Big Brother recap: Did the first veto of the season lead to another change in strategy?
After Sunday's first-ever Safety Suite twist helped Kaysar and his ally Janelle stay safe during the nominations, Cody's plans as HOH were essentially ruined. He thought he'd sorted everything out, targeting some dangerous old school players, but once both of his targets were safe, he had to pivot. So, he put Keesha and Kevin on the block, two players who, at least in the early going, didn't seem to be talking that much game with anyone. They hadn't yet made a lot of inroads socially, which is why Cody nominated them. The only question left, then: who would win the veto competition, and would that once again force Cody to change his plan?
Before Cody can even think about what might come after the veto, he's on damage control. Both Keesha and Kevin come to chat with him, and they seem to have two different approaches to their meetings. Keesha comes across as more flustered and unsure how to proceed, challenging Cody to pinpoint why he chose her, whereas Kevin is actively trying to smooth things over with Cody so that, should he survive the vote, they can work together down the road. It really looks like the nomination shook Kevin out of his sleepy start, and he's starting to think about how he needs to interact with everybody...until he starts to question himself again later in the episode.
Remember, this is still Day 2, so everyone's feeling each other out; it's not just Kevin trying to find his space. Kaysar and Da'Vonne bond over how Big Brother has struggled with racial representation; Kaysar's story, in particular, is astute, as he notes that the first time he was on Big Brother, America was in the midst of a war with his home country, Iraq, and now he's back playing during tumultuous, hateful times. Ian makes a few connections after opening up about being on the spectrum, sharing his feelings about the difficulties of seeing people talk about you online after you've played the game. Then there's Tyler, who, despite his apparent intentions, is just making deals with everybody. He knows it cost him last time around, but he just can't help himself! Poor, amenable Tyler.
That brings us to the choices for the veto competition. Obviously you have the HOH Cody, then the two nominees, Kevin and Keesha. Cody pulls out Tyler's name, which should mostly work in Cody's favor; I'd assume Tyler is willing to throw a vote to whoever Cody suggests. Kevin gets Houseguest's Choice, and based on a few awkward conversations he tried to have with other players about potentially having his back, he decides to pick Enzo in the hope that if he wins, they have enough of a connection that Enzo will keep him safe. Finally, Keesha pulls Ian, who I really can't get a read on right now. I feel like before the veto he's just ready to go along with whatever the majority decides. He knows he's a target because he's a past winner, so he's trying to lay low for now.
The veto competition is a lot of fun. The players have to rock back and forth on a giant banana to build up 90 seconds of time, and then hop off and start stacking wooden pieces of fruit on a tray while that time winds down. Any player can lock in their total number at any point, but there's a 30-minute time limit, and if you let your 90 seconds run out before getting back to the banana to refuel your clock, you're eliminated (these are the sentences Big Brother makes me type!). As everyone gets rolling, the stacks are falling everywhere and everyone's laughing at the banana rocking; as Enzo says, "That's the first time I've ever straddled a giant banana," and his thrusting immediately gets the slow motion, sexy music effect. Eventually, everyone quits laughing and gets focused. As the stacks continue to topple, it's a surprise that nobody locks in their number sooner. No one is really getting beyond 15 pieces, and yet multiple players keep going once they hit 17 or 18 pieces.
Cody is looking good for a while, stacking high, but then he becomes the first player to forget about his 90 seconds. His time runs out and he's eliminated. Then the same thing happens to Ian. With just a few minutes to go and 18 pieces on his board, Enzo decides to lock-in. It's a solid number, but Kevin has him beat. He's at 19. He considers locking in, and maybe hindsight is 20/20, but if you're 1 piece ahead with a few minutes to go, don't you just lock in and let fate handle the rest? There's no way I'd risk my pieces falling just because Keesha is still stacking at 15.
But Kevin keeps going. He wants to make sure he can't be beaten. And in doing so, he's a victim of self-sabotage. His pieces fall and then Keesha's fall, and with Tyler failing to get anything going, Enzo walks out with the power of veto. That means that Kevin is immediately scrambling to save himself. And by scrambling, I mean having a very awkward conversation with Enzo where he basically just says, "Hey, if you can keep me safe, that'd be great." Kevin! You actually have to present reasons why you should be safe! No one is just going to take pity on you! Seriously, he makes me want to jump through my TV, into the house and shake him until he understands that he can't be so timid if he wants to stick around. You're better than this, Kevin!
His conversation with Cody is a bit better, luckily. He tells Cody that if he ever wins HOH, he won't nominate him and that if he wins the Safety Suite competition, he'll choose him as his +1. That's a pretty sweet deal. Unfortunately for Kevin, it's not enough to convince Cody to sway Enzo's play. The editing makes it seem like Enzo is thinking about pulling Kevin off the block and targeting Ian because he's a former winner playing under the radar and getting close with Nicole F, but I don't think it's ever really a serious consideration. Like Enzo says when he decided not to use the veto, it's just too early in the game. But I do think Cody and Enzo are going to be wary of Ian going forward.
So, that leaves us with Kevin and Keesha as the first two players to potentially be evicted. Neither one has cemented their social game just yet, so we'll see how the next few days play out. It's going to come down to whoever can build some strong relationships and make themselves a valuable piece for later in the game. Right now, I feel like Kevin is doing a lot more to ingratiate himself with everyone, whereas Keesha is just kind of sitting around saying, "How did this happen to me? What do I do now?" Neither is a particularly proactive player so far, but at least Kevin is putting himself out there. Keesha doesn't seem to be playing yet. Either way, we'll see how this all plays out in the next few days.