Boy, what a difference a week makes. Last week, Dani burned through four total nominees before the house voted Ian out of the game. The dominating alliance, the Committee, finally started to splinter, leaving hope for more dynamic gameplay going forward. Then came the HOH competition.
Memphis Blues Again
Memphis managed to pull out his second HOH win of the season to start the week. The competition was a puzzle, with houseguests ferrying puzzle pieces across the back yard to construct a fire hydrant.
The competition was a difficult one, with several houseguests struggling to get a feel for the 3D puzzle. Enzo, Nicole, and Kevin seemed to have the most trouble, though that didn't stop Nicole from trying to copy Kevin's work. Bless her soul, Nicole must not have realized just how bad Kevin was doing himself.
In the end, Memphis outpaced Tyler and David to win HOH for the week. I was slightly disappointed with these results. Had David or Tyler won, there were possibilities for fireworks this week, with Dani and Nicole likely in the crosshairs. I am honestly not rooting against them, but the house desperately needs a shakeup. With Memphis as HOH, he will most likely stick with the idea of getting out David, Kevin, or Da'Vonne in favor of keeping the Committee safe.
The Flip Didn't Flop
Last week, there was a contingency of houseguests who believed Tyler would be walking out of the Big Brother house, including David, Kevin, and Da'Vonne. The group's plan centered on Nicole voting to keep Ian, subsequently forming a tie. Dani, as HOH, would then cast the final vote for Tyler, evicting him from the house.
Instead, Nicole and Danie decided it was best not to anger the Committee by voting out one of their own. Wanting to work with Da'Vonne moving forward, the girls hatched a plan to blame the rogue vote on David.
And the plan worked like gangbusters. David's sketchy history of lying (cough, disruptor power, cough) to the house played right into Nicole and Dani's plan. Da'Vonne feels betrayed by David, believing he jeopardized her game by flipping his vote. David maintains his innocence, but he has burned Da'Vonne one too many for her to trust his word.
Give credit to Nicole for maintaining the lie all week. She managed too genuinely convince Da'Vonne she voted to save Ian. Ultimately though, I don't believe this was her best move. She should have owned her vote as a game move. In her exit interview, Da'Vonne indicated she Nicole's actions hurt her on a personal level. I find it hard to see a world where Nicole receives Da'Vonne's vote in the end.
In the end, she probably should have just voted out Tyler, who is leery of Danni and Nicole after the events of the week.
Expected Nomination, Unexpected Targets
As nominations slowly approached, Memphis had a clear plan of what he wanted to accomplish. David, who he hasn't worked with all season, was his target for the week.
Nervous David would win the veto, Memphis made a deal with him to keep him off the block. In exchange, David agreed not to change the nominations if he did win veto. David viewed this as an opportunity to establish trust, while Memphis viewed this as an opportunity to backdoor David.
With David off the table, at least for the initial nominations, the only logical choices are Da'Vonne and Kevin. Though Memphis didn't realize it, Kevin and Da'Vonne were his only options for the week. David is on an island all by himself, posing no real threat to the alliance. Da'Vonne and Kevin, on the other hand, are a duo. More importantly, they are a duo aligned with Dani and Nicole. If Memphis isn't targeting a Committee member, he needed to target Da'Vonne to weaken Dani's side alliance.
Sometimes, it better to be lucky than good.
Zingbot? Tiger King? Marriage Made in Heaven!
There are a few competitions fans anxiously await for each season. This week featured the retuned of everyone's favorite roast master, Zingbot! That's right, the insult hurling robot from hell returned to the house this week to dish out verbal tirades over how terrible the houseguests are.
But before Zingbot can terrorize the houseguests with its verbal quips, players have to be picked to compete. Competing in the veto are Memphis, Da'Vonne, Kevin, Tyler, Nicole, and Dani. Interestingly, Da'Vonne and Kevin both draw a 'Houseguest Choice' chip, allowing them to pick whomever they want to compete. They choose Dani and Nicole, which ends up being a tactical game error.
