'Big Brother' recap: Paloma Aguilar exits the house for mental health, derailing live eviction and twist - PLUS who is the next HoH spoilers
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/15/2022
Big Brother featured Paloma Aguilar leaving the Big Brother house for the sake of her mental health, which totally derailed the live eviction and "Backstage" twist during the Season 24 episode that aired Thursday night on CBS.
Paloma, a 22-year-old interior designer from San Marcos, CA, exited the Big Brother house after apparently struggling with anxiety, exhaustion and emotional breakdowns.
Given Paloma had been in jeopardy of going home already as a "Backstage" member, Big Brother host Julie Chen deemed her fellow "Backstage" members Alyssa Snider, a 24-year-old marketing representative from Sarasota, FL, and Brittany Hoopes, a 32-year-old hypnotherapist from Atlanta, GA who currently resides in Austin, TX, safe.
In addition, the week's two nominees -- Taylor Hale, a 27-year-old personal stylist from West Bloomfield, MI, and Terrance Higgins, a 47-year-old bus operator from Chicago, IL -- were also spared. There was no live vote or eviction.
The Big Brother broadcast began with Julie announcing that the "Backstage" twist was supposed to play out live but a turn of events changed everything.
Footage then circled back to moments after the Veto Meeting, when Taylor was nominated as a replacement nominee.
Taylor, through tears, said she understood why people were having trouble connecting with her -- because she's "a tough cookie to crack" -- but it really upset her to be told that she had hurt people in the house and made some houseguests feel unwelcome.
Daniel Durston said he wanted Taylor gone, and Terrance recognized the drama in the house surrounding Taylor was great for his own game.
Paloma wanted to ensure that Taylor would be going home, but Paloma broke down into tears and sat down with Taylor, telling her that being honest about her pageant background was a mistake because people stereotyped her.
Paloma said she wished no one had to leave the Big Brother house, and she told Taylor that they were family and she should continue to be her authentic self.
"At first it feels really good to have someone hold your hand and sit with you while you're sobbing your eyes out. But now, she's talking as if it's a signed, done deal that I'm out of the house. I really like this girl, but I don't really know if she does have my best interest at heart," Taylor said in the Diary Room.
Before she attempted to rally votes, Taylor had as many conversations as possible to find out whom she had been rubbing the wrong way.
Ameerah Jones asked Taylor if she told Monte that Paloma had been gunning for the strong males in the house, and Taylor replied, "No! I was like, 'Talk to Paloma specifically so that she knows you all are not gunning for her."
Ameerah said Taylor's actions were clearly perceived a different way and she wished Taylor had approached them sooner.
Taylor realized this was a big deal, and so she sought out Monte Taylor for a chat as well. Taylor insisted she was trying to communicate to him to reassure Paloma that the men weren't in an alliance and going after the women.
Monte apologized for the "firecracker show" that developed from an innocent conversation, but at the same time, he told the cameras he had a stronger relationship with Paloma than he had with Taylor. Monte admitted he thought it was "too late" for Taylor to redeem herself.
Taylor believed she ended up on the chopping block due to wild miscommunication, and so she also attempted to clear the air with Paloma. Paloma said she'd rather go to sleep than hear Taylor out, and Taylor called her "rude" for not hearing her out.
Paloma claimed she was "far removed from the game" and just didn't care what Taylor had to say.
Alyssa and Paloma were then shown forming an alliance with Joe "Pooch" Pucciarelli and Monte so the girls would have some strong men on their side. Alyssa suggested bringing Ameerah and Kyle Capener into the six-person alliance as well.
Ameerah loved having a side alliance and thought the women could now influence the guys, and Kyle was also pumped to be a part of a very tight group.
However, Monte, Kyle and Paloma later discussed how Pooch was like the "class clown" and talked too much and so maybe they should dump him and take Michael Bruner in instead. Michael wasn't sure Paloma's pitch was sincere, but he said "yes" just in case it was legitimate.
