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After last season's summer of bigotry, sexism, racism, homophobia, and just all around hate, Big Brother's 16th installment has, uh, a lot to live up (or down) to. And while you'd like to imagine that this year's group of poor saps stuck in the L.A. compound won't be as awful as the previous batch, I realized watching tonight's season premiere (part one of two), that every season of Big Brother is, for viewers, mostly an exercise in figuring out who is what is best referred to as The Least Worst. 

Due to the show's new rules (two HOHs, four nominees, other borderline nonsensical stuff that won't matter come week five) and a desire to drag this out even longer than usual, the premiere only introduced us to half of the cast. But first impressions mean everything and it's crucial who you know is not entirely terrible and who will probably end up as part of an uncomfortable headline come mid-July. Here are the early Big Brother Least Worst Power Rankings, from WORST to Least Worst. 



8. Please go away: Paola

Here's the good news about Paola: she, as of yet, does not appear to be a full-stop bigot. For Big Brother, that's progress. The bad news? Mostly everything else. Paola is the kind of person who brought "three months worth" of eyelashes to a show where everyone slinks around in sweatpants and ugly hoodies by week two and asks really awkward questions just so she can say that she's the kind of person who asks really awkward questions. Also, she had to count on her fingers the difference between 27 and 23. In an initial group of eight, there are two people with notable accents we're supposed to laugh at (Donny and Nicole), but it's Paola who has the worst voice. Go away, now.



7. and 6. BROS: Cody and Devin

Shout out to Cody and Devin, the former semi-professional athletes, both of whom ceased being semi-professional athletes before their late 20s. It's okay to just admit that you weren't good enough dudes, you don't have to make up excuses like "I wanted to be there for my kid who I see on FaceTime." Neither Cody and Devin presented telltale signs of true awfulness, but they're also bound to get stuck in showmances and/or constantly be baffled at their underperformance in challenges because of how much they lift. 



5. and 4. Yokels: Donny and Nicole

You sort of feel bad for people like Donny, the school groundskeeper and only person in the cast over 40, and Nicole, the season's "dumb blonde" stock character type, because they're just tossed into this cesspool of exploitation, sexualization, and general sludge of humanity, but then they start saying things like "I feel like I've been shot out of a cannon and landed on Mars" about the "house" and you just want them to go back to their one stoplight town forever. You don't belong in this world, and it's better for you and for us if you escape sooner rather than later. Don't be anybody's hillbilly puppet, Donny! 



3. Fame-adjacent: Frankie

Would you believe it if I told you that the show cast a quote-unquote YouTube celebrity and the brother of Ariana Grande to be on a season where social media votes (or something) matter pretty substantially? Oh, you would? Well then. I absolutely expected to despise Frankie from the word go, and he almost got there by referencing his sister repeatedly, calling her, and WEARING TANK TOPS WITH ONLY THE POUND SIGN (#). But as the episode progressed, he appeared to be your run of the mill fame-seeking goofball who knows where the cameras are and knows what his 'persona' is. It could have been so much worse. 



2. Check out my cool hair, it's going to be my only notable trait: Joey

The Big Brother casting process is a thing of beauty. I don't know if this is true or not, and it's better if I don't confirm it, but it feels like there's somebody, usually female, with WILD HAIR on this show every season. Because white ladies with wild hair are just crazy y'all! This year, it's Joey, who's from Seattle, does weird gestures with her hands when she speaks, and is 100 percent going to ruin the all-girl alliance (the lovely-named "El Quatro") because she can't lie, or something. But blue hair! What a wild card!



1. The Least Worst: Amber

Amber isn't interesting. She likes rock climbing and guns. She also likes her men "tall, dark, and handsome." She probably only reads books from the front table at Barnes and Noble. Nevertheless, Amber threw the first challenge out of fear for the show's new rules, which is always an entertaining play and managed to do so in amusingly fake fashion. She might as well have stopped and said, "I am throwing this challenge right now. This one here. I'm purposefully not winning it. I am losing it." Big Brother is the kind of crazy world where a woman who is introduced when saying "You don't have to worry about my dad with a gun, you have to worry about me" is the least annoying/offensive of the initial group. 


