Hello, Hamster Watchers, and welcome to the Wednesday edition of Big Brother. HOH Jordan had nominated Dominic and Adam to target Dom, which didn’t follow Rachel and Brendan’s suggestion to nominate Cassi and Shelly, as they were targeting Cassi.

Dani wants to save Dominic, as she’d like him to be her replacement partner. Pretty much anyone would be an improvement over Dick, but I like Dom so I’m glad that anyone is trying to keep him around. Dani flirts with Dom, but then we see a diary room confession that he should trust her for now. Dani isn’t playing this summer to pay for Brenchel’s wedding or Jeff and Jordan’s summer vacation. So there is some hope that we won’t spend the whole summer picking off all the Newbies before they turn on themselves.

Dani shares Brenchel’s interest in getting rid of Cassi, but for a different reasons. Brendan and Rachel view Cassi as a threat as they think she’s the leader of the Newbies. It’s also pretty obvious that Rachel doesn’t like that Cassi is attractive, as she thinks she’ll look hotter in comparison if she’s only in the house with less-attractive people. Oh but Rachel, don’t you know that the Big Brother cameras capture your inner beauty (or lack thereof)?

Dani isn’t threatened by Cassi’s looks, but rather sees Cassi as her competition for Dominic’s attention. With two pre-existing couples in the house this season, the producers didn’t need to rely on cast members finding hook-up partners in the house in order for the live feed viewers to have plenty of night-vision action. However if Dani is looking for more than just a flirting partner, 25 year old virgin Dominic is probably not her best bet. Not sure who would be though – Lawon?

For the Power of Veto contest, just like last week three of the couples compete. The HOH couple, Jordan and Jeff, the nominated couple, Adam and Dominic, and the luck of the draw couple, which shockingly is Brendan and Rachel. Jordan selects Dani to host, and the couple go get into goofy outfits.

Brenchel takes this opportunity to talk to Dani about the possibility of winning HOH and vetoing the nomination to force Jordan to nominate Cassi and Shelly. This would be quite the aggressive move so early in the game to over-ride your own alliance-mates nominations without their consent, but Brenchel is not known for tact or thinking long-term. Rachel is thinking “I want Cassi out” and that is pretty much the extent of it. Dani doesn’t try to talk Brenchel out of it because it serves her purpose of keeping Dominic in the game and also would deflect all of Jeff and Jordan’s focus on Brenchel. Having someone else gunning for those challenge-monsters is a must for anyone wanting to win.

The Power of Veto competition begins and the competing houseguests are somewhat surprised that they are playing as individuals, rather than teams. I knew this was coming as soon as Keith and Porsche were both taking a dive last week, trying to get the golden key. In order to increase the odds that the Veto will be used (and make the Veto ceremony and whole second half of the week much more interesting), each person is playing as an individual and will solely control the Power of Veto if they win. This should have been obvious when they noticed the six of them were dressing into 6 colors rather than 3, but oh well, too busy conspiring to notice some minor detail like team demarcations.

The individual competition for Veto is good news for Dominic, as his partner Adam had promised the Careers that he would take a dive on the Veto challenge. The challenge involves walking across a balance beam while chewing gum (one large gumball at a time) to stick the gum to a poster in a “connect the dots” picture of the Veto shape. It looks like they’ve got to chew about 40 pieces of gum, so they need to make that many trips across the rather short but narrow balance beam. If you fall, you can either be out or take a penalty of two weeks on Slop and then continue in the competition. However if you fall twice, you’re out (but still stuck with your two weeks of slop).

Adam is going as slow as humanly possible, but it isn’t clear whether it is because he is trying to show the Careers he’s sabotaging his efforts, or if he really is just an older, uncoordinated dude. If I were there, that’s be my reason (well, not the dude part, but 40s and uncoordinated). He’s out of it but dutifully carries on. Jordan falls first and is about ready to pick up the slop pass to continue, but Jeff yells at her to stay out and not take the slop. She was already way behind, and Jeff is right that she isn’t going to win, so it’s pointless of her to be on slop without a chance to win.

