'Big Brother' recap: Christmas Abbott crowned new HoH, nominates Matt Clines and Jason Dent for eviction
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/21/2017
Big Brother crowned Christmas Abbott the new Head of Household, who then nominated two houseguests for eviction during Sunday night's Season 19 broadcast on CBS.
After Christmas won the HoH competition, she decided to nominate Matt Clines and Jason Dent for eviction with the intention of backdooring Mark Jansen this week.
Matt and Jason are therefore Christmas' pawns, but if Mark managed to save himself at the upcoming Power of Veto competition, Christmas' new target would be Jason in order to break up his power couple with Alex Ow.
The Big Brother broadcast began with the houseguests -- minus Alex, who as the outgoing Head of Household could not participate -- competing in an HoH competition dubbed "Tales From Decrypt."
Two players at a time were required to watch decrypted clues as they were slowly revealed on a screen. The first person to guess the correct previously-eliminated houseguest whom the clue referred to would move on to the next round, while the other person would be eliminated.
If a person buzzed in and answered incorrectly, his or her opponent would automatically advance. This pattern continued until only one houseguest was left standing.
Unfortunately for Mark, he was the first person knocked out of the competition by Raven Walton, so his hope of running the house this week was lost. Meanwhile, Paul Abrahamian wanted to win HoH or have a close ally win the competition in order to send Mark packing.
Christmas was ready to make big moves, while Kevin Schlehuber really wanted to win a competition in order to prove he can be a physical and mental player in addition to a social player.
In the final round of the competition, Christmas faced off against Paul, and Paul threw the competition to her so that he could compete in next week's Head of Household competition when a public enemy, like Mark, no longer exists in the game and, as a veteran player, he becomes more vulnerable.
Paul was convinced Christmas wouldn't put him on the chopping block, so he felt good about the strategy.
The whole house was trying to get Mark out and make sure he doesn't win the Power of Veto competition. Alex suggested Kevin should be the backup target because he's "totally shady" and was trying to "cut side deals" with Public Enemy No. 1, Cody Nickson, when he was still in the house.
Alex also thought Kevin might be a police officer since he has extensive knowledge about jail and even met Big Brother's Season 16 winner, Derrick Levasseur, in Boston, MA. Christmas agreed with Alex that Kevin could be lying about being a stay-at-home father.
Jason, however, thought he could trust Kevin. But since Alex was his "ride or die," he was going to follow along with whatever she believed. Jason therefore warned Kevin about how Alex had called him "a liar," and Kevin flipped out, saying that was completely untrue. Kevin then confronted Alex about why she didn't like him or had an issue with him.
Alex got angry with Jason for saying anything to Kevin to begin with, but Alex fed Kevin a fake story in order to keep him calm.
Josh Martinez later confided in Christmas how he had bought into what Cody announced before leaving the Big Brother house -- that Jason and Alex were trying to flip the house against Matt and Paul. Josh had his doubts about Jason and saw him getting buddy-buddy with Mark.
Josh also didn't like how Jason admitted he was "on the fence" about putting up Mark and Elena Davies when he had briefly served as Head of Household for double-eviction night.
Josh added that Alex and Jason were really good liars, and since Christmas had a Final 2 deal with Josh, she listened and absorbed everything he had to say.
Meanwhile, Paul was working to become the "No. 3" person in every power couple's alliance -- Alex and Jason, Matt and Raven, and Christmas and Josh. Paul planned to attach himself to each couple so they couple rely on him towards the end of the game. Also, if one person in a twosome was evicted from the house, Paul hoped to take his or her place.
Christmas then told Paul that she wanted to nominate two pawns and eventually name Mark the replacement nominee. She said if Mark managed to win the veto, Jason would go home. However, Christmas promised both Jason and Matt they'd be safe in the case of Mark winning the veto.
Paul liked the idea of Jason potentially going home because they he could become Alex's "ride or die" in the game, saying that Alex would need him.
A new twist, the "Tree of Temptation," was then announced. The twist will be in play for three weeks.
Five apples hang on the tree in the house, and inside each apple listed a power or a punishment. When the tree turned red, the first person to run into the Diary Room and say he or she wanted to claim a temptation would be able to pick an apple off the tree.
The tree would always light up red before a Nomination Ceremony, and once an apple is picked, the power or punishment would immediately be announced to the whole house. If a houseguest received a power, he or she must use it in that week. And if a person picked an apple, he or she would not be able to take advantage of the temptation opportunity again.
Since Mark was in a pretty bad position in the game, he figured picking an apple was worth the risk. He hoped to receive the "second veto" advantage in order to double his chances of winning safety.
However, Mark could have picked a punishment such as not being able to compete in the next Head of Household competition.
In the end, Mark chose the apple that had "Save a Friend" inside. Mark was given the power to save a friend from eviction, but he no longer had any close friends or allies in the house.
Prior to the Nomination Ceremony, Mark pitched to Christmas and Josh about how he could be a number for them going forward since he was by himself in the game. Mark therefore said it wouldn't be smart to take him out, especially since he wanted to target the showmance -- Raven and Matt -- or the power couple of Alex and Jason if given the chance.
At the Nomination Ceremony, Mark opted to use his "Save a Friend" advantage on Paul in order to pay back his old debt of receiving a friendship bracelet from Paul at the beginning of the game. Mark was hoping to show that he can be a loyal guy who sticks to his word. In addition, Mark was hoping to prove that he deserved people's trust.
Christmas then nominated Matt and Jason for eviction, revealing to the group that Mark is "an incredible competitor" who wrongly chose to align himself with "selfish" people in the game. Christmas hoped Mark would understand her attempt to backdoor him.