'Big Brother 20' recap: The 'surprise' eviction episode ends in a shocker
When we open tonight’s episode, it’s not to the usual boisterous “Previously on Big Brother!” Instead, we get Julie Chen (now now-officially Julie Chen Moonves) calling the final five houseguests to the living room couch, but specifically not the nomination chairs. As the surprised houseguests take their seats, Chen announces that eviction night has come early and that the final five will become the final four before the night’s over. “One should always expect the unexpected,” she declares as we head into a special “surprise eviction episode.”
After the nomination ceremony, Sam tries to rationalize her fourth nomination of the season to the diary room. “These people don’t want to hurt me,” she says. “They just want the money.” Even with this line of thinking, she says she wants to win the “motherf—— veto.” JC also sees this veto as a do or die moment and feels that Tyler was behind Angela’s decision to nominate him. Speaking of Tyler, he’s truly the center of the BB20 universe given his ties with all four remaining houseguests. He tells the diary room that Sam and JC being on the block sucks, but he feels his key to winning is going to the final three with Angela and Kaycee, and proving to the jury that he can stand his own against two other power players.
JC is by his lonesome in the living room with a plushy Orwell the Owl (and Level Six watching from the HoH room) as his audience. “I now understand all your problems,” he tells the owl. The HoH room bursts into laughter watching JC’s antics, but they eventually feel a little emotion called guilt for the first time this season. Kaycee tells the diary room it’s not easy seeing Sam and JC on the block, but tough moves have to be made to ensure Level Six makes the final three. JC later tells Tyler that he feels all alone in the house. Even though the two have an alliance, JC feels Tyler is making Angela his priority. “I need to remind you I’m your friend, not your pawn,” JC says. He then tries to make Tyler believe that Angela would put him up as the replacement nominee if the veto is used. “If you win the veto and you pull me off, [Angela] has to put Kaycee,” JC’s pitch continues. Tyler tells the diary room he’s frustrated by JC’s continued efforts to get his allies out, and that if push comes to shove, the time is coming to send him home.
As Level Six and JC are having a whipped cream food fight in the kitchen, Sam is in the have-not room stitching up what seems to be some sort of project involving a cat made of feathers. Maybe that gives her the peace of mind she needs before she enters the veto competition. “Your Maze Are Numbered” sees the houseguests make their way through a maze known as the BB Labyrinth. The goal of the game is to “break the curse” by buzzing stations at three corners of the maze. Once this curse is lifted, they’ll have to pull the sword from the stone to fully complete the competition; the person who does this in the fastest time wins the veto. With Tyler and Kaycee the only two options for replacement nominees if the veto is used, both see this veto as much of a must-win for themselves as it is for Sam and JC. Kaycee, the Meryl Streep of vetos, again makes quick work of the competition and wins her fourth straight veto. The veto meeting comes soon after and, as expected/usual, Kaycee chooses not to use the veto, saying that she’s making the best move for herself by not making any shake-ups with only five houseguests left. In the diary room, the reality of the coming eviction is starting to mess with Tyler’s head. “Dammit, I hate this game sometimes, man,” he says in frustration. “I gotta do what I gotta do to win, but that means I have to backstab some of the best people.”
We then go to the decidedly not-live vote and eviction. Sam gives an impromptu speech, pleading for safety while also asking the houseguests to “feed the fish” if she’s evicted. JC makes a fairly odd speech during which he seems to laugh off his past sexually inappropriate behavior by joking that he and Tyler can’t kiss because “production won’t allow.” Blech. In a somewhat surprising outcome, Sam is evicted (in her sweatpants, no less) by a 2-0 vote. Sam tells Julie she’s surprised she went home because Tyler always promised to have her back and JC is “kind of annoying,” but ultimately says her eviction doesn’t change how she feels about them or the rest of the house. Tight on time, Julie asks her what she’s learned about herself this season. “That would take much longer than a few seconds,” Sam says before ultimately saying the house has made her a better person for being in it.
The HoH competition “What the Bleep?” sees the houseguests watch a series of clips from throughout the season with a word or phrase bleeped out. Chen then gives them a word that may or may not have been bleeped, and the guests will guess true or false. The person with the most correct answers not only becomes the new HoH but is also guaranteed a spot in the final three. Now comes the moment of Big Brother where one has to eat crow, and a lot of it. For months, I’ve always made a habit of mentioning how JC has won zero competitions this season. No vetos, no HoHs, not even the Hacker competition. Now we must change that tally to one. Yep, JC is our new HoH. To quote Anne Hathaway’s Oscar acceptance speech, “It came true.” The chances of a Level Six final three is gone, gone, gone. As JC shrieks and does snow angels on the competition floor, Level Six all seem to be internally screaming.
Short of JC spontaneously combusting with joy, tomorrow will officially see one of the season’s three most dominant players walk out the Big Brother house. No one could have guessed this happening when the episode began, but that’s where we are. It is sure to be the moment of the season, and I cannot wait. See you then!