An hour after the first episode of Big Brother kicks off, this is usually the point where we say that the game is on! But the game isn't really on, because CBS split the premiere into two episodes, introducing us to half the Season 16 household and leaving us hanging on a couple of major twists. So the game is almost on. But we're left to hold our breaths -- with no live feeds -- and wait until Thursday night to get the rest of the answers. In the words of GOB Bluth, "Come on!"
Honestly, don't get me wrong, I love a good cliffhanger, but with sixteen houseguests filling out the season, there's no reason to stretch out the introduction is there? I have no patience for this.
Putting aside that gripe, let's focus on what we did get tonight. The benefit of the premiere being split in half is that it allowed us to get to know the first eight houseguests a bit better than we might have if all sixteen had entered the house tonight. Since only half the house entered the actual house, we had more time to get to know Amber, Cody, Nicole, Frankie, Paola, Devin, Donny, Joey. I wish this season had a Danny, a Jordon and a Jon, so we could have a New Kids on the Block alliance.
First impressions: Amber is beautiful, Cody is good looking and probably knows it, Nicole is adorable and could go far, Frankie is going to steal the show for as long as he lasts, Paola is here for a good time, Devin's a nice guy, Donny has a beard, might end up having the best diary room segments and he probably can't keep a secret, and Joey has blue hair.
Frankie had all of the guys (minus Donny) doing sit-ups almost right away. He has not, however, revealed that his sister is Ariana Grande. He seemed worried that Paola might recognize him, being from New York and a DJ, but if Paola noticed anything about Frankie, it wasn't revealed. Then again, she might have been too distracted by Cody, whom she made a point to get to know, because she's "like so honest and like straight up," asking him all these "crazy questions" about the type of girl he likes. Sorry, Paola seems nice and all, but watching two people try to gauge each others' interest is completely awkward.
Realizing that they're not the only contestants, the newly moved-in houseguests quickly formed an alliance called the Crazy Eights. Clever. Then everyone split up. Donny and Devin pulled each other aside and decided to form their own alliance called the Double-D's, because their names begin with D. Donny trusts Devin 100% and Devin is certain there's wisdom behind Donny's beard. I'm picturing the two of them sitting side-by-side in the finale, and I'm not even sure if my brain is being sarcastic or not.
Meanwhile, the girls broke off and formed "El Cuatro," because there are four of them.
Crazy Eights, Double D's and El Cuatro. Well, they're better than the Quack Pack, as far as alliance names go.
Considering they know there are more houseguests coming, it's not the worst strategy in the world to say "Hey, no matter who comes in here, we stick together." And I don't hate that the girls locked arms either. Too many seasons have seen the girls turning on one another too soon. The problem with these alliances is that the twist may throw them out the window, especially if the house is divided by the game from the start. More on that in a minute.
Big Brother rolled out the old competition log for a log-roll endurance comp to determine the first Head of Household. This time around there was a beach theme, as the houseguests were made to walk on a big log while holding onto ropes. Given that they were told the Head of Household might not be safe, and they knew other people were coming into the house, I'm not sure anyone's heart was really in the competition. At least, not as much as it might have been if they felt like they knew what was happening. This honestly may be Big Brother's weirdest start ever for that reason, and it's probably only going to get weirder when eight more people come into the house.
Frankie Grande won the first Head of Household after Amber awkwardly threw it, deciding to avoid that hot seat. That was a good game move, I think, considering they don't know the full situation with this season's Head of Household. The only real reason anyone wants to get the first HoH is to secure themselves safety for the week. If that's not guaranteed, best to avoid that target-inducing spotlight until there's more time to get to know everyone. Of course, after winning HoH, Frankie freaked out over all of the unknown aspects of this situation, and smartly begged for his fellow houseguests' support throughout whatever was ahead.
Julie announced to the house that Frankie will get to nominate two people for eviction, but first eight other houseguests will come into the house, and one person from that group will also become Head of Household. There will be two HoH's, but by the end of the week, only one Head of Household will be left standing. Julie didn't say how that situation is going to work, but we might assume that the Battle of the Block competition factors into that somehow. And then maybe -- this is just speculation here -- the winning HoH's nominations stick and the losing HoH joins them on the block? We don't know. Maybe we'll find out tomorrow. Or maybe the real twist is that Big Brother will never tell us. Kidding...?
In the meantime, the Team America twist was kind of explained. Fans have already been asked to vote for who they want to be in an alliance with. The houseguest with the most votes, and two more houseguests -- yet to be voted for by America -- will form a secret three-person alliance that America will control somehow. This sounds a little too close to America's Player for my liking, but the three-person twist does make it a bit interesting, especially if it turns out these three houseguests don't get along or weren't originally trying to work together.
The other speculation still up in the air is the possibility of two "teams" within the house. The fact that eight houseguests were brought into the house earlier than the rest makes me think Big Brother will be grouping the house into two teams, at least for a little while. And maybe Frankie will only be able to nominate two houseguests from the other team, and the other team's HoH will only be able to nominate two people from the Crazy Eights. That might make for some interesting grouping within the house, but I'd almost rather see what happens with this two HoH twist without forcing the house to divide. We'll have to wait and see how the second hour goes.