(Bottom L-R) Russell, Michele, Casey, Natalie & Jesse.
For 99 percent of the population, high school was a painful three (or four)-year odyssey of social awkwardness, backstabbing, bad skin, and raging hormonal urges. Yet there was no cash prize waiting for the victor! Then again, high schools didn’t (usually) monitor your every movement and utterance with 52 cameras and 80 microphones.
But CBS’ Big Brother remedies all that with a clique-based season. So take out your pencil and notebook: Here’s a brief guide to the 12 contestants and the first episode.
Jeff: The aw-shucks Chicago Ad Salesman with soap opera good looks, and a hankering for a showmance. Hypnotized by Laura’s…. exponential growth.
Russell: The intense Mixed-Martial arts fighter who calls himself “The Love Muscle.” Took one look and said, “I don’t see anyone as a threat right now, and I cannot wait to put them all on their asses.”
Natalie: Who won a Tae Kwon Do bronze medal in the Junior Olympics, but then captured the gold in first-episode BB conniving. In the first sit-down with housemates, she not only lied about her age, but then was called out on it by Kevin.
Michelle: The Pasadena neuroscientist who effortlessly combines bubbly with bloodthirsty. Here’s hoping she can handle her housemates as well as she does cocaine-addled lab rats.
Chima: The freelance reporter said it all when she said, “I don’t mind being on the Brains, I just feel like I should have better team members.”
Ronnie: Our vote for Most Likely to Suffer an Excitement-Induced Aneurysm. Says, “I’m definitely the smartest person in the house.” Has a note from his mother to prove it.
Braden: During introductions, the beach boy/model stated, “Surfing is better than sex. Mother Nature doesn’t talk back.” Should be pointed out that Mother Nature also cannot give you a fake phone number, file a restraining order against you, or regret you for the rest of your life.
Laura: The “Promotional” model declared, “Nine out of ten girls really hate me because the way I look.” Leaving every tenth girl, and four out of five dentists, truly hating her for her personality.
Jordan: The Southern gal whose family has the worst euphemism for coitus in the history of the English language. “Booger, means ’sex’, and I’m not going to do that!” Her mother’s parting words (think Polonius to Laertes), “No Booger!”
The Offbeat (a.k.a. The Oddballs):
Lydia: Lydia, oh Lydia, say have you met Lydia, Lydia the Tattooed special-effects make-up artist?
Kevin: Just ask him, he’ll tell you he’s fabulous. He’s also “Blackenese,” and echoed many of the viewers sentiments when he wailed, “I hated high school, I don’t want to go back there!”
Casey: Fifth-grade teacher by day, deejay by night, foot in his mouth all of the time. “My two people, God bless ‘em, is gay dude, and tattooed chick.” One can only imagine that God can bless them and then sort them out as well.
The Action: The first HOH competition was aptly named, “The Wedgie.” Julie Chen’s simple instructions that will ring throughout BB history: “Please step into your underwear and grab your toilet seat.” Hoisted up by an oversized pair of undies, the last person clinging to a toilet seat would win. That designation, and all the power that comes with it, would go to one of the “Mysterious Four,” a quartet of former cast members, each one representing one of the cliques. Waiting in the wings for the Offbeats was Michael “Cowboy” Ellis from BB 5; for the Popular, Jessica from BB 8, and rounding out the four were two housemates from season two. For the Brains, it was the quick-exiting Brian, and for the Athletes, back, “Bigger, and better than last year,” Jessie.
After a slew of ‘Power Wedgies, natural selection followed and the Athletes won, opening the door (again) to brash, brawny, and dare we say odious Jessie. With the bodybuilder taking charge as HOH, this may not just be high school revisited for the rest of the house, it may quickly become high school transported to Dante’s ninth circle of Hell. Game on!