Tonight, Big Brother is bringing the drama and once again the talk of racial issues have reared its head. After the Jack and Jackson issues of Season 21, I thought the sensitivity training and other workshops would kick in. Evidently Big Brothers counselors don’t know what to do to weed out the riff raff and get people who care involved. I didn’t want to address this in regard to Big Brother ever again but after reading FaceBook, Twitter, listening to pod cast and seeing news articles, I find I need to clear my head and this is my technique. As a journalist, I have been taught to observe and be objective. So to do that, as always, I have gone to the very beginning of this Big Brother season to trace this saga and to look at facts.
Week One – No make that day one – Paloma developed an intensive dislike of an African American contestant, Taylor. There are really two reasons: her talking to the guys in a sexy swimsuit and her beauty queen identity. Let’s be honest. To play this game to win, you need a social game. I went back and watched this incident and other Paloma’s blowup today. She was always raving about the beauty queen and superior attitude she felt Taylor had. These reasons got her followers (with Amerrah as the co-head) to separate Taylor from the girls by ignoring her and making fun of things she did (like crying).
Paloma never gave Taylor a chance and the other girls saw a leader and followed. Whatever Paloma and her second in command, Amerrah, said was true. Did any of them try to get to know Taylor. No! Instead, they formed the Girly Girls group and even shunned Britney out (due to being different). Now what kind of girls alliance is that. Later Paloma would tell Monte and others that Taylor made fun of her in the shower. When did a joke and a look become bullying. When Monte told Taylor after they became friends, she explained how she felt. No one but Paloma took offense and Paloma is still talking about the bathroom incident that she saw as bullying. Paloma wanted Taylor out and used whatever means she could to do it. Instead, Paloma went out of control and left the game by her decision for mental health issues.
I will say this. There was no sign of racial tension in those early weeks. Taylor, though, took the blunt of the anger and micro-aggression of the other houseguests. If something happened in the house they didn’t like, Taylor had to be behind it. She was on the block four times because the others saw her as being the one who got Paloma to leave and hated her for that.
Then the “festie besties” (one of the worse twist ever) occurred. Nicole chose Taylor as her festie buddy because Nicole knew she would be safe if nominated for eviction. Who wanted the chef (Nicole) to leave? What Nicole and the “Mean Girls Club” didn’t realize is that Monte, Kyle and others were noticing that the things that were happening. They were hearing comments from the girls that didn’t meet their vision of what Taylor was doing. She wasn’t aggressive. She was forced to stay by herself. Everything and everyone seemed to make her cry. If Taylor hadn’t been as strong as she was, she’d probably have broken down and either tried suicide or asked to leave. She didn’t and I applaud Taylor for that.
Monte and Kyle were members of the Pound with Turner and Joseph. They decided that Taylor was being treated unfairly. Then Taylor thought Nicole’s mom was worse and made a statement that Nicole might need to be with her. She and Monte even prayed for Nicole’s mom. Nicole took it the wrong way and found a way to target Taylor. In front of the entire house, she jumped down Taylor’s throat about what she had said. In the process, Daniel took Nicole’s side and verbally attacked Taylor in the living room reducing her to tears. The Pound was shocked. That’s when the idea of a larger alliance started. The meeting was held in the HoH Room and “The Leftovers” was formed. Now let me fill you in on the membership. Monte and Taylor were the African American members, Joseph was the Middle Eastern member, and Kyle, Turner, Michael and Brittany were the Caucasian members. Does that sound like the Cook-Out? No way!
Now, here is where things went downhill. Kyle and Alyssa began the path to a showmance. Yes, they even had “10 second sex” several times. Now, as the house had lost Ameerah, Nicole and Daniel (to their comments and attitude toward Taylor), Kyle realized it was only a matter of time before Alyssa would be facing the same fate. He started looking at “his” alliance differently and started thinking them of “The Cook-Out 2.0.” But, instead of only including the original members, Kyle deleted Turner, Michael, Brittany and himself. He turned Monte, Joseph and Taylor into an alliance and added Jasmine, Terrance, and Indy to the group. Didn’t matter that Indy didn’t meet the PoC definition. She was from Brazil after all and wanted to be the first Brazilian native to win the American version of Big Brother. I honestly guess Kyle was thinking more with his body than his mind or he would realize how stupid this sounded. There is no way that this could be considered the Cook-Out 2. But Kyle, in his confused little mind, saw it not only as a way to keep Alyssa longer and get to the end and win. So, he started looking for allies.
