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“Big Brother” house splits in more ways than one

By: Matthew Lutey 

The “Big Brother” twist revealed Thursday night to the houseguests gave new meaning to the phrase a house divided. 

For the first time in the show’s history, the houseguests were split into two groups, and will play a week of the show isolated from each other.

Keeping with the festival theme of the season, host Julie Chen-Moonves explained that one group will be a part of “Dyre Fest,” and will spend the week living in the backyard. The other will be inside the house at “Big Brochella.” 

The objective of “Big Brother” is to be the last houseguest remaining, which results in a $750,000 prize. Houseguests are cut off from the outside world, followed by cameras and vie for power to be the Head of Household and nominate two players they would like to see eliminated. A weekly vote is conducted to evict one of the nominated houseguests. 

The twist is especially interesting at this juncture of the season because it splits up the dominant seven-member alliance “The Leftovers.” The alliance could still have a majority in both splits, but it’s possible the split house expedites the end of the alliance as members start to think about their end game plans. 

Thursday’s two-hour episode ended with a Head of Household competition. There will be two HOHs for the week and two sets of nominees, and next Thursday two players will be evicted. Double evictions are a staple in “Big Brother,” but doing it by splitting the house is a new wrinkle. 

The HOH competition was a Where’s Waldo style game. Michale Bruner won, and will be HOH at “Big Brochella.” Terrance Higgins finished second, and will be HOH at “Dyre Fest.” As Thursday’s episode went off the air, Julie revealed that Michael and Terrance will choose who will be joining their groups via schoolyard pick.

Before the twist was revealed, there was an eviction that put an end to the prior seven days of gameplay. Brazilian private jet flight attendant Indy Santos was evicted by a vote of 7-1 over Terrance, and became the first member of the jury that will vote for the winner of the season. 

Indy and Terrance were nominated by outgoing Head of Household Taylor Hale. Taylor became HOH last week by winning the endurance wall competition. She nominated Indy and Terrance because they were two of the four remaining houseguests outside her alliance. By the end of the week, however, Taylor was not happy Indy was the one evicted.

“Indy I am so humiliated by you being on the outside of the house this week,” Taylor said in her goodbye message. “You know this is never what I intended to happen.”

The cracks in “The Leftovers” could already be seen even before the Power of Veto competition. Joseph Abdin volunteered to be a replacement nominee if the veto was used in order to disguise the alliance and make it seem like he and Taylor were not working together. But fellow alliance members Michael and Brittany Hoopes considered the possibility of getting Joseph out if he did end up on the chopping block. 

“Not only is Joseph coming up with really messy plans, he’s also playing both sides of the house in a way that doesn’t benefit the alliance, only his game,” Micahel said in a diary room session.

Joseph’s plan never came to fruition because of the dramatics that took place in the veto competition. The competition was played round by round, and each time a player was eliminated, they drew for a prize or punishment, with one of the prizes being the veto. But players eliminated in subsequent rounds could steal from someone already eliminated, and that got Alyssa Snider into trouble. She stole a trip to London from Taylor, placing a target on her as a potential replacement nominee, even though Alyssa had the trip stolen from her later. 

“I really did start this week not wanting to target any of the ladies, but she’s (Alyssa) given me a clear reason to,” Taylor said in the diary room. 

Luckily for Alyssa her “showmance” Kyle Capener won the veto. Kyle felt pressured from some of his alliance members to use the veto so Alyssa could be nominated and ultimately voted out, but he did not want to play a role in her eviction so he left nominations the same. Still, sticking his neck out for someone not in “The Leftovers” may have consequences for Kyle.

It seemed like “The Leftovers” were splitting with Kyle, Michael and Brittany on one side; Taylor, Joseph and Monte Taylor on the other, and Matthew Turner (who goes by Turner) in the middle. But Thursday’s twist will split them in a different way, and with one HOH being in “The Leftovers,” and the other outside of it, it will be interesting to see how everything plays out. 

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