Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wrap Up Q&A With Big Brother 12's Matt Hoffman - September 20, 2011

With this recent season of Big Brother coming to a conclusion, I thought it would be fun to see what one of last season's players had to say about how the game played out and to catch up with what he has been up to since the show's conclusion. Matt Hoffman appeared on last season's Big Brother 12 and is someone that has also played the game with Rachel and Brendon. Matt is definitely a straight shooter on his opinions of the game so I was very interested to hear his thoughts.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer some questions! First of all, what have you been up to since leaving the Big Brother house last year and how has it been interacting with the fans of the show?

"Life's been pretty well back to normal. Still playing music. Still wrapped up in the horror movie scene. Still working my Mon-Fri 9-5 job that I've been at for almost 12 years now. Fans are by-and-large VERY nice. I actually would prefer a little less a**-kissing, since there's no way that I just so happen to be everyone's "favorite player" who they "wanted to win" that I run into. :-) "

With this season, the big twist was all about the duos. What were your thoughts on the twist when it was first announced and thoughts on it now that it is over? Did it make the season more interesting or less interesting for you?

"When it was first announced, my thoughts were that I wished Ragan and I were picked! But now that it's over, it's a season that I wouldn't have wanted to be on anyway. I wasn't a fan of level of "twisting" going on. Plus I'm happy that Rachel won. Plus I enjoyed the summer back with my wife!"

Rachel made such a huge comeback this season with winning the game after such a bad Big Brother 12 season. Her social game definitely seemed to be her downfall last season and almost started to look the same this season. She had a huge turnaround in the second half of the season. What are your thoughts on Rachel getting the win and what do you think was the turnaround for her?

"I'm super happy for Rachel, and it was well-deserved. I said early on that the only way for her to win this game is to get rid of Brendon. They are toxic together when they are in that house playing. Sure enough, as soon as he left (both times) her game kicked into high-gear and she wasn't so emotional."

To kind of go with that last question, how do you compare the Rachel of this season versus the Rachel of last season which you saw first hand in the house?

"This Rachel was more emotionally in-check. It took a few weeks (well...it took Brendon leaving), but she pulled herself together much better than she did in her last season."

What were your thoughts on Daniele's move to flip and go against the veterans and the timing of it?

"It was a great move in theory, but it was just poorly timed. She should've held out just a bit longer...probably until after the stupid "golden key" thing was over."

Shelly's game play was an obvious hot topic all season. I said that I thought her game play of playing both sides was going to be fine unless the two sides started talking and comparing her lies. How did you feel of how her game played out?

"I hated her game most of the season, but not because of the gameplay itself and more because of her attitude towards her gameplay. I didn't respect that she was so duplicitous in her own gameplay while at the same time being so sanctimonious in regards to everyone else's deception. I liked her a lot more towards the end when she started to own up to her lies in the Diary Room. It made it more fun, and I think that if she made it to the end and owned up to it all she would have won, but if she pulled the "good guy" card, it would've blown up in her face. Truthfully, I'm surprised how long she was able to play both sides before getting busted...this cast let her get away with so much. It seemed like no one was talking to anyone else in the house! But to her credit (and I can't say this for almost anyone else in the cast), at least she played!"

The big week of the season seemed to center around the double eviction week. Daniele on the block and evicted. Shelly's turn on Jeff and Jordan. Jeff voted out. Porsche wins HOH. Rachel and Jordan against the rest of the house. What were your overall thoughts on that week?

"I think the producers were probably more upset about that week than anyone, because they lost two of their most significant players. I don't think they ever expected it to play out that way, particularly because that "clown shoe" competition was totally in favor of Jeff to win. But it goes to prove that just because you have a clear advantage in a competition doesn't mean that you'll win in. There's the "heart" and the "luck" factors in any game."

Of the newbies this season, who was your favorite and why?

"This is a nearly impossible question to answer due to this being one of Big Brother's more lackluster casts, but I suppose I'd go with Shelly because she made an effort to actually play. Also, I respect that she voted strategically and not emotionally in the end. I liked Dominic too, and think that he got screwed a bit. I wouldn't mind seeing him take a second stab at the game."

Staying with that topic, who was your favorite veteran and why?

"Team Rachel, baby! She deserved it more than anyone, hands-down. I'm really surprised the end vote was so close."

There were some crazy game play moments this season. Did you have any certain moment that stuck out this season with you watching and thinking what in the world is going on here?

"Two words....Rachel. Bush."

What was the best game move this season?

"Shelly turning on Jeff and Jordan. They would've swept through the game if they were left in there any longer."

