‘Big Brother 21’ spoilers: Jackson and Holly’s final HOH plan was a flop and a success, while Nicole is ‘disgusted’ with herself

At least one thing didn’t work out the way Jackson Michie and Holly Allen wanted to this week on “Big Brother 21.” And yet it still did. Things definitely did not work out for Nicole Anthony, though, but she’s not giving up yet.

Jackson won Part 1 of the final HOH on Thursday, which was not what he and Holly had plotted to do. Early Thursday morning, they discussed their final HOH strategy: Jackson would throw Part 1 to Holly after Nicole is out, and he would face off against Nicole in Part 2 and hopefully win to ensure him and Holly for Part 3.

This was a good strategy for them — based on what they knew of the game. Part 1 has historically been endurance, and we know Holly can hang all night (as she’s petulantly reminded us all week about how she was “bullied” into throwing that HOH). Part 2 has traditionally been a mental and physical comp; Nicole has the mental down pat, but Jackson would crush her in any physical aspect.

But we have to expect the unexpected. Turns out Part 1 was not endurance at all, but rather a Part 2-like comp. From their descriptions, it was a massive set piece, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”-style, that involved an obstacle course with ropes and puzzles. I know what you’re thinking: Nicole can rock a puzzle! Yes, but she’s admittedly physically weak. She hurt her knee in the comp and finished dead last with only eight pieces completed (unclear what they actually had to do); Holly had 22 and Jackson had 25.

SEE ‘Big Brother 21’ spoilers: The Part 1 winner of the final HOH is…

Jackson told Holly afterward that he should’ve thrown the comp to her, but their plan didn’t account for a non-endurance Part 1. (Also, let’s be real, Jackson is too much of a competitor to throw something, especially when the comp has an unpredictability factor, like collecting and assembling things, where he can’t really gauge how someone else is doing versus just dangling on a contraption and falling.) Nicole, meanwhile, was pissed at herself for sucking so hard. “America, Nicole is disgusted with herself,” she told us. “Well, that wasn’t my comp for sure. Its all right. ‘Tis but a game. My pride and ego are more hurt than anything. Just embarrassed. Disgusted with myself.”

Jackson tried to give her a pep talk in that pedantic way that he does, but Nicole just wanted to be left alone. But she later low-key campaigned to both Holly and Jackson separately, asking each of them to at least consider taking her to the final two and minimized her chances because of her lack of physical abilities and knee. Her convo with Holly was the most enlightening because they’ve never been as close as Nicole and Jackson.

“I’m OK with the expectation that you guys are going to take each other. Don’t pity me,” Nicole told her. “I don’t want you guys to think I’m the air-headed dope that came along with you. That’s my biggest fear. … I was telling you the other day to just consider me. If I do win something, I would consider both of you.”

“Trust me, it has to be a consideration. Michie has quite the resume, and I know that,” Holly said. “I do worry that people just assume I’m here just because of Michie.”

SEE ‘Big Brother’: How to vote for America’s Favorite Houseguest

Nicole told her she could argue “if Holly is there because of Michie, then Cliff and Nicole are there because of Michie and Holly,” which is the subtlest burn. “Because of Michie and Holly.” Keep bringing it, Nicole.

Nicole later buttered up Jackson by telling him his “master plan” worked flawlessly and a lot of people would vote for his game. He said he had no master plan and that Holly has a lot of friends in jury, while Nicole has won some key comps and is liked by people in jury. (Side note: How hilarious was it when Jackson implored Cliff Hogg III to remember to “vote according to game” as he was walking out the door? Desperate, party of one.) Nicole poo-pooed that last part. The jury is made up of mostly Jackson and Holly’s buddies, and the only two people who we know would advocate for Nicole are Cliff and Tommy Bracco. But who knows, Tommy could’ve gotten re-brainwashed by Jack Matthews again.

So now the only way this final week is not a total crawl to Wednesday is if Nicole wins Part 2, and it’s anyone’s guess what the hell type of comp that will be now. We basically know there’s no way there’ll be a Jackson-Nicole final two combo regardless of who wins the final two parts. If Jackson’s the final HOH, he’s taking Holly and vice versa. If Nicole’s the final HOH, she’s taking Holly. So this all rests on Nicole’s shoulders (and busted knee) to make it interesting.

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