On ''Big Brother,'' Janelle and Michael's ''Spiderman'' showmance ends when he gets evicted by Eric's alliance after a near brawl

By Lynette Rice
Updated July 22, 2005 at 04:00 AM EDT
Michael Donnellan: Cliff Lipson

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”Big Brother”: Michael’s a lover, not a fighter

Finally, a Big Brother episode we can love — though last night’s episode was pretty anticlimactic after watching the shakedown on Tuesday. I knew Michael would go, but not because of the little incident early this week (and more on that later). Those BB editors have got to learn new tricks; the minute I saw Eric and Rachel start to second-guess whether Janelle should get the boot, I knew our female Bobby Fischer was safe and Michael was on his way out. James had it right in the pool — Janelle is the stronger player — but no one seems to be listening to the ”teacher.” Michael was voted out 9-1, and it’s obvious his teammate, Kaysar, had a part in it; the dude had to save himself.

At least now we can look forward to more of Janelle’s awesome chess games. Let’s not forget what Jennifer said in the diary room; ”I’m not a lesbian or anything, but a good reason to keep Janelle around is that she is pretty to look at.” I’m not a lesbian either, but I do think she’s nice to look at, and furthermore, I’ve also seen Spiderman, so I guess that means I want to keep Janelle.

And now…that Michael. Sure, there was something a little sleazy about the way he strutted around the house (not to mention that goatee), but damn if I ever saw the stuff that Eric was so quick to accuse him of. Did Eric actually get April to agree that Michael could be sued for sexual harassment outside the house? What, for squeezing Jennifer once or twice? Or did he come on to April? Somebody please enlighten me, because all I saw was muscle boy looking for any kind of opening to turn the tide against Michael, and he got one the minute some gal whined about his flirting. (Apparently, the equally amorous Howie is no such threat because he wears bras and talks about wanting to see kung fu porn.) Kaysar said it best to Michael when he described it as a freakin’ lynch mob; that’s the exact moment I started to feel sympathy toward Michael.

By Tuesday’s episode, I didn’t blame the guy a lick for publicly showing his disgust for Eric by giving him a good, long stare in the kitchen and clearly — clearly — intimidating muscle boy. Obviously, Michael had to blow off some steam, so he went in the gold room and had what he thought was a private conversation with Janelle — making some silly, unintelligible remark about the death of Eric’s grandparents or something. But an eavesdropping Rachel thought she heard something bad, so she immediately reported back to Eric, who took it wrong and got his boxers in an twist. Granted, it didn’t help matters that Michael called him a midget, but fight club seemed inevitable anyway — and it had me a little freaked, mostly because I worry it won’t be the last time we’ll see Eric on edge. Scarier still is how his unpredictable temper seems completely lost on Ivette, April and his teammate, Maggie. They luv you, Cappy!

Knowing how lame she can get in these situations, I guess I’m not the least bit surprised that the Chen-imatronic host largely avoided the subject when she started lobbing questions to the house. Granted, she did ask Ivette about the ”outburst” — and obviously had plans to talk with Eric later — but why not ask Michael about his role in the fight? And how about the houseguests; did they ever fear for their safety? Did they wonder if BB would boot the boys?

A few other random thoughts:

1. Eric told Julie that he and Janelle were oil and water from day one. Did I miss something, or was this another lame cover by muscle boy to hide his disgust for Michael?

2. Loved how Howie crawled under the covers with Janelle to make it look like he wanted to strategize when he was really just looking for an excuse to get in bed with her. Howie’s got game, and I’m already thinking he’ll make it to the final six.

3. I’d comment on Janelle and Michael’s last-minute ”romance,” but I’m still icked out by the ”Hi, I’m Michael,” ”Hi, I’m Janelle” exchange in the gold room — not to mention his asking her if she had seen Spiderman before he kissed her upside down. Good lord. At least she had the decency to break up with her boyfriend via the camera in the diary room — a Big Brother first! (Let’s hope Michael’s TiVo broke while he was in the house so he won’t have to hear Janelle talking about how she wishes he were an investment banker.)

4. I usually don’t dig the flashbacks, but this time I did — if only because it reminded me that Big Brother is capable of actually finding houseguests who are bigger than a size 2 and who care more about their hat size than their chest size. Oh, Nakomis — I miss you so and completely understand why you haven’t placed a single call to that goofy-ass half-brother of yours since last September. Clearly Nakomis and Cowboy have no more in common than a sperm donor of a dad. A meaningful relationship between them makes about as much sense as a love affair between Jace and Holly.

5. Finally, it’s hard to say who Kaysar will nominate on Saturday, but I doubt he’ll make a play for Eric; it’s too dangerous to turn against the majority this early in the game. Still, that strange, after-fight-club fight he had with Ivette on Tuesday must have left a mark; I hope he puts her up.

Episode Recaps

So what do you think? Is Big Brother finally back? Should Eric be the next to go? How truly annoying is April?

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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