I always like to ask this of the people that have been in the house to give us fans a feeling of the pressure cooker that is that house and that game. Just what is it like to be in that house and playing the game with those cameras following you around 24/7?

"For me it was a dream come true. Players can b**** all they want about how horrible and stressful it is, but I'll take a rent-free all-expenses-paid summer vacation with the potential to win a half-million dollars over a 40-hour workweek in the humid midwest any day."

Having played the game, what kind of strategy does someone need to have to win Big Brother?

"Be adaptable. You cannot win the game without changing up your strategy (usually multiple times) throughout the game."

I know you've got a lot of fans out there. What is the best way that they can keep up with you and whatever happenings that you have going on?

"Following me on twitter is your best bet - @HeadOfHOFFhold - otherwise they can check my website at www.TheGremlinCave.com. Thanks!"

Thanks again to Matt for taking the time out to answer these Wrap Up questions! Be sure to check out Matt on his website and on Twitter. Have a great day everyone. Take care and God bless!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Five Step Program In Big Brother Withdrawal - September 16, 2011

So, you've been glued to TV and the live feeds for over two months and now suddenly the show is over. What do you do? Welcome to Big Brother withdrawal. LOL! You're used to having the feeds and hearing the people and the happenings of the house and then suddenly it's over. Having been a ten year veteran of Big Brother withdrawal, I thought it would be a funny article to type up. Here is a five step process to help with your Big Brother withdrawal.

Step One: Post show interviews and happenings. There is plenty of stuff to read, listen to, and watch of the houseguests. We all want to learn what happens once they get back into the real world, what they have heard about the show, and their reactions to things. Super Pass has really stepped up and given a lot of good post show stuff this year including the back yard live interviews after the finale. Then, there was the Big Brother wrap party last night which had Kevin of BB11 and James of BB6 & BB7 doing interviews. They'll have more things planned. Many entertainment sites will be conducting interviews so there will be plenty of options for the next week.

Step Two: Flashbacks. If you're a live feeder, you probably know what flashbacks are. One of the best tools for the live feeds is the flashback feature. If something happened over night and you were sleeping like most people, you can go back and punch in a time and date and you're watching it as it happened. Maybe there are some things in the season that you missed that you'd like to check out. There are a lot of funny moments including the super hero thing, the funny date with Porsche and Adam playing characters on a date, the drama in the house, or whatever else that you're interested in. Google Big Brother 13 flashbacks and see what dates and times that fans have been so nice to post for people to view if they missed something. It can be a lot of fun.

Step Three: You Tube. Fans are very creative with their video editing skills. There is a lot of great video tribute stuff out there. Find some on your favorite houseguests. Lots of video editing talent out there and these are fun to watch especially if they are really well done and to the right song.

Step Four: The Fall Season. It's the fall season and new TV shows are debuting along with other shows returning. Get back into watching some other shows. For me, it was a perfect night on Wednesday night as Survivor premiered the same night as Big Brother ended. Now, I actually didn't get to watch Survivor until the night after due to there being so much Big Brother stuff to watch. Look around and see if there are some good shows coming up that you may want to check out. If you aren't interested in anything on TV, go to the DVD's and see if there is a show that you want to check out or maybe a show you might even like to watch again.
Step Five: More Check-ins. As time goes along, there are going to be more interviews with the houseguests available. Super Pass always does a great job in getting some new content up for fans to check out including Big Brother interviews. They already have several guests lined up for live interviews in the weeks to come. So, you'll be able to catch up with your favorites. Last year, they had several of the cast with their own shows interacting with fans.

As you can see, there are plenty of options of ways to help you with your Big Brother withdrawal. Hope this five step process can help you be on your way in your post Big Brother world. LOL!! Wishing all of you a great day! Take care and God bless!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Big Brother 13 - Rachel Wins - Thoughts and Reflections On The Season - September 15, 2011

Big Brother 13 has finished up and let the Big Brother withdrawal begin. I just thought I'd do a recap of my thoughts on the finale and the overall season. I really enjoyed this season. I was a live feed viewer from the first night. This season's story was all about the mix of the newbies and the veterans. Who would team up with who? Which side could win and take down the others? Well, the answer was that the newbies really couldn't get together to make a stand against the veterans until it was too late. An early season turn with Daniele teaming up with the newbies got this season rocking and rolling. One thing that I always notice with all star type shows is that I will find myself cheering people that I didn't cheer on their previous season or booing people that I previously liked. Case and point, Daniele. I wasn't much of a fan of her game play in season eight but found myself cheering for her almost right out of the gate this season. Whether you like her or don't like her, this girl plays the game and she takes chances. Some paid off this season and others did not. Another point, Rachel. I was not a big fan of Rachel last season and her social game was awful. Her competitive game is awesome but you can't yell and rub it in people's faces when you win and expect people to like you. She started to be that way this season but Brendon's elimination and then teaming up with Jordan helped turn her social game around. I will say that this was one season where I really didn't have anyone in the house that I just really disliked. Yes, I had some that drove me crazy at times, Shelly. LOL!! I found this to be a very likable cast and I enjoyed my live feed summer with them.

