The Big Brother 23 house nearly flipped on its head during Week #5. Between physical threat Christian and the divisive-yet-bubbly Sarah Beth, the target flipped back and forth constantly. We nearly experienced a world where Tiffany had successfully flipped the house to take out her biggest threat (Sarah Beth) instead of the biggest competition beast (Christian). Week #5 was a fast-paced week that provided plenty of drama and action for the viewers. Why? Week #5 is the last week before the jury starts, so the houseguests only have one more chance to get someone out they don’t want on the jury.
Derek X. is walking away from Week #5 in a really strong position. Winning Head of Household (HOH) gave him the opportunity to assess the playing field, cement stable alliances, and evict a target who wanted him out. Let’s face it: Christian blew it by not targeting Derek X. during his Week #4 HOH reign! (We’ll get into how Christian faltered this round later on.) In Derek X.’s case, he played it smart by taking in all the information said to him and using his power to go after a big threat. The houseguests were hungry for a big move, and he wanted to take out a huge threat—it was a match made in heaven. No one was pissed off due to Derek X.’s HOH reign; he even improved his relationships with the others in the house (for the most part). This was how you do an HOH week and end up better for it.
Britini also gained a confidence bump from playing in Week #5. Sure, she got nominated yet again as a pawn and became known as the expendable player. However, her winning the Power of Veto (POV) gave her a small form of power that she could wield and develop. Confident Britini is the better Britini because she takes charge of her path and doesn’t wallow in the sadness of being used as a pawn. Britini used her POV to join in the conversations and establish the backdoor plan on Christian. The idea may have been set up by others (like The Cookout), but her belief that she was leading the charge changed her outlook on life. All Britini needs to do is win challenges or be directly connected to who does wins challenges to feel more confident in the game—that change will do wonders for her in the long run.
Speaking of The Cookout, they were so close to turning on each other. If one decision had not gone their way, the tensions would’ve flared and split the group in two. Particularly, Azah and Derek F. vs. Tiffany had too much baggage to properly clear in a short amount of time. They’re fire and water; their styles of playing Big Brother are not the same. Tiffany needed to take a breather and stop controlling everything; her trying to micromanage the former Jokers alliance could’ve blown up in her face. Azah and Derek F. already thought Tiffany was controlling, but Tiffany’s condescending words nearly drove a huge wedge between them.
Azah and Derek F. weren’t innocent in the drama either. They have been reaping all the rewards of The Cookout without doing any of the work. Granted, they don’t want their ally (Britini) to be on the block yet again, but there needs to be some compromise in the mix for a backdoor plan. Plus, Azah had already been distrustful of Tiffany for the last few weeks; the pair were going to argue regardless of the situation. For their alliance to work, they need to get their issues out in the open. Continuing to internalize everything and bicker will only chip away at the alliance, and since everyone in The Cookout has competing interests, it only takes one big blow-up to break it apart.
One of those issues could be Kyland’s close friendship with Sarah Beth. Everyone, especially Tiffany, locked their eyes on the duo because of their close friendship; they could become an easy target since they’re a tight pair. It’s gotten so bad that people were questioning if they’re “America’s Couple” or if they’re secretly dating (they’re not … it’s all paranoia). Sarah Beth and Kyland need to start distancing themselves a bit, just so that it reduces the target and doesn’t make their friendship so obvious. Being a pair could be a reason why someone nominates them both for eviction.
Though, the rumors have caused some controversy: why was Tiffany so dead-set on questioning Sarah Beth’s sexuality? Granted, houseguests theorize and speculate EVERYTHING while playing the game, like twists, secret relationships, viewer votes, hidden rooms, and etc. All the players have is time to think about the game. However, Tiffany had it set in her mind that Kyland and Sarah Beth were lying about not dating, so much so that she openly doubted Sarah Beth’s bisexuality, let alone her story of having a girlfriend. Sarah Beth does have a girlfriend and is bisexual, she’s just really close friends with Kyland and likes to cuddle. Tiffany misconstrued some words Sarah Beth said about her being “single,” but even if there was confusion, that shouldn’t have translated to questions about Sarah Beth’s dating preferences and assumptions if she preferred dating men over women. Tiffany hates Sarah Beth (that was made clear from a game standpoint), but her determination to get Sarah Beth out shouldn’t have led her down a path to distrust everything about her life. Hopefully, she apologizes to Sarah Beth soon.
Could this be Hannah’s new start in Big Brother 23? Due to Tiffany accidentally spilling the existence of The Royal Flush, Hannah now knows about a secret alliance she wasn’t a member of. Hannah should use that information to help shape her thinking in the game. Like, now knowing that her closest allies formed a group without her (even if they inadvertently helped her), it showed that their connection wasn’t strong enough for her to be brought into the loop. Hannah should use this information to maneuver the relationships and set herself up for success. They already underestimated her; the power is now in her hands.
Christian messed up his chances all the way to his eviction, regardless of him being backdoored. He won a lot of challenges during his short time on Big Brother 23, so his target was already huge. Christian spent too much time hanging with Alyssa and cuddling, which took time away from building stronger bonds with the other houseguests. And, he wasted his HOH week evicting Whitney instead of taking out a huge threat who he knew was coming after him (Derek X.). Though, the biggest hurdle was that he waited too long to start campaigning for himself. If Christian had started a few days earlier, the campaign would’ve rolled faster and there would’ve been more time to convince players like Derek F., Azah, and Britini to flip their votes. Even Tiffany and Claire were open to the idea of keeping Christian at one point. Christian didn’t utilize his time effectively—it blew up in his face when it came to crunch time.
Week #5 of Big Brother 23 picked up the pace considerably and felt like the most thrilling round of the season by far. The houseguests had agency in the game and hadn’t planned the target a week in advance; the target kept shifting and plans had to unfold. This was the game at its most fun because the strategy elements were in play. Let’s hope that the players use this round as a prime example of needing to make stronger game moves or else they’ll be the unsuspecting target blindsided as the replacement nominee.
Big Brother 23 airs on CBS on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 8/7c.