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‘Big Brother’ finally goes completely bananas

Couldn't CBS fork over enough money for an entire banana suit? Why is Casey only wearing part of one?
/ Source: Entertainment Weekly

Poor DJ Mingle Mix. He'd reserved his whole summer to be on “Big Brother,” and now it's barely August and he's out the door. I guess now he's available to DJ at your party, what with all this newfound free time on his hands before school starts (on the off chance that his school wants an elementary school teacher back who was on national TV ranting and swearing and smoking cigarettes like he was wishing someone would hurry up and invent a way to just shoot cancer right into your veins).

But before you book DJMM, you should consider the pros and cons. Pro: The man really works a banana suit, which a good sign that he'd be a goofy entertainer. Sure, he smokes a lot, and you run the risk of his peel catching fire, but that would only kick-start a rousing chant of ''The goof/the goof/the goof is on fire…'' and next thing you know, everybody's got their hands in the air and waving them like they just don't care, while Casey is dropping and rolling like he just don't go bowling.

So all of that is good, but let's look at the cons: The man can get really, really bitter. One too many people bump his turntables and next thing you know, he's grabbed the mike and is bellowing, ''Hey, Dr. Clumsy, you don't mess with Mingle Mix's mixer or I'm gonna eighty-six yer! Holla!'' as smoke shoots out of his banana hole. So again, tough call.

But really, doesn’t he have himself to blame for being out on his peel? (One last thing about the banana suit: What kind of crappy wardrobe person just buys the top of a banana suit? That was more like a banana tank top, which is really just a tank top with a pointy hat. If you're gonna dress someone like a banana, they damn well better have a bottom half.) Alliances don't last longer than 15 minutes in this house, so what made him think that a plan to eliminate Ronnie would last all week?

The scheming continuesJessie had put Jordan and Michele up, assuring everyone it was just a way to backdoor Ronnie. But then it turned out that Ronnie's isolation from the house last week turned out to be a ruse to keep his alliances with Russell and Jessie secret. Russell pulled him aside at one point to apologize for being a jerk, but the nonstop teasing and emasculation was necessary to keep their partnership secret.

I'll have to remember that excuse next time I want to humiliate a friend in public. Sorry I had to tell the world you had a small penis and imply that I once saw you making out with a rabbit, but it was the only way to keep our super-special-secret best-friend-4-eva-ship all the more super, special, and secret. Whoops, here comes someone, sorry in advance for this, too: NO, I WON'T FIND YOU A RACCOON TO SPOON WITH, YOU SICKO!

As Jessie, Russell and Ronnie continued scheming, Jeff, Jordan and Casey obliviously relaxed, confident that all was well and Ronnie was assured of going home. Boy, I want to root for them, as I always do with underdogs, but they make it pretty difficult when they're so abysmal at playing this game. They are constantly surprised when something happens that has been happening since Will Mega left the house. They don't get this game on a very basic level: I worry about one of them winning HOH, because they'll never be able to figure out which end of those keys fit in the nomination wheel.

Fortunately, the hapless alliance (let's call them the haplliance, shall we? I know, it doesn't roll off the tongue, but it'll have to do until something better comes along) don't have to do all the heavy lifting, because Jessie's team is primed to self-destruct all on its own. Unfortunately for Jessie, his downfall may be his own irresistibility to the opposite sex. (Wait, did I just type that?) Natalie and Lydia both love Dr. Flex, and their rivalry is tearing the team asunder! Thank goodness Jessie is levelheaded enough to keep his distance. When Lydia snuggled up to him on the hammock and tried to light a spark (''Have you ever met someone and you just kind of know they're an angel…'') he kept interrupting with non sequiturs like, ''Do you have fake eyelashes on right now?''

Some would say that Jessie was just cluelessly self-involved, but no! I dub it strategy! And when she later asked him for a kiss, and instead he slapped her cheek, some would say that this is a Lenny from “Of Mice and Men” moment waiting to happen, and it is only a matter of time before he tries to pet her soft hair and accidentally squashes her skull, but once again I say no! If you saw through all those layers of muscle and ego and possibly metal, you'll find a brilliant, Donald Rumsfeldian strategist. He even uses the same Rumsfeldian tactic of posing rhetorical questions to himself and answering them: ''Is one girl jealous of the other? Maybe. Do I want to be part of it? Of course not. Am I? Unfortunately.'' He reminds me of the former Secretary of Defense so much that I'm concerned that he is going to convince the house to invade the “Big Bang Theory” set without enough troops.

But Jessie is right: Lydia is insanely jealous of Natalie. And after getting to know Lydia over the last couple of weeks, that crazed possessiveness isn't that hard to believe. Her ''misfit'' image has been officially debunked: she's nothing but a sorority girl with some body ink. Whenever she sees Jessie talking to Natalie, she sulks and huffs and puffs, and starts passive-aggressive arguments like demanding Natalie give up her bed; when she wouldn’t, Lydia declared that she was just going to stay up all night in the backyard to prove a point. Holding your breath until you get your way? That's so punk rock!

Lydia's obsession with Jessie is downright creepy, and not just because it's Jessie. Last night we saw her confess that she likes to creep into his room and watch him sleep. (A statement the producers helpfully augmented with stalker music.) She said it made her think about what she could do to him in this state if he ever betrayed her. In other words, she's not going to be ignored, Jessie.

Now, I've read some feed reports that those two have been having some under-the-sheets shenanigans, so I would recommend that next time he gets HOH, the producers provide him with a locked chastity belt for his own protection. (Also — and how to put this politely — judging from the awkward shape under his boxers as he slept, did it look like Jessie was having a very good dream indeed? Was he fantasizing that he was getting to third base with a mirror again?)

