Frankie and Zach: Broken. All summer long we’ve been building to this, the moment when the best friends and allies and affair-of-the-heart lovers and massage buddies would splinter. Frankie Grande: The man from Broadway, the pink-haired avatar for our post-Gaga moment, a social media mogul who actually self-describes as a “social media mogul.” Zach Rance: The dude who beat you up in grade school but who threw all the best parties in high school, and then later you heard that it took him six years to finish college, but only because he kept dropping out to “start a company” that was basically a garage band without the band but the garage was his dad’s lake house. It’s like watching Ryan Phillippe from Cruel Intentions meet-cute with David Bowie from Labyrinth.
And now Zach is betrayed. BETRAYED. “You’re lying, Frankie!” he screamed. “You’re lying right now!” The all-guys’ alliance was falling apart, publicly. In the bathroom, Christine whispered to Donny: “I think this is helping you.” But the Zach explosion didn’t wind up helping anyone. All the cards went on the table, and then the cards were set on fire. Here’s how wild Wednesday’s Big Brother was: Caleb was the voice of reason. He got things down to brass tacks: “There are girls in the house, that are in power, that said you wanted to put us up.”
Frankie didn’t deny it. “I understand that is not exactly the best thing that could possibly have been said by me,” he admitted. Zach was furious. FURIOUS! “I’ve given you my Big Brother life on a platter!” he screamed. “I’ve given you the best years of my life, and for what?”
Derrick suggested that they move things to the Fire Room. That’s where Frankie revealed his true nature. “I told you I was on Broadway,” he admitted. “I was on Broadway, many years ago. But that’s not what I do now. Now, I’m a YouTuber. I’m a TV personality. I’m a Social Media Mogul. I walked into this house with 1.5 million followers. Indeed, it has been said that I simply am the internet, that I represent in microcosm the world in macrocosm. I tweet-tweet the tumble-book, and I vine-stagram the Snapchat. I actually own a cat named Snapcat. That cat has 1.5 million followers. There are teenagers who think I’m more famous than Jennifer Lawrence. There are babies who think I’m more famous than SpongeBob. Also, my sister is Ariana Grande.”
Then the kicker: Frankie revealed that he’s playing Big Brother for charity, that he’s using money to build schools in Africa. This news was met with general horror by his fellow citizens, who clearly hadn’t anticipated the “building schools in Africa” gambit. Caleb, with the line of the night: “Are you even gay?” Frankie: “I’m very gay.” (ASIDE: I realize that Caleb spent the first half of the summer being the skeeviest skeeveball in Skeevetropolis, but in the last few episodes, I’ve found myself appreciating his place in the pantheon of future all-stars that this season has become. There’s a weird steadiness to Caleb’s game play that has proven to be shockingly potent as his competitors have pretzeled into double backstabs. END OF ASIDE.)
Zach was having none of it. “You’ve built a house of lies!” he screamed. “You betrayed me! You hurt me! I don’t even know what to think anymore? Who are you?” Zach walked the halls of the Big Brother house, a ruined man. He was alone, all alone in this cruel universe. “I have no chance!” he raged to the Big Brother gods. “The kid’s playing for f—ing children in Africa! This guy already won fan-favorite! Give him the f—ing money! I’m wasting my f—ing time here!” They say you can still hear the sound of Zach’s tears on the wind, if you listen closely.
This was an unusually busy evening for Victoria, who finally figured out how to open the door from the laundry room and emerged after several weeks of inactivity to discover that all of her happy little cartoon animal friends had become evil judgmental liar-bots. But before that happened, she learned that Frankie is Ariana Grande’s brother, and I swear to god the look on her face completely justified everything Victoria hasn’t done on Big Brother this season:
Look at that face. It’s like she just found out that her pet frog is Prince William, and also that Prince William was only pretending to be bald so that people wouldn’t get jealous of the fact that his hair is made of diamonds.
You could argue that Victoria is an asset that is being underutilized and undervalued. Underutilized, because the spacemen took her brain and replaced it with a slice of sourdough bread. Undervalued, because Victoria has now made it halfway through the game without making any enemies–the perfect patsy, if you’re a savvy operator looking for a Final-Two meatbag. And no one’s savvier than Derrick. Turns out that the undercover cop has been buttering up Victoria, holding her hand while she cries incoherently about how her friend the House Fly doesn’t call her anymore.
Look very closely at what Derrick said, in a chastising tone, after he learned that Frankie had been lying about himself: “Most of us are who we say we are.” The genius of that line is that it’s not a lie. He didn’t say, “I would never lie to people.” He didn’t say: “The rest of us are telling the truth about ourselves.” He basically said, to anyone who was listening: “There is someone else in this house who’s lying about themselves.” Derrick’s genius is how unflamboyant his treachery is: He seems to have spent the entire summer quietly chatting to people, in calm and logical terms, about what their best move would be, and no one’s ever put it together that all the best moves have been in favor of Derrick.
Idea: Could the twist for next season of Big Brother be that every single contestant has to lie about their backstory? Like, when they enter the house in the season premiere, each person gets a flashback where we see Julie Chen hand them a dossier about their fake life? Like, Julie Chen walks up to a married schoolteacher from Kansas and says: “You are now a divorced fireman from the Bronx, and instead of one daughter you have two sons.” And then she hands them a doctored photo showing the schoolteacher-turned-fireman with two boys he’s never seen before. And if anyone reveals their true nature, they will be Have-Nots for the entire summer.
OTEV finally made an appearance this season! One of the higher gods of the Big Brother house appeared in the form of a Penguin with the voice of Gilbert Gottfried. “I’m OTEV, the pissed-off penguin!” he declared. OTEV was feeling rather hot; he needed a drink, something that constituted a hilarious pun on the names of absent houseguests. So he ordered a Brittany Sour, a Jocasta-kaze, a Devin & Devin, a Paola Colada, and finally, an Amberita.
Donny had to win the competition, so naturally, he went out early. Nicole badly wanted to win the competition, so naturally, she also went out early. Caleb looked like he was going to win, but once again, Amber tripped him up. And so Zach took home the Golden Power of Veto. Zach’s had a rough go of it in competitions lately—remember his meltdown during the comic book collection?—and he was effusive afterward. Frankie walked up to him, arms extended. “I don’t want to get you all wet,” said Zach. “I don’t care,” responded Frankie, ”Hug me!”
NEXT: Zankie forever? Well…