Last night's finale had a final three of Rachel, Porsche, and Adam. The first part of the HOH competition went to Rachel. Second part went to Porsche. Who would take who to the final? Well, Adam was working on the feeds this week to try and secure his spot. It was awwwwkward. Thanks Daniele for now adding this line to my every day vocabulary now. LOL. You know you've watched a lot of Big Brother when you start using their every day lines. I'm still waiting for the opportunity to use "throw me under the bus" in my every day life. Anyway, Adam's plan was to basically threaten Porsche with a jury vote if she didn't take him to the final two. She didn't back down from things he said and counter pointed him on everything that I could tell anyway. Later, she had a conversation with Rachel telling him what all Adam had said. This plan of Adam's did not help his cause at all. Rachel won the third part of the HOH competition giving her the decision on who to take with her to the final two. What I thought was hilarious was Adam's speech on why he should be taken to the final two. His speech which was supposed to critique the other's games was one that critiqued his own. I thought his speech explained his game perfectly. LOL. Rachel takes Porsche to the final two. Adam was saying that he could have beaten either one of them. I was actually begging Julie Chen to pull a Jeff Probst in the reunion portion and ask the jury how they would have voted if the final two were different. Rachel won with the only opposing votes being from Daniele, Kalia, and Adam. I thought this was a very well deserved win. She fought hard and won competitions. She overcame a lot of odds against her.

With the overall season, I thought I'd just talk about every houseguest and discuss them.

Rachel: Like I said, I was not a Rachel fan last year. Her antics last year just always blew up in her face. When she returned this year with Brendon, they were playing the same game. I actually said at one point that Rachel was the Russell Hantz of Big Brother. Russell came back and played the same game of Survivor that he had played his previous season. The same game that he lost. Horrible social game and he didn't adjust what was his weak point. Rachel was on her way to doing the same thing. She was still strong in competitions but her social game was still horrible. The day that Brendon was being voted out the first time, she had a complete break down. She talked of how she had come back to right her wrongs from last year but she was well on her way to the same outcome. When Brendon left, that switch went off in her. When she and Jordan were forced to only have each other, she changed. Jordan and Rachel really were a good team because they were able to balance each other. Jordan was a stronger social player but not a strong competition player. Rachel was the opposite. Jordan was able to reel in Rachel when she needed to be reeled in. Rachel won competitions when she needed to win and worked deals when she needed to. The only thing that I thought was bad is that she kept ripping people in her goodbye messages. The one part of her social game that was coming back to haunt her. She did overcome and it and made a huge comeback with this season. Congratulations Rachel. You earned that win and I give you all the credit that you deserve.

Porsche: Porsche was someone that I was always just kind of in the middle ground with on a game level. I couldn't really figure her out at times. She did step up and win some competitions in the last few weeks to further her along in the game. The trio of Dani, Porsche, and Kalia did get further because of Porsche's wins. Her veto win sealed Jeff's fate. I don't know what we would have seen out of her early on if she hadn't had that golden key. She couldn't compete for weeks. Would she have been strong or throw competitions like several newbies did? I did laugh at her first game speech with Jeff. What was shown on TV was pretty much how it looked on the feeds, please keep me in the game because I can win competitions and I want to win something. It was short and sweet and awkward. LOL. I don't think Porsche gets as much credit as she probably earned but also didn't think she had a chance against Rachel in the end.

Adam: Oh, Adam. This guy. Such a nice guy but his game was so all over the place. I had a few moments in the season where I just wanted to throw a shoe at someone. One of those was after the Jeff eviction. Adam sat with the newbies and hung out with them. Jordan and Rachel were exiled knowing that they were in trouble and possibly done. So, the twist happens. The feeds come back on and Rachel has won veto. Just minutes after, here comes Adam sitting down and wanting to just talk and hang out. I wanted to throw something at him through the computer. LOL. Now, that they're in power, you're suddenly back. His game was floating and he did it throughout. There was one night in the back yard that was not shown on the show. It started with the innocence of coloring easter eggs. The vets were going to use some of the eggs of some of the other side of the house. Adam stood up saying that they should leave it alone and wanting peace in the house. Jeff along with Jordan used it as an opportunity to pin him down and make sure he was picking a side. His answers were non committal and it led to one of my favorite lines of the season from Jeff, "happy meal time is over, it's time to grow up and buy a burger". Something like that but it was hilarious. I'm not sure that Adam really had much of a strategy going down to even the last few days in the house. Like I said, nice guy and the Tori Spelling moment was funny but his game just was not good.

