With Cory and America on the Big Brother 25 block, Jared's eyeing a backdoor plan -- but little does he know just how much the house is changing all around him as new alliances form and new plans emerge.
It's been an interesting season if Big Brother. Usually, each week, the strategies swirl around the current Head of Household, but that has definitely not been the case for Season 25.
Instead, it seems as if each Head of Household is left out of most strategizing, often becoming a target themselves. After all, three of the five people evicted so far were competition threats, with last week's Izzy eviction a strategic concern. Even poor Kirsten was voted out for playing too hard, too fast.
That's bad news for Jag, Matt, and current HOH Jared. Yes, Mama Felicia has also won an HOH competition, but no one still considers her any kind of threat. Maybe she'll surprise us all!
There's certainly some truth to that as Jared had made himself public enemy number two just before last week's eviction. Once again, his arrogance, egotism and sheer stupidity at strategy and lying got him into trouble -- and he does not have the skills his mother does to dance out of trouble.
With his HOH win on Thursday's classic Wall competition, nothing changed. The rest of the house appears to only be solidifying further their determination to target Jared and get him and/or Cirie out next week. Little do they know they might be able to do it during tomorrow night's live double eviction.
Of course, there is also some kind of a twist with this Scaryverse edition of the double eviction. Could someone get evicted only to return to the game? Maybe the two evictees will battle back? Or maybe they'll just both go home and the game will continue.
With the explosion of Jared's sloppy gameplay in that epic fight with Cory last week, and the revelation that Cirie and Jared had been lobbying to keep Izzy all week, all hell has broken loose in the Big Brother house.
We've said all along that Jared would prove the death knell for Cirie's game, and that continues to be the case. Izzy's eviction may just be the final nail in the coffin of their futures in the game. Not just because they lost a key ally, but because it turned Felicia against them.
Had they been able to evict Mama F, there would be no conversations between Felicia and Mecole exposing more and more of Jared and Cirie's game. At this point, it doesn't matter that no one publicly knows they're mother and son because they're seen as a duo.
The rest of the house also sees that they've been being played by Cirie, Izzy, and Jared all summer long. Cory pointed it out when he noted that they've been a part of every fake and real alliance of any size or strength all summer long. That's great shield work!
Now, with everyone comparing notes and taking turns throwing the Survivor legend and her son under the bus, their duplicity and double-dealing is getting exposed more and more.
None if it would have happened, perhaps, if Jared hadn't been caught lying so badly. On top of that, his strategy of shouting and bullying and threatening and lying even worse when caught is backfiring. He has zero social game and too much arrogance to ever listen to anyone (save his mother).
Honestly, he's presenting a pretty poor picture of a human being, as well as a gameplayer. The argument with Blue tonight was disgusting for so many reasons. He dismissed what she had to say and turned it around on her (a common tactic of his), attacking her for asking questions and then playing on her compassion by trying to make her feel bad for him.
instead, it pushed her further away from him. Jag and Matt have been a tight duo since Matt used the Power of Invincibility on Jag and saved him after his eviction in Week 4. Blue and Jag's bond predated that. Tonight, they solidified a new power trio, with Blue vowing to keep Jared a safe distance from it.
After all, if he could be working with Cirie and Izzy and not telling Blue about it, surely she can do the same thing. Even better, she's going to keep herself connected to him socially, and perhaps even romantically. It's a great position for her to be in, if she can successfully navigate it.
The new trio had a decision to make as to who to move forward with, and they decided that for now, their best move would be to trust Cory and America. That's bad, bad news for Cirie and Jared, now essentially alone in the game, with a new alliance of five looking directly at them.
In a very sweet scene, which proved just how much of a blind spot Cirie has for her son, we saw Cirie offering a suggestion to Jared about what he could do after the Power of Veto competition, depending on how that went.
Bowie Jane, Jag, and Cameron were selected to play in the Veto, creating the possibility of a worst-case-scenario for Jared's backdoor plan. Granted, what he's not seeing is that getting rid of Cameron actually hurts his game way more than it helps him.
That's because in his blind arrogance, Jared has no idea just how much the house is solidifying against him and Cirie. Cirie senses it, but there's not much she can do about it. Jared has that young cockiness that makes him think he's invincible. It could very quickly cost him his game.
And yet, his mom slipped into the HOH room to offer him a suggestion if Cameron were to win HOH. She told him that if Cameron did that and used it, he should put her up as a replacement nominee and let the house evict her.
That could help him save face with some of the people he's burned and help him move forward. What she doesn't realize is how terrible he is at this game and how much worse he'd be at it without her there to temper his worst impulses.
Does she not remember what happened when she asked him to find out what happened with Cory and Matt? Does she not remember when he blabbed about Matt's power to Jag and then decided to try and fix it by threatening him? Jared is way too aggressive in his gameplay approach. He's way too "bro."
