Big Brother aired the second part of its two part Season 16 premiere tonight, introducing us to the other eight houseguests and finally explaining how this two-Head-of-Household situation is going to work.
Before we get to the newer newbies, let's break down the twists.
Battle of the Block
There will be two Heads of Household each week. Each HoH will nominate two houseguests for eviction. Those four nominees will then face off -- paired, presumably -- against each other. The winning duo are taken off the block and the Head of Household who nominated them is dethroned. The losing duo remain on the block and the HoH that nominated them holds their position, and their safety. We should assume the Veto will take place at some point after that, seeing as there was no mention of the Veto being taken out of the situation, plus why make such a fuss about the dethroned HoH not being safe if there's no Veto in play after Battle of the Block (BOTB) to put them in jeopardy. If one of the BOTB losers is saved by the Veto, the fallen HoH could be nominated in their place, going from HoH to potential eviction in the same week.
Will the Heads of Household try to work together?
What's really interesting about this is that it not only forces the Head of Household to be especially careful of who they nominate, but it also makes me wonder if HoH's will try to work together. Meaning, let's say they agree from the start that no matter who they nominate and no matter who wins, neither will put the other on the block if the Veto gets used. That would be an ideal situation. Of course, it doesn't take into account alliances, tension and everything else that makes Big Brother so hard to predict.
The other thing that's unclear is how the nominations are done. Do both Heads of Household have to sit together and make their picks? Does one get first say by default? What if their choices overlap? This could get complicated. And can either of the BOTB winners be nominated again if the Veto gets used? Or are they safe for the week?
Be careful who you nominate
There's also the strategy of intentionally nominating one or two weak players in the hopes that they will lose BOTB and at least one of them goes home. That may be too safe an approach for some, but for others, it's an option. Not only does it ensure that one of the HoH's noms goes home, but the HoH gets to hold their position. That is, assuming the "weak" duo actually loses. There are factors here, and I like that this throws a lot of overly used strategies into chaos or complete ineffectiveness for now. It makes back-dooring less of a sure thing, that's for sure.
Joey was America's first pick for this new Team America twist. I'm genuinely surprised -- almost disbelievingly so -- that it wasn't Frankie, considering his YouTube following and his sister's sway. Maybe he'll be next, as there are still two more to be chosen for this Team America trio alliance. Maybe America will be so won over by Donny's cricket whistling that they'll vote for him to get it. I'm still reserving judgment on this twist until we see what kind of challenges this trio will be tasked with. And I'm also curious to see whether or n to any of them spill the beans on it. They'd be smart not to, considering the money involved.
Let's move on to the newer houseguests. Last night, Amber, Cody, Nicole, Frankie, Paola, Devin, Donny, and Joey entered the house. Tonight -- I think it was the same day, Big Brother-time -- introduced Christine, Derrick, Brittany, Jocasta, Victoria, Zach, Caleb and Hayden. Christine likes to be naked and seems to know the game really well. Derrick is a copy who's claiming to be Leslie Knope. Brittany's a mother of three, though she's only 29. Jocasta is a minister who seems friendly. Victoria is girly and has that sort of glamorous princess thing going on. Zach seems to be going out of his way to play up the preppy vibe. He also seems game-oblivious. And Hayden is a strong competitor, seemingly easy-going So-Cal guy.
Admittedly, I would've gone into panic mode if I got to Big Brother and found out that there were already eight people inside, beds claimed, alliances probably (yes, totally) formed. But the newbies were welcomed by the Crazy-Eights with open arms. The rush for beds was a little awkward, considering most were already claimed, but I guess they'll figure that out. And Devin was already mentally working on buddying up with the new people even though he already has two alliances sealed.
Frankie and Victoria clicked right away. Both sporting pink helped them find each other in the mess of hugs and duffel bags. Frankie was hoping Victoria would get the other HoH position so they could work together, but she was the first to fall from the log.
Right now, Christine might be my favorite. And I think I like Frankie a lot, but it's hard to separate my first impressions of him with the advantage I'm afraid he has for having a famous sister. He's likable though and he seems to be into playing the game.
Head of Household
This group of houseguests had a tougher endurance competition, as they weren't walking on top of their log, they were wrapped around it, which may require less coordination and balance, but more strength. The less muscular players fell one by one, leaving Derrick, Hayden and Caleb remaining. Derrick was satisfied not to be among the first to fall and he finally let go. After that, it was looking like Caleb and Hayden were neck and neck. Then we started seeing Caleb doing the wrap one-handed and it seemed obvious who would win. We knew it would come down to Hayden and Caleb -- the preview gave that away -- and in the end it was Caleb who took the prize.
Caleb was all too happy to show off how strong he is, which could backfire on him if he's the dethroned Head of Household, unless he and Frankie make a deal not to nominate the other after BOTB. We'll hopefully know more about what's going on, who Frankie and Caleb nominated and who won BOTB once the Live Feeds come on tonight.
In the meantime, now we can finally say that the game is on. I'm optimistic that this new Big Brother Battle of the Block twist will be a good thing for the game, at least in terms of refreshing strategies and forcing the houseguests to think outside the block. I'm also glad that the house hasn't been divided into two teams. It'll be much more interesting to see scrambling each week and divisions forming organically.