Jordan: Love this girl. What a sweetheart. It has been a pleasure to watch this girl on the feeds this year. She just has a kind soul in her. Did she have her bad moments? Of course. Who wouldn't in that crazy house? When Jeff was evicted, Jordan's next week was very telling. She had the screaming match with Shelly. This poor girl cried all night and most of the tears were the fact that she said that she looked at Shelly as a mom in the house and then got turned on. Rachel was another strong point here as Rachel really helped keep her going. She stayed by her side the whole time. Jordan picked herself up and the next night was one of my favorite Jordan moments of the season. I watched it on the feeds and was thinking this is awesome. Her and Rachel marched right up to the HOH room and Jordan laid out a plan for Porsche and Kalia to work a deal. She was strong and bold in what she was saying. She laid it out in ten minutes or less and then basically said "Rachel, let's go" not even letting Rachel have any chance of messing it up. I loved Rachel's line when they left the room of "Jordan, I've never heard you talk like that before". It really was a big moment and I applauded when Jordan left that room. Jordan did eventually get voted out but she again was a huge part in Rachel winning the game. Jordan is so completely likable and you saw such a more mature side of her this season. She talked one night of how much she has grown up since her last time on the show and it really showed. Enjoyed her a lot on the live feeds. Who doesn't laugh at the human trumpet? Hilarious stuff that never got shown on TV.

Kalia: This is someone whose game was so all over the place at times too. Her bed got made for alliances in the house on the day of the big house meeting where the plan to backdoor Jeff got outed. That meeting went for an hour by the way and was live feed gold. I was glued to it. Daniele got outed and Kalia did too cause she knew about it and was guilty by association. With Daniele and Kalia now being the outcasts of sorts, they aligned together. Kalia had some big moments and some really not good moments. Her first HOH week was one of the worst HOH weeks that I've seen. That week was pivotal. Rachel was out of the door. The votes were there and it was a done deal. Then, the talk turned to a returning houseguest and how they didn't want to vote out Rachel only for her to come back. So, Lawon gets voted out. Lawon!! Kalia complained all season about how she wanted Rachel out and couldn't wait to do it. If Rachel had been voted out, Brendon and her would have competed to return. Then, only one would have been in the house instead of two. That week could have changed the game completely. Instead, Lawon was voted out who was no harm to anyone. LOL. Kalia was the HOH week that got Jeff voted out though and that was a big deal there. Kalia was another person where I couldn't really figure out her game at times.

Shelly: Shelly's game was an interesting one. What I said all along about her is that she is good at playing this middle game and pitting the sides of the house against each other. However, I said if they start talking about Shelly, she's done and that is what happened. It reminded me of All Stars when Chilltown was playing the girls at the end. The girls did not talk to one another but once they finally did, they realized that they had been played. Shelly was the one playing that middle game here and her game went poof when her lies got exposed. She made a big game move getting rid of Jeff but I didn't really see what it did for her as far as getting her further in the game. She turned on Jeff and then had the moment that just made me annoyed. She goes and confronts Jordan and yells in her face about basically turning on them. I was thinking you did the turn, so why are you yelling and pointing in her face about it? That is what set Jordan off was when Shelly got in her face and yelled about it. Shelly's dislike of Rachel really got going because Rachel was the first one that figured out Shelly's lies and called her on it. From there on out, Shelly was very anti-Rachel. Shelly was a lightning rod topic among fans. I think what got people so fired up on Shelly was that she would say things such as I can't believe people in here are acting like three year olds while she had just went and hid Rachel's stuffed dog. Another Shelly thing for me was why did she lie in the diary room? That was the most bizarre to me and a question that I'd like to hear an answer to. I just didn't understand the point of lying in the DR. We saw it. Just own it and say yeah, I did it. Shelly played a good game up until she got exposed. A Pandora's Box later and her game was finished. She took some risks for sure.

Jeff: Not much really to add about Jeff's game. He had his good moments and bad moments. Poor guy is probably going to remembering clown shoes for a while as his demise at the veto competition. It did give a good laugh from the fortune teller with that clown shoe line. Jeff just played a middle ground kind of game and his temper did get the best of him at times. He fully admitted that last night during his post show interview. I like Jeff and congrats to him on the America's Choice vote.

