After what was possibly the longest first week in “Big Brother” history, the Season 24 houseguests have made it through their first eviction.
Though the live-streaming cameras were shut off for most of Wednesday and Thursday — an indication that something unusual had happened — Thursday night's episode revealed that Paloma Aguilar had departed the game early.
After telling another houseguest that she'd averaged only a few hours of sleep each night, Aguilar, a 22-year-old home remodeler, was seen crying and discussing her anxiety.
The houseguests were then presented with a note that said, “Due to a personal matter, Paloma will no longer be continuing in the ‘Big Brother’ game. She wanted to pass along that she loves you all and wishes you all the best.”
To recap, the new season began on July 6 and introduced viewers to 16 new contestants ready to strategize and compete to win $750,000.
The houseguests were separated into four move-in groups before choosing a pass that determined which mini competition they would compete in. From there, three competitions were held to determine the first Head of Household (HOH) of the summer.
After successfully hanging onto a t-shirt and putting a drum set puzzle together for one of the competitions, Daniel Durston, a 35-year-old Elvis impersonator, was named the first HOH.
He wasn’t the only one to gain some power just a few hours into the game. Host Julie Chen Moonves announced that Joe “Pooch” Pucciarelli, a 23-year-old football coach, would be the “Backstage Boss” after selecting a secret, special pass.
Pooch selected Brittany Hoopes, a 32-year-old hypnotherapist, Alyssa Snider, a 24-year-old customer service rep and marketing agent, and Aguilar to join him backstage, meaning that they could not vote or participate in any competitions for the week. Everyone who was included in the backstage twist could not be nominated for eviction.
During the first live eviction episode on Thursday, Chen Moonves finally shared with the houseguests the full details of the backstage twist. She also revealed Aguilar's unexpected exit before the scheduled eviction.
In case you missed any of the episodes, here’s everything you need to know about week one of “Big Brother” Season 24.
Who was nominated?
As the first HOH, it is always difficult to find a reason for nominating a houseguest. So, Durston played it safe and decided to target two houseguests who had formed the fewest connections in the house: Terrance Higgins, a 47-year-old city bus operator, and Michael Bruner, a 28-year-old attorney.
At the nomination ceremony, Durston said, “Honestly, there’s no reason to put any single one of you on the block.”
He continued, “But I thought the only fair way to do this would be to put the two people who have not spoken enough or much game at all with me.”
What happened at the veto ceremony?
Earlier this week, fans and “Big Brother” alumni began to speak up about Taylor Hale, 27-year-old personal stylist and former Miss Michigan USA, being mistreated by a majority of the other houseguests.
Videos posted on Twitter from the 24/7 live feeds available on Paramount+ showed Durston, Aguilar, Snider, Jasmine Davis, Monte Taylor, Ameerah Jones, Pooch and others mocking Hale and suggesting she would be difficult to deal with if nominated.
When Bruner — a self-described “'Big Brother' superfan”— won the veto, Durston was forced to choose a replacement nominee. As feed watchers expected, he chose Hale.
“Personally, it’s been harder to open up sometimes between me and you about game and life. But, generally don’t have a problem with you,” he told her. “It has come to my attention though that you’ve been rubbing the house the wrong way a little bit and what’s good for the house is good for my longterm game. So, you’re in the position now where you can rally for votes and maybe even apologize for some things you’ve said in this house.”
Despite the houseguests’ assumptions, Hale simply cried and hugged the other houseguests after hearing his decision.
How was Aguilar's departure handled?
On Wednesday, fans began to speculate that Aguilar had been removed from the “Big Brother” house considering she hadn’t appeared on the live feeds for most of the day.
“Big Brother” also shut off the live feeds for most of Wednesday and Thursday, a clear indication that something unusual had happened.
During Thursday’s episode, Chen Moonves opened with, “As you know, our motto has always been expect the unexpected and that tonight could not be more true.”
She added, “The backstage twist was supposed to culminate tonight, live, but an unexpected turn of events has now changed everything.”
Chen Moonves also said later in the episode that the surprising elimination would have an “unprecedented” effect on the game.
A clip of Aguilar and Kyle Capener speaking earlier in the week showed her share that she’d been averaging about two to four hours of sleep a night.
Viewers then heard Aguilar crying in the bathroom as she repeatedly asked herself, “What is going on?”
Multiple clips of Aguilar unraveling were spliced together between diary room sessions of her discussing her anxiety.
Other houseguests like Snider and Matthew “Turner” Turner also expressed their concerns in the diary room.
“I don’t know how I’m alive quite frankly,” Aguilar said before entering the diary room.
Durston then gathered all the houseguests and read a note that said, “Due to a personal matter, Paloma will no longer be continuing in the ‘Big Brother’ game. She wanted to pass along that she loves you all and wishes you all the best.”
The houseguests sobbed and stressed the importance of mental health before Chen Moonves wished her well.
Who was the first evictee of the summer?
Chen Moonves announced to viewers at home that they had voted for Hoopes to be the one backstage member saved from eviction. But she said with Aguilar out of the game that it no longer mattered.
She then spoke to the houseguests and shared that the backstage twist meant that one of the two nominees and one of the backstage employees were supposed to battle head-to-head to determine who would be evicted.
“Since Paloma was in jeopardy and no longer in the game that changes everything that was to transpire,” Chen Moonves said.
She revealed that the backstage twist was over (before it ever really began) and that, consequently, Snider, Hoopes, Hale and Higgins were all safe from eviction.
The houseguests then walked to the backyard to compete in the next HOH competition.
Who won HOH?
After all the houseguests put their balance skills to the test…no one was declared the HOH.
The episode ended before viewers learned who finished with the fastest time.
Fans will learn who won and also find out about a new twist during Sunday’s episode.