Later on, Brittany promised Pooch safety the following week if he chose to keep her around this week.
Brittany had a feeling Pooch would be able to decide which of his "backstage" members -- Alyssa, Paloma or herself -- should go home, and so she wanted to be his closest ally of the group. She therefore told him that people had been throwing his name around, namely Ameerah.
Pooch spilled the beans to Ameerah, who grew worried the "Girls' Girl" alliance was cracking already.
Ameerah and Jasmine Davis then ran to Brittany to pick her brain, and Brittany immediately knew Pooch had exposed her "messy gameplay." Brittany was grasping at straws and feared she may be the first one to pack her bag.
Julie then teased how being in the Big Brother house can be very difficult. Footage proceeded to show Paloma saying that she was only sleeping 2-4 hours every night.
Paloma was having emotional breakdowns and said she could feel the exhaustion hitting her like a ton of bricks.
"I'm freaking myself out," Paloma muttered to herself, adding how she felt very anxious all the time.
Paloma admitted that she wanted to leave and she was beginning to be "delusional."
Matt "Turner" Turner noticed Paloma hadn't been eating or sleeping, and he said he really cared about her as a friend and was concerned.
Alyssa also noticed a shift in Paloma's energy, and it appeared everyone was really worried about her. Alyssa didn't know what Paloma needed as Paloma kept threatening to quit the show.
At one point, Paloma locked herself in the Diary Room and just sprawled out on the couch and fell asleep. She was clearly struggling with her mental health.
The houseguests then received a letter, and Daniel read it aloud.
"Due to a personal matter, Paloma will no longer be continuing in the Big Brother game. She wanted to pass along that she loves you all and wishes you all the best," Daniel read.
Most of the houseguests cried about Paloma's unexpected exit, and Monte lead a prayer on her behalf. The players hoped Paloma was okay, and Daniel lamented about losing his "sister" in the house.
"We wish Paloma well. God speed, Paloma," Julie said, before revealing that America had voted to keep Brittany safe out of the "Backstage" members.
"But with Paloma out of the game, everything has now changed."
Julie then announced to the houseguests how Paloma's departure would affect the night's eviction as well as the "Backstage" twist.
Julie explained how the two nominees, Terrance and Taylor, and the three "Backstage" members -- Alyssa, Paloma and Brittany -- had been in jeopardy of going home this week.
Julie revealed there was going to be a battle between one of the two nominees chosen by the house and one of the "Backstage" pass holders. The loser of that head-to-head competition would have gone home immediately.
"The Backstage twist was planned to send one houseguest home tonight," Julie explained. "Since Paloma was one of the five people in jeopardy of being eliminated and she is no longer in the game, that changes everything that was going to transpire tonight."
Julie said the "Backstage" twist had ended and so Alyssa and Brittany were both safe.
Julie also shared that since no one was going to be voted out and evicted this week -- like part of a normal show -- as part of the "Backstage" twist, Taylor and Terrance were also declared safe.
The game continued with the next battle for Head of Household, and so everyone headed into the backyard.
Daniel, as the outgoing Head of Household, was ineligible to compete.
Julie revealed a new festival awaited them but only seven players would be invited to it.
The competition, dubbed "Bye Bye Backstage," played out in seven head-to-head races. If a person won a race, he or she would have the chance to become the new HoH. If a person lost a race, he or she would be out.
The houseguests faced off two at a time, racing across an obstacle course to a stage. If a person fell, he or she would have to go back to the start. The first person to reach the stage and hit a buzzer would advance and compete for Head of Household.
Michael defeated Pooch in a race, Taylor beat Alyssa, Joseph Abdin defeated Indy Santos, Ameerah won a faceoff against Brittany, and Jasmine defeated Terrance.
Jasmine appeared to roll her ankle and be in a lot of pain, so she didn't get off the floor. However, Jasmine was okay and just relaxed until the final round of the competition.
Kyle then beat Turner in a race, and finally, Monte defeated Nicole Layog.