There was a lot to get through as the last episode left us with five Houseguests and no Head of Household, and by the end of the night we needed to see three of them sent out the door. But it was the final decision by the final Head of Household that would prove the worst of the night.
Julie Chen Moonves saved the reveal of America's Favorite Houseguest (who got a cool $25k) for the end of the show, but we don't want to. We're so happy that Tom Green won this one as he was an absolute hoot to watch in the house, and he played a very strong and competitive game, when he wasn't overthinking everything.
Head of Household the First
Wrapping up the first competition, which was based on calm and athleticism, it was no real surprise that Ricky took home the second-to-last HOH. What was a surprise -- okay, not really -- was that Dina had absolutely no idea how to play this game.
We couldn't help but laugh as she fumbled with her puzzle pieces, wondering why they wouldn't stick to the board. She'd completely forgotten, or never fully processed, how the game worked and that she had to hit her buzzer ever 20 seconds to keep her board magnetized. And so, time ran out on her and she just stood there confused.
With Ricky in place as the Head of Household, his nominations followed the alliances we'd seen established recently, so everyone expected to see Kandi and Dina sitting side by side up there.
Props to the production department for making one of the funniest scenes of the whole season when Tamar watched in slow motion as her football rolled back toward the laser security beams in this fun heist-themed challenge. Her scream of "No!" was exaggerated and elongated beautifully, and even though we all knew how it would end, it was still funny.
This was another one that required stealth and speed, meaning it best suited our lean Olympic hurdler. In the end, it wasn't even close as Lolo ran away with this one. And even though she considered forcing Ricky's hand by using the POV on Dina so he'd have to put Kandi up there and then send her packing on a tie-breaker, she instead chose to honor Ricky's intentions.
It wouldn't have mattered anyway, as Ricky still wound up the tiebreaker when Tamar decided not to vote out her friend in the game. Ricky, however, had no problem doing that, sending Kandi quickly to the jury. To this point, everything that had happened in the game made sense as if it was following a script, though her eviction did surprise some.
If they thought that was a shock, there was no way they were prepared for the final Head of Household, which came down to a tie between our two favorites to win this game all season, Ricky and Tamar. In the end, though, Ricky secured his second HOH of the season.
With it came the biggest power yet. He had to immediately evict two people, determining who would sit with him in the final two. The audience could be heard roaring its disapproval when he chose to evict both Dina and Lolo, his "athlete's alliance" partner.
Yes, Tamar was part of the bedroom alliance, but the athlete's alliance (with Natalie Eva Marie) was supposed to be the dominant alliance in the house. And now he'd betrayed that alliance sending an emotional juror out to vote with her heart. He had to know how that vote would go, at least.
Before the jurors made their vote, it came down to the final pleas between Tamar and Ricky as to why they should win. We were incredibly impressed with the grace and poise with which Tamar owned up to her own weaknesses (admitting she gets too emotional and it cost her closeness with them), while giving herself kudos for targeting and working to eliminate Tom and Kato, who were legitimate threats early on.
It was a fantastic final speech and she answered the jury's questions about as well as we've seen. Ricky, on the other hand, surprised us by how disconnected he seemed to the emotional and personal side of the game, plus his answers seemd more boastful, somehow.
Tamar said her biggest move was targeting Tom and Kato. Ricky's was not freaking out when he was on the block. Okay? His biggest regret was not winning a comp that would have saved his alliance, which is an okay answer, but Tamar's one about getting too emotional knocked it out of the water.
And so it was that for the second time in the history of "Big Brother" ("Celebrity" or otherwise) we got a unanimous vote for winner. Ricky got it totally wrong. Now, could he have beaten Lolo in the final vote? That might have been closer, but we still think she would have connected better with the jury.
We'd like to say he could have beaten Dina in a final vote, but she also made incredible connections with people and an argument could be made for her behind-the-scenes style of gameplay that did carry her into the final four. Honestly, there may not have been a path to victory for Ricky, but we think the most impossible path was the one he chose.
"Why aren't they sticking on the thing? What the heck. Mine aren't sticking." Dina (having no idea how the first HOH comp works)
"There's a new HOH in town and he's going to the final four. This is my excited face." Ricky (same stoic expression he always wears)
"We're a threat." Dina (after Ricky nominates her and Kandi)"It's not because you're the best player, Dina." Ricky"We are the best players. We are a threat." Dina
"Heisman winner stealing a bunch of memorabilia? Where have I heard this before? Hopefully this shakes out better for me." Ricky (regarding POV comp)
"I won the veto. I mean, I should. I've broken into my exes houses a lot of times." Lolo
"The slower you play, the longer you last. Think about the way Dina has played. She's been behind the scenes a little bit. She's never been anybody's real threat, and so she's made it to the final five." Anthony Scaramucci (discussing the finalists with Julie)
"I'm sorry, Lolo, I am voting Dina out of this house. Go and meet your catfish, girl. Bye." Tamar (before first eviction)
"This is potentially a big decision that could piss somebody off, but I'm not scared." Ricky (knowing he might be the tiebreaker who decides who goes home)
He's like an assassin. If I ever needed to do a hit job or something like that, he would be my guy. He's got a very soft personality, but he knows how to play." Anthony (on Ricky)
"She is so out there and she's so much fun to watch." Anthony (on Tamar)
"What a competitor ... I love her emotion, actually. She is always playing with her heart on her sleeve." Anthony (on Lolo)
"I think she's one of the smartest people I've ever met." Anthony (on Kandi)
"If we had music, we would cue it." Julie (as Dina goes on way too long in her save-me speech)
"It's a great financial move for him, but Ricky always said in this game to play this game so that you'll have friends afterward, and the move he just made, I don't know if I'd want to continue the friendship." Lolo (after Ricky evicted her)
"Well $50,000 after he gets second; after taxes and his agent's fee, it's really not much." Lolo (predicting a second-place finish for Ricky)
"I could have told you that in the first week." Tom (referring to how he targeted RIcky from the start)