Another big week of Big Brother Australia, with one of the leading housemates dethroned, another enjoying a moment of power, before it all came to head with the latest game changing twist!
If Week 1 of BBAU brought fun, strategy and deceptive gameplay, Week 2 was ready to trump it all. 17 housemates remained but only 14 emerged inside the house, while another hid in a secret bunker ready to wreak havoc for Week 3. This was the week that changed the course of the season.
WEEK 2 RECAP
After Soobong’s eviction, Angela has a hard time joining her fellow housemates in their early morning yoga session, and it’s fun watching her struggle to stay coordinated throughout the ordeal. The housemates are given a task by Big Brother, with a selection of housemates having to face their fears in a life size gingerbread house. Some a rational, some irrational, as Angela faces a dog, Daniel faces birds, and Sarah faces… knees? Other housemates selected include Danni, Garth, Sophie and Casey. If all of these housemates can survive an encounter with their fears without pushing a panic button, the house will win a chocolate fountain, sweets, fruit and champagne. As everyone succeeds, the house celebrates another group achievement in the house.
Talia and her clique of friends talk strategy and hope to be together at the end of the game. This makes Angela uncomfortable with the divide between that group and the outsiders, so begins to target Talia, discussing it with Marissa. This spreads with several other housemates, and soon a plan for voting Talia out emerges. On the other side, Dan and Talia target Kieran for his longstanding strategic nature and distance since the beginning of the game, but Kieran overhears this and hopes to stop their plan from coming true.
At the Nominations Challenge, the housemates must climb on “over-sized windchimes” suspended from the ceiling and stand on tiny footholds. These footholds become smaller and smaller as they must manoeuvre when told to by Big Brother. The last housemate standing wins the challenge and can nominate three people for eviction. After an intense battle that goes down for more than two hours, Angela outlasts Sophie to win her first challenge of the season.
Angela immediately nominates the king and queen of the house, Daniel and Talia, with Casey as a third option. Daniel and Talia’s group immediately call a meeting in the backyard and decide to evenly spread their votes between the nominees to not show favour to another. While the majority of the house seems on board to take out challenge beast Talia, Marissa and Shane discuss voting Dan out and keeping Talia in the game.
At the eviction, a furious Talia and powerful Angela argue about the nominations with Talia threatening Angela and her future in the game if Talia stays. But in the end, the house evicts Talia in a 11-4-1 vote, cutting her very dominant game very, very short.
In the morning, Big Brother informs Ian that his pet spider Patricia had passed away overnight. Meanwhile, Angela is still celebrating that she evicted queen Talia, and is making her power trip feel known. Surviving the eviction, Daniel talks with Angela to clear the air over the house divide that began with him and Talia on Day 1.
For the episode’s task, Adelaide’s worst driver Kieran must perform a three-point turn using a supplied motorised buggy in the backyard within a reasonable time limit and with minimal damage to win pizza for the house. Although Kieran completes the task with a few seconds remaining, he leaves a large hole on the side wall. Because of this, Big Brother decides the house can have their pizza, making the task a success, but Kieran must go without.
Later in the afternoon, Angela, Zoe and Marissa decide to give Mat, Dan and Danni makeovers, much to their delight. It’s not all fun an games however, as Kieran is coming back with a strategic edge and decides to target Danni by starting a rumour about her not trusting Garth. Garth spread this to several other housemates, and he now targets Danni, along with many other housemates, proving Kieran’s strategic plan is working.
The Nominations Challenge asks the housemates to each plug their draining cylinder with their fingers so that the water isn’t lost onto the ground. The last housemate with water in their cylinder wins. In this challenge, housemates can move away from their cylinders, but it increases the risk of losing the challenge. Big Brother is also periodically offering temptations to the housemates in the diary room, such as a visit from a beloved pet or gaining a second vote at the eviction. Garth wins the second vote, while Angela wins her second straight challenge by beating Xavier after seven hours competing.
Angela nominates Danni, Zoe and Garth for eviction. Garth feels a bit betrayed by Angela, although his previous nomination of her is something to keep note of. Danni, who the house is collectively targeting, thinks she could be viewed as a threat, especially as Kieran rallies the votes against her.
At the eviction, Garth reveals he holds a second vote to his housemates, and this makes Danni quite nervous about her chances of staying in the game. The house discusses the situation between the nominees and the rumours which started by Kieran. In the end, the house evicts Danni in an 11-3-2 vote. After her eviction, Garth realises Kieran had lied to him, and begins to question his loyalty.
After Danni’s eviction, Big Brother gives Ian a gift of some fish to help him cope with losing Patricia, his spider, earlier in the week. Kieran apologises to several housemates for lying to Garth the day before and starting strategic rumours for his benefit. Meanwhile, the house is growing frustrated by the low levels of food in the kitchen.
For the shopping task, a large ramp apparatus is unveiled in the backyard. Over 24 hours, a ball may be released on to the ramp, at which point an alarm will sound and a housemate’s name shown on the living room screen. The indicated housemate must immediately stop what they are doing, run to the backyard and catch the ball from the end of the ramp. Each successful catch earns $10 towards the shopping budget.
