Welcome back, hamster watchers. When we last left our houseguests, they were just starting an endurance challenge for the Head of Household competition. Everyone but outgoing HOH Rachel was standing on a rotating cylinder hanging onto a rail while getting pelted with paint. There is also a novelty-sized paintbrush smacking people in the face just for our amusement.

There are even some stakes even for folks with no chance of winning an endurance challenge: The first person to drop out is the sole Have Not for the week. Anyone want to take a bet that it is Kathy? Personally I hope she falls off and then gets stuck in some sticky caramel and then needs to wait 4 hours for the next person to fall and pry her out.

Hayden opines that he’d like to win HOH and nominate Brendon and Rachel for evicting his main squeeze Kristen (and nominating him). Kathy was the lone vote for Kristen, which earned her a nomination the last time when she was the sole vote for Monet. Will Hayden or his alliance-mates see that as a negative, or realize that Kathy’s vote hasn’t meant much in big scheme of things this season.

Rachel annoyingly cheers Brendon on, to the ire of everyone else. You’ve got this Brendon. You can do it. We get great video clips of Britney and others mocking Rachel’s insane cheerleader routine. Rachel makes it perfectly clear to everyone in the house that she and Brendon are her only priority, and everyone else doesn’t mean a crap to her. That’s a great idea to make that point crystal clear when you’re in a small minority in the house, brainiac Rachel.

Just on cue, Kathy drops first after announcing to everyone “I’ll be the Have Not, ok everyone.” No one objected, and Kathy had lasted a full twelve minutes, proving her continuing incompetence at most challenges. Kathy somehow thinks people “owe” her for taking the Have Not status, when everyone knows darn well it was hers whether she wanted it or not as soon as the challenge was explained.

Enzo was the next to drop, leaving the HOH competition heavy lifting of his alliance up to everyone else once again. Matt noticed that it hasn’t yet been Enzo’s turn to take one for the Brigade. Perhaps Enzo thinks his contribution of coming up with the Brigade name and everyone’s silly nickname would cover him for the whole season. That’s how the Meow Meow rolls, apparently.

No amount of Rachel’s annoying cheering can keep Brendon stuck to the paint can, and he falls next. Rachel points out that Brendon doesn’t pull his weight in HOH competitions, as she has won two already, and he hasn’t won one yet. She tells him that she’s not disappointed, but then says that he’ll need to win POV this week, just assuming that they’ll be targeted. Brendon feels inadequate and sad, so Rachel wins.

Lane is battling with the paintbrush, threatening to bite it next time it smacks him in the face. After losing a fight with an inanimate object, Lane drops next, with Britney and Hayden following behind.

Ragan talks about not being able to see anything because his goggles are covered in paint, and demonstrates how he’s having “Stevie Wonder” moments waggling his head around. He is hanging in there for another endurance challenge, as he had a couple weeks ago in the surfboard endurance HOH challenge.

Matt and Ragan are the final two, and Matt is annoyed that he ends up bearing the burden of hanging in there for an uncomfortable endurance challenge once again for his meat-headed alliance-mates, including guys nick-named the Animal and the Brawn. It isn’t supposed to be “the Brain’s” responsibility to use his muscles, Matt whines. Yet he delivers, and Ragan drops. Ragan claims he feels safe this week and didn’t mean to win anyway, but he did last longer than other people who were actually trying to win.

The Brigade is happy that Matt won, but hoping he doesn’t get too creative with his nominations this week. Hayden is itching to put up Rachel and Brendon, and will be annoyed if Matt once again nominates two other players, allegedly hoping to backdoor the annoying duo who can’t seem to hide their glee at others’ misery whenever they’re in the position of power. Well, Rachel doesn’t anyway. Brendon is smart enough to know that gloating is a dumb move, but Rachel still can’t help herself, yet thinks everyone shouldn’t notice or take it personally.

They reveal Matt’s HOH room, and everyone goes in to fawn over his stuff. Everyone else in the house sneaks away, leaving Matt in with Rachel and Brendon, who don’t get the hint and leave. The rest of the houseguests snicker downstairs about trapping Matt up with those two so they can plead their case for the Nobel Prize in Science or at least a week off the block.

Later we see Matt gets the Pandora’s Box clue while he’s alone in the HOH room. He is offered the Diamond POV, which is the “most powerful POV ever” meaning it beats the snot out of the Golden POV that Marcellus didn’t use to save himself famously years ago. The Diamond POV gives him not only the power to veto a nomination, but also gets to name the replacement nominee. It can only be used this week or next week. It guarantees Matt his own safety and considerable influence for the next two weeks, and Matt likely won’t need it this week as he’s HOH this week and already has the authority to name the replacement nominee.

Matt doesn’t know what “bad” consequence will befall to the house, but is pretty sure that it is something as Pandora’s Box was a twist last year also. Matt goes downstairs and tells the houseguests that he was offered and opened Pandora’s Box, that his prize was just one dollar. He’s trying to do damage control before the inevitable other shoe drops and busts him out to the rest of the houseguests.

Ragan is a fan of the show and was explaining to Hayden and others that Pandora’s Box always meant something favorable for some houseguests in exchange for something unfavorable for other people. As if on cue, Ragan is called into the Diary Room and given a note explaining that he was America’s Vote to be the replacement Saboteur. He is both flattered that America picked him, and worried about how acting as the new Saboteur will affect his game. He is overcome with fan-adoration and agrees to take on the role as the new Saboteur.

Next up, Matt is chilling and chatting with Ragan when Rachel comes in and starts her pitch to Matt to align himself with Rachel and Brendon because they’re awesome and win so many challenges. But as an introductory clause, she mentions that Ragan should hang around for this discussion because Matt and Ragan are “together.” Ragan takes great issue with this characterization because no-one has approached him about being an alliance yet, and he’s never consulted with Matt regarding votes. Matt attempts to stay out of it, enjoying being on the sidelines of the drama. Rachel disputes Ragan’s claims that he’s not in an alliance with Matt, and then gets snippy with Ragan, who in turn isn’t taking her crap. Brendon overhears his screeching harpy of a girlfriend going off on Ragan and rushes in to defend her from her own lack of tact.

Brendon stomps off, claiming that Ragan and Matt were picking on his girlfriend, and Ragan rushes out to give his side of the story to the gathered houseguests, who obviously have nothing else to think about.

Matt’s nominations are finally revealed. The following houseguests are safe, in this order:
Kathy (looks like she gets a free pass for that Kristen vote this time)
Ragan (more “proof” that they’re aligned, I guess)
Britney (well, there goes all the floaters – all that is left is the Brigade and Brenchel)
Lane (the Brawn)
Enzo (the Meow Meow – seriously, he’s sticking with that), and
Hayden (the Animal)

Lovebirds Rachel and Brendon are the nominees, and Rachel can’t hide her disgust while she rolls her eyes at Matt. Then she starts crying and claiming how unfair it is that no-one likes her and she’s had to fight the whole time she’s been in the house. She seems to have forgotten that just last week she nominated showmance-mates Hayden and Kristen, taunted them to “bring it on” and then Kristen was eliminated, so somehow her pleas for sympathy and friendship only find a home with Brendon. I’ll be very curious to see if this showmance becomes a real romance once Brendon is released from the house and discovers that he doesn’t need to put up with the Red-Headed Meanie on a daily basis in the real world if he doesn’t want to.

Tune in Wednesday to check out the ever exciting Power of Veto challenge, and to see if Matt prematurely blows his wad and uses the Diamond POV this week even though he’s already Head of House.