This article contains spoilers from the Big Brother live feeds. That includes who won Head of Household, who they nominated, who won the Veto, and who's the likely target? If you're trying not to get ahead of the episodes, read no further!
Head of Household - Corey
Nominated - Paul and Victor
Won the Veto - Nicole
Veto used? Not yet.
Likely target? Victor
As fun as that slippery lane competition is to watch, you can usually get a good idea of who's going to win it by the time the live episode ends. Corey got a pretty good lead once things got started, and he maintained it for the rest of the competition, winning Head of Household almost too easily.
Corey and Nicole talked about nominations that night. If they were honoring their Final Four alliance, the natural route would be to nominate James and either Victor or Paul. Of course, Corey and Nicole were having none of that. It wasn't just that they wanted to protect James. That was part of it. The other problem was that if they didn't put Paul and Victor up next to one another, the one off the block could win Veto and take the one on the block off, leaving Corey no other option but to nominate Nicole next to James. Not an option.
Paul kept going to Corey and asking him which of the two of them he'd be putting up next to James. Corey kept deflecting the question, claiming he didn't know. While Paul was acting like he assumed Corey would be loyal to their alliance, it seemed pretty obvious the was uncertain. So I don't think he or Victor were entirely surprised to be nominated together. And despite Corey and Nicole's anxiety that the two guys would blow up, the Sitting Ducks played it cool in the wake of their nomination, seeing no reason to make a fuss. Whether or not they really feel that way remains to be seen in the Diary Room.
The Veto competition was the comic book one. A relatively recent regular comp, that gives Big Brother the chance to illustrate all of the houseguests in whatever light they've painted themselves in throughout the season. From what I read over on Jokers, it sounds like Nicole was a part of Corey's illustration, and he wasn't so happy with that. James mentioned that Big Brother sends them their comic pictures after the show, so maybe Corey's thinking about the longterm value of his illustration. That's just speculation, but I wouldn't want my showmance in my Big Brother comic... unless I thought I was going to marry them, and I'm not getting that vibe off Nicorey.
For the record, they also seem to be aware that Paul would not be a good option to take to the Final 2. They just see Victor as being the necessary evictee this week.
Guys, there's a very good possibility that we're looking at a Nicole/Corey/James Final 3, which is probably the dullest Final 3 option in a very long time. None of them have been very fun to watch. Nicole came out of Season 16 as the adorable underdog. She came into Season 18 still adorable, but maybe too concerned about not repeating past mistakes, which resulted in her keeping her head down, and spending what felt like the whole summer lounging around in bed with Corey. She made good game decisions, and managed to avoid too much fallout for her sneakier moves, so we can't argue that she didn't play well. But she hasn't been fun to watch at all. Still, of this potential Final 3, Nicole would be my pick to win. But I really hope it doesn't come down to Nicole/James/Corey. Paul needs to be in that mix for there to be any real suspense during the finale.
As for Corey, he's fine. Decent at competitions and vaguely aware of the game enough to deserve his status within the house at this point. And looking at this week's power positions, there's no doubt that Nicorey is running this game. They're in the best position for at least one of them to get to the end. I'm just feeling very blah about them. There was virtually no entertainment value in their game.
And James, I'm convinced, only knows how to play this game by actively trying to win America's Favorite Player, and buddying up with a pretty girl. It got him $25k last season, and it could very well work out that way for him again, assuming he doesn't make the Final 2. But like last season, James always seemed to be a step behind the rest of the house in terms of game. And I'm not convinced he'd still be in the house if Nicole weren't looking out for him.
Assuming Victor goes this week, Paul still has a shot, and shouldn't be counted out. Especially if James realizes it would make no sense for him to stick with Nicorey, and he manages to be in the position to do something about it. Of these final few houseguests, Paul has impressed me the most. He came into this game having very little knowledge of how to play, and he adapted from week to week, sometimes drastically, managing to go from being an early-evict target to one of the safer people in the house thanks to his social game. Beyond that, he's been fun to watch. He's fun to listen to on the feeds. He's interesting, social and funny, and he somehow hasn't lost his energy this summer, which is no easy feat. He's exactly the kind of newbie Big Brother will always need in order to stay fresh.
So assuming the Veto isn't used (it probably won't), and assuming Nicole and James stay on the same page, it's likely that Victor will be evicted this week. We'll see that play out on Tuesday's show, after which Paul, Corey, Nicole and James will battle it out for Head of Household and the most crucial Veto of the season.