‘Big Brother’ episode 18 recap: Did Jessica Graf stop the eviction with the Halting Hex?

The Power of Veto meeting and a live eviction ceremony were all held inside the “Big Brother” house on Thursday night with Head of Household Paul Abrahamian presiding over the POV meeting as the Veto winner. From there, Paul began a week-long campaign to convince Jessica Graf to not use her Halting Hex so that he and his allies could evict her showmance Cody Nickson. Was Cody or Jessica evicted from the house or did Jessica halt the eviction and nullify Paul’s week in power? And who was the newest houseguest to assume the HOH throne? Find out in our Season 19, Episode 18 recap below. Hurry — make your “Big Brother” 19 predictions for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift certificate. It’s fun and easy, so start predicting right now.

Reeling from the bombshell Paul dropped on Jessica, telling her that at the beginning of the game Cody was going to use Jason Dent and Alex Ow in an alliance to take out Jessica eventually, she confronted Cody and he failed to put her at ease. Meanwhile Paul initiated his plan to have the house convince Jessica not to use her Hex so that they can evict Cody. With her trust in Cody wavering and Paul working his magic through the house, Jessica’s decision about whether or not to use the Hex with the promise that everyone else would take Alex out next week continued to spin in her mind.

At the Veto meeting, Paul had the option of removing one of the three nominees from the block–Jessica and Cody, his two nominations, or Jason, the biggest loser and the Temptation competition. As standard, each of the nominees got to pitch to Paul for him to use the power on them, but both Jessica and Cody opted out of pleading their case. In response, Paul used the Veto on Jason, leaving Jody as the final nominees for eviction.

Later, after walking into a conversation between Jason, Kevin Schlehuber and Raven Walton and seeing Jason signal that Jessica can hear them, Jessica confronted Raven to tell her that she now feels uncomfortable trusting them. Though she did her best to diffuse the situation, Raven failed to put Jessica’s concerns at ease and ran to Paul tattle tale. That led Paul to confront Jessica and Cody where Jessica told him that she’s no longer signed on to their deal for her to not use the Hex.

In response to Jessica’s threat, Paul instigated a chaotic eruption in the house–calling on Josh Martinez to “turn it up to a 30” to bang pots all over the house in order to rile up Jessica and Cody. If that wasn’t pathetic enough, Paul then egged on the fight by bringing Jessica out to be screamed at by Alex, Raven and others. After standing her ground with an amazing amount of control, Paul encouraged everyone to follow Jessica outside and continue the “circus.” Thankfully Diary Room entries from Mark Jansen and Matthew Clines were provided to react to how embarrassing of a display it was on the part of Paul, Alex, Raven, Josh and Christmas Abbott because none of them came out of the fight looking mature.

After the fireworks, host Julie Chen addressed the houseguests live from outside the house. When asked to plead her case to the voters, Jessica instead initiated her Halting Hex to stop the eviction, confirmed by Julie. With that, Julie informed the house that no one would be leaving this week and that the Head of Household competition would begin shortly. Though not as good as a full blindside, the look of disappointment on the faces of the house was still utterly priceless.

As outgoing HOH, Paul was not able to compete in this week’s competition. The others participated in “Gravestone Golf,” the first competition of what Julie referred to as “Big Brother Horror Week.” In the game, each houseguest putted a golfball through a graveyard of headstones toward the other end of the backyard where their ball would fall into a slot with a number in it. The player with the ball in the slot with the highest number would be crowned HOH.

Matt was first with a 6, followed by Alex with a 2, Mark with a 15, Jason also with a 15, Cody with a 21, Christmas also with a 21, Elena with a 13, Jessica with a 2, Josh with a 23, Raven also with a 13 and Kevin with a 6 making Josh the new HOH, much to the excitement of Paul and dismay of anyone he’s ever referred to as a meatball. As HOH for the first time this season, will Josh finally lay his own cards on the table or will Paul be in his ear making all the decisions? The drama continues on CBS Sunday night with the second Temptation competition and Josh’s nominations.

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