No one knows how to win like a loser

By Justin Kirkland
August 13, 2017 at 09:39 PM EDT
Big Brother
Credit: Johnny Vy/CBS
S19 E22

August feels long, doesn’t it? It’s just a monster month with the hottest temperatures. And it doesn’t help that out of the 17 people who started this season, 11 still remain. ELEVEN. It’s honestly absurd how many people are left, but it’s even more absurd how many people are willing to lose competitions for the benefit of essentially one person. It’s what I like to call the Kathy Hillis Strategy. If you remember, Kathy Hillis was one of the most lovable losers from Big Brother 12. An absolute pro at losing competitions, Kathy made a Big Brother career out of being bad. But this season, being Kathy has become an actual strategy: lose, and you just might win.

Paul has been calling all of the shots since about week one, and all of his pawns are people who are willing to lose competitions for him. With Alex (another ally) in the HOH seat, it’s hard to imagine that could change. But this is the point in the season where tides have generally started to turn. And in a hopeful world…an exciting world…August might just stop being so lazy. Cody is alone in the game, and Mark is the first to comment that Jessica wasn’t that far off. He realizes that Paul is running the game. He’s just not sure how to point that out.

Christmas and Josh chat about what comes next now that the most important target (??), Jessica, is gone. They decide the next hit should still be Cody (which makes no sense because he’s a sitting duck, right?), and that Matt and Elena should go up on the block so they can backdoor him. Even Robot Cody points out the obvious: Cody has no strings in the game. No power. Going after him, especially in Alex’s case, does her no good. But because he blew up against Josh (guys, I swear this is going to be a common thread all season), he’s still very much in the crosshairs.

After Kevin is caught talking to Cody too much, Paul and Alex’s alliance brings him up to the HOH room to reprimand him because Paul is ready to scream out in a shrieky voice that if Kevin talks to Cody anymore, “HE CAN’T SIT WITH US.” But if they should be worried about anyone getting chatty, it’s Mark. He’s proving to be much more perceptive than anyone gave him credit for, pulling Jason aside to suggest that maybe Paul would be a good backdoor strategy.

This week, Big Brother has been playing some strange sounds out for the houseguests. Of course, it’s not just for fun. It’s clearly tied to the Temptation Competition, which it seems everyone wants to play to keep Cody from being safe or playing for veto. Matt, whose strategy is volunteering to be an awful player, volunteers to…you guessed it…throw the competition. But you know what? That might be Cody’s strategy too, marking an interesting twist in the game of Big Brother: actively being terrible for the game.

The competition is “Where Were You?” and the premise is this: Take a blueprint of the house and identify where you were when you heard each of those crazy sounds. While most of the players are going for a victory, Cody and Matt are actively battling to see who can lose worse. But when Cody makes a misstep and accidentally gets one right, his plan is foiled. At the end of the competition, it’s Matt who locks in a spot on the block because no one is as good at being awful as Matt is. And Mark saves himself from the block for the week.

Hilariously, Cody decides to tell the other houseguests that Paul is after them because, as he describes them, they’re “damn psychopaths,” which is INCREDIBLE. Who would have thought that Cody would be halfway tolerable after 36 weeks of Big Brother 19 gameplay? But with Mark off the block for good, Alex is more concerned with who her extra pawn will be: She thinks it should be Jason or Paul, and Paul offers to go up, but let’s be real…that’s just Paul being Paul. So Alex takes Elena aside to explain that she’s going to be a pawn. Cody uses it as an opportunity to leverage Elena and explain how Paul’s alliance is working, saying she’s always going to be on the bottom of their alliance. And guys, does this mean that…Cody is developing a social game?

So Elena and Mark pull Cody aside to ask him what he would do if he won the veto, and Christmas hops all over it. Actually, Christmas and Josh lean into the notion that Mark is playing both sides. And he is, but the issue behind calling it out is the insinuation that flipping sides is any better than being a sheep behind one singular player. Also, this business of calling each other “kitty boo boo” when one player wants to be sassy with another is a sure way to literally lose all votes for America’s Favorite Player.

But at the end of the night, Alex moves forward with the plan, nominating Jason and Elena alongside Matt’s forced nomination. And with his days numbered, Cody’s fate depends on his name getting drawn for veto, or on some incredible twist that eliminates every other player. So what do you think of the Kathy Hillis Strategy? Do you want Cody or Mark to stick it out in the house, and who (if anyone) is going to be able to knock Paul off his throne? Hit the comments and let us know.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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