Just one episode into week 2, this is shaping up to be a really great cast. After the starless void that was BB15, the evil masterminds over at Big Brother (who also managed to come up with something new and interesting for this week’s Battle of the Block instead of redressing an old idea) must have sought council from the Survivor casting team (who’ve been on an amazing winning streak lately) because this group is great. I’m really liking most of them and even my week one least favourites Pow Pow and Jocasta aren’t overwhelmingly annoying anymore. And the only person who is truly a mess is also wildly entertaining (what up, Devin?! Craziest player in years).
Here are my picks for Ones to Watch:
Frankie: When the cast was announced, Frankie seemed like he’d be over the top, possibly a little reckless, and definitely someone there more to be famous than play the game. But it took minutes for the Broadway chorus boy to win me over. Yes he’s charming and snarky and all the things he was advertised to be but Ariana Grande’s brother also very clearly has his head firmly on his shoulders. He knows when to keep quiet, how to foster good will (everyone seems to count him as their best friend in the house), and is definitely going to prove a challenge beast (athleticism and strength to compete with the men in power comps, dancer’s agility, balance and stamina to compete with the girls, and a brain that appears to work faster than most of the others). He can also spot a bad move from a mile away, and that’s very promising.
Christine: Another obvious choice out of the gate, Christine is clever, knows the game, and is so far working an amazing social strategy (no one sees her as a threat but everyone sees her as an asset- a good spot to be in). She’s also the head of “the weirdest alliance ever” with fellow likeable weirdos Hayden and Nicole, which is just so fun to root for.
Zach: After episode 3 I posited the risky theory via twitter that Zach might become one of my favourites (along with obvious choices Frankie and Christine… and surprising early departure Joey). Sure enough, by episode 5, he’s becoming just that. It was something Gheesling-esque about his diary room confessions that got me to give him a second glance. He’s loud and occasionally ridiculous but he’s also pretty funny and seems to know the game and know how to manage a crisis. He might secretly be the gamer of the season (again, still very early to tell) and I’m hoping he teams up with Frankie to go all the way.
Derrick: The undercover cop seems like a really strong strategic thinker but he might not be a big enough personality to really stand out. He might be the Kim Spradlin of Big Brother– an excellent player whose low-key competence made her season not all that exciting. I’m hoping someone backs Derrick into a corner soon so we can see him start to really maneuver.
Cody: He’s middle of the pack for sure but his skepticism about the Bomb Squad makes me think he’s a smarter player than he seems.
Brittany: Like Cody, she looks like a standard, boring Big Brother bathing suit but appears to have more of a brain than you usually get from said archetype. She’s not interested in putting up with Devin’s crap and I’m sincerely hoping she’s the one who brings him down.
Caleb: Possibly the most intriguing player in the house, Caleb vibes like a creepy backwoods macho man but then seems incredibly sweet (almost bizarrely so) and his unrequited love for Amber is somehow oddly endearing instead of creepy. You want to write him off as a dumb jock (who posited the Donny-is-military theory!) but then he puts his thumb directly on the pulse of the house and you think he maybe might have some insight. I don’t know what to make of Caleb- I think I might love him, but it’s also possible he’s a psychopath or a dumb dumb. I’m psyched to find out, though. (Bonus points for hottest houseguest).