Cynthia Bailey winning the Power of Veto is the only direct way to save Carson Kressley from tonight's eviction, but never underestimate the power of negotiation and charm.
When you consider jury management on "Celebrity Big Brother," there's a whole different layer to it that makes it even more challenging than regular "Big Brother." The celebs get to go home and watch the show and live feeds.
This means that almost everything you have ever said or done is there for the jury to chew over and consider when it comes time to reward your game. It is in this area that the two most dominant players of this season are really struggling.
It's one thing to lie and manipulate your way to the end of the game on "Big Brother." It's built into the DNA of the game, and it's proven extremely difficult over the years to even get to the end with anything close to your integrity intact.
But at least if you're extremely good at lying and manipulating, you can keep right on doing it to the jury in the final vote. You can paint your narrative however you want, you can paint yourself however you want them to see you. And if you're compelling enough, you might just win the game.
On this version, though, these celebs are coming out of the House, they're friends and family are certainly telling them what they think about all the shenanigans in the House, they can check out social media to see how fans have been reacting and they can go back and watch the show itself, should they want to.
What's worse for the Final 2, is they really don't know what the narrative is about them outside the House. This season, we suspect Todrick Hall has no idea the level of negative reaction he's been getting to not just his gameplay, but comments he's made about people.
That means if you talk trash about one of the Houseguests after they leave the room and then they leave the house-- They're probably gonna find out what you said. If you make a promise and then gleefully break it to vote them out-- they're gonna learn that, too.
And if you try to deny it because you don't understand that they saw everything, that's not going to go over well. This is a hard game to win without your dirty laundry being aired out to the jury before they reconvene to vote. It's even harder this way.
Hi Cynthia Bailey, welcome to "Big Brother." Would you like to play a game?
It only took 20+ days, but the "Real Housewife" has finally gotten fired up and ready to play this game. Too bad her strategic mind wasn't working before she and Carson Kressley foolishly blindsided and evicted their own alliance member after Todrick's "hail mary" to throw Shanna Moakler under the bus and save Miesha Tate.
As soon as Shanna walked out the door, their backs were against the wall. As soon as Todd Bridges shocked everyone by winning Head of Household, their goose was cooked. Miesha and Todrick made a deal to not nominate or backdoor Carson or Cynthia this week, but they never said they wouldn't have Todd do their dirty work for them.
We're thrilled to see Todd stepping up to play the game as well, it's just unfortunate for Carson that he's also been pretty tightly aligned with the power duo of Miesha and Todrick. It's actually bad for Todd's game to keep them both in the House.
Yes, Carson and Cynthia are another power duo, but when it comes to challenges -- sorry, Cynthia! -- only Carson seems to have any power there. On the other side, both Miesha and Todrick have won competitions.
Todd seemed committed to honoring his Final 4 deal with Todrick, Miesha and Lamar Odom, which is both honorable and strategically a terrible idea. Lamar doesn't understand the game at all and everyone knows Todrick and Miesha have a tight Final 2. Where does that leave Todd? It leaves him standing next to a guy who's won nothing and has no idea how to play "Big Brother."
Cynthia spent days trying to figure out why Todd didn't nominate her next to Carson, and she finally realized he was working for her vote in the jury. It's a subtle move, but a sign that Todd is playing this game hard.
She also considered that Todd might have been setting Cynthia up to possibly flip over to work with him and Lamar against Miesha and Todrick. That would give them a numbers advantage, but they'd still be in trouble when it came to winning competitions.
Nevertheless, it's not only a solid strategic move that Todd was considering, but it's huge that Cynthia figured it out and suddenly sprung out of bed ready to fight for Carson's game with this new information. With this kernel, they could lobby for a new Final 4 deal with Todrick and Miesha.
This week's Power of Veto competition is a game that everyone who's ever been to a baseball game, or been hustled on the streets of New York, is very familiar with. It was basically digital three-card monte.
In this case, it was the Eco-Veto jumping into one of three matching vehicles or items. Then, in traditional fashion, they flip and spin and twist and jump around and all you have to do is keep your eye on the one he was in and identify it after he stopped.
