Big Brother
Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

We are only one week into season 19 of Big Brother and there have already been fireworks, blindsides, torn ligaments, and a giant snake with glowing eyes. But who is playing the best game so far? Which showmance is destined to actually last? Is it better to get a Den of Temptation advantage early or late? And was Cody put at a disadvantage by having to nominate five different people for eviction? We asked Julie Chen all of that and the host was more than willing to play along.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Cody appeared to blow up his game with the attempt to nominate Paul and then putting Christmas on the block, but did he get a raw deal in having to nominate five different people due to various factors?
As I often tell my 7-year-old when he complains of injustice: “As Scar (the evil, power-hungry brother of the Lion King Mufasa) says, ‘Life’s not fair,’ and he proceeds to eat the little rat scurrying past him.” And another thing, Cody was LOVING having that power and instilling fear in everyone; his eyes were dancing with glee and he was practically smacking his lips. If you ask me (and ya did!), he got rid of TWO people he didn’t like during his one reign… Megan, who he told in front of the whole house (in a very mean and humiliating way) that he doesn’t like her, and Jillian who I am sure he has zero respect for. In short, he didn’t get a raw deal — he got more power than he bargained for in his one week reign!

Paul got the first Den of Temptation advantage, giving him safety for three weeks, but that means no more D.O.T. advantages for him for the rest of the summer. Since you can only get one, would you rather get an advantage early in the game to get settled, or chance it and save it for later?
In Paul’s unique case, he got his D.O.T. perk right when he needed it. Let’s face it, he very likely would have been evicted had he not. I don’t care how good Paul’s social game is, Cody may have been able to intimidate and/or convince the house: “Let’s get rid of the vet! Who’s with me??!!!!” There’s no set formula if getting the D.O.T. is better early or late in the game. Getting it ANYTIME is the right time!

Who’s your early pick for someone who is playing the game strong right out of the gate?
Alex is my pick for playing a strong game out of the gate. She is a fierce physical competitor, knows the game, is focused on the game and determined. Plus, no one doesn’t like her (OK, except Jessica because Jessica sees that her BF Cody has a soft spot in his heart for her). My guess? Cody is slowly falling in love with Alex. He seems to love her spunk, spirit, athleticism, and the way she is brutally honest and kind of “in-your-face!” about it.

Okay, Julie, it’s time to put your prognosticating skills to the test. Which showmance — Cody and Jessica, Matt and Raven, or Elena and Mark — will last the longest and why?
Maven all the way! My pick is Matt and Raven because they have yet to kiss and it’s been more than two weeks! They’re just flirting and getting to know each other and seeming to truly like each other’s company. They seem to be building a foundation. Is this the season 19 version of Jeff and Jordan? Maybe? Not as boy and girl next door, but their slow lead-up showmance runs parallel and I like it!

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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