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'Big Brother' recap: Sister, Sister

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Big Brother

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Julie Chen
Reality TV

Fade in on a young Austin, not quite yet the Judas he would become in the ring, studying his medieval literature. He’s studying for an upcoming exam, and puts on some music to help him focus.

He turns the knob on the radio dial, not quite finding what he’s looking for. Then he passes a channel and, it’s as if he’s shocked by lightning as the dulcet “Oooo’s” of a young Mr. Clay Aiken emit from his speakers.

Whatcha’ doin’ tonight/I wish I could be a fly on your wall,” echoes all around him. Cut to years later, as Austin watches his first episode of Big Brother, watching the houseguests like a fly on their wall.

And in that moment, Austin knew two things to be true of his life: He was a diehard Claymate, and he had to be on Big Brother.

Okay, so maybe the road one of this week’s Heads of Household took here didn’t happen quite like that. But the revelation that Austin has long been a fan of the American Idol season 2 runner-up (“His music just touches something deep inside of me,” he confides to us.) is only one of several surprises to rock the house, as the twin twist is revealed to a number of houseguests, John yet again becomes an nomination pawn, and Steve gets denied a hug.

Aside from the discovery that Austin—who hopefully at some point walked into the ring while “The Way” played—the big revelation of the night was Liz and Julia’s twin twist. Before last Thursday’s eviction and HoH competition, Vanessa confronted Julia-disguised-as-Liz about the twin rumors. Julia comes out and introduces the real her, and Vanessa takes the news in stride. She tells Shelli and Clay, all of them actually excited by the news, happy to have another possible vote on their side of the house.

Vanessa then breaks the news to Austin who… doesn’t quite believe it. And that’s because believing it would make him feel like an idiot. He feels closest to Julia out of anyone in the house, so to think she’s actually been two people all along would mean he’s practically been playing the game with one eye closed.

He finally accepts the news, rationalizing the ups and downs of their friendship as signs of the switch, asking Julia to tell him the truth. She does, and rather than being angry, it solidifies his alliance with her, as he wants to protect both of them now.

Julia breaks the news to Liz as they make another switch. And just as Da’Vonne and Jason pointed out, apparently almost everyone noticed by the difference in their weight. Liz is a bit taken aback, but now that the twin’s out of the diary room, she has to roll with it, meeting back up with Shelli, Clay, Austin, and Vanessa. They all reaffirm their intentions to protect Liz and Julia, and Austin dubs the alliance “The Sixth Sense,” the real twist being that Julia is the show’s ghost contestant, of course.

The twin twist also becomes important in determining who Austin and Vanessa want to nominate. While Audrey seems like the obvious target, she’s not who Vanessa has in mind at all. She’s thinking Jeff would make a better target. Though Austin is concerned about blood on his hands, a later encounter with one half of Team Amazing Race may have brought him one step closer to his eviction notice.

Jeff comes to Austin with the news of the twin twist, which Austin not-so-convincingly plays as if it’s the first time he’s hearing this. Thankfully, it takes little to fool Jeff, and he takes Austin at his word. How has Jeff come to this conclusion? Naturally, his charming, irresistible demeanor, of course. He noticed at times “Liz” has a crush on Austin, and at other times on Jeff. Well, that and John’s expert dentistry skills.

While discussing the possibility of Liz’s double nature, John points out that he noticed one of them had a crown on her tooth. But when he asked her, she said she’d never had a crown. But if John could just get another look at her chompers, he’d be able to say for sure. So Jeff and John head up to the HoH room to, in disastrously obvious fashion, take another peek at her teeth. John tries to get her to smile, but the twin currently in-game is not having any of his shenanigans, leaving the two to speculate.

NEXT: Gronk throws one strange party. [pagebreak]

But that, coupled with Jeff’s romantic suspicions, is enough to send him straight to Austin. Signs of a crush or mere human decency, Liz and Julia’s behavior is enough to convince Jeff something is up, but that only bumps him a few spots up on Austin’s “to evict” list.

When nominations roll around, Jeff is nowhere to be seen. Austin puts up Meg and Jason, while Vanessa nominates James and perennial pawn Johnny Mack. Vanessa earlier makes a deal with John to put him up on the block and have him throw the competition. And while this is becoming his de-facto role, he knows he has no choice but to accept the deal.

Only James is really left in the dark about the plan. Austin tells Meg and Jason he and Vanessa have no desire to see either of them evicted, but rather that Audrey is the target. Even with the convincing lie, Jason is furious and refuses to trust anyone with a penis, he tells us. And if you don’t believe him his denial of a hug to former Battle of the Block partner Steve is all the evidence you need.

Speaking of, this week’s Battle of the Block brings back Gronk’s love of parties with a number of dancing, real-life human extras and enough foam to make John turn into a 6-year-old at the sight of a bubble bath. The two teams must navigate a maze covered in foam to match party extras who are dancing like characters in Mass Effect to fabrics on a lost-and-found table, then bring those extras back to their VIP platforms. Collect 10, and you’re off the block.

The competition starts out at an even pace, as the two teams adjust to the strange task (it is a rarity for live extras to be involved in a competition, after all). But Meg and Jason soon take the lead, as James becomes stumped. He wanted a challenge about grass, not no gosh darn foam! He knows camo, not sequined purses!

And yet again, John barely has to lift a finger to sabotage a battle. Just as Da’Vonne unintentionally did, James essentially carries out Johnny Mack’s plan for him. Jason and Meg amass dancing Sim by dancing Sim, easily beating James and John by a total of 10-3.

Will a backdoor plan actually go into effect, or will Jason be a casualty instead? We’ll find out more, as Marc Snetiker and Darren Franich return to their regularly scheduled recaps this week. But thanks for sticking with me in the meantime! See you back here next Sunday.


  • Of course Clay is the one in the house to discover Austin’s Claymate status. He was probably a Ruben Studdard fan.
  • Austin tries to make up ground after he’s alerted to the twin twist. Any time someone mentions a difference they noticed, he seems to be there or pop out of thin air to chime in and say “I noticed that too! Crazy right!?”
  • Gronk said no have-nots for the week, so is everyone just using the have-not room for privacy? Or does John just feel most at-home when surrounded by dentist’s chairs?
  • He and James have a pre-BotB meeting in the room, where the two discuss their strategy, but John reveals his true strategy to us in a Diary Room session: “I’m gonna do what I’ve been doing all along and make sure we completely screw this thing up.”
  • Combined with this and his hilarious reactions to the actual battle’s set-up, I would totally be okay if CBS commissioned a John commentary for the entire season after it ended. And after my dislike of him in the first few episodes, I’m as surprised as anyone to be saying that.