Clueless in Los Angeles
By the Tuesday show, the haplliance still had no clue, and Jordan thought she was going up as a pawn. Meanwhile, Jessie was convincing Natalie and Chima that Casey was the real threat. Casey remained happily clueless, even as the man he assumed was the target — Ronnie — was joining in all the reindeer games of Truth or Dare.

After Kevin was successfully dared to cuddle with a sleeping Jessie (who has proven to be far more fun asleep than awake), Ronnie was dared to hug Casey for 20 seconds, a stunt that he did not like at all. Yet another reason not to hire DJ Mingle Mix: while he can start a party, he can also bring one to a crashing halt. The laughter quickly evaporated as Casey ranted, ''Don’t ever send no rat to hug me again. Please.'' As he bitched, Russell's face slid into a dark frown, the way that Joe Pesci's does right before he starts stabbing people in “Goodfellas. ”

This pretty much sealed Casey's fate. Not that having your fate sealed should stop you from throwing a margarita party! It all happened at the Power of Veto competition, in which everyone had to dress up like pigs and dig through mud to find truffles with point values, blah blah blah. Casey thought everyone would love him for throwing them a margarita party, which is faulty logic. Would you be thrilled to attend a party thrown by someone who recently proclaimed, ''I'm a man that loves jokes'' minutes after berating everyone for playing a joke on him?

Ultimately, Michele — who had earlier proven herself a horrible player by giving the weakest, mushmouthiest sales pitch to Jessie to stay in the game — actually won the Veto, and celebrated by falling headfirst into the mud, for which I forgave her everything. Honestly, “Big Brother” could cast the dullest people in the world, and I would be fine with it as long as at least one of them did a hilarious pratfall every week.

It was in this competition that Casey ''won'' the banana suit, which he'd have to wear all week long. Frankly, it was a shame that Casey never took a spill a la Michele, because the meta-ness of seeing a giant banana peel slip and fall would have been hilarious. But there was something equally amusing about seeing a guy in a banana suit angrily chain smoke. It just seems very out of character for a banana. That's more of a chaw kind of fruit.

(Incidentally, speaking of competitions, a quick note about the Have/Have Not challenge, in which everyone had to toss giant ice cubes into big cups. First of all, ice in beer? And second of all, considering all the cups were easily filled up with the giant cubes far before the time limit, how many fit in each of them depended entirely on what angle they landed in the cup, something nobody could control. As long as it's completely random, why not just have everyone pick a number between 1 to 10? Don’t worry, producers, you could still spray foam on them while they guess.)

Okay, back to Veto: Michele took herself off the block, and Jessie promptly put up Casey, and wrote a poem for the occasion: ''So move your feet, you got a new seat.'' That's almost as moving as another of his great couplets: ''Whose woods these are, I think I know/His house is in … Hey, feel how soft my hair is.'' This bit of doggerel enraged Jeff, who said Jessie should have taken it more seriously, as it was disrespectful to add insult to Casey's injury: ''You're wearing a banana suit, dude!'' Which actually is all the more reason not to take him seriously.

Casey decided to go out with a bang, and aggressively warned Kevin and Russell that now was the time to turn on Jessie and Ronnie before he backstabbed them, too. While it was time to turn on Jessie and Ronnie, it didn't make any sense to keep Casey around: Since Casey and Jordan were from the same haplliance, it didn't matter which one of them went, the numbers would have remained the same. So if Russell wanted to go after Ronnie and Jessie, it would be better to lull them into a false sense of security by going along with them to ding Casey; if Russell and Kevin took out Jordan instead, alarm bells would ring and Jessie and Ronnie would see that they were no longer allies.

Which makes me wonder not only why Russell did vote to eliminate Jordan, but why he did so alone, making it a conspicuous vote of 7-1. Is he planning to pin the vote on someone else and sow house suspicion? Because we all saw how that worked out for Ronnie last week.

Smedium? Dorkapotomous?Casey did not go softly; whatever you may say about this year's cast, they sure know how to make a jury speech. The reason Casey was on the block, he said, was because of two people, and I quote: ''Ronnie, the manipulative dorkapotomous with the god complex. Jesse, the self-absorbed, smedium-wearing egomaniac with a personality and IQ of, ironically enough, a banana.'' (Though I replayed this speech many times, I'm sure I misheard it: What the hell is ''smedium''? Whatever it may be, I know that its main use is wiping all expression off of Jessie's face.) Ultimately, this speech did nothing but give Casey some catharsis, and give his school more reasons to reconsider having him back.

With Casey gone, the clique structure was eliminated, and the players went on an endurance circular swing challenge for HOH that continued past the live show, yet another way for the producers to get their money's worth on their rain machine. Who will win? Not sure, and I'm torn as to who should, just as I'm torn about who should win the Coup D'Etat, a power resurrected from “Big Brother All-Stars.” Whomever viewers vote to get the Coup can (at least for the next two weeks) toss out the HOH's nominations right before live voting, and then replace either one or both nominees with his or her own choice. The winner also has to keep what the Coup does secret, or it loses its power, something that happened to Mike Boogie when he had it. Boy, I miss that guy. So lovable.

Again, my underdog loyalties should make me want to urge you all to vote to give the Coup to Jeff or Jordan, but they seem so incapable of making good moves that it feels wasteful. (A coworker emailed me tonight to say, ''Aren't those two the cutest?'' To which I say, ''If they can spell 'cute,' they can be cute. But until then, they're just dummest.'' Although Jordan's dimness makes more sense after tonight, when we saw that someone in her town put up a poster supporting her and misspelled her name. Someone should really test that town's water supply for battery acid.) But on the other hand, I certainly don’t want Jessie, Natalie, Lydia, or Ronnie to get it. Perhaps the it would be better to vote for Michele to get it. Best case scenario, she'll celebrate the victory by falling over and getting her head caught in the slop pot.