Tyler has been suspicious of Dani for a while. This move is proof that Dani has pulled in Da'Vonne as an ally. Then, Memphis tells Tyler he wants everyone to throw the veto competition so he can put David on the block. Wanting to ensure Da'Vonne goes home, Tyler decides he has to gun for the veto.
As for Zingbot, the best zing of the episode went to Nicole and Da'Vonne. Nicole was called whinny, an insult that had Cody on rolling on the ground in laughter. Da'Vonne's past of losing on various reality programs, including both Big Brother and the Challenge, was mentioned, with Zingbot asking which show she will lose on next.
Inspired by Tiger King, the veto competition required houseguests to navigate a maze in search of three alien tigers before returning them to their cages. The houseguest who completes the maze the fastest will win the golden power of veto.
The plan heading into the competition was for everyone to throw it to Memphis so he could nominate David, or at least that is was Memphis thought. Once it started, however, it became clear no one had intentions fo throwing it. Dani and Nicole didn't trust Memphis after keeping his plans for the week a secret and decide they have to win the veto to make sure Da'Vonne comes off the block.
The maze set up presented a cool presentation-style this week, as the producers utilized overhead cameras for various shots. Typically these time competitions can feel repetitive after a few houseguests, but the editing and filming this week felt fresh.
Tyler ends up winning the veto. Memphis is a little ticked off because Dani was only about 15 seconds behind him, while Tyler won by a little over 20 seconds. He doesn't understand what is going on, but he is still confident Tyler will use the veto.
The Wise Guy
Immediately after the veto, Memphis pulls Tyler aside to chat about his plan. Memphis is desperate to see the rookie David voted out, but Tyler doesn't like that plan. He convinces Memphis that leaving nominations the same is the best for both of them. Going this route allows them to break a duo, take an ally away from Dani, and leave the possibility of pulling David in as a number.
Memphis agrees and decides to get on board with targeting Da'Vonne. So give Tyler credit for getting Memphis to pivot, because it is the best move for both of them.
Still, Memphis's best move was yet to come. Pulling in Enzo, Memphis proposed they make two final three deals with two different houseguests, providing added insurance they get to the end. The first alliance he creates is with Cody, subsequently naming themselves the Wise Guys. The second alliance is with Christmas, which they also christen with the name the Wise Guys, despite Christmas's insistence she is not a guy.
For Memphis, this is a decent strategic move. He reaffirms his commitment with two members of the Committee while forging a deeper bond with one of the remaining houseguests no included in their alliance. Love or hate the guy, Memphis is making moves to get to the end.
A Message Worth Fighting For
Entering Thursday's eviction, it was a foregone conclusion Da'Vonne was going home. It made too much sense to vote her out over Kevin.
Da'Vonne has played Big Brother three times. Each time she has improved her gameplay. This season even featured her very first competition win ever. She has a lot to be proud of as a player.
But more importantly, she has a lot to be proud of as a person. Da'Vonne came in with the weight of a representing Black Lives Matter. She was very candid throughout the season of using her platform to advocate for people who look like her.
It is no secret that Big Brother has had issues displaying conversations about race in the past. Da'Vonne was a breath of fresh air as she used her voice to advocate for those often left voiceless by systems designed to favor some over others. Her candid conversations with Kaysar remain some of my favorite moments this season.
Could Da'Vonne have played a better game? Most certainly. But her game was about something so much more, and in that regard, she was perfect. I applaud her for standing for something bigger and helping educate the audience about the importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement.
New Neighbors Move-In
As the Thursday eviction episode wrapped up, the show finally revealed which Big Brother legend was moving in next door: Dr. Will Kirby.
The vaunted winner of season two returns to bring the next big twist of the season. Throughout the week, houseguests will have to choose between power or prizes. They didn't provide any further details about what that entails, but it is sure to be entertaining if the evil doctor is involved.
Of course, all of the drama will come to a head next Thursday when the house evicts three houseguests in the first-ever triple eviction. Big Brother Canada has utilized triple evictions before to less than stellar results. I am interested to see if the US is viewed by audiences when it's all said and done.