Big Brother recap: The Blind Side

A double eviction leads to a shocking turn of events for one houseguest, while Helen proves once and for all that she runs the house
Ep. 19 | Aired Aug 8, 2013

CANDYLAND EXEUNT Candice could not make a deal to save her life, and so she is gone. Conversely, GinaMarie has been in the house for half a season, and arguably had one brain cell before she learned how to sneeze. This is a strange game.


Aaryn won the veto challenge very quickly. Perhaps too quickly. Conspiracy theorists will note that, before the video cut out, we heard Andy say, "One of mine didn't fit." This is pure fodder for the people who think that Big Brother games run on the carnie system, an allegation that has always seemed unlikely to me. (If the diabolical Swiss psychotherapists who run Big Brother wanted to rig the game, they'd just hypnotize the contestants and/or use mind control gas.) But Aaryn's course seemed pretty clear: Get Jessie out of the house. The one wrinkle was Helen, who was close-talking Aaryn. She told her: "I think you're amazing. Dude. You're amazing." Jessie, meanwhile, was hugging everyone goodbye.

The Part That Makes No Sense

Aaryn stood up and announced that she was using the veto, and announced that she was using the veto on Jessie, and announced that she was going to put someone up in Jessie's place. "Everybody in this house, minus two people, have told me this is what they want," he said, while making serious accusations that this person had been gunning for her.

And then she nominated Judd.

This was shocking for all kinds of reasons, not least because nominating Judd at this particular juncture is kind of like inventing a time machine so you can travel back in time and kill a teddy bear. Like, for context, I think there are two powerful players in the game who are very vocal (Aaryn and Amanda), and two powerful players in the game who are less vocal and almost certainly more powerful (Helen and McCrae), and the single most exciting and least expected move in the last month of gameplay was the apparently housewide movement to take down the guy with the bear shirt.

Judd made some vague aspersions about how what people had been saying about him were untrue. He looked people in the face and asked them to change their mind. He seemed to know exactly why people were voting him out, but he also seemed incredibly confused; I don't think there's any way Judd thought he was getting backdoored tonight. The votes were all bizarre. Andy, on the verge of tears, said he was voting for Judd very reluctantly; Elissa gave one of her long mini-speeches; Helen, weirdly, yelled Judd's name, like she was surprising an infant with a birthday present nobody would ever want. It was all unanimous; yeesh, Jessie voted Judd out.

Judd said he didn't want Elissa's hug, and someone else's; Elissa, on the verge of tears, lamely told him that she had nothing to do with this. Judd told Julie that he was more confused than anyone. I've seen some chatter that the other houseguests all thought Judd was the MVP, a theory espoused frequently by the paranoid Amanda. If that's why they kicked him out, then the remaining houseguests are even crazier than we thought: They somehow decided that Judd, a totally amiable fellow, was a master player who was lying to everyone all of the time.

My personal read on this is that it was all, somehow, Helen's big plan. Afterwards, we saw her talking to Aaryn, and she painted this like the biggest move in Big Brother history. "You are Janelle," she said -- referencing the great Big Brother player of yore. "That was so humongous. It was for your game." Later, she told Aaryn: "Love you." And Aaryn responded: "Love you, dude."

What just happened, I think, is that Helen managed to make Aaryn look like the bad guy in this situation, while simultaneously bringing Aaryn even closer to her. I'm working under the theory that Helen's main plan at this point is to wind up in the Top Three with Amanda and Aaryn, two players who have done their best to anger everyone except for their immediate BFF. If this plan actually works, then Helen will go down in Big Brother history: It's essentially a masterful full-season Meatshield plot to create two puppet villains who are smart enough to eradicate everyone except for the person pulling their strings. (Important note: This is basically the same role that Elissa served for Helen earlier in the season, before she faded into the background. Heck, at this point, Elissa's whole role in the game is to give Helen a guaranteed second vote.)

Truthfully, right at this moment, I have almost no idea. Up is down and left is right and Judd is gone. And apparently there was an alliance called the Goof Troop. Fellow viewers, what did you think of the madness? Were you shocked when Aaryn put Judd up? Sad to see Candice go? How will the house work moving forward, with pretty much everyone besides Jessie currently enmeshed in an elaborate mega-alliance? And do you think one of the jury members will rejoin the game?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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