the same routines at each competition against pretty much the same competitors, depending on improving her consistency and performance to score higher. Miesha's sport involves kicking and punching the competition into a bloody pulp.


No wonder the other CHG seem to be scared of her. Whether she's pounding padding or punching imaginary opponents, her idea of exercise is meant to put off the other CHGs as much as it is to get her energy flowing. I described her being like a bull in a china shop, and she continued pushing her one-sided alliance agenda on Chris Kirkpatrick. 


There are four kinds of alliances. The first kind is where all the members come together each week and build consensus on a strategy. The second kind is what we saw in BBUS23, where a group of HG with a common cause came together with a season-long strategy that did not require weekly consensus as long as everyone stuck to the plan. The third kind is a classic dysfunctional alliance, where the members go their own way almost immediately after the alliance is formed. For example, the highlight of the Formation alliance was the selection of the name. It all went downhill from there.


The Athlete's Alliance, however, is the kind where each member sees the other not as a partner but as pawns to further their own game. Miesha and Todd always look at what is best for them, not what is best for the alliance. Their transparent pushiness drove Chris Kirkpatrick away from their influence. They never included him in their strategizing to evict Teddi, and he was not going to let them get in the way from his own game strategy.


Whether Chris had legitimate reasons to nominate Mirai or this was the result of an earlier feud, I don't really know. There were a lot of false flags and insincere offers of support and understanding thrown around over the weekend. Despite how the CHG seem inclusive and sensitive, they really are self-absorbed and conniving. Except for Lamar, Todd and Chris Kattan who are still just going with the flow.


As a result, the CHG fell into the classic pattern of ostracizing the CHG who they decided didn't fit in. On the one hand, it's a defense mechanism - better them than me. On the other hand, it's rationalization - if I'm going to do someone dirty who really doesn't deserve it, I better come up with an excuse I can live with. And so the House decided Mirai was too young, and they made her feel out of touch with the rest of them. 


Ageism at its best.


Still, there are some interesting dynamics left in the CBB House after the departures of Teddi and Mirai. Carson and Cynthia are a tight F2 and everyone knows it. Todrick and Miesha are a tight F2, and everyone knows it. Shannon and Chris Kirkpatrick are not an F2 but are in with both pairs of F2. And Todd, Chris Kattan and Lamar are simply expendable pawns who will vote however they are told.


I don't think the evictions of Teddi and Mirai accomplished anything other than giving the guys a 6-3 gender advantage.  Chris Kattan even asked to be evicted and the vote was still unanimous to send Mirai out the door.  He was kept in the game because he wasn't playing the game. The House is down to 6 game players.


Oh, and if you are going to throw a comp, Chris Kirkpatrick, at least make it look believable. Rule 47. That abysmal performance looked as rehearsed as your boy band dance moves.




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Believe it or not, after one week, we're a third of the way through the CBB season so I thought it's time to take stock of the Celebrity HG and grade their games.


Carson Kressley

Carson has a strong social game, has proven he can compete in mental comps and is not the weakest link in mental comps. He makes good use of the exercise bike not only to build cardio (more important in BB than strength training (Rule #77) but also to talk game or socialize with other HG. His likability and the fact that he won a single comp (how dare he!) have put a target on his back.


Chris Kattan.

Apparently DOR. Not sure he was ever fully there. Next.


Chris Kirkpatric.

I initially wasn't impressed by his game because it seemed he just wanted to kiss up to Miesha but he's developed into a more complex player, telling Miesha and Todrick that they played her game last HoH, now they're playing his. He also made it clear to Carson and Cynthia they were safe with him. Both pairs need him, so neither can afford to offend him. I thought maybe the HG would be allowed to sing NSYNC songs, but maybe it's better off they can't.


Cynthia Bailey

Cynthia has become a target of Miesha and Todrick largely in part to guilt by association. It's not that she's done anything to turn them against her. It's not like she's done much of anything. Like Carson, hers is a more social game. She gives the comps the ol' college try but she and Yoda would never get along (Do or do not, there is no try). My hope is that she's holding back and plans to become more assertive in her game strategy next week. If not, she's just road kill waiting for a Mack Truck to come along.


