Last time on “Big Brother,” Team America successfully completed another challenge but probably did more harm than good to their individual game plans. This feels like a prime pivoting point in the season, one in which the type of female-centric alliance that Joey tried to form might actually coalesce after Sunday’s semi-ludicrous nominations. Anything’s possible, including someone like Victoria actually doing something meaningful this season. Like I said: anything’s possible!
Let’s get to the live blog for Wednesday (July 23) and find out what happens…
8:00 pm EST: Previously on “Big Brother”: players switched one explosion-themed secret alliance name for another. Also, we’re one day closer to Caleb straight up punching someone for looking at Amber, and one player closer to everyone in the house having a crush on Zac Efron. There. You are caught up.
8:01 pm: “Look as awkward as possible!” –The director of the opening credits to the cast, apparently.
8:02 pm: Cody hopes everything stays as is to avoid any more blood on his hands. There’s an alternate universe in which players literally get blood on their hands on “Big Brother”. Sadly, I’d probably watch that and pay for the live feeds.
8:03 pm: Brittany is still playing the “Cody hates me because I don’t flirt with him” game, which is not the SMARTEST strategy. Meanwhile, Victoria is feeling equally alone in the house. “I look stupid on TV!” she says. That’s not entirely true, since we’ve seen her for all of 45 seconds this season, and thus really hasn’t made an impression in any capacity, positive or negative.
8:05 pm: Cody/Amber Flirting Alert! Caleb’s Stalker Sense goes off, and he finds the pair in the HoH, which angers this “Stealth Mode Cowboy.”
8:06 pm: “Stealth Mode Cowboy” sounds like a character that will appear on season two of “True Detective.”
8:07 pm: Zach tries to calm down Caleb’s jealousy, but eventually just agrees with everything Stealth Mode Cowboy says rather than try to argue with his brand of crazy. As good as Devin was at playing himself out of the game with unforced errors, Caleb is no slouch himself.
8:08 pm: Later that night, Brittany and Caleb confer in the yard. Caleb is feeling left out. Brittany is feeling left out. Existential despair is running rampant! Cody promises that Brittany has his vote should she go up on the block against Victoria. While not totally sold on his loyalty, Brittany appears to be glad to have at least someone who actually confirms that she's not a ghost devoid of corporeal composition.
8:11 pm: Veto Competition Player Announcement Time! Cody selects Zach. Victoria selects Nicole. Brittany selects ”Houseguest Choice,” and with that option selects Caleb. Cody smells a secret alliance. Caleb is actually worried about the optics of that selection, and instantly tries to assuage Cody of his fears. Then he punches Cody in the kidney for talking to Amber. OK, I made that last part up.
8:16 pm: This week’s Veto Competition: BB Cup, a soccer-themed event. Remember soccer, everyone? The World Cup wasn’t THAT long ago. The contestants learn that Germany won the event, which is the first piece of information about the outside world they have received all season. Remember last season when no one in the house knew America thought they were all horrific racists? Good times. Good times.
8:18 pm: Each round, the players “kick” the ball into a net consisting of mesh pockets with various point scores. The lowest score each round leaves and grabs a prize. After each round, subsequent players that are eliminated get to select a prize and keep it or trade it with the existing prize, Yankee Swap-style. Someone gets paid a lot of money to think of these things.
8:20 pm: “Touchdown!” says Victoria after scoring a perfect 50 in her first round. Malapropisms! Fun for the whole family!
8:22 pm: Cody, the soccer player, is eliminated first, and claims the sixth place prize: The Power Of Veto. “I’ve completely lost control of how this game plays out,” he laments.
8:23 pm: Brittany fails to even land on the board in the next round, and is eliminated. She claims “Penalty Kick,” which is a 24-hour penalty in which the player has to kick him- or herself in the butt any time the alarm sounds in the house. She trades with Cody.
8:25 pm: Next out of the game: Zach, who selects “Germany Vacation” and elects to keep the prize rather than snatch the Power Of Veto. He promises the houseguests that he will take his girlfriend there after he leaves the house, then promptly tells the women of America in the confessional that a free trip to Hamburg is there for the taking. OK, that was mildly amusing, even though “Zach And Frankie In Frankfurt” would be the greatest travel program in the history of history.
8:26 pm: Nicole is eliminated next, and wins “Goal-Oriented”. That means the holder has to score 2,400 soccer goals in 24 hours. If the person fails, they cannot compete in the next Veto competition. Nicole trades that for the Power Of Veto.
