Ohhh boy. We look forward to a new season of Big Brother every year, and then almost every year we wind up disappointed by poor gameplay, problematic houseguests, and an overly long season that usually winds up being predictable. Last season’s domination by the Cookout was refreshing in some ways, but also fell into a pattern of predictable winners. Last week, we analyzed this season’s new cast and found it promising.

But a lot can change in a week in Big Brother.

To start with, the first episode of this season was a complete mess. Twists are a constant companion, but this live move-in episode may just be the worst episode of Big Brother in 24 seasons. Ninety minutes without more than three minutes of house interaction. The entire episode was a series of move-ins and videos, followed by a random draw to determine which of three carnival-themed preliminary challenges contestants would compete in for the chance to win Head of Household.

Oh, but that wasn’t all! One of the sixteen wouldn’t be chosen, and would instead become something called the “Backstage Boss”, the power of which would be teased all episode. Ultimately, Monte won a quiz-based competition set in a series of porta-potties, Daniel won an endurance challenge that involved hanging off a giant shirt, and Turner won a bizarre competition involving putting twenty pieces of clip-on jewelry on your face at the same time. Then, in a puzzle competition, Daniel beat out the others to become the first Head of Household.

As for “Pooch”, who won the Backstage Boss pass, he was revealed to be immune for the week but essentially out of the action – he wouldn’t play veto or vote. However, the twist then took a particularly dumb twist when he had to pick three other people to join him “Backstage”, which meant they would be out of the action as well – but somehow not safe from eviction. He even commented he had no clue who any of these people were, but chose three people who finished last in their competitions – Paloma, Brittany, and Alyssa.

The feeling that none of these people actually knew how to play Big Brother continued throughout the week. There seemed to be barely any discussion of strategy the first week, besides Brittany and Paloma forming a six-girl alliance that seemed to have little strength or strategy behind it. Daniel, ostensibly the man in charge, barely seemed to put any thought into his nominations, picking two misfit guys – gawky superfan Michael, and laid-back bus driver Terrence, with Michael as the target.

But really, this week wasn’t about any of them. It was about two women.

The first was former pageant girl Taylor, who came into the house with some of the most strategic direction of any of the girls. She seemed ambitious and passionate about the game – and the girls took a dislike to her almost immediately. I would say it seemed racially motivated, as happens so often in this game, but it’s hard to tell because some of the loudest haters were Jasmine, Ameerah, and Palmoa, none of whom are white. It soon escalated, with just about the entire house turning on her.

The veto competition was the highlight of the first week, a jousting-themed competition done in heats where contestants rode horses and tried to pick up rings with a surprisingly floppy foam lance. After several heats, it came down to Michael and Ameerah, with the superfan saving himself and throwing the whole game wide open. There wasn’t much suspense about who the replacement would be – Daniel had been talked into targeting Taylor by the rest of the house, with only Michael putting up any meek opposition, and it seemed the twist was going to be Taylor’s only hope.

Except that Big Brother is always unpredictable, and that unpredictability came in the form of Paloma. The chaotic young woman had spend the whole week “Backstage”, throwing Taylor under the bus, but as the week went on she started to come off as genuinely unstable. First she started ranting about how she had already won the game because she had “manifested it”, even making offers of what she would buy people with her prize money. Then she seemed to become increasingly moody and frantic. There were rumors that she had to go off her medication to come onto the show, but we don’t have proof. What we do know is that at some point, she either quit or was asked to leave by the producers.

And that left us on Thursday with an incredibly awkward episode where Julie Chen explained how the Backstage twist would have worked, only to announce that it had been called off and so had the eviction altogether, making the entire first week a waste of time. Making it worse, Daniel was not allowed to compete in the next HOH, meaning he had essentially gained power for no reason and was now a bigger target.

With half an hour to go, everyone competed in randomly drawn heats in an obstacle course challenge that was probably meant to be the competition between Taylor and whoever was selected for possible elimination out of the Backstage crew. It would then cut the field down by half before the actual HOH competition and went predictably – except for Jasmine hurting her ankle after winning her round – and possibly not even winning her round, as many eagle-eyed viewers saw her foot touch the ground without her being sent back to the start. So the show went to dark before we had a new HOH, or even knew if a second contestant was about to be evacuated.

But we found out via the feeds later in the night.

Spoilers for Sunday’s episode of Big Brother 24 below –

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Big Brother 24 Week Two Head of Household – JASMINE

Well, this couldn’t have possibly went any worse for Big Brother. Not only is Jasmine a leading member of the anti-Taylor brigades, but her entire reign will be under a cloud of doubt due to her potential fall on the field. But the show seems to be pretending the controversy isn’t happening, So it’s likely she’ll get to evict someone.

Below, the power rankings for week two of Big Brother 24.

  1. Ameerah – Jasmine’s closest ally the most strategic of the women, she’ll likely be pulling the strings this week to some degree.
  2. Terrence – The two of them seem to have formed a bond due to being married, and it’s unlikely Jasmine has any interest in targeting him.
  3. Indy – Completely under the radar right now and part of Jasmine’s alliance.
  4. Alyssa – Same as Indy, not on anyone’s radar.
  5. Michael – After a rough first week, he seems to have become everyone’s confidant.
  6. Joseph – Is he really doing much beyond working out and smiling at the girls? He seems safe for now.
  7. Kyle – Similar to Michael and Joseph, he’s carefully avoiding making waves.
  8. Nicole – She wasn’t included in the original girls’ alliance, but seems to have formed tighter bonds with Ameerah since.
  9. Daniel – While he’s a big threat, he completely avoided making any enemies his first week save Michael.
  10. Turner – Similar to Daniel, they all know he’s a threat – but he doesn’t seem to be the top threat right now.
  11. Monte – He’s playing aggressively and got into a lot of drama with Taylor last week. He’ll need to lay low to make sure he doesn’t wind up on anyone’s radar.
  12. Brittany – She was the first person to break from the “girls’ girls” alliance and is seen as untrustworthy now, but there may be bigger fish to fry.
  13. Pooch – His weird position last week didn’t let him really play the game, and if Ameerah convinces Jasmine to go for a strong guy he’s in the most danger.
  14. Taylor – Of course it’s Taylor. Even if she’s not the initial target, these mean girls will likely talk their way into it eventually. After all, she’s never apologized for her role in downing the Hindenburg or something.
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