Things get complicated as The Leftovers try and orchestrate a backdoor strategy to protect all of their members -- but the Power of Veto winners throw a wrench in everything!
This Festie Besties twist is really throwing a lot of complications into this season of "Big Brother" -- and especially because most of these Besties groups aren't aligned together.
It's hard to plot the safest path forward for an alliance if they're all paired up with non-alliance members. What's the safest move to assure the members stay safe? And what do you do when "morality" and personal feelings get in the way?
The Leftovers kept power for the second week in a row, but we're still not sure how long this alliance can hold it together. No alliance this season has lasted more than a week or two and The Leftovers are fast approaching that mark.
Things could easily change with the alliance if someone outside of it gains power -- and there are strong competitors outside of it -- but there's also the danger of it starting to fracture from within. We're already starting to see that.
Last week, we wrote that we had some serious concerns about whether the sweetly innocent and naïve Kyle could keep it together long enough with loyalties to The Leftovers and the fact that he's -- as he so eloquently put it -- "horny" for Alyssa. Especially with Alyssa outside the Alliance and a target.
Right now, she's one of the top targets of The Leftovers in the House, alongside Nicole and Daniel, so if she stays on the Block, she's the target to get out of the House. But Kyle really, really likes her. Can he put that aside for the game? Would he? Honestly, we're not so sure.
Setting Kyle aside for a moment, we were marveling at the complex layers at play inside Brittany's mind and she started to contemplate how the Festie Besties twist was impacting The Leftovers and how it could impact their game moving forward.
As The Leftovers formed after the twist was revealed, the Cookout strategy of aligning with someone outside the alliance wasn't implemented. We'll say it was implemented beautifully for Po's Pack, but that alliance promplty fell apart.
Monte and Joseph scored a shield after Ameerah's eviction by convincing Terrance in advance to join them. Taylor's Bestie shield is Nicole, Kyle has Daniel and Turner has Jasmine. That's why Alyssa and Indy were the perfect targets, because neither were a Leftover.
What Brittany concocted, though, was that if nominations did not change and they evicted Alyssa, maybe she and Michael could convince Indy to join their alliance and she could become their shield. Then, everyone is protected ... at least for now.
The only drawback to this plan was that would mean convincing Kyle to get on board with seeing Alyssa go home. But none of that would even matter until they could see who won the Power of Veto.
This was a pretty fun challenge, with one member of each competing Bestie group being selected to answer questions. Everyone else went on a psychedelic trip (but not really, of course) watching a ridiculously surreal animated sequence.
The tripping Houseguest had 90 seconds to download as many details as they could to their Bestie who then had to answer five questions. And we'd like to give bonus points to Terrance for the most believable fake tripping, while Alyssa looked like she was drunk on a small ship in stormy waters.
Aside from the nominated Besties and HOH Monte's Besties, Daniel and Kyle were selected to also compete. And then they won, setting up the most complicated possible scenario.
Monte had been hoping to get Nicole out of the House as another backdoor blindside -- with the other side thinking Taylor his target -- but that all changed when Brittany and Michael laid out their protection plan for the alliance. Suddenly, Alyssa was the target.
But when they laid it out to Kyle, he told them he wasn't sure his morals would allow him to take her out. He had also just promised her that he was going to use the Veto on her, which would only hurt his burgeoning showmance considering he'd blindsided her with last week's vote, too.
Kyle told his own alliance he'd have to weigh this one, which was honest but also could be problematic for their trust in him (and vice-versa) in the coming days and weeks. But then, the decision was hilariously taken out of his hands altogether.
As it turns out, only one of the Veto-holding Besties has to decide to use the Veto for it to be used. In other words, Kyle could use it to save Alyssa even though Daniel was feeling certain Monte wanted to target Nicole and so he'd vowed to her he would not use it if he won.
Monte called Daniel and Nicole up to the HOH room to try and convince them not to use the Veto. His goal was to be able to implement the Leftovers protection strategy. But he told them it was because he was no longer confident he had the votes to get Taylor out.
Well, they saw through him immediately, with both positive that he was absolutely and totally lying to him ... which he was. But the truth they thought they were seeing, well that was something quite amazing.
Nicole said that her training as a police officer helped her see right through Monte. He wanted nominations to stay the same now because he no longer believed he had the votes to get her out. She believed he was trying to protect Taylor by not putting them on the Block.
Well, Daniel came to the same conclusion, and decided that the last thing he was going to do was help Monte keep his brand-new friend Taylor in the House. He and Nicole have been wanting her out for weeks.
So before Kyle could even decide what to do, Daniel declared his intention to use the Veto, laughing to Kyle about what a terrible liar Monte was in trying to convince them not to use it.