Nevertheless, the offer was made and Jared promptly rejected it. His one redeeming quality is his undying loyalty to his mother. If he were easier to watch as a person and a player, they might be easier to root for.
At this point, we kind of wish things would go the other way and Jared would get evicted, leaving Cirie to have to reboot her game. If Dan can revitalize his game with a fake funeral, we believe Cirie could come up with a way to save herself and reestablish singed bridges.
The Power of Veto was a football-themed twist on the classic BB competition that sees players attempting to catch some liquid -- in this case "sweat" -- that's being sprayed at them from various points throughout the backyard.
In this case, they have to then dump it into a receptacle until it's full and they can retrieve a tiny football from it. Then, rush to the end zone to score a touchdown. The player to do it the fastest wins Veto. And with Cameron in play, this could really make or break the house.
In the end, it was the competition threats (Cameron, Jag, and Jared) who came in with the three highest scores, but neither Jared nor Cameron pulled it off. Instead, Jag picked up his second Veto win of the season, and was faced with a huge decision.
Cameron, with his back against the wall and sensing a backdoor, came up with a brilliant pitch to Jared, Jag, and Matt. He explained to them quite plainly that he is public enemy number one and could serve as their shield.
He noted that if he goes home this week, the house will target Jared next, then Jag, and finally Matt. Even Matt had to acknowledge the house has been systematically removing anyone that proves themselves competition threats.
The risk is that Cameron can't necessarily be trusted. The blindness and arrogance of Jared was when he said (in the Diary Room) that he doesn't think Cory is nearly as dangerous to his game as Cameron.
That shows a lack of awareness of the house politics. Cameron may be someone who would target him, but Cameron is also desperate and alone in the house. If Jared were to keep him off the block, Cameron may well work with him.
On the other hand, Cory is actively building an army against Jared. Cameron is one person. Even if he were to target Jared, he's doing it as one person. Cory has his new alliance of five -- and pretty much Bowie, Mecole, and Felicia, as well -- all solidified as a unit targeting Jared and Cirie.
In the end, Jared stuck to his original plan, continuing to underestimate Cory's massive threat quotient now that he's awake and playing this game. Jag used the Power of Veto to take Cory down and Jared threw Cameron up as his replacement nominee.
Unless something crazy happens in the house -- which actually seems unlikely this week (for a first) -- Cameron will indeed be following Izzy out of the house. What Jared doesn't see is that he's most likely going to be following right behind him.
Whether or not they both actually leave the game remains to be seen. It's a Double Eviction (baby!), so two will get evicted, but Jag also got evicted and he's still in the game. We are prepared to expect the unexpected in this flipped house.
Matthew Klotz (27, deaflympics gold medalist) continues to ride high in the game, though others might be starting to realize just how untouchable he's been to this point. That's going to start working against him when it comes to players who've gotten a lot more dirty. Who wants to sit next to someone with this clean of a record at the end? [Grade: A-]
Mecole Hayes (30, political consultant) solidifying a Final 2 with Felicia is interesting because they are so overlooked in the house. Mecole, in particular, has been utilizing the wallpaper strategy to great effect, practically disappearing into the background at every opportunity. We've seen how effective it was when Cory blew up the game and started playing. She's still biding her time. [Grade: B]
Blue Kim (25, brand strategist) made a bold move this week, solidifying a solid trio, expanding it to five and then carefully keeping herself close to Jared. That positions her with feelers on both sides of the big divide in the house. It has the potential to be the most powerful position in the house at this pivotal juncture, if she can maintain it. [Grade: B-]
Jag Bains (25, truck company owner) is enjoying a tight alliance with Matt, though people are more and more starting to see them as a potentially dangerous duo. Despite Matt's win-loss record, they're both seen as strong competitors, and we see how this house rewards those kinds of players. Jag has been in the crosshairs all season long. He may be in his best position yet, but it's just a matter of time. [Grade: C+]
Cory Wurtenberger (21, college student) is an extremely dangerous player. He's proving he can be absolutely ruthless. His own alliance probably shouldn't trust him if their names aren't America. But he also helped open up this game and change the direction of it. This is a crucial phase for him as he is showing what a strategic threat he is -- and that proved Izzy's undoing. America can only protect him so far, and we're not sure she'd make an offer like Cirie did to Jared. [Grade: C]
Felicia Cannon (63, real estate agent) has an alliance with Mecole now, but is otherwise a free agent that no one seems all that interested in getting with. In fact, the Cormerica half of the house still thinks she's with Cirie and Jared. She needs to do some damage control with the right people to ensure her longevity. The fact she's not seen as a threat is an asset this season. [Grade: C]
