Yesterday, I used some of the Big Brother live feed report to rant a bit about the predictability of this season and how frustrating it's getting watching players steer clear of big moves. There've been very few surprises. The events that followed that report had me wondering if I was going to be eating my words when I checked in today after the Veto Ceremony. Would someone make a big move? Find out after the spoiler warning!
Spoiler Alert: This article contains Big Brother Live Feed spoilers, including who won the Veto and whether or not it was used.
As we reported yesterday, Christine won the Veto. And it should come to no surprise to anyone that she used it to take herself off the block. It should also come to no surprise to anyone that Caleb put Victoria up as the replacement nominee, and barring a miracle -- or someone suddenly deciding Victoria's a major threat -- Nicole will likely be the first of two houseguests evicted this Thursday night. This is obviously the more boring of the two different scenarios that could have played out today, as Caleb seriously considered putting Frankie up as the replacement, with an eye for getting him out, believing Frankie would target him next if he had the chance. But Caleb nominated Victoria instead, and she's essentially just a placeholder to fill the second chair so Nicole can go without much debate.
And thus continues a relatively uneventful season of Big Brother, game-wise. I keep thinking "this will be the week someone makes a big move." But everyone does what everyone wants them to do. This week, "everyone" wants Nicole to go.
Here's the thing. Maybe Caleb won't regret this decision. Maybe Frankie won't stab him in the back the first chance he gets. Maybe Caleb will make it to the end and win this whole thing, in which case, good for him for playing it safe. But if he doesn't get to the end and Frankie does end up stabbing him in the back, this will surely be the decision he likely regrets most.
If we didn't see Caleb actively considering backdooring Frankie yesterday, I might just be yawning over today's Veto Ceremony outcome, and checking the calendar to see how close we were to the finale. But Caleb was considering making a big move. He was talking about how Frankie might win the next Head of Household and decide that instead of targeting Christine or Victoria, he'd make a big game move and put up "the beasts" Cody and Caleb. If that's a possibility, then Caleb would want to strike first. He doesn't want to be sitting there wishing he had gotten Frankie out when he had the chance.
Caleb, Derrick and Cody sat in the Head of Household room for hours last night hashing out scenarios. Earlier yesterday, Derrick seemed resistant to the idea of backdooring Frankie. Derrick doesn't usually come out overly for or against a big idea. He's big on planting seeds and dropping scenarios, then acting supportive and game for anything. But by last night, he seemed to be shifting more toward the idea of backdooring Frankie. At the very least, he seemed prepared to support the plan. Maybe he was planning on turning the house after Frankie went on the block. Maybe he was just preparing for Caleb to do it and trying to make sure he was covered if things went down that way. He did pull Nicole aside and tell her he might be able to make something happen to get her to stay (seemingly taking credit for what might happen, in case it did). Regardless, the conversation ended undecided with Caleb showing signs of backing away from the plan.
By the morning, Caleb's mind seemed made up. From everything we saw, his decision seemed less about deciding he trusted Frankie and more about deciding it would be simpler/easier/safer to just stick with the plan. That's my impression anyway. I think he's probably still worried that Frankie will target him if he can, but would rather not rock the boat.
Personally, I don't think Caleb's very safe regardless of whether or not Frankie is the first eviction Thursday night. There've only been two major endurance-ish competitions this summer, and he's won both of of them. No one is going to keep him around for the next one if they can help it. Competition wins are too important now and there are too few people in the house for him to fade into the crowd after this week. If anything, Frankie might keep him around to use him as a weapon against Cody and Derrick. That would be Caleb's best chance to move forward without having to win all of the Vetoes.
Here's where Caleb might have gone seriously wrong today. Not only did he not put Frankie up when Christine took herself off the block. But he also pulled Frankie aside before the the Veto ceremony and told him some of the things he was thinking. He was kind of vague at first, but at one point he actually told Frankie he had a scenario in mind that involved Frankie winning HoH, and then nominating him and Cody against each other. Why he thought it was a good idea to basically feed this idea to Frankie on a silver platter -- ok, Frankie may have been planning it already but still... -- I don't know.
He also made some vague references to the conversation he had with Cody and Derrick, which kind of throws them under the bus, as neither of them came to Frankie and said anything about these discussions. Again, why he thought it was a good idea to put that in Frankie's head, I don't know, other than to throw some shade their way and not make it seem like he was on his own in considering alternatives. Either way, if that was the case, he might have been better off outright lying and implying that they came to him with some ideas and got into his head
In fairness, Caleb did seem to try to steer away from outright admitting he was thinking about putting Frankie up. He kept phrasing it like he was thinking of different scenarios just hypothetically. But this was within an hour from when the Veto ceremony was going to take place and Frankie was already acting a bit on edge. He knew something was up, I'm sure of it. Maybe Caleb thinks he'll score points with Frankie by admitting "I could put you up this week but I'm not," which at one point he did pretty much say outright.
I'll be very interested to see if and how Frankie reacts to this, if at all, in the diary room. Does he know how close he came to being back-doored? If so, does this change whatever plans he has if he wins Head of Household? Or maybe Caleb was right to worry that Frankie might use his next Head of Household to send one of the guys out. Maybe it's all a moot point and Frankie will be the next to walk out the door on Thursday night. Just like the houseguests can only theorize, speculate and obsess, so can we.
It should be a warning sign to everyone that people have now added Christine to the default answer of "Who would you nominate if you won Head of Household." People keep saying Christine and Victoria will be the new targets. Why do they all believe one another? Everyone in this alliance has said "We'll send Victoria out next" all summer and they never do it. So what reason does anyone have to believe that Christine is really the next "big" target once Nicole is gone? They're running out of people. Either someone's going to make a big move, or this really is a season that'll come down to who wins the most competitions. Either way, this feels like a big missed-opportunity for Caleb. Time will tell if it proves to be his downfall in the game.
In the meantime, there's always a chance that someone will ally with Nicole and push to get Victoria out. But as of right now, I don't see that happening when they know there's a double eviction coming up soon. Not by the way these houseguests have been playing all season. In another season, people would be wise to why Derrick wants Victoria around, and they'd be looking for an ally that can protect their own individual interests. But that's not this season.
Nicole might be performing poorly in competitions, but she still has Victoria beat in overall wins. Houseguests would likely rather see her go and take their chances beating Victoria.