Honestly, we've always been pretty good at this game (when it's not rigged), and these were extremely tough. They were fast moving, the perspective started shifting and at one point, two additional objects even joined the game for a bit.
Across seven rounds, it quickly became clear that Cynthia was going to have a really hard time here. Obviously, the best-case scenario to save Carson would be for Cynthia to win this Veto and take him off. That way they'd both be safe and Todd would have no choice but to put up Miesha or Todrick -- and then Cynthia and Carson would have the power in the vote.
This is why it was so inexplicable to them why Todd didn't put them both up. More than likely, he was gambling that Cynthia -- who'd yet to win anything -- would continue her winless streak. Pretty quickly, that became apparent.
What was a bit of a surprise was that after dominating the taste-driven challenge, Todd was coming out strong on this one. Before long, it was a three-way race between him, Miesha and Todrick, Cynthia had a respectable showing, but it wasn't nearly strong enough.
In the end, after snapping at Lamar several times for daring to say anything at all while she was concentrating, Miesha came out victorious. She even grumbled about it later, with the Veto securely in his hand. It was as if she thought everyone should act as if she was the only one playing.
In her defense, though, Lamar was so far out of the game it wasn't even funny. He didn't get any right. Carson didn't do much better, though, only getting one right on a totally wild guess. Maybe he's not the big threat they thought he was? Who are we kidding, if he gets to the end, he wins!
After her win, the duo brought Miesha in to talk about whether she would consider a Final 4 with the two of them, but as soon as she said she already had one with Todd and Lamar, they just backed down. They even told her to keep nominations the same, which she fully intended anyway -- laser-focused on Carson for eviction since the beginning of the game.
But for Carson and Cynthia, they felt this was a brilliant execution of Part 1 of their Save Carson plan. Part 2 would come after the meeting when all they needed to do was get one of either Miesha are Todrick to flip their vote.
They decided to target Todrick with this, seeing if he would honor his deal early in the game to protect Carson. They had no idea that Todrick doesn't honor any deals that aren't to Miesha, and the same goes for her. They've been unflinchingly loyal to one another, but no one else.
This was Carson and Cynthia attempting to match Todrick's incredibly effective "hial mary" that got them to vote out their only ally and hope to stay in the game. Todrick's ploy worked. Their ploy was half-baked at best.
All they did was try and lean on his honor and integrity, but he has none in this game and offer him their votes at the end if they saved Carson. And because they refused to play a little dirty themselves -- and still believed his Shanna story, to boot -- they wouldn't throw out the obvious ploy.
All Todrick had to do was plant a kernel of doubt about Shanna and she was gone. So what they should have done was talk about how Todd didn't put Cynthia up, sowing seeds of doubt and mistrust about Todd.
Todrick and Miesha had already considered that Todd was working jury management, but what if they'd pitched to him that what he's actually doing is trying to create a three-person alliance with himself, Lamar and Cynthia to take out Todrick and Miesha.
With that on the table, saving Carson and making a Final 4 deal with him and Cynthia to take out Todd and Lamar would have possibly made sense. Paranoia is a powerful thing. Todrick might have doubted them, but he would have considered it.
Hell, he considered keeping Carson just for that deal about them voting for him, still rattled that Shanna said she was going to convince the jury not to vote for him. We think his diary room behavior and behavior in the House could hurt him enough, but that's for Wednesday night's finale to reveal.
As far as Miesha is concerned, though, it's very simple. You take out your opponents one by one in the order they are a threat to you, alliances be damned. That's why she's already looking at betraying her Final 4 to take Todd out. He's the only one outside of Carson (and Todrick) who's becoming a threat to win something.
In the end, the "hail mary" fell short and Carson was evicted unanimously. With Todd unable to play in this next HOH, it would take a miracle for someone other than Miesha or Todrick to win it. As we've been saying since Shanna went, they've pretty much already won. It's just a matter of what order they want to get rid of everyone else in the House.
