Things haven't been particularly exciting in the Big Brother house since the first two parts of the final Head of Household competition have taken place. But the game is still on, and there have been a couple of interesting conversations, which may give us some clues as to who is planning what in anticipation of tomorrow night's big finale!
Live feed spoilers ahead - including the winners of the first two parts of the Head of Household competition, neither of which have been revealed on TV yet!
Ok, let's start by getting caught up on the basics since the last episode:
HoH Part 1: Dan won the first part of the HoH competition. Ian dropped and Dan later talked Danielle into throwing the comp so he could win Part 1 and she could face off with Ian for Part 2. Last Sunday's episode made it seem like Danielle was determined to send Dan packing for what he did to Shane, but as far as I saw, Dan didn't have a very hard time talking Danielle into throwing Part 1, so who knows?
Dan assured Danielle that she would win Part 2, but that if she didn't, they'd figure out a way to convince Ian into throwing Part 3 so that Dan would win the final competition. Dan said he'd win Part 3 and send Ian out the door.
HoH Part 2: It was some kind of mental challenge involving the order in which things happened (possibly when houseguests were evicted) and involved cleaning soot off of something. We didn't see that competition on the feeds, but both Danielle and Ian came back dirty. Ian won and Danielle made a big show of yelling at him for having a deal with Dan. Apparently, Dan (likely intentionally) said something about $50k when openly celebrating Ian's win, and Danielle. As Dan and Danielle planned - in the event that Ian won Part 2 - she pretended to be angry that Ian was taking Dan to the end and threatened to poison the jury against Ian if he didn't take her to the final two. The idea was to make Ian afraid to win Part 3 for fear of risking losing jury votes. Ian seemed to buy that Danielle was upset but gave us (or Dan/Danielle) no indication that he would throw the last HoH. He even outright told Dan he wouldn't throw it then the conversation inched close to that topic.
But, as we've learned this season, how people are behaving on the feeds isn't always an accurate reflection of what they're thinking. So here's what what we know from the feeds over the last couple of days (events not necessarily mentioned chronologically but I've tried to keep all the relevant details in order):
Dan continues to assure Danielle that he is taking her to the end if he wins the last part.
Dan continues to assure Ian that he is taking him to the end if he wins the last part.
Dan muttered to himself that he might have to throw the last HoH competition.
Danielle talked Ian into admitting he actually does have a final two deal with Dan. Danielle then started trying to get under Ian's skin, talking about how he didn't have the votes to win if he evicts her and even dropping a few comments about Ian's chances if he has to go up against Dan with the jury. Ian didn't react much, though he later went to his hammock and muttered something about not responding to threats.
Danielle called Dan out (in private) about Ian's admission of their final two deal. She was genuinely annoyed that there was an actual deal and she didn't know about it. Dan acted indifferent about the situation, saying he didn't tell her because it didn't matter and because he forgot. As if it was a non-issue because he never intended to stick with it. Not sure if she bought it or if she's over that or not, but there wasn't any major tension between them later.
Dan and Ian have had numerous final-two conversations where it seems obvious that both are trying to get and give assurance from/to one another that their Final 2 thing is rock solid. Whether or not it actually is - who knows?
While anything can happen, if Danielle is evicted tomorrow night, I won't be surprised or especially disappointed. Despite her complaints about Dan's antics, she's done little to prove she has any game in her outside of going along with whatever Dan tells her to do. That may sound harsh, but it's hard to argue otherwise. Dan's plan to get Ian to throw the last HoH competition isn't a bad one, and I get why she's going along with that, but I don't understand why she isn't working on convincing Ian to take her to the end if he actually wins it.
If she put it in his head that he was a lock to win if he got Dan out of the house (after everything Dan has done and gotten away with all season), Ian might actually consider it (if he isn't already). Maybe Danielle is too nice of a person to throw Dan under the bus like that, but I can't even see that being entirely the case here, given that we've seen her make sneaky moves this season (on Dan's instructions). Getting Jenn to use the Veto to save Dan was evidence that she's not above deception, especially when we factor in that she lied to Britney for days and pretended like she knew nothing about it. So she's capable of sneakiness if it benefits her, and in this case, it definitely would. I just don't think she sees that angle. Either that, or she's saving it for a last-minute pitch. Right now though, she appears to be putting all of her eggs in Dan's basket, assuming there's no way Ian will take her.
As far as the Renegades go, of Dan and Ian, I think Ian is more likely to hold up his end of the deal than Dan is. But Dan is impossible to read with 100% certainty. He mentioned something to himself about possibly throwing the last competition to Ian, which could be why he's pushing so hard to make sure Ian is definitely going to take him to the end. If he can throw the last HoH to Ian, Ian takes him and Dan doesn't have to be the one to evict Danielle. If he has to choose between Danielle and Ian, not only does that put him in an awkward situation, but he breaks a major promise to the last jury member. Not a good idea.
Here's another reason why I think Dan is strongly considering throwing the last competition. Last night, after playing some cards, he went into his room and pouted in bed. Danielle came in to see what was wrong and he proceeded to sulkily explain that he has no chance of winning. Danielle sat there trying to cheer him up and pointed out all of Dan's great game moves and how great a player he was this season.
It was so obviously a show (on Dan's part), and reminiscent of Season 10's "weak player" Dan, but whatever his intention, it worked. And after Danielle gave him the lengthy pep talk, she left and he smiled at the camera, whispering something about loving this game.
It's hard to know for sure what that conversation was all about, but it was obviously strategy, and I'm thinking he might be working on her as the last juror, much in the way he did with Keesha in S10. He might have been making sure she was aware of (and willing to admit) all of his big moves in the game. And getting her to be sympathetic and show her support of him not long before all of this is over could ensure that she doesn't leave the house feeling like she got played. That's just a theory though. But I can't see why else he'd get into her head like that for no reason.
Right now, it seems like Dan and Ian are planning to take one another to the end. I think both are sure they'd have an easier time against one another than they would Danielle. Personally, I'm not so sure. I think if Britney has discovered that Danielle not only knew she was going up (the week she was evicted), but also helped convince Jenn to use the Veto to save Dan, she would be less willing to support Danielle in the Final 2 (especially against Ian). But it's really hard to know how people will vote.
Is Ian considering taking Danielle and making Dan's eviction his last game-move? It's possible, but he's given us no real indication that he has any plans to do that. He's made no deals with Danielle, either, which is another indication that he has no secret plans. I can't see why he wouldn't bring her in on that if he was considering it.
As for Dan, again, it's impossible to know what his plans are, but if he's sure he has Ian's loyalty, throwing it is his best bet.
In other news, the houseguests are preparing for an appearance on The Talk. Not sure if we'll see them on today's episode, or if it'll be taped to air tomorrow, ahead of the season finale. I've set the DVR for both, just in case!
On a related note, we took a look at Dan's game over the course of the season to pose the question: Does he deserve to win? Check that out here, and vote in the poll!