Kato Kaelin did the one thing that Ryan Lochte couldn't do. He was able to look his fellow Houseguests in the eyes, say what needed to be said and not let emotions get in the way of his plan. When Ryan confronted his Olympic pal Lolo Jones during his HOH reign, he cracked about putting her on the block.
No such luck when it came Kato's turn as HOH. Instead, he stood by his decisions to nominate Tamar and Dina Lohan, assuring both women that there was a plan without revealing what that plan was. It was very shrewd gamesmanship because it's the kind of assurance people need, but he never outright lied.
When directly confronted by Ryan and Joey Lawrence about his plans, he didn't lie to them, either. He didn't come right out and say the truth, but he didn't directly tell them a mistruth. Instead, he kind of hemmed and hawed and basically confirmed what they already knew.
In the end, it all came down to the Power of Veto, and through a massive stroke of luck, that coincided beautifully with a new alliance Tom Green helped orchestrate. Already in a power duo with the Head of Household, the pair were looking to bolster their numbers and took a gamble on another power duo: Lolo and Natalie Eva Marie.
Luckily, the women were spiraling after multiple alliances had crumbled around them and they were eager to be a part of something that might last. And honestly, it looks like this might be the first alliance that has some legs. Both Tom and Kato have played with incredible integrity and as much honesty as possible, so they'll be much more stable allies.
The luck of the draw then gave this new power alliance a fifty percent chance of winning the Veto as Tom and Natalie were selected to compete. Even better, if the HOH or either of the nominees won, Kato's backdoor plan would still work. So really, only a victory by Joey (who was unofficially aligned with Ryan) would throw a wrench in things.
But it was Tom who emerged triumphant with the POV victory, and proved as much a man of his word as Kato was when he won it, using it to save Dina from the block. And with that, Ryan's fate was sealed as Kato put him on the block.
Perhaps somewhere after being offended and insulted that Kato mentioned her son in his nomination speech Tamar realized she wasn't the target and was able to calm down.
She completely misconstrued Kato's message about her spoken desire to leave the house (though she did express this to Tom and not him), as well as his lame excuse that she's messy.
She took it as a sexist attack and then an attack on her motherhood and again it seems like her own issues are getting in the way of her perception filters. Luckily, they were able to talk it out and Tamar backed down enough to realize she was projecting a level of nastiness and misogyny on Kato that simply wasn't there in that speech.
He may have spoken poorly, sure, but his intents were not what she took out of it. And that's something she's going to have to work on. She reacts emotionally so quickly and then sounds off and it's become the root of a lot of tension in the house. If she could just take a beat and fully process a moment before responding, it would be better for her game, because her volatile nature is not sitting well with people.
Kato Kaelin has emerged as a true force to be reckoned with. He's playing such a great game right now, making bold power moves without apology and doing them so directly that people are both respecting him for it and continuing to like him as a player. He's got a big target on his back probably now, but he's also aligned himself well and taking out Ryan was a good move everyone could agree on. Grade: A+
Tom Green is right there with his ride-or-die. He took home the POV and set the stage for the backdoor and he brilliantly expanded their ranks to add the two strongest athletes remaining in the house to their alliance in Lolo and Natalie, which is brilliant on its own. And for now, it seems like this unlikely alliance is strong, though we're not sure it's as secret as they want. These guys are playing to win and we are stunned they're at the top right now. Grade: A+
Natalie Eva Marie continues to play a quieter game, allowing Lolo's more volatile personality to stand in front of their obvious alliance, but she is clearly paying attention, she's a strong competitor and she's ready to make big power moves, as proven by her instantly naming Ryan as the biggest threat in the house. She's in a strong alliance that could soon be unstoppable if they stay loyal. Grade: A-
Ricky Williams is not in the power alliance, which knocked him down a few notches here, but he's still playing a very strong individual game, and he's in the good graces of Kato after helping him with the constipation issue. We could see him eventually working his way into this group, but if he doesn't, he'll probably settle into the middle of the pack and seal his doom. It's almost impossible to win this game of alliances without one. Grade: B+
Lolo Jones wraps up the new four-person power alliance, and she's only at the bottom of it because of her own temper issues. She has snapped off at Tamar on more than one occasion and the house has made it clear they do not like this ongoing friction happening on a daily basis. It's exhausting and in a game where you can get peace simply by voting people out, it's not a good idea to be part of what's annoying them. Grade: B
Kandi Burruss has either been getting a weird edit of late or she has legitimately chosen to fade into the wallpaper over the last week. She has become such a non-entity in the house activity after her time on the block, it's a surprise when we see her in the room. It's not a bad strategy as she was wrapped up in so much of the early fighting, which got her on the block in the first place. But floating too long is just as dangerous. Grade: C+
Dina Lohan emerges into the middle simply because she shares an odd sort of friendship with Kato, and she's not seen as any particular threat. She's an easy vote to boot whenever they feel like doing it, but with this week's move, the power alliance has proven they're looking to make big moves. So even if they're not in power, they're likely to become targets, which is good for floaters in the middle. Grade: C
Joey Lawrence is not in a great spot, but he's also not in the worst spot imaginable. As an ally of Ryan's he may be a logical target, but he's also a free agent with no allegiances of any kind. He is a physical threat in the game, but no one seems to be particularly mad at him or have any real issues with him. He's a little too on the radar to be a true floater, which makes him an easy target. Honestly, his fate depends on how he rebounds and who he starts talking to now that Ryan is gone. Grade: C-
Tamar Braxton is slowly digging her grave with one explosion after the other. She's too good of a player to allow her short fuse to doom her time in the game, but that may be exactly what happens. Every moment with Tamar seems to be a lot of fun except for the initial moments after some slight offends her and she goes off. If she could just work on tempering that knee-jerk explosion, she'd rise right back to the top. As it stands, she is the center of virtually all drama in the house, and that's not attention you want. For now, they'll endure it so long as there are bigger targets, but that won't last. Grade: D+
Ryan Lochte fell victim to his own early successes and his tremendous prowess as an athlete. He was always going to be a huge target, but trying so hard to make big power moves early on, including targeting his Olympic pal Lolo, really sealed his fate. Especially because he didn't have the nerve to go through with it so early in the game. Honestly, though, he if he'd put her on the block, Jonathan would still probably have gone home and he'd still be next. Sometimes it just wasn't meant to be. Grade: F