Never discredit the power of a brilliant move. Thanks to the infamy of Taco Tuesday from Big Brother 21 Week #8, this week’s evicted houseguest is a direct result from that confrontation. Nick’s stock plummeted after he fell into Christie’s trap, and even when America gave him the opportunity to crawl out from the hole he dug himself into, he still couldn’t survive eviction. That’s not to say there weren’t opportunities that could’ve helped him greatly; he had many key chances to redeem himself. However, his downward trajectory couldn’t overshadow the error of the houseguests’ latest move. Week #9 was a bad week for the players, but it was a fun series of events for the viewing audience.
First and foremost, Christie surviving yet ANOTHER week of eviction is no lucky feat. We must give her credit for putting the work in to foster her social game with the Holly and Jackson showmance. Week #9 is the second time where the weaker target got ousted instead of her; that’s not including the week where America voted her into the Field Trip for the chance at nomination. For all intents and purposes, she’s one of the most dangerous players in the game and the houseguests aren’t doing anything about it. Even when America literally handed Nick (her biggest enemy) the power to place her on the nomination block, the houseguests avoided the smarter move.
Sure, having a secret connection like Tommy in the house greatly helped her. However, that’s only one vote in the grand scheme of things. Tommy may have been the tiebreaker that hurt Nick, but Jessica, Jackson, Nicole, and Cliff all had votes that determined the vote too. Christie put in her work to get the showmance on her side and fix the mess that got caused during the implosion of the Six Shooters. It wouldn’t be surprising if Christie made it to the end and won Big Brother 21. She’s playing a hard but emotional game that’s working.
Tommy’s stock, on the other hand, took a huge dip due to Nick’s eviction. This is the third ally in four weeks that Tommy lost in an eviction vote, in addition to losing Sam and Isabella pre-jury. Houseguests lose allies all the time, but what made Week #9 worse for him were the optics that dealt a blow to his reputation. Tommy is trying to play the likable and honest game, one about being loyal and honoring deals, but that gameplay only gets you so far in a cutthroat game like Big Brother.
Based on optics, Tommy seemed closer to Nick than Christie, so when he turned on Nick, it added cracks to the veneer that people could no longer ignore. People accurately questioned Tommy’s game and his true intentions. Why did he save Christie over his closest bros Nick or Jack? Or his BFF Analyse? Nicole’s open doubts about Tommy and Christie could create a spark that leads to his ouster. She needs to follow her intuition because she’s on the right track; Tommy, meanwhile, must do damage control and take out Cliff and Nicole ASAP to gain the power back. Tommy’s odds of making the finals are slipping by the day.
Speaking of making a move, Nicole must step it up. Her campaigning to save Nick is a good start, but as the days dwindle, she’s running out of chances to add accomplishments to her resume. Her likability factor is off the charts and she could win the game like Jordan did in Big Brother 11 (i.e., having a “nice” social game and being more likable than her competitor); however, Jordan still turned it out with challenge wins and a few light strategic moves. Nicole is well-liked by the viewers, but the houseguests look at her as a safe bet to be the goat of Big Brother 21 (i.e., someone easy to beat in the finals). Nicole would be a great end winner, but everyone else has a better case than her. Even Jessica has a stronger case to win with her two challenge wins and leading Jack’s eviction!
Jessica isn’t the best or most strategic houseguest; she doesn’t know what’s going on around her until she’s in power. Though, she said something that gives us hope that she somewhat has a strategy. In the Diary Room, she wants to play the middle between the three couples to get her a spot in the Final 3 with any of them. Paul from Big Brother 19 played this strategic and it worked greatly for him; however, you must be on top of your social game with all of them to make it work. Jessica isn’t as proactive as Paul, so her strategy could fail miserably. However, if she puts in the effort with the three pairs, Jessica could be a contender.
Week #9 marked “Prank Week” in the Big Brother 21 house, and it wasn’t half-bad with all the shenanigans considered. The opening joke of the Head of Household competition being a complete luck game instead of a bird memory game was brilliant! The houseguests spent hours memorizing noises for nothing. Plus, the punishment of Cliff, Jessica, and Nicole having to pie people with desserts added many fun segments; the surprises are one of the few times where everyone in the house came off better than they truly were. Zingbots’ zings, on the other hand, didn’t pack quite the same punch as past seasons. Not every zing can be heavy hitters, but the batch this year didn’t land as hard. Maybe it’s the players or the material to work with? The only truly hilarious ones were Tommy’s, Holly’s, and Jackson’s zings. The biggest miss was Christie’s zing – Zingbot could’ve hit harder with ALL the material available.
As mentioned above, Nick’s downfall toward eviction started with Taco Tuesday – that night exposed his gameplay and placed the target on his back. However, by winning America’s Prankster, he had the opportunity to save himself and avoid the block. Right when he won, he should’ve cut a deal with Holly and Jackson to ensure that Holly as HOH would get to keep both of her nominee choices. Plus, he could’ve insinuated that he wouldn’t nominate Jackson with his power – there’s no way Holly would risk losing Jackson during her HOH week. If Nick had played more aggressively in the beginning, he wouldn’t have been nominated in the first place.
Week #9 of Big Brother 21 saw the completion of the Taco Tuesday storyline with the eviction of a big threat. Nick’s eviction left the house riddled with three couples and one straggler (Jessica) still fighting for the prize. We’re in a captivating state of the season where legitimately every houseguest could win the game; some odds are better than others, but everyone still has a chance. Going into the Final 7, will the duos survive yet again or will one finally be broken up?