For the first time all season, it was a nearly unanimous vote as the two sides of the house came together to get out their biggest annoyance.
It was an unusual week of "Big Brother," as Sam's Power App triggered automatically, giving the evicted Houseguest the chance to return to the game. That made the vote even more unpredictable.
And yet, for the first time all season, the entire house rallied together -- except for one player -- and voted the same. Gone were the voting blocks that have dominated every single eviction to this point. The former F.O.U.T.T.E. and the former Level 6 were able to finally agree on who should get the boot.
We expect that unity will fall apart completely this week when one side or the other emerges with the new Head of Household title. There are only a few non-aligned players, and they've enjoyed the power in recent weeks. It makes for a more unexpected game, as Julie Chen would say, but it can't last forever.
It was an interesting choice, evicting Kaitlyn in a landslide 9-1 vote, as the evicted Houseguest did have that chance to battle back into the game. She is a fierce competitor who plays with her heart, and she would have come back into that house gunning for everybody.
That said, it would have been fun watching the whole house lie to her about who that one vote was to keep her. Tyler would have tried to claim it for strategic reasons. Faysal would have claimed it because he's too cowardly to ever be honest with his so-called "best friend." In reality, though, it was JC; an ironic twist as he was shown earlier wanting her out because she's not loyal to anyone.
We're going to run this season like you'd run a department store. Each product, or Houseguest, 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 new items in stock.
SPOTLIGHT ITEM: Just. Stop. Lying.
Faysal can't seem to help himself. He just can't stop lying. It makes it interesting for viewers at home, because we're not always sure who he's being honest with. But honestly, we're not sure he is, either. If Kaitlyn or Haleigh is looking at him, he's totally on board with whatever they're wanting.
It turns out, he's just a coward who can't face Kaitlyn, specifically, and just be honest with her. Either he's afraid of her wrath or he's afraid of her tears, but it's definitely fear that keeps him from telling the truth, no matter how much she begs. Even worse, when challenged over his lack of honesty, he turns it around on her.
At one point, he even says, "Here we go," as if her emotional response and anger are unearned. Rather than own his culpability, he twists the story, piling on more lies, like telling her he didn't save her because of the Swaggy eviction when it's because he's crushing super hard on Haleigh. Sure, the truth is harder, but come on. Man up, dude!
SPOTLIGHT ITEM: A Puzzling Chance
Kaitlyn totally crumbled under pressure when she had to assemble a puzzle for her chance to return to the house. There's no other way to put it. She cracked under the pressure, totally panicked and couldn't get it done.
It was a brutal time to take on a two-and-a-half-minute challenge mere moments after getting evicted by a 9-1 vote. Her mind was probably reeling over virtually no one supporting her, and we already know that she often responds emotionally first before settling into more rational processing.
She was clearly emotional as she began to panic because we could see that she knew how the puzzle went together. She just needed to settle down and get it done. That said, it's easier said than done as a ticking clock is nothing but growing pressure. Almost anyone would panic at that point.
But sitting down and giving up, even if only momentarily? That was a sign of emotional exhaustion.
Tyler (even) is just running away with this thing. Even Kaitlyn, who he lied to all season and manipulated before voting her out, threw her support his way. You've gotta respect his game. If he gets caught, though, it's going to be an epic showdown. We're not sure he will, though. It looks like he may have this all sewn up already.
Angela (up 1), Brett (up 4), Kaycee (up 1) and Rachel (up 1) are poised to run this game to the end. They still have their Level 5 strong, and no one seems to know about it, and they've been able to rope Sam into their votes.
Sam (up 1) looks like she will emerge from her reign of terror relatively unscathed. She's aligned unofficially with the power players in the house, and none of them seem all that concerned that she attacked Haleigh and Kaitlyn for personal reasons. That said, her volatile, secretive and aggressive personality will probably keep her from going too far, as they can't count on her to always do what the group wants.
