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Big Brother aired a special Friday episode in order to give one Big Brother evictee a chance to return to the house for another shot at the game. The twist in this season's Battle Back is that there was no guarantee that a player would make it back into the house. The winner of the Battle Back had to face off against an active houseguest (someone not evicted). If that player won the showdown, the evictee would not return to the game.
Did one of the evictees return to the house? (Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen the episode yet!)
Cody won the Battle Back and has returned to the game!
Here's how it all played out...
In case your memory's rusty, the Season 18 Battle Back competition worked tournament style, with the first evicted houseguest facing off against the second. The winner of that advanced and faced off with the next evicted houseguest and so on. The most recently evicted houseguest faced off against the winner of the previous competitions, and whoever won went back into the house. In Season 19's Battle Back, Jillian, Cameron, Dominique and Cody all faced off in a tricky maze competition, with the two winners advancing in a showdown.
Cody and Cameron won Part 1, eliminating Dominique and Jillian from having any chance of returning. The two men faced off firing balls at a billboard and trying to knock down panels. Cameron took an early lead, but once Cody figured out how to launch the balls more accurately, he quickly caught up and eventually overtook Cody, advancing to the next round, which would have him facing off against a current houseguest.
At this point, Julie informed the Houseguests that someone might be coming back into the game. Despite all of this talk about the houseguests having no idea, they've been speculating that this might be a possible consequence of the recent temptation. So it wasn't entirely a surprise. What did make this "twist" interesting, however, was putting it to the house to decide who should face off against the potential returner, which meant identifying the strongest competitor. Everyone, including Jessica, voted for Paul. Maybe if she'd known Cody was the potential returner, she would've picked a weaker player. But given that the house was all on the same page about it being Paul, it wouldn't be surprising if there was some quiet agreement made amongst the house ahead of the voting. If that's the case, Jessica made the right move in siding with the house.
Cody had an advantage in this final showdown (a.k.a. The Battle of the Alphas), given that he'd already completed a previous version of the maze race, and beat everyone by a decent margin. Cody took a strong lead from the beginning, while Paul figured out how to work the maze. Cody managed to hold his lead and win a second chance to play Big Brother.
So, what does this mean? Jessica's obviously elated. And despite what Cody said to Jeff about wanting to team up with Paul if he gets chance to play again, he already told the diary room he's gunning for Paul. Whether or not that actually plays out remains to be seen. As Jessica pointed out to him, he has a lot of catching up to do. About a week's worth of gameplay, in fact, not to mention a temptation. It seems highly likely that Jessica will tell him about her Halting Hex, and the fact that she was on the block all week, but not the main target. Who knows which way Cody will lean once he learns all of this.
There's also the matter of the Head of Household competition, which didn't play out in tonight's episode. The live feeds should reveal that information soon. And speaking of which, as much as I liked this Battle Back twist, I can't say I wouldn't have been #pissed to have gone more than a day with no live feeds only to find out none of the houseguests had returned. Tonight's outcome was the best we could've hoped for. Cody may have made some bad moves (understatement), but he's one of the more interesting players this season. I can't wait to see what he does next.