Julie Chen always tells us to expect the unexpected on “Big Brother,” and that’s exactly what we were faced with tonight as the most critical Power of Veto competition was up for grabs.

Tommy was fighting for his life against a Final 4 alliance of Michie, Holly, Nicole and Cliff. At least they got to enjoy that “Big Brother” classic memory and strength competition, “BB Comics.” Ziplining across a wall of comics and then trying to find subtle differences across different covers taxes both the mind and the body, making this one of “BB’s” best and most popular challenges.

Plus, who doesn’t love seeing some of the hilarious superhero characters, like Holly becoming her favorite wine, Pinot Noir, or Cliff transforming into the Ground Hogg. Nicolossus stormed through the city straight from Strong Island, while poor Michie had to relive his alien autopsy days and Tommy was stereotyped as an Italian mobster … oops!


This was a taxing physical and mental challenge, so we didn’t expect Cliff to do particularly well at it. He’s already suffered a leg injury and hasn’t been particularly fast in strictly physical competitions. The same can be said for Holly and Nicole. Honestly, this one looked like it would be a battle of the beasts between current HOH Michie and desperately-in-need-of-a-Veto Tommy.

Michie nailed the competition in 15:59, but Tommy snuck past him with a time of 14:21 and that was the time to beat. Could he pull off a miracle? Cliff (26:32) and Holly (38:22) struggled as expected, but Nicole’s score was saved for last. She absolutely smashed this competition with an incredible 10:58!

That’s 16 differet comic book cover placed in order and properly identifying subtle differences in less than eleven minutes. It’s mind-blowing how in the zone she must have been through that.

And perhaps most importantly, it gives her and Cliff all the power this week, because of course she was going to use it to take Cliff off of the Block. As the Veto winner, Nicole is safe as well, leaving Michie no choice but to put up Holly.

And there it sits. Even Michie acknowledged the rip opportunity sitting in front of his allies. If they take the shot at Holly this week, Michie can’t play in the HOH competition next week. Aligned then with Tommy, they’d have their best shot at eliminating him (POV would be his only hope). It’s brilliantly smart and would look great on a final resume.

But would they do it? Michie had every confidence in his alliance and the character of Cliff and Nicole.

Michie clearly doesn’t remember (or know) that Cliff already betrayed Kat in a huge way earlier this season simply to save his and Nicole’s butts for another week when they were offered the opportunity to work with Michie and Holly. On a game level, Michie and Holly get this. But they’re also trying to win, so they do not want this to happen.

There are threats both ways, as Cliff noted. Tommy is the much bigger competition threat. He nearly won that Veto and he’s won three prior competitions (and done well in countless others). He’ll be harder to beat than Holly in competitions.

On the other hand, Holly’s showmance with Michie is very intimidating because in a Final 3 with those two, you’ll never get picked by either one of them over their showmance partner. And no matter how much they might try and argue that wouldn’t be the case, why on earth should Nicole or Cliff believe it … especially if they don’t even need to risk it.

This is the biggest decision of their games. If they take a shot at Holly, they light a fire of rage under Michie (more than likely). What that looks like is unknown, but he is a comp beast and could well win to the end on that fuel alone. There, he’d be very, very hard to beat (especially under those circumstances).

If they don’t make the move, they still need to try and break that couple up as quickly as possible so they’d just need to make sure Holly doesn’t win the next HOH. It could work either way, and it could blow up either way. Thursday night should be very interesting!

Oh, and if Michie and Holly get wind that Nicole and Cliff are considering a flip they have to tread very carefully. If they come too aggressive, angry or threatening in their efforts to convince them not to flip, that could backfire spectacularly. After all, if Cliff and Nicole think the showmance is mad at them, they’d almost feel they have to break it up at that point.

