By Julie Chen
August 07, 2009 at 12:35 PM EDT
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I began writing this blog on Wednesday when I realized so much had already happened this week that it was going to be hard to cram everything in. So, I’ll say in advance that there is just too much that happened to cover in this blog, but I’ll do my best to hit some of the highlights!!

FUN FACTS (HOH Competition – Winner: Russell)

Title: “Graduation Day”

* Jeff and Russell lasted more than 3 and half hours on the rig before Russell won.

* The graduation diploma that served as an obstacle as they spun around on the graduation wheel was over 12 feet long.

* The graduation wheel spun the houseguests at approximately 15 revolutions per minute. This means that a House Guest did a full revolution in 4 seconds!

Russell has assumed the role of a covert eavesdropping spy made infamous by Alison Irwin during Big Brother All-Stars (remember how she used to physically hide in that oversized vase for hours to hear other people’s conversations?). Russell’s obviously too big of a guy to pull that off, but he’s proving that sneaking up to closed door conversations is just as effective (and, I’m assuming, more comfortable), although his intel is not always accurate (he mistakenly thought Ronnie and Michele were conspiring behind closed doors when it was actually Ronnie and Chima, which began seeding doubts about Michele in Russell’s head). Well, can’t blame a guy for trying!

Speaking of paranoia, its presence in the Big Brother house was magnified this week by their obsession with the “magical wizard mystery power,” formally known as The Coup d’etat. Well, America voted and Jeff was awarded the ability to replace one or both houseguests put up for eviction at either last night’s live eviction show or next week’s live show. Looks like Jeff made the right decision to hold off since Chima, who is not currently in his alliance, is now the new Head of Household. I’ll leave the post-mortem discussions about Ronnie’s comments to Michele to you guys.

Ronnie may well have been the most ostracized Big Brother Houseguest in the show’s history. Poor guy redefined the term “alone time” in the Big Brother house. Having spent the better part of two days hiding in the HOH room two weeks ago and then in the “Blue Room” (which the House Guests call the “Splash Room”) this week, things looked incredibly bleak for Ronnie.

Russell (while Head of Household): “Ronnie has made his bed and now he can lie in it and I would be more than happy to put the tombstone on his grave.”

Michele: “Ronnie definitely gets under my skin. I can’t take him anymore. I just seriously want to throw stuff.”

Apparently, Ronnie didn’t get the memo that his days were numbered (he said it over and over but I don’t think he ever completely believed it). Hats off to him for managing to bounce back and continue to play the game against huge odds. Jessie and Natalie were basically washing their hands of their alliance with him on Tuesday. By Wednesday, Ronnie had gained enough sympathy to make it hard to say if it was Ronnie or Lydia who was heading out the door.

BTW, for those who didn’t know, Ronnie entered the Big Brother house with various T-shirts that he found amusing to wear that dropped clues at to how he intended to play the game. Russell called him out on one shirt that said “Of course, I’M in Love with You, darlING” where certain highlighted letters spelled “I’m Lying” on it. Ronnie also brought in a shirt that said “Live In Your World, Get Pwnded In Mine!” Pwnded is not a typo…it’s part of L33T Speak (elite gamer vocabulary) meaning completely dominated or crushed. Impressed? Okay…this is Ronnie’s direct explanation…I can’t take credit for coming up with that off the top of my head!).

Jeff on Ronnie: “Why doesn’t he fake cry to me? I wanna get brainwashed.”

Blink or you’ll miss it! I’m talking about Russell and Chima’s short-lived budding romance. Sunday’s live feed showed them cuddling and flirting, but by Monday’s night, the two were in a jaw-dropping screaming match when Russell began to suspect that Chima was playing him (it became so escalated, I think their neighbors in the Hollywood Hills could hear it!).

Russell on Chima: “I don’t like you, and I guess it sucks when a guy doesn’t like you.”

To be honest, I almost got out a pad and pen to create a flow chart to keep track of who was fighting with whom at any given moment Monday night. In addition to Russell vs. Chima, there was Kevin vs. Ronnie. Michele got in the mix. At one point, Jeff was just wandering from room to room and said, “There’s no where to go…everyone’s fighting everywhere!” In hindsight, he could have gone to the Have-Have Not Room and hung out with Jessie (who instigated all the lies that started the fights and then conveniently hid as it all went down).

Moving on, I enjoyed the Roman names given to the houseguests for the Power of Veto Competition titled “Vini, Vidi, Veto”. Jessephus! Russicus! Chimacus! Michelicus!

