Big Brother All-Stars

Episode 17 Recap – Fall Guys

Who was nominated?

Photo: CBS

Following a de facto cliffhanger ending to Thursday’s episode, we joined the houseguests as they toughed it out through an endurance-based HOH wall comp (the same competition made famous last year by Jessica Milagros). The stakes were high in this competition—the first three players to fall would be relegated to the Have-Not room for the week. 

As the houseguests clung to a movie billboard declaiming facts about Big Brother 22 (“Power Trip,” “this… is overrated”), Da’vonne (from the diary room) reminded us of her precarious situation. “My best friend in the house, my ride or die… she’s gone. I just got thrown on the block by somebody I thought I was close to… this is a brand new game for me… [I] gotta figure somethin’ out,” she said. 

Following his disastrous back-and-forth last week, Tyler was candid about his situation as well. “I need to win this HOH because last week was definitely one of my toughest weeks,” Tyler explained. “I gotta get my stuff together.” Dani was clear about her situation: “I do not want to win this HOH… the one person I cannot have win this competition is Tyler.”

Christmas felt conflicted yet confident in the outcome of her HOH, flashing back to a conversation between her and Da’Vonne, where she promised her future safety and asked Da’Vonne to promise future safety back to her. Though Da’vonne promised Christmas safety in the moment, she made it very clear in the Diary Room that this was an empty, strategic promise.

Da’Vonne was the first to fall, twelve minutes into the competition. In a diary room voiceover, she confided in the audience that this may have been an intentional move. “The reason why I’m being kept in this house is ‘she can’t win comps’… so I’m gonna use that,” she said, as she began to adopt an emotional, weepy tone. “Why do I suck at all these competitions? I always suck!… And that is how you play Big Brother. Don’t worry. These aren’t real tears.”

Photo: CBS

David dropped 48-minutes into the competition. “I’m really disappointed… I wanted to do better”, he said. Ian fell five minutes later, becoming the third and final have not. “IS IT THREE PEOPLE, HAVE NOTS?” Memphis shouted, hoping to confirm that he was no longer in danger of being put on a slop diet. As soon as he received confirmation that, yes, he could not be a Have-Not this week, he dead-fish flopped right off of the billboard. Clearly, Memphis is not concerned about going home this week. 

Enzo and Kevin followed shortly thereafter, leaving Tyler, Dani, Nicole, and Cody on the wall. At this point, the conflict was Tyler vs. Dani, as each of them commented in the diary room that the other one was their number one threat or target. Tyler found himself hunched almost at a ninety-degree angle from the wall, his curly hair falling in a tangled curtain over a rictus grin. “I’m not doin’ so hot over here,” he said calmly from the diary room, in stark contrast to the primal, strangled grunts and groans he was making (and in sharper contrast to the… other noises that Dani was making). 

At last, Tyler did a front-flip off the wall and collapsed into the foam. “Words cannot express,” Dani said in the DR, “how happy I am that Tyler dropped.” She immediately began planning her moment to throw the competition. Unfortunately for her, Cody and Nicole didn’t really want to win either. Nicole leaped from the wall, followed shortly after by Cody, leaving Dani to become the unwilling HOH.

Dani was deeply concerned. “I’m aligned with EVERYBODY in this house,” she claimed, “so I’m gonna make some people really mad this week.” Tyler was less than pleased as well. “I did kinda throw her under the bus a couple weeks ago… sometimes you can forgive, but you can definitely not forget.” 

One person who had their concerns laid to rest was Da’Vonne. “You can relax,” Dani said to her in a hug, “It’s gonna be a good week. Good week.” Da’Vonne immediately set about trying to get Tyler or Christmas into Dani’s head as potential targets. Three others who felt relatively unconcerned were Kevin, David, and Ian (Kevin being more concerned than the other two).

Photo: CBS

In the HOH room, Cody had no qualms about who to nominate. “Put up Kevin and David,” he said. According to Cody, he and Dani are already aligned with everyone else in the house, so those two are the only real options for who to put up. When Dani mentioned Tyler as an option, Cody was adamantly opposed: “You put him on the block, he’s gonna win the veto.” In the DR, he as more detailed. “Putting Tyler on the block this week could just blow up the Committee.” Dani suggested a backdoor, and, once again, Cody was less than thrilled about the idea.

