Dan walked into the Solitary Dance Party alone in the world, knowing that there was nothing awaiting him outside except for death and Julie Chen. A lesser man would have resigned himself to spinning mad jams. A lesser player would have danced until his feet gave out, and then fallen asleep, dreaming of the golden power of veto and the HoH thronebed. But Dan is not a player. Dan is a coach. And a coach is never more powerful than when he is alone in a room, plotting.
Follow me into that Solitary Dance Party, fellow viewers. Dan is staring at the records as they turn. Perhaps the music is old-school funk; perhaps it is light jazz; perhaps, knowing Julie Chen’s peculiar tastes, it is crunchy German techno mixed with an English translation of The Art of War as read by Sean Connery. Dan is pondering what led him here. He has 24 hours. Plenty of time for pondering.
Dan started off the day up on the block next to Danielle, his closest ally and his final victim. But all was not lost. Fellow Quack Packer Ian held an extra Veto chip because Frank opened up Pandora’s Box. In an ideal scenario, Britney or Shane could win Veto, and wipe the block clean. Frank would be left struggling: He would have to nominate the last remaining Quack Packer, or a floater (probably Joe) with Quack Pack backing. Either way, Frank’s HoH would end with the odds stacked against him. When it came time for the veto competition, Britney and Ian’s names both came out of the sorting cap. Dan drew a houseguest’s choice; left with the floaters, he selected “Jenn City.”
At that point, Jenn – who, despite all appearances to the contrary, has actually been in the Big Brother house all summer – went to talk to Frank. Eons ago, they had been joined together on Team Boogie. But after the coaches entered the game, Frank and Boogie formed a close bond that seemed to expel other allies. Jenn wanted to reconnect. She told Frank: “I don’t want you by yourself out there.” Jenn has been floating in the wilderness for weeks now – when she said “I’m not really aligned with anybody,” I almost burst out laughing – and she wanted to form a decisive team.
Dan didn’t know that, of course. Dan was too busy making a controversial plan for the veto competition. Britney insisted that the veto had to be won by herself or Shane – that way, the whole Quack Pack would be safe. But Dan wasn’t buying it. “There’s no way I’m throwing this competition to anyone.”
And what a competition! Gaming website Zynga – formerly the Silicon Valley glamour boy, now a stock-market cautionary tale – had partnered with Big Brother for a rousing game of Draw Something. Competitors had to guess what viewer-submitted works of art were supposed to represent. But double twist: Each piece of art came with its own punishment – and if the players wanted to get the points, they had to submit to the punishment. Basically, the Draw Something challenge was a chance for the evil blonde-haired Swedish psychologists who create the Big Brother competitions to let their imaginations run amok. Frank correctly guessed “avocado” and had to take a bath in green paint. Britney correctly guessed “shackle” and had to shackle herself to a houseguest for 24 hours. (She chose Danielle.) Jenn burned her clothes. Frank had to take showers in red Chum for 24 hours. Frank guessed the word “Carrot” and had to wear a carrot costume for an entire week. I’m excited to offer you some exclusive footage of Frank in his carrot costume below:
These were all very amusing, and I’m sure the aforementioned evil blonde-haired Swedish psychologists learned a lot about the human condition when the houseguests sprayed paint all over Danielle – a punishment which led to a Jackson Pollock shout-out. But one punishment was no joke: When Frank correctly guessed the word “bench,” he was told that he had to sit out of his next eligible Head of Household competition. Frank already can’t compete this week; that would mean two weeks out of power, at a moment when his place in the house was unsteady. Knowing that Jenn had his back, and believing that Ian and Britney were with him, Frank accepted the punishment.
And then Frank accidentally ruined everything. The final picture showed a happy sun shining down on a beach. Britney buzzed in. If she got the answer, then Frank would win. But Britney was stumped. She had only buzzed in to make sure that Dan wouldn’t win – knowing that if Dan took himself off the block, she would probably take his place. Britney looked desperate. Frank whispered: “Summer.” BZZZZT. Contestants could not help each other. Frank – covered in green paint and red chum, wearing a carrot costume, cursed to two weeks without the HoH thronebed – was out.
Things looked grim for Frank and good for Dan. Only one person left in the veto competition could turn the tide against him. And somehow, Jenn got the answer right. Her punishment would be cruel: She would have to eat slop for the rest of summer. But Jenn stayed true to her alliance. She won the veto.
And so, Dan was doomed. He didn’t even speak to anyone. He walked out of the veto competition and walked into solitary confinement. “There are three things I love in my life,” he explained. “My wife and my family; coaching; and playing this game.” Dan was crying. He was emotional. His game was finished. The dream was over.
NEXT: Was the dream really over? Yes it was. Or was it?