8:28 pm: The final round: Caleb versus Victoria! Victoria completely misses the board with her shot, and Caleb gets a perfect 50. The second place trophy is $5,000, which she trades for The Power Of Veto. Caleb then selects his prize: The Germitard, a German-themes unitard, which he promptly trades for the money. “Caleb is the Dumbo of all Dumbos,” says Donny, who finally speaks in this episode. Caleb will have a $5,000 to spend when he’s potentially back at home this Friday.
8:32 pm: “He’s going on the block!” declares an angry Cody, who has said “blood on my hands” thirty-seven times in this episode thus far. Frankie tries to calm Cody down, noting that Caleb gives them a superior numbers advantage for the time being come elimination time.
8:33 pm: I can’t imagine what watching this “Goal-Oriented” challenge must have been like in real time on the feeds.
8:34 pm: The whistle blows, and Cody mosies over to a contraption that kicks him in the butt. Someone got paid to think this up, and I’m getting paid to tell you about it. This is how the economy works.
8:35 pm: Nicole looks cute in every ridiculous outfit this show throws her way, including the Germitard. It’s like a superpower or something.
8:36 pm: “This is easily the worst challenge I’ve ever faced in my life,” says the divorced mother of three about kicking soccer balls into a tiny goal.
8:37 pm: While Brittany kicks away, Donny tries to rally Hayden and Zach to backdoor Caleb, who Zach calls a “Lovestruck Fruit-Loop Dingus Fooligan.” That would be an excellent Tinder profile name.
8:39 pm: In the middle of the night, Brittany is back at it, with Donny offering moral support and aspirin. Meanwhile, Cody continually wakes up to kick his own butt, losing so much sleep in the process that he actually does the routine once without actually being prompted by the alarm. Somewhere in heaven, Pavlov is smiling.
8:41 pm: OK, I feel bad about mocking Brittany a little while ago, since "Goal-Oriented" is demanding on both psychological as well as physical levels. The other players seem to sympathetically respond to the tortuous assignment and rally around her the longer it goes, eventually celebrating when she completes the challenge. It’s one of the more generally NICE moments to air all season, and a nice tonic to the general backstabbing.
8:43 pm: Frankie and Derrick press Cody to put up Donny as a pawn, but Zach Attack has Cody’s back in backdooring Caleb. “Sit back, Cody,” pleads Derrick. “You have the numbers.” And in my head, he continues: “Also some blood on your hands. OUT, DAMN SPOT. OUT I SAY.”
8:45 pm: Cody invites Donny up to the HoH room to discuss strategy. “You don’t have to give in. You can play your own game,” says Donny. Donny invokes the “think about what your family would think” card, which is damn smart, as it makes Cody think about his brother and how he would frown upon not putting Caleb up. “Doesn’t really matter what anyone else says at this point. I’m not putting you on the block.” Each week, Donny gets better at this game. I wonder when the others will notice.
8:47 pm: Cody tells everyone else he’s putting Caleb up, even though he doesn’t expect them to vote him out. Frankie is incensed. “Brittany is out to get all of us!” he insists. “Caleb is here…to get a date with Amber.” Frankie wakes Derrick up to help with damage control. Derrick worries that Caleb leaving opens the door down the line for Brittany to pick them off one by one. All of a sudden, Brittany is a Machiavellian mastermind in the eyes of everyone, which the text of “Big Brother” does not support in the least.
8:52 pm: The latest America’s Vote: “Hide A Houseguest’s Personal Things And Convince Him Or Her To Publicly Blame Someone For Doing It” or “Play The Role Of Puppet Master And Get Two Houseguests To have An Argument At Either The Nomination Ceremony Or The Veto Meeting”. I’m going rogue with Option C: “Spread Rumors About Someone Having Chlamydia For Funsies”.
8:53 pm: Veto Ceremony Time! Victoria shows up to make her nomination. The fact that we haven’t seen her since winning The Power Of Veto is the most Victoria thing ever.
8:55 pm: Unsurprisingly, Victoria takes herself off the block. Cody selects...Donny for nomination. Apparently cooler heads have prevailed. Cody cries after making this decision, undoubtedly thinking about his brother. “I think there are people in his ear, and I need to get to the bottom of this,” says Donny.
8:56 pm: Yes, Donny is on the block, but his conversation with Cody was still smart gameplay, as Cody feels sick to his stomach about caving, which only gives Donny power down the line should he survive the elimination ceremony.
Did Cody make the right choice?