The sounds of the “Hallelujah” chorus were ringing in the ears of "Big Brother" fans everywhere tonight.
No, it wasn’t because the Chenbot unveiled a bouncy new summer ‘do tonight.
The yelps of delight were because good guy Jeff finally got his game on and summoned the courage to move against Jessie ("I’m shredded!") and Natalie (Scrappy Doo), bravely using the power of coup d’etat awarded to him by America.
The result: Jessie, the season ten contestant who should have never been let inside the house, was evicted from the "Big Brother" house. Again.
Finally, the balance of power shifted, just a bit, from this season’s Axis of Sycophants (Jessie, Natalie and, sadly, Chima). Fans who’ve watched in horror as the trio terrorized the innocents in the house saw their fondest dreams fulfilled as Jessie strutted his way out of the house, self-absorbed and clueless to the end.
Executive producer Allison Grodner was still catching her breath when we talked to her by phone earlier this evening.
"It was an emotionally charged episode," Grodner said. "It was hugely dramatic, just electric. It was amazing."
The show had a super-high energy level even though, in a rarity for Thursday editions, it was pre-taped. (Grodner says the show was shot live to tape, with no significant edits).
Jessie’s exit has already lead to some major tantrum-throwing by Chima (and, to a lesser extent, Natalie).
"They’re upset because for the first time, they’re not in power," Grodner said. "They’re being whiny, which is too bad because they’re both strong players."
Grodner hinted that Chima and Natalie’s level of ire may have risen to the point where they threatened to quit the game immediately after the eviction. In the case of Chima, Grodner said that would be a shame.
"Chima could take this game if she doesn’t decide to quit," she said. "But sometimes she lets her pride get in the way. She may not be well-liked but she’s played a great game."
While Jeff’s coup dominated the night, one of the highlights was the smackdown between Russell and Jessie. The battle unfolded last night on "Big Brother After Dark," but unfortunately, there wasn’t enough time to show how the fight ended: With Jessie and Russell laughing and playfully grabbing each other like schoolboys. In a Catholic boarding school.
"It was a bromance," Grodner admitted. (Actually, we think it might have been more, but we’ll let "Big Brother" historians make the call).
Meanwhile, in what may have been one of the best outcomes for fans of mystery, Michelle won HOH. The ultimate floater may finally have to choose sides.
"Michelle is emerging as an amazingly strong player," Grodner said, adding that this season has boasted the strongest collection of female players in some time. (We assume she isn’t including Jordan. We love Jordan. But has she done anything but look pretty all summer?)
Finally, we promised to ask Grodner a few of your questions …
So here goes.
Jaymi asked why the live feeds fade to black when houseguests are acting up or producers don’t want viewers to see something. "Why can’t production simply change cameras, as they do for Showtime?" Jaymi asks.
"Because we don’t have anything to switch to," Grodner said.
On "BBAD," producers can always choose between two feeds. There’s always an option because there’s only one main feed being shown at any time.
But with the live Internet feeds, viewers are watching what producers are watching– and taping. Cutting away from a feed would mean producers would have to stop recording that feed.
"What you’re seeing on the quad is what we’re choosing to focus on," she says. "We can’t switch from one of those feeds."
Several fans also expressed concern that producer favor the so-called "bad guys" in a season.
"I love how passionate our fans are," Grodner said. "But I’m not rooting for one side or another. Ultimately the best story comes from power shifts, and heroes and villains– and people who could be both."
In other words, Grodner loves when power shifts from week to week; it wouldn’t make sense for her to tilt the show toward one side since… well, since that would boring.
Feel free to discuss tonight’s show below. And leave your questions for Grodner– I’ll try to ask a few more next week.
Finally, for a super snarky comic take on "Big Bro," be sure to check out B-Side Blog’s photo caps, available here.