Kyle’s big mistake was the people he first approached. His first two were Michael and Brittany and he pitched that the three of them with Turner could form a new group that could counter any Cook-Out that came to be. Kyle logic was that Monte, Taylor, Joseph, Terrance, Jasmine, and Indy were banded together like the original Cook-Out. Don’t ask me where he got this logic! This wasn’t what the first Cook-Out was about because they did worked as a team to get the first Person of Color as a winner. . He surprised Michael and Brittany who appeared at first in the live-feeds and a brief clip on the show to consider it. Apparently Diary Room (and possibly second thoughts) showed them what the optics would look like and they dropped the idea. Evidently, Kyle had the same discussion with the Diary Room because he mentioned it in a conversation with Brittany where she tried to use logic on him. It just didn’t take. Kyle saw this logic as his means of winning the $750,000.
Now here’s where it really gets messy. Turner was in for it as he saw strong players being taken out. He didn’t care that they were African American. That’s not the messy part. The teams were now divided and everyone knew that Jasmine would leave the indoor group. When Terrance (an African American) went for his nominations (as HoH), he chose Turner and Joseph. Somehow Kyle convinced Terrance that Joseph wanted him out (which Joseph did) and the network didn’t bother to allow live-feeders to see it. For at least two days, feeds were down in the backyard as the show tried to figure out how to play it. In the end, it was brushed over. Turner won the PoV and Kyle went up. But the die was cast and Terrance with Alyssa urging, put up Kyle to make sure that Joseph was sent to jury. I don’t want to talk optics but the images of 1930s movies movedin my brain. Kyle spread the Cook-Out 2 rumor by broadcasting the “Leftovers” and implying that something bigger was brewing.
It all came to a head this week when the groups reunited. The outdoor crew had decided to blame Joseph for outing the Leftovers and took much glee in telling Taylor that (a) Joseph hadn’t cared for her and talked trash on her and (b) he had outed the Leftovers. The more this was spun, the more Monte and Taylor seemed to see through it. Why would Joseph have done that? When Turner won the HoH, he put Taylor and Brittany up for eviction. Turner gleefully could care less who went but he did state he wanted Taylor out due to the first weeks of the season. So, his alliance saw that he was untrustworthy. Terrance wanted Taylor out because he blamed her with getting his friends, Paloma (making her spiral out of control), Nicole and Daniel (trickery) evicted. Now, remember Terrance is African American but he played turn coat this week.
Did I say Michael and Brittany decided that it was time to out Kyle. The reason: they saw that Turner (with Kyle’s encouragement) was going to use the two of them to get Michael out. Michael and Brittany first approached Monte and Taylor with all that happened. Then it was on to Alyssa and the rest. Alyssa with her big mouth told Kyle who went to Diary Room where he stayed (and apparently cried) for five hours. We’ve been promised the house meeting but will the producers protect Kyle as they have been for a afew weeks.
Tonight’s show opens with Julie talking about the house meeting and the reveal about Kyle that Brittany and Michael made. We open after Kyle leaves the Diary Room (5 hour blackout). He goes to Brittany to talk and she looks worried as she should be. Both are straight forward with each other. He admits he knows about the talk in the house (from Alyssa) and she hides nothing from him. Brittany reminds him that she talked to him about his Cook-Out 2 comments on Day 43. He admits he remembers but now Kyle realizes what she was saying but is he getting it now. She said she had to pick and she picked the “right side.” Brittany says she doesn’t think he’s a racist, but he hasn’t realized how his thoughts came across.
