Thursday dawns early for the HGs in a brilliant, new Dana-free house as BB wakes the slumbering forms at 8:00am sharp. As usual, it is difficult to get the sleepyheads up, and it takes a couple FOTHs to get things going (maybe to yell at them to get their arses up?). Among much teasing of Jee, who got a little bit soused last night, the HGs congregate in the LR after performing their morning hygiene rituals and wait for the upcoming food competition.

As we go into the competition, we notice that Justin is wearing a chef’s hat and the eight remaining HGs are dressed in their bathing suits and paired into four teams: Erika and Jack, Alison and Nathan, Jee and Robert, and Jun and Justin. The teams must decide which of them will be the “food,” and which will be the “chef”: Jack, Jun, Nathan and Robert are the foods, while Alison, Erika, Jee, and Justin are the chefs. They must also determine what meal their team will be: Erika and Jack are breakfast, Jee and Robert are lunch, Alison and Nathan are dinner, and Jun and Justin are desserts.

Once those details are determined, we get to see the backyard for the first time. There are huge bowls set up, as well as a dozen or more gallons of milk nearby. The game is titled, “How to Cook a Houseguest,” and each chef must follow a recipe that includes their “food” partner. If a team fails at their challenge, there will be PB&J for that meal all week for the ~entire~ house—including the HOH! If all teams successfully complete their challenges, the house will get a bonus meal for the week provided from the outside.

The competition gets underway with Erika and Jack up first. Jack, being the “food,” has to dress in a singlet: he is the “fruit” (he has a nice strawberry perched on top of his head for just the right added effect). Following a recipe, they must add different things to the bowl, including the “food” HG, and get the recipe done in a certain allotted time. Erika and Jack complete their breakfast challenge successfully. Next up are Jee and Robert; being lunch, Robert is dressed as a hot dog (hehehe) and gets slathered with condiments. They are also successful. Nathan gets to dress up as a chicken and become part of a chicken taco. He and Alie complete their dinner successfully. And finally, the dessert is up: Jun in a banana suit! After a brief FOTH (Alie hurt her hand), during which our peals of laughter after seeing Jun dressed up as a giant yellow fruit subside slowly, we come back to see dessert being completed. Justin is pouring whipped cream over Jun, and she is hollering out, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Laughter abounds in the backyard, followed by much cheering when the two win their challenge.

Thus, with all challenges won, the HGs not only avoid PB&J for the week, but they get their bonus food. Get ready for another sponsor, folks, it’s Subway for the week! Everyone seems genuinely excited about it, and after a few fun tosses of food at each other, they head to the outside shower to rinse off and comment on the mess made in the backyard.

Once inside, a milestone in the BB season is reached this year: the table has finally gotten smaller! There are fewer chairs, as well, and the HGs all view them and the table as though they are some weird, alien contraptions. Eventually, their exclamations of how “weird” it is subside, however, as they find more interesting things to talk about: Jack dressed up in a tight singlet to look like a strawberry! “I’ll never look at you the same way, Jack,” Erika says. “An FBI guy dressed up as a strawberry.” We also learn a little more about Alie’s injury: apparently her ring “broke” (cut) into her finger, and BB gave her some Motrin for the pain.

Things settle down now as the HGs head to bed to lounge or nap and generally rest after an early morning of excitement. Alie and Nate lie in one of the LoveRoom beds together, but face away from each other and don’t talk much. Erika and Jack chat about the game. They are sorry for Nathan, who has played the game so “hard”—they pretty much know, as we do, that he will be nominated today and is Justin’s main target. Their sympathy only lasts so long, however, before they begin to strategize. Jack remarks how HOH hasn’t played an important role in keeping the two of them in the house, and Erika responds that they are letting the others, especially the Stooges, do their “dirty work” for them. They assume that the Stooges want Alie out, despite her having “her nose up their asses,” so Jack jokes, “Let Alie dig a bigger hole for herself.”

As the afternoon pre-nominations chugs into being, it’s not time to nap for long. Nathan strategizes with the Stooges and tries to convince them that, if they keep him, he will go after Erika and Jack before he goes after the Stooges, since he knows the two of them are after him, too. Of course, he prefaces his deal offer by saying he is not campaigning (he learned too well from Dana, I suppose). When Alie tries to join the conversation, he asks her, “Alie, I’m not trying to be rude, but can you give us a minute? We’re talking.” She complies, and as soon as she leaves, “She just talks ***** about me all of the time and I am kind of sick of it.” Hmm, does this mean he is trying to let them know that Alie is on his hit list, as well? He also offers various deals concerning the veto, but really, it’s all just a mad scramble to try to prevent him from being nominated.

The two Stooges dutifully report to their master what Nathan has offered, and it looks like a no-go. “Actions speak louder than words,” Justin says. He doesn’t trust Nathan’s word, and anyways, it is a win-win situation to nominate Nathan: if he goes, they’ve gotten rid of a threat; if he stays, he’ll have the chance to stick to his word. They know that Erika and Jack have an alliance, but it is a weak one. Justin says it is more important to get rid of someone who has actually been winning competitions. After they decide this, Nathan is called into the HOH room to plea his case again, this time directly to the HOH. Nothing much new is said, except he pretty much lies and says that last week he wasn’t against any one of them, despite what Alison may say (that is an utter lie: he wanted Justin out); he insists that he only wanted Dana gone. He reiterates that he is not campaigning: he’s only “throwing” this suggestion “out there.” Whatever is done, he hopes things are “cool” between them.

