Once again, America reveals their favorite Houseguests, with one surprise jumping from the bottom of the rankings to the Top 3.
It's only been one episode into Sarah Beth's reign as Head of Household on "Big Brother" and we've already seen three nominees on the Block, with a potential fourth coming after the Veto competition.
It's all courtesy of the second week of the High Rollers' Room, with a new power unleashed upon the game. This week, it's Chopping Block Roulette. The winner of the comp gets to remove one of the nominees from the Block. The catch? The replacement is by random spin of a roulette wheel.
As usual, the High Rollers' Room also reveals how the Houseguests are faring with America, too. That's because the Top 3 vote-getters score BB100 (100 BB Bucks), while the next 3 get BB75 and everyone else has to settle for BB50.
With Britini evicted, we knew there would be at least one change, as she was one of America's BB100 winners last week. What we didn't expect, though, was for someone from the bottom tier to move all the way up into the Top 3.
There was a change in that BB75 tier, though it wasn't good news for Tiffany. After landing there last week, she slipped into the bottom group to be replaced by Hannah, who moves up. We've been having the same experience with Tiffany in our score cards.
She'd been at or near the top for most of the summer, but her social game hasn't been quite as strong in recent weeks, and she didn't really make it any better this week when she and Derek F went at it over him and Azah joining Britini up to the HOH room a few weeks back when Tiffany asked for Britini and Britini only.
Tiffany has been butting heads with both Derek F and Azah pretty much since the beginning of the game, but she'd been able to keep her cool about it and keep it pretty well under wraps -- but not forgotten. Now, though, it's seeping out and it could affect her stealth game, which had been stellar for so long.
At the very least, we suspect that's why America soured slightly on her, and why Hannah rose up. The two have been playing very similar games, but Hannah has kept herself much more in the shadows. People know she's good, but they have no idea how good.
Tiffany and Derek F were neither one going to back down in thinking they were in the right with that argument, but while Tiffany was "livid" over it and tearing him down over it, he stayed calm and even offered up an apology that he totally didn't mean in an effort to smooth things down. There is a reason he has the best social game in the House.
Oh, but back to Roulette, the big shocker of the week was Claire catapulting toward the top of the leaderboard. America loves an underdog, and Claire is definitely that right now. Even Sarah Beth seems to be coming after her, though she's not particularly proven herself as big a threat as so many other people still in the House.
With Kyland cold and calculated in her ear, being very careful not to seem too persuasive, Sarah Beth's targets meandered all over the house before landing in a way he was more comfortable with.
When she started considering Xavier, Kyland pushed hard against that because X is his boy and he's not going to have that. Instead, he tried to keep her eyes on bigger targets like Alyssa or Claire or even Derek X, the de facto biggest threat in the House.
It's a testament to the strength of The Cookout that Ky is so quick to throw DX under the bus, after he'd been working with them so long. It's also a testament that Azah said she'd never have voted Britini out were it not for The Cookout, and that despite their fight, Tiffany is still down to play with DF (but only for the sake of The Cookout).
These players are legitimately sabotaging the game they might otherwise be playing because they believe so much in the message of solidarity The Cookout represents, hoping to bring all six Black Houseguests into the Final 6.
Speaking of huge threats, and Derek X being the biggest, can we take a moment to acknowledge that he and Claire (but mostly him) literally named every member of The Cookout in a speculation as to who might be working together, and then appeared to dismiss it because how could he not know?
If it's in the back of his mind, though, it's still in his mind. He and Claire should be paying even more attention to how those six people react when other people in that group are mentioned as possible targets .Tiffany was a dead giveaway when they dropped Xavier's name casually.
It's a shame that Sarah Beth is keen on getting rid of at least one of them, and possibly targeting both, because if they could compare notes with her on what they've been observing, the rest of the House might be able to figure out what's going on.
And there are cracks to exploit (Azah and Derek F being at the bottom of that six for starters) if anyone knew enough to start poking. Time is rapidly running out to do anything about them.
