Big Brother Blowout: Cookout Celebrates History, Then Starts Cannibalizing Their Own

The next Head of Household sets the stage for the rest of this game as The Cookout is pretty evenly divided — so who took power, and who were their first targets?

We’re in the endgame of “Big Brother” as The Cookout made history and then hit a big reset button on the game. After months of “The Six,” it’s finally everybody for themselves — which also means new alliances.

Almost before Claire and Alyssa were out the door in last week’s double eviction, the members of The Cookout were strategizing their endgame. As we’ve seen bubbling beneath the surface, there’s a pretty clear divide in the house with four power players divided on gender lines.

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Unfortunately for the other two, they haven’t won anything all season long, so they’ve kind of been left out of everything, except as pawns. That looks to continue as Kyland and Xavier quickly firmed up a Final 2 deal to complement Tiffany and Hannah’s existing one.

The ladies tried a pitch with Kyland to get him to make a Final 3 with them, and seemed to actually believe it had worked, but from what we saw it was a terrible pitch. They basically told him that they’re only chance of making it to the end is with him … but that doesn’t say why it’s beneficial to his game to keep them.

Nevertheless, this next Head of Household was going to be the most important of the game. If one of the Top 4 competitors won, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen. Hannah and Tiffany were going to take the shot at the guys, likely targeting Xavier. The guys were going to take the shot at the ladies, likely targeting Tiffany.

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At least everyone recognizes that X and Tiff have absolutely been playing the best games all summer. Between the two of them, Xavier has had a cleaner game, but that also means that absolutely everyone in the jury both loves and respects him. Tiff has their respect, but maybe not all of their love.

Hannah and Kyland are in that second tier, with Kyland in the worse position. He’s a strong competitor, but he’s made a lot of selfish moves and alienated a lot of his allies along the way. Hannah is such a master strategist with a cleverly subtle social game, she’s still a dark horse to win if she can get there.

And then there’s poor Azah and Derek F. Big D seems to have the guys ready to back him to move forward, though they likely wouldn’t take him to the end, while the ladies might just want to keep Azah and take her to the end. While they’d love to face off against each other, they also know they’ve played a very similar game and it could be a toss-up.

While the guys are sitting here today and saying they want to face the strongest competitor at the end (or at least Kyland is), we think the ladies might have less bravado and machismo and may want to just lock in the easy win. Beating the best is great, but guaranteeing yourself $750,000 is $750,000.

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Head of Household

One of the most challenging competitions in the game, this is a recurring one where the Houseguests have to navigate an egg from the other side of a wire fence with their fingers up and around a maze to get it through a hole. But that’s only step one.

Then, they have to roll it down a platform with obstacles and knock down three levers. The level of complexity here is terrible, and the long delay between viable eggs to roll makes the learning curve so long.

In the past, we’ve seen nimble, thinner fingers excel in this competition, so we were looking at the ladies to do very well. Then, in the biggest shocker of the competition, it was Big D who scored first, even as we saw how his thick fingers were having to be so careful.

Kyland quickly followed, and it became clear that while the ladies did indeed have the advantage maneuvering the eggs with their fingers, they were atrocious at rolling them down the ramp. And then, it came down to cleverness.

We saw it from Derek X earlier this season, where a good strategy made all the difference. When Kyland took the risky move of dropping his eggs while maneuvering down the fence, he saved a lot of time, which meant more time on the ramps. And it quickly began to pay off.

He jumped ahead with two of three levers dropped, but when Big D caught up at two, Kyland thought that maybe this was a perfect opportunity to let Big D win his first comp. Derek had just told him he wanted to target Tiffany and Hannah, with getting Tiffany out his goal. That lined up well with what Kyland wanted, but without blood on his hands.

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Unfortunately, when you’re throwing a competition, it can’t be too obvious, and it was quickly clear that Big D wasn’t going to seal this deal any time soon. As Kyland had a pretty good grasp of the ramp by this point, he went ahead and took home the win.

Tiffany and Hannah thought they were sitting pretty with that Final 3 deal, but it was obvious even with the attempt at a misleading edit that they were going to be Kyland’s target. Yes, Xavier is a huge threat to win, but Kyland either thinks he can knock him out later, or actually thinks he can beat him in a Final 2 (he can not).

It was no surprise that he put them on the Block together, and even if one manages to come down, he’ll more than likely just target the other. The rest of the House knows that they’re both very good in this game. They had a shot at Final 2, but needed to win here to tip the House in their favor.

This was the disadvantage of sticking with The Cookout until Final 6. Everyone knew that Xavier and Kyland were the biggest competition threats, and leaving them both in the House all the way to this point almost ensures that one or both will be in the Final 2 chairs.

If it’s both, Xavier wins. We could definitely see Kyland taking X out just before that in order to secure his win. Would the betrayal leave a bitter jury and give the win to whomever is sitting next to him?

Probably the most disappointing thing about this is it already seems like this is the end of the road for Tiffany and Hannah making it to the end, and they’ve had the strongest games of the summer, a true duo to watch out for. It all came down to this win, and they came up short.

