Big Brother recap: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Ian

A new twist has the coaches competing as well, plus the first backstab of the season
Ep. 02 | Aired Jul 15, 2012

A DAY AT THE DERBY Except the racetrack is tarp covered and the horses are stuffed. 

Cliff Lipson/CBS

It's already becoming clear: This will be no regular season of Big Brother. There were even more twists up Julie Chen’s sleeve last night for the 14th round in the house. In addition to the news on Thursday’s episode that there would be four returning players coming back as judges (Britney, Mike Boogie, Dan and Janelle), last night’s alliance-heavy episode definitely showed that some of these contestants are avid Big Brother fans and have long-term strategies -- and also that some of these players may claim to know Big Brother, but still haven’t gotten the ‘98 microphones and 53 cameras’ bit drilled into their heads. I’m looking at you, Ian.

Oh, Ian. The dorky engineering student regularly told the camera that he’s a huge Big Brother watcher, but he seemed to forget (or is way smarter than I am, and is laying the groundwork of a brilliant strategy of being completely underestimated) that the Head of House – this week, Willie – has a screen showing a live-feed of every room in the house. Which meant when Ian decided to go exploring in his underwear, or when he went shirtless under a table, Willie and others saw all that. To quote Britney, “He definitely gives me the creeps. I’m worried I’m going to wake up with him hovering over me.”  Danielle was struggling to find a time to take a shower when Ian wouldn’t be “exploring” the bathroom. Throughout the week, contestants remarked how much of an oddball Ian was, so it’s a good thing he was saved from elimination.

Hold up. Saved from elimination? Is that POSSIBLE now? Yes, indeed. In addition to having the four coaches this season, Chen informed everyone of another Big Brother change. Each week, the coaches will compete in an event. The winner of the coaches’ challenge gets to save one member of his or her team from elimination. The coaches will then also each pick one member of their team to be the Have Nots for the week.

The inaugural coaches event last night was a derby. Which basically meant all the contestants wore fancy hats while the coaches sloshed around in fake muddy water on a tarp track. Each coach donned a stuffed horse costume around their waist, and the object was to catch up to the other player and pull their tail off. First up was Mike Boogie vs. Britney. Britney shared that she had “the strength of a six-month-old,” so it was no surprise when Mike won. Next up was Dan vs. Janelle. Dan clearly knew what he was doing: He explained to the camera he would have to throw this match, because if he got immunity for one of his players, and since one of his players had already been sent home, there would be a huge X over the remaining member of Team Dan. Smart guy.

Throwing the game worked, and it didn’t appear anyone was wiser for it. The final round of derby fun was Mike vs. Janelle, and Mike was the victor. He had picked up on Ian’s weirdo status, and decided to give him immunity. Another smart choice, as Ian was likely headed for the chopping block otherwise.

NEXT: Willie the Backstabber, plus return of Big Brother Slop

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