Lamar Odom

On first impression, Lamar is a hot mess. He can't get over his former flame, he's lost without servants to care for him, he apparently is suffering from intestinal difficulty and even pooped in his bed, a Big Brother first. The other HG feel like if they explain things to him, he'll go along with their vote, but isn't a threat to win anything, physical or otherwise. And yet, in quiet moments, Lamar shows he has a grasp of the game going on around him so maybe he's more than an uber-rich dumb jock.


Miesha Tate

The dominatrix of the house, it's Miesha's way or the highway. Not quite as bad past HG who would turn on you the moment you voiced a counter opinion (you know who I'm talking about) but as noted above, she and Todrick have obsessed over getting Carson out of the house, and obsessions are not healthy (Rule #8). Whether you use your HoH to pursue your perceived enemies or strain alliance relationships by pushing them hard in the direction only you want to go, singular obsessions risk losing focus on the larger picture. Once you accomplish your goal, you usually don't have any friends left.


Shanna Moakler

Like Chris Kirkpatrick, Shanna is playing a game right down the middle. She is counted as one of Miesha's numbers, yet she stated she will use her second Veto to save Carson. Does she have loyalties to either side? Or does she just want Carson/Cynthia going after Miesha/Todrick while she and Kirkpatrick just sit back and cruise to the Final 5? Oh, and if you didn't pick up what I was laying down, Shanna has now won 2 Veto's. And yet Meisha is still afraid of Carson.


Todd Bridges

Before, I described Todd as being seen as Hollywood royalty in the CBB House, but he's also the elder statesman and the other Celebrity HG tend to treat him with respect and deference, even as they complain about his lack of game. He's talking about retirement while the rest of the Celebrity HG are just hoping their agents don't lose their number while they are incommunicado. Not really aligned anywhere or following his own strategy, Todd is what BB fans derisively call a floater. I hope he accidentally wins HoH - maybe he'll get off the sidelines and call a play.


Todrick Hall

Todrick is all mouth and no action. He's like the first lieutenant who repeats for emphasis everything the drill instructor says. He's contributed nothing to the Athlete's alliance but he acts like he's working hard and deserves applause. He became Miesha's sycophant and as a result, the other CHG don't trust him to make a deal independent of her. He's won exactly as many comps as Lamar, Todd and Cynthia. It's a good thing Miesha has a strong back to carry him.


Let me say a few more things here. First, I don't know the situation with Chris Kattan. I don't know if he asked to leave, or if he was determined to have health issues that precluded his continuing in the game. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that his agent didn't fully explain the Big Brother experience to him before pushing him into a contract. You can bet this won't be a highlight on his IMDB page.


A lot has been said about Mirai's comments to Julie Chen Moonves upon being evicted that she was the only one "like her" in the CBB House. Yes, she was the youngest and she was the only Asian in the CBB House (Miesha is of middle-eastern descent). I think it is important that we all understand that everyone else has different life experiences than we do, and certainly Mirai's life as a young world-class figure skater put her in a very different element (see what I did there?) than the kind of closed-bubble containment experiment that is the CBB House.


Yes, these Celebrity HG are pampered compared to the summer crew, but that does not mean that any of them are prepared for the isolation, the mind-numbing boredom and the conniving backstabbing that is part and parcel to the Big Brother game. And I am not saying that any of the CHG targeted her or even made an issue of her ethnicity, though they did make comments about her age, being the youngest in the CBB House.


I think the ethnicity issues were in her head, but in the CBB House, you are alone with your thoughts much of the time, so that does not make the feelings any less real to how she received her Big Brother experience. I think it was quite brave for her to open up about her perception of her time in the house and only wish she had said something while in the house. But while congeniality always lingers above the surface, Big Brother is a harsh game, and sometimes a willingness to be vulnerable is used against you, so who am I to judge (Rule #83).


