Hisam, after winning three Big Brother competitions in a row, is becoming unbearable to even his own alliance, so will they do his dirty work and evict Reilly for him, or break ranks and evict Cameron?
Big Brother goes live for another eviction, but this one isn’t nearly so cut and dry. As predicted, the uncertainty between evicting Cameron or Reilly had less to do with either of them and more to do with Head of Household Hisam’s bizarre power trip.
If you thought he was insufferable (right?) while condescending to Reilly during his reign (right?), you hadn’t seen anything yet. Hisam doubled down on being so unbearably obnoxious in a Professors meeting, you could see his alliance grinding their teeth.
Not only did he keep using “right?” to assert his dominance and will, which is also just the way he talks, he did not allow anyone to finish their sentences. Instead, Hisam finished off their thoughts for them with … well, his thoughts.
We get it, dude, you’ve won three competitions in a row (and came in second in the ones you didn’t win). You’re a legitimate threat and a pretty big deal. But you’re also extremely vain with almost zero people skills in a game that is so much about that.
After slapping his alliance into line, or so he thought, Hisam then proceeded to try and make inroads with the other side of the House by throwing the Professors under the bus and basically saying he never wanted to be aligned with them in the first place.
Basically, he was looking for strong competitors, but they all got sucked into The Handful alliance and he was left on the outside looking in. And apparently quite unhappy about it.
The problem is that after he spoke with America, she divulged this intel to Cory, swearing him to secrecy. But Cory wasted on time running to Cirie, Felicia, and Izzy with the deets in hopes of making some inroads of his own.
We think he just wants to play with the Survivor legend that is Cirie Fields. She’s fully onto his game, but she’ll definitely use the intel.
Reilly or Cameron, That Is the Question
After Hisam aggressively dressed Reilly down in his Veto speech and then proceeded to dress down his entire alliance as to how the next phase of the game should progress (as he sees it), they weren’t so sure they wanted to do his bidding.
But it was also a little more complicated than just defying the HOH. There’s also the matter of what comes next. As Cirie noted, they had two choices here. Defy Hisam and get his defenses up so he’s fighting hard, or placate him so he’ll relax and can be blindsided with a backdoor.
Meanwhile, Cirie also had a sense of loyalty to Reilly, who promised her and Felicia would be safe during her HOH reign last week. Reilly was true to her word, and Cirie was hoping she could be the same. She was practical enough, though, to know it might not be possible.
As noted by Julie Chen Moonves, this waffling within the House went back and forth for days before tonight’s live eviction. The Handful could muster a total of six votes with confidence to save Reilly, as that’s what they all would prefer, but getting even one Professor to flip wasn’t a guarantee.
Then there was Hisam, in all his dictatorial arrogance, declaring that anyone who voted to save Reilly would simply be putting their name next on the chopping block for eviction. Even ineligible to play in this next HOH, he was that confident he could keep controlling the game.
If Kirsten went down Week 1 for playing the game too hard and too early before alliances had even formed, then Hisam is definitely making a target of himself. He’s playing harder than anyone right now, and with zero finesse.
In the end, though, Hisam got his way and Reilly was evicted in a landslide unanimous vote. No one wanted to rock the boat. Now, is this because they fell in line? That seems unlikely.
We suspect they’re trying to lull him into a false sense of security. He’d been throwing around this “post-Reilly” idea for days, thinking of it as a reset of the game, so people can play with the alliances they want. In other words, he’s again hinting he’s not doing that.
It remains to be seen if the core Handful and Professor alliances will fall apart. The root of The Handful is down a member with Reilly gone, and then there’s the fact that Blue, Jag, and Matt all wanted to save Reilly over Cameron. Are they still a tight foursome without her?
The Bye Bye Bitches of Felicia, Cirie, Izzy, Mecole and Bowie Jane seem to still be flying undercover while remaining committed to working together. But we’re not as confident in any other alliances that have thus far been revealed.
It could be that Hisam’s rearranging of strategic alliances in the house might happen after all. But it could also be that this won’t be happening as he was hoping. His thought was to shore up his own arrangements to protect himself, while it looks like new alliances may be forming to take him out.