For now, Sarah Beth realizes the potential chaos of the Chopping Block Roulette and Veto to screw up her plans, so she went with pawns she could handle losing, leaving flexibility to potentially still backdoor Derek X, who quickly emerged as her main target (it's hard to argue against outside of the threat that is The Cookout).
And so, she put Derek F and Claire right back up on the Block as initial nominees for the second week in a row, following Kyland's lead from last week. Is it obvious the two of them are working closely together -- though she trusts him implicitly and he'll cut her as soon as it needs to be done.
This week was a combination of two things. Many players didn't have enough BB Bucks to even play in the Chopping Block Roulette. It cost BB125 to play, which ruled out Claire, Azah, Tiffany, Sarah Beth and Kyland.
Of the five players who could afford to play, only Alyssa took the opportunity. Even though she rose from the bottom tier to the middle tier, she'd need another BB125 to be eligible next week, and she just wasn't confident that she'd have enough to play.
As of right now, Derek X sits at BB200, so he'd have enough regardless of America's vote, while Hannah, Xavier and Derek F all need to be in the Top 3 to get it. Maybe America will make that happen in an effort to get all four of them there -- if they're all still around.
We kind of felt bad for Alyssa, so excited that she'd won another competition, building her resume in the House finally. We're happy that she's feeling good right now, but when she gets out she's going to learn that the Veto was thrown to her and that no one else even competed against her in this one. Still, a win is a win is a win, so it counts!
The one thing The Cookout needed to make sure didn't happen was that two of their members were on The Block at the end of the week. Alyssa helped to keep that hope alive by taking Derek F off the Block.
The one thing Alyssa didn't want to happen is for the person she feels closest to in the House, Xavier, to go up due to the random roulette roll. Sometimes the "BB" gods can be cruel. Of course it was X who went up. At least -- and this is small consolation -- he's not really working with her anyway.
There is still the Power of Veto competition, which still has a chance to wreck SB's plans. Xavier is a strong contender to win, depending on who else gets picked, because he is one of the best competitors in the House. Claire, not as much.
If he does win, The Cookout is still looking good. If Claire wins, then Kyland needs to really push SB to backdoor DX. If DX gets picked and wins and takes down Claire, The Cookout is in trouble as Alyssa is not an available nominee. That's the only scenario where they'd be forced to eat one of their own.
Kyland Young (30) is working extremely hard on behalf of The Cookout, and it's working so far. If he can get Sarah Beth to go through with backdooring DX, she'll have no idea what a huge favor she'll have just done The Cookout. And they'll return it by booting her out next, probably, as she's too much of a strategic and logical threat. It's not his HOH, but Kyland is orchestrating it extremely well (it helps it's her targets, as well, she just doesn't know what she's up against). Grade: A+
Hannah Chaddha (21) rises in the rankings after staying off of SB's radar and keeping things very cool. But with all of this laying low, she's also hyper aware of what's going on in the game, and we are confident she's already looking beyond the time when The Cookout is all that's left, or nearly so. Her head is razor focused on the game. Grade: A-
Tiffany Mitchell (40) has been struggling to keep her zen more and more as people like DF and Azah push her buttons, disrespecting her, as she sees it. She's also calling other people out (Kyland not targeting SB) for the same stuff she's doing (protecting Claire), so she doesn't even have a totally clear picture of the game anymore. Grade: B+
Derek Frazier (29) is keeping some things close to his chest, like how many BB Bucks he has, and even though he stood his ground against Tiffany -- since he doesn't think he did anything wrong -- he nevertheless extended an olive branch and an (insincere) apology, that wasn't well received. His social game remains top notch, which makes him a huge threat, but not one anyone feels they can take a successful shot at yet. Grade: B
Xavier Prather (27) is on the Block by random draw, but it would take a miracle to get him evicted. Even if someone from The Cookout goes up against him, the odds are pretty good he'd survive. He's got the stronger alliances among the top members in that group. On top of that, his overall game has been stellar thus far, so this is just a temporary bump. Grade: B-