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Houseguest Report Cards

Xavier Prather (27) might just run away with this whole game. He can compete in the next HOH competition ahead of Thursday’s double eviction, and then take out the other of Hannah or Tiffany. And he’s most likely to win it if he does. At that point, it’s smooth sailing for him and Kyland to the end, unless they take shots at one another. Grade: A-

Kyland Young (30) needed this win to take control of the game. With a double looming, unless Hannah or Tiffany wins first HOH Thursday night, they’ll both be gone and he and Xavier will have this game in hand. The problem for Kyland is that he can’t win at the end against Xavier. But he knows it, so he could take a shot if he gets the chance. Grade: B+

Derek Frazier (29) has the support of the guys. It’s interesting that within the alliance of all Black players, they sub-aligned by gender, but that’s such a common way for people to bond and connect due to the commonality of their life experiences. Nevertheless, the guys got the chance to take the first shot, and it will probably carry them all the way to the end. Big D will be a vote for them and then they’ll likely cut him at Top 3, unless Kyland or X decides they’d rather easier odds to win. Grade: C+

Azah Awasum (30) is a swing vote right now, and will be picked off when her time comes. A win of any sort by her would be incredible, but it remains unlikely based on what we’ve seen thus far. And with the boys wanting to target the girls in this game, she’s just on the wrong side of the table right now. Grade: C-

Hannah Chaddha (21) is the secondary target behind Tiffany. Even if she loses Veto, she’ll probably survive the week, But then her back will really be against the wall and she’ll be outnumbered. She would need to definitely win Thursday’s first HOH and take a shot at Kyland and Xavier right away to balance things out or she’s done for. Grade: D+

Tiffany Mitchell (40) got on Kyland’s bad side when she beat him last week against the plan. Sending Claire out the door was good for The Cookout but disastrous for her own game. She needed to win this HOH to stay in this game and she didn’t do it. She’ll likely pay the price for it, going out sixth after an incredible summer. If only The Cookout wasn’t a think this summer, she’d have probably positioned herself much better to this point. It’s an important social statement, but it will likely cost her and Hannah their games. Grade: D-

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House Chatter

  • “Welcome to The Cookout.” –Xavier (to Final 6)
  • “There is no feeling like this.” –Tiffany
  • “Final 6. The Cookout made it. We have made history!” –Azah
  • “It’s very surreal. At 21 years old, here I am on ‘Big Brother,’ my favorite TV show, and not only have I made it to Final 6, I’m part of this historic season where a Black person will win [for] the first time ever.” –Hannah
  • “You absolutely do not wanna go up?” –Hannah (to Kyland)
  • “I think it should be one of the people who haven’t gone up at all. I think it should be Azah or Tiff.” –Kyland (reasonable)
  • “I don’t understand why anyone needs to have a private conversation right now.” –Kyland (to Tiffany after he’s nominated next to Alyssa)
  • “Oh, I didn’t. I just wanted to for appearances.” –Tiffany
  • “What’s the point of the appearances? She’s gonna go to jury, she’s gonna know everything. That’s why anyone that’s, right now, is trying to work on f—— jury management for Alyssa? I’m like, this is pointless.” –Kyland
  • “I’m not. I don’t care about Alyssa.” –Tiffany
  • “Then who’s the appearance for?” –Kyland
  • “I wanna talk to you because I want you to calm down.” –Tiffany
  • “That’s contradicting. You literally just said appearances.” –Kyland (not wrong)
  • “The best alliance to ever do it!” –Tiffany (to Final 6)
  • “‘Big Brother 23’ will crown it’s very first African-American winner, and that’s because of everyone in this circle right here. This is a big win for all of us. No matter who’s sitting in those final two chairs, all of us should consider ourselves winners.” –Xavier
  • “You kept your word. None of us have had to do that.” –Xavier (to Tiffany about her putting Claire on the Block)
  • “Ky, Ky, Ky, why O why do I do this to thy?” –Hannah (doing damage control with Kyland)
  • “Where are you at?” –Xavier (to Derek F)
  • “I still want Tiffany out. I’m praying I can win this. If it’s something you can throw to me, throw it to me, unless you desperately want it badly, because I’m gonna take the shot. I’m gonna put Tiffany and Hannah on the Block.” –Derek F
  • “I think at this point in the game, we equally need each other to make it to the final two chairs.” –Xavier (to Kyland)
  • “I only want to go to the end with the best. I think at this point that’s Xavier.” –Kyland
  • “At this point in the game, it makes sense to have a strong competitor working for you than against you.” –Xavier (about Kyland)
  • “These hands are made for basketballs. Not eggs. The only thing these hands do with eggs is scramble them!” –Xavier
  • “Being the first person to take a shot at the 6 and mean it. I gotta tell you, this key has never felt heavier.” –Kyland (after winning HOH)
  • “I feel very good about Kyland winning HOH because we have made a deal to work with each other to the end.” –Tiffany (careful who you trust)
  • “The two votes he needs to send out whomever should come from me and Tiffany. For that reason, neither one of us should see the Block this week.” –Hannah (careful who you trust)
  • “I was thinking about Ky and how does he feel about me moving forward.” –TIffany (checking in)
  • “I have a significantly decreased possibility of being safe next week.” –Kyland (not what she wants to hear)
  • “Tiffany’s absolutely right. Xavier is an insane competitor. But then, also I know he’s been throwing competition. He has a skill set that we haven’t even seen the potential of yet. So anyone sitting next to him will have an uphill battle. However, I think Tiffany is also an incredible competitor and someone who would be difficult to beat.” –Kyland (right on both counts)
  • “Kyland is an information collector. He feels most comfortable when he holds all of your cards i his hand. So that’s what I need to give him.” –Hannah (sending Kyland is checking her loyalty to Tiffany)

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