Spoilers if you haven't seen Thursday night's episode of Big Brother!
Tonight's episode of Big Brother offered us a sequel to the racism segment that aired during Sunday night's episode, and then followed it up with Nick's eviction. Nick fell victim to the same situation David did, in that he was up against the MVP. Had Aaryn learned anything about last week, she might have opted not to go for vengeance and instead made a deal with Elissa rather than targeting her. Maybe it wasn't vengeance. Maybe she and Jeremy just didn't think they stood a chance at benefiting from Elissa's MVP status, assuming she continues to get it. Or maybe they both think they stand a good chance of getting MVP with Elissa out of the house. Maybe they just don't like her. This early in the game, with so many people in the house and so many weeks to go, it's not always easy to pick apart the logic behind nominations. Either way, if they had kept Elissa off the block, they might have had more control over who went home this week.
Earlier this week, it was looking like Elissa was a doomed for eviction, mainly because the Moving Company alliance (Jeremy, McCrae, Spencer, Howard and Nick) were so tight. And when she targeted Nick as the replacement for Jeremy, who won the Veto, I was certain she'd sealed her own fate, since I didn't think the MC would fracture this early in the game. But the tides turned later in the week, as Judd, Helen and Elissa rallied to lure Jessie away from the evict-Elissa alliance. And today feed watchers saw Spencer approach Howard to talk about evicting Nick. Spencer was cautious in the conversation but indicated that he was thinking it was in their favor to keep Elissa and join forces with that alliance rather than sticking with Jeremy. And I can't blame him for that. Jeremy's a loose canon, he blabs everything to his other alliance and he's a strong player with a growing target on his back. Of course, they can't get Jeremy out, but evicting Nick would be a move against him and it would weaken Jeremy's other alliance. Of course, it also means jumping the MC ship, possibly prematurely.
Howard seemed tentatively on board with at least considering the idea, and he and Spencer then discussed it with McCrae, who had assured Amanda he was evicting Nick, but had continued to assure the MC that Elissa would go. It's not always easy to tell who's telling the truth on the feeds. We don't see the diary rooms, so it can be difficult to sort the lies from the truth. Before the feeds went out, it looked like Howard and Spencer were down to evict Nick and McCrae was telling them he was going to evict Elissa, openly admitting to them that he was concerned they were setting him up to betray the MC alliance. Howard had another discussion with McCrae about whether the vote should be 7-4 or 8-3 before the feeds went out, but there was an hour or so between then and when the episode aired and who knows what was discussed during that time? Howard voted to evict Elissa, which could have been a betrayal against Spencer, or they might have decided he'd be one mystery-MC vote for Elissa to evict to throw off Jeremy. We'll find out when we start to see the aftermath of all of this.
Nick's eviction left GinaMarie devastated, and Aaryn, Kaitlin and Jeremy blindsided, though they didn't look that shocked. The feeds today showed everyone except for Nick seeming on edge about the she eviction, and after the David blindside, the houseguests may have learned the whole "expect the unexpected" thing well enough now not to be too floored by the house's turn against Nick. Really, it was less a turn against Nick as it was a decision to keep Elissa. I don't think anyone even considered evicting Helen. And the fact that - as Nick pointed out to Julie - he wanted to play the game with a select group of people. Those people who considered him a friend voted to keep him. Everyone else voted for him to be evicted. It's a social game, and though his pre-vote speech did have some Dan Gheesling tones to it, he didn't socialize nearly as well as last season's runner-up might have in his situation. As was the case with David, the Houseguests had more reason to keep Elissa than they did to keep Nick.
Head of Household
The HoH competition had the houseguests buzzing in for questions based on a baggage-claim set-up that was revealed to them late last night. Many of the houseguests worked hard since last night to memorize the things they saw on the conveyer belt, and it looked like it paid off for a number of the contestants, particularly at the end when there was a four-way tie for the tie-breaker. That has to be a first. Helen won the second tie-breaker, which is awesome, especially considering she's been a have-not two weeks in a row, and because she's proven to have a truly gracious attitude about this game. She doesn't gloat, and she makes an active attempt not to complain, even when things aren't going well. Hopefully she makes the most of her HoH. With MVP hopefully on her side, this could be a great week.
Reigning HoH Aaryn failed to achieve her goal of getting Elissa out of the house, which makes tonight a bad night for her, especially when we factor in Helen's HoH win. I'm not sure if Helen will target Aaryn, but a Jeremy/Aaryn/Kaitlin nominee line-up isn't particularly hard to picture, unless they're hoping to back-door Jeremy or another strong player. Aaryn's night was worse than she realized, as she was the star of another racism segment. This one involved a conversation involving Howard and some of other houseguests about the comments Aaryn's been making. Amanda took it upon herself to go upstairs to the HoH room and let Aaryn know that she's developing a reputation for these comments. I watched the full version of this conversation on the feeds, and nothing Amanda said or did indicated that Amanda was doing this for game-related reasons, nor to stir the pot with Aaryn and the houseguests in this conversation. I got the impression that she was really doing it for Aaryn's benefit so she might try to put a stop on the comments about "segregated" fish and that sort of thing. And as the episode revealed tonight, Aaryn's reaction was this to brush it off, as though being teased about being a blonde once in a while is comparable to the kind of bigotry some people have to endure.
Aaryn rolling her eyes only makes her look all the worse in this situation. She was told she was offending people and as she put it, she wishes she cared more about that, but she doesn't. In one of the more amusing moments in the series' history, Julie Chen addressed Aaryn during the live portion of the show, when discussing whether or not the houseguests forget that they're on the live feeds and being watched by people online all over the country. Not realizing she was surely being baited, Aaryn responded to Julie by saying, "I don't forget, I just am a very open person, so everyone here knows a lot about me and so does America now," to which Julie responded, "Yes, we all do." That seemed like a great bit of improv on Julie's part, and I'd be interested to see if Aaryn or anyone else reads anything into it beyond a vague response.
Julie had a bit more to say about Aaryn's comments about Asians on The Talk. Suffice it to say, she was not a fan of Aaryn's impersonation of an Asian manicurist, and I'd be very interested to see what kind of exit interview Aaryn has with Julie if and when she's evicted. Awkward. I really don't think Aaryn can do much to repair the damage she's done to her reputation, and going by the conversation with Amanda, she's not worried about it, but if she wants to stay in the house, she may want to start working on her social game.
And that about covers it. Nick's gone. GinaMarie is devastated. Jeremy and Aayrn are probably livid. And Helen's HoH, so a lot of people in that house will probably sleep easy tonight.
Watch a clip from last night's episode and a video showing a fight between Aaryn, Candice and GinaMarie that took place after the episode aired here.