It's been a truly insane day in the "Big Brother" house as wicked lies, screaming matches and tears preceded an unpredictable and tense eviction, revealing the Final Four.
What started out look like a rout with the Gr8ful alliance has turned into one of the wildest, scrappiest and most intense seasons of "Big Brother" we've ever seen.
This on the heels of us just marveling how civil everyone was being. Apparently, with $500,000 looming just two weeks away, the civility has fully cracked and out comes the competitive beasts that may just be willing to do anything to win this game.
Coming into this week's live eviction episode, Cliff and Nicole wielded all the power and were contemplating what to do with it. They had a Final 4 alliance with the showmance of Michie and Holly, but Nicole floated the idea of flipping the script and voting out Holly after she'd pulled Cliff from the block with her Veto win.
This would be a huge game move in the eyes of the Jury, and it would leave Cliff and Nicole as the only pair still left working together in the house. But it also means going back on their word. And Cliff considered that he believed Tommy was a stronger competitor than Holly. The truth of the matter is that both Holly and Tommy are equally competitive and strong; they've just been overshadowed by Michie ... like everyone else in the game.
As the episode began, Julie Chen let us know that it's been absolute chaos in the house all day, and we could see on the cameras behind her that Cliff and Nicole were still stewing, Usually, everyone is in their positions in the living room but that just wasn't the case. And then we saw why things became so murky.
Michie has said it over and over again, but he really meant it this time around. Once again, Michie and Holly were sneaking around the house and listening in on conversations. This time, Michie overheard Tommy promising to Nicole and Cliff that he would throw the HOH to them and even use the Veto as they wanted if they kept him over Holly.
After stewing over the dilemma he found himsef in, Michie made a fateful decision. It was time to put on his "Big Brother" pants and join the lying snakes of "BB" legend. And boy did he concoct a compelling lie.
Using the intel he overheard, he approached Cliff and Nicole and told them that what Tommy told them was all part of Tommy's master plan that he'd previously shared with Michie. In fact, he suggested that this was Tommy's plan to try and dupe them into keeping him and he'd promised to work with Michie to evict Cliff because he thought Nicole was weak and he could beat her.
A lie well told is a lie well sold, as Michie might say. And he told and sold this one very well, leaving Nicole both furious and in tears. This is where "Big Brother" gets difficult, because there are real people and real feelings involved. And at least for the time being, the house is your life, so it hurts to be lied to and not know who to trust.
Where we left things, Nicole was wanting a house meeting to clear the air. You could see Michie sweating this a bit, as now he was going to have to face Tommy and the whole house and keep up this lie. And based on a teaser we got from it (the rest will air Sunday), he really doubled down and did so in the face of Tommy's rage, anger and frustration that he was being lied about.
We really felt for Tommy in this moment on a personal level, because it's crazy to imagine sitting there having someone make up lies about you right to your face and say you're the one lying. But it happens every day in real life and we get to see it play out in make-believe life as well on Sunday. That should be ... uncomfortable.
If Michie pulls off a win in this game, this could be the moment that sealed his victory.
After the vote, Tommy told Michie, "You got me." When pressed on those comments by Julie, he shared Michie's lie and how effective it must have been. Was it the right move by Cliff and Nicole to get rid of Tommy and keep the showmance?
On the one hand, they did ultimately stay true to their alliance. But in a confessional, Michie said it didn't matter. That they even considered so seriously evicting Holly rendered the alliance null and void and he was ready to start gunning for them.
Realistically, though, with Tommy gone they're at that stage of the game anyway. It's every person for themself, or every duo for themselves as we full expect the duos to continue having one another's backs as the game moves forward.
The only one who might be willing to betray his partner is probably Cliff, because he already started doing some damage control to protect himself with Michie in the event Holly was voted out.
"I'm not playing on a personal level," he told Michie, and that's been evident all season. Cliff has flipped and betrayed alliances and even his word, with Kat being the most visible example, so if it came down to it he'd probably do it again.
An endurance comp kicked off at the end of the show against Holly, Cliff and Nicole, but like this past week, the Head of Household doesn't matter as much. The Veto winner will have all the power.
Honestly, we could see Holly ultimately throwing this HOH to either Cliff or Nicole (probably Nicole as we don't think Cliff's leg muscles will do well here at all).
Whoever wins the Veto controls the entire game because they are the sole vote to evict next week. So even if Nicole is HOH, if Michie or Holly wins Veto they can guarantee Cliff will be on the block and they simply vote to evict him.
HOH means virtually nothing this week, except to pad a resume. It's all about the Veto and the power that comes with it. And with this one being an endurance comp, there's a good chance Veto will be either physical or mental (and if it's mental it will probably be the classic face scramble competition. Who's the most observant in the house?
