A power player walks out the door, and Britney has a sudden attack of conscience. "Conscience?" asks Mike. "Never heard of him!"
Credit: CBS
Big Brother
S14 E13
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Janelle did not know what she was doing up on the block. She woke up one morning in the Big Brother house with a path to victory assured: A team composed of one genuine player and two obedient puppets, a loose alliance with the returning players, a Blonde mental link with Britney. She didn’t even bother to put on her makeup. And then the next thing she knew, she was sitting next to Frank in the Elimination Chairs. She asked Danielle “W the F?” Danielle made vague noises about people telling her Janelle was gunning for her, and when Janelle demanded names, Danielle said “Ehhhhmmm” and crawled onto the purple HoH throne-couch and pretended to be a banana slug.

So Janelle went straight to the little man inside of Danielle’s brain. “Coach Dan,” she said, “How did this happen?” Dan was cornered. He had his back up against the wall. He explained, “I think it’s a girl instinct. These girl feelings.” Janelle could do nothing but nod her head. Janelle was never a girl; she was born fully formed one morning in 1961, on the set of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, when a Cherokee shaman hit John Wayne over the head with a mystical tomahawk and Janelle crawled out of a fissure in The Duke’s skull.

But Janelle was not going to worry. She knew she had the votes. She talked to her old protégé Wil. “You aren’t going to vote for me, are you, Wil? After all I’ve done for you?” “Oh sugah,” said Wil, stroking Janelle’s hair and imagining what her scalp would look like in his wig closet, “Ah would nevah vote you out. Nevah, nevah, nevah.”

And Janelle talked to her beloved meatshield Smashley. Janelle: “You’ve always been my closest friend. Are we together?” Smashley: “Ooohh, I’ve got a rumbly in my tumbly. It must be October. I need to microwave my Christmas Tree!” Janelle nodded. She could always count on Smashley.

But then Janelle talked to Britney, her old friend. “You’re on my side, right?” asked Janelle. Britney nodded her head, so casual. But there was something troubling humble Brit-Brit. She told Janelle that she had a feeling that things in the house just weren’t right. “Am I not seeing something?” asked Janelle. You could see the wheels starting to turn behind Janelle’s eyes. She had been thinking that this was just a renegade move by a sorority girl — an isolated incident, nothing more. But Britney got her thinking. Was there something else happening here? Was everyone against her? Was Mike Boogie behind all of this? It couldn’t be. It was impossible. She was being paranoid. How could everyone in the house be out to get her? “I’m so glad we’re together, Britney,” said Janelle. “Together, we can run this house. Together, we can rid the world of Mike Boogie. Forever.” Britney nodded her head, so casual.

When Janelle wasn’t looking, Britney retreated upstairs for a good long cry. She was talking to Danielle and Dan and Shane. Together, they are the four people who form the Venn Diagram center of the Quack Pack and the Silent Six, which means we must only refer to them as the Silent Quackers. Britney told her crew, “I can’t keep up the charade any longer. I feel like a bad person. I don’t have it in me to be this mean person.” I know that many of you readers don’t like Britney, and heard that statement as validation.

NEXT: Ian and Smashley are just like that show about that one theory about that one bang that was big. I think the show is called “The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.”But let me propose this to you: Britney has never really had lie in this game before. She coasted along through season 12 as the Brigade’s mouthy meatshield. She has coasted through this season as the caboose of the Shane Express, toot-tooot! She has always fundamentally tried to be a good person — a good person with a hilariously cutting personality, but still a good person. Now, she has had to fully commit herself to Big Brother. She has become a liar…and, just maybe, she’s become a better player as a result.

(Aside: The Big Brother producers played an extended video package focusing on the parents of Ian and Smashley. You see, CBS has decided that Ian and Smashley’s purely theoretical relationship is totally like the relationship between that nerd and that hot chick on that show that CBS airs about nerds who aren’t funny. So CBS put Ian’s mom on camera, held a gun up to her head, and forced her to read the following prepared statement: “Ian and Smashley really are a real-life Leonard and Penny, who are the stars of The Big Bang Theory, a show that is totally as funny as it ever was I CAN’T DO IT I CAN’T DO IT THAT SHOW PEAKED FOUR SEASONS AGO[sound of a gunshot].” End of Aside.)

Janelle sat serene during the eviction ceremony. Maybe she knew what was coming. Maybe. She looked genuinely surprised when Julie said her name — only for a moment, but the shock was there, a flicker of angry shock on a face that is usually as impassive as a statue made of botox. Certainly, Janelle couldn’t have anticipated the sheer amount of people gunning for her. The Silent Six voted her out. Wil and Smashley, her old teammates, voted her out. Someone named Jenn voted her out. In the end, only Joe was loyal to her. She hugged Joe close and said, “Win this. Win it for me, Joe.” And Joe whispered in her ear — so intimate, so quiet, like an old soldier whispering one final word to his dying captain — “JANELLE, I WILL WIN THIS FOR YOU, I PROMISE.”

Outside, Janelle had to watch videos the other players made wishing her farewell. Dan admitted that an entire alliance formed to eliminate Janelle. Britney apologized for taking part in the alliance. Joe yelled something. And then Boogie. “This one was all me,” said her old enemy, “Bye bye, Janelle. Always the Bridesmaid, but never the Big Brother bride.” Janelle said something unfit for family audiences, and then concluded: “Screw you, Mike Boogie! I hope you lose!”

The HoH competition was a trivia task, testing the players’ memory of the competitions so far. The players listened to songs that were all based on specific competitions. “Breaking news. Black and white./Burglars antics kept awake all night!” Or: “A shot at power is what the stick is for./Out on the ice, shoot for the perfect score!” Frank wound up winning the whole thing — another marvelous shift in power. But no one could fail to notice that, when Frank went up against Mike Boogie, Boogie tapped a button before a song even started playing.

Now, my read on that is that Boogie didn’t want to win HoH — maybe he’ll even tell Frank that he let him win, knowing how hard it had been to be on block these past two weeks. But the only flaw in that logic is that Boogie could have guessed right. He had a one out of three chance. Maybe Boogie accidentally hit the button. Maybe he thinks he can coast through the rest of the game. Why not? A few days ago, Boogie looked like a dead man walking. Now, his worst enemy is out of the game. Can anyone stop him now?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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