Certainly, Cory is aggressively working all sides of the house, as is Cameron. Hisam is clearly ready to jump ship, while Cirie and Felicia are more than happy to gain intel from anyone willing to share. It may well be that this age divide era is coming to a close, though we doubt it will die immediately.
Unfortunately, that theory won’t be put to the test just yet. As always, the next HOH dictates a lot of how alliances and arrangements fall as it determines who holds power. Alas, the show ended without even starting the next HOH competition, so we’ll have to wait until Sunday to see who rises to power, and how everyone else lines up beneath them.
Can we get not serious for a minute? We are so grateful to Big Brother for putting this conversation on the show because it is pure gold. Poor Jared was sweating bullets when Cameron told him that he’s got a crazy theory about a relationship in the house.
He started pointing out how the house had an Olympian, a professional musician, a deejay, etc — he notably did not mention a reality television legend — before laying on Jared his wild theory that he is absolutely positive about.
He thinks that Felicia … is Denzel Washington’s sister. Poor Jared had to try and keep a straight face while breathing the biggest sigh of relief that Cameron’s wild theory wasn’t that he and Cirie were mother and son. You know, the wild theory that is true.
Big Brother even helped us out with cuts to Felicia as Cameron explained how they have the same facial expressions and mannerisms. He also pointed out how Frankie Grande played a previous season with his famous sister on the outside, Ariana Grande.
Denzel is 68 and Felicia is 63, so it’s certainly possible. It’s also one of our favorite theories because it is so out of left field. It’s definitely one of Jared’s favorite theories, too, because it’s so far from the secret he’s harboring.
Cirie Fields (53, nurse) knows how to navigate complex social and strategic situations, and this past week was definitely one of those. Not rocking the boat was the perfect plan right now, because a complacent Hisam is an easier target to try and take out through a backdoor. She has so much influence in this game, it’s incredible. How long can this possible last? [Grade: A-]
Felicia Cannon (63, real estate agent) seems to be sitting in a pretty good spot right now, with no enemies in the house and not being seen as a threat by anyone. History suggests that players in her position often go pretty deep, and she’s playing a more strategic game than many realize, so she could yet surprise. [Grade: B]
Jared Fields (25, exterminator) is comfortably sitting on both sides of the house right now, but his name is coming up as a target by Hisam. Most people have no idea his relationship with Cirie, but if they do, it’s his game that will be in jeopardy. Plus, she might have to shift strategies to try and protect him — or might she cut him loose if it comes to it? [Grade: B-]
Izzy Gleicher (32, professional flutist) is stepping up into a leadership role, which is admirable, but also doing so in a more overtly public way. That leaves Cirie and Felicia to be able to seem to not be in any sort of power position, while having heavy influence. Izzy remains a little volatile emotionally at times, but she’s in a pretty good spot overall. The problem is if the other side still is a thing and gains power, she could be seen as a leader for the Professors’ side. [Grade: B-]
Jag Bains (25, truck company owner), America Lopez (27, medical receptionist) & Blue Kim (25, brand strategist) played hard to try and make a difference in Reilly’s game. They all have an understanding of what’s going on. Their future might depend on how flexible they’re willing to be now that their hard work did not pay off and their close ally went home anyway. Will they become easy targets, or build on new relationships. We like to see the effort that was happening. [Grade: C+]
Mecole Hayes (30, political consultant) is aligned with the Bye Bye Bitches, but not necessarily on the same page with them. She’s not looking to rock the boat any more than necessary. This week, that strategy went her way, but her quiet game is leaving her perceived as a floater. [Grade: C]
Bowie Jane Ball (45, barrister/DJ) is part of the Bye Bye Bitches but even they’re leaving her out of strategizing, suspecting she won’t want to be part of any potentially boat-rocking situations. They’ll protect her for now, but that may start to grate on nerves in time, putting her toward the bottom of this alliance. [Grade: C]
Red Utley (37, sales) is floating through the game. He’s seen as a potential competition threat, but not enough right now to be on anyone’s radar. It’s a fair game to play, unless the house decides to start targeting floaters. [Grade: C]
