As the U.S government shut down again for the second time in a month, former White House staff member Omarosa was opening up about the situation in the "Celebrity Big Brother" house. At first, she tried to defend her loyalty to Trump while talking with Shannon Elizabeth and Keshia Knight Pulliam, but then she nearly broke down about how dysfunctional it is there with Ross Matthews.
Oh yeah, there's a game going on, too, but with Omarosa in the house and talking, the game was always going to be secondary to anything she might have to say. Ross was doing hard work to bring the story out to us, even saying so in a confessional. "I am in here doing investigative journalism for you all. I am making headlines for you all," he said right into the camera before asking, "Can I get a little hat that says 'Press' on it?"
We're going to run this season like you'd run a department store. Each product, or celebrity, may have come in with equal value, but pretty quickly you start to see that certain ones aren't working. First, you try discounting them to see if they can turn things around and become solid performers again. But if that doesn't work, it's time to put them on clearance so you can sell them out (the door). With that said, let's take a look at our inventory, ranked from our strongest performer to our weakest.
But first, we need to present our new spotlight section, where we shine a light on one product that really stood out this episode.
THIS WEEK'S SPOTLIGHT ITEM:
Omarosa Opens Up About Trump White House
Omarosa and Keisha kind of got into it a little over their respective support of controversial figures. Keisha has stood by Bill Cosby even as he faces multiple allegations of sexual assault and rape, and Omarosa has stood by Donald Trump for years, even going to the White House with him.
Once the conversation was started, Keisha asked her, "Do you feel like you were able to understand the people from the outside looking in just saw the hate that that campaign kind of incited, and that you supported that?"
"When you're in the middle of the hurricane, it's hard to see the destruction on the outer bands, if you understand what I'm saying," Omarosa said. She then countered about Cosby. "You stood strong by somebody who you have known and have been loyal to and have known for a long time who has supported you. And people judged you for that," she said. "That's the same thing with me and Mr. Trump."
Later, though, Omarosa broke down while talking with Ross (at least we think she did). "One of the things that 'Big Brother' does that's interesting is it requires you to stop and look at your life," she said in a confessional. "Because there are no handlers, there's no agents, there's no lawyers, there's no distractions."
Ross offered her sympathy while asking very pointed questions about her time in the White House. "I see the pain when people talk to me about it," she told him. "Like, how afraid they are. Even Keisha last night, for her to say that she thought I was a part of that; it's just not something that I feel good about because that's not something I was trying to do." She said that she saw her acceptance in Trump's cabinet more about serving her country than Trump.
"I was haunted by tweets every day, like what is he going to say next?" she said. When Ross asked her if there was anyone to tell the president to stop, she said, "I tried to be that person and then all of the people around him attacked me. It was like keep her away, don't give her access, don't let her talk to him."
"It's not my circus, not my monkeys. I'd like to say it's not my problem, but I can't say that because ... it's bad," she said, looking earnestly at him. When he asked if we should be worried, she nodded slightly and reiterated that it's bad. When asked if she would vote for him again, she said, "God no. Never. In a million years never!"
Last week, we didn't offer you an opportunity to explore our wine aisle. Here you'll find Brandi Glanville, sipping from a glass and sounding off about her housemates, her life, whatever she wants. When James Maslow lamented to Shannon that he really didn't want to have to wear a leotard, Brandi shot back, "He might be worried about the small outline of the situation. Let's be clear, why else-- He's got zero percent body fat, why else would he care?"
Shannon Elizabeth ("American Pie") retains her top position in the house by enacting her plan to perfection, and lucking out by not even having to put up any of the nominees herself. She did do a lot of the work, though, finding out about the guys alliance from Chuck, recruiting Ross as a spy -- though the guys had already kind of figured they didn't have him -- and even convincing Metta not to use his gift bag by making him think she was honoring his wishes to get nominated and sent home.
