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Big Brother 15 Episode One: The Battle Begins

Big Brother 15 Cast
(credit: CBS)

It's time for another season of Big Brother! I first want to say "welcome" if this is your first season or "welcome back and thank you" for coming back to read what I'm blogging. I can't thank CBS Detroit enough for this wonderful opportunity and hopefully in a future season I can be in this house. Throughout the show, I was tweeting, trying to vigorously type notes and refresh Twitter for the "Watch with Dan," series, where Dan Gheesling comments on live episodes of Big Brother. I even went back to watch the show again on to make sure I got everything I wanted to say across. Are you ready to see the battle? I know I am!

New set and new houseguests

The first segment with Julie Chen wasn't so robotic but showed she was a vibrant and cheerful person. If any Big Brother fans saw the first season of Big Brother Canada, wasn't it a bit strange how the design looked eerily similar? I did enjoy the new audience set because it made the live audience feel like they were watching the show as if they were at home as opposed to the audience being in front of the camera seated behind Julie and the Big Brother house. Julie didn't say her typical lines welcoming the houseguests. It was their first time seeing one another, but they were not allowed to speak. Instead we saw them all together with Julie and the audience in a shot after their introductions.

So after getting my first impressions of the houseguests from the "press junket" with Jeff Schroeder, I was excited to see how the houseguests "found out" they were chosen to be in the Big Brother house. Fun fact, it's all slightly staged, however as a viewer you would think it was being filmed for the first time. When in reality (pun intended) they do a few takes to make sure they got the show they're looking for. Don't just take my word for it, even Dan mentioned it during his series. Did anyone else catch Nick's homage to Dan and the game when he entered the house? It's very subtle and you have to watch him in the background do it.

Houseguests first impressions

As tradition in Big Brother the houseguests go around the room introducing themselves. This is a crucial time when the houseguests can size up the competition and figure out whom they will try to align with. It's also important for the houseguests to figure out what they'll say to the other houseguests without revealing too much and being considered a threat. I was glad Helen just went with the "mom" route for her introduction. Dan said during his series that Andy should've withheld that he was a professor for public speaking. Now I would have to agree with Dan on this because Andy being a professor and who teaches public speaking could hinder him in the game. But only time will tell whether or not that backfires. We also see some potential showmance connections. I wonder which houseguests will become the first showmance or maybe we'll have a "gaymance" this summer. Poor McCrae, editing puts awkward sounds every time he is trying to interact with other houseguests. This definitely makes him look like an outcast.

Immediately after introductions, alliances were slowly being hatched. Elissa wants to form an all-girl alliance, then there is a three male alliance consisting of Jeremy, Spencer & Howard, and then we have the "most cutest alliance" including Jeremy, David and Jessie.  These different alliances will be interesting to see how they pan. Will we see an all-girl alliance, very unlikely but I could be wrong and when will Jeremy get caught being a part of multiple alliances. It was interesting to hear Judd be the first to figure out that Elissa looked eerily familiar. Dan was very surprised that Julie Chen mentions a quote from Rachel Reilly, which he felt was going to hinder Elissa -- which I can agree to except I knew Julie was going to say that since Tweeting a photo of her script for the opening and mentioning it prior to the first episode.

A Sticky HOH

The innuendos during the competition were really funny. McCrae even admits that he was being seen as a threat. I was surprised how quickly Judd, Jeremy and Candice got out of the first HOH competition. Now even though some houseguests say it's not important to be the first HOH, I would want to win the first HOH. It guarantees your safety the first week and you can start to see who you can form an alliance with. Not winning the first HOH also has its advantages but it's all a part of the game. Now with an endurance I was going to assume this was a ladies competition to lose. The ladies started dropping like flies. Then an offer was made by Julie which was a great deal, however David got the wrong end of the offer, while Jeremy won a "Never a Not" pass, which in my opinion sets yourself as a target early on. Now Dan said in his commentary that Aaryn put a target on her back because she was the last lady standing with the guys. I can agree that she is a strong competitor but we haven't seen her mental prowess, so the target on Aaryn's back can be slightly small. In the end I was glad that the "outcast" McCrae was the winner of this weeks HOH.

After McCrae's win as HOH, the twist about BBMVP was finally explained. Which I think puts a great twist for the season because even though there's a HOH, the BBMVP could upset the HOH's two nominations with the third nomination. But this also adds more players for the POV competition which can save a nomination and save themselves (if it's a houseguest not nominated) off the chopping block. I'm looking forward to seeing who'll figure out some loophole with this twist, like Nakomis did with the "backdoor" strategy back in season five. What I really enjoy about this twist is it's kept anonymous. When it gets closer to the finale, when will they stop this twist? In the game a third nominee could be chosen after final four and by then you'll start to see who the BBMVP is. I also have a slight concern that with this twist, it could become more of a "popularity" contest than a houseguest who's actually deserving this title for the week. I'm hoping America is smart enough to vote for game than who they like, because the person they may like could be on the block already.

My Top Three Houseguests

1.  McCrae - Not only is McCrae sitting pretty at HOH, but he's proven he can be a competitor. I'm surprised other houseguests underestimated him of being just a socially awkward guy and an outcast. I hope with his nominations he'll show the other houseguests he's here to play the game.

2. Nick - He may not have won HOH, but Nick is a force to be reckoned with. Nick looks like he understands to win the game you need physical, mental and social skills. Nick is a jack of all trades and should be seen as a threat.

3. (tie) Aaryn - Was the last female standing, Aaryn proved herself and to me that she is in this game to win. Which I can appreciate and applaud.

3. (tie) Judd - "Party Darty" ties with Aaryn, because Dan made a good point that it was smart of Judd to withhold the information that Elissa is Rachel's sister. So hopefully Judd will use this information to his advantage.

My Bottom Three Houseguests

1.  Howard - He is seen as a physical threat and Howard knows this. Howard had hoped to have Jeremy his alliance member have his back, but failed to do so.

2.  GinaMarie - Was already annoying a houseguest (Spencer) and usually whoever is annoying gets nominated, but it doesn't always necessarily mean they're out first. It's never a good position to be in.

3. Elissa - Aaryn and Judd have made accusations she looks like Rachel. Having a sibling who is a BB Alum and winner is never a good thing, especially when you're trying to play as an individual as oppose to the shadows of a sibling.

Prediction of BBMVP

I predict this first week is a popularity contest and that Elissa wins it. However I personally hope either Helen, Aaryn or Nick get it.

Prediction of Nominations 

McCrae nominates GinaMarie & Kaitlin. Just by sheer guess combined with who won't connect with McCrae or be seen as a target in McCrae's eyes.

Whoever wins BBMVP, I predict they will put Jeremy in as the third nominee because he's won the "Never a Not" pass and is slightly too confident early in the game.

If you haven't already, connect with me and let me know what you think! I love to hear from you, the readers and Big Brother watchers. Remember Big Brother airs three days a week on CBS Detroit 62 -- on Sundays at 8 p.m., Tuesdays at 9 p.m. and a live eviction on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. If you want to catch "Watch with Dan," go to to find out more. Looking forward to seeing who McCrae nominates, who is the first BBMVP and who'll be a have or have not for the week, this Sunday!

Mark Drum is a Farmington Hills, MI native and Big Brother fan since 2000. He hopes to one day be on Big Brother and win. Mark is a graduate from the University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Theatre Arts. He's a member of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and can be found popping up in movie production sets and theater stages around Detroit. Connect with Mark! Blogspot / Twitter /Facebook / Email

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