Big Brother recap: A majority alliance emerges and seems to control the game
Remember last season when a large alliance formed early and dominated much of the game, and even though the alliance was clearly being run by 2-3 people, everyone just kept going along with it until they got voted out? It was all very predictable and dull (and not to mention toxic). Now, I'm getting a similar feeling about this season already. It seems like the house is clearly divided, and that "The Commission" is already in firm control of the game. Obviously, there's still a lot of game left to play, but it's hard to ignore the similar patterns right now.
Fresh off the HOH challenge, everyone learns about a new twist. All the "Have Nots" who are leaving their rooms have to choose who goes in next. It's meant to add a bit of a wrinkle to the social game, but I'm not really sure it'll make that much of a difference down the road. However, Memphis is all too happy and smug when telling David to "have fun" as a Have Not when he nominates him first. It's the first of many, many signs that Memphis simply doesn't like David, and is ready to target him this week. When he has a chat with Cody about the eviction nominations later, he mentions Nicole A and David as the "easy" options for the block. It looks like neither of them is managing to work their way into any alliance's good graces.
While Memphis seems to have his obvious targets, he also has another plan: convincing everyone, including the members of his alliance, to use their Safety Suite pass for the week. Anyone who comes to chat with him who isn't already in his alliance is told, "Hey, I have no idea what I'm doing, so I'm recommending people use their Safety Suite." Within his alliance, he's trying to convince the ladies to use theirs so that he and Cody can be left standing next week. Christmas gladly volunteers to play to try and prevent "the others" from winning, but the other alliance members like Dani and Nicole F are wary of Memphis' motivations. Honestly, almost everyone, from Ian to Nicole A, understands what Memphis is trying to do. He's nowhere near as sly as he thinks. As Tyler says when Memphis tells him the more people playing the Safety Suite the better: "Yeah dude...for you."
Despite the obviousness of his plan, there's enough uncertainty in the house that a fair amount of players end up swiping into the Safety Suite challenge. David is the first to swipe because he knows for sure that he's a target. Kevin swipes because he wants to have control over his own game. Christmas and Cody go in for the big alliance, and then Ian, Da'Vonne, and Bayleigh round it out, all three feeling like Memphis could easily put them up on the block.
The challenge involves balancing a number of weighted blocks that look like drinks on incredibly wobbly tables. Once you have them balanced, you lock in your time. The player who finishes the fastest wins. The editing is doing a lot of work here; we spend most of our time watching David's run (clearly he's the "main character" of this episode and Memphis' main target) and then the rest of the competition is cut together montage-style. We see a lot of fumbling with drinks and a lot of spills, but when the actual times are logged, just about everyone did well (sorry, Da'Vonne, you failed miserably). But it's Christmas, not David, who comes away with the win, and she keeps Ian safe based on two things: 1. Ian approached her earlier about keeping him safe, and 2. She wants to pick someone outside her alliance so that she's not tipping her hand. It's a smart move by Christmas, but it's also great for Ian, who should be a target at this point but is managing to keep himself in the game.
Of course, Memphis isn't happy. There's nothing that he loves more than talking down to people, so he does that with Christmas, saying it was impossible to make a good decision about who to keep safe. I mean, buddy, why not just assure your alliance member that they did the right thing and move on? There's no real need to cause friction at this point, but Memphis can't help himself. He needs to be in control, he needs to be seen as dominant, and that's how he carries himself. He steamrolls people. Any challenge to his authority is seen as the wrong move. It reminds me a lot of Michie (and in a few other ways too).
Anyway, moving on from his expected behavior, it's pretty clear all along how this is going to go. With all the attention the episode gives to David, and the fact that Nicole A didn't play in the Safety Suite, it's no surprise that Memphis ends up putting them both on the block, going with the "easy options" he mentioned earlier. Of course, Memphis can't help himself as he nominates David. He tells him he's "at the big kids' table now," one of many condescending comments he makes throughout the episode (and during the live feeds) about David being on this season of Big Brother. Look, I definitely understand the argument that David isn't an All-Star, but Memphis is largely using that line of thinking as an excuse to bully him and talk down to him. And here's the kicker: Memphis played once, 12 years ago, failed to ever win HOH, and then lost the whole game in a 7-0 vote. You're not exactly a legend, dude, so maybe tone down the intense rhetoric.
So, there y0u have it. We've got two nominations and a veto competition on the horizon. I'll see you Wednesday for more talk about why Memphis is the worst.