If anyone would have told me that by the time Big Brother 18 neared its end, Paul would be one of my favorite houseguests, I would have assumed one of two things: either they were blatantly lying to my face or some freak accident eventually occurred, wiping out all the Big Brother 18 players and leaving only Paul. (In this scenario, Julie Chen would stubbornly or obliviously still be hosting the show.) 

Yet it happened. Through a combination of getting rid of Paulie, genuinely having funny moments and just wearing me down, Paul has become a Big Brother 18 favorite and the top pick to win. This is, in part, what makes this episode of Big Brother 18 so hard to watch.

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Nicole Ruins a Perfectly Good Alliance…

It should be a very pleasing episode. At the disgusting HoH competition (Big Brother 18 really enjoys milking disgusting sound effects for all their worth), it comes down to Corey and Natalie. It’s the most unlikely pair because Corey’s competition strengths have been as present as his personality this summer, which is nonexistent. As for Natalie, well, she’s Natalie … no one is looking for her to win anything. Yet that’s exactly what happens. After beating Corey by a matter of seconds, Natalie wins her first ever Head of Household. 

This should be relatively straightforward. It’s time to get whiny Nicole and her boyfriend Corey, who is precisely as interesting as a saltine, out of the house. They’re Paulie’s allies. Paulie is gone. It’s simple. Yet Nicole swooped in before the HoH competition and ruined everything.

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Before Paulie was eliminated, he had a conversation with Paul, Nicole and Corey, telling them that they needed to target Victor and James. Naturally, because Nicole is Nicole, she needed to tell someone else in this house about the latest gossip. Nicole ran as fast as her short, deceiving legs could carry her to James and Natalie. Somehow, the story of Paulie telling Nicole to target Victor and James turned into Nicole saying that Paul viciously wanted to get rid of James. This obviously turned James and Natalie against their new allies of Victor and Paul — mainly Paul.


…And Creates a New One 

After the HoH, Victor and Paul remain clueless that Natalie and James have turned on them. They are overjoyed that Natalie wins the HoH because it should ensure their safety. It becomes increasingly clear, however, that Natalie has no plan to stick with Paul and Victor. Natalie’s intentions are more than just getting rid of Paul and Victor too. She wants a full alliance with Nicole and Corey. 

Since Nicole has been collecting alliances this summer in the same way that Corey apparently collects Christmas decorations, she jumps at the chance. It’s not clear if this is a good or bad move for Natalie and James, though. On the one hand, Nicole and Corey are easy people to beat at the end. On the other hand, Nicole has a stream of final alliance deals in her wake, and they all have been broken from Nicole’s terrible lies and gameplay.  With Paulie eliminated, Nicole is officially the most confusing power player on Big Brother 18. No one should trust her.

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As if we needed more reason to dislike Nicole, Big Brother 18 follows up the formation of this alliance with another scene. Nicole is doing her nails and proceeds to ruin the leather ottoman in the house. Nicole spills her drink, the nail polish remover and the nail polish on the ottoman all in a 30-second time period. It feels like an important time to remind everyone that this lying klutz is an ER nurse. Why would anyone trust this woman with their health?!

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The Corruption of the Meech

It looks like there is some ray of sunshine coming to Paul and Victor’s game, though, when America’s Care Package arrives in the backyard. Michelle wins the Care Package and the powers of a Co-HoH (or, as Michelle calls it, C-O-H-O-H). While Michelle wants to target the dullest showmance on Earth, Nicole and Corey, Natalie quickly gets to work. Natalie convinces Michelle that Victor and Paul are the true threats in the house and that Paul very well might win the game if they don’t get rid of him. 

This is perfectly reasonable. It’s a fair and smart move. Yet Paul has somehow wormed his way into my heart with his catchphrases, rubber duck accessory and Diary Room screaming. I don’t want Paul to go home. So I hate this new game plan, and I almost hate Michelle and Natalie for putting it into action. 

My protestations mean nothing for the game of Big Brother 18, however. If they did, Da’Vonne would already have the $500,000. Natalie and Michelle agree on their plan. They nominate Victor and Paul for eviction. 

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Paul responds in the perfect way. He stands up and asks Victor to remove this knife from his back. I don’t know how we got here, Paul, but I feel your pain. I truly do. 

Big Brother 18 airs Sundays and Wednesdays at 8pm and Thursdays at 9pm on CBS.


(Image courtesy of CBS)