Tonight’s episode of Big Brother made me eat the words of my reaction to the last episode of Big Brother. Everyone I thought I loved I now can’t stand. Everyone I hated has now managed to impress me. Everything has been flipped upside down. My thoughts on the house are as follows:

Braden*: (he was voted out tonight with a tie-breaking vote from Jessie) Though he let his verbal diarrhea get the better of him at points, he turned out to be a pretty wise guy… despite the salt-water brained persona.
Laura: Last episode her emotional breakdown about being isolated because she’s pretty had the same effect that Jen’s crying over her picture in season 8 did- inspired hatred.
But in tonight’s episode, Laura kept her cool, read the other houseguests well and played to her advantage- she may become my new unexpected favourite.
Jeff: He’s in the best possible position, he’s a member of the Athletes (so he can’t be eliminated anytime a physically strong player wins HOH) but he’s allied with everyone but the Athletes (so until the jocks scheme to have someone else kick him out for them, he’s golden).
Jordan: Like Laura, she couldn’t have come off as dumber last episode but handled this one pretty well. She flipped out at one point but then got her head on straight and figured out what they had to do to keep the Popular clique alive. “Smarter than they seem” being a relative term, she definitely qualifies after this episode.
Russell: He may look like a meat head but he has almost supernatural powers of perception.

He can read people like the best manipulators in BB history and can turn the power any way he wants it. His downfall will be the fact that everyone knows how good he is and no one seems to be underestimating him.
Casey: He may be obnoxious but he knows to stay out of the drama- a quality consistent in all the best Big Brother players.
Dumber Than They Look:
Lydia: she’s got short hair and a funny grin and really cool hats. She looks like an outsider but schmoozes like an insider. She should be ruling the house.
But she’s an overly sensitive hothead whose attempts at manipulation are incredibly transparent and who overplayed her hand within hours of walking in the front door. She went from my favourite to my least favourite in 20 minutes of air-time, that’s got to be a new record.
Kevin: an overly sensitive drama queen who seems, for lack of a better word, bitchy. He needs to calm down and learn to take a metaphorical punch if he’s going to get anywhere at all (which I guarantee he won’t do).
Ronnie: he wouldn’t seem so dumb if he weren’t so convinced of his own genius. Sure he seems to know the right strategies and sure voting to keep Chima in was the right move for his own interests, but Russell was on his trail the second he tried to be sneaky; subtlety is not this self-professed “gamer’s” strong suit.
The Others:
Chima: Ew. Could she be any more of a princess? And what was with that speech? Drama queen be gone!
Michele: I like her. She’s calm and smart and sweet and hasn’t done anything to really piss me off yet. That said, she hasn’t really done anything substantial other than play against stereotype by being bold enough to model her bikini and self confident enough to take a stand against her ridiculous teammate Chima (on both counts she seems like a winner).
Natalie: I don’t know. She’s too dramatic and one of those “truth speakers” that are always so proud of themselves for being so. She’s tough as balls though and keeps right up with her overbearing Athlete teammates. The jury’s still out on her.
Jessie: I’ve been flip flopping on him for 2 years now. He’s ridiculous and in love with himself and obnoxious as all get out but he has his moments. At times he can be really sweet and surprisingly astute. He saw right through Laura’s attempts at flattery but then falls prey to bad strategizing on a regular basis. The guy’s a giant muscled conundrum.
In happy Big Brother news, last season’s winner Dan (aka 2nd best player in BB history and winner of the 2009 My TV Award for Best Reality Star) is set to appear in Sunday’s episode- oh happy day!