The fallout from Brittany's bombshell

Episode 51 (Thursday, Sept. 7): Jamie suspects! Plus: Another plane buzzes overhead.

By Jeff Stark - Bill Wyman - Carina Chocano
September 8, 2000 11:00PM (UTC)
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We dont know what to think about Brittany's bombshell. Last night, she got to talk to Josh for two minutes in the Red Room. She blurted out that he couldnt trust Cassandra, Jamie or George, and that George's town was targeting people for banishment.

We kind of liked it, 'cause it carried with it the prospect of introducing a little tension into the Bland Household.


On the other hand, we have to point out that Brittany was being, as usual, nuts. Jamie's a little two-faced, sure, but Brittany's animosity toward Cassandra is oddly hostile.

As for George, she's almost certainly overstating the influence of the great Rockford phone-in caper.

A recent story in the Rockford Register Star pretty convincingly sets the record straight. Turns out the whole process generated only a few hundred phone calls at most -- and that Brittany got about 40,000 negative votes total, compared to half that for George.


In other words, the Minneapolis Moptop's being self-absorbed, melodramatic and unfair.

But hey -- we knew that already!

Curtis and Cassadra sit in the backyard and discuss the nominations and CBS's unsuccessful $50,000 lure from the night before.

They wonder what it will be like when they get out.


"It's gotta be overwhelming," Curtis says.

"I'm gonna have to dig really deep," Cassandra says, "and find whatever reserves I have to cope with whatever, you know, if people hate me or if they love me too much --"

Uh, Cassandra, there's actually a third possibility.


"-- or if, like, nobody cares. That could be a whole 'nother thing to deal with."

That was the one we were thinking of.

The pair go on to talk some more about being on TV. We wish they wouldn't talk about that so much. It makes us want to break stuff, sometimes.


Another plane flies overhead. CBS has censored all news of the first one, which told the residents not to trust Big Brother.

We guess it says something about the state of our society that some people need to be warned not to trust an institution called Big Brother.

Anyway, this one targets poor George again. It says something like, "George backstabbing U in R[ed] R[oom]."


"I haven't done anything!" he squeaks. (He hasn't, that we've noticed. Maybe Brittany's behind it.)

He stomps around the backyard, mad enough to utter a Rockfordian epithet: "This really yanks my crank," he says.

He tries to write a message out of sheets on the back lawn. But the stupid pug ruins it.

He rebuilds it. It's unclear what message he's trying to convey. It might be "PAH."


"F-U is easier, bro," Eddie says helpfully.

There is next a montage of the group trying to train the pug for a challenge. We henceforth refuse to chronicle anything having to do with that ugly animal.

The boys repair to the bedroom to talk about their having all turned down CBS's $50,000 bribe to get out. It turns into a joke, about how dumb they were to turn it down.

But the real joke is that it's not a joke. They were dumb to turn it down. We're not feeling sorry for whoever leaves empty-handed.


"It's all about the money," Eddie says. He reasons that everyone's staying there for the bigger bucks. But if it was about money, someone would have calculated the odds and taken the cash.

We think no one did because the residents have entered a weird zone of boredom and reduced reasoning capacity. They're dimly trying to unite against the outside, though there's no real reason to.

Like recalcitrant pugs, they sense that CBS wants something of them -- in this case, to get the hell out of the house and let someone more interesting in -- and aren't doing it ... just because.

Jamie, who is no one's fool, corners Josh as soon as she can to find out what he's hiding. He's not vouchsafing anything.


"You're being weird tonight," Jamie says. "You're not being yourself. Something weird happened to you in that Red Room!"

We wish that Josh had been occupied by a pod that would suck up the residents one by one. Or that that thing from "Alien" would burst out of his chest, chatter screechingly and then eat the pug.

"I'm bearing a little burden, that's all," Josh reassures her. "I know something no one else does and I feel bad about it, and I told Brittany from that moment on it's going in one ear and out the other and that's all I'm gonna [say]."

Jamie knows something's up. "I would have picked her so fast," she says, if she'd been in Brittany's place.

The group tried to make Brittany talk to Jamie but, as the studio audience burst into laughter, Brittany interrupted, saying, "Not Jamie!" and asking for Josh.

"It doesn't make any sense to me."

"It's not going to make sense," Josh says. "Don't think about it."

Jamie is implacable: "Well it's obviously something that's unsettling. Does it have something to do with me?"

Josh won't say.

"How come everyone laughed?" she presses. "Why was that?"

"That's 'cause she probably grabbed the mike," Josh says, with a jocularity that doesn't fool Jamie for a second. "She's crazy like that. She cracks me up."

Jamie just stares.

"It's just weird," she says.

Later, she and Curtis discuss the $50,000 and the various reasons the residents turned it down.

"I had considered that amount before and I was like, no," Curtis says.

He reflects, "I don't think I have a realistic chance of winning. Am I going to be kicking myself in the butt?"

We think there's a good chance of that.

Jamie starts talking about being on TV again. If they talk about the $50,000, she says, Big Brother is just going to use that footage to show their reactions. Then what will people think?

Here again, we're watching someone talking about being aware that we're watching them. We really wish they wouldn't do that.

Curtis just keeps talking. "You're the one I'm closest to in the house," he says, apropos of nothing.

Jamie gets the faraway look in her eyes beautiful women get when men tell them how close they are to them.

Josh is in the Red Room whining. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't have the weight of the world on my shoulders. She probably wanted me to tell the other houseguests, but I think it would be a bad thing for the group."

He seems to be most concerned about Brittany's charge that George's family is targeting residents. "It wouldn't be right to jump on the bandwagon and get George in a corner," he says.

For once, Josh is right, but we wish he weren't. We kinda wish he'd blurt it all out and let the house hamsters duke it out amongst themselves.

But that, as Richard Nixon said under slightly different circumstances, would be wrong.


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Jeff Stark

Jeff Stark is the associate editor of Salon Arts and Entertainment.

MORE FROM Jeff Stark

Bill Wyman

Bill Wyman is the former arts editor of Salon and National Public Radio.

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Carina Chocano

Carina Chocano writes about TV for Salon. She is the author of "Do You Love Me or Am I Just Paranoid?" (Villard).

MORE FROM Carina Chocano

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