After the ads, it's immediately clear that this HoH competition is going to be an endurance challenge. Supposedly it's a "graduation" theme, now that the cliques are over. The nine houseguests that aren't Jessie are hanging from swings suspended below a round lighting grid, and the last person up there will be HoH. Julie sweetens the deal by saying that the first five people to drop out will get to pick one of the "graduation" gifts off a nearby table, which of course they don't know the contents of, although Julie reveals that one of them contains a $5,000 prize. Before she goes to break, Julie introduces this challenge's first wrinkle: while being swung around in a circle, each of them is also bashed at high speed against a giant yoga mat that's dressed up to look like a diploma and stuck into the circle. Which, okay, is kind of hilarious.
In the tag, the diploma's been temporarily pulled out of play while Julie flogs the upcoming weeks' show schedule, including the news that the Coup D'état winner will be revealed next Thursday. Can't wait. Julie gets back on the viewscreen to note that they're all still up there, just before the rain starts and the diploma comes back. Something tells me we'll have a winner before the people on CSI get too deeply into their first corpse.
M. Giant is a Minneapolis-based writer with a wife, a son, and a number of cats that seems to have settled at around two. Learn waaaay too much about him at Velcrometer, follow him on Twitter, or just e-mail him at m.giant[at]gmail.com.