Looking ahead to Friday, it appears Shanna plans to use the Veto. Miesha wants her to use it on Cynthia if she does (those blinders don't let her see the game any other way), but Shanna has indicated she wants to save Carson. The problem is who Miesha might put up as the replacement. She doesn't really have any obvious choices. I expect it was going to be Chris Kattan, but since he has apparently removed himself from the equation, I think Todd is the most likely candidate.


I think Miesha still would want to evict Cynthia if she can't get Carson to break up a pair she's convinced herself is a the biggest threat to her game. She won't want to put up Chris Kirkpatrick or Shanna, because she needs their votes along with Todrick. Lamar and Todd may or may not be on her side, depending on whether they've had their morning coffee or someone else is whispering in their ear. I think he would side with Shanna, Carson/Cynthia over Miesha and Todrick. I also think Todd would float in the direction of Chris Kirkpatrick.


By my math, there was going to have to be two Double Evictions to get down to a Final 3 by Finale Night. Now I'm thinking we'll only need one, and I'm guessing it will be the 2-hour episode Monday, February 21st. What do you think?



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Where were you when the Big Brother game changed?


The first time was when Dr. Will told his fellow Season 2 HG that he was going to lie to their face and they pushed him to a win anyway.


The second time was in Season 3 where Danielle was robbed of the win because her fellow HG got to see what she said about them in her DR sessions after they were evicted and before they voted. Ever since, the jury has been sequestered.


The third time was in Season 5 when Nakomis invented the Six Fingered Plan, which technically is the actual way to backdoor a HG by nominating and selecting Veto players that were all in on the plan, so that it is guaranteed the Veto will be used and the real target can be nominated.


It was in Season Six that Kaysar came up with the idea that Veto players could work together to eliminate the one opponent who could block their ultimate backdoor plan.


And it was just last season, Season 23, in which The Cookout formed, with all alliance members dedicated to the higher cause of ensuring the first Black winner of Big Brother.


But today, something new happened on Celebrity Big Brother that we have not seen before: A Houseguest sacrificed themselves for the greater good of the game.


I think Chris Kirkpatrick must be a Harry Potter fan, because the plan he and Shanna cooked up echos the game of Wizard's Chess played by Harry and Ron in Sorcerer's Stone in which Ron sacrificed himself so that Harry could win the game.


With Chris Kirkpatrick's full support, Shanna defied HoH Miesha and saved Carson from the chopping block. Furious that Chris had betrayed her (and persuaded by Todrick's jealous claims that Chris was working against her), Miesha nominated Chris as the replacement nominee.


Chris knew this was going to happen, especially after Chris Kattan unexpectedly exited the house. 


And he was OK with it. 


As long as Miesha and Todrick didn't get their way, and the "good" people had a chance to win, he was at peace with being evicted. He is willing to sacrifice himself so that one of the HG he thinks deserves to win will have the edge over the two he does not think deserve to win.


And that's what is likely to happen on Friday. 


With Kattan's departure, there will only be 5 HG voting to evict, and only 3 votes needed to decide who stays and who goes. Cynthia has Shanna, Carson and Lamar's vote to evict Chris, so it doesn't matter what Todd and Todrick do (since it cannot be a tie, Miesha will have no say). And given the venom Todrick has against Kirkpatrick and that Todd is most likely to follow his lead, Chris Kirkpatrick will likely be evicted 5-0. Chris understands this and he's said repeatedly he's OK with that.


There have been HG in the past who have asked to be evicted because they were tired and overwhelmed by the game, but this was the first time that a HG sacrificed themselves as part of a greater good strategy. It was a selfless act and he will probably receive plenty of harsh razzing for not playing to win, but he will surely receive plenty of support as well. Regardless of which side on which you land, he's done something never done in Big Brother before and it's going to be a game changer.


Here's why. In the next HoH comp, Miesha cannot play. That means only Todrick and Todd would be playing to keep her safe, and Todd winning HoH is about as likely as Team USA winning the Biathlon. Carson, Cynthia, Shanna and Lamar would most likely nominate Miesha and Todrick, with Todd as the backup, and that would be beginning of the end of their game.

