'Big Brother' recap: HoH Christian Birkenberger wins PoV and keeps Whitney Williams and Hannah Chaddha up for eviction
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/05/2021
Big Brother featured the Head of Household, Christian Birkenberger, winning the Power of Veto and choosing to keep his nominations the same during Wednesday night's Season 23 episode on CBS.
At the Veto Meeting, Christian, a 23-year-old general contractor assistant from Harwinton, CT, chose to keep Whitney Williams, a 30-year-old makeup artist and business owner from Portland, OR, and Hannah Chaddha, a 21-year-old graduate student from Chicago, IL, on the chopping block heading into Thursday night's live eviction.
The Big Brother broadcast began on Day 17 after the Nomination Ceremony during which Christian had nominated Whitney and Hannah for eviction. Christian had heard Whitney was gunning for the "Kings," and he said Hannah was on the same "Aces" team as Whitney and so it made sense to put them on the block together and not target one of the "Jokers."
Christian said nominating Whitney and Hannah also ensured Whitney would have one less vote to stay in the house.
Hannah said being nominated was "not ideal" but she figured she was Christian's pawn this week.
Derek Xiao, a 24-year-old start-up founder from Baltimore, MD who currently resides in New York, NY, said he wasn't ready to see Hannah get nominated at all and he didn't want to lose a teammate at this point because it would hurt his personal game.
Derek X. called the situation "the worst case scenario."
Xavier Prather, a 27-year-old attorney from Kalamazoo, MI, wasn't sure which nominee his team was going to target, but his plan was to put the bullseye on Whitney in order to keep Hannah -- a member of his "Cookout" alliance -- safe.
Sarah Beth Steagall, a 27-year-old forensic scientist from Boiling Springs, SC who currently resides in Fort Myers, FL, however, was fighting for Hannah to go home since she considered Hannah to be a bigger threat and a better Big Brother player overall.
But Sarah Beth could tell that Xavier was "desperate" to keep Hannah, and Christian said he decided getting rid of Whitney would be best for his game since Hannah had promised him that she wouldn't nominate him for eviction in future weeks as long as she turned out to be a pawn.
Christian then advised Hannah to just "lay low" for the week, but Hannah wasn't going to allow herself to feel too safe or comfortable in the house. Hannah intended to play hard for the veto and put the fate of her game into her own hands.
Whitney confessed to Xavier she was pissed off "a 10" on a scale from 1-10, and Xavier explained he had heard Whitney was dead set on sending one of the "Kings" home, but she totally denied that.
"That never happened. You've literally been my favorite person in the house. Your name never came out of my mouth," Whitney told Xavier.
Whitney said in the Diary Room she didn't understand why she was taking heat for wanting one of the "Kings" gone when the whole house had wanted the same thing, and she insisted that Xavier had never been one of her targets even though he's on that dominating team.
Whitney also told Christian that she had never mentioned his name, but Christian admitted he had heard otherwise. Christian, however, didn't reveal how Derek Frazier, a 29-year-old safety officer from Philadelphia, PA, had thrown Whitney under the bus.
"I know she's lying. She really would put me up if she had the choice, and I know that's true. I hate to see her cry, but she has to go this week," Christian told the cameras.
Whitney realized she had to win the Power of Veto or there was a really good chance she'd be going home.
Azah Awasum, a 30-year-old director of sales operations from Baltimore, MD, then admitted she had a little crush on Xavier and so she wanted Whitney out of the house since Whitney seemed to spend quite a bit of time with Xavier. Azah acknowledged her game move was "petty" but she was going to own it.
Azah felt like she was in middle school again and told Xavier that she had a little crush on him.
"Oh snap! A crush on me?!" Xavier giggled.
Azah laughed about being jealous of Whitney, and Xavier confirmed in the Diary Room that he thinks Azah is "stunning." Xavier said she "looks like a goddess and her personality is amazing."
However, Xavier said he didn't join the Big Brother cast to get involved in a showmance. Xavier had $750,000 on the brain and insisted "Operation No-Mance has not changed!"
Azah hoped to get picked for the Power of Veto competition and that nominations wouldn't change or else she or one of her "Jokers" teammates could be at risk. But Derek X. was hoping to win the veto in order to save one of his two girls from the block.
