Previously on Big Brother, Jackson actually came through on his promise to win the POV, which put Christie in a bit of a tough spot with regard to her Diamond POV.  But not as tough as Cliff, who had to decide if he’d stick to his word or play a longer game with some bigger risks in exchange for the instant gratification of breaking up the Bromance of the Jacks.  He decided he’d just piss off Nick instead, and put Bella on the block when Jackson came down. Can Bella talk her way out of this the same way she talked her way in?

In the DR, Cliff starts a sentence with “The Cliffamaniacs are probably saying…” And, No. No they’re not.  I’ve already forgotten the rest of the sentence, but I’m very sure they’re not saying it. He basically thinks he’s playing three dimensional chess and I’m not sure that’s the case.  He thinks he’s outsmarting Christie, and I think that might be possible, but it hardly makes him Mr. Spock. For his part, Jack is happy to be up against Bella, while Nick naturally thinks this is the biggest mistake Cliff could have made.

Nick tells Cliff it’s gonna be him, Cliff and Sam from here on out and they’ll get picked off one by one.  Nick says if Christie used the power, then she wouldn’t have it anymore, but Cliff’s fair concern is that he  would be enemy #1. Cliff DRs that this would have had him breaking his word, and Nick and Bella are a sinking ship and are not his path to victory.  Nick DRs that Bella is not staying. Lots of tears follow.

Jack, Michie and Cliff talk about his word being his bond.  Jack DRs that Cliff did right by them. Cliff tries to get in with the guys and DRs that he can get in with them and wait for the couples to turn on each other.  As much as I don’t think Cliff is a master strategist, I think he might be on to something here, especially given how quickly they all turned on Nick and Bella.

Next up, we get a little montage of Holly and Kat bonding over their pageant pasts and current careers in “promo modeling”.  At one point, while laying on a chaise by the pool, tiny Holly says she looks “so fat”, which is crazy and everything that’s wrong with our culture in one sentence. Kat and Holly decide on a final two.  We’ll see if we can look back on this moment in a few months as when it all began.

Bella is talking with Cliff, who saves face by saying he had to put her up or Christie would have.  He tells her to campaign to get Jack to go home. Bella and Sam talk with Cliff about getting enough votes to get to a tie breaker with Jack.  He DRs that if it comes to that, he doesn’t know what he is going to do.  

Bella campaigns to Christie and Kat that Jack is a way bigger threat in both comps and the social game. She owns that she betrayed a lot of people and basically says she can be a meat shield if she stays. Kat is afraid to vote Jack out…asking in the DR if now is the time. Bella has to go to Jess and Nicole next. Jess says she’s mad at Bella, but Jack has put her up and is part of a tight six that runs things.  Nicole says this is the Bella she wants to work with, and they might need to take shot at Jack, since they might not get another one anytime soon. This is when I knew Jack was definitely not going home. These people aren’t bright enough to defy Aquaman.  

Now it’s time for the segment no one was clamoring for, a Cliff profile piece.  His family seem like nice people and apparently the Hogg name is big in Texas…to the point where we’re told who Cliff’s parents are like it’s supposed to mean something to us.  Even google didn’t help me much, except to tell me that his dad, “Porky” Hogg passed away earlier this year. I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but, man, only in Texas could a grown man go through life sharing a nickname with an animated pig who wore a jacket, bow tie and no pants.  Cliff has been married 28 years, has a son and daughter, and he’s handy. He also earned a patent in oil drilling and is very well traveled.  

Bella makes a very coherent speech, pleading for people to vote what’s best for their game, so naturally none of the people who should listen will do so.  Jack says he hates speeches, but then goes on to say he’s thankful, a team player, has integrity and respects everyone’s game play. He also says to vote what’s best for your game, but none of them will.  In the end, only Nick and Sam vote Jack out, so it’s a landslide for Bella to hit the showers. Now, I was no fan of Bella’s, but at least she has some self awareness now.  

On the way out, she hugs just about everyone, and a weepy Nick tells her not to forget to call his mom. He sobs on Sam’s shoulder when her picture goes to black and white.  As they all gather to wait for the HOH, Jack is consoling Nicole, which is weird. How are these people being so easily duped?  

ChenMoonvesterview.  Bella thinks Christie led the house to flip.  Julie says that Nicole told Bella about Grateful flipping on her, so how much does she regret the way she treated her now?  Bella says she regrets it a lot, actually. She wishes she would have let Nicole say her piece in that big strategy meeting. Julie asks if it was her strategy to share info.  She says it’was just her being bad at the game. Well, that’s refreshing honesty! Julie asks about Nick, which leads to her admitting that she found him annoying at first, but they are now both in love.  Aw. They’re not my favorite couple, but they seem like normal people, which is a nice change of pace for this show.

Goodbye messages: Sam says she’s like a sister to him, and he’ll miss her a ton. Nicole says she respects and love her and accepts her apology.  Jack is cocky (“if I’m HOH, Nick or Sam is coming to hang out with you”) but still charming, it seems, as Bella smiles. Among other things, Nick says “You’re perfect” in Mandarin.  Bella is now sobbing, and hopes Nick and Sam still have a chance, which I’m thinking might be dicey unless they can win some more comps.

Time for our first big HOH endurance challenge of the summer.  Everyone is suspended by pulleys that look like vines. If and when you fall off, you have to take a chip from the punishment box; two people will get something called a “poison ivy punishment”.  Wouldn’t it be great if that meant they have to watch just the scenes from the 1997 film Batman and Robin that featured Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy on a loop for 24 hours? Ya know, with their eyes propped open Clockwork Orange-style?  That might be too mean, even for this show. Anyhoo, it looks like the “vines” pull as you move around, but Tommy shows off his dancer fit bod by doing practically full splits in mid air, while you can see Jess is already a bit wobbly.  This would seem to definitely favor the smaller humans. And, as I thought might be the case, she’s out by the time they get back from commercial. Then Nicole slips and falls, so it’s not only about size but most definitely about strength.  

EJ will see you next time to recap this competition and see who the winner nominates.  We’ve made it through another week, kids! See you on the other side!

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