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This will be a short blog entry tonight commenting on Carson's HoH Wall Win in the endurance comp. Miesha is putting on a brave face but is not happy. Todrick made a deal for safety at the last minute but he's not a good negotiator. He forgot to clarify that he would be safe for both primary and replacement nominations, and he never mentioned Miesha. So while the Sisters (Carson, Cynthia and Shannon) are celebrating, Lamar and Todd are wondering which one of them will be nominated next to Miesha. 


Well, one of them is. I'm not sure Lamar has figured it out yet.


Speaking of Todd, kudos to him for lasting as long as he did. He fell about 45 into the comp, outlasting Lamar and Cynthia by a long shot. Afterwards, he joked at the DT that everything hurts and they'll have to carry him out tomorrow in a stretcher. 


This is actually the first time the power has shifted in the game. Miesha's two HoHs and Kirkpatrick's one HoH were both effectively working the same side, even if Chris wasn't marching to Miesha's drum.


The Veto will be more interesting than the nominations. The winner will be the CHG who can still move.

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In the end, it wasn't enough to change nominations, but just perhaps Todrick and Miesha's gambit will change their fate. 


I am really tired of HG playing the victim. Oh woe is me, I can't win anything. You chose to drop, Todrick, you chose to make a deal only for yourself. If he really wanted it, he would have dug deep and not given up. Never give in. (Rule #55).


What Todd should have offered Miesha - who was the one deserving of sympathy as the probable nominee - was an explanation. Had Todd made the deal just for himself, he could not have been in a position to win Veto and save both of them. He got right the part where Carson wouldn't have considered not nominating Miesha. But if he really wanted to prevent her from going on the block, he should have tried a little harder to win.


There's a cult classic movie called The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension in which a character declares that character is what you do in the dark. Rule #43 channels that to say character is what you do when you're alone. When all the other HG go upstairs for Carson's HoH red carpet party, Miesha stayed downstairs having her own pity party. That reveals she's great at winning but a poor sport about losing. This was the first HoH reveal included in an episode, and the only reason it was included was because Miesha didn't go.


On the flip side, after Todrick and Miesha threw Shanna's game under the bus, Shanna also retreated to her BR to be alone with her thoughts. But shortly after, she regrouped and rejoined her friends to continue playing the game. I'd take Shanna's character over Miesha's character any day of the week. This game is going to get you down but you don't have to let it get you out. It's not like she's from Beverly Hills.


Which brings me to Cynthia, my biggest disappointment of the season. She proved herself this weekend to be an emotional player who is not able to think strategically. Yes, Lamar's kid will have to explain to him what just happened over the past month, like some bad acid trip, but Cynthia should have known better than to just accept what Todrick and Miesha were dishing out.


Just because both of them had the same story? You're a Housewife! You know people can look you in the eye and lie out of their *ss at the same time. The story just didn't pass the smell test and yet she and Carson bought it hook, line and stinker! Let's review:


  1. First, Miesha and Todrick have motive to lie. They're backs are up against the wall. You've just gained power for the first time in the game, so they have an incentive to lure you into making a bad decision that gives them back the power. Rule #40 says never trust a game of telephone. When someone tells you what someone else says, you have to consider why the messenger is waiting until now to say something. The fact that both had the same story should have rung a warning bell. Rule #72 - Two lies don't make a truth.
  2. A good lie always starts with a shred of truth (Rule #99). Yes, Shanna was playing both sides. But she was only agreeing with the Powers in Charge, i.e. protecting yourself by agreeing with those who could take you out. Rule #61 - always agree with the HoH.
  3. Actions speak louder than words (Rule #30). Looking at what Shanna did and not what she allegedly said. Shanna had just gone against the Miesha's wishes and saved Carson. If she was really playing both sides, would she have done that? Yes, she and Kirkpatrick started out playing both sides. But strategies change and you can't hold someone to what they did before (Rule #48) if there's clear evidence they've changed. It's what you have done most recently that matters most (Rule #49).
  4. House Meetings never accomplish anything. Cynthia dragging Shanna to confront her accusers was like leading a lamb to slaughter. It's a no-win situation if you're the one being accused. The one who is accusing has the high ground and an unfair advantage. Anything the accused says will be seen as being defensive and attempting to weasel out of the truth that the so-called confrontation was supposed to resolve. You basically set up the HG to fail.


