Big Brother recap: The first part of the final HOH competition begins

·4 min read

These final episodes of the Big Brother season leading up to the finale are always a little tricky to recap. There's a ton of filler and a lot of recapping what happened during the season. Take Friday's episode for instance, which was essentially a clip show with highlights from the season plus a few inconsequential things we hadn't seen sprinkled in throughout the runtime. Then there's tonight, where the first 40 minutes of the episode get billed as "Xavier, Azah, and Derek F telling us how, in their own words, they got to the end of the game," which is just a fancy way of saying that the three of them are going to look directly into the camera and recap everything we already saw this season.

As lackluster as that is, I'll do my best here to recap the case each of them makes for why they deserve to win this game, and then we'll get to the first leg of the three-part HOH competition. We start with Xavier, who begins by talking about how important it was for him to hide his identity as a lawyer and throw some challenges earlier in the season so that everyone wouldn't view him as a threat. He also had a plan to make a lot of alliances, believing that it was the best way to get to the end of the game. He also believes that he held the Cookout together, acting as a mediator whenever there was tension within the group. Eventually, he was able to get the competition wins when he needed them, setting himself up perfectly for a win.

Then we're on to Azah. She believes she's not getting enough credit for her game. She says that she came into the house expecting to be really good at the competitions, but once she realized she wasn't much of a challenge threat, she worked to ingratiate herself with everyone in the house. She talks about building genuine friendships with everyone and how when the Cookout formed, she made sure to lay low so that the more overt personalities and threats like Xavier, Kyland, and Tiffany made themselves the easy targets within the alliance. She says she played the most honest, loyal game out of everyone, and while I think that's probably right, I always hesitate to fully buy into this narrative of the "superb, subtle social game" because sometimes it's just the result of someone sitting back and not making too many waves.

Big D is in a similar boat, having not won a competition all season. So, he had to rely on his charm and personality to get him through the game. He made sure that threats like Kyland and Xavier were tight with him so that he could get through the game with them, and he did his best to work alongside those he butted heads with, including fellow Cookout member Tiffany. It's difficult to say from what gets edited, but I feel like Big D did just a little bit more than Azah with his social game because he was more actively persuading people during their HOHs. But I'd still be hesitant to say that he played a game that could beat Xavier. I mean, the other players have certainly made a lot of jokes about Azah and Big D taking a lot of naps and coasting through this game.

All right, that brings us to the first part of the veto competition. The remaining three players hop on these weird, crayon-shaped boats that they have to hold on to as they float in all sorts of directions while getting hit with water and objects. Whoever holds on the longest immediately skips ahead to Part 3 of the HOH on finale night. Everyone seems to be doing well, and Big D is having the time of his life, but unfortunately, he's the first to drop. That leaves Azah and Xavier to battle it out for the first spot in the final leg of the HOH competition. Azah looks really solid for a long time, but then as she tries to adjust her position, her boat shifts, and she can't hang on. That means Xavier wins his fourth competition in a row and secures his place fighting for that final HOH. We'll find out how the rest plays out during the two-hour finale night on Wednesday!

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