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August 01, 2011 at 05:00 AM EDT

The casualties in this week’s HoH competition were surprisingly swift. In a really poor showing for the guys, Adam dropped after nine minutes (and was sentenced to wear an elf suit for the next week), Lawon dropped after 19, and Brendon full-on gave up at 35 minutes. Both of them were relegated to “Have Not” status. That left only Jeff for the guys, and he threw in the hat after 51 minute and change. He was rewarded for his utter lack of stick-to-it-iveness with $10,000. Jordan, last Sunday’s MVP for her whimsical sense of deduction, became the only vet left, and she fell six minutes later. Shouldn’t Jeff’s $10,000 be the vets’ combined consolation prize for being such lame-os? It doesn’t matter how strong you think your alliance is, if you can’t try, then you don’t belong in the house. More to the point, this isn’t exactly a game that really requires much more than being a sneaky jerk, so put out a little effort for that money, kids!

The remaining ladies battled snowstorms and steepening peaks for a rather uneventful end. The lowlight of the proceedings was Brendon’s inevitable need to snark (in an interview, no less) about Kalia succeeding at this challenge because she used her muffin top to hang on to the “ski poles.” Tough talk from someone who couldn’t make it 20 minutes before blatantly throwing in the towel. Go scrape your knees some more, coward. So it was down to the outsiders and Shelly. Was Shelly stupid to ally herself with the vets? They’ve proven nothing other than that they’re out for themselves. So, when Shelly falls after 86 minutes, what did she gain from her allegiance? Nothing so far. Long story short, Daniele won 10 minutes later without breaking a sweat.

Her win was soon followed by a truly idiotic confrontation between Kalia and Rachel. Yes, the confrontation that sprang out of Kalia’s attempt to mend fences. Rachel took this olive branch as a whipping switch, immediately assuming that Kalia was trying to assert her victory over her or rub her face in… who knows? As previously established Rachel = mega-sore loser. And delusional, apparently. Her first statement: “I haven’t done anything to any of them to deserve this.” Well, you did make them listen to your boring letter and look at your obnoxious sorority pictures last week. That’d be enough for me.

Speaking of which, didn’t you find Rachel’s assessment of the field trip to Daniele’s HoH room a little bit rich (especially after the blazing awkwardness of last week’s family gathering in her room)? Sure, people were less willing to suck up this week because Daniele is way lower on the totem pole, but that didn’t make the fakeness of Rachel’s moment in the sun any less bunk. At least Lawon got to get his robe on. Also? It seemed like Daniele took particular pleasure in forcing them to check out her room, even though she knew they didn’t care, whereas Rachel genuinely thought people gave a rat about her move.

And then there were the extras: Did Adam’s elf costume make you smile? Were the ears surprisingly well-proportioned to his big-and-tall body? Smell aside, wasn’t the seafood and sardine feast relatively tame? And be honest now: Who cheered when Rachel stumbled during her patio jog? And when Brendon finally covered up those nasty knee scabs?

As for the strategy to come, do you think Jorff will stay true to their word with Daniele? Are Brenchel seeing their house of cards fall down? If they somehow eke out a POV win, who’s next on the block?

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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