FUN FACTS – POV Competition (Winner: Michele)

Title: Vini Vidi Veto”

* The prop head of David used to display a laurel wreath was approximately 42 inches tall.

* The original statue of David in Florence is more than 17 feet tall!

* The Roman Gladiator in the backyard for “Vini Vidi Veto” was 6 foot 4 inches tall.

Michele is turning into a POV powerhouse, having won again this week! She’s certainly representing for neuroscientists everywhere!

Jordan on the name of the Power of Veto Competition: “Veni Vidi? Is that a person?”

Russell’s been spun in so many directions, that guy doesn’t know which end is up at this point! This led to Russell throwing Michele under the bus on Wednesday (thanks to a completely fabricated story by Jessie and Natalie that causes him to go after Michele)…paranoia strikes again. Michele finally had a meltdown on Wednesday night. It was nice to see Jordan, Jeff, and Kevin rally around her to give her a sincere pep talk.

Well, the Natalie/Jessie/Lydia triangle finally came to a head on Wednesday night when Natalie told Chima she is no longer talking to Jessie because he continues to hang out with Lydia after she specifically told him not to. Jessie then tried to explain himself to Natalie who wasn’t really buying it, although she did tell Jessie she would never put him up for eviction…talk amongst yourselves on that one!

Casual banter between Jeff and Jordan is proving to be unintentionally funny at times. Here’s a couple of examples:

Jordan lying in bed with Jeff: “I’m gassy.”

Jeff: “Don’t fart in the fort.”

*If this isn’t a testament to how close people can get in such a short amount of time in the Big Brother house, I don’t know what is! Side note: Leave it to Ronnie to break up their first attempt at an intimate moment with…flatulence. Jeff just can’t…ahem… cut a break when it comes to romancing Jordan.

Jeff to Jordan: “Come here, you sexy goddess.”

Jordan: “Ew, don’t say that.”

Jeff to Jordan: “I WISH we were making out.”

The vote last night was 4 to 3 in favor of evicting Ronnie. The fact that it was so close shows just how divided the house really is. Ronnie was the last evicted houseguest to not make the jury this year. The good news for him means he’ll get to watch the daily actions of his former housemates from the comfort of his own home. The bad news for him is he’ll have no say in who wins. He was a serious gamer who lived and breathed Big Brother and I’m happy to report he said if we ever have an All-Stars season again, he’d be more than up for it.

Chima won the HOH which means she, Jessie and Natalie think they are safe this week. But the truth is, with Jeff being the Coup d’etat winner…anything can happen. The only people who will truly be safe this week are Chima and whoever wins the POV.

Well, we’re officially at the point where those left in the game will become part of the final jury to select the winner of this summer’s Big Brother. With all the fighting, backstabbing, lies, and manipulation so far, it will be interesting to see who may change their strategy knowing they now must court each one left in the house to potentially secure a vote, should they make it to the final two. Should be fascinating to watch!


Question: Often, while watching BB on Showtime, I’ll hear this ‘voice of God’ guy tell the hamsters that they “are not allowed to talk about production.” Well, why not? If people are obsessive enough to watch the live feed, is it really that big a deal if they talk about the mechanics of the show? I’d appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks, and love the blog!

Julie: We strongly feel that elements of production are not topics of conversation that keep in the spirit of Big Brother. The spirit of Big Brother is about the interaction between the House Guests and events that occur between them. Given the unprecedented amount of access our viewers have to Big Brother, we don’t think talk of production is relevant to the game.

Question: Do the houseguests speak to or see ANYONE while in the house? Like, how are they asked questions in the diary room?

Julie: House Guests do not see anyone while in the house unless it’s part of a Competition. Any visual contact with an individual who is not a House Guest is only in the context of giving clues (we’ve seen that happen in a few seasons) but there is no personal interaction with any of the House Guests. While in the Diary Room, House Guests hear questions via a speaker, but never see who they are speaking with.

Question: Julie, I like you more each show. I notice that you’re a little warmer… is that to shake the Chenbot nickname? And, no more “but first”?

Julie: Never! I love the Chenbot nickname…it makes me laugh! And Big Brother would not be the same without any “but firsts” in the live eviction shows. We always need at least one “but first” in the show…it just makes sense in the way we tell and tease stories. There’s no limit to how many times I may say it during a live show. In fact, I say the more the merrier. Thanks for the compliment…I do appreciate it… and so does the Chenbot (on those rare occassions when she has feelings!)

More Big Brother:

Big Brother recap: Master Mind Games

Big Brother executive producer addresses Jesses’s roughhousing with Lydia, Natalie

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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