Big Brother Blowout: Hisam Gets Cocky, Irritating House — Could This or Veto Save Reilly?

Big Brother 25 Head of Household Hisam has is sights set on Reilly, but his bluntly direct approach is rubbing everyone the wrong way and coming across as arrogant; could the Power of Veto upset his plans or is Reilly's fate sealed?

Coming out of the first Head of Household and facing eviction is nothing new on Big Brother, but can Reilly avoid the fate of some previous seasons and avoid eviction? Not if Hisam has anything to say about it.

And boy does Hisam have a lot to say about it.

We get it, Hisam is the man. He’s the dominant competition beast of this early summer so far, having taken two already heading into tonight’s show with a Veto and HOH under his belt. He also has reason to target Reilly, as she told him she was gunning for him.

Everything he’s doing is perfectly justifiable. On paper, he’s an incredible Houseguest off to a killer start. Then he opens his mouth. Reilly said it right in a Diary Room confessional when she said that he rubs her the wrong way.

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It’s the way he says, “Right?” all the time, as if pushing you to agree with him, to see that his way is the only “right” way of seeing things. It’s the condescension couched as honesty. It’s the arrogance couched as matter-of-fact presentation.

When you’re building a huge target on your back with your competition performances — remember Hisam has come in first or second in every comp he’s been in so far — you don’t want to make things worse by rubbing everyone the wrong way.

Perhaps Hisam’s weakness is and will continue to be his social game. Maybe he’s socially awkward in his real life, or as a doctor, maybe he’s not used to having to treat everyone as equals or even full human beings.

It’s also remarkable that he’s lacking the self-awareness to see that he’s perhaps making the exact same mistakes he says Reilly made in her reign. He’s blatantly admitting his targets, trying to sledgehammer the house into doing his will, and he’s about to be completely powerless next week.

That’s either confidence or a bit of stupidity. Only time will tell.

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POV, or Back Against the Wall

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Reilly’s back was against the wall heading into this week’s Veto competition, and then just as quickly, so was Hisam’s. By the time players had been selected, he stood alone. His only hope outside of himself winning was that Cameron might win and save himself.

That’s because Hisam himself pulled the one chip he didn’t want, bringing Reilly’s showmance(?) Matt into the competition. Cameron brought in America, who would also fight for Reilly, while Reilly drew Players Choice and selected Blue.

It was effectively four against two, with the four having the numbers advantage of bringing down Reilly and forcing Hisam to pick a new nominee. And if Matt won, his backup plan was gone, too.

The competition itself was in the Scramble-verse, meaning things were wacky and silly. Houseguests had to listen to records backwards or forwards to get clue pieces that once assembled told them something to do in a scrambled record store.

Entertainment Weekly has a great breakdown of how the show has been doing its best to accommodate Matt’s deafness, including a detailed analysis of the extra work they put in so he could compete in this comp.

it’s a fascinating read and great to see their efforts at inclusion, but doesn’t cover why they failed so miserably to tell him he could leave the Diary Room after casting his vote on last Thursday’s live broadcast. Here’s hoping they’ve got that figured out for this week.

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We’re not sure how much it might have helped, though, as we only got the top three fastest times, and Matt’s wasn’t among them. Instead, Blue came in third, Cameron fell just short in second place and Hisam picked up his third victory, just when he needed it.

Remember what we said about managing a growing target on your back?

What this did ensure, though, was that HIsam could keep his nominations the same. He bluntly told Reilly that he was going to tell the House to help him evict her during his speech, and then did just that.

He blamed her HOH reign for the divide in the house between The Handful (younger HGs) and The Professors (older HGs) alliances and said that he hopes her eviction allows the rest of the house to reset and “reestablish relationships and figure out who we want to be aligned with.”

Once again, Hisam’s blunt approach to the game comes across as dictatorial and rubs everyone the wrong way. As this was filmed days ago, the house has had days to process his words and consider how they feel about it. The immediate reaction was enough that we’re not sure they’ll still want to do his dirty work for him.

Reilly was targeting Hisam specifically, not anyone else. He’s making himself a bit of a threat and a problem in the house. Is getting rid of Reilly the best move for anyone else’s game over Cameron? That’s the debate that’s surely rocked the house for days now, and honestly, we’re not nearly as confident with how it will play out.