This is a win-win-win scenario for Kyle. With them using the Veto, he saves face with Alyssa. With Daniel being the one to decide to use it, he doesn't lose trust with his alliance (and Alyssa still gets saved). And finally, with this move, Daniel unknowingly just sealed the fate of his real-life bestie in the House.
He basically forced The Leftovers to implement their backdoor blindside of Nicole. What was even funnier about this was that earlier in the episode, we saw Brittany, Michael and Taylor laughing at this very implausible scenario and how sweet it would be if Daniel orchestrated the demise of Nicole.
Sure, it leaves Brittany and Michael a little more vulnerable if the other side gains power. And there was definitely some confusion within the alliance as they apparently didn't know the Veto was about to be used, but those things are easily smoothed over.
The toughest piece might be Taylor, who's been burned so many times in this game already that it's very hard for her to trust. But what's amazing is just how sincere her alliance is in wanting to work with her and watch out for her.
Monte said as much in the Diary Room in previous episodes when he said he'd honor her wish not to go up, even if it meant keeping Nicole. This week, Joseph echoed that sentiment in his own Diary Room session, saying that they're not just using her but that she's part of their team and they care about her as a human.
After all, she's been through, it's heartwarming to see genuine human kindness under all of the intricate strategy and gameplay. When she sees those moments back after her time in the House, we suspect they'll mean the world to her.
Monte Taylor (27) followed through on his original plan when the Veto came down and is setting up yet another huge blindside which will definitely strengthen The Leftover's hold on the House -- if The Leftovers can hold together, that is. He had a masterful week, and even though his lie to Daniel and Nicole didn't work, it still worked. Grade: A [Besties: Joseph & Terrance]
Joseph Abdin (24) showed the strength of his character in his compassion for Taylor, while continuing to play a very smart, strategic game. He finds himself right in the heart of the action and the strategy and he's extremely likable, emerging as a leader in The Leftovers. Grade: A [Besties: Monte & Terrance]
Brittany Hoopes (32) impressed us with her foresight in seeing so far down the road and analyzing the weak point in The Leftovers alliance. It was also self-serving to try and protect her and Michael, but it does serve the whole alliance to keep all seven of them strong. We also applaud the side alliance between her, Michael and Taylor (ironic because the other four are also a side alliance who only added these three to bolster their overall numbers). Grade: A- [Bestie: Michael]
Taylor Hale (27) loses a little for being obstinate about going on the Block, though we do understand the emotional weight of it for her after the summer she's had. But it's a shot that had to be made sooner or later. Freeing herself of ties to Nicole should only help elevate her game. She's had a remarkable turnaround in the House. Grade: A- [Bestie: Nicole]
Michael Bruner (28) was definitely part of the strategizing for how to protect the entire Leftover alliance with shields. He's an incredibly smart player, an incredibly well-liked player and he's still a competition beast. He may be the best all-around player right now, and remarkably no one is threatened by that ... yet. Grade: B+ [Bestie: Brittany]
Matt "Turner" Turner (23) stayed out of the fray this week, which is what he needed to do after orchestrating a huge blindside last week and being poised to help push through another this week. Grade: B [Bestie: Jasmine]
Kyle Caapener (29) appears to be waffling more and more between The Leftovers and his alliance with Alyssa. The smart move by the rest of them would be to leave Alyssa in the House to secure his numbers with their vote until they don't need him. He's already showing that he might consider her over them, no matter the consequences, which should be a huge concern. If he can have both, he'll be loyal. When he can't? Grade: B- [Bestie: Daniel]
Terrance Higgins (47) is back to floating in the middle of this game, talking very little strategy and just not doing very much to solidify his spot in the House. Grade: C [Besties: Joseph & Monte]
Jasmine Davis (29) is still blindly wanting Taylor out. While no one sees her as a huge threat herself, The Leftovers definitely don't see her as someone to work with. Grade: C [Bestie: Turner]
Indy Santos (31) had a quiet week on the Block, and like Terrance, isn't really doing anything now that the Girls' Girls have fallen apart to integrate herself into the House in a way that could benefit her game. Grade: C [Bestie: Alyssa]
Alyssa Snider (24) is one of The Leftover's top targets, and she doesn't know they exist. And yet, she's in a pretty strong flirt-mance with one of its members, Kyle. That puts her in a murky position, as we don't know how hard they'd push against him to get rid of her, or if he'd go along with it if they did. It all means, though, that her story is not really being written by her anymore, which isn't great for a long-term strategy. Grade: D+ [Bestie: Indy]
Daniel Durston (35) may have just sealed the fate of his real bestie in the House, and his Final 2. It's hard to imagine a scenario where Nicole doesn't go home, and he's the one that put her there through arrogance and totally misreading the entire House. Honestly, after how he behaved toward Taylor, she's right to think that the exact scenario that played out would be the sweetest revenge she could ever get. And Daniel's likely the next target of The Leftovers. Grade: D [Bestie: Kyle]
Nicole Layog (41) looks like she's headed out the door, and yet she's still fairly confident she'll have the votes to stay. Her attitude has been pretty terrible this summer, and her cop training didn't help her read through Monte well at all. It just gave her the false confidence to help seal her own fate. She had such a strong start, and then she got blinded by her obsession with Taylor, a hatefulness came out that was ugly and now she'll probably pay for all of it with an early exit. Grade: D- [Bestie: Taylor]
"Sorry, I don't like people feeling sorry for me." --Indy (dancing away from hug offers after nominations)
"I like it. Feel sorry for me." --Alyssa (accepting hugs)
"As much as I want her out of this House, that means that I would have to go up on the Block again. I've already paid my dues. This would be my third time. I'm kind of over it." --Taylor (so ... how will you get her out?)
