Whenever I try to explain Big Brother to people who have never seen Big Brother, I don't talk about the alliances with the goofy nicknames or the contestants with more muscles than brain cells or the music that sounds like the soundtrack to an old-timey Looney Tunes cartoon. I talk about power. Because the show is really a portrait of power: How it changes people, how it destroys people, and how the people who actually know how to use it always use it very carefully. This week, McCrae -- the pizza delivery boy who looks like the bassist for a parody hair metal band -- holds all the power. If he played his cards close to the chest, he could have walked away from this week with a five-guy alliance and three separate one-on-one secret-loyalty comrades. Instead, he showed everyone at the table his pocket aces and then pretended he was playing roulette.
It's not McCrae's fault. Everyone is still adjusting to this season's MVP twist. Everyone figured that Elissa was going to be MVP, because of her sister. Elissa all-but-confirmed that. We saw her holding court in the HoH throne room. She said, quote: "I think my sister's fans are gonna vote for me. 'Cause she has awesome fans. My sister's a supermodel. Did you know I'm related to Gisele Bündchen?" I have no idea why she said any of that. Theories include:
She was trying to divert everyone's suspicion that she is Rachel's sister. If so, this plan failed immediately. Elissa looks exactly like Rachel -- seriously, the longer she's in the house, the more she actually seems to be transforming into Rachel. I keep expecting her to pull off her face, Mission: Impossible-style, and reveal that she actually is Rachel.
She was confirming everyone's suspicions in a joking manner. If so, the fact that she didn't just come right out and say "I'm Rachel's sister" only confused the issue further.
She was attempting to playfully divert everyone's suspicion but also confirm everyone's suspicions, without confirming or denying anything. She is crazy.
In any case, the collective reaction could be summed up by Jeremy: "Who is Gisele Buttchin?"
Elissa did win the first-ever BBMVP, because this is America and we're too lazy not to lend our support to recognizable names. (See: Bush, Clinton, the continued success of the Star Wars franchise over thirty years after the last good Star Wars movie.) It was an awesome power, having the first BBMVP. A smart move would've been to tell no one. A smarter move would've been to tell a couple trustworthy people and mobilize a stealth alliance. The smartest move would've been to tell everyone and prove you were trustworthy.
Instead, Elissa went upstairs and told McCrae. McCrae was smart about it. He guided her to the Moving Company's third target: Dudebro the Lifeguard, he of the movie-star hair and the inability to form multi-syllable mouthwords. Then everything went crazy. Elissa asked him: "You aren't going to put me up, are you?" McCrae responded, truthfully and hilariously: "If I have to." Essentially, McCrae was telling her: "Thanks for opening up to me. I hope you rot in hell, but only if that's what the house wants." Weirdly, it almost worked. Elissa wound up putting Dudebro on the block. She explained: "McCrae wanted me to put him up." Is McCrae practicing some kind of radical truth-telling strategy? Or is he just incredibly lucky?
NEXT: A word about Aaryn