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saboteur!

Big Brother’s Brand-New Twist Is Rendered Moot in the First Week

When Big Brother started last week with this year’s especially lunk-headed batch of roommates, host Julie Chen dramatically announced the season’s twist: the Saboteur! Living among the houseguests would be a ringer whose sole duty would be to undermine them all, and if he or she made it to the halfway point of the game, s/he would win $50,000! (Of course, the winner of the whole game wins $500,000, so they must have found a saboteur with low self-esteem.) The contestants sweated this new curveball, and all week the tension was palpable. Who was this mysterious double agent who would be tormenting them deep into the summer? What kind of fiendish tricks would s/he play? Would they never discover the identity of this devilish mastermi … sorry, what’s that? The saboteur got voted out last night in the very first elimination show? Oh, never mind, then.

Yes, the defining twist of the whole season was shot to hell in week one. Not because an exceedingly clever group of contestants had used deductive reasoning to suss out the mole, mind you, but because the saboteur — Annie, a 27-year-old bartender (but aren’t they all?) — was loud, obnoxious, smug, and alienated everyone. After the elimination, Chen gamely tried to buy the show some more time with the concept, touting the fact that on Sunday night’s show she would ... reveal to the remaining houseguests that the saboteur was gone! So, uh, stay tuned for that.

The premature removal of the show’s biggest twist will be a relief to the players, but there will also be great sadness. They had so relished learning a new exotic word to use in every sentence that wasn’t either “Game on!” or “She just put a big target on her back.” And when this fancy French term left their tongues, they wore the same proud look on their faces that people do when they get a new hairstyle. Adieu, new word, adieu. Now back to saying "showmance."

Photo: CBS