'Big Brother' recap: HoH Derek Xiao nominates Sarah Beth Steagall and Britini D'Angelo for eviction while plotting backdoor blindside
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/09/2021
Big Brother featured the new Head of Household, Derek Xiao, nominating Sarah Beth Steagall and Britini D'Angelo for eviction during Sunday night's Season 23 episode on CBS.
Derek X., a 24-year-old start-up founder from Baltimore, MD who currently resides in New York, NY, decided to put Sarah Beth, a 27-year-old forensic scientist from Boiling Springs, SC who currently resides in Fort Myers, FL, and Britini D'Angelo, a 24-year-old Kindergarten teacher from Niagara Falls, NY, on the chopping block.
However, Derek X.'s main goal is to backdoor Christian Birkenberger, a 23-year-old general contractor assistant from Harwinton, CT, later this week.
The Big Brother broadcast began where Thursday night's episode had left off, with the "Whale of a Time" Head of Household competition on Day 30. The houseguests were holding onto a wall designed to look like the side of a cruise ship as they were being pelted by rain and slime.
Xavier Prather, a 27-year-old attorney from Kalamazoo, MI, said he didn't need to win the Head of Household competition but he was going to make it look like he was still gunning for it.
Derek X. hoped to win the HoH title to keep the fate of his game in his own hands, and Alyssa Lopez, a 24-year-old swimwear designer from Sarasota, FL, also hoped to win for her own safety but also to ensure Christian -- the outgoing HoH -- would be safe as well.
Derek Frazier, a 29-year-old safety officer from Philadelphia, PA, was the first person to drop out of the HoH competition, and he was then followed by Claire Rehfuss, a 25-year-old artificial intelligence engineer from Chagrin Falls, OH who currently resides in New York, NY, after 29 minutes because she's safe until jury.
After Claire, Sarah Beth let go thinking her former "Kings" team would protect her, and then Hannah dropped after 42 minutes.
On Hannah's heels were Kyland Young, a 29-year-old account executive from San Bernardino County, CA who currently resides in Venice Beach, CA, after 57 minutes followed by Britini and then Azah Awasum, a 30-year-old director of sales operations from Baltimore, MD, after one hour and 15 minutes in the competition.
Azah kept the faith that either Tiffany Mitchell, a 40-year-old phlebotomist from Detroit, MI, or Xavier could win the competition on behalf of "The Cookout," but then Tiffany fell off "The Wall."
Alyssa's body gave out on her after one hour and 20 minutes, and so only Xavier and Derek X. remained. Alyssa cried after the competition because she said she really wanted to win it.
Derek X. then called out to Xavier and shouted how Xavier had already been HoH and so he shouldn't be greedy. Xavier realized in that moment Derek X. winning would put a bigger target on Derek X.'s back since he was also a repeat Power of Veto winner.
Xavier therefore begged Derek X. not to put him on the block, and Derek X. assured him, "I'm not putting you up, I promise!"
Derek X. won the competition as a result after holding onto the wall for one hour and 23 minutes. Hannah seemed just as, if not more so, excited about Derek X.'s win given they're close friends and nearly in a showmance.
After the competition, Xavier asked Derek X. to keep all the "Kings" safe, and Derek X. shook on that deal. Xavier repeated how he wanted Derek X. to keep all of the "Kings" off the chopping block and not just himself.
Alyssa said in the Diary Room that Derek X.'s best move was to protect all of the members of "The Royal Flush," which is comprised of the former "Kings" and "Queens" members plus Derek X.
Derek noted the easy move would be to nominate two former "Jokers" team members -- Azah, Britini and Derek F. -- or take advantage of his power and take a shot at the "Kings" side of "The Royal Flush," which would mean Alyssa, Xavier, Christian or Sarah Beth.
Hannah planned to be in Derek X.'s ear all week, and she seemingly wanted to target Christian -- who had nominated her the previous week -- as well as Sarah Beth, who had been trying to convince the whole house to take her out instead of Whitney Williams.
Christian acknowledged to Xavier and Alyssa he may be Derek X.'s backdoor option, and then Sarah Beth revealed to Alyssa how she and Hannah had talked things through and buried the hatchet.
"I was passionately throwing Hannah's name all around the house last week, so it would be completely stupid of me to think she doesn't know about it. So right before eviction, I decided to approach Hannah and see if there was any way we could clear the air and possibly work together," Sarah Beth explained in the Diary Room.
