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August 28, 2009 at 08:21 PM EDT

Well, for those who may have thought things would get boring in the Big Brother House after Lydia was evicted…not so much. Granted, the weekend was fairly mellow, although the wheeling and dealing was in full swing. Jeff made his play to backdoor Russell, believing Natalie and Kevin were being true to their word when they guaranteed Jeff they wouldn’t nominate him if he put Russell up. Again, not so much.

Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. Backtracking…

Jeff won the Head-of-Household Competition, and we were all treated to a glimpse of his life outside the house. Say what you will about the bowl haircuts he sported as a child, but I loved how he defended it by saying, “My mother was rocking that look for me back then.” Or something like that. No apologies. And, BTW…I had the SAME hairstyle at that age. My Mom was rockin’ it, too! Go, Momma Chen!!!


I instructed the House Guests to stand on a platform. Below them were two tubes and the goal was to drop empty aluminum cans into the tubes. The first to 24 cans, or the player with the most cans in their tube at the end of an hour, became the new Head of Household.

Kevin got off to an early lead with three cans. Michele began to play catch-up and fought with Kevin for first. The House Guests were then informed about a moving platform that blocked and unblocked the pipes at random. Then came the Gold Cans which were used to stop the game play of another. Kevin and Russell went after each other (and successfully stopped each other from playing for 60 seconds at different points during the game), leaving Jeff wide open to win the competition.


  • The distance between the top of the railing and the top of the recycling containers was 6 feet.
  • Jeff’s winning time was 22 minutes and 22 seconds.

So, we all saw the tide turn with the assumed Final Four of Jeff, Jordan, Russell, and Michele when Jeff made the deal with Natalie and Kevin (see above) who swore he’d be safe this week. Jeff, you do realize you’re in the Big Brother house?

In terms of game play, kudos to Kevin and Natalie for fabricating a complete lie and getting Jeff to buy in to it. Kevin claimed he’s not a good liar, but he’s getting darn good at it!

So, Jeff (then current HOH) also wins the Power-of-Veto and used it to remove Kevin from the block and replace him with Russell at the Nomination Ceremony. So much for an uneventful BB house. Showdown #1 between Russell and Jeff was expected. Natalie pulled Jordan out of the HOH room to go to the backyard to get involved. Jordan came down in what seemed to be actual adrenaline rush of “oh crap.” What was truly unexpected was Showdown #2 between Russell and Jordan. Wow, seeing Jordan go nose-to-nose with Russell was crazy…as we say, “Expect the Unexpected.”

Russell regarding Jeff: “I haven’t asked Jeff if something is going on. I did ask if we’re sticking to the plan, which we were. If he goes back on his plan, I will tear him apart.”

Power of Veto Competition

“OTEV” (VETO spelled backwards for those who may have missed Jordan’s hilarious realization of this). It was nice to have Casey back in the “Mingle Mixx” (his moniker)…enjoyed how he rapped the clues to the contestants! – (Winner: Jeff)

Dressed in safari gear, the House Guests convened in the backyard. Former competitor Casey piped in and did a rap about the premise of the game: OTEV, the god of Veto, rapped a statement about a House Guest and requested the proper answer. The remaining six had to track down the correct banana (with the right name written on it), bring it back to the podium and not be late. The last House Guest back to the podium, or with an incorrect answer, was knocked out of the game


  • There were over 225 plants brought in to make up the jungle.
  • “OTEV the Ape” was carved out of a large block of wood and took more than five and half hours to make…by hand!

BTW, did anyone else feel like they’d just witnessed a fight between their parents when Jordan and Jeff started having words? You have to admit, it is funny to see them bicker and then pout and then make up. According to them, they’re still “just friends.” I’ll have LOTS to ask them at the Big Brother live finale and reunion show on Tuesday, Sept. 15 (9:00 – 11:00 p.m., ET/PT). Yep, shameless plug. : )

For those who saw my interview with Russell on the CBS Early Show this morning, he seemed genuinely honest when he said his outbursts and insults were all just game-play. He has no intention of having a throw down with Jeff at any point. Having said that, our cameras will continue to roll at the jury house, should Jeff be evicted, to keep everyone up to date (and, NO, that’s NOT going to happen on our watch…give them 30 minutes, and they’ll be BFF’s…well, maybe not, but they’ll be fine).

