When we left off on Friday’s episode, we saw that Derrick was there to host the HOH competition. We went from the most boring comp ever on the double eviction (Kenya See It puzzle POV) to one of the best of the season with Tales from Decrypt HOH. This cool space-aged themed comp used the pictures of the evicted houseguests on buttons at two podiums and a digital sign that revealed letters with clues about the evictees. The competition was elimination style with Derrick drawing the chips of each of the houseguests to determine who faced off against each other. 8 houseguests participated (minus Jason, who won the Double Eviction HOH), then 4 advanced to the next round and finally 2 faced off in the final round.
- Mark and Raven—Raven wins
- Paul and Alex—Paul wins
- Christmas and Kevin—Christmas wins
- Josh and Matt—Josh wins
- Raven and Paul—Paul wins
- Christmas and Josh—Christmas wins
In Round 3, with Paul verses Christmas, Paul knew he was safe with Christmas, and since she can’t compete in athletic competitions due to her broken leg, he threw the competition by answering incorrectly even though he knew the answer. Christmas is this week’s HOH, and the target is Mark. Even though the target is Mark, Alex wants to make sure that Christmas knows that the backup target should be Kevin.
It is clear from the big hug that Derrick gave to Kevin that they know each other. Alex thinks that Kevin is a cop. Kevin tells Alex that he knows Derrick from seeing him at the market back home and in DR, Kevin says he met Kevin at the market and it feels good to see someone from home. Since Kevin has extensive knowledge of jail and gangsters, what better person to know that than a cop. Alex tells Christmas her suspicions, and Christmas tells her she thinks he’s an undercover cop, too.
Alex refuses to have a private conversation with Kevin and goes to Jason to tell him that he cannot have loyalty to Kevin. She explains to Jason that everything that Kevin says is a lie. Jason says, “Okay, we have to get him the fuck out of here.” Ding dong Jason then goes to Kevin and asks him what the fuck he said to Alex because she said he’s a liar. Kevin says, “I didn’t lie about nothing, and she just don’t like me for some reason. I never liked nothing about her, but I never said nothing.” Great grammar, Kevin. Jason then goes back to Alex in the storage room and tells her that he told Kevin to leave her alone. Alex smacks him and says that he is talking too much and shouldn’t say her name at all. She says, “Kevin is going to try and corner me, and he shouldn’t say shit. Why would you do that? Kevin must know Derrick because he is also a cop.” Kevin comes in and she makes up a stupid reason about him asking what he can eat as a Have Not repeatedly. She tells him he’s driving her crazy, and she’s trying to play a game.
Josh tells Christmas that he’s kind of buying into what Cody said about Jason and Alex, that they were trying to flip the house against Paul. Then, Jason’s speech during Double Eviction, he said he was on the fence (Josh thinks he means about Paul, I think he meant about Mark). Plus, Jason has been buddy-buddy with Mark. Josh says that Alex and Jason being friendly with Cody and Mark has him doubting them both.
Jason gets his HOH basket and reads his HOH letter in front of the house. It says that his son Gatlin says that his daddy needs to win Big Brother because he’s going to be a big brother. #CongratsJason! So sweet, I got choked up as did many of the houseguests as Jason fell to his knees in tears in his Extreme-otard. Everyone was cheering, hugging him and loving the pictures of Gatlin and sonogram of the little bean growing in Jason’s wife belly.
Christmas says that she was there for Josh when he was struggling in the beginning, and he’s there for her now when she knows she is disposable at some point with her broken foot. Christmas and Josh are saying thanks to each other for believing in one another. Josh says he’s like to see himself, her and Paul in final 3 and the 2 of them in final 2. Christmas has been massaging this relationship for weeks to make sure she has more influence over Josh than Paul. Mission accomplished.
Paul is talking to Matt and Raven saying how they are good for next week. He explains that they can now see why he threw the comp to Christmas because now they can all 3 compete next week. Paul is shown attaching himself to all the couples in the house (Matt + Raven, Jason + Alex, Christmas + Josh). Each pair has bought into it as we see him talking to each of them as if it’s them to the end. Masterful gameplay on Paul’s part!
Christmas is thinking that it’s best to use Matt and Jason as pawns and backdoor Mark, but Jason will be a backup plan if Mark is pulled for the POV, wins and leaves nominations the same. Paul endorses her plan and says that if he won HOH, he’d have done the same thing.
Josh is dancing around in the APSR with the owl, which he names #BBADOrwell (referencing the novel 1984 by George Orwell, from which Big Brother derives its name.) He says Orwell is his friend and we see him talking to him and cuddled up to him. Josh has inspired the most hashtags this season. Is BB trying to make him America’s Favorite Player?
We are introduced to the new temptation twist, which is the Tree of Temptation. Over the next 3 weeks, the lights on the tree were turn red prior to nominations and the first houseguest to the diary room can claim an apple. Inside the apples are either punishments or powers. Only 1 apple can be claimed per week and must be used that week. Once a houseguest selects an apple, they are ineligible to get another one. Prior to nominations, the person that claims the apple will have to open in front of the house. There are 5 options for punishments and powers:
- Save a Friend
- Eliminate 2 eviction votes
- Can’t compete in next HOH
- Two vetoes
- Bounty on your head
Mark claims an apple, knowing that he is this week’s target. He is hopeful that it will save his game. He receives Save a Friend. Since all his ‘friends’ are in jury or home, this isn’t particularly helpful to him, although he hopes to figure out a way to use it to his advantage. Unfortunately, for the other houseguests, he got one of the rewards, so now they have a 50/50 chance of getting a punishment should they pick an apple in the next 2 weeks.
Christmas talks to Matt and Raven first to explain her plan to backdoor Mark. She needs one of them to be a pawn. She explains that worst case scenario, if Mark wins veto, they’ll send Jason home. Matt agrees to be a pawn. Next, she meets with Alex and Jason. Christmas explains her plan to backdoor Mark and that Matt has already agreed to be a pawn. Jason says he’ll be a pawn, not knowing that he is Christmas’s secondary target.
Mark goes to Christmas and Josh trying to team up with them to take out a showmance or break up Jason and Alex. Josh and Christmas agree that what Mark said made a lot of sense. Mark tells them he does have the Save a Friend to use how they see fit. Fuck, I wish we had the feeds for this conversation because picking up context clues from the feeds once they were turned on at 12 a.m. EST, Mark explained his game with Cody, his conversation with Jason about getting Paul out and how Jason and Alex supposedly played a dirty game. I think this was based on Jason seeming to be on board with getting Paul out during that chess conversation. We missed all the game talk after Christmas won HOH before nominations due to the feeds being down for 30 hours. Rumor has it this was because there was a Backstreet Boys concert near the house; perhaps they had to play the HOH comp during odd hours to avoid audio leaks from the concert.
At the nomination ceremony, Mark gives Paul safety for the week to repay the gift of friendship that he gave him Week 1. Christmas nominates Matt and Jason, but addresses Mark saying that he aligned himself with people that were too selfish in their games. Christmas says in DR, if she doesn’t get Mark, she’ll break up another power couple. Either one is fine by me. Christmas is handling her HOH like a boss.
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