Instead of a "Save-Me" speech on eviction night, Kaysar exposed so many people's games, their jaws were just hanging wide open.
For the first time since this season began, we're really not sure what's going to happen over the next few days. And that means for the first time this season, "Big Brother: All-Stars" is really interesting and exciting.
All the time Ian has been playing dumb and quietly rocking on the hammock, he's been figuring out the game. While he didn't have all the details right, he had enough of them to know most of the names of the people running the show.
He also knew about the overlapping alliances, though he underestimated Tyler's involvement in them, and overestimated Nicole's. He did, however, see that Cody and Nicole have a tight Final 2.
But figuring it all out and knowing what to do with it are two different things. What's amazing, and easily the most brilliant move of this game so far, is that Ian quickly realized that there was one person in the house who was in a perfect position to blow everyone's game up -- the guy with nothing to lose.
Live Vote and House Burning
And then, in a genuinely emotional and heartfelt moment, he convinced Kaysar to do just that. And we all got to watch it go down live, with everyone forced into stunned silence as they could not interrupt his "Save-Me" speech, which was more of a "Burn-It-All-Down" speech.
It was also a hail mary, as he told Julie a few moments later, but a long shot that had no way of doing anything for his game. But he wasn't doing it for him as much as he was doing it for some of those left in the game.
And right away, even as they voted to boot him from the game, some of those voices started to speak out. Da'Vonne certainly sounds ready to shake up the game, and we know Ian and Kevin have realized it's now or too late for them.
Kaysar told the house that Cody and Nicole are running the house. He also spoke of a guys' alliance, naming Cody, Tyler, Enzo and David, and then called out Dani, Nicole and Cody as a third alliance. He didn't get it all quite right, but close enough to stir some feathers and create new enmity.
With the last of Janelle's allies gone, the house has no choice but to find new targets, and with his alliance bomb drop on the way out the door, Kaysar opened the door wide open for all kinds of possiblities.
The format of the HOH competition exposed a few quick targets right away. The game was played in rounds and pairs. The winner of each round chose the next pair.
Kevin sent Cody and Nicole up together, clearly rattled by what he and Ian had figured out and what Kaysar had said. Cody then sent Kevin right back up, indicating one target for him.
Both Cody and Dani targeted Da'Vonne, who played in more rounds than anyone in this competition, making it all the way to the finals. She made it clear with her vote that she was gunning for the power in the house. The Slick Six may be no more, but she does need to be careful.
In the end, Christmas -- who no one targeted until they had no choice -- squared off against Da'Vonne and won after Da'Vonne got the answer wrong. Now, Christmas is a part of The Committee with Cody, Tyler, Dani, Nicole and Memphis, and she's in tight with Enzo.
She was never part of the Slick Six, though, so it really depends on how well Cody, Dani and Nicole can do damage control to see if she'll just continue the power alliance(s) agenda and target those on the outside -- which has to now include Da'Vonne and Bayleigh -- or if she'll quicly realize there's a lot of people in power aligned without her and maybe want to do something about that.
The bad news for those on the outside of the overlapping alliances is that Christmas is famously a very loyal player to those she aligns with early in the game. More than likely, she'll just stand strong with them, rope Enzo in to help her strategize and it'll be another inevitable week.
But the door is wide open to shake up the house, That's clearly what Kaysar wanted. The bottom of the house wants it, too. We're just not sure they have the numbers to do anything about it if the existing alliance(s) stay together.
Christmas Abbot rises to the top for two reasons. One, she is the HOH. Two, absolutely no one targeted her in that comp (and she got zero votes to evict). This girl has no enemies and is on on one's radar and now has all the power. That probably means she'll ruffle as few feathers as possible to keep it that way. Grade: A+
Tyler Crispen somehow came out of Kaysar's speech mostly unscathed, only mentioned as part of an all-guy alliance despite him being in tight with Cody, Enzo, Dani and basically everyone in any sort of power alliance. He's still sitting pretty. Grade: A
Enzo Palumbo, like Tyler, wasn't singled out in a notable way and he's in several strong alliances. On top of that, he's solidified a partnership with the current HOH, so he should have plenty of influence on what might just be an extension of their shared HOH experience. Grade: A
Cody Calafiore was severely dinged by Kaysar, so long as anyone was listening to him. We know a few were, but was it enough? Regardless, those words will linger and people will be suspicious of how much power and control he has. He's got work to do right now! Grade: B+
Nicole Franzel has done nothing in the house, allowing her alliances and Cody to do all the work for her. Now that she's been exposed definitely as working with basically the power in the house, she could suddenly be more vulnerable. And her gameplay this season has not been to reach out to those below her social status in the house, so we're not sure how she can change that if she can't just vote everyone else out. Grade: B-
Da'Vonne Rogers is awake and ready to fight in this game. She's got her back against the wall, as apparently the power in the house is already targeting her, but she's smart. If anyone can forge a path out of this mess and flip the house by helping all those people not in the core realize their (low) standing, it's Day. Grade: B-
