By jibrilgagale
January 23, 2019 at 11:51 PM EST
Monty Brinton/CBS

When we left the Celebrity Big Brother house last night, Jonathan Bennett was sitting pretty despite being on the chopping block. He managed to play puppetmaster on HoH Ryan Lochte’s nominations by getting the swimmer to nominate Anthony Scaramucci (who appears to inconspicuously absent from the house) and Tom Green instead of his alliance’s planned target of Dina Lohan. Yes, this is an actual paragraph I just typed out and it goes to show how we’re only three episodes in and CBB is already delivering some wild and wacky TV.

After some cartoonish eyebrow movements, Ryan explains his nominations, saying Anthony’s smarts and Tom’s stealthiness could be trouble for his game. “It’s week 1 and I feel like I’m diving in a pool with no water,” Ryan tells the diary room. “Who wants to dive in a pool with no water?” While Anthony and Tom muse about how they can avoid being the first celebs sent packing, Jonathan confidently feels that he’s safe from eviction with his power alliance. “People have to like me better than they like them, right?” he asks. Speaking of that alliance, it may be on shaky ground as Lolo, Tamar, and Natalie immediately suss out that Jonathan’s behind Ryan’s nominations. They feel like they should’ve stuck to the group decision to put up Dina, but as Tamar says so succinctly in the diary room, they “can’t play the old Tay-Tay!” While their seeds of dissent grow into shady trees, Ryan and Jonathan solidify their final two deal while going back on forth on how many syllables “athletic” has. Truly the Algonquin Round Table of our time, these guys.

With Anthony at the center, the kitchen conversation turns to his former boss President Trump’s tweets as he brings up that Trump’s Twitter reach is 10 times that of The Wall Street Journal, giving him an immediate foothold on the press and the people. “He figured that out and he exploited that big time,” says the Mooch. “He played [the media] like a fiddle, and by the way, he still is.” He later added what sounded like a strange warning to the president, saying that if Trump ever turned on him, he has a “big mouth.”

After an awkward encounter with Jonathan in the gym, Tamar, Lolo, and Natalie all agree that he’s starting to sketch them out with the moves he’s making outside of their alliance. Tamar doubles down by telling the ladies that this may be the time to get him out because he’s already such a strong player. Lolo and Natalie, with a final two deal of their own to worry about, are uncertain because Jonathan’s still a needed number for them, but Tamar’s not falling for it. “He’s already on the block,” she tells the diary room. “Like we may not ever get this chance again, so we’ve got to get him out this door while we can.” When Natalie wonders if they’re overthinking this, Tamar interjects that she gets frustrated watching BB seeing the women “be stupid” because they’re making decisions emotionally.

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Speaking of overthinking, Lolo and Natalie stroll into the bedroom loudly talking about what to call their final two deal…not realizing that Tamar is lying there in clear view. After glancing at each other awkwardly for what feels like forever, Lolo and Natalie try and fail to downplay what they said. Tamar proves thoroughly unconvinced. “I know the name of your final two, busted.com!” she tells the diary room with a laugh. However, the laughter quickly fades when Lolo, in an effort to defend herself and Natalie, points out that she believes Tamar and Kandi have a final two deal of their own (as we’ll see later on this episode, they definitely don’t). “Don’t get punched in your throat, calm down,” Tamar responds in slight jest, which leads Lolo to duke up and declare that “I’m from Iowa, but I don’t f—ing play.” Tamar is confused by her reaction, explaining that she talks this way to everyone, but Lolo reminds her they don’t know each other that way yet. After yet another awkward Jonathan interruption, things calm down as Tamar insists she’s not offended by their final two deal. Ultimately, she and Lolo hug it own in maybe the quickest de-escalation in Big Brother history.

With things now settled, Tamar, Lolo, and Natalie move to the HoH room and turn their conversation back to Jonathan. But before the plotting can really get underway, Ryan and Jonathan awkwardly enter and the ladies awkwardly exit. Lolo, who has a friendship with Ryan from their Olympic days, tells the diary room that she’s feeling jealous and insecure about the boys’ bond as it’s starting to overtake the alliance as a whole. As the discord in the alliance grows clearer, Ryan becomes certain that the three have a deal of their own and thinks it’s time to shake things up. He wonders aloud if he should try to gun for the veto and backdoor one of the three ladies, an idea that makes Jonathan laugh so hard he farts. As their boys-being-boys antics continue, Lolo’s had enough and shades their final two deal before flipping off their pictures on the wall. Ryan calls her actions “not Team USA” (he should know) and says that she’ll be his backdoor target if he wins the veto.

When the time comes to pick players for the veto, Anthony promises a “Mooch-tastic superhero” will snap out in the competition as he, Jonathan, Ryan, and Tom are joined by Ricky and Joey as the players for the competition. “Celebrity Giddy-Up” sees the players ride a dummy horse 60 times to gather 30 seconds on the block to put as many gold blocks on their rotating horseshoe as they can; if they don’t run to their horse within those 30 seconds, they’re out of the game. The first person to stack all 50 gold bars onto their horseshoe wins the golden power of veto, which Anthony points out looks like a Trump Tower toilet seat cover. Nice mental image there, Mooch. Despite Ryan and Jonathan’s best efforts to shake the game up, it’s Ricky who wins the first veto of the season despite earlier saying he didn’t want to win and put attention on himself too early.

Despite their already rocky history, Kandi and Tamar try to put the past behind them for the sake of the game. Unfortunately, neither quite agree on what the problems are or are not. While Tamar says Kandi and her Xscape bandmates gossiped about her and tried to undermine her performance, Kandi is confused by her claims and denies she was behind anything. Tamar attempts to share her feelings about the situation with Kandi but finds her more amused than anything by her concerns. As Kandi seems to laugh off the drama, Tamar walks away and has a sob in the diary room, leaving Kandi wondering why Tamar is trying to make her the villain.

Ryan meets with Ricky to see what his plans for the veto are and shares with him his suspicions about Lolo, Natalie, and Tamar’s alliance. Believing their plan is to keep nominations the same to get Jonathan out, Ryan tries to pitch Ricky on using the veto to get Lolo out and to ultimately create an all-guy alliance since they outnumber the women in the house 7-5. Ricky listens on but doesn’t make a commitment either way about the veto. We move on from that to round two of Tamar vs. Kandi as they agree to leave their problems on the backburner until after the show, only to have another tiff about their problems. As if things couldn’t get any more exhausting, Ricky takes it upon himself to stir the pot, telling Lolo about Ryan’s plan to backdoor her and expose the girls’ alliance. These conflicts then overlap as Tamar gets wind of this and, after hugging it out with Kandi, moves her attention fully to keeping her alliance-mate off the block.

When the veto ceremony comes, Ricky decides not to use the power of veto, saying that he didn’t hear a convincing case from anyone to use it this early in the game. With alliances in disarray and two evictions to look forward to Friday night (no spoilers!), this is already proving to be one hell of a Big Brother season.

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