By Kyle Fowle
August 23, 2020 at 09:49 PM EDT
Big Brother
Credit: CBS 2020
S22 E8

Big Brother fans have been waiting a long time for another season of "All-Stars," but now that it's here, there seems to be a lot of exhaustion over how it's unfolding so far. First, there was the casting, which, whether due to COVID-related circumstances or simply personal/production choices, was clearly missing a few players that many fans hoped would come back. Now, a few weeks into the game, it's looking like season 22 is going the predictable route established by a string of recent seasons. Look, there's lots of time for things to change, but the vibe online and among fans is that The Commission is clearly in control, the same handful of men are going to dominate (and already have been dominating) the challenges, they're targeting a lot of women, and we're going to have to watch weeks and weeks of a majority alliance pick off everyone else, with no real exciting gameplay going on.

When Tyler won the most recent HOH, it looked like this week's events were pretty much set in stone. Cody, Tyler, and everyone else in The Commission (except for Memphis) was looking to target Janelle and Kaysar. There's a lot of talk about why that's the case: they're big targets because they're good, old school players who have a preexisting relationship; they haven't been able to adapt to the dynamics of the "new" Big Brother; their defense of Nicole A last week really ruined their games, since they managed to exile themselves from the main alliance even more; their personalities clashed with the younger generation of players (Janelle has mentioned many times on the live feeds that there's a "generational issue" and that the younger players are too sensitive). Whatever the reason, with Tyler representing The Commission as HOH, things weren't looking good for Janelle and Kaysar heading into Sunday's episode.

Even if the nominations seem pretty set, there's at least some drama because there are some clashing personalities. When it's time for the outgoing Have Nots to pick new players to endure a week of slop, cold showers, and terrible sleeping conditions, Nicole F makes a point of nominating Janelle because "she loves talking about me." She immediately tries to backtrack and say she didn't mean what she said, but this is Nicole F we're talking about. She meant it. That lights a fire under Janelle, who's ready for confrontation. The thing is, can any sort of confrontation help her? Or will it further alienate her from the house?

To be completely honest, some real confrontation would be nice right about now, because so far, all we've got this season is some predictable gameplay and Memphis talking down to everyone he can. Anything that comes along and shakes things up would be welcome. But alas, there's not a whole lot of fireworks this week. The messiest the house gets is a literal mess when Enzo can't figure out how to use the bidet in the washroom, and then doesn't clean up the water that gets everywhere.

The only real interesting bit of possible strategy comes with the final Safety Suite challenge. There's a lot to think about. For instance, Memphis doesn't want to win because Janelle and Kaysar still consider him an ally, but if he won he'd show them he wasn't on their side. Similarly, with The Commission being the only ones left to play, whoever wins has to make a strategic choice about who they choose as their "+1" to also keep safe. The clearest example is Enzo wondering about whether he should keep Dani safe if he wins just to assure her that everything's cool in their alliance, or if he should protect Da'Vonne to keep his second, largely fake alliance with Da'Vonne and Bayleigh intact.

The Safety Suite challenge involves dodging lasers while stealing a large exercise ball from a safe and then locking in a time. Every time you trip a laser, you have to start over. Nicole F is the clumsiest person by far, and she's miserable at the challenge. Memphis does his best to throw the challenge, sitting down near the end for a stretch of time so that he's not the clear winner. Enzo and Dani, at least, are trying to win, and it's Enzo who comes through with the victory, beating out Dani by about 90 seconds, and demolishing Memphis and Nicole F by a solid 10 minutes. That's notable because Memphis throws the challenge so badly that it's very clear to Janelle that he's not willing to work with her or make any sort of move. Enzo, despite everything he said earlier, ends up keeping Christmas safe for the second week in a row. He says he hasn't talked much game with her and that he wants to bring her in as a potential ally. Christmas is already part of The Commission, so we'll see if this potentially leads to any sort of alliance shakeup/sub-alliances down the road.

So, as expected, Tyler steps up to make his nominations, and he puts up Kaysar and Janelle. It's really looking like nothing much is going to change, at least for now. If the veto doesn't get used and either Janelle or Kaysar go home, then we can start talking about what that means for The Commission, because not only are Cody and Tyler setting themselves up with multiple alliances, but Memphis is also regularly insulting the women in The Commission, telling them they aren't "pulling their weight." That's bound to make some waves. Let's hope it's enough to shake up the rather dull start to this season.

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Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

  • TV Show
  • 22
  • TV-14
  • CBS
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