One of the guiltiest of summer TV's guilty pleasures is the latest season of "Big Brother" on CBS. The show, in which a group of strangers live together in a home under constant surveillance and compete with each other for a chance to win $500,000, has a local twist this year: Mark Jansen of Grand Island is one of the houseguests. This blog will keep readers up to date periodically throughout the summer and track Jansen's prospects for the big payday.
The upshot: "Big Brother" has kept its promise that this season would be the summer of temptation.
On Sunday, the “Den of Temptation” was revealed – a new twist to all of the houseguests. All temptations and decisions made in the den are kept anonymous and no other houseguests know what goes on in the den unless they choose to share the information.
Each week, viewers choose one houseguest to receive a temptation in the den. Once this houseguest is chosen, that person cannot be chosen again. The temptations change each week and the houseguests don’t know the temptation until they have entered the den.
In week 1, runner-up from season 18, Paul, was chosen by America. His temptation gave him the pendant of protection: three weeks of safety, meaning he could not be put "on the block" to be even considered for eviction.
By taking this temptation, Paul was responsible for unknowingly choosing one of his housemates to suffer, forcing him or her to choose one week in the upcoming three evictions to volunteer to put him or herself on the block. On Wednesday, we learned that this houseguest is Ramses. Ramses has yet to volunteer himself for the block so we are looking forward to when that will take place.
In addition to the new temptation, drama continued in the house with Megan at the forefront. After Megan believed she heard Jessica make a racist comment about her friend, Alex, she decided to stir the pot and spread it throughout the house. When it was quickly revealed that no racist comment had been made, the houseguests turned on Megan.
After locking herself in the diary room for hours, the houseguests were informed that Megan was out of the competition due to “an urgent personal manner.”
With Megan gone, Head of Household (H.O.H) Cody had to name someone to replace the departed Megan and put Alex in her place. During the Power of Veto competition, Alex got herself off the block by winning the competition. That forced Cody to choose a different houseguest for the block, and he picked Paul. At that point, Paul revealed that he had won safety thanks to the the den of temptation. So to the shock of the houseguests, Cody put Christmas on the block with Jillian.
On Thursday's episode, Jillian was devastated to learn that she was voted out of the house. With the second Head of Household competition starting Thursday night, we will soon learn who will follow Cody as the new H.O.H and hold the power next week.
Mark Watch: Mark looks to be in a great position moving forward in the summer. He has aligned himself with a majority of the house. Mark’s social game, not to mention his physical appearance, has his housemates wanting him on their side. He has been able to put himself in this position without yet winning Head of Household, without competing in a power of veto competition and without his name even so much as being mentioned to go on the block for eviction. If you can get through all of that and live to see another week, you’re doing something right.
The big moment for Mark this week was his secret flip of vote on eviction night. On Thursday's episode, he made everyone believe he would vote to evict Christmas. Mark knew that other members of the alliance were furious with Cody’s game play, but he vowed to stay loyal. But, after an accident in the backyard that resulted in Christmas tearing ligaments in her foot, Mark found himself feeling guilty for how he had been treating her.
After a heart-to-heart confession and apology, and even a few tears being shed, it seemed clear that Mark’s connection to Christmas was going to overpower his desire to stay loyal to Cody. But watching the live eviction, it doesn’t yet seem that Cody knows Mark went behind his back.
What's next: As the game continues, we should soon be finding out who America has chosen to offer the next temptation to in the Den. On Sunday, we will learn who has won the Head of Household competition, who is in power and who will be up for eviction. Cody and Jessica could be in trouble.
As for Mark, it seems like he should have another week of smooth sailing. But let’s not forget that this is the summer of twists, turns and temptations.