Sarah Beth had told Hannah that she'd like to work together going forward. Sarah Beth figured Hannah didn't trust her 100 percent but their conversation was enough to at least smooth things over for one to several weeks.
Alyssa being safe threw a wrench into Tiffany's plans because she's not one of the 11 houseguests Tiffany had intended to carry forward in the game. Tiffany had wanted "The Cookout" alliance to each have a close ally outside of the alliance to protect all of their bases.
Derek X. told the cameras he needed Christian, "the biggest threat," in the house gone.
"He has an over 50 percent win rate in the comps. I need to get this guy out of here, because if I don't, he's going to take me out!" Derek X. explained.
Tiffany advised Derek X. to take his shot, and Derek X. replied, "Oh, I want to backdoor him."
And then Tiffany responded with Hannah sitting right next to her, "Or we can ride 'The Royal Flush.'" Hannah is not a member of "The Royal Flush," and so that was a big red flag for her.
Derek x. therefore didn't know if he should nominate two "Jokers" upfront or Sarah Beth plus a "Joker" to make a big of a stronger move.
Derek X. didn't want to nominate Christian right off the bat because it would allow Christian to compete in the Power of Veto competition and then potentially win in and save himself.
Hannah then asked Derek X. about "The Royal Flush," and Derek. X. told her the truth about his eight-person alliance. Derek X., however, assured Hannah that "The Royal Flush" was going to be "flushed" and gone after this week.
"I don't want to be overconfident, but think she bought it," Derek X. said in the Diary Room.
Hannah also confronted Tiffany about "The Royal Flush" alliance, and Tiffany decided to downplay it. Tiffany said the alliance had nothing to do with Hannah, but Hannah said she would have appreciated being kept in the loop.
"I'm going to keep this in my back pocket and maybe use it as ammunition later," Hannah said.
After Derek F. was shown teaching Azah how to have more of a poker face since she's quite the emotional player who can't help but show her emotions on her face, Derek X. sat down with Xavier.
Derek X. admitted he was looking at "The Kings" as potential nomination options, and Xavier didn't understand what he was doing because Derek X. was supposed to be a member of "The Royal Flush" alliance.
However, Xavier advised Derek X. to keep Christian around since he could serve as a shield for them, being all three of them are strong competitors. Xavier suggested Sarah Beth as a nominee as a result along with Britini.
Sarah Beth told Derek X. that there wasn't a clear house target this week and she was in a position to help him going forward because she's tight with both the "Queens" and "Kings."
Derek X. asked Sarah Beth if she'd be willing to go on the block as a pawn, and she replied, "I would be upset. I'll be completely honest."
Sarah Beth told the cameras that no universe exists in which she'd be okay with being a pawn, and Derek X. began to worry about making more enemies during is HoH reign.
Derek X. proceeded to ask Derek F. if he'd be fine with being a pawn, and Derek F. explained a woman would be a better choice since men appeared to be the targets earlier in the game.
Azah and Britini also told Derek X. that they definitely didn't want to be pawns.
"My honest fear in that is the more I go up, I'm afraid one of these times [the house] is going to be like, 'She's out,' like, batter up!" Britini admitted.
Derek X. said the "Jokers" weren't making this easy for him and he was scared to ruin his relationships with them.
Hannah then told Derek X. that Christian would probably go after him next week if he happened to win Head of Household. Her goal was to get Derek X. to use Sarah Beth as a pawn because on the off-chance Sarah Beth ends up going home, it would benefit her own game.
"Even if you didn't take out Christian, I feel SB will be gunning for you whereas if it was Britt and SB and SB goes home, at least you're losing someone whom you know you've been on her radar," Hannah explained to her ally.
At the Nomination Ceremony, Derek X. announced he had decided to nominate Sarah Beth and Britini for eviction.
Derek X. explained the "No. 1 currency" you have in Big Brother is trust and he believed this was the best move for his personal game to keep his trust inside of the house.
Sarah Beth acknowledged she was "mad" and surprised he had taken a shot at "The Royal Flush" alliance, and Britini said it sucked to be on the chopping block for the third time.
Derek X. said his ultimate goal is to backdoor Christian, and if that doesn't work, he's "perfectly fine" with taking out Sarah Beth.
"I am pissed. I dont know why Sarah Beth is on the block right now. Derek totally blew up 'The Royal Flush.' I don't know why he's doing it! He could've made an easy decision this week by putting up anyone outside of 'The Royal Flush' alliance, but he didn't. And now I don't know what's going through his head," Christian said. 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.