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Sorry’s the Hardest Word for ‘Big Brother’ Contestant

What’s more awkward than “Dating in the Dark” or Paula drumming her fingertips in wait of a deal better than Seacrest’s?  (No, not “Dance Your Ass Off.” Pole dancing was last week.)

How about conducting a professional interview with someone who called you a “ho” on national televison?

This week’s Awkward Award (and believe me, there were plenty of nominees) goes to Julie Chen for her exit interview with Braden, the first evictee from “Big Brother 11.” An edited version of the interview aired this past Friday on “The Early Show,” but the full 15 minutes of awkwardness can be found online. 

For those of you who are lost, think back to what Chima said before the eviction votes were cast on Thursday’s show. Can’t remember? You’re not alone. No, your TV wasn’t on the fritz, as I first thought. CBS edited out her comments, even though Julie called it the “most memorable speech in ‘Big Brother’ history.” 

What Chima alluded to was not only that Braden had called both Lydia and Kevin “beaners,” but the fact that he had also referred to host Chen as a “ho.”

During the exit interview, Chen handled herself with class while still putting Braden on the spot. She asked about his views on women and if he were embarrassed by any of his conduct in the house. When asked what his mother would think of his behavior on the show, he said she’d probably say, “I’m surprised you made it and didn’t say anything worse.”

Chen was clearly looking for some sort of apology — or at least acknowledgement of his words. The only problem? Braden seemed too dense (or too embarrassed) to get it. It was clear that he fancies himself an all-American guy who is a friend to all.

The remaining houseguests have been spending time trying to figure out who in their midst was a traitor. Surprisingly, it was (seemingly dumb) Laura that was right on the money, suspecting Brain Ronnie.

Ronnie, who has been playing both sides, won the HOH competition, earning him prized possessions like a bubble gun and the “Legally Blonde: The Musical” CD. (Right here is where I would usually mock him, but I actually own that CD, too, and aspire to one day have a bubble gun as well.)

Ronnie nominated Athlete Jeff and Popular Laura.  I guess when you’re playing all sides, someone’s gonna end up being betrayed.

Ronnie then tried to convince the Populars, the Offbeats and Athlete Natalie that Russell was really the target and that they would “backdoor” him once the Power of Veto was used. (That is, put him on the block in place of whoever was taken off.) If someone in their circle were to win the POV, he explained, then the numbers would “swing back.”

Maybe I don’t understand this game as well as I should but does he really think he can just float back and forth between groups with no consequences?

Jeff ended up winning the POV and, of course, taking himself off the block, leaving only Laura. In a shocking move, Ronnie chose to nominate Jordan, not Russell, for eviction.

His reasoning was that everyone likes Jordan and will most definitely vote out Laura. Also, he’s picked up on the fact that Laura isn’t as dumb as she seems and is on to him. 

Though Ronnie’s keeping everyone on their toes with his gameplay, I’m not sure if it’s earning him any friends. And isn’t it integral that people trust you in this game? I’m not sure how long it will take before his double-crossing backfires, but I hope he wins HOH again soon. 

I’m thinking of shelling out the $39.99 for the live feed just to watch him dance in his room to “Omigod You Guys.”


Our favorite grumpy Brit is back! No, not him. The other one. The one who cooks.

For me, “Hell’s Kitchen” is far superior to “Top Chef,” and it all boils down to one word: schadenfreude. While the participants on “Top Chef Masters” are no less than culinary geniuses, the same cannot necessarily be said for the competitors on “Hell’s Kitchen.” 

And that is part of the reason I love it. I sure as heck don’t know anything about cooking, but I have to wonder where Chef Ramsey gets some of these contestants. The women didn’t get out one single entree during the two-episode opener!

An executive chef who serves a pregnant lady raw shrimp? Even I know that’s a bad idea, Tennille!

It’s not hot enough, Lovely?  How ‘bout you turn the stove on?!

Or how about a private chef who’s undercooked the pasta? Now, granted, my knowledge of pasta cooking is limited to Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, but my solution would be to keep cooking it.  Melinda’s answer? Dump it in the trash and start over — three times!  Her “deer in the headlights” demeanor  — not to mention serving Chef Ramsey a lobster dish with no, um, lobster — earned her a ticket home.

If there’s anything at all positive to be said about the ditzy women’s team, it’s that they are challenging the sexist adage that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

The men are not much better. Diner owner Louie so infuriated Ramsey with his misshapen meat that he was told to pack up and leave in the middle of the first dinner service. In his place, Robert, who had to leave the show last season due to health issues, was offered a second chance in the competition.

The men’s team is definitely offering up a heaping side of testosterone with its meals. Fish cook Van got into an altercation with maitre d’ Jean Philippe which resulted in them both getting a dressing down from Chef Ramsey. 

The second dinner service was such a disaster, in fact, that Chef Ramsey abandoned dreams of serving the diners a hot meal at all and instead had the contestants plate up shrimp cocktail. (BTW — if really bugs me when the guest diners complain about how long their food is taking. Have they never seen this show? They really should’ve filled up before coming.)

I thought the drama could not get any better and then came eliminations. When Chef Ramsey asked sous chef Joseph which team members the men had nominated for elimination and why, he could not answer the question properly.  Instead, tempers flared and Joseph eventually dropped F-bombs on nearly all his competitors and Chef Ramsey, eventually throwing his chef’s jacket at him and challenging him to “step outside to the parking lot.” 


Of course, then there was the fade to black and the words “To Be Continued.”

Don’t worry, Tony and Andy. I think you’ll be safe this round.

Well, stay tuned because the previews promised a season full of things like fire trucks and people yelling, “Medic! Medic!” 

And you thought this show was just about cigarettes and risotto.