After three straight weeks of easy votes that actually led to some pretty entertaining television, this season of Big Brother is starting to get into messy territory. There are two main alliances in the house: The Cookout and the Royal Flush. That gives those players a fair amount of control, but it also means the pool for potential evictions is pretty thin. Any new HOH who's a part of those alliances (and some players are in both) only has so many people they can nominate for eviction, and when you consider there's both Wild Card and Veto competitions this season that will give players safety, that can make things tough for the HOH.
This week's HOH is Christian, and while he feels pretty confident in targeting Whitney, some of the house is unsure where his head is at. Even his own alliance members don't feel totally safe because the game is finally picking up with the easy targets now out of the house. Anything could happen. Still, Whitney is the main target, but Christian needs to figure out who's going on the block next to her. After talking with his teammates Alyssa, Xavier, and Sarah Beth about it, he thinks Hannah would be a good option. Alyssa and Sarah Beth, in particular, think that everyone is underestimating her and that she'd make a good backup target should Whitney win safety in either the Wild Card or Veto Competition. Of course, Xavier doesn't want Hannah on the block because she's in The Cookout, but for now, he just has to roll with it.
After a hilarious aside where everyone in the house lightheartedly roasts Whitney about her cleavage-showing combination of sports bra and hoodie that's literally just sleeves, a hood, and a neck hole, we get to this week's Wild Card competition. Claire has no choice but to play, and she's joined by Azah and potential block nominee Whitney. The game is one of patience, precision, and balance, as they must roll a ball down a zig-zagging balance beam shaped like a martini glass, and land the "olive" in the "toothpick" at the top. We've seen plenty of challenges like this in Big Brother and Survivor before, and we all know that this isn't about speed, but rather taking your time so that you don't have to keep starting over.
With all that said, Azah's strategy here is beyond entertaining and hilarious. Every other player watching back in the living room can't help but laugh at her. She decides to go "slow and steady," but it turns out that for her that just means staring at the ball really, really hard and barely moving the balance beam at all. She makes no progress at all throughout the challenge, paralyzed by her fear of losing. Whitney's strategy is more about speed, and she never gets very far. She's way too careless with the ball, and that means this competition is never really close.
It takes Claire a bit to get there, but she has the steadiest hand and most patience by far. Eventually, she wins the challenge, and she's offered the most impactful choice of the season. She can either take safety for her and her whole team (Kyland and Tiffany) this week, or she can keep herself safe all the way until the Jury. That's huge, and to me, it's a no-brainer. This is an individual game, and if you can guarantee your safety until the Jury, you've significantly increased your odds of winning. Claire is incredibly smart and loves numbers, so she knows this is an easy choice too. She takes her individual safety.
So that brings us back to Christian and his decision about who to put on the block. He once again talks to everyone in the house. Xavier is still making his case for Hannah to not be on the block, trying to slyly make his case for her without tipping off that he's working with her in The Cookout, while Sarah Beth is getting frustrated that nobody sees Hannah as not only a great block nominee, but also as the potential target. Her case makes a lot of sense. She basically says every other team in the house already wants Whitney gone, so why do the work for them? Why don't the Kings use this HOH to get someone else out, and leave Whitney as an easy target for someone else next week, taking some heat off the Kings?
It's a good pitch, and it may just work. Even after talking to Hannah and hearing her make some convincing points, Christian puts Whitney and Hannah on the block. It would seem that Whitney is still the main target, but this week definitely feels more unpredictable. With enough conversations happening I could see that focus shifting, but we'll have to wait and see how the veto plays out.