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Celebrity Big Brother down to Final 5, but only 2 can win


Spoilers are ahead, so if you don’t want to know who won the Celebrity Big Brother Final 5 Head of Household or Power of Veto, do not continue. There are five house guests left, but in my estimation, there are only two who can win.


With only one more TV episode left, Celebrity Big Brother is down to its Final 5, but really it’s down to its Final 4 because we’ve learned that Ross Mathews has won HOH and nominated Omarosa Manigault Newman and Ariadna Gutierrez. We also know that Ross won the POV and, almost assuredly, isn’t going to use it.

With Marissa Jaret Winokur and Mark McGrath left to vote, it’s almost a certainty that Omarosa is going home first on Finale Night. If not a 2-0 vote, surely Ross would be sending the reality television villain to the hot seat with Julie Chen. I always feel like when I mention Omarosa and “reality villain” that I should also note her credentials as a Trump and Clinton administrator. However, that’s only because she talks about it so much.

She’s been a good Big Brother player, but Ross has been a better player. I think he wins the first-ever Celebrity Big Brother. His social game has been terrific, and he’s won competitions when it counted, both the cerebral and the physical. The most recent HOH competition involved house guests hanging on to snow skis.

Ross managed to be part of two big alliances that covered every house guest except one, I believe. There’s nobody in that house who thinks Ross is a bad player, and I suspect they’ve all fancied him a favorite from the outset. Favorite as in “could win.” So, what each of these alliances did was associate themselves with a guy who would have both social and competitive power.

Smart by them. Good on him.

Yet the power moves in this game came from the women. Ariadna was responsible for the CBB demise of Shannon Elizabeth, who is sure to win America’s Favorite Houseguest. She pledged to donate the $25,000 to her charitable organization, Animal Avengers. Likewise, Omarosa is responsible for the eviction of James Maslow.

As of this writing (Sunday morning), we know that Omarosa is dead-man-walking, which leave us with Ross, Ariadna, Marissa and Mark.

See also: Diary Room Highlights

Omarosa has all but killed Marissa’s chances of winning by elaborately detailing why nobody would win sitting next to her in a Final Two. I do not think Omarosa is correct because both Ari and Ross would win sitting next to her. Even Omarosa might win sitting next to Marissa. The only person who has no shot of winning is Mark.

Heck, if Mark had been more competitive throughout the three-week season, he might have stood a chance. Probably the biggest reason he’s still in the house is because he’s such a fantastic roommate. In Saturday night’s retrospective episode, we see Mark doing all the cleaning.

All this leads me to a prediction: The only two house guests who have a real shot at the $250,000 are Ross Mathews and Ariadna Gutierrez. She’s proven herself to be a good competitor and a strategic player, as evidenced by her willingness to make the season’s first power move in eliminating Shannon.

It just comes down to that final HOH.

If Ross wins, he’s taking Mark McGrath. In Saturday’s episode, we see Ross and Mark talking about this. From Mathews’s perspective, we know why: beating Mark will be easy in a jury vote.

If Ariadna wins, she *should* take Mark, but I don’t know what she’ll do and I could see her taking Ross just because she likes him. I should give her the benefit of the doubt since she ushered Shannon out the door. However, you just never know.

Given the fact that she’s mostly known for having Miss Universe ripped from underneath her by an errant Steve Harvey and the fact that her dad is dying, which the audience saw in an emotional moment a few days ago, I’m rooting for Ariadna to win that final HOH, evict Ross and Marissa and take home the $250,000.

I just think she’s the house guest who could most use a little something good happen to her.

And if she wins that final HOH and makes the cutthroat decision to evict two of the game’s most popular house guests in Ross and Marissa, it will be hard to argue that she doesn’t deserve it as well.

With that said, I think Ross wins. Hoping for an Ariadna upset.

Anything else, to me, would be a big surprise.

Celebrity Big Brother Power Rankings: New HOH, nominations and Veto twist revealed (Sunday recap)


As we left our TVs on Friday night, our beloved celebrity house guests were sitting on stadium seats, hanging on for their HOH lives.

On Sunday night, we learned that after an hour and a half, Omarosa Manigault Newman won Head of Household. It came down to her and James Maslow, and he acknowledged that he wasn’t long for the game. Omarosa told the Big Time Rush star that he’d be safe this week if he dropped, and she swore on the Word of God.

