Just because you win HOH doesn't mean Paulie's going to let you make the decision about it
Credit: CBS
Big Brother
S18 E19
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By definition, a pawn is a chess piece of the smallest size and value.

So I’m not sure why any other houseguest would suggest themselves to be on the block after 18 seasons of watching the show, but here we are, with an entire house of houseguests being asked to volunteer for the block. It all feels a little Hunger Games-y this week, am I right? Care packages sent via parachute through the sky. The desire for collateral damage in the form of Capitol children (Bridgette) after President Snow (Frank) has been dealt with. And volunteering for tribute status. May the odds be ever in the favor of whoever’s smart enough to not nominate themselves. Let’s recap.

We pick up with that crazy HOH competition where you get a whole bunch of practice sliding a ball down a twisted pathway for a score of 1 to 21, but after as much practice as you’d like, you throw one red ball, one time, and wherever it lands is your final score. Paulie gives up almost immediately, throws the competition and gets the first score of 6. Meanwhile, there’s players like Da’Vonne who feel absolutely desperate to win. And then there’s Natalie, who literally picked up a ball for the first time tonight.

After her elimination, Paulie lets Bridgette know he’s going to watch out for her (??) because that’s what he told Frank he would do (?!). Meanwhile, the competition continues, and Natalie manages to make the only shot that would beat Paul three times in a row. It was with the practice ball, though, so when she throws her final ball, she gets a 2 because life is hilarious for a Spy Girl. Nicole and Da’Vonne root against each other because Regina just can’t forgive Gretchen for talking about her nose job. But at the end of the day, it’s Paul with the Good Beard who pulls out the final win. And the bottom four are have-nots. The other, unimportant results are below:

Paulie: 6

Victor: 14

Paul: 21

Bridgette: 10

Natalie: 2

Corey: overthrows

Nicole: 19

Zakiyah: overthrows

Da’Vonne: 19

Michelle: 16

Following HOH, Paul is 100-percent into getting rid of Bridgette — which doesn’t seem like a strong play, but sure, yeah, go for it. Bridgette’s elimination feels a little bit like cutting the head off the snake and then kicking the snake’s body just because you’re still pissed at the snake. Elsewhere in the house, Nicole and Da’Vonne continue to have their awkward veteran standoff, but Da’Vonne needs to keep her eye on more than just Nicole. Paulie’s in another room telling people he’s going to work on getting Paul to nominate Da’Vonne and send her home. They pull Paul with the Good Beard, who justifiably argues that putting up Da’Vonne from the get-go could be a problem, so he wants to hold off.

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In Paul’s HOH room, we get to see Paul without a beard. Nicole lets us know that if he cut the beard, she’d consider starting a second showmance, which is no surprise, let’s be honest. There’s some nice moments, but we quickly move back into the game where Paul is asking for volunteers to go on the block. It’s actually nice to see people playing the game and saying no to being a pawn, but then from the back, from behind a pair of thick-rimmed glasses and a fog of puppy love, Nicole offers to be the pawn. It makes no damn sense, but then again, neither has her game.

NEXT: No take-backsies

Bridgette decides to go check in with Paul and Paulie (who seems to have taken up residence in essentially every HOH’s room). In a roundabout way, they tell Bridgette that if they have their way, at the end of the week someone will be nominated against her who could go home as well. Of course, they mean Da’Vonne, which was Paulie’s plan after all. That kind of makes sense, I guess, since Paulie is slowly making the transition into just being Paul. I mean, I get it — in my own way, I’ve always kind of been low-key into Paul. But the transition is a little bit strange, to say the least.

Paul brings all the houseguests into the living room to announce the care-package twist, which involves America sending care packages to houseguests. However, once a houseguest receives a care package, they may not receive another one. Natalie is super pumped because ~she loves presents!~ And Da’Vonne is excited because she needs safety. But low and behold, Natalie gets the first package containing socks, floss, and a Never-Not pass. She’s so excited, which is not a far venture from her usual attitude, but still. Good for Natalie. James is pumped, too, because apparently “a happy woman equals a happy man.”

You know who’s not a happy woman? Nicole. Do you know why? Because she volunteered to be a pawn. Wanna hear the even more hilarious part? She asks Corey to take her place… he agrees… and then Nicole legit says she can’t do that to him. WHAT GAME IS THIS WOMAN PLAYING, Y’ALL? And then, in an equally dumb move, Paul argues that maybe she’s not strong enough to be a pawn. Let’s go back and review the definition of a pawn… okay, good. In the midst of all that, Paul’s non-sexual boyfriend, Paulie, agrees to go on the block. Remember that thing I said earlier in the recap about these people playing smart? I was wrong.

After asking the entire house, Julie Chen, and some CBS production staff if they’d like to be on the block, Paul/Paulie finally settle on some nominations. The first key is turned and Bridgette’s face appears. She seems relatively unfazed because this is old hat to her. The next key reveals Paul’s lover, Paulie, who’s only on the block for veto purposes. Paulie’s okay with going on the block, because he wants to pull himself down and replace himself with Da’Vonne, who’s NOT following Paul’s logic. Then again, these fools have been gunning for Da’Vonne for a long time, whether Da’Vonne has put those pieces together or not. As of now, it seems like we might have a real contest on our hands: the likable veteran consistently pegged as too outspoken, or the host body of one of the most extraordinary mom haircuts in Big Brother history (okay, sorry, I bet she’s also super nice). Let me know your thoughts! And if it comes to Da and Bridgette, who do you want to go home?

Episode Recaps

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Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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