With Joel in power as the new HoH we rejoin the house right after the nominations of Kelsey and Raul, nominations which have really upset his alliance and have now put Joel over to the dark side. Okay, not really. There's no actual dark side in the house but apparently I prefer the alliance of Jared, Kelsey and Raul over that of Dallas, Ramsey and Maddy. At least Joel has shaken things up more than anyone else in the house. What a surprise.
Kelsey is surprised that Joel would have put her up on the block after she's included him in just about every decision her alliance has made. Cassandra actually thought that Joel had decided to put Maddy and Dallas up but maybe there's more to his gameplay than anyone knows. Jared thinks it was a pretty dumb move and Raul blames Loveita for getting into Joel's head. Maybe, but what's done is done.
Dallas, Ramsey and Maddy are happier than pigs in slop over Joel's decision because they feel it's time to remove the three headed monster in the house . . . but doesn't that also apply to them? Joel has secluded himself in the HoH room and realizes he just stabbed his friends in the back and that one of them is likely going home but that's no reason to lock yourself away. It's just a game.
As games play out Dallas and Loveita have found Joel and tell him they're there for him. Dallas is going on about how proud he is of Joel but then Raul comes in and Dallas and Loveita leave. Raul wants to know what happened and Joel admits he was back and forth on his decision but Raul isn't buying it. He's sure that Loveita was behind this and reminds Joel that they were the only ones keeping him safe in the game. Joel says it was all his decision for his endgame but Raul is still upset about that and I'm not sure he buys it.
Raul leaves and we find him sobbing away in the bathroom, which is also where Jared finds him and gives him consoling hug. Jared reminds him it's just a game and he's right. Sometimes houseguests take the game a little too personally, . . . like Kelsey who's crying in the HaveNot chapel when Jared finds her. He's like a magnet for tears.
Eventually Mitch joins them and realizes that it's time for some damage control so he puts all the blame on Loveita despite what Joel says. Jared and Kelsey have no problem agreeing with that and after watching ten episodes I'd say there was certainly a little bit of Loveita in Joel's decision. How much, who can say, but enough to cause a lot of tears. In the end, Mitch needs Kelsey to go because he wants to replace her in the alliance and she's the linchpin in that alliance. Mitch may be even more of a mastermind than Joel is.
After Jared and Kelsey cuddle it out we find Jared having a quiet little chat with Loveita whom he's sure has been feeding little ideas into Joel's head. He's right, Loveita has been constantly nattering to Joel about how Jared and his alliance need to go, but that's not all that unusual. Before the last episode airs pretty much everyone needs to go for someone to win. Of course, Loveita takes that personally and storms off when Jared says he's disgusted that she would manipulate Joel that way.
So where does Loveita go? Straight to the HoH room to cry to Joel about how they're ganging up on her and blaming for his decisions her and . . . the problem with filling the house with people fresh outta high school is that they tend to act like they're still in high school (maybe college). Of course Joel now needs to go and talk to Jared and gives him the same speech he told Raul, ultimately this was his decision not Loveita's. They still disagree but now they realize that they're kinda screwed.
Or maybe not because it's time to pick players for the Power of Veto competition. As the HoH Joel gets first pick and draws Dallas (that's not good), Kelsey draws Ramsey (almost as bad), and Raul picks Jared (whew!). This pretty much evenly splits the house on who can compete this week and Joel isn't happy that jared got picked because that could force him to replace a nomination. To host the competition Joel picks Cassandra and then dismisses everyone until Big Brother calls them out to the backyard.
JOel informs Dallas that they need to win the PoV so that the nominations stand and Dallas has no problem with that because Jared is his enemy in the house. They probably wouldn't get along too well outside of it either as both of these alpha males have totally different ways of looking at life. While Dallas comes across as if he's all about partying, Jared aligns more with the cowboy way.
Speaking of cowboys, here come the competitors in their cowboy outfits heading to the wild, wild backyard which has been converted into a western scene complete with cacti and wooden barrel broncos. Cassandra comes out in her southern finery and Joel is impressed. Competitors need to mount their horse and pull themselves along a t rack to the desert where they need to find sacks of playing cards that they can take back to their stable to form the best poker hand. There are also a few Wild Cards but they all have punishment involved. That's the worst southern drawl I've ever heard but Cassandra puts her all into it.
Joel's goal is to get rid of Kelsey so he really doesn't want Jared to win but Jared seems tothink that riding horses most of his life will give him an advantage in the challenge. Nope! He's the first one out of the gate and the first one to go over and fall off his horse. This is not a cowboy challenge despite what it looks like. There's no real talent to grabbing the cards as you can't reveal them until you bring them back to your stable. Nobody knows what cards anyone else is grabbing but they all know that their best bet is to get a full house rather than a pair of twos.
