A new power rises in the house

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August 29, 2016 at 02:23 AM EDT

James’ penchant for making deals caused a major power shift in the Big Brother house this week, one that doesn’t sound like it’s going to work out in his favor. Plus, Corey gets a power he has no clue how to use, and Victor rises from the dead…again. Let’s get into it.

We pick up in the middle of the HOH comp, which doubles as a Jury Buyback comp. Whichever of the five jury members can hold onto a tilting wall while being sprayed by water the longest gets to re-enter the game. Sadly, Da’Vonne and Zakiyah quickly realize this is not the comp for them and hold hands as they leap back into the jury house together. A determined Bridgette follows shortly afterwards, and then Paulie’s absurdly short shorts hit the water as well, meaning Victor is the first contestant in Big Brother history to have been evicted and then return to the game twice. But unfortunately for Vic, he can’t keep his impressive winning streak going and falls off before taking HOH.

This leaves us with Paul, Nicole, and James still competing. A little flashback to some drama that erupted before Victor’s eviction sheds some light on each player’s motivation to win HOH. In the kitchen, an irate Paul blew up at Meech, calling her a bully and even using the c-word (so much for America’s Favorite). The heated confrontation gets to James, who lets slip the piece of information that could be the dagger in his and Natalie’s coffin. James tells Paul that Natalie was begging him to vote out Corey and save Victor. Mind you, this is said while Corey is in the room and Nicole is within earshot. Lying in bed together afterwards, Nicole says she doesn’t trust Natalie anymore because of that, and Corey dopily nods along like the loyal puppy he is.

Back to the HOH comp, which is now down to just James and Nicole. James reminds Nicole he has previously participated in three similar endurance-wall comps and won all of them, and it seems pretty obvious he’s going to make that four tonight. This leads Nicole to make a deal, promising that if James drops out she’ll keep him and Natalie off the block. And, surprisingly, it actually works! Much to literally everybody’s shock, James voluntarily gives Nicole HOH after she tells him “I’m a woman of my word.” Mind you, this is also the woman whom multiple players have been referring to as a snake all season…

NEXT: Will Nicole actually keep her word?

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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