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Big Brother recap: Da Playin'! Da Playin'!

Now that they’re no longer stuck to partners, the houseguests actually start strategizing; meanwhile, James gets voted out and then back in again

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Big Brother

TV Show
Reality TV
Julie Chen
Current Status:
In Season

Halfway through Tuesday’s episode of Big Brother, I came to this abrupt and stunning conclusion: I hardly recognized these people! That was actually a good thing. Up until that point, I had become so turned off by the houseguests’ surprising lack of discretion that I was gearing up to write these bozos off — which I did, for about a week (thus my rather unenthusiastic TV watch last Wednesday ). That’s also because I wasn’t particularly pleased with BB‘s decision to break up the teams. Though watching Matty reject Natalie had become both tragic and depressing, I still got a perverse pleasure seeing innocent parties like Alex get punished for having knucklehead partners like Amanda. Overall, I thought it was a clever new twist for the show’s unprecedented winter run, even though it brought us far more bawdy behavior than we’d ever dared to imagine.

But producer Allison Grodner ultimately did us — and the HGs — a solid by ending the team format: The players would no longer be distracted by the promise (or threat) of nocturnal nookie and could finally focus on playing the damn game! And that they did. First Ryan affirmed an alliance with Matt before secretly teaming with Joshuah; then Joshuah persuaded the ladies to target Matt in exchange for Ryan’s safety; then Natalie turned on the ladies and revealed the secret deal to Matty; then Sheila broke rank from the gals and persuaded Ryan not to target Matt! I have never in the history of this game pulled for so many HGs at once, but I honestly can’t pick a winner because right now I don’t want the season to end. BB‘s finally got the goods!

Thank God the latest twist didn’t ruin my happy mood. Though America voted to bring back Alex (not Parker? was it because of his new sliced and diced hair?), the majority of the HGs thought it better to stay with the devil they know (James), even though they had just evicted him on a 5 to 1 vote. Snap! Now James not only gets to seek vengeance for Matt’s arrogant behavior but also gets to thank Chelsia in person for that refreshingly candid and sweet goodbye video. (A brief side note here: I’ll be checking to see if CBS will finally offer up those evicted houseguests for exit interviews, so stay tuned, everybody.)

But I need to back up for a sec. I was pretty stunned during Sunday’s episode when Ryan forged an alliance with Matt, even though the dude had lied about his voting strategy the week before. Forget that James publicly called out Matt for his duplicity; Ryan still let bygones be bygones and allowed Matt to help him select the nominees for eviction. Doesn’t Ryan recognize what a total idiot this guy is? I offer up as evidence Matt’s baffling decision to spell out ”sauce” during Sunday’s food competition. Now I suppose one can argue that a person can never feel sated enough at mealtime without an adequate supply of sauce, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Matt’s got no right to ridicule Natalie for thinking there are 27 letters in the alphabet when he’s hardly mastered the use of all 26 himself. (And now, let’s take some time out to enjoy this little gem from the Matty archives: ”Cups are a very essential part of life, you know. We use them for drinking and whatnot.”)

NEXT: Return of the Nerd Herd?