Memphis Garrett is still brilliantly riding right through the middle of the chaos, and he may just continue to do so. He's cool, calm and collected and willing to play dumb. No one seems to know who he's aligned with outside of who it actually is, so unless everyone starts blowing up his game and worrying about him, he should weather this storm. Grade: B-
Bayleigh Dayton is ready to shake things up in the house, though she's not proven herself a huge threat in competitions. But she's strong-willed and when driven to accomplish something, it's definitely not easy to slow her down. Now that the Slick Six is imploding, Bayleigh needs to find a new direction and target and it needs to be that core. Grade: C+
Daniele Briones was doing a good job of blowing up her own game, and now that Kaysar added fuel to that fire, she may find herself quickly without many allies in the house. Those on the outs know she's a part of the power structure, but that power has lost their trust in her. She could be in trouble sooner than later. Grade: C
David Alexander is just fumbling his way through this game. He nearly won Veto this week, to prove something, but now he's been outed as being part of a guy alliance, which could undo the work he's trying to do mending his relationship with Da'Vonne and Bayleigh. And still, people just don't think he should be there, making him an easy target. Grade: C
Ian Terry proved quickly why he's a former winner and a master at this game. It just may not be enough to change his ultimate fate in it. Unless he can bolster enough numbers to change the course of the game. Really, he needed someone other than Christmas to win HOH because we know she and Enzo are ready to see him go. Grade: C-
Kevin Campbell was right in the thick of it with Ian, figuring out the house structure, but we're not sure that there's much he can do about it at this point unless something major is going to change. And we suspect it might be too late. Grade: C-
Right now, the only people not affiliated with the complex web of overlapping alliances (assuming the Slick Six is done) are Da'Vonne, Bayleigh, Ian and Kevin. Obviously, the other eight aren't all equal in power, but they all seem to think they are.
David is more on the outside looking in, but even he wouldn't be enough to change things without someone else stepping out. Cody came clean to Enzo about The Committee and they quickly linked Tyler in to make a Final 3.
No one seems to be really worried about side alliances or other alliances because they all think the one they have or the one they're in is the realest and the strongest. That means that unless one of those Bottom 4 wins power, they'll just be the next to go (with a David possibly thrown in the mix).
Then it will be The Committee + Enzo left to battle it out for the win. Is that particularly interesting and exiting to watch? No. But it's consistent with how many of the recent seasons have gone, indicative that this is how the game has evolved.
Everyone plays scared, not willing to rock the boat, huge power alliances emerge among the strongest physical competitors and they just dominate the whole summer. Is it time for some genuinely game-changing twists, because the Safety Suite wasn't it. Maybe this basement will do it ... but we kind of doubt it.
"Now that it's Christmas, it's a clear signal they want me out of the game." --Kaysar (after Enzo chooses his replacement nominee)
"You just gonna let these guys run the house?" --Kaysar (to Memphis)
"If they win, they run the house." --Memphis (playing dumb)
" It's maddening talking to Memphis sometimes. Either he's a part of this thing or he just has his head in the sand." --Kaysar
"I call Dani The Gardener. Plant seeds everywhere. She goes around every day in every room and waters her seeds." --Enzo
"All this alliance has done is create chaos, turmoil and even more paranoia. Like, this alliance is done." --Cody (about Slick Six imploding)
"Ladies and gentlemen, we've been had," Ian (to Kevin, figuring out core alliance)
"You know how we can't bring everything out into the open because we have a lot to lose? I know someone who doesn't. Kaysar. He can just blow all this shit up. He just has to bring things to light. I feel like we can nudge him" --Ian (to Kevin)
"I think there's a lot more than a four." --Ian (to Kaysar)
"I know exactly what's going on here. People want me to take the shot that they're all too scared to take. Maybe, I might just light this house on fire. It sounds kind of fun." --Kaysar
"I really love every one of you guys on a personal level. Now, when it comes to gameplay and strategy, I think you guys all suck. Here's why. Cody and Nicole have been running this house since Day 1. And they have a secret alliance that's going to take them all the way to the end. Meanwhile, the guys have an alliance -- Enzo, I already knew, when we were talking -- with David and Tyler, because it was obvious. And then the last alliance, of course, Dani, Nicole and Cody. Cody finds himself in this love triangle but no one's willing to take the shot. So here I am, sitting around on the Block. So if you guys want to play the game All-Stars, or if you want to have a reunion, sit around and maybe play charades, then keep things the same. If you want to play All-Stars, then keep me here and we'll continue to play. I hope I have your vote, Cody." --Kaysar (save-me speech)
"Oh you got it, buddy." --Cody
"Never said a bad word about him until now. Disrespectful and tasteless." --Dani (voting out Kaysar)
"I vote to evict, sadly, the brave and courageous, amazing double All-Star, Kaysar. I got your back, though. Don't worry." --Da'Vonn
"I knew there were several people that wanted to keep me in the house. But they knew that they didn't have all the votes to keep me in, so they didn't want to expose themselves. So I figured I'd leave them a little present on the way out." --Kaysar