There's a wonderful TV movie called Cookie's Fortune, with an all star cast, in which a man is framed for murder in a case that was really a suicide. A county detective is called in to investigate, but the local police chief keeps telling him the man didn't do it. When asked why, the chief says simply, I've fished with him. Cynthia and Carson haven't fished with Miesha and Todrick, but they have fished with Shanna. It's shame that all four of them come out of this as smelly and slimy.

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I have a couple of minutes so I thought I would lay down some more thoughts.


Too late, Carson has realized he made a mistake, while Todrick's gloating over flipping the house and evicting Shanna has no limit. He's particularly perturbed that Lamar doesn't see the evil that was Shanna and hesitated at voting her out. To Lamar, Shanna didn't do anything to him, so he had no reason to vote either one out. That's a simplistic view of the game, but Lamar is playing a simplistic game. Either he still doesn't understand how being nominated and the Veto work, or he's a much better actor than he was a basketball player.


Speaking of Todrick & Lamar, they are spending a lot of time together, as a Mojito (Lamar) and Lime (Todrick), the result of a punishment in the HoH comp. It is frustrating Todrick because Lamar's laid back approach to the game and to life just grinds against Todrick's take-no-prisoners everyone-else-be-damned attitude. Lamar still does not understand how Veto works, further aggravating Todrick. The punishment ends at midnight.



Back to Carson & Cynthia, they haven't said it was a mistake to evict Shanna over Miesha, but they are resigned to the fact that there isn't really a Final 4 (Carson only agreed to a 1-week truce, which Miesha was able to get around by Todd winning HoH), and that Miesha, Todrick, Todd and Lamar have a Final 4 of their own. 


Todd nominated Lamar against Carson. Todd said it was because Lamar already had one foot out the door.


It's clear Miesha and Todrick wanted Cynthia to be up next to Carson so she couldn't save him with Veto. Now, Cynthia has the opportunity to win Veto and save Carson and secure safety for both. This would force Todd to nominate either Miesha or Todrick, with Carson and Cynthia being able to control the vote. They think it will be hard to beat Miesha and Todrick in the Veto (everyone plays), but if they pull it off, it will truly ruin someone's day. 


As far as Miesha goes, she's been pretty quiet the last couple of days. With Todrick saving her game and Todd gallantly protecting her, she doesn't really have to do anything except vote. And patiently listened to Todrick gripe about Lamar. It is possible that if she or Todrick win Veto, they could take Lamar down and try to force Todd to nominate Cynthia, but I doubt it since there's a sliver of a chance Todd might get ticked off and nominate the other one of them. While Todd has been solidly voting with Mieshia and Todrick (can we call them Mieshrick?), he's not in on their strategy nor completely under their control.

Still, the two of them are sitting pretty comfortable in the game right now. If they succeed in evicting Carson, nobody else will have won a comp (except Todd, which they consider to be a fluke), so Mieshrick feel pretty confident they can run the table on the Final 5. As best I can tell, neither has figured out in order for either of them to have the best chance at winning, neither can sit next to the other at the end. So while they still have the numbers, one of them needs to stab the other in the back.


Since they both understand that this is how you play the game, they'll be fine with it, right?


Lastly, if you haven't seen it, Chris Kattan is talking about his decision to exit the Celebrity Big Brother House. Apparently, his stepfather was seriously ill when he headed into the House and not being able to get updates (even the celebs are cut off from the real world, though they get plenty of other privileges regular HG don't get) was weighing heavily on his mind, and in a game where you spend much of the day alone with your thoughts, that can drag you down. 


You can read more about his thoughts on the game here:



Because he DOR'd (Depart On Request), he will not be on the jury voting for a winner a week from Wednesday. Speaking of the jury, because these celebs went home after being evicted instead of sequester, they will be able to watch all the past and future episodes, as well as review the live feeds and of course MortysTV.com/cbb and the TVFanForums.net. In the regular Big Brother, this was the situation that robbed Danielle Reyes the victory in Season 2 and the reason the jury has been sequestered since Season 3. 

