If you wanted a dramatic season of Big Brother, simply look to the celebrities. Celebrity Big Brother is here and, for the most part, these houseguests came to play. The first week ended in a shocking flipped vote where the majority alliance splintered and decided to send home another target. How was this possible already in the first week? Blame the shortened Big Brother schedule. We only have three weeks of celebrities competing for the title, which means faster alliances, bolder moves and definitely no filler weeks. Forget the strategy rules you’ve learned up to this point – Celebrity Big Brother is a different playing field.
Firstly, Celebrity Big Brother has a great cast. We’ve got eleven houseguests who are a good mix of superfans (Shannon Elizabeth, Ross Mathews and Marissa Jaret Winokur), the casual fans (Omarosa Manigault), and the people who know nothing about the game (Mark McGrath, Metta World Peace and Chuck Liddell). There are those who have appeared in reality TV programs before (Brandi Glanville, James Maslow and Keshia Knight Pulliam) and those who are new to the world (Ariadna Gutierrez). While I wish we had more current celebrities who haven’t competed in reality shows before (the majority of the houseguests are all veterans in reality TV), I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the group so far. They’ve embraced their roles as houseguests and are actively trying to win the quarter of a million dollars. It’s a tad surprising since you’d expect some of the celebrities to float by and only plug their projects, but even Ariadna and Brandi are getting into the mix.
Shannon winning both of the competitions – the Head of Household and the Power of Veto – is a bold move to make in the first week. While the strategy has changed in regular Big Brother where it’s socially accepted, and sought after, to win the first round, it’s still of a debated point in the three-week period of Celebrity Big Brother. In this case, Shannon has made herself into a target and proven to be the most physically challenging competitor. And this isn’t a hypothetical; we know this because both James and Mark admit that Shannon is a big target in the house. Why wouldn’t she try? She needed safety and she needed to get it for her alliance.
I’m on the fence about the Big Brother recast twist. It reminded me a lot of the Coup d’Eta twist, but that one needed to be won before being used. This simply was opening a bag and finding out if you had the power inside – it was anticlimactic and it defeated the purpose of even having the HOH. I would feel horrible if I was the HOH who spent hours hanging on a statue only to have the power taken away like it didn’t matter. However, we’ve been taught to expect the unexpected, so it’s all part of Big Brother life. Though, Shannon is lucky that Keshia (who was in her alliance) won the power and kept the plans going.
Speaking of the alliance, I love that the women and Ross came together to form the “women’s” alliance. This season is one of the first times ever where the women outnumbered the men in a Big Brother house. A women’s alliance tends to not last long, but these houseguests were so determined to make it possible. The only time it truly succeeded was during Big Brother: Over The Top, and to a lesser extent during Big Brother 6. For the first two episodes, it seemed like this idea could’ve become a reality, but that pesky eviction episode ruined it all. Once paranoia hits and people start having side conversations, there’s nothing you can do to fix it unless you trust your alliance members. Ross and the others didn’t trust Omarosa and Keshia, so they evicted Chuck, who they thought had a deal with them. It’s a shame when a good thing goes belly up this quickly.
Before the alliance broke apart, I loved Omarosa and Shannon’s partnership. They were one of my favorite duos because they quickly bonded over their passion of the game, competition and supporting each other. If it wasn’t for paranoia and new alliances, they could’ve still been together. Unfortunately, I don’t see this partnership repairing itself after that blindside vote. Omarosa and Keshia must be upset finding out the house lied to them; they’ll become defensive and the fights will start against their former alliance members. The story is written all over the walls.
There were a few standout players who stood out in the first week. James was more competitive than I expected him to be; he came to play the game and he doesn’t care if his strategic moves will affect his image. Ross is another person who isn’t messing around with his chance in the Big Brother house. He wants to win and he’s using every social relationship formed to push him forward. And the same goes for Marissa; you shouldn’t ignore her or her moves. She’s playing a very personable game and it’s working for her because no one is looking at her as a threat. Her and Ross could be the underdog team that takes it.
Omarosa was the biggest surprise of the premiere week. She’s not the same manipulative and cunning player we saw on The Apprentice; she was actively trying to form a social game and connect with her fellow houseguests first before making those moves. There were moments I felt sympathy and rooted for her, even though I don’t think she will win the game. Her conversation with Ross on the couch was eye opening because, even if some of the conversation was calculated, she let down her guard and opened up to him. They had a frank and honest conversation with each other – this might be one of the few times we’ve seen Omarosa be vulnerable.
As mentioned above, Chuck was the first person evicted from the game. I’m surprised that he got evicted in a last minute house flip (James seemed like a sure thing), but I’m not sad that he’s leaving. He didn’t know much about the game and his bad moves ruined any goodwill he had built with the fellow houseguests. If you make a deal with the HOH to not do something, your best bet is to follow it to not piss off the alliance. He failed and it got him nominated/evicted.
The first week of Celebrity Big Brother brought lots of action and fire. The shortened timeline gave us quick alliances, flipped votes and drama to get us hooked on these houseguests. Hopefully the remaining two weeks of the season will be filled with just as many game moves to keep us entertained before the winner is crowned.