America Lopez (27, medical receptionist) would have risen higher, but she is on the block still, which leaves her vulnerable. We think it would take an Act of God to save Cameron, but we also know to "expect the unexpected." She got away with orchestrating this major house flip from behind the scenes, so she's only being targeted by her proximity to Cory. That's a good shield for her moving forward. [Grade: C-]
Cirie Fields (53, nurse) is basically floating in the ocean with a life vest at this point, and she's not really working that hard to redefine her relationships and solidify anything. Is she giving up, or regrouping? The house is gunning for her, and we think she has some sense of that. Her smart move would be to start having critical conversations this week, while she's safe. At the same time, it might be too late. The house seems pretty set that she and Jared have got to go. Her best hope is that he goes first and then they're not as worried about her (her competition threat is zero so far, but her strategic and subterfuge threat factors are still quite high). [Grade: C-]
Bowie Jane Ball (45, barrister/DJ) continues to not be part of anything official. Cameron looks to be in trouble, so that allegiance means nothing. She wasn't brought into any of the new groups. Bowie has been used as a pawn all season long as it seems no one quite trusts her enough to officially do anything with her. That also means she's expendable. [Grade: C-]
Jared Fields (25, exterminator) burned half his bridge with Blue by being a bit of an ass (understatement) to her, which is no surprise. It's how he's been treating everyone this whole game. Knowing he can't play in the next HOH competition, you'd think he'd be laying the groundwork for his own safety, but he's not. He's not even targeting his biggest threat right now -- because it ain't Cameron anymore. We would be amazed if he survives the next two evictions. [Grade: D]
Cameron Hardin (34, stay-at-home dad) will more than likely be the first of two Houseguests evicted Thursday night. The house has been gunning for him for too long not to take this show. He's the biggest comp threat in the house and aligned with no one. No one trusts him enough to work with him. It's probably not the smartest move to make at this point for many in the house, but it looks like it will be the move. [Grade: D-]
"I really feel he's gonna target my mom moving forward, so I'm about to show Cameron the backdoor exit." --Jared (in DR)
"Bright side. I finally get to sit through a nomination ceremony without seeing my face on the memory wall. The downside of this is that worry that's right here in my gut is telling me I'm probably getting backdoored." --Cameron (in DR)
"One of us needs to come off the block so we can both be here next week." --Cory (in DR)
"A small part of me is living for this. This is iconic. Some of the biggest Big Brother players have been put up next to their showmance and survived, and won. I think it's a little bit romantic. It'll spice things up." --America (in DR)
"As of right now, Cameron is my only target … I don't give a f--k if the whole house know this." --Cory (to America before telling everyone)
"I think our bridge is more burned than most, but if I'm around next week, I don't think it's as black-and-white as you think it is." --Cory (to Jared)
"I'm lying. I would backdoor him." --Cory (in DR)
"We were obviously not in For Real, For Real. We didn't know about it at all." --Jag (to Blue, saying Jared lied about it)
"Your proximity to Jared is gonna hurt you." --Jag
"I was told that you're in another alliance." --Blue (to Jared)
"By who?" -- Jared
"Who's people. Don't play this game." --Jared (deflecting, trying to assert dominance)
"I know a secret that's detrimental to his game, so why would he lie to me. I could blow up his game, right here, right now." --Blue (in DR about Jared)
"I think Cirie was so scared of being backdoored, she convinced Jared not to use the veto. I believe she's Final 2 with Jared and hasn't told nobody." --Felicia (to Mecole)
"Imma stand here right now with you. Do you want a Final 2?" --Felicia (to Mecole)
"Yes." --Mecole (hugs)
"If we do rock with Cory and America, that's gonna put me in a sticky situation, but I'm here for it." --Blue (to Jag and Matt)
"Whatever happens this week, he's gotta go next week." --America (to Jag and Cory about Jared)
"In the case that Cameron wins and pulls somebody down, this way you don't gotta dirty your hands, I'm telling you because ain't nobody expecting it, put me up, let me go, because that might gain a lot of favor with you in this house. It would repair you and Cameron. I'm okay with it. I promise you." --Cirie (to Jared)
"I can't do that." --Jared
"But that might be what's best for your game." --Cirie
"I can't do it. I'd rather just go home. I can't do that." --Jared
"I am completely understanding in the fact that I am public enemy number one in this house. I am at the top of the list. If you use the Power of Veto and I go up on the block, which I feel like that's the plan, when I leave, you're [Jag] it. And when you leave, you're [Jared] it. And when you leave, you're [Matt] it. You see it. I'm good for you if I stay here." --Cameron
"It's pretty easy to see the direction it's going, they are taking out the people that win comps." --Matt
"The smartest dude in the house is sitting up there on the block right now." --Cameron (about Cory)
"Cory's just not as dangerous to my game as you are." --Jared (in DR about Cameron -- wrong!)
"Thank you Jared for taking this shot at Cameron. The only way I can repay you is by targeting you next week. Bro." --Cory (in DR)
Big Brother continues Thursday at 8pm ET, Sunday at 10pm on CBS and next Thursday at 8pm ET