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We're down to the Final 5 and there is oh so much to talk about.  


This season of CBB has been one about generational difference. I've talked about how Todricks view of the world just doesn't mesh with that of the other HG 20 years his and Miesha's senior. This is probably by Todrick and Miesha bonded so well together, being the same age. But Miesha cannot really share in Todrick's experiences as a gay Black man, so he looks for an ear with Lamar, with Cynthia, even with Carson. Interestingly, Todrick hasn't been close with Todd. He was Mesha's ally, not his.


Todrick does not want to be seen as an angry Black man, but to hear him tell it, he's faced obstacles every step of his way to fame, success and stardom. Maybe this is why he got so angry when he perceived Carson (who never targeted anyone until he was HoH, and then only because they were so clearly targeting him) as a threat. Or when felt threatened by Chris Kirkpatrick, or even betrayed by Shanna. In fact, none of them were focused on Todrick but on Miesha. However, he became so emotionally connected to Miesha due, perhaps, to their generational connection, that he took anything targeting her personally.


Todrick would like to think he's playing his own game but he's not. His first thought when presented with the opportunity to play for himself is to check with Miesha. He's not seeking to consult with Miesha but to get her approval. He's talked about how he identifies with women because they are better listeners than men. I think it's more than that. Todrick defers to strong alpha women like Miesha and seeks her approval, not just for game strategy but in general. So when he asked Miesha what she thought about Carson's offer, he was really asking her permission (shades of The Equalizer, with Denzel Washington).


If Todrick was really playing for himself to win, he would recognize that he had no chance against Miesha and would need to find some way to get her onto the jury. But he's followed all her prompts to get out any competition who might be able to help him with that. Instead, they are down to weaker competitors. I suspect the real Todrick would rather face someone like Lamar in F2 than Miesha but he can't bring himself to betray she from whom he needs approval.


To say Carson is a threat compared to Miesha is laughable. Yes, he won 2 comps and has a social game, and in a F2 would be a challenge. But you have to get to F2 and I have no doubt Miesha would cut him if she had the chance. She doesn't need his approval. When he was painting her face (Cirque du Soleil makeup is much better than that) and telling her about Carson's offer, she showed no reaction. When Miesha's game face is on, she's stone cold. In all probability, that will be the last face he sees before she evicts him.


In all probability, if Cynthia had won Veto and taken Carson off the chopping block, I think Todd would have put up Todrick rather than Miesha. As noted before, she's the one with whom he had the connection early on, not Todrick, and Todrick's generational perspective on being Black must at times seem like a slap to someone like Todd who has led a much harder life and despite being a child star, or maybe even because he was a child star, experiencing being Black in America differently.


Let me state categorically, I know nothing about being Black in America. And I am not a psychologist, so I'm talking out of my arse here, but hey, that's what blogs are for.


Carson is also of a different generation. Having come of age during the 80's in the middle of the Aids crises, he lived during a time of terror for openly gay men. Terror of homophobic hate, terror of aids, terror of legal discrimination just because of who he was. That is not to say that Black Americans didn't face systemic racism and discrimination too, but a virus wasn't trying to kill them while the world turned a blind eye.


Back to BB, Carson is much more genteel by nature. Both he and Cynthia wanted to play a "clean" game with no backstabbing. Unfortunately, to them it meant no strategy at all. Any deals they proposed were just day-to-day and agreed to with insincerity by those who had no qualms against breaking their word or finding ways around it. In fact, given the gullibility and naivete if Carson & Cynthia, I fail to understand how they were a threat in time. Miesha basically decided they were and then wore blinders for the rest of the game.


To that end, Carson's "plan was hardly a plan. It wasn't even 12% of a plan (to borrow from Rocket, Guardians of the Galaxy). There is no reason on earth or in the universe to vote out a physically lethargic, mentally checked-out HG like Lamar. To the contrary, he's the ideal HG to sit next to in F2, one that nobody in their right mind would vote for to win. And since Carson's plan was based on the idea that Meishrick would make F2, there was really no benefit to him or Cynthia.


