Alliances explode throughout the house as the first Head of Household is crowned and three Houseguests are nominated for eviction.
Anthony Scaramucci was clearly brought into the "Celebrity Big Brother" house to dish on the White House, even though he was only there for eleven days, but he started delivering on that promise right away Tuesday night.
It was an evening of alliances, with a whopping six different allegiances forming, though there was plenty of overlap. And then there was the one celebrity who just missed out on joining the most powerful one by somehow decrying that he hates them and even hates the word alliance.
"Whoa! Does he know what game he's playing?" Jonathan Bennett asked after Joey Lawrence dropped this bombshell. It's certainly a bold statement and one that will more than likely prove disastrous to his long-term game.
Meanwhile, Jonathan was forming the game's first major alliances, which then fractured into four mini-alliances. What was originally supposed to be a seven-person grouping became six after Joey flaked out, meaning it was Jonathan, Ryan Lochte, Natalie Eva Marie, Lolo Jones, Tamar Braxton and Kandi Burruss.
From their Jonathan and Ryan paired up, as did Natalie and Lolo. Then that foursome became a sub-alliance within the larger group and then Tamar suggested an all-girls alliance within it as well, and suddenly we had five alliances in one. At least the girls had the decency to come up with a name: The Four Tops.
Tamar told the girls she wanted them to be the first all-girls alliance to not stab one another in the back. And while we continue to await that very thing happening on this or any show, what she didn't know is that Natalie and Lolo were already in an alliance with the guys, so the back-stabbing may yet happen.
Later, Anthony Scaramucci awkwardly proposed the most ineffective and unlikely alliance in the house with Tom Green and Kato Kaelin, which was almost immediately proven to be useless. But hey, at least the guy's trying. He and Tom also chatted a bit about the White House, but more on that later.
As we learned last week, Jonathan and Ryan had to compete in this one with the loser automatically going on the block, which is exactly why Jonathan quickly secured an alliance ... he could see the writing on the wall going up against an Olympian.
Then he surprised himself by faring rather well in the competition, closing the gap considerably. He did, however, fall short in the end. But then Julie dropped a new twist on the house and revealed that Ryan, as the new HOH, would still have to nominate two people for the block, meaning there would be three total nominees.
It's a good thing the gang came up with this alliance, as it made the selections easier. Also, with one more nominee, that makes the six person alliances more than enough to assure Jonathan's safety, so long as everyone plays nice and gets along.
We're going to rank and grade the Houseguests after each episode to see how well they're playing the game. The higher the grade, the better they're doing and the stronger their standing in the house. If they get a failing grade, we're pretty sure they're headed out the door. But until that point, there's always room for improvement.
Jonathan Bennett has emerged as the strategic mastermind of the game thus far, initiating the first alliance and assuring his safety this week, despite being on the block. He's also formed a final two with the strongest physical athlete and competitor in the house, which is a pretty good ally to have. On top of that, Ryan proved he's willing to take Jonathan's advice, as he proved by not putting Dina on the block. Grade: A+
Tamar Braxton stepped up her mental game almost immediately tonight, proving herself to be a wicked strategist, willing to put aside any differences she might have (Kandi) and keep her eye on the prize. She's going to have to accept wild-card variables like Ryan and Jonathan's audible this week with the noms in the short term, but she wisely sees this as an indication that their alliance might be tighter than her alliance with either of them. Grade: A+
Ryan Lochte is the man to beat when it comes to physical prowess, and he is understanding the basic beats of the game thus far. He's also aligned with a very savvy player in Jonathan and sits toward the top of the power alliance, his final two alliance, and the athlete's alliance. All of this should secure his safety for quite awhile, and possibly to the end. Grade: A
Lolo Jones made her own ride-or-die with Natalie and finds herself in the power alliance of the moment. Add to that her own physical prowess and mental acuity, and she should be fine for the time being. She's allowing others to take those leadership roles, which can be wise in itself, but by making her final two with Natalie she's proven she's thinking long term and will make a big move when she needs to. Grade: A
