”Big Brother”: Dick and Daniele vs. Zach
Being the impatient drip that I am, I had a buddy at CBS e-mail me the results of last night’s head of household competition two hours before it aired on the West Coast. Can’t remember the last time I screamed that hard while reading my Blackberry. My editor Henry Goldblatt said it best: It feels like we wasted a whole summer just to get a finale like this. Yet another disappointing and dreadful person will win the $500K, much like Mike Boogie and Maggie and Lisa before her.
I say ”her” because this is obviously Daniele’s game to lose. It’s futile arguing the relative merits of Dick and Daniele, just like it’s pointless to debate whether getting run over by a train is a better way to die than being burned at the stake. Sucks either way, man. I will say this: I’m glad I snapped out of the 40-minute funk I went into shortly after hearing the news to actually take the time to watch the episode. Beyond scoffing at the completely lame way that bunny petered out in, like, the third hour, I was kinda moved by how the challenge brought out the humility in everyone — so much that I felt a wee bit of sympathy for Dick and the way he looked so worn out and washed up while talking to Daniele. I thought it was cool of Zach to keep his mouth shut once he learned that he had outlasted them both, and even cooler when he went over to Dick and patted him on the back. There’s no way that old man could have won the challenge, though it’s pretty impressive than he and his lungs, which must be working at barely 20 percent capacity, managed to last that long. Too bad Dick didn’t return the favor after the third challenge; that crusty dude just leapt and screamed over his own victory and only shook Zach’s hand after the big lug extended his own. It doesn’t really matter; I never once thought the Donatos had much class, so I can hardly expect them to display it now. Besides, we already knew Zach was a major tool when it comes to quizzes. But did he have to lose so badly? It’s not like Dick was light-years better.
Truth be told, this is the final two that the jury deserves. Those knuckleheads had their chance to boot the most hated alliance in BB history, and yet they repeatedly passed up the opportunity to wipe them out. Is it really necessary to remind anyone that Rule #1 of BB and Survivor is to break up strong alliances — and quickly? Yet the women allowed Dick’s relentless abuse to intimidate them, while Eric and Zach passed up key POV opportunities to backdoor Dick and Daniele. I don’t even think I’ll get any satisfaction from hearing Dustin and Amber try to dress down the Donatos in the finale because they’re just as much to blame for getting them there in the first place. In fact, I’d like to make a wager, right here and now: I betcha Jen, of all people, will have the nicest things to say about the Donatos. I think she’ll actually commend them on their game play — after, of course, complimenting her own.
NEXT: Did Dick cheat?
What makes Dick’s win particularly unsettling — besides, you know, his being so contemptible and all — is that it comes after a particularly dramatic week off camera. I speak about the accusations of cheating being lobbed at him — first for his astonishing declaration that his son Vincent sent him coded messages and then for allegedly putting a blue ball into Jameka’s tube during last week’s nail-biting power of veto competition). [Thanks for the fact-check, readers!] Let’s address the letter situation first. In a surprising interview Monday, executive producer Allison Grodner told me that while houseguests occasionally find loopholes in the game, Dick did not compromise the outcome by accepting the coded letter from Vincent. I suppose one could argue that’s true; if you check out the above link from YouTube, Dick obviously didn’t gain anything from knowing that Jessica and Eric couldn’t be trusted, since they had already been evicted, anyway. Still, it’s disconcerting to know that Dick can openly admit to cheating and still escape any sort of punishment. When Jen went off the slop, she got slapped with a big fat penalty vote. Why does Dick get a big fat pass so he can skate into the finale?
If that’s not infuriating enough, consider the POV competition involving the mysterious blue ball. I was ready to write off Jameka’s disqualification as yet another maddening BB challenge in which some poor HG got screwed — that is, until e-mails started popping up in my in-box saying that Dick may have cheated by dropping the blue ball into her tube. Grodner insists that the blue ball bounced into Jameka’s tube by accident. Then how to explain the above video of Dick inexplicably holding a blue ball and then being seen without it close to Jameka’s tube? And what about his mysterious outbursts on the feeds Wednesday, in which he excoriated BB for not reviewing the tapes of the competition? Did BB decide to accuse Dick of dropping the blue ball in Jameka’s tube and give him the spanking he deserved? (For more, check out the ever-reliable Joker’s Updates). Unfortunately, CBS won’t divulge what happened, since it involves diary-room sessions, but we all have our theories about what went down. EW’s own Doc Jensen speculates that in light of the controversy over the coded letter, BB felt it had to punish Dick somehow by dredging up the ball situation and accusing Dick of cheating. If that’s the case, it was an empty threat. Nothing happened, and Dick was able to compete in the final challenge. For now, I’m going to have to believe Allison’s claims that it was an accident, because that’s all we have — for now. Unless some bitter ex-BB producer sends YouTube some B-roll that definitely proves Dick’s guilt, we’ll never know what happened in that fateful competition.
As we gear up for the anticlimactic finale, please take some time to honor our little tradition here on the BB message board. Over the last two summers, I’ve asked you readers to post what you’d like to see done differently on BB. No reason to stop now! Please post your hopes and dreams so we can build a bigger and better BB9 — or, if you’d rather, just say what completely blew this summer and what would make this show stink less in the future. I’ll post your requests on the first TV Watch of BB9. Imagine that, a BB9? I still haven’t gotten over the outcome of BB3, for crying out loud.
So what did you think of the final HOH competition? Do you think Dick deserves a hand slapping? Is there a chance that Daniele won’t win the money? Will you even watch on Tuesday?