At least this way, Carson gets the weekend to shop on Rodeo Drive.


Since I've opened the door to Race, let me point out a similarity with last summer's Big Brother Season 23: Four of the Final 5 are Black. Still, given the odds of Cynthia, Todd or Lamar making it to Final 2, I expect the winner will be a 50/50 choice between a Black HG and a White HG. 


Deciding between those two will be interesting. Miesha's competitive game has been top notch. Her social game, however, has been non-existent. Perhaps that's why she was so threatened by Carson, who is all social. And not threatened by Todrick, who has not proven himself to be a competitive threat until he won Veto, and who she is happy to let other HG view as the villain of the season.


What makes this especially interesting is that with the exception of the last HG evicted, all the other jury members will have had the opportunity to watch the broadcast episodes, read social media comments, even recap live feeds through sites such as Morty's TV (a must-visit destination of any former HG). And they will have plenty of fans and friends ready and willing to tell them how they were wronged as well as criticize their strategy (or lack thereof). 


Which brings me to America's Favorite CHG. I've heard that Chris Kirkpatrick is campaigning for Shanna to win. That's guilt talking because it's because of him that she was targeted by Mieshrick. He had the right idea to flip the house against Mieshrick, but he didn't fully explain it to Carson & Cynthia and simply expected them to be grateful. But since they only think in short term and not long term strategy, unless he laid out the path for them, they weren't going to walk it.


Given the fact that Carson got one of the longest eviction interviews of the season (JCM clearly implied Carson had some catching-up to do, which I think he began to realize towards the end), I figured that CBS knew he was a popular character on the show, certainly one of the most quotable and well-centered CHG. So if I were making odds in Vegas, that's where I would put my money.


If only to hear his acceptance speech.

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And just like that, the Final 3. And just like that, blah.


Say what you want about Todd and Lamar but they were interesting. The closer the season came to ending, the more Lamar came to life. He even started grasping the concepts of the game! But he was playing to get through the game, not win it.  And upon Todd's eviction, he admitted his sleeping early in the season was strategic, that he was spending his time listening and staying under the radar. He got the latter half right, but I don't the he listened too goodly because he was clueless as to how he was being used by Mieshrick and never viewed as an equal.


Miesha's definition of threat is purely competitive. That is the only lens through which she sees the game. Carson was a target because he won 2 comps. That he couldn't win anything else escaped her. Cynthia wasn't a threat because she didn't win any comps. Kirkpatrick wasn't a threat until he won HoH and proved he was not intimidated by her. Then he and Shannon had to go. Todd wasn't a threat until he woke up and won a couple games of chance.


But at no time did Miesha attempt to establish a social connection with the HG. She was too busy working out and preparing for her fight. The only connection she had in the house was with Todrick, who is both awed and drawn to strong, physical women. Blind to anything else but doing Miesha's will, her enemies became his enemies. The difference is that he was willing to get his hands dirty and she could wipe hers off on his back.


In some ways, they were made for each other. He would do anything for his queen and she would do anything with her pawn. But both of them speak in terms of "I" as much if not more than they talk of "we". Yet, their strategic thinking hasn't gotten further than they want to be F2 together. Miesha is the comp beast who slayed the CBB competitions. Todrick was the master manipulator who do and say anything he could to trick others into doing his bidding. 


At least one Jury member has suggested that Miesha would win because she was following her true nature, being a single-focused competitor who fought hard but honorably. And at least one Jury member who complimented Todrick for being willing to do anything he had to to win. My perspective is that Todrick was willing to sweep the leg*. Miesha never had to.


The smarter play would have been for Todrick name Miesha as the replacement nom when Todd saved himself, getting rid of the competition. That's the kind of bad-ass BB play that juries respect. This loyal-to-the-end just reminds jurors that you weren't loyal to them. Jury management is important, especially when the Jury can get together and discuss their vote before the Finale as is the case with CBB. More on that in a minute.


