New Head of Household Kyland uses actual logic to select his nominees -- which is refreshing -- but he's not the real power in this house right now.
We had a feeling that things would settle down at the top with Kyland in power on "Big Brother," and boy did they. So this is what this game looks like when a reasonable person makes decisions based on logic and information.
Or you could be Frenchie, the outgoing Head of Household, who decided to continue using his gut to lose his flipping mind about the way Kyland was interacting with him. You remember last episode how we hoped the Slaughterhouse would implode?
That was fast.
Well, the rest of the alliance may yet hold together in some form, but all Kyland had to do was not answer Frenchie's questions in the HOH room, and suddenly Frenchie was convinced that his alliance had turned on him and was voting him out.
He's crediting that brilliant intuition of his for seeing this. You know, kind of like he saw so clearly that Christian and Alyssa were deep in a showmance on Day 3. The guy's keen insight is as sharp as a balloon.
Last week, when Frenchie was squirrelling out and running around the house, listening in at doors, acting erratic and saying bluntly aggressive things to people, they kind of had to go along with it
Now that he's out of power, they're looking at him like a crazy person. He spent all that time last week building these alliances (Slaughterhouse and French Kisses) to protect himself this week, and one day into Kyland's reign, he bolted one of them.
We've seen players play with more emotion than intelligence, and sometimes that can actually lead somewhere. But when that emotion is tinged with paranoia, snap judgments and aggression. Let's just say the summer is too long for anyone to have to deal with that.
The house was feeling pretty confident that they were ready for Frenchie to go home. But does Kyland see it that way?
Each episode, we'll break down the night's action, the competitions, the alliances, the backstabbing and the lies. Then we'll grade each contestant to see how they're doing in the game so far and how far we think they're going to go.
Here's a suggestion, "Big Brother" producers. If you're going to come up with an interactive theme for your season like gambling and taking big chances, how about you make sure your contestants are into that.
Of the contestants Julie Chen asked outside the house if they were big gamblers, thrill seekers, chance takers, she got like one yes. These are careful, meticulous thinkers ... and Frenchie.
After a spirited and fun competition that blasted the contestants with paint, we learned two things. Sarah Beth has an absolutely adorable personality, as she struck a statuesque pose before each blast, and this gambling twist isn't working.
Sarah Beth also proved to have a keen mind and sharp memory, as she pulled off a fairly substantial victory over Frenchie and Brent. In this Wild Card competition, each non-safe team picks a delegate (or in the case of Brent, it was by random draw) to fight for safety.
This week's Wild Card gamble was a choice. The only way for Sarah Beth to keep her safety would have been to permanently switch places with the already-safe Queens (meaning Claire or Tiffany, as Kyland is HOH). So of course she said no, rendering the potential excitement dead in the water.
So far, contestants are 0-for-2 in gambling in this game. Granted, the stakes have been pretty low so far (Frenchie declined to gamble for a second week of safety as losing would have cost his team the first).
Expect the unexpected only works if the unexpected happens. If there's a safe option and everyone always picks it, you wind up with a competition that does absolutely nothing, like this one. Yawn.
Obviously, we spent a lot of time with Kyland this week, learning how clever he is right now in his position of power. He told the Houseguests in no uncertain terms that his intention this week is to gather information, but that due to his position, he doesn't have to answer any of their questions.
Unless they just get pissed on general principle, keeping his own mouth shut is a great way to make sure he's not the obvious target the week after his reign like Frenchie was this week. In fact, almost everyone threw Frenchie right under the bus.
And this is where Kyland's brilliance really came into play, as he blew us away with the logic behind his HOH picks. Agreeing with the house, he did put Frenchie up, as his target. But then he put up Britini next to him.
She was just about the only person in the house who did not say Frenchie should go (though we didn't see chats with Frenchie's other teammates Derek F and Azah). But what she did make very clear is that she is loyal to her team.
How brilliant that Kyland then put Britini on the Block next to Frenchie. She was the only person in the house he knew for sure would use the Veto to save Frenchie, so she put her in a position where she'd have to save herself, instead.
Even after getting nominated, Britini confirmed he was exactly right, asking why it was so wrong that she's loyal to her team. It's not wrong, but that just means statistically he needed to remove her as a possible force working for Frenchie.
As impressed as we were with Kyland's strategizing from the head of the house, Tiffany confirmed all of what we believed about her in previous weeks (she's been at the top of our report card for a while now). Not only did she gently nudge Kyland toward Frenchie, but her weeping strategy is genius.
Remember how we said The Cookout had a plan to disperse and share information? Tiffany weeps and cries onto Azah's lap missing her family, and it works every time as people quickly leave the room. But it's all a ruse for privacy so they can share intel.
She also agreed to throw a rogue vote at Alyssa, per Frenchie's request, as a way to set him up for failure. Frenchie has had a big mouth already, so she knows if it ever gets out that vote was hers, it came from him.
