It was a whole different kind of Head of Household competition requiring a whole different skillset than most competitions we've seen -- not physical, not mental but taste.
"Celebrity Big Brother" went a whole different direction with the latest Head of Household competition, and in doing so, it created a whole new opportunity for the Houseguests.
This competition wasn't driven by running back and forth, or balance, or solving a puzzle or even hanging on a wall. Instead, it was all about your taste buds. A great equalizer in many ways, this one challenged the Houseguests to identify an ingredient accidentally mixed into a drink.
It was definitely a fun competition, with some truly horrific concoctions. But what made it the most fun for the viewers at home was that it wasn't won by one of the usual gaggle of competition winners.
Before we knew what it was, it seemed inevitable that with Carson Kressley sitting this one out as outgoing HOH, either Miesha Tate or Todrick Hall would win this one. But that's not what happened at all. It's time to change a classic catchphrase to, 'What you tastin', Willis?"
In a dominant performance, Todd Bridges backed up his claims that he had good taste buds by getting every single round right, whether that meant identifying more obvious flavors like barbecue sauce and garlic or less obvious ones like rosemary. And he was quick on it, too!
Even better, there has probably been no one as excited to win this season as Todd. We still weren't sure how much of a difference it would make in the long run, but it was exciting seeing someone else stepping up and willing to play this game.
In some recent conversations, it's become more and more clear that Todd understands this game better than many have been giving him credit for -- us included! Todrick remains the only one left in the House who really gets it, but Todd at least is starting to grasp the strategy of it.
Meanwhile, you've got Lamar Odom revealing that the reason he struggled so hard to cast his vote during the latest eviction is that he kind of wanted to try and get Miesha out. He even told Todd he tried to signal him that night to vote for Miesha. The problem is that you usually plot something like that out in advance.
Even worse than that, Lamar then proceeded to repeat that statement in front of the entire House, including Miesha. That put a target on his back as Miesha and Todrick have already decided they've won the game. At the same time, they're kind of Paul Abrahimian-ing the game, as well, by not thinking enough about Jury management.
In discussing his possible options for nomination, Todd proved he was thinking a little ahead by considering putting up Lamar as a pawn next to Carson. While we all wish he'd target Todrick and Miesha, he never even considered it. But, he did consider that by keeping Cynthia Bailey off the Block, she might consider working with him down the road.
That raised alarm bells for Todrick and Miesha because of Todd, Cynthia and Lamar were to team up against them, they could actually be in a little bit of trouble. The advantage they'd have, of course, is that most of those people are terrible at challenges, so their larger numbers still might not make a difference if they don't have power or win Vetos.
Nevertheless, Todrick tried to talk Todd out of it, while Miesha was more for it because she'd be okay with Lamar leaving if Carson took himself down because Lamar admitted he considered voting her out. It further proves that Todrick is more strategic, while Miesha plays with her guts and emotions.
Ultimately, Todd went through with his plan. But he also considered Jury management and was upfront with Lamar, Carson and Cynthia about his intentions to nominate Carson and Lamar. He wasn't quite as clear that Carson was his target, but Carson knows the whole house has been gunning for him.
Remarkably, he and Cynthia remain so clueless about how the game works, they're not even lamenting that they botched Carson's HOH by evicting their only true ally in the House. Instead, they're just playing this like it is what it is. But it didn't have to be!
The hour even opened with Todrick continuing to throw Shanna Moakler under the bus, and Carson saying that when everyone watches it back, they'll see the truth. Here's to hoping he watches it back.
If he was worried about Shanna playing both sides of the House earlier in the game, how about what Todrick and Miesha are doing right now? Ahead of Shanna's eviction, Carson made a deal with the duo to keep him and Cynthia safe through the next vote.
So as soon as Todd won HOH, Miesha and Todrick were euphoric because here was the perfect way for them to go back on their word without literally going back on their word. It's like finding a loophole in the law to allow you to do awful things. They could betray Carson and Cynthia by proxy through Todd.
Immediately, that's what they started plotting, laughing joyfully that they could get him out without getting blood on their hands and while still looking like they're honoring their deal. Yes, by the letter of the law, they are honoring their deal, but they're gunning for him and gunning for him hard. They're definitely not honoring the spirit of the deal.
Regardless, that's been consistent with them throughout. Before the deal, Miesha said she was ready to boot Carson in this next eviction regardless of the fact she and Todrick had just manipulated them into saving her. Todrick and Miesha are playing this game with a brutality that is both impressive and a little disgusting to watch.
It should be interesting to see what Carson and Cynthia have to say about how the game played out once they get voted out and can see what's been going on this whole time. If nothing else, they probably owe Shanna an apology for being so cold to her and not even hearing her out after Todrick concocted his hail mary to throw her under the bus and save himself and Miesha.