Russell: “I’m not saying I’m a saint, but I’m not claiming to be a saint.”


Jordan: “I’d be on ‘The World’s Dumbest Criminals.’”

Jeff to Jordan: “So, we can make bad decisions?”

Jordan: “Oh, Lord. Jeff’s horny.”

Jeff: “I’m relaxed in here, but I’m stressed out.”

Jordan: “Do you think I look like a psycho on TV?”

Jeff: “A little bit.”

Jeff: “I see Natalie being extra nice. I see Kevin talking more, as well. I’m not blind. They have nowhere else to go. They weren’t talking, but now, my friend, I remember how Natalie was when Chima was here….being a bitch the whole time, I know that was, maybe two weeks ago…now she’s my friend. I see through it. I’m not stupid.”

So, if you think the fireworks in the BB house have subsided…not so much. If Kevin and Natalie stick to their plan and put Jeff up for eviction…I’ll certainly tune in to see how that plays out! Have a great weekend!


Question: Julie, I don’t know if this has been asked to you yet, but I was wondering if you have seen some of the foreign BBs. I think they’re pretty different and kind of bizarre. You have the middle-aged lesbian with the mohawk sitting next to the Indian shy boy sitting next to the asylum seekers. If you had the opportunity and were able to produce a racier, zanier series for Showtime, would you be game for that or would you ever consider an exchange with one of the foreign BBs like they do in versions in other parts of the world?

Julie: I have only seen clips here and there of other Big Brother versions around the world, and I read about them when they make news. I think American viewers wouldn’t like the racier versions…that would be a different show. The reason I love our Big Brother and the reason I think it’s a hit here is because our American version is about human emotions and human behavior. It examines and explores what people are capable of doing when living in a confined house with strangers while competing for a half million dollars. The house guests always manage to make friends and enemies…they laugh, they cry, they are forced to look at themselves in the mirror and they learn hopefully not to judge others at the end of it all. It shows how we’re all flawed (yes, some more than others…no names mentioned here!). What works for our culture might not work for others…what works in other cultures probably wouldn’t work for us. I love our “Big Brother” the way it is.

Question for Julie: What has been your all-time favorite twist in Big Brother?

Julie: My favorite twist was probably Season Five…”Project DNA …Do Not Assume.” When we had the twins (Adria and Natalie) playing half the summer as one person and they managed to fool the entire house…it was brilliant! And I loved the double meaning of DNA that summer…so clever!

Question: Where do you find the great clothes you are wearing? It is so hard to find attractive clothes when pregnant!

Julie: I am fortunate enough to have a wildly talented stylist and a wildly talented alterations person. They are both so creative. We bought non-maternity clothes in bigger sizes and when we have to…we do major surgery to the clothes to make it fit by adding panels and matching fabrics. It has been a major process and a lot of work this summer…thanks for noticing and liking the results!

Question: Julie, I have a quick question. A few years ago, I think within the last 3 to 4, you wore a bronze or copper colored dress on opening night. I can’t remember the exact color, but it was a beautiful dress, and I wondered who designed it. Do you remember the dress?

Julie: If it’s the one I think you are referring to…it was a skirt and top…sleeveless and satin with a few sequins around the arms…it was like a cafe au lait color? If so…Max Mara. I love them and tend to wear a lot of their clothes for both Big Brother and The Early Show.

Hi, Julie. With Chima’s ouster leaving the possibility of a tie vote from an even-numbered jury, I wanted to share a fun idea for a tie-breaker. You could have the finalists guess the sex (or draw M or F from a hat) of Baby Chenbot, then have a live ultrasound to reveal the winner. Wouldn’t you think using that as a teaser in promos would draw extra viewers to the finale?

Julie: Thank you so much for the interest and suggestion…but I think this would take away from the House Guests and the game. I prefer to stick to the gameplay and all the interesting personalities we’ve had in the house. If anything I say the last vote should be America’s Choice.

John P. Filo/CBS

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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