JC (down 5) just painted a target on his back by defying the wishes of Level 5 and being the lone vote to save Kaitlyn. It won't hurt him necessarily in the short run, but in the long run they've learned that they can't just control his vote. JC is playing his own game, which could make him look like a liability later on.
Bayleigh (even) is probably the safest person on the other side of the house because she has rocked no boats at all. Once Swaggy got evicted, she smartly faded into the background. She probably won't emerge until some bigger targets are gone, but if she's not careful, she may run out of allies.
Rockstar (up 4) is annoying to a lot of people in the house, and since there's almost no way the former F.O.U.T.T.E. can reclaim the numbers to control anything, she's lucky that she's also not seen as any kind of threat by the bro-lliance that is looking to run this game until the end.
Haleigh (up 2) is not a threat at all by herself, but she does have Faysal around her finger, which creates a power duo that could become a target. She could get taken out if Faysal becomes unavailable due to POV or something, if only to weaken his resolve.
Faysal (down 2) is perceived as a bigger physical threat, and being in a duo with Haleigh might make him one of the biggest targets left on the other side of the house.
Scottie (down 2) remains on the Level 5 radar. He's clearly their biggest threat remaining after taking HOH and POV in the sam week to boot Winston out, so logically they would target him for eviction as soon as the opportunity arises. He's not afraid to make big moves, and he has the challenge prowess to back up his bravado.
Kaitlyn (down 1) kind of got what she deserved, even if it was done with a healthy dose of cruelty. She played emotionally in the first week, betraying her own alliance when she felt slighted by Faysal. She then nominated their de factor leader the following week. But does that deserve Sam attacking her character and her supposed best friend lying to her face over and over and over again? Those betrayals somehow felt more personal.
OVERHEARD IN THE CHECKOUT LANE
"Why did he promise me? I'm so sick of men making promises they can't keep ... I really thought he was my best friend. It just hurts my heart so much." --Kailtyn (she's not wrong... just don't promise)
- "When did you decide?" --Kaitlyn
"The more I thought about what you did to Swaggy--" --Faysal (digging a deeper hole rather than just admit he did it 'cause he's crushing on Haleigh)
- "That was bad. That was terrible." --Haleigh (talking about the POV ceremony)
"You looked so hot up there." --Faysal (okay, so he's just horny, then)
I know Fessy feels guilty about not using the veto on Kaitlyn. However, I'm leaning toward evicting Kaitlyn and I need him to vote with me. For one, Kaitlyn is a better competitor than me." --Haleigh (shifting to game mode instantly)
"Kaycee's with Rachel and Angela." --Tyler (we know, we've been combining them into one person all season)
"Kaitlyn, she's a crazy-ass bitch. And she's also a good competitor." --JC (making his intentions clear)
- "This is a game. I still love you. You're still my best friend." --Faysal
- "No you don't. Don't lie to me. Don't lie to me anymore." --Kaitlyn
"Here we go."
"I have to just tell her what she wants to hear at this point." --Faysal (unable to be upfront and honest with Kaitlyn about anything ever)
"Rockstar is a non-threat. Her social game sucks ass. Her physical games sucks even worse ass." --Brett (lobbying Level 5 to evict Kaitlyn)
- "If it comes down to a tie, I'm putting two dots in a cup, but they're gonna be the same color, and I'm not gonna tell anybody else that." --Sam
- "Is it gonna be Kaitlyn's color." --Tyler
"That is what I'm gonna tell people. If it is a tie, two dots in a cup. That's what you get. So you better make up your f-----g mind." --Sam
"I'll be damned if I'm gonna lose to Kaitlyn. Not gonna happen. I'll stomp a mudhole in that bitch's chest. Oh, I can't believe I just said that." --Sam (the truth shall set you free?)
- "Was that your strategy, to get close to strong players?" --Julie (after eviction)
"First of all, I don't think Fessy's a strong player." --Kaitlyn
- "Sam had some harsh words for you and Haleigh when she nominated [you]." --Julie
- "What was that about? Like, is she okay?" --Kaitlyn
"Big Brother" continues Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET, Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET and Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.