Big Brother U.S. All-Stars – “At The Big Kids’ Table Now”

After the first All-Star eviction of one Big Brother 10 alum, another rose to the top this week as tension boiled between the connected houseguests and the outsiders.

A lot is expected when you throw 16 All-Star houseguests into a house, but what comes out might not just be what every fan dreams of. Instead, fear mongering and scare tactics were the weapon of choice for our most aligned houseguests of the season, while it was a triple repeat for the two Big Brother 6 veterans, who once again found themselves sitting at the end of everyone’s knives.

WEEK 2 RECAP

After Memphis claimed his first Head of Household win ever, the houseguests quickly learned that for the season, the previous Have-Nots of the week will select the new Have-Nots – who must enjoy cold showers, uncomfortable beds and the infamous and disgusting slop. Memphis joyfully selects David, much to the confusion of many other houseguests. Along with David; Nicole F, Christmas and Kaysar move in to the Have-Not status for the week.

As Memphis settles into his HOH room, he informs Cody the easiest options for nominations are the Big Brother 21 duo: Nicole A, and you guessed it – David. That’s not all Memphis wants however, as he also wants the majority of the house to use their Safety Suite pass and play for safety – including those in his core alliance. A much larger chunk of players play in the competition than last week, but still Memphis isn’t all too happy with who remained to compete next week. David, Kevin, Christmas, Cody, Da’Vonne, Bayleigh and Ian all play, with Christmas scoring the first win for the ladies of the season, as she chooses Ian to join her in safety for the week. The decision may seem questionable at first glance, but Christmas assures it as strategy because Ian had asked her to save him and it hides her allegiance with her main alliance.

Christmas competes in and eventually wins the Safety Suite competition, granting her and a ‘+1’ of her choice (Ian) immunity for the week.
IMAGE: CBS

With the two safe, and David and Nicole A still vulnerable, Memphis doesn’t hesitate from putting them on the block, making David and Nicole A the official nominations for Week 2. He makes it known why he chooses the former though, becoming as condescending and arrogant as Memphis can get, telling David he’s, “at the big kids’ table now”. The duo is certainly upset with the nominations, but have hopes the POV competition will offer some lifeline to their game.

Much of the house is disappointed with Memphis’ comments during the Nominations ceremony, but as the HOH, no one outright says anything to Memphis. Janelle tells her ally Nicole A that she will work to ensure she stays in the house, but as the week would continue, we’d find out Nicole A doesn’t really believe all of it anyway, unfortunately, as Janelle is telling the truth. As the house grows weary of Janelle’s intentions, Cody and the rest of Memphis’ core alliance pitch backdooring the four-time player if the Power of Veto is used to save either David or Nicole. Memphis doesn’t buy any of it however, and puts it down to throwing out ideas, even if his entire alliance believes otherwise.

As a feed watcher however, it’s funny to say Memphis is right and Janelle merely plays the game openly. The others suffer from what fans have dubbed, ‘Janelleousy’ (Janelle/jealousy), and clearly are building their own story for Janelle’s game with little truth to it. As the entire house discusses Janelle, they fuel their wild stories even wilder, burying Janelle’s game for… basically doing nothing. Nevertheless, I digress.

At the POV competition, Memphis, David, and Nicole A are joined by randomly chosen houseguests Nicole F, Tyler and Ian. The competition itself, it’s pretty uneventful, as focus and strength are the clear qualities needed to win it – knocking out Nicole F, Nicole A and Ian pretty early. In the end, Memphis cruises to victory, completely taking control of the week with both the HOH and POV power in hand.

There’s some circulating tremors of a backdoor on Janelle and Kaysar, mostly fuelled by the alliance of Dani, Cody, Nicole F, Christmas and Tyler. There’s even an idea to backdoor Nicole F, but it’s all fluff as Memphis declines to use the veto, keeps his nominations intact, and either David or Nicole A will be the second houseguest evicted from the season.