So Todd missed his chance, not confident in his own game to be able to save himself if/when targeted during the F4 Double Eviction. If you are not confident in the game, you have to ask yourself why you are still playing. Confidence can be mistaken but it should never be lost. Rule #27.  


Now let's flip it around. Miesha wins F4 HoH and nominates Todd and Cynthia. OK, but then she wins the Veto. Really, given her track record and the fact she can compete for the Final HoH, this would have been the perfect time to backdoor Todrick, taking Todd and Cynthia to the Final 3. Her chances against those two has to be better than Todrick. And even if they end up in F2 together, she can't believe the Jury choosing her over him would be a sure decision. After all, Rule #62: Loyalty is only appreciated by those you are loyal to, not by whom you weren't.


Meanwhile, we have Cynthia who has stood in the corner and watched the game from day one, talking big but acting small. She would argue that she was on the other side but there never really was another side. At least not one that was playing the game. They only thought they were playing the game, but it was like a teen horror flick where the the killer always knows exactly where each victim is as they scramble and plan their escape as he picks them off one-by-one.


So both Miesha and Todrick passed up opportunities to improve their chances of winning the game in order to maintain their F2 commitment. Unless either of the other two gets smart. If one of them wins HoH and chooses to take Cynthia to the end, that would make for great television. 


What would be even funnier is if Cynthia wins the All-or-Nothing Final HoH comp and gets to choose who sits next to her facing the Jury. She's already suggested it would be Todrick  (Todrick has been playing her hard since Carson left to win her over), and she's well aware that her generosity won't be appreciated.  With many of the CHG having talked about playing the game with integrity and a majority feeling Todrick did not play his game in such a way, there's a chance Cynthia could win $250k just for showing up and surviving.


Here's one other thing to consider. I mentioned above that the jury has the opportunity to talk to each other. We know that many of them have already reached out to each other. We also know that America will have the chance for an insta-vote after the last CHG is evicted on Wednesday and before the Jury Vote. If the Jury ties 4-4, America would be the tie breaker.


So what's to stop the jury from coordinating (colluding) to force a tie and let America decide? Then neither F2 could be mad at them for taking sides. That would be the most fair, right? I mean, voting is something America knows how to do, right?


* This is a reference to the climax of The Karate Kid. If you've never seen it, you're killing me, Smalls.

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Final thoughts before the Finale.


My prediction is that Miesha is going to win tonight. 


First, I don't think Cynthia would win Final HoH, though if she did, she would likely send Miesha to the Jury and sit next to Todrick. I don't think it's consciously a racial thing, but Cynthia and Todrick are closer in the house and Miesha hasn't really gone out of her way to get to know anyone.


It's hard to make friends when your job is to beat people up. Well, fight them, but when the fists land, is there really a difference?


If Todrick won Final HoH, he would take Miesha to F2 in a heartbeat. Less than a heartbeat, I think. Todd's loyalty to Miesha borders infatuation. He's also talked, in the last few days, about understanding why Cody chose to take Derrick to the F2, which proved to be a losing decision. This could mean that Todrick is prepared to make a wiser decision, but despite his protestations, he's an emotional player and I think he'll find it impossible to let go of Miesha.


If Miesha wins Final HoH, I give it about a 50-50 chance whether the stays local to Todrick or her competitive instincts win out and she chooses to take Cynthia to the F2. That would ensure she wins. Facing Todrick, I think the vote could be split. I think someone who prepares as thoroughly as Miesha would be less inclined to take an unnecessary risk, and since she has played the game unemotionally (though obsessively) throughout the season, I think she'll feel bad but kick Todrick to the curb when the finish line is in sight.


Against Cynthia, I think Miesha wins. So would Todrick.


Against Todrick, I think ultimately Miesha still wins because the Jury will see them as a team and Miesha as the less objectionable member of the team. I do not think Todrick will get rewarded for playing so hard in a contest where the opposition wasn't really playing the same game. 


What do you think? We'll know in less than 90 minutes!

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