Keshia Knight Pulliam ("The Cosby Show") showed her strength of character and conviction when she had a pointed conversation with Omarosa, even as it got challenging about her support of Bill Cosby. Then, when power was thrust upon her, she stuck to the ultimate strategy of her alliance and was fearless when explaining why she put Chuck Liddell and James Maslow on the block. They are the two strongest physical threats in the house.
Omarosa Manigault ("The Apprentice") softened her image with meaningful conversations with several people in the house, building relationships and establishing already a stronger social game than people thought she was capable of. Still, she's not completely there yet, as Ross said, "I'm feeling compassion for someone who seems to be in a pivotal moment for their life. I don't know if it's real. Would you trust her?" She's playing the game hard, though, right there with strategy and a savvy sense of what's going on in the house that will help her as she moves forward.
Ross Matthews ("Chelsea Lately") was quick to jump ship to the girls alliance -- "It doesn't surprise me, or probably anyone, that I'm aligning with the girls," he said -- setting himself up to the be the last man standing. Even better, he did his American duty by interviewing Omarosa about her time in the White House so we could get just a glimpse of what it was like. The only problem is, we're not sure what we can believe either with her. Nevertheless, Ross is playing the game very smart, so if he maintains his loyalties, he should be good to go for awhile.
Brandi Glanville ("The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"), Marissa Jarit Winokur ("Hairspray") and Ariadna Guttierez (almost Miss Universe) had a quiet episode, but they are in the right position for now. Brandi was the first to jump up behind Chuck when he decided to go for the possible advantage inside the Gift Bags, so it shows her loyalty is true and she's willing to put herself out there and expose her gameplay to help her team. And thankfully, she either kept her mouth mostly shut, or the editors were very kind to her and left her words on the cutting room floor.
Metta World Peace (NBA) doesn't even want to be there anymore, but Shannon totally used that to her advantage. If he really didn't want to be there, he'd walk out of the house. We'd say it's obvious they're not under house arrest, but we're not sure Metta understands that. He barely seems to know what's going on most of the time. When James revealed he'd tried to strike a deal with Shannon at the HOH Competition, Metta marveled, "You can do that?" He doesn't appear to be a threat, but by telling the house he wants to go, they're going to honor his wishes sooner than later.
Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) straight up told Shannon that she was his biggest threat in the house, other than James, and that's just stupid gameplay. He honestly has absolutely no idea how to play this game.
Chuck Liddell (UFC) sucked it up and went in for a spa day with the girls, but he also went for his Gift Bag, so while he's probably not their biggest target right now, the other houseguests know he's playing hard, so they'll be keeping an eye on him.
James Maslow ("Big Time Rush") is either playing the character of the most annoyingly arrogant douchebag you know, or he's not playing. All he did in his confessionals was try and be hip and clever and fail every time. His alliance name for his two-man team with Chuck was so lame the MMA fighter just stared at him. "How about the Celebrators? Celebrity Big Brother? We're gonna celebrate being in the final two." Yeah. Sure, man. Good one. Being a strong competitor and having no humility mean James is going to have a target on his back every single episode. As of tonight, he's on the block and it's not looking good for tomorrow's elimination.
OVERHEARD IN THE CHECKOUT LANE
"Normally I give my gift bag to my housekeeper because it's full of crap, but this one I want." Brandi
"You have one of the most athletic, strong-minded warriors there have ever been, and then Chuck Liddell. Come on!" James (referring to his alliance with the MMA fighter)
"I love throwing iron with Chuck Liddell and Metta World Peace. And I'm whooping their ass, too. Come on, now. Come on!" James
"I'm wearing the kitchen. I have everything from the refrigerator on my face. I have no idea what this is doing for my skin, but it's making me hungry." Chuck (enjoying a spa treatment)
"Let's say that the BB house is 'American Pie.' I feel like I'm about to be the pie. Oh yeah. Oh yeah, we all know what happened to the pie!" James (going up to talk to HOH Shannon)
"I'm sorry ladies, but I may have to get the young eye candy out of the house this week." Shannon (after that meeting)
"Big Brother: Celebrity Edition" is on all the damned time! Upcoming installments in the next week air on Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.