Celebrity Big Brother U.S. Power Rankings & Week 2 Spoilers

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My days as a Big Brother prognosticator might be over before they started. My pick to win it all in this first edition of Celebrity Big Brother U.S. has been eliminated.

We hardly knew ye, “Ironman” Chuck Liddell.

It’s hard to assess how players will play until you get to know them. Or get to see them. Publicly.

Who knew that Metta World Peace was such a softie, missing his wife and wanting to kiss her? Last I saw the man formerly known as Ron Artest, he was climbing into the stands after a Detroit Pistons fan threw something on him, in a fracas known as “Malice at the Palace.”

Who knew that Mark McGrath was so under-confident as a rock star? He seems star struck by the whole deal, and he hasn’t played hard all week.

Who knew that Shannon Elizabeth was such a competitive bad-ass? She won the first Head of Household, only to have it stripped away in the game’s first twist, the ‘Gift Bag’ twist. She then won the Power of Veto ceremony and largely controlled the formation of this season’s first alliance — the girls vs. the guys.

That always works out. </sarcasm>

But it was Chuck Liddell eliminated after the first three days of competition, 7-1, with Omarosa being the only houseguest who voted to keep the MMA legend. She did it largely on a two-person alliance she has with Keisha Knight Pulliam, a duo they call, “BGM,” or Black Girl Magic.

Methinks Shannon Elizabeth sensed this two-some at some point because she worked hard to get the house to flip from James Maslow to Chuck. Perhaps she didn’t sense that alliance as much as she was pissed at Omarosa, for shouting her down as she tried to explain her strategic thoughts in Keisha’s HOH room.

Omarosa told her, “All I’m hearing is ‘I, I, I'” and nothing that benefits the team. Fair enough, although this does come from Omarosa who is 98% “I, I, I” anyway. Maybe it takes one to know one?

I mentioned Keisha, who ended the week in power after opening her ‘gift bag’ as part of the first-week twist and immediately nominating James Maslow and the aforementioned Chuck Lidell. Keisha earned that honor after all the girls alliance took to the diary room (DR) upon seeing Lidell head that way.

Lidell figured that the girls-vs-guys situation was serious, and that it would take a big play to get momentum back for the guys. Little did he know that not one other guy would stand with him.

He went it alone. Like a madman. And it just made him a huge target.

I write that as if Lidell had any serious strategy about his gameplay. After his eviction, he noted that he never wanted to be on Big Brother as much as he wanted to be on “The Amazing Race.” However, I’ve got news for him: The Amazing Race is equally strategic, and I think he’d struggle.

Alas, the first week ended with Shannon a target for her competitive capability and James a target for his social play. Former Big Brother champions Ian, Derrick, Nicole and Josh joined Julie Chen on Friday for an analysis of the week that was, and they each had their thoughts for who might win. Josh said Ross Mathews was playing a nice social game by working both sides of the house — and I tend to agree.

Derrick and Nicole mentioned Marrisa Jaret Winokur’s understated style, which I don’t quite agree with yet.

And then there’s Ian, who said that the house had best get rid of James Maslow before he runs the table with them — and I totally agree. Like Dan before him and Evel Dick before that, it pays to get rid of the best players early, and it rarely happens like that. Who in that house really thought that Chuck was a bigger threat than James?

The logic instead was that James might be willing to align with a Shannon down the road, making a more formidable, smaller alliance than anything a gender-based group could muster. I suspect that will benefit somebody, and for Shannon’s sake, she should hope it’s her. A Shannon-James alliance would be extraordinarily tough to beat, and I might suggest adding Ross into that mix as well.

And now for a spoiler alert ahead of Sunday night’s show: Ross won HoH this next round. I hesitate to say week because, with 11 players, this game is going to be played quickly. Ross nominated Keisha and Omarosa, who had to leave the house briefly this weekend because of an asthma attack. By all accounts, she’s back in the house, however.

My power rankings are below:

1. James Maslow. How he survived the first eviction is beyond me, but he’s going to be tough to beat. He seems like the quintessential Big Brother player and reminds me of Paul a lot.

2. Shannon Elizabeth. Great at competitions, she just needs to chill it on the social side of things. I suspect her personality will be totally polarizing throughout the season.

3. Ross Mathews. He’s done a nice job of working both sides of the house.

4. Omarosa. She’s filled with drama, but she’s been understated in this first week. The claws haven’t come out fully, but when they do: it’s bad. Real bad. (“It’s bad,” of course referring to Omarosa’s comments to Ross about the Trump White House.)

5. Marissa Jaret Winokur. I would agree that she’s been under the radar, and she’s highly likable. Who wants to go after Marissa?

6. Keisha Knight Pulliam. She’s also a superfan of the show, and I think she also had a good week. A 1-2 punch of Omarosa and Rudy Huxtable might be tough to beat. Smaller alliances and especially duos do way better than bigger groups in this game.

7. Metta World Peace. He’s playing the “I don’t wanna be here” card, just like Josh did last year. Unlike last year, I think MWP isn’t joshing. (See what I did there?)

8. Brandi Glanville. She’s been catty, but it hasn’t been catty within the constructs of the game. I think she thinks this is “Real Houseguests of Los Angeles,” and she’s supposed to play the Queen B. I hate to admit it, but she’s totally entertaining in a “she’s a mess” sort of way. I rather enjoy it.

9. Ariadna Gutierrez. We’ve seen her in a baby suit with James Maslow, their punishment for coming in last in the first Power of Veto competition, but beyond that, she’s been milquetoast thus far. Don’t get a sense that she’s going to be around for long.

10. Mark McGrath. Came off as weak in the first few days, as if he were more interested in jock-sniffing than game play. It surprises me to be honest. I expected him to be a player, but then again: I picked Chuck Lidell to win it all. What do I know?

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