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Big Brother 11 Premiere: When Recycling Goes Too Far

It was with some trepidation, along with a tiny wedge of hope that the spoilers were wrong, that I tuned in for the premiere of Big Brother 11 last night. I’ll watch that show no matter who is on it, because, admit it, we all like to bitch and complain about the houseguests. This season’s cast gives us plenty of ammunition to keep us busy for the summer.

Julie Chen welcomes us back, looking gorgeous in a black one-sleeved number that successfully blurs her pregnant belly, at least when she’s shown from the front view. We could discuss how much I hate her for not gaining much weight during her pregnancy, but that’s really a whole other article in itself. Let’s move on with the show.

Meet the Hamsters

We get the usual clips of the hamsters getting their keys to the Big Brother house, because of course it’s a complete surprise, even though there’s a camera crew set up and they’re all dressed for television. Included in this bit are the “I’m going to __ the competition” sound clips that are based on their professions. Really CBS, it might be time to switch this up a bit.

Of note, however, is that Kevin calls himself “Blackinese” because he’s part black, and part Japanese; Ronnie is excited to the point of shaking to be playing Big Brother; Laura thinks that other girls don’t like her because of her looks (and, quite possibly, her gigantic boobs); Jeff is open to a showmance; Lydia will hook up with a man or a woman if it gets her farther in the game; and Jordan calls sex “booger” and says that there will be none for her this summer.

Time for the hamsters to “see each other for the first time” in front of the house. The groups go in and claim their beds, amidst the obligatory screaming and introductions. Kevin calls Ronnie “adorable” and adds that they both speak “geekinese.” See, this “ese” thing is already becoming a pattern with Kevin and could get seriously annoying.

The house itself seems to follow a recycling theme, with lots of symbols and green stuff. As we’ll find out soon, the recycling thing will stretch right into the casting as well.


Our intrepid houseguests gather in the living room for champagne and introductions. This is pretty uneventful, except that Natalie claims to be 18 years old. She’s actually 24, and tells us that she lied so that people will think she’s naïve. Kevin is on to her though, and tells her that she can tell them all her real age later. Privately, he says that she looks about 25. Heh.

Chima says that she’s a freelance journalist, and then says she’s not revealing her age. She then laughs at her own “joke,” and her laugh … oh, her laugh. “Grating” is not strong enough a word to describe it. (And if you have the feeds, you’re already sticking skewers in your ears just to make it stop.)

Russell tells us through the DR that he doesn’t see anyone as a threat. He’s an idiot, not because of that, but because he seems to think he has some sort of edge over the others simply by being himself. I’m surprised he didn’t try to claim an entire bedroom for himself to make room for his ego.

Welcome Back to High School

Julie joins the fun through the giant screen in the living room, to announce this season’s theme. It’s high school all over again, as the hamsters are going to be divided into cliques. We’ll have the Athletes, the Populars, the Off Beats, and the Brains. If a member of the clique wins HoH, the rest of the clique is safe that week. Julie points out that each person is still playing the game individually.

Lydia immediately knows that she and Kevin are in the Off Beat group, and compares them to Duckie and Andie from Pretty in Pink. Cute, except Duckie was straight and in love with Andie. But whatever. I guess that makes Jeff the Blaine of the group?

Much speculation ensues over which group everyone will fit into. Casey thinks he might be an athlete, ’cause he played football in high school. Over 20 years ago. Get a grip, dude (and this is coming from someone quite near your current age). Ronnie is pretty sure that he’s in the Brains, because he figures he’s the smartest person in the house. That could be because Michele has introduced herself as a “lab rat” rather than a neuroscientist.

The HoH Comp, In Which We Collectively Yell “Nooooo!”

Now it’s time for the houseguests to find out which clique they’re in, as they head outside for their first HoH competition. The backyard kind of looks like a gymnasium, and the groups are split up with each hamster having a toilet seat with his or her name on it hanging from overhead beams. The cliques are:

Athletes: Russell, Natalie, Jeff
Popular: Laura, Jordan, Braden
Off Beat: Casey, Lydia, Kevin
Brains: Michele, Ronnie, Chima