A new puppet master emerges and threatens to tear apart both of the power alliances in the house.
It was an emotional night of "Big Brother" on Sunday, and there weren't even any competitions to battle through. Instead it was all about figuring out what new Head of Household Kaitlyn would do, and finding out who America loves and who they don't.
There's a twisted cruelty to the new "Trending" twist introduced in the game, that we didn't see so much last week when Faysal was dubbed "least trending," because he pretty much took it in stride. This week, the dubious honor fell to someone else, and the response was much worse.
Rachel is in for a rough week of gameplay because not only is she "least trending," her punishment for it is that a reviewer will come into the house and critique her game play. The biggest problem is that she doesn't really have any. If it's possible for an entire alliance to be floating, that's basically what Level 6 is doing.
As you've seen here, we keep ranking them together because other than Tyler -- their de factor leader simply because he was HOH when they formed -- they've been kind of just sitting back. It's more the incompetence and loose lips of the other side than anything they're doing that's got them in a power position right now.
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 ... after we spotlight a couple of exciting new item in stock.
SPOTLIGHT ITEM: BB App Store
Rachel was reduced to tears even before she left the BB App room, admitting that her biggest fear coming into the house was what people would think of her. "I care about what people think of me, probably more than I should," she admitted. So finding out she was least trending got her wondering if it meant she was a bad person or unlikable.
Thus far, that's not the case. She's just super boring. The last time she showed any spark of personality was on Day One when she chased Scottie around after finding out he was a virgin. Once she settled in with the bro-lliance, she just kind of faded into the background. She's like pretty wallpaper now, and that's not going to get people excited.
On the other side of that coin, outgoing HOH Tyler scored the well-deserved "most trending" title, and an impressive Power App to go along with it. For the next eight weeks, he can remove himself from consideration to be put on the block one time during nomination or veto ceremonies.
Dude has played a brilliant strategic game thus far, pivoting perfectly into the role of a voice in new HOH Kaitlyn's ear. If he can keep playing the house so well, and keep them convinced that he's kind of dim, Tyler could have a power-run season like Derek did in "Big Brother 16."
SPOTLIGHT ITEM: Pawns Freak Out
In his defense, Scottie was right to think that Kaitlyn's plan to put him up as a pawn opposite Winston was a terrible idea. He was a vote on her side, so why eliminate that number when there are a whole slew of targets on the other side of the house. That way if a pawn goes home (like Steve did), it's still someone you want out.
What we didn't expect was how much it would affect him physically. Clearly he was totally freaking out as Faysal noted how much his hand was shaking trying to eat some yogurt while talking about it. The shaking didn't betray his voice, but it was clear that he was all kinds of pent up anxiety, and every time he did a confessional, it looked like he was just shy of freaking out.
Faysal sent Kaitlyn to try and talk him down, hoping she would go a different direction with her nominations, but he didn't know how much influence Tyler had over her. In the end, she stuck to her original plan and Scottie will now get to try and not freak out all week long while he's on the block.
Tyler (up 1) proved his game savvy by taking control of Kaitlyn's HOH masterfully. He urged her to make a big power play and now has her looking to backdoor his biggest target in the house, Swaggy. That puts the blood on her hands if it happens, and him one step closer to the half-million dollars.
Rockstar (up 1), JC (up 2) and Sam (up 9) are the invisible trio this week in a way that is good for their games. They are mostly aligned with Kaitlyn, and more importantly they are not at all on her radar.
Faysal (up 11) is playing a smart, level-headed game. He's maintaining his friendly relationship with Kaitlyn this week, but more importantly, he's proving he's paying attention. Now, if he wants to stick around long term, he's going to need to make inroads with that bro-lliance. Aren't the all working out together?
Kaitlyn (down 5) can seem a little daft at times, and as if she's playing more with her heart than her head, but she does have the power this week, and it looks like she's going to try and do something smart with it. That said, putting Scottie up is bad game play, and leaving a bad taste in her own alliance's mouth. She could be in trouble next week for her antics this week once everyone realizes she is kind of a loose cannon.
Haleigh (up 10) appears to be in Kaitlyn's good graces, but her burgeoning showmance with Faysal is why Kaitlyn flipped in the first place. On top of that, she doesn't seem to be doing much strategizing or socializing, which is death in the house.
Scottie (up 2) is having a rough week, but we really think he's safe. Now if we could just convince him of that so he will stop having the shakes thinking about it. If the nominations don't change at all, Tyler would have to do some fancy maneuvering to secure the numbers to boot Scottie over Winston, and we're not sure if he can or would want to. Tyler seems like a player who'll adjust his alliances as needed.
Brett (down 3), Kaycee (down 3) and Rachel (down 3) are the invisible trio of the Level 6 alliance, just kind of floating along until something happens to them. That only works so long, guys and gals!
Bayleigh (even) remains a target in the house because of her growing showmance with Swaggy C, who is rubbing almost everyone the wrong way. Hell, even Bayleigh is arguing with herself about being with him. It's not confidence, girl, it's an over-inflated and yet incredibly fragile ego. And it's totally annoying.
Angela (down 5) did a good job in a challenge she ultimately lost to Swaggy C. And yet, he has managed to convince his entire alliance that she is the biggest threat in the house and needs to be eliminated immediately. We're not sure she deserves this dubious honor, but if you say anything often enough, people will believe it.
Winston (down 9) is on the block as a pawn, but you know if Kaitlyn can't manage to backdoor Swaggy, she'd totally be down for getting rid of Winston anyway. Tyler won't be able to lobby on his behalf too much without exposing Level 6, and we kind of don't think he'd bother.
Swaggy (down 2) is the target this week, and will continue to be the target until someone gets rid of him. And we can't even say this is a race thing this season, because he is easily the most annoyingly cocky player in the game right now. Once again, he got all butt-hurt that he wasn't chosen "most trending," because he believes his own hype. Did we mention he gave himself that nickname ... and got t-shirts made!
"Big Brother" airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET this week, followed by new episodes Thursday at 9 p.m. ET and Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.