The nominees are locked, with David or Nicole A will be evicted from the house in Week 2.
IMAGE: CBS

They both quickly lose sight of who is and isn’t on their side, as both of them assume those who ARE working with them are actively working against them. Especially Nicole. The entire house (and Kevin, foolishly) has made Nicole believe Kaysar and Janelle are the enemy, even when she knows they are campaigning to keep her in the game. This leads to some intense exchanges between Nicole and the Big Brother 6 duo.

Eventually, after several days of just Nicole threatening to hold a house meeting but never doing so, and only just realising Janelle and Kaysar were always on their side after all, we get to the eviction. With Nicole asking the house to make some moves and criticising Memphis for nominating her and David. Her parting words are just that, as Nicole A is evicted in a 10-2 vote.

After exiting the house, Julie questions Nicole’s lack of trust with Janelle who attempted to save her, with Nicole regretfully admitting she made a mistake. She cries after watching her goodbye messages and some more wake up calls from Julie, feeling terrible for letting others cloud her judgement and not trusting her allies. It’s a little heart breaking, and I mostly blame the others in the house for allowing Nicole to get so worked up over pure fabrications. But it’s the game, and Nicole should have known something was up when her ‘enemies’ were working to save her.

We move on to the next Head of Household competition where each houseguest competes one by one to push three mugs down a lane to score as many points as possible. Cody sets the bar with a measly 4, who is quickly overtaken by Enzo with 8. Ian beats this with a 10, before Tyler comes in with 12. Janelle narrowly misses clinching victory when she only scores an 11, making Tyler the third HOH of the season. It’s safe to say Janelle and Kaysar are in deep trouble.

REVIEW

This was certainly an interesting week, a lot less fun than last. Watching nearly the entire house come up with one big lie and perception of Janelle and Kaysar was just ugly from the start. The two are threatening, yes, and I respect the other houseguests for targeting them based on this threat (because they are great players). But the literal b*llshit that comes out of some mouths like Nicole Franzel’s is just chaotic and confusing. Absolute nonsense from a lot of players who can’t just seem to let Janelle and Kaysar drift from their minds. They are talked about 24/7, and it’s just not fun, quite honestly. Add all of this with a truly misguided Nicole A, arrogant Memphis and rookie mistakes in trust, this just wasn’t a great week for Big Brother.

I enjoyed the Safety Suite competition, so props to production there. The Power of Veto on the other hand, it certainly seemed lopsided as to the type of physical archetype needed to win. The bigger guys outlasted the girls and Ian (an obviously less physically inclined male). That’s not good. Shouldn’t we try and keep some stuff fair? Anywho. It is what it is. They fell back into my good graces with an entertaining HOH competition. It was fun to watch, especially with the two houseguests fans are rooting for the most playing last. A nice touch. I wonder if the order truly was ‘random’ after all.

Let’s talk about Memphis. What’s his deal? I think he’s got a bigger ego than he deserves, dude’s only just won his first HOH ever, lost in a unanimous vote in the Big Brother 10 finale, and he’s telling David he’s at the big kids table? Come on now. Yeah, we get that David is the least All-Star of them all, but we all know that’s just a tagline thrown in by CBS and the production team. There shouldn’t be any validity to the season subtitle. If there was, most of the house wouldn’t qualify as an All-Star – Memphis included. I just think Memphis’ clear arrogance does him no favours for the most part. I liked him when we started, but he just comes across as quite rude and entitled. I don’t know why. It’s not fun to watch.

