The following article contains major Big Brother live feed spoilers, including who won Head of Household, who won the care package, who's nominated, and who won the Veto. If you're trying not to get ahead of the episodes, read no further!
Power positions this week include "Co-HoH," the prize for America's care package. The winner of that has the right to nominate one of the two nominees, stay in the Head of Household room, and choose a replacement if their nominee comes down during the Veto ceremony. With that in mind, here's who's running things this week, and who's in danger...
Won the Head of Household Competition:
Victor (by Natalie)
Paul (by Michelle)
Won the Veto:
Not yet, but obviously Paul will take himself down during the ceremony on Monday, and Michelle will have to choose a replacement.
Natalie was planning on putting up Paul and Victor, with the goal of getting Paul out. I think she sees him as the bigger threat, despite Victor winning so many competitions. James is also closer to Nicole and Corey, which likely made it easier for that duo to float back toward Natalie's favor rather than being the automatic targets after Paulie left.
Nominations had NOT been done when Michelle got her America's Care Package prize, so the plan could have changed. However, Michelle was agreeable to targeting Paul and Victor, despite being somewhat close to Victor, and despite preferring Nicole to be the target. They did their nominations and things semi-blew up after, with Paul and Nicole having some arguments, wherein Paul blamed Nicole for making up lies about him in order to get him and Victor nominated. One of the arguments took place in the middle of Corey's patriotard retirement striptease. Corey tried to get their attention away from their heated conversation and on to him, but Paul and Nicole just kept arguing, making the whole thing hilariously awkward. Hopefully it makes the show.
Meanwhile, Natalie and Michelle played innocent with Paul and Victor, essentially blaming their nominations on stuff they heard. Whether or not Paul and Victor really believe that is moot. Even if one of them win the Veto, they need James' vote to secure the other one's safety. So they buddied up with Michelle and Natalie after nominations and have remained in close contact with them since.
That brings us to the Veto. Paul won that on Saturday, ensuring he's safe from eviction this week. And since he was Michelle's nomination, she has to choose a replacement.
Michelle wants to target Nicole. We know she outright called Nicole a snake during the live show a couple weeks ago, and it seems she still believes that. Though, I get the sense this is as much a situation of not trusting Nicole as it is a situation of Michelle being afraid if she doesn't get Nicole out this week, Nicole will target her next week. It feels a bit personal to be honest, but that's Michelle's game.
Paul wants Corey to be the target. He's concerned Corey will get the last care package, and they're all concerned that the final prize will be something big. Little do they know, it's just some cash to use to bribe other houseguests. I doubt Corey would win it (he's currently in the bottom 3 in Joker's poll, and the lowest ranked houseguest still in the house), but even if he does, I would be shocked if that prize actually makes any substantial difference in the game.
None of them are talking about a houseguest coming back. At least, I haven't heard the conversation come up recently, which is weird, considering the "round trip" ticket never happened. You'd think they'd be wondering what the alternative to that is going to be, and speculating on who would come back. That should be the primary reason to target Corey. Getting him out ensures that there's no scenario in which Corey and Paulie are in the house together. If Corey goes Thursday, maybe he comes back, or maybe Paulie comes back. But they can't both come back, so that ensures that duo remains separated.
On the other hand, Victor is a competition beast, and now that we're closing in on the end of this season, the Veto will become more and more powerful. They might not get another chance to get him out. This has actually been discussed quite a bit between James and Natalie.
And that brings us to the last, very relevant piece of this puzzle. James' loyalty.
James has always leaned toward Nicole and Corey. So much so, that I would believe it if there were some super-secret (meaning pre-season) alliance established between James and Nicole. From things he's said, it sounds like there may be something to that. I don't think James would vote out Nicole. And I think he's very hesitant to vote out Corey. There are only three votes this week (Michelle can't vote). When Paul uses the Veto on himself, he becomes a vote. It's mostly safe to assume James won't be the replacement nominee, so he gets a vote. And then the third vote is either Nicole or Corey (whoever's not the replacement nominee). Paul will vote for whoever's next to Victor on the block. Nicole or Corey would vote to evict Victor. That just leaves James. He will decide who goes. In a conversation with Paul and Michelle last night, he acted like he was completely fine to vote out Nicole or Corey, no big deal. But in conversations with Natalie, they're exploring all options, and strongly considering getting Victor out.
My guess is that if Michelle decides to put Nicole up, the likelihood that James votes out Victor is much higher than if she puts Corey up. Getting Corey out has some benefits for James. Getting Nicole out really doesn't.
So far, Michelle seems willing to go along with the plan to nominate Corey. If that happens, James will have to decide which direction he and Natalie are headed in this game. There won't be any turning back, and whether they realize it or not, someone is coming back into the house. That person could be whoever's evicted on Thursday.
So there's a bit of uncertainty this week.
Meanwhile, I wish Big Brother would cancel the buy-back and just do a rewind or something next week. Instead of bringing someone back, do what they did in Season 16 and have a whole week play out, then cancel the eviction at the last minute and start the whole week over. It's not going to happen, but I'm just not looking forward to seeing one of the jury members come back at this point in the game.