With final four finally here, alliances are crumbling.

By Dalene Rovenstine
September 15, 2019 at 09:43 PM EDT
CBS

It’s Sunday night, but as often is the case with Big Brother: Let’s go back in the past for a minute, shall we? The time: the day before HOH. The place: the Big Brother dining room. The plan: a house meeting to the death.

Nicole gets to do something she’s waited all season for and calls a house meeting. Her plan is to see whether Tommy or Michie seems more manipulative so that she can decide whom to vote for.

Tommy welcomes the opportunity to clear his name, though. It should be easy to tell the truth, right? Not exactly. As Michie puts it, he does things he doesn’t want to do and say things he doesn’t want to say to keep his girl Holly in the game. His big selling point is that Tommy’s playing both sides of the house. He says that Tommy only wanted Nicole to win so he could get Cliff out because he’s the biggest competition in the house. Every sentence out of Michie’s mouth is followed with a headshake by Tommy. Then Michie starts to say the reason Tommy doesn’t win comps is because of jury management.

The whole time Holly is sitting there with her hands on her head. Tommy tries to point out that she says she’s playing her own game, but here she’s not saying a word to stand up for what she knows is true and being said on her behalf. She utters about five words that are meaningless and then lets Michie keep spinning the story. It escalates so far that Tommy finally says that he would never want to keep Michie because he doesn’t want to see him in the finals. “I do not think you deserve this money,” he spits out.

But Michie’s plan for piling on the lies and confusing Nicole and Cliff works — halfway. Cliff is still on team Michie. Whether he believes what the country boy is saying is up for debate, but he sees that as his best path forward. Nicole, on the other hand, sees straight through Michie’s lies. She says that she knows his angry face, and the face he put on during the house meeting was just that, “put on.” Plus, he sealed his fate when he said, “Just own it!” Which a BB superfan (like Nicole) would recognize as words Brett used in season 20 to try to frame Rockstar.

For his game, Cliff doesn’t want to keep Tommy and he’s doing everything he can to gently nudge Nicole in that direction. He thinks Tommy would be more likely to take Nicole to final 2, whereas Michie would be more likely to take him.

An hour and 20 minutes before the live eviction, with a Holly vote-out imminent, she walks up to Cliff and Nicole and says she’ll do anything. Michie gets involved and tells them they’re putting their faith in the wrong person. “I will lie to Cliff and Nicole’s face and not feel bad about it,” Michie says in diary. Tommy hears all this and comes in and it starts another mini-battle. But Michie says the deal, the agreement, his word, over and over to the point that it makes Nicole’s head spin.

Just 38 minutes before eviction, Nicole says she doesn’t know what to do. But Cliff knows; he wants to nudge her into a Tommy vote, so he gets Holly to promise she’ll throw HOH and veto. Cliff tells Nicole that he believes her and that he will “pay the price” if it’s not true.

We all know what happens next, Tommy gets voted out. And the HOH comp starts: It’s the hanging and spinning around comp. It’s clear Cliff won’t hang for long. This comp was built for Holly and Nicole, and it’s a matter of which one has the longest stamina because there’s no way that Holly is actually throwing this. She says herself she is at the point in the show where no one should be throwing comps.

But Michie needs her to fall for his own game, so he’s nudging her to drop from the sidelines. As expected, Cliff doesn’t last long. And without too much debate, Holly drops, making Nicole HOH.

After the comp, Cliff makes a final three — and a final two — deal with Michie. “I love Nicole, but…” he says. Cliff, what would your daughter Kat have to say about this!? Also, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO TAKE JACKSON TO A FINAL TWO!? So many bad decisions being made all around. And, honestly, all these bad decisions are just making Jackson’s gameplay better. Like him or not, you have to admit tonight’s episode was a master class in how to manipulate. Nicole spotted what he was doing and still voted the way he wanted.

Anyway, after the comp, Cliff decides to tell Nicole that he HAD to make a deal with Michie to take him to final three. Nicole immediately perks up at this. She has my same reaction: Why would you willingly take a big threat to final three? And then she realizes, he doesn’t have a final three, he has a final two. I’ve been saying it all along, Nicole is intuitive and smart and she knows how to read people in this house. Just wish she could have done that a few hours earlier…

In the end, Nicole puts up Michie and Holly. It all comes down to Wednesday when they play the most important veto comp of the season. You better believe Holly isn’t going to throw it. Or maybe she will. This season has continued to perplex in the most bizarre ways. So who knows?

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