It’s a testament to Hisam’s arrogant gameplay because this is more to do with him than either nominee. He may well dictate what happens this week, but will it be his target going home, or a decision specifically made to go against his wishes.

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Houseguest Report Cards

Cirie Fields (53, nurse) is somehow puppet-mastering so much of this game already and we are shocked every day that this continues to be the case. We’re not sure how long it can possibly last, but she’s definitely cast a spell on a lot of the house. It helps that her personal relationships are one hundred percent genuine; she just separates personal from game like a boss. We have a feeling that this week’s vote might come down to what she decides is best for her side, and herself. [Grade: A-]

Izzy Gleicher (32, professional flutist) is doing a lot to redeem her game after some emotional erraticism that had us sketched out she might blow up her game, as well as Jared and Cirie’s games. As it stands, though, it looks like she and Cirie are tighter than ever, making for a powerful duo/trio that the house at least hasn’t fully figured out. We still think it’s a matter of time before the secret’s out. If Izzy doesn’t out them, she becomes as vulnerable as them because she knew, giving Cirie and Jared leverage over her. It’s a complex relationship for sure. [Grade: B]

Jared Fields (25, exterminator) is doing a good job of navigating the incredibly complex position he’s in of working with his mom while staying in good graces with The Handful. We’re not sure how long he can keep it up, or how long they can keep their secret. Best-case scenario, they get in so tight with Izzy that she’ll take their secret out of the house and root for them to win. That would take a lot of work and time, but Cirie is that good, and Jared is doing pretty well, too. [Grade: B-]

Felicia Cannon (63, real estate agent) seems to be actively stepping away from strategizing amid the drama of this week. It remains to be seen if that’ll be a good idea in the long run. We still think she’s well-loved enough that it won’t hurt her, but we’d like to see her dig in and play this game like she was in the first week again. [Grade: B-]

Blue Kim (25, brand strategist) is again showing some hints as to her strategic mind in seeing the game, and she had a strong showing in this week’s Veto competition. She is Reilly’s staunch ally, so who stays this week could have a huge impact on her immediate future, depending how well she can pivot. [Grade: C+]

Jag Bains (25, truck company owner) & America Lopez (27, medical receptionist) are kind of floating a bit within the Handful. They are loyal enough, but perhaps not enough to jeopardize their own games. Can they separate friendship from strategy? Jag has been a little more involved on that strategic side, but this week, it’s a no-win scenario for them, so it remains to be seen how they’ll step up after this. [Grade: C]

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Bowie Jane Ball (45, barrister/DJ) is just here for a good time, and that’s just fine. She is rocking no boats. If the house decides to target floaters, though — well, she’s definitely been that. [Grade: C]

Mecole Hayes (30, political consultant) isn’t rocking the boat, either. Right now, she’s a number who hasn’t really showed her cards publicly. Though she is part of the Professors, she’s laying low. [Grade: C]

Hisam Goueli (45, geriatric physician) is sliding down this chart because he is starting to rub both sides of the House wrong. If he wasn’t such a competition beast, we’d put him even lower. But right now, he’s almost unstoppable in this game, and if his back is against the wall, it seems like he steps it up. We can see the house putting together a plan to get rid of him, but it could take a while to pull it off. [Grade: C-]

Red Utley (37, sales) is emerging as someone the Handful sees as a competition threat. That makes him perhaps their biggest target on the Handful side, outside of Hisam. Depending on who rises to power, he could be in trouble … especially as he doesn’t seem to be a part of much of the strategizing. Is he building tighter social bonds we’re not seeing? [Grade: C-]

Cory Wurtenberger (21, college student) is laying low right now, which is absolutely what he needs to be doing. He is very smart in the game, but his mouth can also get him into trouble as he perhaps talks a bit too much about just how much he’s seeing both strategically and with other players. He’s his own worst enemy. [Grade: C-]

Matthew Klotz (27, deaflympics gold medalist) is playing this game with his heart and his heart says he wants to keep Reilly. If the house goes with Hisam’s wishes, then that could either free him up as a free agent, or make him an easy follow-up target. He is a potentially huge physical threat, so we don’t see the Professors keeping him long, if these alliances hold. [Grade: C-]

