‘Big Brother’ Recap 17×2: Meet and Greet

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​The rest of the houseguests get ready to enter BB17. (CBS)

Second night of Big Brother and I have already lost all chill. I’ve been talking and texting about it all day. Anyone who isn’t caught up has already been banished off the group text. Who doesn’t watch on premiere night, that is crazy for real—savages. Theories have been thrown around. Preferences spoken. There are heavy feelings on the Battle of the Block being back, a more controversial twist than I thought. Last year, the two Head of Households did a lot of conspiring together—so it dragged a bit at times but that was solid gameplay. I think it will be more hectic this year. Last season, the house was having it’s strings pulled carefully by Derek and his tight alliance. I don’t see anyone being able to carry that off this year. BUT I NEED MORE INFORMATION. The Live Feeds have only just been turned on. That is the pure uncut fix for a Big Brother junky. Both of these premiere episodes and most of the regular prime time eps are showing days old footage. Unless it is a live show, we’re getting an edit. All of this has already happened and we’re watching it while actual new stuff is going on but we can’t see it yet. I’ve aged more years than that part in Beetlejuice when they bring back Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin into their human bodies and they look like twin wedding day Cryptkeepers. It is only day two and I’ve spun out word to Les Moonves.

Last night we met the next group of houseguests. I was optimistic that this was going to be a solid season after the first ep. Now I am convinced. Here’s why:

Liz (Miami, Florida): Liz is a marketing coordinator. She is the first person to mention her astrology sign in her intro which is very important because 99% of people who introduce themselves by their sign usually follow it with something like “so you know what that means…” and nobody ever does, unless you’re also one of those people and then you’ll be like “oh, a feisty one” and laugh loudly and mentally check off “stay away from this one.” Liz says her main adversity to get over in the house will be “jealous girls” which is the best reality show answer to any question after “I’m not here to make friends” and “I’ve had a gun to my head, literally.” Also, when they show Liz lined up waiting to go into the house for the first time, she’s wearing this shirt that isn’t that long, it’s like just down to her waist but it doesn’t look like she has anything underneath and all I could think is that she didn’t wear pants to meet Julie Chen which I think is a first so props to her. She better stay off the new see-through second floor bridge though.

Jason (Fall River, Massachusetts): Jason is an overnight grocery store clerk that lives in his mom’s basement. His bedroom is decorated in bright neon colors and he has a giant dollar sign over his bed. Once upon a time in 2007, there was a contestant who tried out for So You Think You Can Dance and then took the world by storm with his rendition of Gloria on American Idol. His name is Ian Bernardo and he later went on to sue American Idol for $300 million dollars in a discrimination case. There are shades of Ian Bernardo in Jason’s swagger, calling out “basic bitches” and referring to his own personal situation as not being a good look. He’s got that good deep Boston accent like he’s Affleck’s little brother in The Town and he might be my current favorite houseguest right now.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6d_7BNNYsqw&w=420&h=315]

Vanessa (Las Vegas, Nevada): Vanessa is a professional poker player. She’s one of the top pokerer’s in the world and has won more than $4.5 million in her career, which is a lot because all most people win at poker is nothing. She wants to keep it a secret so she says she’s a DJ. Remember, Da’Vonne wants to also keep being a poker dealer a secret—because of being able to bluff and read people. It makes sense for Vanessa because usually people with a lot of money or a huge built-in following get voted out early. The rationale is a) they don’t need the money, which is valid although a lot of winning Big Brother is about bragging rights and the challenge b) sometimes America gets a vote in the outcome of parts of the game and anyone with a built-in fan base has a huge advantage in getting votes, like Frankie last season being Ariana Grande’s brother gave him juice with her fans. All day I’ve been waiting to see if Da’Vonne the poker dealer recognizes one of the most recognizable faces in her game. Which leads me to my next question: HOW DID DA’VONNE NOT RECOGNIZE ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE FACES IN HER GAME?? That would be like me wearing a Miami Vice t-shirt and having Don Johnson come up and ask me directions and I send him on his way thinking he’s just some lost guy without asking about the G Gordon Liddy episode of his show. That is the actual only valid thing to compare Da’Vonne’s lack of recognition to. Unless Da’Vonne is running game, did recognize Vanessa but is keeping it a secret because she wants to bring Vanessa into the all-girl alliance? Also, Vanessa studied Game Theory at Duke, which if a guy told me that I would scream at the top of my lungs and run away like Carlton did in that episode of Fresh Prince when Will finds out he’s being pranked and tells Carlton he killed Lisa with a rock. But since it’s Vanessa Rousso, I kind of just wonder if she can throw cards like Ninja stars.

Josh (Scranton, Pennsylvania): Josh calls himself a rockstar dentist. Sometimes they show the moment when the houseguest gets their key to the Big Brother house. It’s supposed to be candid but how could that be when there’s clearly a camera crew to film you. Josh gets his key on a tray of dentist tools while he has a patient in the chair which is an absolute nightmare scenario worse than being stuck back in high school and you can’t remember where any of the room numbers are. I mean I guess if you’re cool with going to someone who calls themselves a “rock n’ roll dentist,” you may not care but I don’t even like it when my dentist looks me in the eye when he’s working on me and I’ve known him for 25 years. I went to a new doctor once and he had an earring so I climbed out of the window when he went to get his stethoscope and have never gotten another physical since then. Josh is so down for a “showmance,” which is when two people hook up to further their game or they fall in love for real, or they are bored. I was expecting to dislike Josh, he tells people to call him Johnny Mac and he screams in the confessionals like Luwon did. Except that his words kind of drip off his lips like he spent a lot of time practicing dental work on himself and stretched out all his mouth muscles and can’t really form his cheeks around the words. So I guess I’m kind of into that, I’ll give him a shot.