Azah Awasum (30) remains at the bottom of The Cookout, floating through the game and their likely first casualty. If she wanted to stop floating and make a huge game move that could change her fate, she'd turn on them. Even that would be a risk. As it stands, the alliance seems determined to stay together, even to their own detriment in some cases, so she's good for now. Grade: C+
Alyssa Lopez (25) secured her own safety, but since no one else in the House knows she was the only competitor in this week's Chopping Block Roulette, she may be seen as more of a comp threat than she is. These bottom four are just going to be picked off -- barring something dramatic happening -- but she may well be the last of them to survive. Grade: C
Claire Renfuss (25) is a low target for The Cookout, but there just aren't that many left. Eventually, the low targets have to go. If she and DX could figure out The Cookout and then try to break it apart like yesterday, she might have a chance. Alas, it's today so it's probably too late. Grade: C-
Sarah Beth Steagall (28) is our second HOH to fall this far in the rankings. Frenchie did it because his gameplay was awful. SB is here because The Cookout is gunning for her, and now that she's unwittingly doing their dirty work for them, they'll be able to gun for her even sooner. She's sealing her own fate in the game. Grade: C-
Derek Xiao (24) is looking more and more like the backdoor target. SB wants it, Kyland is pushing for it. It's a very unlikely scenario where he could avoid it at this point, so if nothing dramatic changes, he'll probably see the Block. And if he's there on Thursday, The Cookout is going to take the shot -- and thank SB for setting it up by sending her out shortly after. Grade: D
“If I hear her mention the name of one of the six as a potential target, I know I have to put a stop to it before it goes any further.” --Kyland (as Sarah Beth’s closest ally)
“My preference is, of two people to go home would be DX and Claire, but it’s your HOH. Whatever you wanna do, I’ll support.” --Kyland (planting seeds right away)
“I hated seeing her picture turn black-and-white. If I wasn’t part of The Cookout, that is the person I definitely would be sending to Final 2 with me.” --Azah (about Britini)
“He almost won that.” --Xavier (about Derek X)
“That should be her main target. Because that m----------- put her on the Block.” --Derek F (about Derek X)
“I don’t want to be a pawn.” --Derek F (to Kyland)
“There is no chance of two being on the Block on Thursday.” --Kyland (to Derek F about The Cookout)
“Well, why we ain’t never talk? We never talk game.” --Tiffany (to Derek F)
“I didn’t know I needed to check in. If I would’ve knew that, I would’ve checked in.” --Derek F
“I definitely always thought we was on the same page. When you were all up there like [unknown] with Britini to check me at the HOH last week, I was like, we obviously on two different pages, maybe we reading two different books.” --Tiffany
“I am livid right now.” --Tiffany (after Derek F doesn’t think he did wrong)
“Yes, I finally have power. You have to answer all my questions.” --Sarah Beth
“Every now and then, I do a standing check and ask myself, who is everyone possibly working with.” --Derek X (trying to figure out alliances)
“Where’s she at with X?” --Derek X (to Claire about Tiffany’s reaction when Claire said she wanted to target Xavier)
“I think her eyes got very big when I said that.” --Claire
“Biggest surprise alliance: X, Tiffany, Azah, Big D. I thought Kyland was in there, too. Hannah.” --Derek X (inadvertently identifying The Cookout with Claire)
“If all of those people are actually working together then there is a whole other side of the House that I am just not aware of.” --Derek X (there is)
“She’s gonna reign terror on this house.” --Derek F (about Sarah Beth)
“Every single person on that wall other than you would put me up. So the people who scare me: Baby D, Alyssa and X.” --Sarah Beth (to Kyland)
“There is no way it would match his persona to break his loyalty to you.” --Kyland (to Sarah Beth about Xavier)
“I”m really looking at Derek X, still. I don’t think I can fully trust him. Plus, I think he’s smarter than me and more athletic than me, so getting him out earlier rather than later might be best for my game.” --Sarah Beth
“I’m trying to think, what should I do?” --Derek X (to Kyland)
“I think that if you play, you’ll win. And if you win, I think that’ll be doing something that the HOH has not asked you to do.” --Kyland (trying to convince Derek X to not play Chopping Block Roulette so he can be backdoored)
“Sorry, America. I’m sending your boy home.” --Sarah Beth (planning to backdoor Derek X)