Big Brother recap: Two members of the Cookout go home during a surprise double eviction
Look, folks, we have no time to waste here. This episode is two hours long and contains a surprise double eviction, so let's get right into it and recap all the chaos from this special episode of Big Brother.
When we last left the house, Kyland had won veto and decided to keep his nominations the same, meaning Tiffany or Hannah (most likely Tiffany) would be the first member of the Cookout sent to the jury house. In the aftermath of that veto ceremony, Tiffany has a lot of conflicted feelings. She knows she's the target and is pretty sure she's getting sent to jury, but she also wants to revel in the Cookout making it to the Final Six.
Everyone in the house is feeling this way. Tiffany and Hannah talk about how making it this far and guaranteeing the first-ever African American winner in the show's history should be enough for them, even if they want to be the one to take home the prize. Kyland, who rambles to Azah, clearly feels uncomfortable with being the first one to nominate his alliance members for eviction, struggling to reconcile what the Cookout has accomplished and what he's been charged to do for his personal game now.
Then, Xavier and Kyland chat about their purpose in this game and their motivation for getting to the end. Kyland says the money would be life-changing; he's a source of financial stability for his family and has student loan debts. Xavier says his brother passed away from a heart attack earlier this year and that he promised to take care of his son. I love these moments. The Cookout's come a long way, and while we've seen a lot about their purpose in this game, this gives us more insight into who they are outside the house and what drove them to make this alliance last.
Alright, before we get to the first vote and the announcement of the double eviction, we get a moment we've been waiting for all season: the other players finally discovering the Cookout. As Sarah Beth comes into the jury house, she's very suspicious of a controlling alliance because she went home instead of more significant threats like Kyland and Xavier. Also, Kyland mentioned an alliance in his goodbye video. With Britini and Derek X, they put it all together, realizing that this "larger purpose" Azah and Kyland mentioned to Sarah Beth is an attempt to ensure this season features the first-ever African American winner.
Once Claire and Alyssa are introduced to the jury house, everything becomes clear. They see that Xavier has been playing a great game and throwing competitions, that all the alliance members had other people they were working with, and that everyone in the Cookout at some point had to sacrifice their personal game for the bigger cause. They can't help but respect the gameplay and the fact that an alliance of six formed in the first week managed to get this far undetected.
All right, that brings us to the first eviction. It's pretty straightforward. Tiffany goes home in a unanimous vote. During her exit interview, Tiffany is very self-reflective about what landed her here, understanding that her HOH win over Kyland and her stubborn personality didn't always mean she was seen as a "safe" person to take to the end. Then, Julie informs everyone that they'll once again be doing a week's worth of competitions in one night and that someone else will be sent to jury along with Tiffany.
The HOH competition involves rolling balls along a ramp and knocking off all 10 balls on the other side. The first two to finish will advance to a final-round showdown, where one will be crowned the new HOH. Xavier, who's been slyly throwing competitions all season, goes off in the first round and wins, and Azah comes in second place. Now, the two of them face off in a second round. This time, they have to roll the balls onto the grass at the end of the ramp rather than knocking them off. They get 10 shots, and the person who lands the most on the grass wins HOH. It's a tight race, both of them scoring a point on their fourth ball, but eventually, Azah shows the soft touch and gets the win.
Then, things get wild. Azah pulls Hannah aside and tells her that she wants Xavier gone and that because of a deal she made with Kyland, she has to put Hannah up next to him as a pawn. If Xavier wins the veto, Azah would put up Kyland and send him home instead. There's talk of a tiebreaker vote too, which is, of course, very much in play when you have so few people in the house.
So, Azah nominates Xavier and Hannah, and that brings us to the veto competition. The players watch a series of video clips from earlier in the season where certain words are "bleeped out." When Julie presents them with a possible answer of what that word was, they have to reply with true or false. Once again, it's a tight challenge, and it comes down to a tiebreaker question between Kyland and Xavier, where they have to guess how many seconds it took to complete a challenge earlier in the season. Kyland comes closest and wins yet another competition, this time holding a veto that he can use on Xavier or Hannah.
Unsurprisingly, Kyland wants to keep his Final 2 deal intact and pulls Xavier off the block, meaning that Big D is the only option as a replacement. There's not much else to do here. No one is sending Big D home because he's not a threat, so, unfortunately, it's time for Hannah to head to the jury house.
Here's my take on all of this: the first half of the episode is solid, giving us some insight into the remaining players and how the jury house put together the idea of the Cookout. But the decision to hold yet another double eviction, while certainly shocking, is really a shame. We've waited all season to see the Cookout turn on each other and strategize how they might get to the end once they could focus on their individual games, and Big Brother decides to rush through a whole week of strategizing? It's a genuinely awful choice. We should have been allowed to see these people, over the course of a week, consider how the rest of the Cookout would end up dividing after Tiffany left the house. Instead, we got a frantic episode that didn't do this season or the Cookout justice, and that's a bitter pill to swallow this late in the game.
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