In the kitchen, Kevin spoke about the burden of being the only LGBTQ+ player on this season, the importance of representation, and how stressful he finds it to have to represent the entire LGBTQ+ community by himself. “I wanna make sure the entire community feels like I’m doing a good job representing them, and it feels like… [imitates a massive weight collapsing on him], you know?” Perhaps Kevin wouldn’t feel this burden if CBS had cast more than one LGBTQ+ player on this season. Still, for the time being, Kevin’s break down of his feelings shed some welcome light on an important element of Kevin’s perception of himself and his place in Big Brother both as a game and as a piece of media.

Tyler and Dani reconnoitered in the bathroom to discuss Dani’s plans. “I know we’ve gone through a little rough patch,” he described their conversation in the DR, “and I would definitely understand if you wanted to put me up. However, I feel like it’s too early, and we have some other fish to fry for now” (We would disagree that week SIX is “too early” to make a move). Dani’s concerns were similar—she worried that overtly coming after Tyler now would give him too much room to save himself and make a move against her. It’s really frustrating that these “all-stars” are playing so safe; perhaps that’s what makes for a good Big Brother player—the axiom in the video game community does indeed go, “play lame, win game,” but it makes for dull and tedious television.

In the Love Room, Dani expressed her plan to a crying (for some reason that apparently doesn’t matter) Nicole. “Kevin and David. Kevin’s gonna hate me, Nicole. Hate me.” In the larger picture, Dani hoped to eliminate Tyler but didn’t want to nominate him right away for fear of upsetting Christmas. Dani’s understanding of her and Tyler’s late-night bathroom conversation was very different from Tyler’s description. “He came up to me in the bathroom last night and went, ‘if you come after me or backdoor me I totally understand, and I deserve it, and I won’t be bitter about it because I deserve it.'” 

Photo: CBS

This does not jibe with Tyler’s recounting of the conversation, but there you go. Regardless, the weepy Nicole wasn’t into the idea, feeling that Tyler’s going home would be bad for her game. “It’s too early,” she said from her juicebox costume in the DR, “this would absolutely shatter the Committee.” Heaven forbid that a mega-alliance loses a number in WEEK SIX.

Kevin came to Dani hoping to form some type of bond, and Dani confided in him that she has a larger plan, but, in the meantime, will need some people to be pawns. “I totally trust you,” she said to him, “and I hope you totally trust me.” We can think of no reason that he would trust her, particularly after opening her conversation with him with the pitch of ‘be my pawn.’ “I would never, ever, I mean this, EVER want you out of this house, EVER,” Dani continued while furthering her alleged plan of placing him in imminent danger to get another player out of the house.

Dani’s true target, Tyler, joined her in the HOH bedroom. The two of them pitched deals back and forth—final six from Dani, final four from Tyler. Tyler seemed to be put at ease, telling her that he was “forever indebted,” but Dani’s plans continued unabated. “Tyler’s the type of person, if you swing, you can’t miss,” she said.

At the nomination ceremony, Dani turned two keys to reveal the faces of Kevin and David. Kevin was devastated; David seemed disappointed. Dani complained about having to put people up for nomination (because that’s clearly harder than being in danger), and adjourned the nomination ceremony, leaving the possibility of backdooring Tyler on the table. 

Unbeknownst to her, David’s power allows him to remove himself from the block and give him safety for the week, all but guaranteeing that Dani will be putting up a replacement nominee sooner than expected. If she takes that opportunity to go after Tyler, it’s unlikely that Christmas would be able to use her power to save him, as her power applies only to veto ceremony renoms. For the first time in a while, it looks like we might actually have an exciting week coming up, especially if someone who might use the Veto, wins the Veto.

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Written by

Alexandra Shields

Alexandra “Ali” Shields is a sketch writer and playwright from Chicago and a graduate from Northwestern University. Alexandra has published humor articles with The Second City Network and Alexandra’s play, Twelve, won first place in the Jackie White National Memorial Playwriting Contest in 2018. Ali writes Inside Survivor’s weekly Hot or Not feature with her fiancé Gus.

Gus Schlanbusch

Gus is a Chicago-based theater artist and Survivor fan. He and his fiancée Ali also co-run a small theater company and produce a podcast about The Wheel of Time called “Wheel Takes.” When he’s not busy with all of that, he’s probably playing board games. Gus writes Inside Survivor’s weekly Hot or Not feature with Ali.

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