‘Big Brother 17’ review: Audrey Middleton’s big moment , the ‘Twin Twist,’ and BB Takeover

Audrey -Here’s a little bit of unsolicited advice to “Big Brother 17” producers: Anytime that you introduce a twist, don’t call it a “fan favorite.” Nobody likes that. This is like Jeff Probst telling us before a “Survivor” season starts that it is one of the best that they have ever had.

So the Battle of the Block returned tonight (ugh), but even that was far from the biggest story of the night. We met the first group of houseguests, and with that we had a chance to of course see the much-publicized reveal from Audrey Middleton that she is transgender. The house took it rather well, and to us the bigger story in the context of the game is that she is a major player. She made an alliance right away with Da’Vonne and Shelli, and these three are all pretty smart, and most important are not your typical young, ignorant houseguests. They are smart enough that they may actually be able to make this alliance work.

There was some drama in the first Head of Household, which was similar to the buyback from season 15 with a twist: Everyone fell off at almost the same time! James was the last off by a split-second, so he is now in power, at least until the Battle of the Block. James is a nice guy, but he’s not the sharpest player since he wanted to prove he is a competitor. Why would you want to do that?

Also, we have the BB Takeover reveal: Every week, there’s a new twist! Wait, actually allowing the houseguests to play is not good enough? This is a little bit overkill, but who knows? The real truth about a twist is that as much as we judge it pre-game, you never know how it is going to play out. The coaches twist ended up being great, while the saboteur was garbage despite a decent premise.

As for the final twist of the night, we’re talking Twin Twist! Sure, it’s a little Project DNA, but it could be fun. One person in the game has an identical twin, and they will be switched out throughout the season. If this person makes it to week 5, they will both compete. Crazy, but this sounds at least fun (even if it is “Big Brother 5” all over again).

As for some other odds and ends from the episode:

1. Anyone else like the Andrea Boehlke cameo during Meg’s introduction? Meg’s a little grating so far, sadly. She feels a little too hyperactive right now for a 98-day competitions.

2. It took about 40 minutes for the whole “James is hiding something” narrative to come into play. Who didn’t see that coming? We need Devin to enter the house for conspiracy theories!

3. Yep, production is really trying to hook up Shelli and Clay already. Take a drink every time Clay mentions Texas A&M, or James mentions being “hillbilly Asian.” Episode Grade: B.

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