It was another endurance competition this week for the coveted HOH -- coveted so much that at least four of the people hanging onto that wall absolutely did not want to win it this week, including the person who wound up doing just that.
Da'Vonne was the first to throw in the towel, doing so perhaps a little earlier than she should have. She wasn't looking to expose her cards, or serve as any protection for Christmas, despite what she may have told the outgoing HOH.
After she dropped, it was more than 30 minutes before the next came down. David, however, was still shooting to win this thing. Memphis, who continues to play the cleverest IDGAF game we've seen in a long time, dropped as soon as he was spared slop for the week.
Really, this was a showdown between Tyler and Dani, only nobody knew it. Tyler was worried that after he'd blown up Dani's game to Da'Vonne and Bayleigh that she would come after him, while he's the only person in the house she had any concerns about. All Dani wanted to do was outlast Tyler.
However, she couldn't just drop right after him or it would be obvious, right? And so, just like Christmas was handed an HOH rein last week, this week's winner had it handed to them, too. Da'Vonne, David and Ian got slop, Memphis dropped on purpose, followed by Enzo, Kevin and finally Tyler.
Once her guy was down, Dani decided she could safely drop, but not too soon or it would be obvious. Little did she know that she wasn't the only one who didn't want the "honor" of HOH. Nicole decided to drop and Cody dropped so close behind her, Dani had no choice but to win.
Memphis may have been a wild card while in power, but Dani has been a loose cannon all season with no power. Now that she had it, and didn't want it, she would have no choice but to make a move in this game.
The question was what kind of move would and should she make? The easiest targets at this point would obviously be David and Kevin, because they're working with no one and no one is threatened by them in the least.
It would continue this season's track of targeting the least dangerous people in the game. Da'Vonne, having just come off the block, is better left as someone who might be grateful and looking for a new home now that her ride-or-die is gone.
Especially because this thing between Tyler and Dani does not appear quite ready to go away. Just like Dani blew up the Slick Six by going after Day and Bay, she and Tyler are on the cusp of blowing up The Committee.
As a viewer, this is the kind of thing we dream of, because otherwise things are just. so. boring. As a player in the house, blowing up the dominant alliance this early while there are still some people outside of it could be incredibly dangerous.
It could either blow it up completely, or Dani could instead see herself removed from it and subsequently targeted by it. In the end, she went the safe route, but the safe route is not to be her destiny.
Dani went ahead and put Kevin and David on the block (continuing our streak of no straight, white males hitting the block this season and more people of color seeing it). Little does she know that David is absolutely going to use his power to save himself, forcing her to pick a new nominee.
And this before the Power of Veto competition could force her to do it again. When all is said and done, Dani may be forced to target four different people in the house, which could show cards she's not ready to show, or force her to dance the "pawn" game as hard as she did with Kevin tonight.
So for now, the final nominees are way, way, way up in the air, which means this is already the most interesting week we've had all season. We're here for it!
Cody Calafiore slides into the top spot by default, because Dani is going to have a hard time coming out of this HOH without blood on her hands. Everything that has been happening is hanging in the balance, but of everyone in The Committee, Cody might be in the best spot to weather the storm. Grade: A
Nicole Franzel continues to be strongly aligned with the winners in the house, even as she can't win anything. She's got a solid Final 2 with Cody, she certainly seems to be Dani's closest ally, she's got Ian in her back pocket. She should be alright for a bit. Grade: A-
Daniele Briones has all the power, but she's in a dangerous situation. Already, her own alliance isn't sure they trust her, so depending how she plays a potentially volatile HOH week, things could get even worse for her once she's out of power. But she's got strong allies still, so she might bounce back just fine. Grade: A-
Memphis Garrett is playing an incredible game as if he hasn't a care in the world. He has been the absolute best at convincing everyone he is a lone wolf in this game, while under the protection of the game's biggest alliance. And when he was in power, he did go rogue and got away with it. He's getting away with a lot so far. Grade: B
Christmas Abbot slides out of power pretty seamlessly, with only Da'Vonne lowkey coming after her. This could be a little problematic, as she is a physical threat in this game. But she's also hugely loyal to her alliance. The question is what happens if that alliance crumbles? Grade: B
Enzo Palumbo is ready to strike as The Committee teeters on the cusp of collapsing. If it does, his tight bond with Cody and Tyler, and overall strong social standing, could see him quickly slide into a new power alliance that will put him in his best spot of the season overall. Grade: B
Da'Vonne Rogers is right out of the spotlight and planting bugs, doing the work she needs to do to pivot attention away from her. It's in her best interest to absolutely shake up the house, convince Dani to take a shot at Tyler or Christmas (or both?) and rock the alliance(s) in the house to the foundations. It's worth a shot. Grade: B-
David Alexander has his power to save him this week, but what else does he have? Da'Vonne keeps him at arm's length and no one else really talks anything with him. We really believed he'd be better than this, and so did CBS apparently, but he's been a huge disappointment as a so-called "All-Star." Grade: C
Tyler Crispen could be in danger, thanks to his risky gameplay of the past two weeks. If he goes on the block, it'll be his own doing and he knows it. That said, if he does and he survives the week, he's going to be playing so hard. But he's already burned some bridges and he's such a huge target, it might not be possible to climb back to the top without taking it. Grade: C-
Ian Terry needs to pivot to winning some things and taking control of some aspect of the game. If The Committee does collapse, he can rally around Nicole and maybe try to build something, but that's a strong "if" and regardless, he's been on the outside looking in all season ... and no one on the outside has thought to team up and do something about that. Grade: C-
Kevin Campbell might be a pawn, and he might be an easy target to get out of this house. He has basically played zero game all season long, aside from the last Veto win that saved his bacon. Strategically, though, he's a dead fish and already so behind what's going on he'd need a miracle to change his fate coming sooner or sooner. Grade: D+
"I don't want America to think I'm dumb enough to make nice with someone who just nominated me. By no means am I working with her in this house. First opportunity, she's mine." --Da'Vonne (after telling Christmas they were cool)
"I do not want to win this HOH ... the one person I cannot have win this competition is Tyler. He broke my trust so I need to stay up on this wall until he falls off." --Dani
"Why do I suck at all these competitions? (fake crying) ... And that is how you play 'Big Brother.'" --Da'Vonne (losing on purpose)
"Can I change places?" --Dani (getting annoyed by Enzo horsing around during HOH competition)
"I know I need to win this thing because when you wrong somebody in this game you don't have too many chances to make it right." --Tyler (worried about Dani)
"Tennessee, Tennessee, Tennessee." --Dani (chanting her daughter's name during HOH competition)
"I'm ready to throw this competition, but I don't want to fall right away because I don't want to make it obvious that I was just waiting for him to fall." --Dani (after Tyler drops)
"I'm aligned with everybody in this house so I'm gonna make some people really made this week. Oh man, this is not good." --Dani (after winning HOH)
"He's the type of person, if you swing you can't miss." --Dani (about Tyler)
"I'm scared. Last time I played this game, I played too fast and it bit me so hard and i Just don't want to make that mistake again." --Dani (considering nominations)
"Da'Vonne, that was the biggest betrayal of all time." --Cody (after Da'Vonne helped Dani scare the crap out of him)
"I won't be mad at you if you put me up, or backdoor me, because I know I deserve it." --Tyler (to Dani)
"I would never, ever -- I mean this -- ever want you out of this house." --Dani (to Kevin)