Natalie Eva Marie is essentially in the same position as Lolo and for the same reasons. At this point, they're playing the same game in the same alliances and with the same athletic abilities on display. Until that changes, they're virtually interchangeable in the rankings here. Lolo gets the edge because she's been more vocal overall during strategy sessions that we've seen. Grade: A
Kandi Burruss is in the right alliance, but she's already getting a little paranoid about it. Yes, it was weird that Ryan wouldn't just tell her his plan, but Ryan was kind of freaking out at the moment. And she's probably right to think that she's at the bottom of this alliance, but it might be a little early to think about bailing considering there isn't much else going on in the house. Might be better to work on sabotage from within when the time is right, as this alliance seems to be filled with the power players in the house. Grade: B-
Kato Kaelin managed to avoid being on the block, even though the alliance initially said they were looking at targeting the oldest two in the house. Kato is the oldest person in the house, but his name didn't come up. This means he is doing something right as far as floating goes, but that can only get him so far. He's already in a worse spot than he knows, and his alliance isn't going to do much for him. Grade: C
Ricky Williams was as invisible as Kato this week, but he has the disadvantage of having once been a world-class athlete, so that spirit and drive resides within him. The power team shares that drive, so they know this about him and he will be targeted sooner rather than later, or at least as soon as they decide they're willing to get blood on their hands, or he has a good showing at a comp. Grade: C
Joey Lawrence committed one of the biggest "Big Brother" blunders we've ever seen when he rejected the very notion of alliances. Now, he needs to hope the top of the house gets toppled to have any chance, or he'll need to do some serious sweet talking to change anyone's mind about letting him into their confidence. It was a huge bonehead move. Grade: D+
Tom Green could very well go home this week, as he's on the block and it's not completely clear where the alliance's head is at, but we're leaning toward him being safe for at least this first time simply because he wasn't even their first (or second) idea on who to put up there. He only wound up there after Jonathan lobbied to save Dina. The house seems to be enjoying him for the time being and doesn't see him as a threat, but he'll need to turn that into something more substantial to survive too much longer. Grade: D+
Dina Lohan didn't do anything wrong, but she also hasn't done enough to ingratiate herself with the power alliance in the house, for them to turn on her so swiftly. Reality TV has a history of targeting older women, so it was at least nice that Jonathan fought to keep her off the block this week, but she could still go up as a replacement nominee, and with the power aligned as it is right now, her days look very numbered. Grade: D
Anthony Scaramucci may just be the first person to go home, unless he pulls off a Power of Veto victory, and he'll be going up against at least both Ryan and Jonathan (along with Tom) so it won't be easy. Of the nominees, he's probably the biggest game threat who isn't part of the power alliance, which means he's just on the wrong side of the numbers. Grade: D-
"I guess we can change now. Are you gonna change out of the outfit? Oh no, that's your clothing." Tom (to Kato)
"Kandi and I have some history together, so I just feel like she automatically gonna gun for me, so I said to myself, 'Now self, you need to invite her to this little party so I can keep my name out the sauce." Tamar (after being invited into Jonathan's alliance)
"Tamar and I have a rocky past ... but if this is what's going to help me stay past the first eviction, then hey, let's align." Kandi
"Honesetly, I'm not playing now. What? Alliance, Bang! I hate that word." Joey (seconds before Lolo was going to propose he join theirs)
"You think you'll go work for [Trump] again?" Tom"I mean if I'm really being totally objective, there's no chance I'd get invited back because I'm not really a politician, he's surrounded by politicians, he's surrounded by Washington operatives, so they really don't want people from his neck of the woods around him." Anthony
"They're draining the swamp, though?" Tom"Well, I think the swamp may not have a drain." Anthony
"It doesn't hurt to secure your spot for the final four with three of the fiercest athletes in the entire house." Jonathan
"Listen, we've got to figure out what the hell we're doing for real. We need to be the four girls who never stab each other in the back. Like, it's possible." Tamar (to Lolo, Kandi, Natalie)"It never works! Even Destiny's Child couldn't hold it together." Lolo
"I got sweaty palms" Ryan (before HOH comp)"That was my drag name." Jonathan
"The way Ryan is knocking down that wall, the president should be worried." Anthony (The Mooch got jokes)
"Watching Jonathan soar through the air makes me think of the movie 'Mean Girls." Because he never stops talking about how he was in the movie 'Mean Girls.'" Tom
"Juliebot does it again." Anthony (it's Chenbot, dude, come on!)