All in all, not the worst group of people that have been on this show. But the great news is that there are still eight more to come; there's bound to be some truly horrible and hateful things coming down the pike. I can't wait!

 

What'd you think of the first part of the premiere? Who do like the most thus far?

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 9/21/2016

Season 18 : Episode 42

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Big Brother season 16 is going to the best one. I am really fascinated with the complicated and genuine relationship between each character, their alliance, their love story. I agree a lot with the review of "Big Brother 16: one of the best yet" in Look to the Cookie. http://www.looktothecookie.org/2014/10/big-brother-16-one-of-best-yet.html


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Stop acting like this show matters. All of you.
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Paola is my favorite second Frankie third Nicole least favorite Devin
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I have to agree Amber is the least horrible of the cast so far (although I'd rank Frankie way worse). Even if her decision to throw the comp was questionable, at least it shows she's thinking strategically and playing the game as oppose to "We're talking game ALREADY????" Joey and Nicole/Donny who's idea of good gameplay is "I'd really like to align myself with the quietest, least social people because I can relate to that."
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Actually the worst thing about Paola is not what you wrote. It is her constant drool over Cody. She does it like every time she is on camera. Does she not know this will make many people dislike her especially the legions of Cody female fans.

Cody will have big bunch of teenage girls who will vote for him.

There will be as much people who will hate Frankie as those who loved him. Question is which group will spend the money voting?

I liked the 2 HOH idea but hate the Team America thing. BB Canada did the right twist at the right time. Just hope BB US will do the same.
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for thosewho likes to watch big brother, please do not have children, the world does not need your genes... LOL
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Im gonna kill myself because of this comment.
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But by all means Internet troll, please reproduce. Your genes are critical to humaity's survival.
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The Amber quote about throwing the challenge cracked me up! She'll be thanking her lucky stars the producers labeled her an esthetician and not a model/actor
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Now that the season is finished, could we get Hannibal Lecter as a guest contestant?
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I am reserving judgment, basically because I kind of feel like Big Brother is playing wee bit of a trick on us. They gave us the non-offensive, generally kind of nice, probably TV boring people first (like, I am willing to bet even with Joey's political points, currently, every single member of the house would probably agree with her on all social issues and Paola will settle down) and all the more outrageous, potentially offensive, more uncomfortable personality people are in the second wave. Like, in other words, if you want a nice person to win this, look at this crew not the ones we will meet tomorrow night. Like, I bet the lot of them, would never even cross their mind to all join forces together.

Basically, I think we have a little group of guppies of whom I think Devin, Amber and probably Joey need to protect from the sharks who are probably coming in.
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Dude, Cody is hot, how dare you! Lol plus in almost every shot he's near Frankie.

Remember Matt + Ragan from BB12? I will never stop shipping those two. Now I'm daydreaming about Matt in his onesie...
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Nicole is my fav so far. She's adorkable and sweet.
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I didn't start watching BB until 2 years ago...which is probably why i still like it as much as I do. It is downright a guilty pleasure to watch people scheme and lie to get to half a million dollars.
I think this group is way better than last year, so far. The sneak peak at the other 8 seemed promising too...
I'll probably go with Devin and Amber as favourites so far and I agree, Paola is the absolute worst. Such a cliche. But it makes for good entertainment!

One thing though, why is every contestant a replica of previous seasons??
Is there a checklist to getting these groups together? Why can't we have 5 or 6 African-Americans? Or 5 or 6 gays? Why always just one of each??
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The reason they have one or two gay people and one or two black people is because of a checklist. They wouldn't dare leave a representative person out. But the show does under-represent Asians and many other ethnic groups. I don't see a lot of Hispanics for instance, despite the show being made in California.
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Yup, thinking the same thing...
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