Jordan dropping out of the contest should be good news for Rachel, because it means that they only need to beat Jeff to be able to over-ride their nominations. Presumably Dominic knows he’s on the block and would use the Veto to save himself, and Adam is not a threat in this competition (and would also be pretty dumb to not use the Veto on himself, as no-one wants to be the next Marcellus).

Rather than be happy that Jordan’s fall is furthering her plans to get Cassi nominated, Rachel decides to be bitchy and launches some completely unnecessary comments about Jordan’s ineptitude to Jeff. Rachel opines that now that the HOH is out of the competition, why should she and Brendan even bother. As if it would somehow impact the results of the Veto competition if Jordan (who won’t win) were on slop for 2 weeks. Jeff is furious, but keeps competing, hoping to show Jordan and Rachel that everyone else’s efforts were necessarily futile because Jeff was destined to win.

The whole name calling incident and ensuing barbs with Jeff distracts Rachel so she falls a second time and does just what Jeff told Jordan would happen – end up on slop for no reason. Brendan also gets distracted by Rachel’s compulsive need to fight with her own alliance-mates (even though neither of them wanted Jordan to win anyway), and tries (in vain, of course) to get his fiancé to hold her tongue. Dominic stays focused and wins the challenge.

With Dominic (and his partner, Adam) safe from eviction by winning the Power of Veto, there will need to be a replacement nomination. Again, this is good news for Rachel, as Dominic will use the Veto to eliminate his own nomination and Jordan will likely put up Cassi and Shelly as a replacement. This is exactly what Rachel wants, and she doesn’t even need to get her hands dirty for it to happen. That stroke of good luck is completely lost on Rachel, who never seems to recognize the value of not showing her hand. She fights with Jeff after the competition after Jeff scolds her for her snotty comments about Jordan (after Rachel had done exactly what Jeff had warned Jordan not to do – end up on slop for two weeks and have nothing to show for it). Rachel doesn’t apologize or back away. Instead she screeches back until Brendan about how pathetic it was that Jeff and Brendan both “let” Jordan win HOH, and Jeff is furious. Brendan has to practically drag Rachel away from this ugly fight, wondering why on earth she’s so clueless as to be so intent on destroying their relationship with their only allies in week 2. This is the risk you take when you meet your life partner in a hammock, Brendan.

Back in their room, Brendan reminds Rachel about the importance of playing nice with your teammates and using inside voices and other etiquette points that I stress with my 4 year son on a regular basis. This is week two, and scientist Brendan knows enough math to know they need to make nice with Jeff and Jordan. Then Rachel goes to the HOH room to give a very scripted apology to Jeff and Jordan about how she is just so competitive that she turns into a raging bitch, but it isn’t personal. Well, that’s how I would have phrased it anyway.

Cassi talks to Rachel about how she used to admire Rachel and was rooting for her even though everyone couldn’t stand her last season. Cassi says she now knows why everyone hated Rachel, and it’s because she’s a nasty unlikeable person. Rachel takes a nano-second for introspection, and then decides that Cassi is just jealous. Of course that is the reason that no-one likes you, it couldn’t be that she’s speaking the truth.

Cassi and Shelly approach Jordan and Jeff, making the case for Jordan to use this wonderful opportunity to nominate Brendan and Rachel and get one of them out before they are expecting it (and without giving them the chance to win a Veto to save themselves). I love the idea, but that would be a bold move, not something Jordan or Jeff are known for. They know it would be miserable to be stuck in the house with Brendan after Rachel is evicted (or vice versa, but would anyone really pick Rachel to stay over Brendan?) and they are concerned that Careers would be too outnumbered by Newbies too soon.

The Veto Ceremony happens completely predictably. Adam doesn’t even bother to make a plea as Dom uses the Veto to save them. Jordan nominated Cassi and Shelly. Rachel cackles like a crow. And scene.

Check out our Thursday recap to see whether Cassi or Shelly was evicted. And I don’t think this qualifies as a spoiler as I don’t watch any live feeds or pay any attention to them (and I sure don’t have any inside scoop), but having seen all of the seasons of this show, have you noticed any media interviews of our evicted houseguest Keith yet? I haven’t, which often means that the evicted houseguests are being sequestered and may be showing up with a chance to get back in the house at some point.