And right away, he started blabbing partway by telling people he knew who threw the stray votes (he only knew one, as Derek F did it for a laugh just to shake things up). So he's lying and he's this close to betraying her trust already.
This dude plays like it's day 237 and we're barely into Week 2. Slow your roll! Honestly, we're not sure he can save himself here without a Power of Veto win. We'll see what happens Wednesday!
Tiffany Mitchell (40) is playing this game like it's her third time in the house. We have nothing but mad respect for her subterfuge, manipulations and overall keen observation of the game and understanding of all the players in it. She's a huge threat to win this whole thing if the house doesn't figure out just how good she is. Grade: A+
Kyland Young (30) really impressed us with the control, without emotion or erratic behavior or threatening anyone, Kyland has taken of his HOH reign. Even though he's nominated two people, he's done so with very little blood on his hand. He has compassion and intelligence, making him a huge threat. Grade: A+
Xavier Prather (27) is off the radar and enjoying The Cookout. What else needs to be said right now. Grade: A-
Claire Renfuss (25) does not seem to be as tight with teammates Tiffany and Kyland as they are with each other (she's not part of The Cookout), but she's still safe for the week and not on bad terms with anyone, so she's in a good position for the time being. Grade: A-
Sarah Beth Steagall (27) really proved herself in this mental competition. Not only was she quick and accurate, beating her opponents three right answers to their one each, but she showed even more of that adorable personality that has the house just falling in love with her. She's in a great position now, but needs to make strategic social alliances to solidify it even further. Grade: B+
Azah Awasum (30), Derek Frazier (29) are in a precarious position right now because the rest of their team is on the Block and their Cookout alliance member put them there. How they respond to this will impact where they go from here, we suspect, and which allegiance means more. We think they'll be fine with letting Frenchie go, though, as he's more trouble than he's worth. Time will tell, so for now, they have to ride this bubble of uncertainty. Grade: B
Brent Champagne (28) has very smartly publicly distanced himself from Frenchie. He fought hard against him in the Wild Card competition, and is talking to the right people to sever that tie. Whether Frenchie stays or goes, that's the best thing for Brent's game, so that was a smart thing to do so publicly. Grade: B
Alyssa Lopez (24), Christian Birkenberger (23), Derek Xiao (24), Hannah Chaddha (21) and Whitney Williams (30) are all laying low and staying out of the way this week, which is absolutely the right thing to do with the bigger fish battling it out. Grade: B-
Britini D'Angelo (23) doesn't understand why team loyalty is hurting her in the game right now, reduced to tears by being put on the Block. But it's just that blind loyalty that has put her there. And regardless, she's not the target. Now, on the plus side, she's showing just how loyal she is with how she's handling it. But others might be concerned that she seems to be loyal to a fault. Grade: D
Brandon "Frenchie" French (34) went from HOH to the target in the house, and not because anyone sees him as a threat. He's just that terrible of a player. He brought this on himself, and we kind of hope he goes, too, even if his crazed paranoia and delusions of grandeur can be entertaining. Grade: D-
"My vote toward Alyssa was literally a joke. I knew the girl was not going home, so why not? Let's just throw out some random votes and see what happens." --Derek F (creating a frenzy)
"We gotta make Derek [X] a bigger target than me next week. If there's one vote to evict Alyssa--" --Frenchie (asking Tiffany to vote Alyssa to frame Derek X)
"I promised Frenchie that I would do this one thing for him on one condition. And that one condition is that he can never mention this to anyone. I know if this ever gets out, it will never have come from me. So I'm waiting for him to blab his mouth, the way he has been, so I can not throw him under the bus but right in front of it." --Tiffany (diabolical brilliance)
"Just ironing some paper towels, is all. Just a brother ironing paper towels." --Xavier (playing it cool while Kyland talks to him)
"Why even say, 'I know, but I'm not gonna tell you?'" --Tiffany (to Frenchie, saying he knows who cast the rogue votes)
"I am hoping Kyland doesn't turn his HOH into Frenchie's HOH, Part 2." --Tiffany
"Does that kind of say HOH?" --Tiffany (to Azah, talking about design around HOH headboard)
"My goal this week is to ask questions and not give out information ... because I don't have to." --Kyland (to Frenchie)
"F--- the Slaughterhouse, I'm out. Y'all didn't think I was gonna find out." --Frenchie (after Kyland wouldn't give him any information)
"I have snakes in the grass and it's time for a lawnmower." --Frenchie (to Whitney)
"Just know if I don't win, I'm going home." --Frenchie (trying to guilt Brent into throwing Wild Card)
"I'm highly educated but my dumb ass said green." --Brent (question was what color was below green)
"I don't want to tell Ky what to do and I don't want to tell him what to think. I just want to lead him to Frenchie." --Tiffany
"Brent, Whitney and Frenchie are a three-headed monster in this house." --Tiffany (to Kyland)