The mess that is Camp Comeback is finally over on Big Brother 21. The twist that put a serious dent in strategic gameplay and supported bullying ended in a lackluster conclusion. I wish I could I say I was surprised, but I wasn’t – this outcome lined up to the disappointing narrative that the first weeks already followed. The most surprising houseguest won the chance to come back while the three houseguests who faced the most bullying and discrimination were sent out. If you think about it, none of them had a fair chance with this mix of houseguests, even if the comeback challenge was a game of chance. Hopefully, things change for Big Brother 22.
David, Ovi, and Kemi faced large hurdles during their Big Brother 21 experience; I wouldn’t be shocked if this altered their view of the series overall. (How could anyone not after witnessing these brutal three weeks and then the eviction interview visual?) The current houseguests directed a lot of micro-aggressions, bullying, frustrations, and segregation tactics against them. Not all of the players participated in this, but the majority fell to mob mentality and complied in one way or another. Week 3 of Big Brother 21 even started showing some of these scenes; lest we forget the now iconic “no shaker bottles in the fridge” debacle. Kemi in particular faced A LOT of these tactics – this one scene was just the tip of the iceberg for what she faced.
Speaking of the footage, I want to commend CBS/Big Brother for finally exposing some of these scenes. The casual viewers needed to see how terrible the Gr8ful/Unde9able alliance truly were to the outsiders. In addition to their pow-wow in the HOH room, we got a taste of Jack’s, Christie’s, and Isabella’s true behaviors when interacting with the Camp Comebackers. Jack came off like the egotistical guy he is, Bella was a snake, and Christie fell too deep into her own hype. I wish the show could’ve gone deeper and exposed the others who were terrible. Like, why did Big Brother 21 feel the need to protect Nick? Nick, who is a professional child therapist, questioned if Nicole even had anxiety as a defence for why he was mad at her. He’s slowly getting the bad edit, but he should’ve been exposed as a villain too.
Nick’s showmance partner Bella, on the other hand, got the villain edit rightly so. Her downfall might be one of the most satisfying things to watch after witnessing her messy and destructive gameplay. You could feel the smug superiority exuding from her as Nicole tried to have a calm and rational conversation with her. But nope, Bella wanted none of that. I’m glad Nicole finally stood up for herself and called out Bella on all her sneaky tactics! Nicole kept getting pushed around by the majority alliance, and by her standing up, she fought against her bully and exposed what we all knew – Bella was the cause of everything.
Bella and Nick have no chance to avoid an upcoming eviction. They disregarded all the warning signs of the majority alliance coming after them and they turned against the outsiders by nominating Nicole for eviction. Smarter players would’ve realized that the Gr8ful alliance would never come outright and say they planned to backdoor the couple; of course, they’d lie to cover their backs. Though, we’re talking about Nick and Bella here – they ignored it without hesitation. They’ll look back on this moment as their biggest blunder.
Side-note: shout out to the Big Brother editors for including the flashback scene of Analyse and Christie calling Nick and Bella bullies to Nicole. This scene vindicated Nicole as the true underdog of Big Brother 21. I love whenever these scenes are added in because it adds weight to who is lying and who is telling the truth. In this case, Nick and Bella’s stupidity was doubled-down.
Another questionable strategic moment came from the one and only Christie. Why is she telling everyone about her Whacktivity power?! The Diamond Power of Veto could be her secret weapon toward making a big move but now everyone knows about it. Just look at what happened to Ovi – they’ll try to blindside her just so that she can’t use her ability! And why did she expose it to Nick and Bella?! She tried to backdoor them! Christie’s worst enemy is herself.
The best move of the week came from the Six Shooters (Tommy, Analyse, Christie, Jack, Jackson, and Holly) choosing to keep Nicole and blindside Cliff. This move essentially kept a shield in the game that would take the attention off of them: both Nick/Bella and Nicole want each other out. Plus, this tactic allowed the alliance to repair bridges with Nicole for a short while. They’re off her radar and she isn’t planning to target them. In addition to this move, the Six Shooters informed Kathryn of the plan, so now they have another outsider willing to work with them as well.
The only person left in the house who isn’t really planning is Jessica. She has no idea what’s going on – and that’s not even a stretch. For the second week in a row, she got to choose who to compete in the POV and once again, she chose someone who wasn’t in her alliance nor would protect her. Jessica is shaping up to be the perfect goat to be carried to the end and not win.
I loved the Week 3 challenges! The HOH challenge was a standard knowledge game, but the Whacktivity and Power of Veto challenges were equally fun and interesting. I would’ve cringed if I had to move the bugs to solve the riddle – that might be the most uncomfortable Whacktivity game yet. And having Big Brother 20’s Kaitlyn return for redemption during the POV added a nice dose of love and light to this week’s drama. Anything spooky and cheeky wins me over; the POV had all of that and more. Plus, a surprising Kat win to boot!
Cliff getting evicted and winning the Camp Comeback game isn’t the main cause of the frustration this week. He got put into the same situation as everyone else with getting eliminated and having to compete for a chance to return. And whether you like it or not … he did the damn thing. Cliff steamrolled through the challenge and legitimately earned his way back in. I wished for a different outcome (like having Kemi or David return), but he did what he needed to do. We can’t always predict the outcome, so let’s hope he uses his second chance to shake things up.
Week 3 of Big Brother 21 put the final nail in the Camp Comeback saga. The series of events continued to hit one hurdle after another until the bitter end. A few glimmering moments stood out amongst the chaos to give us a beacon of hope for the future, like Nicole surviving and Gr8ful/Unde9able splitting up. Cross your fingers that the houseguests will finally start playing strategically from here on out, and that Big Brother will actually learn from its casting/editing issues to fix the mess before Big Brother 22.