Riding Coattails: On The Outside Looking In

Oh, the horror. It’s getting down to the wire in the Big Brother house and the suspense is killing me. Although I’ve had very hot and cold feelings for many of the houseguests, I harbored a great deal of affection for James and Beau, the two most recent evictees in the game. Please read the following lists, which explain why I am so sad.

Reasons I didn’t want James to leave:

1. Obviously has excellent taste in women because he dates a girl named Sarah
2. Cute
3. Kicked ass in the veto competitions, which pissed his competitors off
4. Until evicted, had remarkable staying power
5. Brilliantly played (and pitted) both sides against each other
6. Wore Sarah’s silk scarf in adorable act of sentimental devotion
7. Scared everyone
8. Has a brain
9. Nice ass

The contestants chose James over other nominee Howie and for some, such as April, that meant putting personal feelings aside order to follow a strategy. While I can understand why they decided to give James the axe, I can’t say that I agree with it. True, James lied, pretended to bat for both teams, and generally betrayed people, it was all part of his game play. He didn’t do it to hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone uncomfortable (even though that was sometimes the result of his actions). Howie, by contrast, intentionally set out to piss April and others off with his horrible behavior. He does not deserve to be one of the final five and I sincerely hope that he doesn’t make it to the final two.

I sometimes wonder why Big Brother has a policy against physical violence but not one against emotional abuse. Words can sometimes do more damage than fists. Of course, if such a policy existed, then almost all of the houseguests would have been thrown out long ago, since just about everyone has lashed out at another player in one way or another. Then again, verbal assault is sometimes trickier to define, as its definition depends on the interpretation of the recipient. “Skuzzho” can be a term of endearment when said in the right tone and under the appropriate circumstances.

And speaking of skuzzhos…

Reasons I didn’t want Beau to leave:

1. Had best fashion sense of any guest in the house (love that rhinestone belt, hon)
2. Called Janelle out on her polyester hair
3. Every reality show needs a charming gay boy
4. Has undeniable likeability
5. Cute
6. Caused Howie to question his sexuality
7. Had an impressive man thing (according to the other houseguests)
8. Deserved to stay in the game
9. Shiny head

Seriously, aside from defending himself against Janelle’s accusations that he was a “gold digging whore,” what did Beau ever do to anyone? I was shocked that the houseguests voted to keep Ivette over her partner. Not that I don’t like Ivette; on the contrary, I find her emotional proclamations of love to her girlfriend and family to be truly touching. Her friendship of James also showed that she was able to see past his actions in the game and accept him as one of the good guys (even though she voted for him to leave in the end). All I can figure is that April, Janelle, and Maggie voted Beau out of the game because they were scared to death of sitting next to him in the finale two. He would have easily won over any of them and they knew it. Piss on ’em.

So it’s down to five: Janelle, Maggie, April, new HoH Ivette, and Howie, whose ultimate fantasy of living in a house full of attractive women has finally been fulfilled. Of course, I couldn’t be happier that all of these women have romantic interests outside of the house and would never give Howie so much as an ear nibble. For a while, I kind of wondered if he would hook up with Janelle, given their partnership in the game, but her phone call from Michael this week made it clear that her heart belongs to one man and he ain’t living in the BB house anymore. If Ivette has any brain cells left rolling around in her head, she’ll nominate Howie’s pale ass for eviction and the rest of the girls will send that gorilla packing. I’d like nothing better than to see the self-proclaimed star of the show leave and I hope that the door hits his butt on the way out.

Since the members of the Friendship alliance now outnumber the Sovereign Two, it should be a simple matter of sweeping Janelle and Howie out of the way and letting April, Maggie, and Ivette duke it out for the prize. Unfortunately, as so many contestants have already pointed out, this game “turns on a dime” and anything could happen. And given Janelle’s luck, she could end up taking the whole thing, especially if she were sitting next to someone as offensive as Howie in the final two. I wager that she’d also have a good shot against April, who, up until recently, had garnered very little respect from anyone in the game. And while Maggie and Ivette have had their conflicts with other players, I don’t seem them having committed the most serious crimes against their competitors.

Of course, it’s easy to say all of this when you’re on the outside looking in. I found it funny that Ivette and April considered themselves to be big sobbing messes during their time in the house. Compared with how I’d probably act, they’re practically stoic. This is a vicious game, and I don’t begrudge anyone the tears they’ve shed over their battle wounds. And unless a person has an ego of steel, it’s pretty much expected that they’ll get at least a little overwrought when locked inside a house for ninety days with a bunch of money-hungry media whores. Oops, there’s my mean streak rearing its ugly head. Perhaps simply viewing this show has rubbed off on me. Maybe I really have been inside the Big Brother house, if only in the metaphorical sense.

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