Raul's hand looks pretty good with a pair of aces and a pair of kings, while Dallas currently hasn't even got a pair. Nor does Kelsey. Jared finds a Wild Card which could give him the win but the punishment is that he can't play in the next HoH and that's not good for his game, especially when everyone seems to be gunning for his alliance. He races back out to see if he can find a better card as he decides against using the Wild Card.
Now Raul gets a Wild Card whose punishment says "Night of a Thousand Lassoes" whatever that is. He decides to Stay because that gives him a full house and a pretty good hand to win. Joel has two pairs, Jacks over Nines so he Stays, then Jared Stays. Kelsey finds a $1000 Reward Card but she races back out to see if she can find something else, while Dallas has found another Wild Card "Human Cactus" which would give him a full house with sixes over kings. He Stays, leaving Kelsey on her own to find a better card but time runs out.
Ramsey had an Ace high flush, Jared had a full house with sevens over tens, Joel had a full house of jacks over nines which beat Jared, Kelsey had a pair of nines and $1000, Raul had a full house with aces over kings which beat Joel but his punishment was to lasso the bull 1000 times before sundown, and finally . . . Dallas had four sixes beating a full house but also has the Human Cactus punishment. I think he's okay with that because he has also just won the Power of Veto.
It just dawned on me that this episode has been fairly quiet and I just realized why. There's been nothing from our resident crazy Brit, Nikki, who was just standing alongside Tim to watch the competition. Quietly. Like a cat got her tongue or something. That's kinda weird, but refreshing.
With the PoV win Dallas gets to be a prick for the next 24 hours as he dresses up like a human cactus and I don't think this is much of a stretch for him. Jared is kicking himself for not playing the Wild Card he had because that would have given him four sevens and the win. Well, at least he can play in the next HoH and if he wins he can put up Dallas and Joel. Of course, he has to win.
Maddy is doing the happy dance with Dallas and Ramsey in the pantry and then Dallas says he's going to go and poke the bear to get Jared angry. Really? Yep, we're back in high school and Dallas is the bully while Raul and Kelsey are the bullied and hiding away from everyone.
Back in the HoH room Tim is lounging in the tub when he pitches the idea of having Dallas use the PoV and him going up as a pawn. Joel tells him that's the personification of a high roller but Tim just likes to shake things up for the fun of it. I'm not sure there's a malicious bone in his body, he's just in it for the fun of playing the game. Maybe it's an Oz thing.
Time for the roping of the bull as Raul faces his punishment. He needs to rope a wooden bull and drag it along a ten foot track then reset it and do it again, and again, and again, . . . 1,000 times. It's gonna be a long day for Raul. Back inside the house Jared pretends to flash Maddy and then out from the pantry comes the human prick, I mean cactus. It's Dallas in a big gray cactus suit with huge cactus hands and he needs everyone to help feed him and scratch him and basically just goof around. So it's same ol' same ol' for Dallas.
Raul wants to leave, he's tired of fighting with the other side of the house and he's tired of roping this damn bull. Mitch wants him to stay because Mitch wants to build that relationship so he convinces him it'll be okay. Mitch is definitely more of a mastermind than the houseguests realize. As he wanders back into the house Raul continues to rope his bull.
Mitch heads up to chat with Loveita and Joel about using the PoV and putting Tim up as a pawn. They're up for that and mention that Tim had brought up the same idea. The three of them are pretty sure that Tim would stay in that situation as everyone loves Tim. Now all they have to do is convince Dallas who is currently out in the backyard watching Raul complete his lassoing punishment.
With so much going on it's no surprise that Kelsey eventually goes to Dallas to see if he's going to use the PoV but he says he's not sure he wants to use it. He advises her to start campaigning to stay because if he did use it he'd save Raul. That sucks for Kelsey but its not over until the final vote. Just in case though, she goes to commiserate with Jared who admits that she was finally starting to fall for him.
While she's falling, Dallas needs to make his decision in regards to the PoV. With everyone else waiting join the living room Dallas goes out to make his decision and then joins them inside. He gives Raul the first chance to save himself and Raul says he came in to be loyal and truthful to himself but he won't stab his friend in the back. Kelsey gets up and says that she wanted to stay honest, kind and create unbreakable bonds which unfortunately got her two weeks out of four on the block. Dallas has, once again, choked and decided not to use the Power of Veto and would prefer to chop off one of the heads of the three headed monster. Glass houses and all that he closes out the PoV ceremony and Joel is pleased.
Kelsey now has no choice but to campaign against her best friend in the house and Joel feels he's gained respect in the house for finally making a big move. The same move everyone else has been afraid to make, I just think it's the wrong one. Thursday's episode is a special 90 minutes long with a fake double eviction being hinted at and I can only hope that it revolves around saving both Raul and Kelsey just to keep everyone on edge.
I'll try to get another review up for Thursday's episode but I also have to get a pile of packing done for an early flight so it may take awhile to get it done. In the meantime I hope everyone is enjoying the reviews. Chat with y'all later houseguests.