Kyle next approaches Terrance and Monte and tells them he realizes that they were close with Joseph and Taylor. Kyle wanted to break them up. Excuse me Kyle, Terrance hates Taylor. Kyle knew it would break up the alliance but everything to him added up to a new Cook-Out. He apologizes (again) and Monte reminds him that all of the Leftovers had been transparent. If he had questions, Kyle could asks them at meetings. Monte is disappointed in Kyle and tells Kyle the thought process was based on race and lies imagined. Terrance feels that Monte, Taylor, and joseph was running the “Leftovers” (because he was not included). Kyle calls himself foolish and asks for advice. Later Monte and Terrance talk to Turner on Michael and Brittany’s timing. If this came up weeks ago, then why Sunday. Turner thinks they need to do the house meeting and talk about it. Monte tells him to use it as a life-learning event and learn about relationships. Terrance on live-feeds would talk about keeping Kyle and sending Taylor to jury.
At the house meeting (which we only see some of), Michael discusses that during his HoH, Kyle had come to him with a plan for a new alliance. Kyle felt that Michael and Brittany were his closest allies and he didn’t know where he stood with the People of Color. Kyle uses Taylor’s failure to put up a “black” woman. Kyle implies he was shelter and had no experience with how she felt. Kyle is asked why didn’t he ask in the meeting about it and Kyle wishes he had. Terrance turns to Michael and Brittany and feels they are “smart people.” Terrance wants to know why the house is only hearing this now. Brittany says she wishes it had happened sooner and she wishes she had put herself in their shoes. She didn’t want to hurt them. Michael uses the “fests” as his reason for holding back. How could this be discussed with the groups split? Terrance tells all that if he had known this, Joseph wouldn’t have left during his HoH and sees it as a slap in his face. Taylor tells Kyle that she won’t hold this against him. She will hold Kyle accountable but he must earn trust. Monte hopes he uses it as a learning experience in the real world. Taylor tells Kyle he needs to address the issue and offers to help him. Kyle seems sincere in his apology and calls himself an “imperfect person.” Kyle knows he is going to jury and plans to take the next days to start changing and apologizes about Joseph.
At the veto meeting, Michael uses the veto on Brittany (and people were upset that he didn’t use it on Taylor). Turner then announces that Kyle will replace Brittany on the block. Taylor and Kyle hug and hugs all around. Kyle tells them all that he wants to have conversations and give them the opportunity to talk and forgive him. Monte doesn’t like Kyle’s actions but he will talk with him. Kyle cries when he talks to Monte because they played the same game. Monte didn’t do anything wrong. Monte shares his high school experiences and culture. His relationships with high school individuals that were not like him ended sadly. To Monte, when Kyle attached his actions to Monte’s race, Kyle thus will lose Monte’s trust. Alyssa tells him that she can’t trust him because he put himself first in their relationships. She ends the relationship (at least for now).
Monte talks to Taylor about the timing of Michael and Brittany’s revelations. They agree that there was something wrong with it and it will color any relationship in the future. Monte wants to win the HoH and put them up and Taylor agrees.
During the Eviction, Kyle tells Taylor she has style and grace. He addresses all with Alyssa the last. . Taylor speech about the stay in BB has been a journey of strength and offers Kyle and the others her love. With a vote of five to zero, Kyle is evicted from the Big Brother house and to jury. He hugs all with Taylor the first and Alyssa the last. He exits to polite claps to talk to Julie.
Kyle tells Julie that the week has been tough but he’s thankful for the experience. Julie mentions the Cookout and his “proposed” alliance with Michael, Brittany, Alyssa, and Turner. Kyle realizes that what he said didn’t click in his mind and how terrible it was. Julie asks if this discussion affected his game. Kyle admits it went into his decision making. His decision to out the Leftovers was to safeguard his game (my words) as he knew he was on the low end of the group and their decision making. He wanted a group with Alyssa thus the After Party formed with Terrance and Turner.
Next Thursday is another double eviction! The HoH competition is a Zingbot’s Festival called “Burning Bot” featuring a puzzle and visit from Zingbot.