Isn't it a little early in the game to be playing with such aggressive arrogance?
Is it possible for Week 2 power to go to someone's head so quickly in the "Big Brother" house? Or maybe it's because Memphis has never won Head of Household before, despite coming in second back in Season 10.
Whatever the root cause, his arrogance quickly came to the fore as he started lording over the house. We get that he was working a strategy to try and get everyone to play for the Safety Suite so he'd have no competition last week, but there's a subtlety that was lost.
Cody suffered from a lack of subtlety in his Week 1 reign, which kind of makes you realize why both of these guys wound up second on their respective seasons as part of a power duo. Dan Gheesling and Derrick Levasseur were master gamesman, strategists and negotiators.
Memphis and Cody are playing like blunt instruments, and too many players in the house are seeing right through it. And when it come to finesse, he lacked absolutely any in selecting his two nominees this week to the point it had to rub several people in the house poorly.
It's also early in the larger Commission alliance to be coming after people at that level. With 15 people still in the house, this six-person alliance is not yet a dominant powerhouse, so maybe don't push people away with your behavior.
The Safety Suite was a balancing act. Memphis was successful in convincing Cody and Christmas out of his own alliance to play, the latter thrilled she could compete in anything!
David, Kevin, Bayleigh and Da'Vonne also didn't hesitate, while Ian was a more reluctant participant. He didn't win this game by not reading the room, and he could read Memphis loud and clear. He knew what the HOH was doing, trying to get as many VIP passes used as possible, but he also knew he was a target.
If for no other reason, he knew Memphis was probably gunning for him because Ian beat Memphis' one-time ally Dan Gheesling to win this game, something Memphis wasn't able to do. If you can't beat 'em, evict 'em.
But this is where the delicate balancing act of getting people to do what you want without playing your hand failed with Memphis. Nicole F, Dani and Tyler were absolutely not going to use theirs -- seeing through his ploy -- and Nicole A balked simply because he strong-arm suggested she should.
Is this a petty response from her to his aggressive tactic? You bet, but just you wait.
It's interesting that NicoleF, Dani and Tyler quickly saw that Memphis was trying to get them to burn their VIPs as well. If they folllow that train of thought, they'll quickly realize that their own alliance member doesn't have their back nearly as much as he wants them to have his.
And that's half the alliance right there.
Again, this is the kind of thing Dan and Derrick would have been able to quickly suss out and nip in the bud. We're not sure Cody and Memphis have the wherewithal or skill to smooth such things over.
In the end, Christmas won Safety -- which was good for The Commission. But she'd also made a side deal with Ian that she would give him safety as her plus-on, which she did. This took revenge off the table for Memphis and again he did not handle it well after while talking with Christmas, making it clear he was frustrated.
Now we have four of six alliance members ruffled in just one week. This is a brand new alliance, so who's to say other more enticing and inviting options might not come along. Cody and Memphis are too focused on their duo and not properly managing their larger relationships.
Dude, it is Week 2. You need to slow your role. On top of that, you flat-out said that these were your safe choices, the ones to not rock the boat. So why are you bringing the fire in your nomination speeches?
Why not just say we haven't really talked game and good luck!
Instead, Memphis went all in on both Nicole A and David in nominating them. David saw it coming a mile away, while Nicole's reliable gut got this one way wrong. That said, we can't help but thing she was nominated at least in part because she didn't bow down to Memphis' will and play for Safety.
As for David, when Memphis selected him as a Have-Not earlier in the week, he made it clear that he's targeting him because Memphis doesn't think David deserves to be considered an All-Star.
Look, we get it. David was the first one voted out last season. But it was also a season rife with racism and lots of problematic behavior and this is CBS trying to do right by him. David didn't beg them to be on the show, he was invited. Show him a little decency and respect at least.
Instead, Memphis blasted him as a Have-Not and laid into him while nominating him for eviciton. "David, you’re at the grown-ups’ table now, and buddy, you’re gonna have to prove yourself," he told him.
As for Nicole A, Memphis bluntly told her that she was nominated because he told her to play for Safety and she didn't. "You decided to not play it, so I decided to put you on the block," he told her. Petty and an unnecessarily aggressive explanation.
Clearly his goal was to upset both David and Nicole A, but we're not sure why he would want to do that. Maybe the chaos itself is what he wants. Or maybe he wants them to step up and play this game -- they both could certainly use a kick in the pants there.
But at the same time, for a Week 2 nomination speech, it was off-putting. The house is too new and alliances too fresh to make this kind of move without expecting at least the possibility of some blowback.
Whoever survives this week could find plenty of allies who now want to target Memphis just for being unnecessarily harsh with both David and Nicole A ... in Week 2! And after rubbing his own alliance members wrong, they might start to rethink who they're working with.
At this point, it feels like we could make this a regular feature in this column, and we are here for it! Once again, real talk not only happened in the "Big Brother" house -- because it always has -- but made it onto the airwaves.
This time it was Bayleigh and Da'Vonne talking about their experiences as black women and prejudices they've experienced based on their skin tone -- Bayleigh is lighter-skinned and went to a mostly-white school while Da'Vonne is darker skinned and faced bullying for that.
It was a powerful and important conversation for people to hear. Everyone needs to understand that these experiences are real and they are happening right now. Black women are shamed for everything from their names to their skin color, their hair, their parenting -- hell, just everything.
