What will the jury think of the remaining five?
Credit: Bill Inoshita/CBS

Here we go, a Celebrity BB clip show — highlights of all the drama! While the Big Brother game strategists out there might be a little irritated by what they see as filler content, I think it tells us more than any degree of game talk could ever tell us. I’m all about it.

On competition reality, the game is played in the down moments — the silences, the shared meals and the creative hijinks you come up with when there’s far too much time on your hands. Downtime is when players validate or invalidate other players’ perceptions of themselves and elevate or trounce on others’ egos. The game isn’t always in the moves you make but in the mood you create when you make them.

I’m all about emotional intelligence and reading those signals. So, what can these snippets tell us about how the remaining five will be received by the jury if they make it to the Final 2? If you’re willing to dig into it — a lot.

Omarosa’s Decoy and a Scramble to the Finish

Before we get into character analysis, we kick things off with some straight game talk. At the end of the double-eviction episode, we learned that the Final 4 HOH will choose the person to go with them to the Final 2 — at that time two houseguests will be evicted. With that dynamic in place, the game at the Final 5 is less about ensuring who you can beat at the end and more about making sure you maximize your chances to get there.

We flash back just before James’ eviction. While James and Marissa are both sitting on the Block, Omarosa tells the other houseguests “nobody can beat her [Marissa] on a social level…it’s as simple as that.” While Marissa laments that Omarosa just “blew up her game,” the Apprentice alumtells us she deliberately threw Marissa under the bus. “I’m the next biggest target, so I need to shift attention to someone else and make her [Marissa] the biggest threat.”

Omarosa may feel like she’s at risk in the game, but she does have a friend in Ariadna (Ari). Ari tells us that since her BFF Brandi is gone, Omarosa, who chose to go after others before her, is her one ally in the house. Ari also knows that, like Omarosa, the House is gunning for her. Since Omarosa can’t compete in the next HOH, because she just served that role, Ari and Omarosa both know their path to the end is an Ari win at the next HOH competition.

While Omarosa and Ari cling to each other with only five remaining, Marissa tells her best friend in the house, Ross, “he’s golden” and has a ticket to the finale. Ross, however, knows he can’t put the cart before the horse. He knows: (1) He can’t let Ari win HOH. (2) He’s got to maximize the chances he gets into the Final 2 by appealing to Mark.

He does just that, making a Final 2 with Mark while reassuring him he doesn’t have the same with Marissa. Mark seems on board with the plan Ross presents and promises a little proactivity in his own gameplay, telling us he might have some game up his sleeve we haven’t seen yet.

We shall see.

Celebrity Big Brother Memory Road

We get into the clips, which showcase a range of moments from sentimental to sassy:

  • The celebs share their crazy job histories (Marissa worked at a strip club in NYC; Ross was fired for shoplifting plus-sized women’s pajama pants from his retail job).
  • Bless the producers, because we learn just how insufferable the celebs are in the Diary Room, asking for everything from a better facial hair trimmer (James) to acting like complete divas about food (because, in the words of Omarosa, “everyone ain’t vegan up in here”).
  • Oh, and we get insight into the depth of Brandi’s hatred for James and volume of white wine she consumes. Spoiler alert — the depth is deep and the volume is high. As Mark tells us, Brandi gets “turnt up” while drunk and Omarosa calls her “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”
  • Omarosa tells houseguests the “bad” Trump Tweets “happen between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.” when he’s up in bed in his underwear.

These highlights aside, what really struck me were scenes showing how the five remaining houseguests have interacted with others over the course of the game. Let’s take a look from — in my opinion — the houseguests most to least likely to win if they make it to the end. (Recap continues on page 2)

  1. Ross and Ari (tie)

I’ve never seen a more endearing, charismatic chemistry on a reality show than in the clip showing a model “pose off” between Ross and Ari. “Ari is my Miss Galaxy,” Ross tells us. “If Ari and I were ever in a relationship, we’d be very happy.” Ari concurs, calling Ross “the perfect man. He’s funny, he’s super-smart and fast on jokes. And he has a sense of fashion. I love it.”

Ross also has an incredible connection with Metta World Peace, who tells us he used to be homophobic and is no longer, which he’s grateful for, since he’s able to be friends with Ross. “I really love Ross. He’s funny, he’s smart and the more time I spend with him the more I like him,” Metta says. Needless to say, that kind of statement shows Ross has a good chance if he gets to the end despite all his wheeling and dealing in the game. In all the clips shown, Ross gets along with and has open dialogue with the other houseguests. That bodes well for his chances.

On the other side of the high likelihood to win category, we get to see just how much Ari’s lovely energy has endeared her to her fellow houseguests. Brandi is downright possessive of her when Ross jokingly says he wants to marry the Colombian beauty. “I do not enjoy Ross and Ari together. They’re cheating on me,” Brandi says. “She’s mine, Ross.” In every scene, not once is Ari causing drama. She’s light, she’s likable. In short, she’s a big threat regardless of whether or not she’s made a big move.

2. Mark

“I might clean my way all the way to $250K,” Mark tells us, and that very well could be the case. While Mark is shown occasionally interjecting during Brandi’s drunk rants, for the most part, he appears to be a generally amiable guy willing to do the chores. “Mark is amazing,” Omarosa says. Ari adds: “I want to marry a guy just like Mark.” When other houseguests say they’d be comfortable exchanging vows with you, it means you’ve got a chance to woo them at the end if you make a compelling case.

3. Omarosa

People seem to have moments in which they love the self-proclaimed Lady O. “She’s a true soul; she is amazing,” Ari tells us. But on the other side of the coin, Omarosa’s method of communicating while she’s engaging in psychological warfare can be abrasive.

She flat-out has a showdown with Brandi, repeatedly calling her “shady” while calling out the expressions of others in the room even though they’re silent during the confrontation. In a conversation with Shannon, she tells the American Pie star she’s yelling when she’s not; tells her she’s going to regret watching herself; and says Shannon didn’t want “the two brown girls” working together, referring to her alliance with Keshia. Shannon tells Omarosa, “Don’t make this a race issue. It has nothing to do with it.” While Omarosa’s mind for the game and tactics are impressive, it’s clear her methods of interacting with the houseguests ruffle feathers.

4. Marissa

Sure, Omarosa may have said Marissa is a huge threat to win, but I beg to differ. Like BB19’s Raven, people can say you’re social and fun while secretly despising you. From the clips we see, Marissa tells lots of stories, but she’s never in a reciprocal conversation. When BB makes a point to show the world you say “like” dozens of times in a nonsensical sentence without a single contribution from anyone else, I think it’s safe to say you’ve annoyed people, they don’t know you, and they won’t want to give you the W.

Road to the Finale and a “B-Word” Jury

We leave off with the next HOH competition — Rocky Mountain Fly. Houseguests get on skis that elevate off the ground and have to stay on them as long as possible. Who will win? We’ll find out tomorrow!

So, what kind of jury will the Final 2 celebs face tomorrow night during the finale? Will people respect proactive gameplay? Will the jury vote for people they like? Will hurt feelings and damaged egos trump big moves? Will they be bitter?

In a season in which contestants can go home, text, and chat each other up while watching the feeds all over a glass or eight of wine in Brandi’s living room, this jury is sure to be one B-word — bonkers.

Episode Recaps

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