HouseGuest Report Cards

Michie still has the strongest resume in the house and the strongest chance of making it to the end, even if he has to fight his way there. He has played a loyal game and an incredibly competitive one. He is easily the biggest threat in the game and the biggest target. But if they can’t take him out, this season is his. Grade: A

Nicole continues to step up and make a huge statement in this late game. Her POV win was crucial to ensure her safety, and Cliff’s. If she goes through with an epic backdoor, she’ll make enemies of some people but gain mad respect from a lot of jurors for breaking up two power couples in the house. That’s the kind of move that can win a half mil. Grade: B+

Cliff is playing a little more cautiously than Nicole, but he has always proven to make big moves and deals to assure his safety one more week and then one more week and now he’s in the Final 4. His resume is very similar to Nicole’s, but her more direct role in taking out the showmances gives her the slightest edge overall. Grade: B

Tommy has a glimmer of hope of staying in this game, but even if he does his back will remain against the wall. If Holly goes, he’ll have the advantage that Michie would first likely look to break them up before gunning for Tommy. In fact, he might try and rope Tommy into breaking up the last duo in the house. Or Tommy will work with Cliff and Nicole to take out the biggest threat (the smarter move). Grade: B-

Holly hasn’t done enough in this game at this point to really stand a chance of winning, even if she does make it to the end. And now she’s facing the real danger of actually going home on Michie’s HOH. If she does stay. Grade: C-

House Chatter

“I definitely feel like I am the pawn this week, but at this point with the Veto competition, it’s the entire house versus Tommy. As long as anyone besides Tommy wins, he stays on the block and he should be going home.” –Cliff

“It’s hard living in fear. I don’t want to live in fear. I’m going to fight unitl the very end. I can do this. I’m not giving up.” –Tommy

“I think she also might be a sociopath. I’ve wondered so many times if she really believes the lies, because she says them with such passion and you’re like, ‘Are you delusional or do you really think this?'” –Holly (about Christie to Tommy and Michie)

“It’s clear how they feel about Christie and I want them to understand why I was aligned with her.” –Tommy (in DR)

“I want to tell you guys something. I knew Christie before coming into this house.” –Tommy (to Michie and Holly to try and earn their trust)

“Tommy telling me this just guarantees he has Christie’s vote in jury so I can’t let him be in the final two. If it’s next to me, I won’t win.” –Michie (Tommy’s plan backfiring)

“Would I call him a ‘Jack Ass’? No comment. I plead the fifth.” –Nicole (about Jack during BB Comics)

“I’m proud of this. I haven’t said that a lot about myself in this lifetime because I’m so very hard on myself, but I’m so freaking proud.” –Nicole (after her POV win)

“People have underestimated me, but they have also underestimated Nicole in this game, and really, Nicole has underestimated herself.” –Cliff

“Out of us four, one of us won it and I’m so glad that it was Nicole. Ultimately, everything should go according to plan and it should be myself , Holly, Cliff and Nicole in the Final 4.” –Michie

“I’m so happy Nicole wins and then it dawns on me. If Nicole uses it on Cliff, there’s only one other replacement nominee and that’s Holly.” –Michie

“You don’t think they’re going to use it on Cliff and backdoor you, do you?” –Michie

“Backdoor me?” –Holly

“If she uses it on Cliff, you go up and those two vote. I don’t think they will, but logistically it’s a possibility.” –Michie

“Is there any way of convincing her not to use it.” –Holly

“If I’m putting myself in their shoes, why would I want to go against Michie and Holly when I could potentially go against Tommy. Take Holly out this week, pull in Tommy and I can’t compete in the next HOH. And it could be them two with Tommy. I don’t think it would happen, but on a game level it makes a lot more sense to split us up, get me out next week and then take Tommy to Final 3.” –Michie

“I think Tommy’s so much more dangerous at the end of the day. The tradeoff is you can still have a showmance that you know will watch out for each other.” –Cliff (to Nicole)

“I know they’re good folks and I don’t think they would do Holly and I dirty.” –Michie (trusting Nicole and Cliff)

“Michie, I wanted to talk to you, my friend, but you have to promise not to get upset. With my Veto, I would like to us it, and I just want you to know that no funny business is happening and nothing bad is going to happen.” –Nicole

“I want to tell you. My Veto, I would very much like to use, but there’s no funny business happening, so don’t worry.” –Nicole (to Holly)

“I’m like evil. This is bad. This is Evil Nicole.” –Nicole (in DR)

“I really want you here and I want to move forward, so yeah, I’m gonna try to work some magic.” –Nicole

“I would love that.” –Tommy

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