That’s a heavy promise. James bought it, too.

Strategically, this apparently came down to Omarosa’s “big booty.” House guest words, not mine. Hey, maybe she is just in good shape, aside from that asthma thing.

Also, the first three to fall from their chairs against the wall were subject to Big Brother slop. This is slop’s first-ever appearance in Celebrity Big Brother — and its consumers are Metta World Peace, Ross Mathews and Mark McGrath.

Once Omarosa assumed her throne, the attention turned to the lone vote to save Shannon Elizabeth. That one vote came from Brandi Glanville, who admitted her transaction to outgoing HOH Ariadna Gutierrez. Her reasoning was that she knew Shannon was about to be evicted, and she didn’t want her to be ousted unanimously. Brandi felt sorry for her.

What’s so strange about this game is in developing opinions about celebrities. For example, Brandi’s sudden show of sympathy makes me like her. I just never imagined that I’d like a Real Housewife.

Metta, too. What a teddy bear of a guy. I thought he was supposed to be some kind of jerk. That’s what I was led to believe throughout his basketball career.

Omarosa starts using her HOH power to develop one-on-one deals with all the guys. Except Ross. He’s her target.

First, she approaches the Sugar Ray frontman and promises safety this week for his guarantee to her next week. She then talks to Metta but doesn’t get specific about any deal — I think — because there’s no real chance of him winning anything. Last but not least, Omarosa and James talk, leading the heartthrob to express his amazement that he’s working with the legendary reality villain.

With nominations looming, and with Omarosa targeting Ross, she and the former Tonight Show correspondent talked politics again.

Did you know that Omarosa not only worked in the Clinton administration, she worked in the Ready for Hillary pre-2016 campaign — that is, before the Donald asked her to join his team.

Omarosa then decided to do what she called opposition research and chat with Marissa Jaret Winokur and Gutierrez about who she should put up against Ross.

They both quickly sold out Brandi, which Omarosa saw as sketch. However, in the end, Omarosa went that direction and nominated Ross and Brandi, the former for his nomination of her earlier and the latter for her singular vote to save Shannon.

Brandi should never have revealed that. Incredibly stupid game move. Argh. Was pulling for you!

There are some hijinks with this week’s Power of Veto competition with America being allowed to trick it up. Here are our options:

Diamond veto: Veto winner can take themselves off the block and name the replacement.

VIP veto: Veto winner can use their veto twice in one ceremony, meaning that they could remove one nominee (themselves, e.g.) and then remove another after the replacement has been named.

Spotlight veto: Veto winner is obligated to use the POV.

You can vote up to 20 times until noon ET Monday. Live eviction happens on CBS Monday night.

My hunch is that if noms stay the same, the house guests will eventually keep Ross, which I think is a mistake. Alas, with these veto options out there, who knows.

My current Celebrity Big Brother rankings as of February 18. My pick is first. Kristi’s pick is second.

1. James / Ariadna

2. Omarosa / James

3. Ariadna / Omarosa

4. Marissa / Marissa

5. Mark / Mark

6. Ross / Ross

7. Metta / Brandi

8. Brandi / Metta

Beauty Queen Reigns Over Celebrity Big Brother House + Nominations


With Keisha Knight Pulliam headed home to feed her baby, frontrunner Shannon Elizabeth felt confident that her alliance would be able to send home Omarosa.

However, the rest of the house (with the exception of James Maslow) was gunning for the American Pie alum.

We’re in Day 9 of Celebrity Big Brother, and it already feels like we’ve been here for weeks. The drama has been as advertised, but the game play is only now starting to heat up.

And the HOH battle this week was crucial if anybody had sights on the ice queen, as Brandi Glanville calls Elizabeth.

The game was golf (putt putt with a giant fan to throw them off) and as the house guests took to the links, the hope was that anybody but Elizabeth or Maslow would win. The former was able to displace Glanville from the top of the leaderboard quickly.

And then house guest after house guest failed to keep up — until Ariadna Gutierrez bested Elizabeth by more than a minute on her quest to get three holes in one. It spawned a celebration that rightfully drew concern from the frontrunner.

McGrath threw the competition, and Maslow nearly knocked her out of the top spot. But in the end, the 2-second former Miss Universe won the third Head of Household competition and is the fourth HOH overall.