Hannah said if she selected "Houseguest's Choice," she'd want Derek X. to play as to not promote any suspicion about her "Cookout" alliance in the house.
Given Derek X. felt closer to Hannah than anyone else in the house, he had his heart set on saving Hannah over Whitney.
However, Alyssa Lopez, a 24-year-old swimwear designer from Sarasota, FL, told Derek X. that Hannah was their clear pawn and it wouldn't make sense to get more blood on Christian's hands by removing one of his nominations.
Alyssa predicted Derek X. would do what's best for "The Royal Flush" alliance -- which was comprised of Xavier, Alyssa, Claire, Sarah Beth, Christian, Kyland Young, a 29-year-old account executive from San Bernardino County, CA who currently resides in Venice Beach, CA, and Tiffany Mitchell, a 40-year-old phlebotomist from Detroit, MI.
But Derek X. was clearly stuck in the middle of his big alliance and his original "Aces" teammates.
Derek X. realized he was in trouble because winning the Power of Veto would show his cards and where his loyalty really lied. But first, he actually had to get picked to play in the Veto competition.
It then became time to pick players for the Power of Veto competition.
In addition to the HoH, Christian, and the two nominees, Whitney and Hannah, the following houseguests were also selected to play: Claire Rehfuss, Derek X., and Azah.
Claire, a 25-year-old artificial intelligence engineer from Chagrin Falls, OH who currently resides in New York, NY, had already won safety until jury thanks to "The Wild Card Competition."
When Hannah picked Derek X. to play, she felt a little "betrayed" knowing that Derek X. would probably save Hannah if given the option between the two of them. Whitney said she was on her own and needed to win.
Tiffany then advised Hannah to watch her back because Sarah Beth had been gunning to get her out. Hannah feared Sarah Beth would be able to flip the vote against her, and so she told the cameras, "I need to win! I just need to win."
For the Power of Veto competition, the participating players were required to roll a volleyball up and over a ramp and then run under the net to the other side in attempt to catch it before the ball could hit the ground.
A player would earn one point each time the ball successfully goes over the net. But if a player dropped his or her ball at any time, that person's score would go back to zero and he or she would have to start over.
The first player to reach 100 points would win the golden Power of Veto.
Although Derek X. would expose his closest ally or allies, he said he still wanted to win the veto in order to have the power for the rest of the week. But Azah also wanted to win in order to keep her "Jokers" off the block.
Claire wanted to keep nominations the same, but she didn't feel much pressure or motivation to win it.
The competition was a close call between Derek X. and Christian, but in the end, Christian won the veto. Derek X. hoped Hannah would remain a pawn since he couldn't take her off the block.
While the group was chatting amongst themselves, Derek X. hinted to Whitney how Hannah was going to be around next week, and Whitney began wondering if things were going on in the house that she wasn't aware of.
Derek X. called himself "an ass" and "an idiot," and he apologized for Whitney and offered to make her a meal. Whitney was really upset and announced how Derek X. had made it clear she was going home and it wasn't a cool thing to do.
Derek X. realized Whitney could blow up his game and that his mistake could potentially cost him her jury vote and $750,000.
"I need to think before I speak," Derek X. noted.
Whitney said she was ready to paint a big target on Derek X.'s back and this is exactly what she needed to try to figure out how to get herself out of this sticky situation. Whitney said although Derek X. was her teammate, she wanted everyone to "take him out."
Whitney then pitched to Christian how Derek X. could be a nomination option because he was winning a lot of competitions and seemed to be Christian's biggest opponent in the game.
Christian said he was aware of Derek X.'s resume and Derek X. may take a shot at him if he had the chance to. Whitney promised Christian she would help him in any way possible if he chose to save her and keep her around.
Christian knew Derek X. is a competition beast, but he feared it may be too early to target one of his "Royal Flush" alliance members.
At the Veto Meeting, Christian announced that he had decided to keep his nominations the same, which left Hannah and Whitney on the chopping block going into Thursday night's live eviction.
Whitney remained Christian's target, but Hannah still didn't feel totally safe.
Whitney called Christian "dumb" and said he was missing out on a golden opportunity to get rid of Derek X. She intended to survive eviction and show an all-new side of herself, adding, "No more Miss Nice Girl!"
Meanwhile, Sarah Beth was determined to switch the vote and hopefully get Hannah out. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.