Thursday, June 22, 2006

Your All Star Line-up

Now if you've been reading this for a while you'll know that I like reality TV. Not all of it; I'm not into fashion, or talent or shows where you don't compete. Still I generally like reality shows. I'll even admit to liking Big Brother. Well maybe "liking" is a bit too much. Let's put it this way, I wouldn't watch it if it were on during the regular Fall season, and I wouldn't watch it if episodes of Survivor, The Apprentice, or the beloved Amazing Race were on at the same time - in fact I'd probably skip it for reruns of The Amazing Race. Watching Big Brother is sort of a summer thing like buying an ice cream bar from one of those carts on the street (except I don't do that - one of the little crooks tried to overcharge me and then claim he was just joking when I called him on it).

Every year the producers of Big Brother introduce a new gimmick onto the show in an effort to keep it "fresh." You know, bringing in ex-romantic partners, swapping twins in at regular intervals, having "secret" allies (which worked about as well as a one button mouse - everyone knew that everyone else had an ally in the house). In fact the only gimmick they haven't tried lately is going back to the rules that the rest of the world uses, where viewers actually vote for who should have been eliminated. That was so first season. CBS and the new primary producers Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner decided that they wanted a show that was more like Survivor and less like what the rest of the world was watching. This year's gimmick is to bring back players from previous seasons as selected by "you the fans."

Well to be absolutely accurate "you the fans" will be voting for half of the new occupants of the house. Of twelve contestants, six will be chosen by viewer vote and six will be picked by the producers. I have a few suspicions and some questions about who the producers will select. Apparently the producers will have to draw their six contestants from the pool of 20. What I suspect is that the producers will try very hard to have at least one player from each season - except maybe the first - and will try to have two players from each season, but that's just a guess on my part.

Anyway here are the people who want to go back to the luxury cell block - where the theme will apparently be "Good versus Evil" - for another summer.

  • "Chicken" George Boswell (Season 1) - The only Season 1 contestant selected. He was also the most memorable. Even Eddie the winner wasn't as memorable as Chicken George, and Eddie only had one leg.

  • Mike Malin (Season 2) - Also known as "Mike Boogie". He ran an LA Club and was one of the members of the "Chill Town" alliance. I really didn't like him or the "Chill Town" alliance.

  • Bunky Miller (Season 2) - The hairy crying gay guy. I liked him even though he suffered a major problem with decisiveness.

  • Monica Bailey (Season 2) - She finished third in this season but besides constantly saying "it is on" may be best known because her cousin died in the World Trade Center attacks.

  • "Evil" Dr. Will Kirby (Season 2) - The most memorable member of the Season 2 cast. He lied to everyone and told them he was lying to them, plus he had an incredibly huge ego. I hated him and couldn't see how he managed to not only survive week after week but actually win the $500,000.

  • Marcellas Reynolds (Season 3) - Perhaps the only player in the history of the game to be physically assaulted by host Julie Chen. She hit him upside of the head with her note cards because he was stupid enough not to use the first "Golden Veto" to save himself. Since then he's been hosting the post episode online talk show for the series.

  • Danielle Reyes (Season 3) - In some ways an extremely good player. She maintained a season long alliance with Jason without anyone knowing that they were working together. Only problem was that her only vote to win came from her one and only ally.

  • Lisa Donahue (Season 3) - Winner of Season 3, she was one of the experts at flying below the radar until figuring out what was what. She had a short time alliance with Danielle and eventually won the jury vote because she didn't alienate the other players in the way that Danielle did.

  • Erika Landin (Season 4) - At 37 she's the oldest woman to be up for vote. During the Season 4 gimmick "The X-Factor" her ex-boyfriend Robert Roman was also in the house. She developed a serious friendship with former FBI agent Jack Owen.

  • Dana Varela (Season 4) - Okay, I confess that I don't remember her or the circumstances of her eviction.

  • Allison Irwin (Season 4) - Spent her time in the house using her "sex appeal" to appeal to the male members of the cast. This despite the fact that she was supposedly devoted to her boyfriend Donny. The next year she and Donny went on The Amazing Race to "explore" their relationship. She lasted two episodes on the show which was slightly longer than she and Donny lasted.

  • Jase Wirey (Season 5) - First out from the infamous "4 Horsemen" alliance which annoyed the crap out of most of the people in the Season 5 house. Not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, was the victim of a master plan that used the Veto to put him up for nomination without a chance to save himself.

  • Jennifer "Nakomis" Dedmon (Season 5) - Part of the surprising part of the Season 5 twist when she discovered a half-brother whom she didn't know existed. She went to the final four before ironically being voted out by her half-brother.

  • Dianne Henry (Season 5) - Third place finisher in Season 5 who put here trust in a guy she'd developed an attachment to who decided to stick with his Horseman pal Michael instead of his girlfriend.

  • Michael "Cowboy" Ellis (Season 5) - This guy seemed too dumb to live but he somehow managed to survive to the final two and came within one vote of winning; the vote he lost by came from his half-sister Nakomis.

  • Kaysar Ridha (Season 6) - Possibly one of the most popular people ever to participate on the show. He consistently polled higher than any other house guest and was seemingly one of the most intelligent players ever. After being eliminated one week he was immediately voted back in...and immediately voted back out by the opposing alliance because "this is our game, not America's game."

  • James Rhine (Season 6) - The one thing the two alliances could agree on in Season 6 was that they hated James and finally engineered his eviction for lying to both sides.

  • Howie Gordon (Season 6) - One of the leaders of the "Sovereign Six" alliance that came together around Kaysar. He seemed like a happy go lucky guy who was in training to be a Jedi - complete with a light saber. When he had to be he could be rough and the Season 6 house was by all accounts a rough one.

  • Janelle Pierzina (Season 6) - A solid player who used he "bimbo" look to mask her tactical abilities. She allied with Howie and Kaysar but numbers weren't on her side.

  • Ivette Corredero (Season 6) - A thoroughly annoying little woman with a voice that could calcify your spine and a hair trigger temper. Based on the way that she reacted to the eviction of Eric "Cappy" Littman you would have thought he was her partner and not eventual winner Maggie Aushburn's. In a season when people got very vindictive and angry she was worse than most as hard as that may be to believe.

Just to look at the breakdown of the contestants, there's one from Season 1, three each from Seasons 3 and 4, four each from Seasons 2 and 5, and five from Season 6. The public can vote for their favourites at the Big Brother website until June 28, and there doesn't seem to be any sort of restriction as to the number of times you can vote. No one will know who has been selected until the players enter the house on July 6.

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