Immediately, Shannon suggests to James that they work to convince Ariadna that she should nominate Omarosa and Metta World Peace. However, Elizabeth is unable to get access to Gutierrez in her HOH because they brilliant place Metta in there as a buffer and a barrier.

Nobody wants Shannon to have access to Ariadna so that she could talk her into anything. Brandi, Ross Mathews and Marissa Jaret Winokur make sure of that.

And as expected, Ariadna puts up James and Shannon for eviction. Live Power of Veto and eviction happens Friday night on CBS.

We’ll see what comes of this power move, but props to the beauty queen. She’s showing some moxie.

If you’re digging the Big Brother posts, consider following this blog. I’ll be posting a ton this summer during BB 20.

Eviction shocker: Planned blindside goes awry as house guest pleads for compassion


Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of wackiness on Big Brother, but what I saw Monday night in the second Celebrity Big Brother eviction of the season was among the craziest.

Spoilers are ahead, so if you don’t want to know what happened Monday night, look away!


It went down quickly.

If you didn’t know already, HOH Ross Mathews (who won HOH in a game of Celebrity Bowlerina handed to him by James) nominated Keisha Knight Pulliam and Omarosa for eviction for their role in fracturing the big girls’ alliance in Week 1. Keisha and Omarosa were working together under the moniker, “BGM,” black girl magic and they were wanting to send James home straight away.

However, an argument between Omarosa and Shannon Elizabeth prompted the latter to campaign for a script flip that would eventually send home MMA legend Chuck Liddell. After Chuck’s eviction, we learn of a new Final Four alliance between James, Shannon, Ross and Marissa Jaret Winokur.

If you’re asking me, that’s a pretty good Final Four.

However, Ross gets it in his head that back-dooring the highly competitive and talented Shannon would be the big boy move heard around the world, and he would have been right! In a nighttime conversation under the blankets with Winokur, Ross and Marissa plotted. One half of this new Final Four alliance was on board.

Coincidentally, Ross was finding himself part of a few other alliances, including one with Ariadna and Brandi that seemed less serious and formidable than the Final Four with James, Shannon and Marissa. However, those side alliance conversations gave Ross the opportunity to float his idea of back-dooring Shannon.

Except Brandi Glanville spit out the idea first. Hands clean.

Brandi and Ariadna: welcome to the game!

Where’s Mark McGrath and Metta World Peace? Anybody home? Are they interested in playing? Metta was interested in playing to the camera for sure, as one clip showed him in the hot tub with a pair of rubber pink flamingos, between whom he staged a fight.

So much idle time in the Big Brother house.

To be fair to Mark though, Ross revealed the plan to back-door Shannon to the former Sugar Ray star, and he agreed like a total floater that it was an awesome idea. “Sure. Whatever. Sounds like a good plan. You’ve got my support!”

So, I was all prepared for an epic Power of Veto and a colossal Veto Ceremony.

The popcorn was ready.

The house guests selected to play for the Power of Veto played a game of “More, Exactly or Less,” where they’d see pictures and then be asked questions about quantities seen in the images. Were they more, exactly or less than what was there. Both Keisha and Omarosa were in the final three before Knight Pulliam missed her answer, leaving Omarosa and Marissa to duke it out for POV honors.

And Marissa won.

This was a live veto competition, so the caucusing started as soon as Marissa got her congratulatory hugs. Marissa was going to take Keisha off the block, and the Broadway start was letting her know.

But Keisha was crying.

“Don’t mess with me!” she could be heard to say. “You don’t know what I’ve been through!”

Keisha wanted to talk to Marissa alone but much of the rest of the group, including Ross, was right there nearby.

What we since learned is that new mother Keisha Knight Pulliam has been having troubles producing breast milk for her baby. She wanted to go home, and she was asking Marissa to promise her that if they were to keep her safe that they could work to make sure she could leave the Big Brother house by Friday.

As if she couldn’t just get up and walk out at any time. I know there are contractual obligations and such, but it’s not a jail.

Alas, Marissa and Ross couldn’t promise this because they couldn’t promise who’d be in power as of Wednesday. (Geez, this is a fast season.)

So, there we were with Keisha and Omarosa on the chopping block, and Julie Chen telling each house guest they had only a moment to tell their fellow house guests why they should vote to keep them.

