Now that we've gotten to know the houseguests of Big Brother a bit better, it's much easier to feel excited by the outcome of the Head of Household competitions. As fun as the first endurance competition was, it was hard to really feel all that invested in the winners. Tonight's turn of events offer a world of possibilities -- and maybe even some drama -- with the two now Heads of Household.
But before we get to that, let's talk about the eviction. And if you haven't figured out by now that we're about to get into spoilers, here's your last warning!
To no one's surprise, Joey was sent packing by a unanimous vote. Normally I find the whole "vote with the house" thing to be a little annoying, especially in the early parts of the competition when houseguests can get away with a hinky vote or two and then just deny it if they want. With so many people in the house, now's the time to really vote with your conscience and stick to your guns, even if you know it's a lost cause. But I can't fault any of the houseguests for giving Joey the boot. She played this game like a bull in a china shop, and not really in an entertaining way. Ok, I thought "Alex" was funny, but it wasn't very useful or effective as a strategy.
Last night's episode gave us a look at Joey's attempt to form an all-girls alliance. This was a prime example of how clunky her game-play was. With Paola on the block, Joey's best play to get an alliance going might have been to pull PaoPao aside and try to secure her support in exchange for her vote and then move on to another girl in the house. Start with one-on-one conversations to feel the situation out, get a couple of people to sign on -- even if "sign on" is only moderate/tentative interest -- and then drop those names when trying to get other people on board. That's how you get an alliance going. Then do the group meeting.
Instead -- and granted, we have only the edited chopped-up version of Joey's efforts to go on here -- Joey brought up her plan somewhat randomly in the bathroom, in a situation where no one had to even look directly at her if they didn't want to, let alone make eye contact with her. So it's no surprise that her sales pitch fell flat. And of course someone was going to tell other people in the house. In this case, that was Amber.
So yeah, the timing was bad, as it was too soon, but the execution was worse.
Granted, I haven't exactly been glued to the feeds just yet. That kind of guilty-pleasure addiction tends to come on slowly with each Big Brother season, but I did see Joey's "house announcement" prior to the Veto ceremony, during which time she invited all of the houseguests to make sure they talked to Caleb about their preference for the replacement nominee so that he'd have an accurate impression of why they wanted to be nominated. By that point Joey seemed to know that she was a target and she was trying to make sure if there was any chance people wanted someone else -- Devin -- to go up in her place, they should make it known. But it just made people uncomfortable.
The other problem with that approach, and the girls-alliance approach, and the way she openly admitted her alliance-attempt to Devin is that Joey was basically demonstrating that she's unpredictable and kind of a mess when it comes to strategy.
Beyond set allies, there are two different kinds of people you want to keep in the Big Brother house; 1) the "strong player" big targets that you can use as a human shield, and 2) the people who can be persuaded (or manipulated, whatever) for a vote, to use the Veto or to nominate who you want to nominate. Joey's not a strong player -- her social game was bad and there wasn't enough demonstration of her competition skills to score her any points there -- and she doesn't come across as particularly cooperative/manipulatable. PaoPao is friendly, fun and completely non-threatening. My guess is that she'll hop off the block and either fade into the background for a few weeks, or she'll be this season's pawn, constantly nominated but not evicted. Hard to say. But she was likely as easy for most to keep around this week as Joey was to evict.
Moving on to other matters, let's all take a moment to pause and cringe at Amber's non-interest in Caleb. This may be the season of the No-mance. I've heard some chatter about Nicole and Hayden hitting it off, but people seem tentative about starting anything up in the house, knowing how drastically showmances can affect the game. It's a smart move. Sure, you're young and pretty and you're locked in the house with other young and pretty people, but there's half a million dollars on the line, and once you team up with someone romantically, you give the rest of the house a reason to put you up on the block together and send one of you packing.
And then there was the Head of Household competition. The theme had something to do with frat boys and sorority girls carrying kegs across a balance beam. The balance beam gives me a flashback of that "Fat Stacks" coaches competition of Season 14 when Mike Boogie hopped off his balance beam, blurted out some clever phrase and hit his button smugly, only to be told he was disqualified for jumping off the beam before hitting the button. Classic.
The competition was split between guys and girls tonight -- hopefully they change up the HoH split each week -- and Amber won Part 1. It was looking like it was coming down to Hayden, Cody and Devin among the guys. Then Hayden fell, and it seemed like Cody won, but after they checked the tape, the producers discovered that Cody stepped off his beam. Disqualified! Devin wins the HoH for the guys.
This is going to get interesting! Devin has proven to be kind of an odd player, possibly a bit paranoid and also sort of take-charge but in a bossy sort of way. This hasn't gone unnoticed by his alliance members, and why should it? He invited two houseguests into their super-secret alliance without even asking anyone. Based on what I've seen on the live feeds from private conversations between certain Bomb Squad members, I get the sense that Devin would rank highly among the first Bomb Squad members to be cut loose if/when the time comes to start evicting their own. That time is likely not going to be within the next week, however, so I'll be very interested to see how he handles this HoH run, especially considering it's Week 2 of the Bomb Squad's HoH domination.
Ok, maybe it's too soon to call it a domination. With eight people in the alliance, seven of which were eligible to play for HoH, there was a good chance that at least one of the Bomb Squad members were going to win HoH. But things worked out that there are two! Will Amber and Devin work together and pick four houseguests to nominate with the goal of getting one of them out? Will Devin pursue his vendetta to evict Donny? Or will he stay loyal to the DD alliance and target someone else? Imagine if the second member of Team America was sent packing in Week 2? Hopefully not, but that's less about me caring about the twist as it is about liking Donny.
Finally, why did Julie tease the Ariana Grande reveal to Joey and not tell her so we could see her reaction? That would've been fun to watch.