Cory Wurtenberger (21, college student) is definitely playing both sides of the house, sharing information from America to the Professors. The older players are using his intel, but Cirie knows better than to trust him. He’s in a good spot with information, but he needs to use his powers of persuasion to really solidify things on a more real level. [Grade: C]
Hisam Goueli (45, geriatric physician) made more and more enemies throughout his HOH reign. He’s a threat to win comps, but he’s already in a position that he may have to win out to stay safe. He’s proven he can do this, but it’s incredibly unlikely. And he doesn’t seem to have the social skills to make up for his lack of grace and tact thus far. His game may well be a battle from this point forward. [Grade: C-]
Cameron Hardin (34, stay-at-home dad) survives the week, and we’re not sure how big of a target he is now that Hisam isn’t going to be the one pulling the strings as much as he thinks he is. If Reilly was the head of The Handful, what are they now, and who takes the reins? [Grade: C-]
Matthew Klotz (27, deaflympics gold medalist) doesn’t really have any enemies in the house, but he also doesn’t seem to have any strong enough allies. He admitted that Reilly was helping him understand what was going on — things he was missing due to his deafness — which indicates no one else is doing that. Will anyone step up, or will he fall out of the loop? [Grade: C-]
Reilly Smedley (24, bartender) fell victim to Hisam’s incredible competition prowess. The house seems to want to keep him lulled into a sense of complacancy, so they sacrificed her game to pacify him. At least, that’s how it looks right now. Either way, it was bad news for her. [Grade: F]
- “That seventh vote is key for this week. Otherwise we just blindsided ourselves.” –Jag (needing a seventh vote to save Reilly beyond the Handful)
- “Hisam’s speech was a little extra … I think Hisam’s speech is forcing a little sympathy for Reilly.” –Izzy (in DR)
- “I have no reason to want Reilly out because she’s been nothing but kind to me and Miss Felicia.” –Cirie (to Matt)
- “Just for why? What was the point?” –Cory (about Hisam’s POV speech)
- “He did say he wants to play an honest game, and he was sure honest.” –Blue
- “The power of this vote, Miss Felicia, lies with you and me.” –Cirie
- “Me and you gonna be sitting in those final two chairs.” –Felicia
- “Yes ma’am. Yes ma’am.” –Cirie
- “With nominations set, Hisam’s HOH power is all but done. But someone forgot to tell Hisam.” –Julie
- “You good at keeping secrets? I got a theory, and it’s f–king nuts. But when I get outta here and I find out it’s true, Imma be like, I called that. I think Felicia, I think Denzel Washington is her brother.” –Cameron (to Jared, worried he figured out his secret)
- “If we go through with this, it’s obviously going to be a blindside because Hisam thinks it’s going to be unanimous.” –Jag (to Cirie, rallying votes for Reilly)
- “If I have Reilly and her people supporting me, and I have the Bye, Bye Bitches supporting me, I’m kinda sitting pretty if she stays.” –Cirie (in DR)
- “We gotta hurry up, ’cause I feel my butt. I gotta go.” –Felicia
- “I think we should all be aware that they are going to scramble post-Reilly. Which means they are gonna start forming coalitions and trying to pull people over, right? That’s why we have to start spreading out, right? Find a buddy, right? Everybody find their buddy, right? So if they go up on the block, right? It’s okay to spend time with them. Like, stay strong, but no new alliances. So that should be sort of like our game plan. Just based on what we’re saying, I think our next target is pretty clear.” –Hisam (starts cutting off everyone in Professors)
- “I also want to take a step back from winning.” –Hisam
- “Why is this man trying to tell me what to do?” –Izzy (to Cirie about Hisam)
- “I think Reilly sort of split the house in two and I think a lot of people ended up sides they may not have wanted to be on, does that make sense to you? I didn’t necessarily want to be on this side. I was trying to be on that side. Right, like I was trying to work with people on that side.” –Hisam (to America)
- “He told me he wants to work with strong players, basically s–t on his side.” –America (to Cory)
- “My dilemma, do we keep Reilly, piss off Hisam, put him at high alert, or do we sacrifice Reilly and make Hisam totally relaxed and easier to backdoor?” –Cirie (in DR)
- “When it became clear the plan was not working out, I did tell my alliance to not blow their game by voting for me, so that’s kind of how I approached it.” –Reilly (to Julie)
Big Brother airs Sundays and Wednesdays at 8pm ET, and Thursdays at 9pm ET on CBS.