Garth, Shane, Xavier and Ian discuss how Kieran is playing the game, but agree that it’s probably better to keep him around to help remove a larger threat, given Kieran is expendable and easy to evict at any point during the season. As the shopping task ends, the housemates learn they have earned $190 for the shopping budget. Garth and Zoe tell Big Brother what they are ordering, but Zoe decides not to order black tea for Angela, who is unhappy with her decision.
For the Nominations Challenge, housemates must wrap 100 metres of rope on to their own body as if it were a spool, then wrap it back on to a matching spindle on the other side of the room. The first housemate to complete the task and return to the original spool wins. Ian proves he’s got some skill and wins the challenge, nominating Marissa, Chad and Angela for eviction.
Kieran, Daniel and Xavier express happiness with Ian’s nominations, seeing Angela as a threat who needs to go sooner rather than later. Angela fears a boys’ club has formed, and is prepared to go against it. At the eviction, Angela tells the house they should start nominating for reasons other than strategy, as Daniel asserts he has no game plan going forward. Despite two episodes of power, the house votes to evict Angela in an 8-4-2 vote. But in a Big Brother twist, he tells Angela that she wasn’t evicted, but will move to a secret room called Big Brother’s Bunker, where she can enact her revenge while sipping her black tea.
In an Angela double, Talia and Danni were shown the door this week before Angela followed behind them. It was a shame to see such a dominant player in Talia go, she was very interesting to watch and at least was a big threat that could change the course of the game quite dramatically in the small time she had in the house. But she got so powerful it was clearly going to cause her demise eventually. She isolated herself from others (along with her majority group), and when you’ve got two challenge wins and look like the spearhead of an alliance, you’ll be targeted first. She failed to play the under the radar game that’s required when you first walk in. It was only a matter of time before her strategic and physical ability was going to be targeted, but couple it with her semi-poor social game, I think the writing was on the wall for her eviction this week. I do think her presence and added dynamic to the house will be missed for the good of the show and competition, even if Australia rejoices with her early goodbye. For Danni, while I feel like we didn’t get to know her as well as we could have, she kept it real. That was clearly what her strategy was, to come across as genuine and ‘tell-it-to-your-face’. This is probably why Kieran was able to pounce on his lie about her, because she offered up the formula to make it seem believable, which is evident when Garth and others were so quick to believe what Kieran was saying and target Danni because of it. I don’t think Danni necessarily did anything wrong, but she likely didn’t do anything right either. Coming in as a latecomer already put her on the outs compared to some others, but with Garth’s extra vote and footing with the other housemates, I don’t think Danni really had much of a chance to stay. I did enjoy watching her however, and had she of stayed, I think we’d see her personality and strategic game flesh out a lot more, so I’m going to take this eviction as a real missed opportunity. The real queen Angela enjoyed two episodes of power and true grit, but her already large and in charge personality was enough to make this a huge reason to take her out at the first chance possible. When Angela wasn’t in power, she was likeable, but the house quickly worked out her game and rightfully gunned for her because of it. I think Angela is one to not change her personality for a game, so it’s no use saying she should have laid low or acted differently, she did what she had to. But she wasn’t afraid to take out big threats, which in turn, made her a big threat. What’s great news is that her game isn’t over, as it’s widely speculated her stay in the bunker is temporary and she will return to the house and the game. I totally love that Angela isn’t done, but the purist in me is questioning why she’s selected to stay. It’s clear Angela is great TV and this all makes sense from a production stand point, but she gets an opportunity or second chance that none of the other evictees have had. That’s disappointing. Understandable, but disappointing. But we’ll talk more about this soon.
THOSE THAT SURVIVED
With a lot of housemates still in the game, let’s talk about the ones we actually saw this week. Dan‘s got a lot to recover from but I think losing Talia ultimately is his greatest achievement in the game. He no longer is seen in a power couple, and his threat has diminished a lot. I can see him making a long run to the end and even making it to the finale. The target has faded, and if it does indeed return, I think Dan’s got the ability to turn it around when he has to. I’m beginning to enjoy him again. What is scary about couples is the new one formed between Sophie and Chad. They’ve got a showmance, they’re getting closer, people are going to use that against both of them down the road. I love both housemates, they’re great to watch and I actually think their handling of the game is pretty great in terms of the social bonds they’ve been able to form. But this showmance will BITE, and if it doesn’t the others are dumb. You can’t have a known duo in the house for too long because it’s one person that stands in your way of being at the end. If Chad and Sophie lose sight of that end goal and stick together both romantically and strategically, then I think we’ll see a downfall for one of them in the coming weeks. So good luck to them! I hope it works out, because I do enjoy watching them. Someone I’m not so fond of is Kieran. His strategic game is a MESS! A huge mess! He’s just gotten over being the house target and surviving two straight evictions, but then he starts swirling fake rumours to target Danni, then getting scared she’ll figure it out so wanting her gone, then taking it all back and apologising to everyone for it. THAT’S MESSY! Kieran ain’t gonna win. He has failed to play a strategic game, and because of this, his social game has lacked and fallen on its face. The ONLY thing that works for Kieran is that he’s so outside of the game and the housemates, he’s good to be kept around. He can be a constant pawn, he’s not a threat to win, he’s a goat. He’d be easy to beat in many aspects of the game, including the final vote. We already saw it when the boys were discussing keeping him around in favour of some other threats. That’s because Kieran is expendable and go whenever it suits. He’s fallen victim to his own game, and I’ll be floored if he manages to take it out.
