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SPOILERS ahead from the 2019 Big Brother 21 live feeds.
Does Cliff Hogg III still have many #Cliffomaniacs rooting for him on Big Brother 21? Even if Cliff didn't win Big Brother's 2019 season, he at least looked like a frontrunner (along with Nicole Anthony) be America's Favorite Houseguest, commonly called AFP. But his support for Jackson Michie this week is hurting him in fan polls and may lose him any shot. Unless he changes his mind and turns on Jackson? (UPDATE: The Veto comp results are in, and it's too late to turn on Jackson.)
Going into Final 4, betting aggregators US-Bookies gave Cliff the best odds to win AFP. Here's their list of odds, which was posted right before Tommy Bracco was evicted at Final 5:
Odds to win America's Favorite Houseguest:
Cliff Hogg: 6/4
Kathryn Dunn: 9/2
Nicole Anthony: 15/2
Sam Smith: 9/1
Tommy Bracco: 13/1
Jackson Michie 15/1
David Alexander 25/1
Ovi Kabir 34/1
Christie Murphy: 50/1
Holly Allen: 50/1
Jack Matthews: 50/1
Nick Maccarone: 50/1
Analyse Talavera: 100/1
Isabella Wang: 100/1
Jessica Milagros: 100/1
Kemi Fakunle: 100/1
I can't believe Kemi Fakunle is at the bottom sharing 100/1 odds with Sis Talavera, Jess Milagros, and Bella Wang. Come on. And how did Jack Matthews, of all people, get higher odds for AFP? From casuals who think he was mistreated in his eviction interview with Julie Chen? It's true that BB Twitter is very different from the casual Big Brother TV fandom. Cliff definitely plays to the larger TV-only fan base. He's kind of a Donny Thompson type, and he's gotten a lot of play on TV. Many fans love Nicole, and she has also gotten a lot of sympathetic + strategic TV time. However, as frustrating as it is, a woman has not won AFP since Rachel's sister Elissa Slater in Big Brother 15.
I'm not sure why Kat Dunn would get higher AFP odds than Nicole, especially after Nicole has finally started winning comps. If any woman finally gets to win AFP again -- after recent wins from Tyler, Cody, Victor, James, and Donny -- it would be Nicole. She was pushing to break up the Jackson/Holly showmance last week, but ended up folding under pressure from both Cliff and Jackson, who made up a lie about Tommy that helped push Nicole to keep Holly.
Still, Nicole seems far-and-away the most popular Big Brother player right now -- from her underdog status and sweet kindness to her cruel Zingbot diss and new comp wins. If Cliff and any loyal Cliffomaniacs and casuals don't push for him to win, I see Nicole getting it. Since Tommy Bracco's eviction is fresh in fans' minds, and it's based off a Jackson lie, I could also see Tommy as a top 3 AFP contender.
Cliff's seemingly slavish devotion to Jackson has extended to making some kind of endgame deal with him. Maybe Cliff thinks if Jackson, Cliff, and Nicole get to Final 3 that Jackson would actually take Cliff to Final 2? I doubt it. Jackson already told Holly if he wins the Veto, he's sending Cliff home. I was glad to see later on Friday that Cliff clarified to both Nicole and Jackson that he would take Nicole to Final 2, not Jackson. It confused Jackson a bit, since Cliff had made a Final 2 deal with him and said he'd take Jackson to the end.
I don't see this jury being bitter against Jackson when he didn't betray them. The only one he betrayed was Tommy, and Tommy respected the game move. You'd be crazy to take Jackson to F2.
Since Jackson won the luxury comp held on Friday, it got into Jackson's head that it might hurt his game with Cliff. We can hope so. If Cliff turns on Jackson, that could help boost Cliff's ranking with fans and help his AFP argument.
Cliff does have arguments to win, and arguments for being America's Favorite. He was one of the banished houseguests at the start of the season -- under Jackson, if you recall, which may be why Cliff would appreciate the synergy of a Jackson Final 2.
Cliff was briefly evicted but won his way back into the house the same night. He kept himself safe from there by making deals for himself and for his ally Nicole, and for winning key comps like the double eviction Veto that helped take out Christie. He's also an underdog for being the oldest houseguest in BB21. He's kept a solid social game, like Nicole, without being "protected" the way Nicole has -- by guys like Cliff himself, and Nick, and Jackson who insist on seeing Nicole as someone who needs protection instead of an equal player in the game.
To some gamers, like Big Brother 8 winner Evel Dick, Cliff is an automatic out to win the 2019 season because he was evicted. I'm not a Cliff fan anymore, but I think he navigated that twist in the game pretty well, considering he didn't miss any gameplay at all. But if you are hard on the line of Eviction Means You're Out, Cliff would be out as a potential BB21 winner:
Even if Cliff gets evicted, he could still win AFP, depending on his Big Brother TV edit and how fans feel about his moves from here. Supporting Jackson is definitely hurting him, but so far Nicole has voted right there with him. She has no say in what happens at Final 4 as HOH, since she has no vote. It's a strangely powerless position. However, Cliff did tell her that he would vote how she wanted if she won the Veto.
Who do you plan to vote for as America's Favorite Houseguest, giving them $25,000? Vote in our poll below.
Big Brother 2019 airs Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays on CBS.