Always a ('Big Brother') Bridesmaid
Third time's the charm, right? Well, not in my case.
On June 22 I was once again lucky enough to be invited to participate in Big Brother Media Day an expedited, one-day version of the reality show, during which 11 journalists (and two all-stars) compete to become Head of Household (HoH), nominate two potential evictees, and ultimately oust one of the contestants.
No, I wasn't evicted or forced to eat slop (BTW, it looked extra nasty this year). But, because this was my third consecutive shot at the HoH title, I was beyond disappointed to come up short again. Two years ago, I tied for second, losing to Reagan Alexander from People. Last year, I was first runner-up to Xfinity’s Brian Gianelli. This time, I fell apart near the finish line, and the Insider's Jarett Wieselman was there to steal my title, my power, and my glory. Grrr!
[Photos: Take a look inside the 'Big Brother' Season 14 house]
Luckily, Jarett wasn't targeting me for eviction. Had all-star power couple Brendan and Rachel (aka Brenchel) not walked through the front door earlier that morning, I would have had the biggest target on my back. I was the veteran, and my fellow housemates wanted to punish me for it. But, as I just mentioned, I was rescued when the reigning champion and her man made their dramatic entrance.
Brendan and Rachel re-enter the house!
After the sequin-adorned redhead and her nerdy-hot hubby-to-be explained that they'd be competing alongside us, the game kicked into high gear. Nobody paid much attention to this season's urban pop décor; the four press folks who received slop tickets (forcing them to eat the gnarly oatmeal-like gruel) didn't whine, and, most important, my name (to my knowledge) didn't come up in anyone's devious plans. All eyes were on Brenchel, and they knew it. If they were to escape unscathed, they'd have to win the competitions and do it on their own because even with her $500,000 prize from last year, Rachel couldn't buy an ally. (Hello, who wouldn't want to knock out the defending champ?)
Following Jarett's HoH victory, the houseguests were unanimous in wanting him to nominate Brenchel for eviction. I was relieved until a fellow player told me that Rachel had encouraged Jarett to put me on the chopping block. How dare she?! Actually, I took it as a compliment. If the queen of “BB” wants you out, you know she perceives you as a threat (i.e., a strong competitor) and not one of those undeserving "Grab a life vest!" floaters (of which there were plenty of).
[Photos: See all the journalists in action on 'Big Brother' Media Day]
As the exhausting day unfolded (I have no idea how some players last an entire summer!), friendships were made, Brenchel shared some of their war stories with us before Jarett nominated them for eviction, slop was consumed, smack was talked, and a crucial Power of Veto competition (PoV) took place.
After losing the HoH competition earlier in the day, I wasn't banking on winning the PoV. Plus, with uber-athletes Brenchel competing to save their own butts, few of us stood a chance. Fortunately, I was paired with Matte Babel (ET Canada) for the barnyard bonanza. And, to clarify, nobody looks good in overalls. Anyway, when the dust (meaning hay and mud) settled, Matte and I had actually won. Not Rachel and her partner. Not Brendan and his partner. Sorry, suckers. You're staying on the chopping block.
Watch the PoV competition!
But then I persuaded HoH Jarett to make things interesting. Matte and I wanted to use the PoV. If you win it, use it (during media day, not necessarily during the real game). We told him we were taking Brendan off the block, leaving Rachel to squirm up there. In her place, we wanted Carrie "Spicy" Milburn (Reality Nation), who was on a mission to make Rachel her real-life BFF as soon as she found out we'd be playing with the reigning champ. As a result, Matte, Jarett, and I thought it would be fun to put the brownnoser on the block with her idol. Mwahaha!
When it came time to evict either Rachel or Spicy, I flipped the script. The house wanted Rachel out. Again, how delicious would it be to boot last season's winner? Agreed. But, truth be told, I loved her too much to drop the ax on her neck. Rachel Reilly -- despite being loud, crazy, and grating at times -- is amazing. There has never been a better competitor in “Big Brother" history, not even Janelle. So, when I entered the Diary Room, I voted to evict Spicy.
I knew Rachel was a goner, but I had to toss her a vote.
As she grabbed her bag and headed for the door, I told Rachel that she was my all-time fave and that I had voted to keep her despite the earlier rumor that she wanted me voted out. Had this been the real, summer-long game, we would have made for the ultimate alliance. I know it, she knows it.
Anyway, enjoy the video clips from my day in the Big Brother 14 house, courtesy of CBS. And shield your eyes during the PoV clip. Again, overalls are not my friend!
Don't forget to tune in to the season premiere of "Big Brother" on July 12 on CBS!
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