Cameron Hardin (34, stay-at-home dad) & Reilly Smedley (24, bartender) are both in jeopardy right now because the house hasn’t decided what to do about Hisam. It really feels like this decision has more to do with him than either of them. Reilly is the more aggressive gameplayer, but she could be an ally to take down Hisam. Saving Cameron keeps Hisam feeling pacified, which could make him easier to backdoor later as he his such a comp threat. It’s a toss-up as to what might happen. [Grade: D]

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House Chatter

  • “I’m hoping by pitting them against one another, it will cause the other side of the house to splinter and crumble. This is how you win the game.” –Hisam (in DR about his nominees)
  • “I want to clean slate. I just hope that if you have it in your heart to work with me, I would love that.” –Reilly (to Hisam)
  • “It’s not that I don’t want to work with you, right? It’s not that I don’t want to work with you. I just want to be really transparent with you. What’s been pretty clear to me is, like you know, we’re in Week 2 and the only person who’s mentioning anybody’s name is you, right? And you know that, right? And the concern that I have, right?, is that if I don’t mention you, people are going to be like, ‘What the–? She totally said she was going to evict you.’ Does that make sense to you? I know it sucks to hear it that way.” –Hisam
  • “[Blech] God, he rubs me the wrong way. He really rubs me the wrong way … This is not going to be a good situation for Hisam if I make it out of this week.” –Reilly (in DR about Hisam)
  • “‘You look like you’re buff.’ Maybe I’m just buff.” –Cory (after Felicia comments on his picture)
  • “No, you’re not buff.” –Felicia (gesturing to his physique)
  • “Just think about it. If you win and take her down, then everyone’s gonna think you guys are in a showmance.” –Hisam (telling Matt not to bring down Reilly if he wins POV)
  • “He just threatened me hard … I wanna get called. I would use it on you, make a stance. I’m taking her down because she was the first person to make me feel comfortable in this game.” –Matt (to Reilly)
  • “After talking with him, it’s going to implode everything.” –Jag (to Reilly, who wants him to send Red to Nether Region)
  • “It’s already imploded.” –Reilly
  • “I had to put my eyebrows on!” –Felicia (running late to Nether Region meeting)
  • “Nobody listens to me!” –Reilly (in DR after Jag sent Bowie over Red)
  • “F–k Jag. We have a conversation about Blue and I watch him promptly ignore it.” –Hisam (in DR)
  • “I just can’t believe the picks. I’m like, we can’t get a break on this side.” –Hisam (to Cirie, Izzy after every POV pick is a Handful member)
  • “Hopefully I’m as safe as Hisam tells me I am.” –Cameron (in DR after POV)
  • “I gotta find a way out of this. Now I gotta go talk to Hisam again, my best friend.” –Reilly (in DR)
  • “What I’m thinking is, is that getting any more blood on my hands would be a little unwise, right? ‘Cause I don’t need to make a new enemy. It’s just like all roads kind of lead to leaving things the same, right? Does that make sense?” –Hisam (to Reilly)
  • “Okay, and I respect that. I didn’t come up here expecting a miracle.” –Reilly
  • “And to be honest with you, it would be likely at the Veto meeting that I will tell people that you are my target, right? And that I would like their help toward evicting you.” –Hisam
  • “The way that he talks to me really infuriates me. I honestly hope that he puts on some theatrical performance at the Veto meeting just so people see, okay, that’s your king, cool. I don’t recall someone ever doing that and it turning out well for them.” –Reilly (in DR about Hisam)
  • “I have decided not to use the Power of Veto. Reilly, I love you but unfortunately, you’re my target. You mentioned my name. I think your HOH reign caused the house to split prematurely. I’m hoping that my Houseguests will help me vote Reilly out and give us all an opportunity to reestablish relationships and figure out who we want to be aligned with.” –Hisam (at POV Ceremony)
  • “If Hisam is not careful, this Professor may be in danger of losing his tenure.” –Cirie (in DR about Hisam’s aggressive speech)

Big Brother airs Sundays and Wednesdays at 8pm ET, and Thursdays at 9pm ET on CBS.

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