'Big Brother' recap: Xavier Prather uses Power of Veto to save himself, Sarah Beth Steagall nominates Derek Xiao in Xavier's place
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 08/26/2021
Big Brother featured Xavier Prather winning the Power of Veto and saving himself from the chopping block, allowing the Head of Household Sarah Beth Steagall to name a replacement nominee in Derek Xiao during Wednesday night's Season 23 episode on CBS.
At the Veto Meeting, Xavier, a 27-year-old attorney from Kalamazoo, MI, decided to remove himself from the chopping block.
HoH Sarah Beth, a 27-year-old forensic scientist from Boiling Springs, SC who currently resides in Fort Myers, FL, therefore named Derek X., a 24-year-old start-up founder from Baltimore, MD who currently resides in New York, NY, the replacement nominee.
Derek X. and Claire Rehfuss, a 25-year-old artificial intelligence engineer from Chagrin Falls, OH who currently resides in New York, NY, are now on the chopping block heading into Thursday night's live eviction episode.
The Big Brother broadcast began on Day 45 of the game, with Claire and Xavier on the chopping block after "Chopping Block Roulette."
Alyssa Lopez, a 24-year-old swimwear designer from Sarasota, FL, felt horrible that her best friend and closest ally, Xavier, was on the block because she had decided to spend her BB Bucks and use a power.
"I was working hard, hard, to position myself to where I wouldn't be nominated at all this entire season, and now, I get nominated because of some stupid power," Xavier explained.
"And who rolls the ball to nominate me?! My closest ally outside of the 'The Cookout,' Alyssa. It's such bad luck that it's almost funny. I feel secure in The Cookout; however, my best way to ensure my safety this week is to win the golden Power of Veto."
The Head of Household, Sarah Beth, was hoping to backdoor Derek X., and so she was relieved the wheel didn't land on his face. Now that Derek X. wasn't a nominee, he wasn't guaranteed to play in the Power of Veto competition, so it lessened his chances of winning the Veto.
Sarah Beth confirmed Claire genuinely wasn't her target, but Sarah Beth couldn't tell Claire about her goal to backdoor Derek X. since the pair happened to be good friends.
"I don't want you to go home. I don't," Sarah Beth told Claire, who said she believed the HoH.
Since Xavier had been on the original "Kings" team with Sarah Beth, Claire assumed that Xavier wasn't her target. It also didn't make sense for Sarah Beth to go after Kyland since they're best friends in the house.
"That means out of all the major threats in this house, Derek X. is probably her backdoor option," Claire determined on her own.
Claire warned Derek X. that he may be in trouble, and Derek X. realized Claire may be right.
Tiffany told Derek X. that he needed to win the Veto, but Derek X. pointed out how he needed to get selected to play first.
"If he touches that block, 'The Cookout' is not saving him," Tiffany explained in the Diary Room. "I do not want to lose Derek X. Hopefully Derek X. gets picked and wins the Veto and this won't even be a concern."
Sarah Beth then told Alyssa that her target was Derek X., and Alyssa acknowledged she was very excited about the plan because she also anticipated sending Derek X. packing at some point.
Afterward, Derek X. asked Sarah Beth if she'd like the Veto winner to use its power, and Sarah Beth claimed she wanted to win it herself so that she could keep her options open. She said she didn't know what she was going to do just yet.
"This girl gives me nothing! I don't trust her right now! I feel like the biggest idiot on the planet because I should've played the stupid wheel. Now I could get backdoored," Derek X. lamented. "Right now, I think my entire game could be on the line."
Hannah Chaddha, a 21-year-old graduate student from Chicago, IL, warned Derek X. that he'd probably be nominated for eviction, but she was going to do everything in her power to keep him off the block. Hannah wanted to protect her ally for as long as possible, but her loyalty lied with "The Cookout."
It then became time to pick players for the Power of Veto competition dubbed "Domino Effect."
The houseguests selected at random to compete were Azah Awasum, a 30-year-old director of sales operations from Baltimore, MD; Derek Frazier, a 29-year-old safety officer from Philadelphia, PA; and Alyssa.
Derek X. said this was a week straight from hell and some karma from the past must be hitting him now.
For the Power of Veto competition, the participating houseguests were required to set up giant dominoes to create a chain reaction from the start to the red "X" across the yard in the shortest amount of time.
Two treasures could be won in the competition, and it was up to a player to decide which one to go for.
To win the golden power of Veto, a player must knock down any three red "punishment" Dominoes along the route they choose to navigate. The player with the fastest time going for the Veto would win the Veto but must endure the punishments they select.
The punishments were Third Nominee, meaning the person would automatically be put on the chopping block next week; Veto Disadvantage; BB Bucks Bankruptcy; Strategy Shutdown, meaning solitary confinement for 24 hours prior to the live eviction; or becoming a "Have Not."
If a player would rather attempt to win prizes -- multiple cash prizes ranging from $2500-$5000 cash Dominoes or 50 BB Bucks -- he or she could create a chain to knock down any three green-prize Dominoes. The player to knock down the green Dominoes would claim all three prizes but miss out on the Veto.
Derek F. went for the money, but Azah gunned for the Veto so she could save her crush and "Cookout" alliance member, Xavier. Alyssa also played to hopefully keep Xavier safe.
Sarah Beth avoided the Third Nominee and Veto Disadvantage punishments given she wanted the week to go her way.
"Honestly, America can wipe their butt with the BB Bucks. They don't give them to me anyways," Sarah Beth griped.
In the end, Derek F. won 100 BB Bucks and $7,500 cash with a time of 16 minutes and 29 seconds, and everyone knew it was "Big D."
The golden Power of Veto went to Xavier, who won the competition with a time of three minutes and five seconds. The punishments he must endure are BB Bankruptcy, Strategy Shutdown and Third Nominee at the next available opportunity.
After the Veto Competition, Claire cried about the idea of Derek X. going home. She felt she had let him down, and Derek X. regretted not playing "Chopping Block Roulette."
Derek X., however, realized he couldn't beat himself up over the past and just needed to look ahead and find out how to stay safe.
After putting together boxes to give to the American Red Cross, Derek X. acknowledged everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. Tiffany, however, set out to convince Sarah Beth to put Hannah on the chopping block instead of Derek X.
"If I have to lose Claire to keep Derek X. in the house, that's a risk I'm willing to take," Tiffany explained.
Derek X. knew the plan was a "Hail Mary" but he didn't have any other options left.
Derek X. also told Sarah Beth that he wouldn't target her for two or three weeks if she kept him safe this week. Derek X. asked Sarah Beth to nominate Hannah instead and essentially do him a favor.