While Bayleigh talked about being scared to have a Black child in this country right now, Da'Vonne shared that she's had to talk about Black Lives Matter with her five year old. That racism needs to be understood from a young age because it is a learned behavior.
Her child has to understand it to try and combat it on the one hand, and recognize it on the other. At five years old. It's tragic. All we can say is we applaud "Big Brother" for sharing these conversations with its national audience and we hope it happens every single episode.
Cody Calafiore is still in the best position in the house, though we'd say the peak he and Memphis are enjoying is teetering a bit. They're going to need to solidify some things and maybe tone it back to not get the house too much on alert this early. Grade: A
Memphis Garrett made some bold and potentially damaging moves, but it's too early to see if they will hurt his game. If anything, though, we think he's formed cracks in his alliance. Can he fix them? Grade: A-
Nicole Franzel quickly saw through King Memphis' ploy to get her to play for Safety, and the ploy actually helped bring her and Dani closer together. That's a duo that could start exploring other options sooner rather than later. Grade: A-
Christmas Abbot proved herself in the Safety Suite this week, taking one for her alliance. At the same time, she made a short-term deal with Ian and didn't seem to take Memphis coming at her over selecting Ian as her Plus-One. She tends to play a loyal game, but we also see her keeping options open, which proves she's playing on all fronts. Grade: B+
Tyler Crispen quickly saw through Memphis' self-serving Safety Suite ploy, but he also stayed quiet about it. It's a smart move, but it also means that Tyler might be more of a free-agent than his alliance realizes -- plus, he's in good with everyone, still. Grade: B+
Daniele Briones is in the power alliance, but also tightening her bond with Nicole F over Memphis trying to push them to play for Safety this week. This could be a duo in the making that could make a good run into this game. And Nicole F will always be a bigger target than Dani. Grade: B
Ian Terry worked out an arrangement with Christmas for safety this week and it paid off, buying him more time to build relationships and connect with people. That's something he's proving very good at. He'll never stop being a huge target (along with Nicole F), but he's doing a great job of taking it one week at a time. Grade: B
Da'Vonne Rogers and Bayleigh Dayton continue to play a very similar game, and so far it's keeping them off of everyone's radar. Plus, their social game -- keeping it real with everyone in the house -- is paying off, as is the fact that both are very good at reading the house. We suspect they're biding their time. Grade: B-
Enzo Palumbo is kind of in limbo right now. His alliance with Cody seems to have fallen to the background with Memphis in charge. Will he see that Cody and Memphis seem to be much more legit? For now, he's been almost absent in the house. Grade: C
Kevin Campbell is very intentionally disappearing into the framework of the house after his chronic meltdowns Week 1. It is absolutely his best move for this week. But he also needs to start building relationships and alliances. Grade: C
Janelle Pierzina and Kaysar Ridha remain attached at the hip, as well. They are almost always spoken of by others in the same breath, both are seen as equal threats, and it seems as if they'll never stop being a good option for someone else in the house to target. They need to find a long-term safety plan. Grade: C-
Nicole Anthony goes from seemingly not playing the game to being targeted for a strategic game move the HOH didn't like. As it stands now, next to David, she is probably the bigger target as she went very deep in her season and David ... did not. Grade: D
David Alexander really seems out of his depth, and his newbie status among vets is really showing. Memphis was overly harsh on him, but if it stays him and Nicole A on the block, it's hard to say who would go home. Some might feel bad about voting him out so early, while others -- like Memphis -- would happily do it as they don't feel he should be there at all. Grade: D-
"It feels amazing, finally winning Head of Household. Eleven years in the making!" --Memphis
"I wanna make 'em sweat a little bit and stress out. I don't want people knowing who I'm gonna put up. Let's see how they react." --Memphis
"Seriously, I feel like I took a laxative or something. I'm fully relieved." --Kevin (after surviving eviction)
"David, you're gonna be a Have-Not and you're getting nominated tomorrow. That's what I heard." --David
"White boys liked me because I'm a black girl. You're pretty for a chocolate girl. We've been taught that since light skin is closer to white that they're prettier." --Bayleigh
"Yeah, I got it all. I feel ya. Darkie, tar-baby, midnight, ashy, I been all of that ... I was bullied for being dark-skinned. So much that I wanted to be lighter. It took me a while to really embrace [my skin tone] ... When I did, I was able to stand in all of this chocolate unapologetically." --Da'Vonne
"I allowed people to get into my head and make me feel like I wasn't pretty because of how dark I am. But I see the beauty in me, I have the confidence and I regret nothing." --Da'Vonne
"What I really want to get done is everyone burns their Safety Suite so me and Cody are the only ones with the Safety Suite next week." --Memphis (trying to convince his alliance to play for Safety)
"I think I owe it to the other renegade to take Ian out." --Memphis (Dan Gheesling beat him 7-0 in Season 10, then Ian beat Dan in Season 14)
"He's saying the more people the better and I'm like, yeah, dude, for you." --Tyler (seeing through Memphis wanting everyone to play for Safety)
"Is this the defining moment that I'm gonna forever think about if I wind up sitting next to Julie." --Nicole A (after not swiping in to play for Safety)
"I guess I'm not getting revenge for Dan Gheesling this week." --Memphis (after Christmas makes Ian her Safety Suite plus-one)
"Last season he got voted out first. And this is All-Stars. He's gotta prove to me that he can hack it and he deserves to be here." --Memphis (after nominating David)