Once Nate leaves the room, Robert gets angry in that way that he does and says that Nathan has “got to go.” He simply thinks that it is flat-out bull-***** that Nathan would nominate Erika and Jack over two of them. Jee, however, seems calm and only says, “It was his last attempt, and that’s cool.” The three agree that once Jack goes (they talk as though Nathan is already gone), it doesn’t really matter in what order they pick off the women since they are all their exes (and that is true: Alison is Justin’s; Erika is Robert’s; and Jun is Jee’s).

As the afternoon rolls along, some bits to note: When talking about Survivor, Jack cracks the funny: “To me, roughing it is running out of ice.” The HGs seem to think that Dana is lounging on a beach somewhere and not giving them or the game a second thought; someone jokes, however: “She’s probably counting the waiters’ heads and thinking they are talking about her.” Alie takes to moping on the couch, not exactly crying, but looking miserable. She softly says to herself that she lost the best thing she ever had and then calls herself a “retard” (could she possibly mean Donny? The jerk who has cheated on her multiple times and beaten her? I am beginning to think Alison is more nutty that Dana, because whatever Dana’s faults, could you see her letting a man take advantage of her in that way?).

Around two in the afternoon, after the HGs are given their food in the storage room, the HGs chow down much as they did last night, but perhaps not so utterly ravenously. Jun gets an early start on making some garlic-seasoned chicken, while everyone else makes sundaes in honor of Alie’s birthday. As they do, someone brings up how Jee and Jun met in Sunday School, and when Jee remarks that Jun only became a teacher there for four years to impress her parents, she doesn’t disagree. When someone asks if she got paid for her four years of service there, she snorts, “Are you kidding? You get paid in the joy of watching these kids sing ‘Silent Night!’”

Other bits of interest this afternoon: Robert pulls a “scooby” and splashes Erika, much to her displeasure—her hair gets wet, which is apparently a no-no. Her anger is only a bare simmer, however, as she blow dries her hair and goes back outside to tell Robert that she is going to get him when he “least expects it!” Alie kisses her boyfriend’s picture and then mutters, “You probably hate my guts. Thanks Julie.” Geez, Alison, as if he hadn’t watched the feeds or heard about what you were doing without Julie pointing it out!

At about five in the evening, we go to FOTH, and when we come back the obvious has occurred: Jack and Nathan have been nominated. The Stooges are in the HOH room talking about Nathan and how they feel sorry for him because he grew up in the country. They don’t think he is an out and out racist, but he just can’t understand things like they can since they grew up in the city. As such, they must give him the “benefit of the doubt.” Jack and Nathan meanwhile are chat about the veto competition—the fact that it will be Quoridor, the fact that their chances of winning it are slim, etc. The feeds switch back to the HOH room and we see Jun has joined the posse. Apparently Alison let them know that Nathan told her he wanted her to win the veto to save him, and that this was his “worst move.” Alie is mad about it, as are they. They then delve into how they will all gang up on Nathan in the Quoridor veto competition to make sure he doesn’t win.

Evening happenings: The Stooges, though they definitely want Nathan to go this week, agree that Jack has to be next: he can’t “slide through” like Will did from BB2. Alie, who is mad that Nathan said something about making a mistake by using the veto on her, petulantly tells Jun that she won’t try to win the veto competition; Jun agrees that she won’t, either. Alie further gets upset that Nathan basically told her that, because he helped get her sequestered, she owes him not only for staying in the game but for the money she will make from her stipend (not literally, but the suggestion is enough to really piss her off). She is especially peeved that he would say these things to her today on her birthday. *Pout.* Nathan, meanwhile, apologizes to Erika and Jack for using the veto on Alie, but they tell him not to worry; Jack says, “You made the best move for you at the time.”

There is also some talk on Alie’s part about her and Justin’s relationship, and I will direct you to the updates if you are interested. Mostly she just blathers on about their sexual relationship: how it took a month before they did anything, that their first time was in the shower, etc. Jee and Robert, of course, eagerly listen. When Alie heads back to her bedroom to brush her hair, Nate is there and they have a few words. He tells her he is disappointed in her for going behind his back. He can’t trust anyone, he says, and if he stays past this week he will try to win on his own. Of course, Alie says that she ~hasn’t~ turned on him and never will. She will talk to Justin, she says, to plead his case, and then before heading out of the room for dinner, she lies on top of him and gives him a kiss. (Why does he even let her bother with that? He can’t honestly still believe her?)

Small talk dominates the evening as the HGs work out and hang out in the backyard. There is talk about past relationships and love and other general chit chat. Justin gets called into the DR, and interestingly enough we hear the following snippet before there is a FOTH:

Justin, in the DR room: “Horrible timing, dude, horrible.”

BB guy: “I’m sorry, man, it was either down to you or…” FOTH.

Now what could that mean? It’s possible Justin only meant the timing of the DR session, but there was nothing happening in the house when Justin was called in to make it look like it would be bad timing. Could it possibly mean Justin’s HOH win? That is wild speculation, as is the thought that BB’s reply indicates the last question might not have been so random as we’d think, but nevertheless…consider all the possibilities.

And so the night goes. There is weight-lifting and exercising and card-playing and basketball and hot tubbing. The HGs fill out their orders for Subway. Uninteresting chatter sprinkles the night. Jun, while in the hot tub with the Stooges, tells Jee that he looked at her last night (while he was drunk) like he wanted to “*****” her, and Jee only looks utterly horrified as the other guys laugh. Jack tells Erika he is going to work hard to win the veto, not to use it on himself, but so Nathan doesn’t get it. Of course, at the same time Nathan is trying to get Alie to convince Justin to let Nathan stay. Same old, same old. The veto competition on the morrow, however, does look to be adding up to be an interesting watch.

Until then.