‘Big Brother’ Elimination Recap: Jury House Erupts in Screaming Match, Final Showmance Splits Up

Behold, the final four! In a whirlwind week of Big Brother, the season 18 houseguests have been whittled down to four: Paul, Corey, Nicole and James. After months of manipulation, competition and all of the friendship, one week remains before season 18’s true HOH is handed $500,000 and the ultimate bragging rights.

But first, let’s keep our focus on the live eviction at hand! Tuesday, September 13’s episode marked Victor’s third and final elimination by a vote of 2–0, and the fitness trainer has Ni-Corey blame. Corey and his seasonlong snuggle buddy betrayed their alliance and succeeded in removing a huge threat to their survival, but will BB karma come back to bite them?

Paul officially locked up his spot in the final three with a triumphant HOH win, and it would appear that Ni-Corey already has plenty of reason to worry. Will the final showmance be split by the end of the Wednesday, September 14, live episode? Or will James finally get the boot?

Prepare for the most intense veto competition of the summer!

So Obvious, It Hurts

It’s not even worth reliving the nomination, but here goes. … In the most expected move of the entire season, Paul nominated Nicole and Corey in an attempt to better his odds for victory and split the remaining duo. It makes too much sense to go after them, but it doesn’t mean Ni-Corey fans weren’t hit in the gut. Poor Nicole even wore her lucky sweater!

But of course, she expected it: “You’re in a good spot one second, and the next second, you’re fighting for your life.” As did Corey, who said, “In this game, you go from hero to zero pretty quick.” But both acknowledged the importance of the veto, as Corey added, “Nominations don’t matter this week. It’s all about the veto.” After all, whoever wins the veto casts the only vote during the live eviction.

Call Jerry Springer!

The jury house needs its own show because season 18’s castoffs are a volatile crew! Natalie giddily strolled in with a giant smile stuck to her face, but Paulie and Da’Vonne were both poised for a fight. And, boy, did viewers get that epic explosion!

Unfortunately, CBS had to censor out some of the language, but it all began when Paulie defended his now-repaired relationship with Zakiyah, to which Da’Vonne insultingly responded, “Paulie, you have to be at least 6 feet to speak to me.” Which begged him to continue the mean-spirited exchange, and the tension level skyrocketed.

With each hateful sentence, the pair moved close together in a weird dance of intimidation. Restraining themselves from throwing physical punches, Da instead used her words to attack Paulie and Z: “You can punk her ass, but don’t get it twisted! Don’t get it twisted!”

All hell broke loose when Paulie asked, “What kind of example are you setting for your little girl?” Mama Da reacted, got in his face and told him to never talk about her daughter again. For good measure, she called him a “punk-ass bitch.” Da then removed herself from the situation, and Bridgette picked up the mic: “Zakiyah, I love you. I think you’re beautiful. But you deserve better.” Bridge then spat some venom Paulie’s way with, “God, you make my skin boil.” The fight ended with Z and Da screaming at each other before the season 17 returner extricated herself from the situation. Oh, and Paulie slow-clapped (cue the face palm). We're speechless!

Calmer Waters

The tension definitely simmered down after the commercial break, but the jury house was still at odds when Victor rolled up. It appeared the house was now split with Paulie and Z on one side and the rest of the evicted houseguests on the other. But the entire jury was a bit saddened to have Fit Vic join their ranks. “I didn’t want this at all,” said Bridgette.

The next viewing party commenced, and most were shocked by Ni-Corey’s complete domination, but Da proudly said, “That damn Nicole — she’s playing one hell of a game. I’ll end up giving her this money. I know it.” Fingers crossed, Da!

The Veto to End All Vetoes

We blinked, and somehow it was already time for the most important veto competition of the summer! Clad in cute baseball gear, the final four stepped onto individual miniature baseball fields and prepared to play “Cover Your Bases.”

Using their knowledge of BB18, the houseguests had to remember which days certain momentous BB events happened on. For example, the announcer asked what day Tiffany was first nominated, and the answer was day 18. So the houseguests had to run around their tiny baseball pitches, stomp on buttons that increased a digital number on their “scoreboard” — one point on first base, two points on second base, etc. — until it was correct, and then hit the button attached to the cutout pitcher’s hand. If they were incorrect, they had to restart. The last houseguest to guess the correct day got a strike, and after three strikes, you’re out.

Viewers were undoubtedly on the edge of their seats as Nicole, Paul, Corey and James flew around their tiny fields, attempting to guess the correct days. Paul was nervous about Corey’s chances of winning and called him “Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome Baseball Star.”

Big Brother cast
'Big Brother' cast. CBS

As expected, James was the first person eliminated. In Paul’s words: “James sucks. He’s out immediately. It’s all on me. Great.” But the bearded motormouth was holding his own, and before long, Nicole and Corey both had strikes. Nicole complained, “I can’t run and think of these numbers at the same time. Just give me a whiteboard and let me write these numbers down.”

Soon she joined James, and Paul felt the pressure: “Your boy’s losing steam here, and I feel like Corey’s just getting started.” But in the most intense minute of reality television ever (trust Us), both houseguests — equally matched with two strikes each — raced around their diamonds in unison. However, Corey guessed wrong (which almost killed Us), and Paul clinched the win.

The Hardest Goodbye

Of course Paul chose to keep the nominations the same, and the eviction began. But what would Nicole and Corey say to one another? Would viewers hear all the romantic musings we desperately hoped for? The answer: Eh, not really.

Corey started by thanking his supportive family and then veered into humorous territory à la Paul’s style from the September 8 episode. Corey called out James for his awful performance and poked fun at his own strikeout, but added, “I’m not going out of this house without reaching first base.” With that, he picked up Nicole and gave her a peck! Lackluster, yes, but still! A peck!

Nicole used her speech to praise her ride-or-die Corey: “I didn’t even know guys like you existed. You’re so handsome, I’m forgetting my speech.” She might have gotten flustered, but she added, “You’re even more beautiful on the inside.” Ugh, why did this happen!

Julie Chen then instructed James to step forward, and he evicted Corey. As per usual with this BB crew, there were only hugs and proclamations of friendship and love. With that, Corey exited and met with Her Majesty, Julie Chen.

She asked him about James’ vote, and he seemed surprised to have gotten the boot, saying, “It feels like one of James’ worst pranks ever.” But he mostly talked about Nicole and how he hopes she’ll make it to the end because she deserves it. Viewers also found out that Corey and Nicole might only be friends. When asked about Ni-Corey’s romantic future, he ambiguously said, “Oh, yeah, possibly.” He continued, “I know we’ll be talking a long time.” What does it all mean?!

The final HOH competition will kick off on Friday, September 16.

Tell Us: Who should win?

Big Brother airs on CBS Friday, September 16, at 8 p.m. ET, and the anticipated finale airs on Wednesday, September 21, at 9:30 p.m. ET.

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