Miesha Tate (35) is playing an extremely aggressive and backstabbing game, but it's one that is also getting at least some respect from her fellow players. No one can deny her prowess in the challenges, and her overall dominance in the game, establishing her minions of supporters. What helps her even more, now, is that she is aligned with the guy who is burning bridges all around him as he plays. As she and he seem poised for a run to the Final 2, that sets her up well for a win, although it may be a somewhat begrudging one. Grade: B+
Todrick Hall (36) continues to dominate and control every aspect of this game. At this point, the best thing he could do would be to cut Miesha loose, as she's got a good case against him in the Final 2. His ego doesn't seem to allow him to see how badly he is handling the Jury with each eviction, and we have a feeling he'd fight back against them on the night. It's possible he could convince them to respect the game, but as most of these celebs don't know the game, they're more likely to take it personally. Grade: B-
Todd Bridges (56) woke up and started playing the game just in time for the homestretch. He prove he understands the strategy, and that he's at least somewhat playing for himself. Unfortunately, he's not taking out the real threat in the House -- which is a power duo where both members can win competitions -- but we respect that he's at least trying to get in there. There's the slightest chance he could upend the power structure of the House, and that's always worth rooting for. Grade: C-
Cynthia Bailey (54) will become a free agent if Carson gets evicted, which seems a foregone conclusion. As she's also not a threat to Todrick and Miesha, she might survive their next reign after Lamar openly said he was gunning for Miesha. Todd thinks he can get Cynthia after getting Carson booted, but she definitely plays more with her heart than her head. After how she wrote Shanna off, we can't see her forgiving Todd for sending out her number one, even if it costs her the game. Grade: D+
Lamar Odom (42) barely understands what's going on, but he knows enough to have a sense that Miesha is a huge threat. He then said that right in front of her, painting a huge target on his back in a game swiftly running out of huge targets. Unless he can pull off a surprise win like Todd did this week, Lamar could see himself heading out the door next. Grade: D
Carson Kressley (52) is likely going to have some regrets about what happened with Shanna. We're not sure he'll care that it ended his game, but we'd like to think he'll be bothered by the fact that he believed lies and manipulation to the point he and Cynthia were actually pretty nasty to her on her way out the door. Grade: D-
“Shanna walks out and basically confirms her classlessness. If anybody would listen to you then, honey, I don’t want their vote.” --Todrick (after Shanna said she’d convince Jury not to vote for him)
“With that exit, I’ve never been more sure that we made the right decision.” --Cynthia
“I can’t believe it. I pulled off the impossible. Carson has been my nemesis throughout this game and yet I managed to stay here through his HOH? I got Carson to target one of his allies. I mean, I’m pretty good, but I’m even better than I thought I was.” --Miesha (um, wasn’t that Todrick’s plan?)
“I’ve never met somebody, like, so self-absorbed and willing to give up your dignity--” --Todrick (about Shanna)
“I was trying to get your attention so bad.” --Lamar
“Because I wanted you to vote for Miesha to go.” --Lamar (worried she would be gunning for them)
“I was trying to get Todd’s attention to vote Miesha off and I was gonna vote Miesha off because I don’t want to make that decision.” --Lamar (in front of everyone)
“Lamar, you’re not supposed to tell somebody you’re going after them!” --Todd
“Okay, I’m out. I gotta leave before I say something stupid.” --Miesha
“I got pretty good taste buds, that’s for sure.” --Todd (ahead of HOH comp)
“The man has taste. In his mouth at least.” --Carson (about Todd during HOH comp)
“Todd can’t win this. I’m not safe with Todd.” --Carson
“Todd winning this might actually be really good for my game. He’s probably going to put up Cynthia and Carson, which means I wouldn’t have any blood on my hands.” --Miesha (planning betrayal by proxy)
“When I won the Veto I made the strategic move to save Todd instead of Miesha, just in case I ever needed a favor. Well, Todd, time to cash in, honey.” --Todrick
“This could not have worked out better. I was gonna honor my deal to not target Carson and Cynthia, but now that Todd has won HOH, he can take care of my dirty work for me.” --Miesha
“I don’t want to put Cynthia up. That wouldn’t be right.” --Todd
“You don’t think so?” --Miesha (determined to betray)
“Lamar, how do you feel?” --Carson (after Lamar and Todrick put on their punishment costumes)
“I’m not into the mini-dress.” --Lamar (not happy)
“Can we get a beverage? My mouth is chalky.” --Lamar (tethered to Todrick)
“No.” --Todrick (flopping on bed)
“If I can keep Cynthia off the Block and get Carson out of the House, that could be a plus for me down the road.” --Todd (thinking Cynthia would align with him)
“He hasn’t exactly been on Team Tate lately.” --Miesha (okay with Lamar up as a pawn)
“My plan is to make it to the end and have the Jury not be bitter towards me.” --Todd (telling Carson and Cynthia his nomination plans)
“If I win the Veto, I can take you down.” --Cynthia (to Carson)