It happened. Thursday’s episode of “Big Brother 21” delivered the first blindside of the season with Cliff Hogg III getting the boot over Nicole Anthony, thanks to the Six Shooters, much to Nick Maccarone and Isabella Wang‘s dismay. But the night also saw the emergence of a new comp beast: Cliff. Not only did he crush the Camp Comeback comp to return, but he won Head of Household. That’s right, Cliff is the new HOH, and there’s a chance things might actually get juicy this week.
But first, before the HOH comp was even played, the Six Shooters had to do damage control with Nick and Bella. They splintered off into two groups, each trying to explain to Nick and Bella why they evicted Cliff instead of his intended target Nicole. It basically amounted to Cliff wanting to target the couples, but since Bella wasn’t in the same room as Nick, talk turned to her being a snake, and Nick was like, “I get it, but plz don’t lump me with her.”
“For whatever reason you guys don’t trust her. I get it. I didn’t know she was up there with Cliff for that long,” he said. “She is a recruit. She doesn’t know the game. … I want you guys to be able to trust me. I know that I’m around Bella a lot. Just cause you guys tell me stuff, I don’t tell her.”
This may be true, but it also reeks of Nick desperately trying to get back into the Six Shooters’ good graces because he realizes he’s effed after that blindside and Gr8ful/Und9able is fracturing. Bella, meanwhile, was with Jackson Michie, Jack Matthews and Sam Smith, and remained as petulant as ever, pouting and complaining about how she’s never done anything bad and can’t understand why everyone’s pointing at her and screwing her over. This could all be a front, but we’ve seen enough of Bella now to know that she probably honestly believes she’s done nothing wrong. And like a true entitled brat, she demanded that no one talk to anyone outside of Und9able at all and to treat them like they did the Camp Comebackers.
“From now on, if I see you talking to Cliff or Nicole, I’m going to assume you are trying to get them on your side,” she said.
“That’s kind of threatening,” Jack replied.
“And if you see me talking to Cliff or Nicole, you can assume the same,” she spewed.
Good luck with that plan.
The HOH comp was not endurance but what sounds like a memory quiz. Jack apparently came close to winning, but was edged out by Cliff. I like to think this is karma after he narrowly beat Jessica Milagros two weeks ago. But anyone who hoped that the Camp Comeback returnee would win HOH or get some type of immunity manifested this Cliff victory! Christie definitely did not. Also, Christie kept arguing to Nick that Cliff was the bigger threat, so now that he’s won two comps in a row, she’s not wrong.
Cliff’s win is both potentially good and bad. It’s good because it’s nice to finally see someone outside of Gr8ful in power, which means they might actually be targeted this week, and power shifts are always good. Plus, it’s hilarious that Gr8ful did not get what they want for once. “None of this is what we planned,” Jack moaned. Oh, poor baby. But it’s bad because Cliff has long tried to ingratiate himself with the “cool kids” as a means of survival, which is understandable for a man of a certain age. The Six Shooters could easily butter him up and get him to do their bidding and target Nick and Bella, who are already on the outs with Gr8ful.
The easy option is to put up the two people who’ve nominated him, Nick and Christie, who are sort of like both sides of the house if you consider Nick and Bella being out of Gr8ful. But Cliff should realize that both he and Nick just got burned by the Six Shooters with that blindside, so nominating Nick would just make the same people who just voted you out happy.
Christie is convinced she’s going up, but she has her Diamond Power of Veto in her pocket. She had to tell Nicole about it after Jack accidentally brought it up in front of her. Really, it’s shocking that there’s anyone left in there who does not know about her power at this point since she can’t keep her lips zipped. Jackson wants to convince Cliff to put him up as a pawn next to Nick so they can backdoor Bella with Christie’s power if needed. “I am so passionate about getting them out of here. I will throw my own neck on the block. I want them gone,” he fumed.
But as everyone knows from his Cliff Notes, he is aware of the “couples” in the house; it’s just a matter of if Cliff is winning to make a big move right now to go after them. And it does sound like he is. “There are targets in this house, and we’re going to play a slightly different game this week,” he told live-feeders shortly after he won.
Later, during a middle-of-the-night pow-wow in the HOH room with the outsiders, Nicole, Jess and Kathryn Dunn, he said he’s looking at Christie, Tommy Bracco, Jack and Analyse Talavera. They — the outcasts — have to stick together to take down the other side, he noted, and he’s not afraid to “take the risk” because he’s tired of them being picked off like sitting ducks. He also promised he would not nominate anyone who’s already been on the block, which, oh look, was everyone in that room.
Now Cliff just needs to follow through on this to shake things up. But lest we forget, Kat is good with basically everyone in the house, and the Six Shooters wisely told her about the vote flip to maintain that relationship, so she could go blabbing everything back to them, and she did warn Jackson afterward that his name came up. But if she’s smart about her own game, she wouldn’t.
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