I'm checking in on Thursday's (August 21) "Big Brother" after spending my afternoon and evening on the set of FOX's yet-to-shoot "Utopia," a new reality show that's exactly like "Big Brother" except for all of the ways it's completely different.
"Utopia" isn't a competition and while people are sent home, they aren't "eliminations," per se. Also, nobody wins.
Somebody will definitely win on "Big Brother." And somebody will definitely go home, or at least to the Jury House, with the catch being that according to Julie Chen, tonight's episode will also feature the return of a recently eliminated hamster.
So it sounds like tonight's "Big Brother" will actually be a zero-sum game?
Let's find out, after the break...
9:02 p.m. We pick up in the aftermath of Zach being put on the Block by Frankie and basically being told that he's doomed. "I'm down by a field goal. It might be a 62-yarder with the wind in my face, but anything's possible," Zach says. "He's a lunatic. He drives everyone crazy," Victoria says of Zach, who has curled up in bed in defeat, while Cody is vowing that he's not going down without a fight.
9:04 p.m. Donny is noticing new gray in his beard. Tell me about it, Donny! I've got new gray in my beard from this season of "Big Brother" and I don't have a shot at a half-million. Donny is the first person to promise he'll support Zach, which leads Zach to go to Caleb with the promise that he'll never vote against him ever. Frankie, formerly in love with Zach, is now giving cold, dead eyes to Zach, saying that he's no longer trustworthy because he forced the Skittles Ultimatum. I wonder how much money Skittles is getting for all of this. Sadly? Nothing.
9:09 p.m. Even though the hamsters all found their missing things and even though the hamsters are all convinced that Zach was responsible for stealing their sentimentally valuable items, the Neighborhood Watch is continuing, which is good for Team America and good for viewers who want to see Cody jumping around in his underwear claiming to be Batman. The Watch continues for 24 hours and Team America has its first successfully completed mission in a while. Huzzah!
9:11 p.m. Zach is sarcastically professing his love for Victoria. I'm not sure why this is happening. It turns out that Zach's trademark pink hat has actually always been Victoria's pink hat and when Zach looks away, she snags the hat and cuts it to bits. Remember how the hat was actually Victoria's? This is the very literal embodiment of cutting up one's hat to spite one's face. Is that not an expression? It should be. "I need a woman's hat," Zach laments, complaining about his hair and other stuff. Victoria calls this the most satisfying thing she's done all summer, which is both sad and true. "I'm nothing without my pink hat," Zach wins, which is both sad and true. At least Zach has Donny lobbying on his behalf, convincing Christine that if she votes Zach out, she's playing for fifth. Zach's trying one more time on Frankie. "I think it's better for your game if I'm here than Cody," Zach tells Frankie, who is vowing to only vote for himself.
9:21 p.m. We're live! The hamsters get to reexperience the Battle of the Block. They agree that they struggled because it was dark. "I was touching a lot of goo and eyeballs," Christine says of her own difficulties. The hamsters clap at Julie's announcement that the double Head of Household is over. Derrick is happy to hear that it's done.
9:25 p.m. Last statements: Cody tells everybody that he would love to make some additional memories. "I say I hate all you guys. That's not the case. I strongly dislike all of you and I hate one of you. You all suck," Zach says, asking us to follow him on Instagram and Twitter. Zach sounds sure that he's done, but will the voting back him up? Derrick votes to evict Zach. Christine also votes to evict Zach. Despite pledging his troth, Donny casts the vote that dooms Zach. Caleb and Victoria make it unanimous.
9:28 p.m. "By a vote of..." Julie says. Without hearing the rest, Zach stands up and casts Froot Loops upon his fellow hamsters. Froot Loops has to be getting nearly as much money as Skittles. "Did you expect anything less?" Zach tells Julie of his exit. Asked why the other hamsters turned on him, Zach is honest. "Because I couldn't keep my mouth shut," he says, clarifying that Victoria was the houseguest he hated. "I put all my trust in him. I put my game in his hands," Zach says of Frankie. But, again, he takes responsibility for failing the Zankie alliance. He clarifies that the Zach in the House wasn't the Zach in the outside world. I like this Zach. "He's the smartest, funniest person I've ever met in my life," Zach says of Frankie.
9:33 p.m. Messages from the Hamsters: Christine calls Zach a crybaby. Donny, however, says that Zach was the most entertaining person in the House. Frankie says he loves Zach and they'll always be Team Zankie. Victoria taunts Zach with his shredded hat. Zach has no regrets and says he doesn't know who he'd be gunning for if he goes back into the House, but Julie says he's about to get that chance.
9:38 p.m. So what was happening in the Jury House? Jocasta didn't want to say Hayden, so she's unhappy when Hayden shows up next. Nicole shows up next and they're sad to see her as well. Nicole gets to tell Jocasta and Hayden about The Ariana Grande Secret and they pretend to care. And love blooms again with Hayden and Nicole.
9:42 p.m. What is up with Nicole's baggy shorts? Voice of God Julie Chen summons the remaining hamsters and the four evictees are allowed to burst back into the House for hugs that are somewhat sweet and somewhat strange. Like why do they need to hug Zach and pretend that they're excited to see him again?
9:49 p.m. So which Juror will return to the game? It's a competition called Comeback Fight and it's basically a seven round game of shuffleboard aimed at a spinning turntable. Jocasta takes the lead after four rounds and begins muttering to herself, presumably in tongues. But after six rounds, it's Jocasta, Hayden and Zach tied. After the seventh round, it's a tie and the winner is Nicole. Yay! Unfortunately, I can't imagine what sort of traction she's going to be able to find upon her return.
9:53 p.m. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has come to "Big Brother," because Les Moonves challenged his wife to do the challenge live.
9:57 p.m. Julie challenges EVERY HOUSEGUEST WHO HAS EVER PLAYED THE GAME to do the Challenge. Is she allowed to do that? Out comes Will Arnett to douse Julie Chen, after admitting that soaking the boss' wife might not be a great idea. He does it anyway. "How's my hair?" Julie Chen asks.
Are you happy to have Nicole back?