Becky (Denver, Colorado): Becky is a retail manager, which is a tough job because this retail isn’t going to manage itself. She’s an outdoorsy person. Her parents were hippies. She is fun and friendly. I think she is pretty.

Steve (Gouverneur, New York): Steve is studying to be a musical engineer. He has an awkward dork vibe and a room full of toys that I really want to play with. He finds his Big Brother key in a bucket of K’Nex which is totally fine in my book. I’m a Lego man myself but whatev. Steve’s mom helps him pack. He is a super fan and the houseguests view him as a threat because of his resemblance to Ian Terry, winner of BB15.

The six new contestants are lined up in front of the house and Julie lets them know eight people are already inside and that the Battle of the Block and Big Brother Takeover twists are in effect. Jason has the most gif-able moment of the season before he even enters the house, he looks left, looks right and smiles like it’s on, it’s so on. Please lord, someone have this gift delivered to me ASAP, I will cherish it forever and use it on Twitter in reaction to when someone says something I am already very sure of, like when they finally announce a fourth Austin Powers movie and I called it six months ago.

The six new contestants go screaming into the house, get the tour, meet the other players. Jason sees the bedrooms and blesses us with an “OhMyLanta,” which the producers immediately hashtag onscreen because game recognize game. Vanessa kicks into her Game Theory, she knows she is at an “informational deficit” and starts to play catchup by finding out who is current HOH, who is not a poker dealer, who is a wrestler that looks like Joe Manganiello mixed with Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.

My current least favorite houseguest off these two eps has to be Jace. He’s too thirsty. It seems like he’s up in every conversation and he’s always talking the loudest. Whenever he asks one of the new houseguests where they are from, he has an anecdote about that place. Typs one-upper. “You’re from Florida, I was born there.” “You’re from Boston, I ate a bread bowl of soup at Faniel Hall once in 2004.” “You’re from Scranton, I was a big fan of The Office. I mean I like the British one better but the American one was good for a couple seasons.” When Becky tells him she’s from Colorado, he’s says something crazy about it being “literally God’s blessing on this Earth” and then asks where in “the ‘Rodo” you from? Becky confirms that nobody in 150 years has ever once called it that.

They do another roundtable to all get familiar. Audrey shares her truth with the group and again receives a supportive reception. But all the houseguests are aware that there are still two empty seats at the table. They’re not at full capacity yet. Julie lets us know that the first Big Brother Takeover is about to happen and that jingle to signal it which sounds like it was written by the guys who wrote the Wayne’s World theme song starts to play. This week the takeover is by Phil Coogan, the host of The Amazing Race. I guess these are actual people taking over the show? That could be cool, especially if they throw some former houseguests into the mix or have like Jack Black come on to promote his summer movie, The D Train. When Coogan shows up onscreen someone in the house recognizes him and whispers wistfully, “Phil!” Over the years a bunch of Big Brother contestants have gone on to Race, including Jeff and Jordan, and Brendan and Rachel. Phil introduces the last two houseguests, Jackie and Jeff from last season’s The Amazing Race. I’ve never watched that show but it seems like they had a lot of fights with each other so that is good. Jackie and Jeff enter the house and are immediate targets. Again, anyone who comes in with an alliance is always considered a danger.

The second HOH competition starts up and someone has to sit out again. Vanessa volunteers as long as they promise not to nominate her. James, the current HOH really wants a woman to win because the two HOHs share a room and he is a tiny little Southern pervert. Only the new houseguests compete. They have to hold onto a tree trunk for as long as they can while being pulled upward by weights. Jason surprised everyone by comfortably going the distance, and even talking smack while doing it like, “I’m on this pole ’til September, boo.” I love this kid. It comes down to Jackie and Jason, Jackie makes a deal to drop off if Jason promises not to nominate her. He says “you had me at them shoes.” Jason and James, probably the two least likely houseguests you’d have bet on at the beginning are now the HOHs. Da’Vonne knows that the guys always team up on the women at first to try to get them out so she wants to stop that from happening. As the show ends, Coogan let’s Da’Vonne and Vanessa know that because they sat out the competition they have something coming to them but he doesn’t reveal what. Maybe it is a day of poker for the two poker pros. Maybe that would help Da’Vonne recognize one of the biggest names in her profession!? Prob not.

Sunday is the first nomination ceremony and Battle of the Block. Wednesday is the POV competition and the first live eviction is Thursday. You can also watch Big Brother After Dark on POP TV atmidnight, which is sort of like three hours of the feeds but on late night television. The Live Feeds are now open and I’m about to stay up all night hitting refresh. Refresh. REFRESHHH. ‘Big Brother’ Recap 17×2: Meet and Greet