"You are definitely right about building a trust relationship with her. She's not being used, she's a part of the team." --Joseph (to Monte about Taylor)
"Taylor's been through so much in this House. As much as we need to prioritize evicting Nicole, if that's going to require Taylor to sit on the Block for one more week and she's not comfortable with that, it's not worth it. We're still trying to build trust with Taylor. And we don't just need her as a number in the alliance, we care about her as a person, as well." --Joseph (in Diary Room)
"I'm so glad we're safe this week. I know it's hard to trust." --Brittany (to Taylor)
"I'm sick of being in the passenger seat. We need to take the opportunity to take the reins." --Taylor
"We need to win competitions." --Michael (creating sub-alliance with Brittany and Taylor)
"This is the cat that has nine lives. We gotta figure out something to get her out of here at some point." --Monte (lying to Daniel about wanting to target Taylor)
"That is number one for me. It does affect my game mentally ... Because she's been my main thought and distraction, that's all I care about." --Daniel
"Monte is telling me that the plan is to backdoor Taylor. But after what happened with Ameerah, I can't help but think if my Final 2 Nicole is sitting on that Block, he might do the same thing this week and I can't let that happen." --Daniel (in Diary Room)
"You have no idea the amount of self-control it takes for me to sit here and not, like--" --Kyle (does not finish this thought for Alyssa)
"If I get picked for Veto, I know he's going to say, 'We'll backdoor, Taylor.' I will not use it. And it's definitely going to draw a line, if you're cool with that." --Daniel (to Nicole)
"Kyle and Daniel won the Veto and Kyle better use that Veto on me or I'm gonna come for him." --Alyssa (in Diary Room)
"I get to take Alyssa off the Block. And Daniel doesn't know it, but his Festie Bestie is going to send his real-life bestie out the door." --Kyle (in Diary Room)
"So are you going to use the Veto on me?" --Alyssa
"Listen, I don't know. It depends on how you act. No, that's mean. Yeah, we're definitely gonna use it." --Kyle
"Are you?" --Alyssa
"I promise." --Kyle
"If Kyle doesn't take me off this Block, that would just really show me that I didn't know him at all. Like, are you kidding me? I would look like the stupidest person in the world." --Alyssa (in Diary Room)
"If I put you and Taylor on the Block, now I'm feeling less confident about where the votes lie. I just don't want to look like a fool putting up you and Taylor and then Taylor, yet again, is still here." --Monte
"I mean, obviously you have a clearer read on people than I do which I am kind of just shocked, in a way, so cool. I guess I see where that's going and thanks for the heads up." --Nicole
"Blah, blah, blah, like, shut up, Monte. I've been trained to know when somebody is lying to me and right now you're dropping a load of crap that I'm simply not going to pick up. I have the numbers to stay. Taylor will be going home. God, he's such a horrible liar. I can't-- it's so funny." --Nicole (in Diary Room, totally misreading the room)
"It's sounding like Monte's fully aware that he doesn't have the votes to get rid of Nicole this week, as I've been suspecting that he's been trying to do. I think he actually wants to protect Taylor. Well, guess what? I'm not gonna let you weasel out of the bed that you've made. If you don't want me to use this Veto, I'm 100 percent going to use it." --Daniel (in Diary Room)
"Unfortunately for him, he's about to make one of the dumbest moves in 'Big Brother' history and help us backdoor his best friend, Nicole." --Kyle (in Diary Room after Daniel shares his plan)
"It's so funny, it's hilarious. I mean, I don't know if anyone's ever this excited to be on the Block, but Monte, I saw what you were doing ... but I think you're gonna be disappointed come eviction night. We're killing it, killing it today. So amazing." --Nicole (in Diary Room)