Welcome to Battle Back (SHOWDOWN) Night. You’re asking, “Why did you place that gigantic all-caps SHOWDOWN in the middle of our typical Battle Back Night?” Oh, well, let me tell you. Though we’ve gotten used to the first four houseguests having a chance to return to the game, this year’s format is a bit different. The four start with a maze challenge, and the top two finishers advance to a final round. At that final round, only one competitor will win, but there’s no guarantee that he or she will return to the game. The current houseguests have a chance to stop this winning loser in a showdown. The house will choose a competitor to challenge that person and potentially send all four packing.
Rope Maze: Cameron, Jillian, Cody, Dominique
So, three houseguests run out, ready to tackle this first maze comp, and then Cody walks out with no emotion because we all have our roles in life. It seems at first that Cody has no finesse, but after a few screw-ups, it’s actually Jillian and Cameron who seem to have the hardest time using a gentle hand. Dominique essentially leaves her ball in the same place for extended periods of time while whispering, “Help me, Jesus.” But Jesus was clearly on vacation because it was Cameron who seemed to find his focus, landing his ball in the final slot and securing the second competitor slot.
Billboard Bashers: Cameron, Cody
The two competitors have to use a slingshot to launch balls at a billboard made of ten panels. The first to knock them all out wins. It’s pretty straightforward, guys. Cameron kicks it off with an early lead, and he is jazzed. Cody has no feelings about any of it, but he is pretty shocked to discover that shooting a gun and shooting a balloon launcher aren’t similar tasks. Go figure. Cameron expands his lead and, at one point, leads Cody 8 to 4 — but like a metaphor for Cody’s life, Cody figures out that if he softens his approach, it works a lot better. This revelation changes everything, and Cody catches up, takes the lead, and eventually wins. So Cameron extends his tenure from 12 hours to 14.
Maze Race, With a Twist!: Cody, Paul
Julie calls the houseguests into the living room, and they’re jazzed because everyone loves Julie Chen. She breaks the situation down, and some houseguests (Jessica) are more excited than others (pretty much anyone else). Paul says that it’s annoying when people who have left the house come back in, and you have to wonder if he understands the irony in that… Anyway, the house has to vote for someone without knowing who they’ll challenge, and they unanimously vote for Paul to challenge Cody, but Cody gets the pleasure of choosing the challenge. He chooses the maze race because Cody 2.0 is a thinking guy.
When Cody appears, Jessica looks like she might burst into tears. Paul takes off his fur and moves into position to take on Cody in this maze. Cody takes the lead, and in the strangest way, I find myself rooting for him; while Cody may be a troubling soul in a number of ways, I can’t help but feel that Cody’s presence in this game is absolutely necessary, if for no other reason than the fact that he may be the only way to get Paul out. Jessica grabs him, and Cody smiles. SMILES, Y’ALL. There’s a small chance he may have had a small face cramp, but I swear, it looked like a smile. Jessica whispers that he should let her catch him up before he says anything. So there you have it. Whether you love Cody, hate Cody, or have no feeling about Cody, he’s back, and the game just got interesting again.