Again, this is now the THIRD season I’ve had to endure Kaysar and Janelle fighting from the bottom. This is probably the worse it’s been however. I truly don’t know why the two are so distanced from the rest. There’s the talk of pre-game alliances being set up, and these two being on the outer of those. That’s likely a big factor. But there’s such a big group going after them, are they really that threatening? Nicole F, Tyler Dani, Cody, Enzo – these guys are the ones with several connections. They’re your real threats. Everyone’s playing in a mob mentality and I’ll be shocked if either Kaysar or Janelle make it out of this week alive. Every single person is coming after them (except Memphis) and even those who aren’t as inclined to take them out (like Da’Vonne, Ian and Bayleigh) will do so just to appease the group. All-Stars? Please. I’m hoping for a miracle to pull these guys out alive. Maybe one can win veto and Memphis is backdoored instead. Tyler might have some swing with Janelle and Kaysar, although very little. But if you’re a betting person, I’d be throwing cash at a Janelle or Kaysar eviction this week.

Suffering from ‘Janellousy’? Seek medical advice as soon as possible because Janelle is just about the only thing making this season entertaining right now.
IMAGE: CBS

I felt pretty bad for David this week, the guy hasn’t had much of a chance in this entire game, and the way he was thrown onto the block by Memphis just wasn’t fun for anyone. I’m glad he stayed, personally, but on a game level, I don’t think David gets it. He’s saying the wrong things to the wrong people and I don’t think he quite gathers what’s going on. It’s a guy who didn’t play at all the first time, and wasn’t even a fan to have some intuition. I just think he’s misplaced. Compare this to Nicole A, who I didn’t really like personally for the fact she so blindly believed everyone and fought against Janelle and Kaysar, but strategically, her staying would have helped our Big Brother 6 saviours. Between the two, I didn’t really care what happened. No matter what, there were pros and cons for both. But with David still in, it’ll be interesting to see where he goes moving forward and if it’s down the path with Tyler or Da’Vonne, who seem like his closest allies.

I wish I could stop talking about Janelle and Kaysar but I can’t, simply because the entire house is completely ‘Janelleous’ and won’t shut up about her/them. It’s disappointing for me because I love a lot of these players but they’re making it hard to continue to do so. Kevin is so misguided, it’s absolutely horrible and he fails to see the majority alliance in front of him. I liked him, but I don’t appreciate his gameplay at all. He has little evidence for such provocative gameplay against Janelle/Kaysar – it drove Nicole A out the door! Da’Vonne is so oddly hesitant to trust the pair, when they’ve shown nothing but trust back. I’m not sure what her game plan is. Dani acts on Nicole F’s obsession with Janelle, and it’s rubbing off in a bad way because she was otherwise tight with Janelle going into the game. Dani is probably in one of the best positions of the game, but right now, she’s costing some valuable information and game awareness by jumping in on the scare tactics against Janelle/Kaysar.

Christmas just runs and leaks everything to everyone, once again needing someone else to make decisions for her, thinking the mole game is actually one we like to watch. Next to David, I don’t know why Christmas was brought back. She hasn’t got a backbone in her gameplay. And I’m even more distantly disappointed with people like Cody, Enzo, Tyler, and Ian, who all express a lack of trust in the two with little evidence as to why. Even Ian, who is pretty solid with Janelle and Kaysar. Yet he doubles back for the person at the root of it all – Nicole F, who has pre-existing drama with Janelle from their time on The Amazing Race. The girl lies constantly and plays the victim card. And I don’t stand for it. The only person who actually shows some interest in working with the duo is Bayleigh. So thank goodness for her.

Da’Vonne and Bayleigh were caught in the middle for much of the week, vocal voices in deciding who would be sent home.
IMAGE: CBS

All in all, I appreciate the houseguests recognising big threats and going after them. Even if the major fan base and I love Janelle and Kaysar, we can’t escape the reality that the two are an extremely great BB duo. What sucks is the disdain towards them is all one sided and made up from nothing. They’re getting into each other’s heads, and there’s simply no reason to. As veterans, you’d expect better awareness of the situation. If Janelle and Kaysar do go home soon, then what will be telling is the breakup of the several remaining alliances, and who turns on who first.

I’ll see you guys soon for the end of Week 3, let’s manifest Janelle and Kaysar somehow surviving.

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