As expected, this has been a pretty wild week. Maybe not high on drama, but it's been a week that's seen a ton of twists and turns. From Sarah Beth's original "two pawns on the block" strategy to the use of the roulette power to Xavier being chosen by pure chance to replace Big D on the block, there's been a lot of different scenarios in terms of who might go home this week.

Now, with the veto competition coming up, everyone is talking about what might happen should either Claire or Xavier come off the block. When Claire asks Sarah Beth if she has any specific plans for how she wants the veto used, she says "she's in a tough spot with that" right now. That makes Claire suspicious because Sarah Beth also told her that she's not the target at all. So, if she's not the target, and maybe Sarah Beth wants the veto used, that means someone is getting backdoored. When Claire runs down the threats in the house, she figures out that her friend and ally Derek X is the likely option for the backdoor play.

She immediately tells Derek X about her hypothesis, and he sees it now. He didn't play in the previous High Rollers Room game, which could have given him safety this week, saying that he felt safe with Sarah Beth as HOH. Even knowing how that turned out, it seemed like a bad decision at the time. Derek X is well aware that he's a big target in this game, so presuming his safety this late in the season seems like a complacent move to me. He got greedy about the next power in play, looking ahead rather than taking his game one week at a time. Now he's in danger of going home.

Sarah Beth obviously has to keep her backdoor plan a secret from just about everybody, but she tells Alyssa because she knows she'll be on her side. Alyssa has very few allies in the house, and she's eager to get Xavier off the block. Plus, Derek X backdoored her showmance Christian, so she has no problem contributing to getting him out of the house this week.

So, the only hope Derek X really has, it would seem, is to win the veto. The problem is, he doesn't get picked. Instead, it's Azah, Alyssa, and Big D playing alongside Sarah Beth, Xavier, and Claire. Could Derek X still come out of this unscathed? Sure, if Claire wins the veto she'd pull herself off the block and perhaps Xavier sitting next to Derek X would give her ally a fighting chance. It's a possibility but seems unlikely because The Cookout is holding a lot of voting power this week.

The veto challenge involves setting up a long, winding line of dominoes that have to reach a button at the end. Along the way, the dominoes must hit either three "Punishment" dominoes or three "Reward" dominoes. If a player goes for the cash reward, they cannot win veto, whereas the player who does win veto will get strapped with punishments like being a solo have-not for a week, or having a disadvantage in a future veto competition. Big D, who's already safe this week, is the only one who goes for the money, so he walks out with a tidy bit of cash and 100 BB Bucks. Technically Big D isn't announced as the winner, but everyone knows he was the one who went for it.

Everyone else goes for the veto, but it's Xavier who ends up winning with an absolutely stellar time of 3:05. Seriously, that's an insane time; for reference, it took Big D 16 minutes to set up his reward win. So, this means Xavier will pull himself off the block (and endure three punishments, including being a third eviction nominee at the next available opportunity), basically guaranteeing that Sarah Beth will put Derek X on the block.

There are other people in the house who don't want Derek X to go home though, and the most vocal one is Tiffany. She starts making moves and proposing ideas. She asks Hannah if she'd be willing to go on the block as a pawn, and then The Cookout could send Claire home. Hannah is down with the plan, and Tiffany pitches it to Derek X, which means it's up to him to convince Sarah Beth that not only is Hannah a bigger threat, but that should she go on the block, she'd actually go home.

Derek X makes his pitch, and Sarah Beth seems to consider her options, and that brings us to the veto ceremony. Of course, Xavier uses the veto to pull himself off the block, leaving one open nomination. Despite the pitch, Sarah Beth sticks to her backdoor plan and puts Derek X on the block. She says that if she didn't take this shot it would show "reckless overconfidence," and that he's the biggest threat to her making it to the end of the game.

Now, we wait to see how the vote plays out. Obviously some members of The Cookout like Derek X and consider him an ally, and Claire isn't super close with anyone except Tiffany, but I'm honestly not sure how this is going to play out on Thursday. I have to say, I'm loving the unpredictability!

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