Some other personalities have fleshed out after Week 2, we’ve seen Garth still really infiltrate the game well with his social and strategic ability, even if his nomination was cause to be concerned about his future. I think he’s got great bonds though, so that’s a good sign. He will be targeted soon though, they’ll figure it out. Ian made a huge name for himself when he eliminated Angela and took a chunk of power this week, but I don’t think he’ll quite be targeted as others would for doing the same thing. Ian’s acted as a service to the house for collectively evicting the biggest threat, so he probably won’t be seen as one because he acted for them. This is not to say he won’t go down later, but for now, I think Ian will be okay. His biggest problem is that he’s so likeable it’ll be scary to go up against him in the final three. So they better think about taking him out soon before it’s his 250k to take. I still like Marissa‘s more abrasive personality, I don’t think she’ll last too long but I think when she finally does go, her impact will send shock waves and be a talking point for a while. She’s got good fight, and that’s great to watch. She’s got a strategic side that will really make it difficult for anyone trying to evict her. It’s going to be a tough ask. I also appreciate seeing some of Shane‘s and Xavier‘s more strategic approach. I think they’re really analysing the game well while maintaining good social bonds with everyone. They’re boys to watch, that’s for sure. I’m not a huge fan of Zoe, I’m not really fussed about her tea move, it doesn’t phase me. I just don’t think she’s all that exciting and is merely just a filler housemate for now. I don’t think we’ll see much of a strategic side come out, and I wouldn’t care for it too much anyway. Other housemates I’m enjoying are Hannah and Casey, while I’m still yet to see much excitement from Sarah and Mat. I need more of these housemates to really talk about if I want a genuine opinion on them, frankly.
EDITING AND FORMAT
The editing has tightened up this week, I think that’s a good sign for the show’s future. It’s not quite the best however. There is room for improvement and I’m beginning to think 20 housemates was where we went wrong. There’s too many faces to cover, and if any of these lesser known housemates make it to the final three, they’ll have a hard time drumming up support if we’ve seen a few minutes of them on screen. As we decrease the number of housemates, I’m betting this will improve. What is most difficult to this issue is forming an opinion on housemates and actually wanting to root for or against people. There’s some housemates I’m rooting against, we’ve got that done well, but there’s no one I’m in love with or really pulling me in. That’s unfortunate. And I think it’s not so much casting, it’s just uneven editing of these housemates. Sophie, Garth and Angela would probably me by favourites though. Another point on editing is that it’s not so obvious who will win the challenge and who is nominated/evicted as it used to be last week, so there’s a plus for the editing category.
The format, it works well. I do like that there’s always a challenge that keeps the housemates on their toes, although a variety of challenges would be appreciated over two and a half endurance ones. Where are the puzzles? Come on! The evictions tend to drag, although that’s probably editing again. I don’t like how Sonia reads the votes, the suspense is dragged out. I wish she would announce the vote breakdown and then who is evicted, maybe a screen with their name and their vote tally in the living room would be better so everyone knows who got how many, but the suspense is gone when you call who’s safe and then reveal their count. Five seconds isn’t much, but it’s a lot in TV land and I’m wondering why no one fixed that up. Angela’ eviction, here’s why I don’t like the Bunker. It’s pretty damn obvious it was done for Angela, and again, the purist in me has much disdain towards people getting a second chance for WHO they are, rather than game chance and it already being decided on beforehand. Take it like a non-elimination leg in The Amazing Race, it’s possible producers want to keep the bitchy couple in the race by dubbing it a non-elimination leg, but by having it pre-determined, or at least appearing pre-determined. It comes down to chance. Angela’s eviction was not chance. And I 100% doubt Chad and Marissa would have the same opportunity as Angela would. Good on Angela for being a great character so she’s able to stay in the game, but the ‘Reality TV’ format kind of loses itself when these decisions are made and they don’t at least appear like they had been decided beforehand. Random events that keep people safe are often occurring in competition shows, but this one felt off. So it’s something to consider.
All in all, this was a great week of Big Brother, I think it’s starting to hold it’s ground as the new format survives in the ratings and fans grow comfortable with how the new mechanics work. But there continues to be room for improvement, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’ll be nice watching the show grow higher in likeability, rather than it hitting the spot from the jump. We’ll see whether it actually lives out to that expectation. Here’s hoping the new twist allows it to.
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Big Brother Australia continues tonight (Sunday) at 7:00pm, and runs through on Monday and Tuesday at 7:30pm on Channel Seven!
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