Big Brother 20 recap: Julie Chen's shocking sign-off, plus double evictions
The double eviction episodes of Big Brother are always jam-packed with drama, and this episode was no exception. But before we get to the action, it’s worth starting at the end and addressing the elephant in the room: Julie Chen’s surprising sign-off. Outside of an early statement of support, the host has stayed mostly quiet in the wake of multiple sexual assault allegations against her husband Les Moonves, which triggered his firing as chairman from CBS. For the first time since his ousting, Chen seemed to make a show of support for her husband, concluding the episode by saying, “From outside the Big Brother house with Brett, I am Julie Chen Moonves. Good night.” It was the first time in the history of the show that Chen has used the Moonves surname while signing off.
With that out of the way, let’s jump into the proceedings. In the aftermath of the veto meeting, Level Six meets in the Head of House room with the certainty that this week is the double eviction they’ve all feared. When Angela offers herself up as a pawn if she doesn’t win HoH, Brett senses his and JC’s plan to get her or Kaycee out falling into place. Brett meets with Tyler shortly after to see how he thinks the double eviction will pan out. Sensing the jury will likely be a bitter one, Brett wonders aloud if sending Angela home will win them goodwill with the jury as she’s responsible for so many’s exits. Tyler plays along with the game talk but tells the diary room that Brett’s at the bottom of the Level Six totem pole in his eyes because he doesn’t believe he can win against him. Tyler fills Kaycee in on Brett’s plans to get her out, and the two immediately decide that Brett should be up on the block if either wins HoH. “I’m down because he vocalized that,” Kaycee says. “He put it out there that he would go against the alliance.” Tyler further explains his reasoning for turning against Brett by telling the diary room that his worst-case scenario is the jury being so impressed by his longevity that they vote for him to win.
With that, we jump to Chen officially announcing to the house that tonight will indeed be a double eviction, confirming all the talk everyone’s had in the last segment. We move quickly to our first eviction of the night. While Haleigh makes another impassioned and grateful speech, Sam is ill at ease as this is her first time on the block. It’s no surprise to anyone when Haleigh is indeed the first to go home tonight by a unanimous 4-0 vote. Asked by Julie when she first felt the target on her back, Haleigh cites outing herself as the first hacker when the house was suspecting Bayleigh. “My conscience would not allow me to not do it,” Haleigh says. “I couldn’t sit here and listen to [Bayleigh] suffer and listen to her, truly, just feel conflicted and sad and miserable and it was my fault.” When the topic turns to her showmance with Faysal, Haleigh calls him a good guy and says she’s looking forward to seeing him in the jury.
In an interesting turn, the houseguests spend Haleigh’s goodbye messages throwing each other under the bus. While Kaycee and Angela are apologetic and firmly put her exit at the ends of Brett, he manages to use his message to throw blame at his fellow Level Six-ers and promises that they’ll “party at that Texas A&M/Alabama game.” Haleigh snappily responds with “uninvited” to the cheers and the laughs of the audience as she heads onto the jury house. With all the stresses and emotions the house can bring, it’s nice to see Haleigh exit with her charm and good humor intact.
In quick order, we move to a package of the houseguests from earlier in the week watching various clips of competition gaffes and falls from the living room monitor. This is all to set up the HoH competition, “Buffering.” The houseguests will have to rewatch those clips they saw earlier, except the clips will “buffer” at a certain point and they’ll have to answer what happened after the clip stopped. The person with the most correct answers will be the new HoH. Tyler builds a lead early on and soon wins the competition with six correct answers, making him HoH. He and Brett have a bro-y celebration in the have-not room before Brett tells him to “stick with the plan,” or at least that’s what I can decipher between all the cuts to fish throughout. After the commercial, we get more deliberating, this time between Tyler and Sam. She’s frustrated, telling him a certain woman (we don’t find out who but we’re left to presume it’s Angela) isn’t here for the right reasons. Tyler begs her to trust him right before he’s called to the living room to make his nominations. Frazzled beyond belief, he immediately nominates Sam and JC for eviction. Fortunately, there’s a veto competition in a matter of minutes that could change all their fortunes.
The veto competition, “Block and Roll,” sees all the houseguests strategically place colored blocks on their respective game boards to make a perfect path for their ball to roll through their tube and pass the board to hit a “target” slot. The first person to hit their “target” wins the golden power of veto. Angela makes quick work of the competition, winning the veto on her first attempt with the boards. Angela and Tyler quickly celebrate in the have-not room and come to an agreement to take JC off the block. She soon fills Kaycee in on this, confidently mentioning that she’s one step ahead of the game. It sounds like they’ll be backdating Brett, but when he walks in, he’s told that nominations are staying the same.
When the veto meeting comes, Angela uses the veto on JC and calls it her “one step ahead” plan to the gasps of the audience. This is followed by Tyler nominating Brett as the replacement nominee, declaring the move being “two steps ahead.” As we leave for commercial, Brett gets up from his seat and seems to hover over the seated houseguests as if some drama is about to happen. Darned advertising! Before our second eviction of the evening, Sam apologizes to Angela for doubting her while Brett begs not to be sent to the jury house with Rockstar, whom he calls “Blockstar” for some nasty reason. Tough luck for him as he’s very quickly evicted by a vote of 3-0. The house is shocked and sullen in the aftermath, the realities of being the top five slowly sinking in.
Brett doesn’t have much of a good answer when Julie asks why he didn’t expose Level Six in his speech, telling her that he legitimately thought the plan was to get Sam out. He also calls himself loyal to the alliance despite the whole “wanting to get Kaycee and Angela on the block” thing we saw earlier. “I know I can beat JC and Sam,” Brett says with extra sliminess. “I don’t know if I end up final four [whether] I can beat Kaycee and Angela.” To quote one Mo’Nique, “When yo do clownery, the clown comes back to bite.”
With all that double eviction craziness behind us, we’re officially inching ever so closer to the finale in 13 days. Evictions on Wednesday and Thursday will cut our final five down to our final three, and with this much at stake, it’s anyone’s guess what ties will bind and which ones will be cut. See you Sunday!