Big Brother recap: The Cookout is firmly in control with Tiffany as HOH
Emotions are running high at the beginning of this week's episode. With Tiffany being the new HOH and Derek X sent home, the players are feeling all sorts of things. For one, a lot of the house is happy that Tiffany won. That's partly because she's well-liked by most people, but it's also because a lot of the houseguests feel safe with her. Claire, in particular, calls Tiffany her "closest ally" and talks about how excited she is to not be on the block this week, but of course, she doesn't know about The Cookout. There are only a few non-Cookout players left, which means Tiffany could very well put her up at some point.
Luckily for Claire, Tiffany has bigger fish to fry right now. After a talk with Kyland, the consensus seems to be that the target is Sarah Beth. Derek X put a target on her back on his way out of the house, but I think she'd have been the target this week no matter what. She's coming off an HOH win, she's vulnerable, and she's a clear threat to win the game and split up The Cookout.
Getting back to the emotions, both Kyland and Hannah are feeling pretty guilty about sending Derek X home. Everyone in The Cookout has a close ally they've been working with who's not part of the larger alliance, and sending that person home is a tough thing to do. Tiffany does her best to comfort Hannah about it, telling her that Derek X will see it all after the game and totally understand and that she's not alone because everyone in The Cookout will — if things go as planned — have to blindside someone at some point (like Tiffany will have to do with Claire).
Because Tiffany is very straight up and also likes to use a little bit of intimidation in her game, she sits down with Sarah Beth and basically tells her why she'll be on the block this week. She says that Sarah Beth sending Derek X home impacted her game because he was a close ally and that even though Sarah Beth didn't realize she was weakening Tiffany's game (she did), that means Tiffany, as the new HOH, has a good reason to put her on the block. To Sarah Beth's credit, she comes back to Tiffany later and does a great job of throwing Alyssa under the bus, trying to convince Tiffany to put her on the block instead.
Unfortunately for Sarah Beth, the pitch doesn't work. Tiffany definitely wants Alyssa gone, but she's focused on getting Sarah Beth out first. So, during the nomination ceremony, where Xavier is already on the block because of his previous punishment from the veto win, Tiffany nominates Kyland and Sarah Beth. This is such an easy move for her. Because Sarah Beth and Kyland are so close, Tiffany gets to justify her decision by telling non-Cookout members that she's targeting those two because they're a power duo who could go far in the game. That's exactly what Tiffany tells Sarah Beth; it's the perfect cover.
With all that said, these nominations are hardly set in stone. The final High Rollers Room power is still in play. The Coin of Destiny gives the winner a chance to become an anonymous HOH, dethroning Tiffany as HOH and putting their own nominations on the block. Of course, only so many players have the right amount of BB Bucks to actually play in the game. In fact, there's only two: Big D and Claire. So, The Cookout has a plan. They want Claire to win because if she does get control of the week, she's so close to Tiffany that she'd keep the nominations the same, and one member of the alliance would be vulnerable next week.
Sure enough, Big D throws the competition, and Claire wins. Thus, Tiffany must flip a coin to see if she loses her HOH powers. The "anonymous" winner (Claire) has chosen heads. The coin lands on heads, meaning Claire gets her nominations, which she made in secret. Kyland and Sarah Beth come off the block. Then, they're back on the block one minute later, as Claire chooses to keep Tiffany's plan intact.
This is some beautiful gameplay from The Cookout. While I don't always love a controlling alliance and have some problems with some of its members, I have to respect how well they're thinking about every aspect of this game. Right now, Tiffany's plan to take out Sarah Beth is going exactly as planned. Barring a Sarah Beth veto win, she should be sent to the jury house on Thursday.