James is finally evicted...but not before trying to turn Team Christ against Natalie
Big Brother

”Big Brother” recap: The final five

”Take care of yourself. You’re in here with a bunch of monsters.” —Joshuah, Big Brother 9

Actually, Mr. Advertising Media Buyer from Dallas, Texas, I can’t think of anyone more monstrous on this season than you. And you couldn’t have been more wrong, anyway. The second he walked out the door last week, I marveled at how pitch-perfect the evictions have been so far and how we could be winding down to a satisfying finale (lest any of you are feeling confused by that quote from last week’s evictee, it was revealed in Sunday’s episode). With the possible exception of Sharon (who’s nice and all, but hard to tolerate given her screechy voice), I wouldn’t begrudge any of these people the cash…at least for right now.

Sure, these final five players are hardly relatable, but everyone’s been dependable when it comes to providing fairly decent entertainment — though moving forward, I have to wonder if any member of Team Christ will be able to top James’ over-the-top eruption on Sunday. It was a shock watching James wring out those crocodile tears — not so much because he earned his crybaby moment (he’d hardly be bawling if his alliance had been winning), but how it ended up exposing Adam to be one helluva softie. I haven’t forgotten his ”retard” comment from earlier this season, but damn if Adam hasn’t turned into a downright cuddle bug, something that Sheila and Nat are using to their fullest advantage.

Let’s go to the tape: After winning HOH last Wednesday, Adam appeared to have Team Christ’s best interests at heart by targeting James for eviction — until Captain Pink Hair began whimpering about ”feeling isolated,” which prompted the unsuspecting Adam to rethink his opinion of James. Faster than you can say ”I got you, sucka,” James and Adam hugged it out and immediately set their sights on Sheila, whom Adam described as ”the odd man out,” if not the unwitting victim of their endless household pranks (pretty harsh of James to cover her in flour, though). While Adam’s teammate, Ryan, was off making secret pacts with Sharon to be ”the two nicest people in the final two,” Adam got busy concocting a provocative, albeit cowardly scheme: He’ll nominate Sheila instead of James and challenge his alliance to compete for the Golden Veto if they want their nemesis out. Will James survive again?

I could practically hear what many of you were yelling at the screen: The producers managed to interfere again to save a fan favorite! But I refuse to believe that happened, primarily because (a) I believe exec producer Allison Grodner each year (maybe foolishly) when she says she doesn’t tinker with the game, and (b) James’ anguish — however juvenile and naïve it was — had a genuine effect on Adam, who clearly wanted nothing more than to make things better. Too bad he regretted the decision the minute he made it, so Adam immediately sought forgiveness from his alliance and, by God, he got it — thereby returning James to the place where he belonged: alone, again. Naturally.

NEXT: James’ last hurrah

James didn’t go down without a fight; though his 11th-hour campaign had zero impact on his 3-0 ouster last night, James did manage to put enough doubt in the minds of Adam, Ryan, and Sheila that Natalie was not to be trusted — which could make her the next target for eviction come Sunday. I do hope it’ll happen, with Sharon right behind her during the week of April 20, so we’ll have a delicious Ryan-Adam-Sheila triumvirate in the April 27 finale.

Ha! I kinda revealed the winner of last night’s HOH competition, though you didn’t have to wait around long to figure it out: (SPOILER ALERT). Though it was another endurance test that required the HGs to hang in a suspended glass case, Sheila prevailed after a mere three hours and will now get the letter from home she’s been so desperately craving. I do hope we’re spared some of the ”who wants to see my HOH room!” video, however, just so we get a sizeable serving of the drama that’s about to unfold in the jury house: Matty’s been clearly chomping at the bit for James to walk in the door, so the fireworks should burn loud and bright when that reunion finally occurs.

A few final thoughts: Now that James is gone and I’m desperate for a new hero, I’m torn between Adam and Sheila, though I think she has the advantage given her keen ability to manipulate the men (nice moment of ageism, btw, when the Chenbot asked the 45-year-old Sheila whether the HGs make her feel younger or older; as usual, Sheila was a good sport about it). Adam has got to stop hanging himself with comments to Sheila like “you are the crucial decision maker in the house” and start demonstrating for the jury that he’s a big ol’ softie who can think on his big ol’ furry feet. And producers, we get it: Joshuah likes to talk smack. But he’s a loser now, so stop giving him the soapbox to declare how Natalie is white trash and dresses like a hooker (though I suppose the producers rationalized that Josh got his just reward in the same episode when Matt compared him to a woman on her period). Either way, it was mean and nasty and so three weeks ago, people. Let’s get back to those wily HGs and their trickery!

And am I not seeing it, or does it appear that everyone’s managed to keep their weight at respectable levels? Sure, Naughty Nat’s been off the elliptical trainer since Matty hit the road, but she’s hardly sporting a paunch. Agree?

So the floor’s now yours again. Do you think James was successful in convincing Adam, Sheila, and Ryan to turn against Natalie? Does Sharon really deserve to be in the final three? And what do you make of all that hardware on Sharon’s Marine Corp. dad?

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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