The show began by introducing the new houseguests, four at a time, to the desert festival-themed house, and the Big Brother Fest competition.
The guests each got a special pass, which directed them to one of three Big Brother Festival stations — the Porta Potty area, the Merch Stand and the Piercing Station. With five houseguests in each location, that only left one — Joe ‘Pooch’ Pucciarelli — to sit in a golden throne as the so-called Backstage Boss.
Before revealing what that would actually entail, the three groups of five houseguests all had to face off in different challenges. The Porta Potty contestants had to listen to conversations going on outside the Porta Pottys and then answer questions about the conversations correctly.
Those who answered wrong — or answered correctly but the slowest — got sprayed with a deluge of blue paint, until only one remained. The winner of that challenge, Monte Taylor, thus earned the privilege of competing in the season’s first HOH comp.
Meanwhile, the Piercing Station challenge saw the houseguests have to clip stage jewelry onto their faces the fastest, and Matthew Turner wound up winning. As for the Merch Stand challenge, the five houseguests had to hang in the air suspended from a T-shirt. Daniel Durston managed to outlast the rest, and secured the last slot in the HOH comp.
The first HOH competition itself was surprisingly straightforward after what preceded it. Monte, Daniel and Matthew faced off head-to-head in a speed run to see who could open up a giant gearbox and assemble a huge drum kit puzzle the fastest. After a close challenge, Daniel managed to pull off his second win in a row and became the season’s first HOH.
So what was Pooch’s whole deal as Backstage Boss, you might ask? As Julie revealed, it’s something of a blessing and a curse.
While he is Backstage Boss — which is a temporary role — Pooch cannot compete in any HOH competitions and he cannot vote in any evictions. However, he is safe from eviction.
While that seems like something of a gift, Julie revealed that he had to name three other houseguests — none of whom he knows almost at all — to join him backstage. They too will not be able to compete in HOH comps or vote on evictions, and cannot be nominated. However, unlike him, they are not safe from getting evicted. This, apparently, will be an important distinction.
Essentially, as Backstage Boss, Pooch suddenly became responsible for blowing up the strategy and gameplay of three other random houseguests and possibly casting him in a very negative light. Also, he only had the length of a commercial break to do so.
Ultimately, he devised what seems like the fairest way to make such an arbitrary decision — he chose the three people who each were eliminated first in the night’s first three mini-comps — Paloma Aguilar, Alyssa Snider and Brittany Hoopes. The profusely apologetic Pooch may have saved himself by using his power in as even-handed a way as possible.
However, Julie added to the mysteriousness of the first eviction night, telling the houseguest whom Pooch choose, ” The three of you are backstage for the week. Remember, even though you three cannot be nominated for eviction, there is no guarantee you won’t be the first house guests going home. I’ll leave you with that.”
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