Miesha Tate (35) is ready to throw her Final 4 deal away to get rid of a perceived threat to her game. Jury management is not even a factor when it comes to her and Todrick's gameplay. Unless something crazy happens, they're going to be the Final 2 and of the two, her game is much cleaner and more direct, but we have a feeling it will be a jury giving begrudging votes to whomever wins. At this moment, we'd give Miesha the edge. Grade: B
Todrick Hall (36) is running the House and has been since the beginning. He might be able to argue to the jury effectively that he should win, and if it's solely based on gameplay, then he shoudl win. But with so many people valuing integrity and honesty and with him lying and manipulating almost everyone, that could turn around and bite him in the final vote. Some of his behavior has been questionable, too, which the jury will have had the opportunity to see. The fact he seems oblivious to any negativity surrounding his game means he might be unprepared to deal with it. Grade: B-
Cynthia Bailey (54) and Lamar Odom (42) now benefit from being no threat and completely expendable to Miesha and Todrick. It probably just bought them a hair longer in the game. We applaud Cynthia for suddenly waking up to strategy, but it might just be too little too late, unless she can pull off a miracle HOH win and flip the House upside down. We won't hold our breath, though. Grade: D
Todd Bridges (56) just helped eliminate the only player who could have really helped him stand up to Miesha and Todrick in competitions. Now, he's vulnerable this week and you can be they're going to just gun for him right now. After all, he could win the next HOH so better to cut him on a week when he can't play ... kind of like Shanna was evicted without even getting a chance to play in the Veto. It's just cleaner that way. Todd started playing too late, and in an alliance that never valued him as anything more than a number. As soon as he became more, he was labeled a threat. Grade: D+
Carson Kressley (52) did not play a good strategic game, and he trusted the wrong peole. But he was a huge threat to win the game had he made it to the end. If he'd have understood the strategy a bit better, and been a little less trusting, he could have been among the all-time greats to play the game. Sadly, for what he had in social and competition he really lacked in strategy and understanding of the game. Grade: F
“So I’ve just been nominated for a third time. Apparently, I’m a terrible Houseguest, they’re all trying to get rid of me.” --Carson
“We’re kind of like in an outlet mall. It’s not amazing, but it’s okay.” --Casron (about glimmer of hope he and Cynthia has if she can win POV)
“I have zero regrets.” --Carson (you don’t know what Todrick and Miesha did yet)
“It all comes down to who wins the Veto. Put up, shut up, or pack up.” --Cynthia
“The Lamar Odom documentary is going to be hard for people to get through.” --Lamar (about the struggles and hardships in his life)
“How cute. These need to be washed.” --Carson (after Lamar and Todrick got out of their Ho-jito costume)
“I think I killed too many brain cells when I was younger.” --Carson (struggling during POV)
“I think I killed more.” --Todd
“Quiet, please. It helps the rest of us focus.” --Meisha (during POV)
“Lamar, if you could refrain from commenting during, it would help me stay focused.” --Miesha (during POV)
“This couldn’t be a better situation for us, or a worse one for Carson.” --Miesha (after Cynthia is statistically eliminated from POV)
“We could talk to Miesha about taking me down, but that’s not going to happen -- like, I’m not going to talk to her and she’s not going to do it.” --Carson (after Miesha wins POV)
“Here’s my advice to you. If they get rid of me, you should team up with Cynthia immediately and then do what you got to do. Because I don’t think you’re going to be safe alone.” --Carson (to Lamar)
“Lamar almost cost me that one and another one, because when I heard him it’s so distracting to me.” --Miesha (a sore … winner?)
“As much as I love Lamar, he does walk around the House and kind of expect everybody to cater or do for him. It’s like, you’re being a butt-head. You’re being disrespectful.” --Miesha (in front of Cynthia, Todd and Todrick)
“We’re, like, waiting for them to offer us something. We need to go offer them something.” --Cynthia (to Carson, hatching a plan)
“I’m thinking after we get Carson out this week, we get Todd. Is that terrible? He’s shown he can be competitive.” --Miesha (ready to break her Final 4)
“So we put Lamar and Todd up if we win.” --Todrick
“All I have to do is change my vote. And then he would stay.” --Todrick (to Miesha)
“We would be playing with fire.” --Miesha
“Cynthia, don’t eat the cake!” --Carson (saying farewell)