Last week's episode of Big Brother was my least favorite of the season. This week's was my absolute favorite. It just goes to show of drastically things can change from one week to the next in any given season of this unpredictable reality TV competition. Just as it was a combination of factors last week that disappointed me -- football and Nicole's eviction among them -- it was a combination of factors that made tonight's episode work so well, Zach Attack among them.
For those who just want the spoilers, Zach was evicted unanimously. Nicole won the juror "comeback" battle and re-entered the house. Julie Chen took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and challenged every previous houseguest to ever play Big Brother to do it. Will Arnett dumped the bucket over Julie's head. She took it like a champ.
We'll start with the filler, which included the tail-end of the Team America neighborhood watch challenge. For the record, for non-feed-watchers out there, though the editing made it seem like Frankie used the fact that Zach was being blamed for the Team America stuff as a reason to put him up, he was already planning on back-dooring Zach. That plan was in place since after the Veto was won. Zach getting blamed -- which he made worse by stealing the pool table cue ball -- only made it easier for Frankie to nominate Zach, but that was pretty much a done deal.
The other filler involved the hat situation, which played out kind of great in the end. Tired of the way he was treating her, Victoria reclaimed her pink hat and cut it up. I don't think that was out of bounds in terms of destruction of personal property because it was her hat. On the game side, Victoria has very little going on other than that she's being carried by Derrick. Stating that she's been waiting all summer for Zach to be on his way out the door is pretty much a demonstration of her game. This competition is happening around her. But on the personal side, she can be really entertaining and we finally got to see a little bit of that tonight when she held up the pieces of the hat to show Zach in her goodbye message to him. Points to Victoria for getting the last laugh there.
Despite Donnie's efforts to turn the majority of the voters in Zach's favor, no one was being swayed and in the end, everyone voted for Zach to go. Zach's exit began with his pre-vote speech, which revisited the "I don't like any of you" Dr. Will-esque farewell, and Zach was so sure he was a goner that he literally stood up before Julie had even announced his eviction and tossed what looked like cereal (Froot Loops!) into the faces of his fellow houseguests before exiting the house.
Zach was surprisingly gracious after that, accepting the blame for all of his missteps in the game when Julie questioned him about his behavior. And shaking off any ill will he might have felt toward Frankie for orchestrating his exit. I think Zach said it best when he said, "I won the day I got the key." I love the players who recognize what an awesome opportunity they had just to play the game. I'm sure it can be easy to lose sight of that after weeks of drama, competitions and strategizing. For Zach to say it right after he was sent out the door shows some character.
Zach had some serious highs and lows in the house, but he was one of the most entertaining houseguests in the series' history. His game wasn't the best, but if we were picking all stars, I'd love to see what he'd be like in a house with Evel Dick, Rachel Reilly and some of the other big personalities to play this game.
Moving on to the comeback, as we saw from the spoiler photo, it was a boxing theme and kind of a crapshoot, as the houseguests had to slide discs into a circle and try to knock each others' discs out of play. Before that, the houseguests came bounding into the house to a living room covered in cereal and a group of exaggerated smiles. Ok, I'm sure on a personal level the houseguests are happy to see each other, but from a game perspective, i'm thinking Donny's the only one who was really happy to see those players back in the house.
The competition began outside right away and for a little bit, it was looking like Jocasta might actually win the disc/puck slide. In fact, she was close to winning all the way to the end, and don't get me wrong, Jocasta is adorable. But she didn't prove to be a tough competitor when she was in the house, and if someone's coming back, I wanted it to be anyone who might be able to win competitions and actually do some damage -- or at the very least, have a chance of surviving the week. It came down to a very close tie in the end, and Nicole's disc was apparently closest to the center.
It would've been kind of great to see Zach come right back into the house, but I'm not sure he would've turned on his alliance the way someone needs to. Maybe he would have teamed with Donny and pushed to get out Frankie, Derrick or Christine, but on the other hand, maybe after his interview with Julie, he would've gone back into the house and made amends with Frankie and then in a week ended up booted again. At least with Nicole, we know she's gunning for the big players. The jury segment revealed that much. It also revealed an adorable on-camera kiss between Nicole and Hayden. Nicole's been kind of camera shy when it comes to PDA with Hayden, so that was adorable.
Ideally, Nicole will re-team with Donny and maybe try to rope Victoria in and take on some of the other houseguests. She's in an underdog situation, but less than she would be if Donny had been evicted tonight. I want to see this big alliance split up! With just one Head of Household this week, maybe that will actually happen. It'll all depend on who wins Head of Household.