This left Nicole Franzel in a tricky place, torn between her alliance and supporting Ian, who pleaded with his co-stars to keep him in.
“Over the past eight years, I’ve given a lot to this game and it’s given me a lot back,” he said. “In regards to this particular game, I feel like I still have a lot to give so if I can help your game in any way please keep me in.”
Tyler then made the same plea. “Please vote to keep me in this house,” he said. “I know I’ve had my ups and downs in here, but I want you all to know I'm committed to this game and I'm forever grateful to Big Brother for changing my life and allowing us to play at such a crazy time in the world.”
“But most importantly, since I got to meet you Angela,” he continued, referring to girlfriend Angela Rummans, who he met on season 20 of the series in 2018. “I love you more than anything in this world. I miss you so much. I'm counting down every second until I see your face again. Guys, when you cast your vote, remember -- don't be a clown, keep Ty around.”
Christmas Abbot went first, with all eyes on whether she would evict Tyler, who she had a union with. She voted to evict Ian.
Enzo Palumbo also voted for Ian as did Memphis Garrett. Nicole then broke down in tears while voting for Ian, too. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” she said, crying. “I vote to evict Ian.”
The votes continued coming and after host, Julie Chen Moonves, reminded contestants to wear a mask after leaving the Big Brother bubble, Ian was sent home.
Nicole cried as she said, “I love you” and hugged him goodbye. She remained emotional after he left.
In his exit interview with Chen Moonves, Ian said he didn’t feel betrayed by anyone, but felt the competition had been harder than last time he participated in the series, eight years ago.
“Last time I was in there, there were really only three good players and one probably didn't really care, and this time everybody in there is really good and everybody cares,” he explained.
Many fans weren't impressed by the elimination, with one heartbroken.
"NOO IAN!! My heart is broken," tweeted the viewer. "He is the TOP NOTCH PLAYER! Never played dirty, never spoke bad about another player, won his season by being modest and class #BigBrother @CBSBigBrother."
"Nicole was too fake," added another viewer. "She only cried bc she lost sponsors. Memphis needs expelled as well as the felon."
Another fan posted, "This season sucks all the assholes are still in the house and the nice people are gone."
Responding to the backlash over Ian's exit, one viewer argued that strategy should win the game, not how nice a contestant is.
"I hope people can stop whining that likeable people are evicted," the watcher wrote. "This is big brother we are gauging based on strategic and best gameplay. We are not commenting to decide the favourite house guest to win $500k!"
The contestants will continue to battle it out in the hope of bagging $500,000 of prize money.
Now in its 22nd season, the series kicked off with a two-hour move-in special on Aug. 5, which saw the 16 cast members coming together under strict health and safety precautions, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to the pandemic, the show is operating significantly different this year. For example, there is no live audience and contestants get groceries delivered after they’re disinfected. The house guests also quarantined in advance of the premiere,
"They're quarantining by themselves in homes that we've rented for them," Chen Moonves previously told ET. "They're getting tested every few days. They will go in once they've been clean and clear for at least 14 days and then even once they get in the house, they're still going to be tested. They have no contact with anyone."
"If you ask me, once you're in the Big Brother house, it might be one of the safest places to be," Chen Moonves added.