And Keisha brought everybody to tears, asking for their collective compassion to send her home. Omarosa brought the TV audience a chuckle when she was like, “Yeah, what she said. Send Keisha home!”

Well, not exactly.

They voted to evict Keisha 7-0, which means Omarosa survives and that Ross can’t be HOH this next week. With Celebrity Big Brother only lasting three weeks total, weeks aren’t really weeks. They’re season-weeks.

Omarosa really needs to win HOH to have any shot of sticking around for much longer. She’ll likely get nominated next to a floater (McGrath, Metta, Ariadna or Brandi) next week.

Here’s to hoping it’s Omarosa vs. Brandi.

That would be some high-drama television as if tonight’s episode wasn’t dramatic enough.


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


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?

4 predictions for Celebrity Big Brother (U.S), including who’ll win


So, in a blog last week, I took a guess at the incoming Celebrity Big Brother house guests and whiffed gloriously. I didn’t get a one right, and you know what? Neither did anybody else.


All the gossip blogs and entertainment sites were off. Way off.

The executives with and representatives for Big Brother U.S. played down the level of celebrity that would participate in this first-ever States-side edition of the Celebrity Big Brother franchise — and they were right to do so because they have smashed expectations. This is a much better cast than I had anticipated.

We’ve got Omarosa Manigault because, of course. Recently departed from the Trump White House, she’s free to be who she was always meant to be, the master reality show villain. There is nobody better at playing badly with others than Omarosa, and if I’m the other houseguests, she’s an early target.

There’s Shannon Elizabeth from “American Pie” fame. There’s Real Housewives’ Brandi Glanville. There’s Ariadna Gutierrez, the victim of Steve Harvey’s infamous Miss Universe mistake a couple of years ago. She was Miss Universe for a very short reign.

Marissa Jaret Winkour of “Hairspray” fame will enter the Big Brother house as will Keshia Knight Pulliam, Rudy from “The Cosby Show.” I can’t wait to hear what she has to say about her former TV dad. For real.

James Maslow from “Big Time Rush” will enter the house after a run on “Dancing With the Stars,” a show from which many house guests graduated. A bunch also did their time on Celebrity Apprentice, including former Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath.

Ron Artest will join the cast. You know him better as Metta World Peace, former NBA player. I hesitate to say NBA star. He was only borderline great even at the peak of his career.

And then we have MMA legend Chuck Liddell and former Tonight Show correspondent Ross Matthews. One did “Dancing With the Stars” and the other was a judge on RuPaul’s “Drag Race.” I’ll let you guess which one was on what show. The answer might surprise you!


This initial Celebrity Big Brother (U.S.) cast has plenty of personality. As Julie Chen was quoted on Monday, “Omarosa likes to be heard.”

You think?

You’d think guys like Chuck Liddell and Metta World Peace would have an advantage in endurance competitions, but let’s get real: Pretty much everybody in this cast is in shape.

Truth is: I have no idea what’s going to happen on this very short season of Big Brother. Heck, my prognostication can’t be any worse than it was when I tried to guess the house guests, right? However, I have four predictions for you:

1. Omarosa will be the first to be evicted. She’s a target on Day 1. Surely, somebody can wrangle together an alliance to make her an easy evictee, that is, unless there is some funky competition to start the show that takes the first eviction out of the hands of fellow house guests.

2. Keshia Knight Pulliam will be a polarizing contestant. What she says about her TV father, Bill Cosby, could alienate the entire house fast. She’s been one of his most vocal defenders, and I think in the wake of #MeToo ad #TimesUp and with plenty of other women in the house, she’s not going to be popular.

3. The “unlikeliest best friends” award will go to Chuck Liddell and Ross Matthews. It’s just a hunch. Both are very likeable, and opposites often attract whether it be in relationships or friendships.

4. The winner of Celebrity Big Brother (U.S.) will be Chuck Liddell. I think he’s smart to go along with his physicality, and I’d have to think as an MMA fighter, he’s mentally tough. That’s what Big Brother requires more than anything else: resilience.

I’ll be posting blogs about Big Brother throughout the duration of the season, and I’ll record a few videos as well on my YouTube channel: youtube.com/RyanWeltonMusic.

Who do you think will win this first season of Celebrity Big Brother (U.S)?


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