Michie decided to play dirty, but boy was it effective. And as far as we know, Cliff and Nicole still at least somewhat believe his fabricated story about Tommy's allegiance. The smart move is to never tell them the truth until after the game. But, he's in the best position in the house. If Holly wins HOH, great. If not, no big deal because POV is where it's at. He's the number one target, but he's also the number one comeptition beast. Grade: A
Cliff was so smart, laying the groundwork to distance himself from Nicole if needed moving forward. He'll quickly throw her under the bus this week if it somehow comes down to him versus her. More than likely, though, this week will all come down to whoever holds the Veto. If it's Michie or Holly, then Cliff goes. If it's Cliff or Nicole, then Michie goes. No reason to betray a Final 2 just yet. Grade: B+
Nicole probably won't get the respect she deserves for the game she has played. Tommy said it in his exit interview, Nicole is playing a very smart and strategic game. That's why she partnered so well with Cliff. The problem is that Cliff is getting all the credit for that alliance. Granted, it was Nicole who floated the idea of evicting Holly. Had they done it, points to Nicole. That they didn't could hurt her standing. Grade: B-
Holly has somehow become the floater that Nicole used to be. Michie didn't even include her in his devious lying plan. We already know the romance is fading, but it seems he's more using her as a number and a prop than a true ally these days. His plan is probably to take her to the end, knowing he can beat her, but we could also see him cutting her for any of the others, depending on what he wants to face. Holly worried she'll be seen as not playing her own game, and sadly that has come to pass. Grade: C-
Tommy tried his best, but he got outplayed by just how dirty Michie was willing to go. It seems Tommy didn't have it in him to be as devious and lie as hard and be so awful to people in the game on a personal level. Tommy too much wears his heart on his sleeve, and it ultimately cost him. While he succumbed to mob mentality a lot, and allowed Christie to bring out his worst impulses, on his own, he's just too kind-hearted to be that nasty. And it cost him. Grade: F
"I am so happy that I am working with Cliff and Nicole and now I am relying on their integrity. They gave me their word that they would keep me safe." --Holly
"I've always wondered a little bit whether Tommy and Michie were working together." --Cliff (to Nicole)
"If I'm going to get rid of Holly and keep Tommy, I'm going to have to have some absolute promises that Tommy's gonna take Nicole and myself to Final 3 and not Michie. That seems like an absolutely minimum commitment before I'll even consider going that direction." --Cliff
"I would be willing to throw you guys the HOH competition." --Tommy (sweetening his deal)
"If Tommy throws the competition, that means Nicole or myself are guaranteed to win it. And whoever wins that HOH competition has a guaranteed spot in the Final 3." --Cliff
"I mean it when I say that I'm going to throw this HOH competition. If Holly does wind up going home this week, that means that Michie is the obvious next target. But if Michie saves himself, I'm hoping that he would want revenge on Cliff and Nicole for voting out Holly. Maybe he'd want to take me along. That would put me in a really good position." --Tommy (plotting and scheming)
"Where's your head at." --Michie (to Cliff)
"'I've got mixed feelings. I'm worried about the two of y'all and me, but I also feel a lot tighter than I do with Tommy. He's tighter with Nicole and I do feel like if it came down to the Final 4, that I'd be with y'all." --Cliff (damage control in case they go through with the backdoor)
"On a game level, I can't compete in the HOH. I don't have that opportunity to guarantee safety. If it's me versus Tommy, Cliff and Nicole, I have a 75 percent chance of walking out of this door. And if Holly's here, at least it's 50/50." --Michie
"It's really important for me to tell Cliff and Nicole that I know Christie. My biggest fear is that Michie or Holly use this information against me to try and make sure that I'm the one walking out the door. So I have to make sure it comes from me instead of them." --Tommy
"I appreciate Tommy's honesty so much, but it's unnerving that he was able to keep a secret that well for that long. It does throw up a red flag." --Nicole
"When I hear that, it just makes me thing Christie is a guaranteed vote for him in Jury. But the fact that she's pretty much his family, she's in the Jury House and would campaign for him, too. I've seen her campaign in this house and I know how good she is at it." --Michie (to Cliff and Nicole)
"I know this is a game but it kind of hurts. When we shook hands, I thought it meant something." --Michie (to Cliff)
"It does and it did. And it's killing me that I am potentially breaking an agreement that I absolutely made in good faith and with full intent." --Cliff (to Michie)
"Well to be honest, it just feels like a big slap in the face if you were to keep Tommy over Holly, on a personal level and a game level." --Michie
"Well, I'm not playing on a personal level." --Cliff
"Nicole's tighter with Tommy and she feels that I'm tighter with y'all. And that's where the division is." --Cliff (to Michie)
"I'm so sick and f--king tired of trusting people and getting burned. I'm sick of it. I will throw the knife in the back if I get a chance. So if Holly stays or Holly doesn't stay, at this point, I'm gunning for Cliff and Nicole. Regardless of what happens. And if Holly goes, it will rain fire in this house." --Michie
"Did I really just hear all that? If he's willing to work with them and for them to take Holly out and essentially have them three versus me, I'm screwed. But if I make Cliff and Nicole feel like Tommy may actually be in my corner and I convince them with enough fabricated evidence using the details from his pitch that I overheard, then they just might change their mind and they just might keep Holly." --Michie (plotting and scheming)
"Let me ask y'all a question. Is he gonna throw an HOH?" --Michie (setting up his epic lie to Cliff and Nicole)
"Why would you ask that question? What are you being promised?" --Nicole
"I don't know how else to tell y'all that he's playing both sides again. He told me that he wants to not work against each other, but with each other. He feels that you [Cliff] would win this game, and he feels that you [Nicole] would be better to take to the Final 3. And he said that he was going to pitch to y'all that he was going to throw the HOH and that he would use the Veto however y'all wanted to." --Michie
"I've come to f--king far to deal with this. Like, I'm just-- I don't like feeling stupid, I don't like people feeling I'm stupid, and right now I'm feeling stupid. I would like to have a house meeting and have you both hash out what you're both spewing to us in front of everybody." --Nicole
"Holly, you're out of time because Tommy took it." --Julie (with the jokes!)
"Guys, honestly I was telling the truth." --Tommy (to Cliff and Nicole after eviction)
"You said to Michie when you hugged him, you said, 'You got me.'" --Julie (to Tommy after his eviction)
"Yeah, he got me. It's all false, it's all a lie." --Tommy (about Michie)