Everything was up in the air coming into Wednesday's installment of "Celebrity Big Brother." It was game time, because the next Head of Household would dictate the course of the rest of the game. Everyone came to play hard, but that didn't mean it was going particularly well for either Omarosa or Brandi Glanville.
Omarosa has lost what little credibility she had in the house, and so her attempts to sow discord just aren't working. Meanwhile, Brandi is Brandi and doing what Brandi does best, which means running her mouth until it gets her into trouble.
With two overlapping Final Four deals in existence, the HOH winner would determine who was on the right side of the numbers, and who was on the wrong side... unless, that is, you're Ross Mathews or Marissa Jaret Winokur, because they're totally in both alliances and sitting pretty either way.
For the rest of the house, it was do or die. Mark McGrath and James Maslow had become a de facto power duo, while Ariadna Gutierrez and Brandi had long been an unlikely pair. Only Omarosa was a free agent, after losing the closest thing she had to an ally on Monday when Metta World Peace asked to be sent home.
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 some wonderful items in stock.
In case you didn't know that Omarosa knows the president, she got into it again in this episode. She also gave what some analysts might consider support to an Oprah Winfrey presidential run when she said, "I was on Oprah with Donald Trump. That's why when they were like, 'Oprah's gonna run,' I was like, 'Oh, I got a picture with both presidents.'" Did you catch it? She said "both presidents." Go wild, conspiracy theorists. Run with it like the wind!
Omarosa also talked about how much fun it was flying on Air Force One, until they stick you with the bill. "You pay for the food. There's no free ride in the government," she laughed. "I got a bill and it was 23 dollars, and I was like, 'I didn't even eat anything.' So I called the military aid and was like, 'Why am I getting a bill?' And he was like, 'Well if you even consume the snacks, you get a flat fee.' Yeah, no you get billed."
We just hope those were really good snacks!
Here you'll find Brandi Glanville, sipping from a glass and sounding off about her housemates, her life, whatever he wants. Tonight, she definitely wanted to whine some more about James, who strategically gave up the chance at HOH so his pal and ally Mark could have it. "Look at Mother Theresa over here, graciously giving up his spot so Mark can win. Isn't he a saint?" she asked, simply oozing with delicious sarcasm.
Later, she went after Mark for that same moment. "Do you think, Mark, that maybe you and James did a little play tonight for the future?" she asked. "Because now that you're HOH and you guys are bromancing, that he will get to compete in the next HOH instead of you … It was a setup." Brandi was convinced -- frankly everyone was convinced, but knew well enough to not say so to the HOH.
Inevitably, Brandi wound up on the block, but she didn't think Mark was the mastermind of this move. "This has pretty little James' name written all over it," she sneered. "James, regardless of the amount of fans he has, is just a d-bag."
James Maslow ("Big Time Rush") is well on his way to the finals at this point. If he gets there and the jury isn't bitter, then moves like strategically giving Mark this win so he could play in the next one are the kinds of things that win "Big Brother." He's the strongest competitor, so he put an ally up now to improve both of their chances of holding power next time as well. It's brilliant gameplay.
Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) fell into an alliance with James at just the right time, and is peaking perfectly in this game. He ruffled no feathers in the house and remains likable. He'll be accused of being a floater, but he's in a very good spot to possibly win if the jury is bitter against James. A strong alliance at the end plus a strong social game have crowned winners before.
Ross Mathews ("Chelsea Lately") is playing everyone and still they all respect and love him. We swear this isn't intentional, but somehow the guys -- despite being outnumbered -- are in the best positions in the house. Ross is sitting slightly prettier than Marissa because he's more firmly entrenched in their alliance, whereas Marissa waffled about joining for fear of leaving Ariadna in the cold. Even know, she remains more loyal to her girls, whereas Ross is looking out for number one and playing everyone.
Ariadna Gutierrez (almost Miss Universe) was very kindly put on the nomination block by Mark, and we know James is crushing on her, so she's in a better spot than it looks. She is beloved in the house, a strong competitor and one of the savviest and most intelligent people in the house. If Brandi gets the boot before her, she becomes a very valuable ally and swing vote as Final Fours collapse. She's smart enough to see and take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself to her.
Marissa Jaret Winokur ("Hairspray") brilliant played both sides of the house alongside Ross so she would be in with the power side no matter which way it went, but her true loyalty to the girls is what puts her at the bottom of the boys' alliance. If Ariadna or Brandi had taken power, she might be at the top. This game has flipped so many times, we're not counting her out just yet, because she's clever and devious and willing to make the hard calls when it comes down to it, so we'll have to see how it plays out.
Omarosa Manigault ("The Apprentice") isn't even on the block, but it doesn't matter. Unless she can win her way into the finals, she's living on borrowed time. No one trusts a word she says anymore. They call everything she says "fake news" and fact check her every utterance and just assume she's lying. She's trying to sow seeds of mistrust, but that can only work if she is trusted. Her gameplay strategy just can't work this time around.
Brandi Glanville ("The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills") Is Mark's target primarily because she is also James' target, and because she doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. If Brandi is holding a wine glass, watch out! She is coming hard and fast and with no filter. It could be wildly entertaining or wildly uncomfortable ... sometimes both. She's not good at the subtle game, though, and it makes her such a big target even her allies have to sometimes keep her at arm's length.
OVERHEARD IN THE CHECKOUT LANE
"I'm emotional because I'm gonna miss him so much. We just had, like, realy good vibes and he's crazy. I love crazy. Who doesn't love crazy?" Brandi (missing Metta ... crazy knows crazy!)
"I'm a purist when it comes to this. Like, even the twist drove me crazy." Ross (on why he didn't use the VIP Veto twice)
"Omarosa is after me. She's the only person in the house I'm not working with, so I need her out. Maybe I could unite both sides that I'm working with for one common goal: to evict Omarosa. Then, I don't have to pick a side ... just yet." Ross (playing both sides of the house, and he's got Mark considering a backdoor scenario for Omarosa)
"The rules stated that this would get easier as time went on. Well, I am sorry Miss Kellyanne Conway, that is an alternative fact." Ross (failing hard at the twisting rope ladder red carpet game)
"We call it 'Fake News' now. Everything is a lie from her. She's getting everybody against everybody." Ross (about Omarosa)
"Did we articulate it and say this is what's gonna happen? No. Did he make it happen? Yes ... It was a selfless act." Mark (either not knowing, or denying James' HOH gift was part of a strategy ... it totally was)
"Brandi, please stop it. I need you in the house. You need to stop this because if you're out I'm by myself." Ariadna (because Brandi keeps running her mouth at Mark about the HOH competition)
"Go ahead, Brandi. Just keep running your big old mouth. Keep talking. Bye girl!" Omarosa (as Brandi digs a deeper hole with Mark)
"I hate that picture." Brandi (when she inevitably gets nominated)
"Brandi is finally on the block. She's beyond obnoxious. It's torturous being around Brandi. Wooo! Bye Brandi. It's been fun! Naw, it really hasn't been fun, I'm pretty psyched your leaving." James (after Brandi gets nominated)
Friday's two-hour episode of "Celebrity Big Brother" is a double eviction as we zoom toward the finale. It all wraps up with Friday, Saturday and a two-hour Sunday finale at 7 p.m. ET on CBS.