It's the southern belle versus the Staten Island sweetheart, as Danielle and Jojo make their final plea. Meanwhile, the show basically admits this whole coaching thing was a bad idea

By Darren Franich
July 27, 2012 at 03:00 AM EDT
S14 E7
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Big Brother has spent the last few seasons operating on Calvinball rules. The show has thrown so many random twists into contestant’s pathway: cliques, saboteurs, duos, golden keys, and now coaches. At this point, the savvy players have to plan for every Rumsfeldian possibility, for known knowns and known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Last night, Boogie and Britney had to ponder: If Danielle went home, would Coach Dan enter the game? From what I’ve seen in the comment boards, most people don’t like when the show throws in twists. It upsets the natural flow of the game. In particular, this season’s decision to add coaches means that the show spends an inordinate amount of time on the four people who have no real direct role in this season’s gameplay.

It looks like the Big Brother producers have heard your cries. Last night’s episode ended with Julie Chen announcing a new “America’s Vote.” Viewers can vote on whether or not they’d like the coaches to be offered the chance to enter the game as normal players. Pardon the tortured syntax in that last sentence — the specific choice America was vague, and the whole thing has the faint whiff of a document that has been carefully lawyered.

Let’s assume that America makes the right decision, and the four coaches are given the chance to hop into the game. How could they not? Janelle and Mike have strong alliances with big voting blocs. Britney and Dan, conversely, have nothing to lose, with just one player left apiece. These people are all competitive egomaniacs. Besides, they have to know that CBS wasn’t calling them back just to sit on the sidelines and wear funny hats. Janelle and Britney both came tantalizingly close to winning Big Brother before. Boogie wants to cement his status as a BB great. And even though Dan has been a washout as a coach, you get the vibe that he wants to get back in the game — but would he be like Michael Jordan returning to the Bulls, or Michael Jordan joining the Wizards?

Maybe we’re being too hard on Danny-boy. His attempt to “light a fire” under Danielle by abandoning her on the side of the road looked like a wash. But Danielle pulled some smart moves on last night’s episode. See, it all started because Shane and Jojo were getting chatty after hours in the Andy Warhol Vortex room. “It’s so hot, I’m down to my thong,” said Shane. “Me, too,” said Jojo, “We should make out.” Shane explained: “I don’t kiss smokers. The tobacco cells might get in my hair.”

It didn’t vibe genuine attraction to me. Just a bit of fun flirting between friends. But Ian saw a showmance in the making.

NEXT: Hell hath no furyIan told Danielle the next morning, “Jojo was talking about getting on top of Shane.” Danielle, who had her own crush on Shane, kickstarted an elaborate game of Big Brother telephone. She told Janelle, “Jojo was climbing on top of Shane last night.” Janelle was bemused. “He weighs less than half the women here,” she said. “My boobs weigh more than his head.” Janelle knows that a showmance is an unbreakable bond. And since Janelle and her coalition currently constitute the house’s swing vote, thins didn’t look good for Jojo.

(ASIDE: At this point, Julie trotted out Dr. Will, who said that his old accomplice Mike Boogie was playing great and everyone else had to step up their game. Personally, I think he’s underestimating Janelle’s stealth-tigress gameplay. But I was intrigued by his claim that Ian has the best chance to win it all — and that Boogie is “just a 40 year old Ian.” END OF ASIDE.)

Jojo did herself no favors with her final speech, where she admitted A) that she came into this game expecting to be “fake” and B) that, in the end, she decided to play it “real.” In truth, Jojo may have been damned just by virtue of her connection to Willie (who is just looking worse and worse in hindsight). But it didn’t help matters that, right after the Staten Island gal basically threw a verbal punch into everyone’s face, Danielle demurely stood up and said, “Hey, fellas! I love ya! Rainbows and butterflies and Carly Rae Jepsen, teehee!”

The only person who didn’t vote for Jojo was her teammate Shane. That almost looked like a bad move, considering that his only real semi-ally left in the house was Danielle. But surprise! For the second week in a row, a contestant went from the block into the throne room: Shane handily won the Head of Household competition. That makes three competition victories for Shane in just two weeks. This augers a radical shift in the house’s power dynamics. If Shane honors his handshake deal with Boogie and Frank, Team Janelle might find itself in the crosshairs for the first time this year. Then again, it’s clear to everyone that Frank and Shane are on a collision course. Will Shane make the first move?

But that all brings us back around to the potentially gamechanging twist. How will the dynamics in the house shift, if one or all of the coaches enter the game? Would Frank remain loyal to his best buddy Boogie? Or would he recognize the older player as a potentially ruinous opponent? Will Dan cut his losses and enter the game? Janelle seems to be enjoying her role as an above-the-fray matriarch, but she’s a warrior woman at heart — could she hold herself back from the chance at winning it all?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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