Daniele: I've spoken a lot about Daniele. I like her. She plays the game and plays it hard. She was annoyed a lot of times wanting to make moves but the newbies were scared to take a stand with her. She formed an alliance and just went with what she was given after the house meeting exposed her. She knew she was gone that next week if she didn't win HOH and she won that endurance competition easily. I watched that whole competition and there was no doubt in my mind that Dani was winning. She was solid and determined. That girl wanted to win. She got Brendon out and then got him out again. For all of Brendon's talk about ripping Daniele, I did think it was funny that she was responsible for getting him out TWICE. LOL. Daniele did have some mishaps in this game but she played to win. She wasn't going to just waltz through this game. She made big moves and took risks. One of my favorite houseguests of the season.

Brendon: I ended up liking him more this season than last but mostly after his return to the house. You can only watch him and Rachel fight and make up so many times on the feeds before you turn the feeds to just find anybody else doing something. Even someone just sitting and eating a bowl of cereal. LOL. He fought hard for the veterans alliance. I do have to say that he is a funny guy. I laughed a lot at the super hero play that they did in the back yard with him and Dominic. It was a LOT funnier on the live feeds than the edited version for TV.

Lawon: Poor Lawon. LOL. What were you thinking? I'm sure he has gotten this question so many times. He volunteered to go on the block on the week that they were sure a houseguest was returning. He volunteers to go against Rachel on the block AND volunteers to be evicted. You should have seen the message boards when this was going on with people just saying "WHAT IS HE DOING???" LOL. He was determined that he was going to get to come back with super powers. Poor guy. Lawon was a lot of fun on the feeds. Such a nice guy.

Dominic: Dominic was the victim of Dani's plan getting outed. He formed that alliance with her and unfortunately ended up being the fall person. Daniele felt awful about it too. Dominic was a fun guy on the feeds. I wondered about his game play at times though too especially early on. One of my favorite message board lines of the season was the first week where he was outside talking to Jeff and Brendon spilling WAY too much information to that veteran alliance. The person on the board posted that they were watching Dominic commit game suicide in the back yard. LOL. It was true too. He spilled way too much information. The interaction with him and Jeff was fun and they had a good time with one another.

Cassi: This is actually who I was hoping to see return with the fan vote at mid season. I was hoping to see her get back in the game and mix it up some. She was probably the first victim of Shelly's lies and got her evicted early on. She got a target on her after the blow up with Rachel. Cassi came across extremely likable and it was a bummer to see her voted out so early on.

Keith: I think I just shook my head for most of the first week of Keith in the Big Brother house. Throwing the competitions ended up being too much of a trend among the newbies especially early on. The biggest thing is throwing them WHEN YOU ARE ON THE BLOCK. LOL. I don't care what people promise you. Don't throw competitions when you are on the block. Same thing to Dominic. The funniest thing was that Keith and Porsche were both throwing this veto competition in hopes of getting the other one evicted. Well, it worked for Porsche but not for Keith. First eviction of the season.

The live feeds were a lot of addiction for me this season. Just really enjoyed them. Lots of things that were never shown. One thing about having the feeds is that you'd almost feel like you were watching a different show as to what was edited for TV. I'd see something play out on the feeds and it would look completely different when it aired on TV. Things would not be shown that led to something else. It is hard to edit a show down though time wise. You really need the feeds to see the entire show. I was thankfully armed with live feeds and also Big Brother After Dark on Showtime this year. The feeds are such an addiction. Case and point was the silliness of the night that Rachel started getting revenge hiding other people's stuff. Rachel's stuffed dog had been hidden and then she started hiding stuff of other's. I laughed saying I can't believe I am this glued to watching people hiding stuffed animals from one another and waiting for people to get caught. I can't take my eyes off of this. Funny moments. Serious moments. Silly moments. All in between moments. That was the feeds this year. I enjoyed hanging out over at Jokers and reading the posts throughout the season and keeping me up to date on anything that I missed. Can't even count the amount of times that I laid on the couch clicking refresh on the boards to get the latest discussion. Jokers adds so much to the Big Brother experience every year. Just a fun summer overall. Thank you Big Brother for yet another fun season.

Take care everyone and God bless!!

Carrie Underwood on the Women Want To Hear Women podcast with Elaina Smith

Carrie Underwood is the most recent guest on the Women Want To Hear Women podcast with Elaina Smith where they discuss so many topics about ...