There was a lot of campaigning before the contestants voted out another houseguest on Thursday.
*Caution: Spoilers ahead!*
The Cookout alliance is still going strong, but some strain is starting to show. The Big Brother house bid farewell to yet another houseguest after a week of twists and turns that ultimately ended up exactly how the Head of Household wanted from the start.
If you're anxious to just find out who got kicked out, scroll down below. But first, it's important to see just how this eviction played out over the last week.
Last week, Britini D'Angelo got evicted while Derek Frazier stayed to fight another day (partly because of his role in The Cookout alliance and partly because everyone except Tiffany Mitchell really likes his company).
Immediately after the eviction, a new Head of Household Competition came around and Sarah Beth Steagall became the first female HOH of the season. She quickly turned to her bestie (and seeming crush) Kyland Young for his advice. This put Kyland in a weird position, because Sarah Beth has no idea that The Cookout even exists, nonetheless that Kyland is a part of it.
He gently tried to draw her attention away from the other Cookout members, and suggested she nominate Derek Xiao. However, with Derek X being such a strong comp beast, she didn't want to risk him getting the Veto power, so she wanted to backdoor him.
Sarah Beth decided to nominate Derek F (for the second week in a row) and Claire Rehfuss (also for the second week in a row). At was around this time, however, Derek X essentially realized he was the actual target.
In an effort to secure her safety, Alyssa Lopez decided to use some BB Bucks in the High Roller Room and play Chopping Block Roulette. Since she was the only one who played, she won by default, and was given the chance to not only be safe but also gave her the chance to take someone off the block.
She chose to save Derek F, and then had to spin a wheel that would randomly pick another houseguest to replace him. As long as she didn't land on Xavier Prather -- her only ally in the game -- she'd be fine. Because luck has a sense of humor, the wheel lands on Xavier, sending Alyssa into a tailspin of crying.
However, this ultimately didn't matter because Xavier played and won the veto competition (while Derek X didn't get picked to play, so had no chance to save himself from the block). Xavier took himself off the block, obviously, and despite some strong campaigning by Derek X to Sarah Beth, she followed through with her plan and put him up next to Claire.
After this, Tiffany -- the self-appointed quasi-leader of The Cookout -- seemingly decided to turn her back on her season-long bestie Claire and began campaigning for everyone in The Cookout to save Derek X, to keep him as a shield for later in the season.
Despite this being an objectively bad idea, she seemingly managed to get some people onto her side! Xavier made it clear, repeatedly, that this was a laughably bad idea, but Tiffany had her sights set on getting what she wanted, even if it didn't outwardly make sense.
So, going into Thursdays' live eviction ceremony, it did seem like it was possible that Derek X -- the obvious threat to everyone -- might actually make it through to fight another day.
Claire was the first to deliver an appeal to her fellow houseguests, and shared a heartfelt message she hoped would keep her in the game.
"This has been such a pleasure so far. And, you know, Britini really said it best -- this is an individual game, and so if you think that in this game I can be an asset to you, then please vote to keep me here," she shared. "You know, I have never been the veto queen or king. And I haven't had that many wins, but I would love to keep my life in this game a little bit longer."
Derek, meanwhile, gave a speech that was very convincing and focused more on the other contestant's sense of game instead of their hearts.
"I believe there are inflection points that change the course of the game," Derek said. "I saw the first inflection point in week five when there was a strong team of four moving into jury and I made a move to take out one of them. That was bad for my personal game but I thought it created a more fair house for everybody."
"This week I see a second point," he continued, adding that he knows there's one player (whom he didn't name) who is particularly dangerous to everyone. "If I stay, I can promise I will take this person out, and I will be your biggest shield. I know that by saying this, if you do keep me, I'm not long for the game. But right now, I just want to play this game so I can give the people I care about as fair a shot as possible at winning it."
Despite the powerful plea, the votes didn't fall in his favor. With Tiffany eventually voting to evict Derek X, despite all her efforts, Derek wound up losing 5-2 and leaving the house.
Derek sat down with Julie Chen Moonves after saying his tearful goodbyes to his fellow houseguests, and he didn't shed a lot of light on his game decision -- but did coyly address showmance rumors with Hannah Chaddha, with whom he got very close over the past few weeks.
"Hannah is amazing. I love her a lot. But in there, you really have to have 100% of your energy focused on the game or you end up sitting in this chair, honestly. So we both have our head in the same place," Derek X shared.
"Does that mean outside the house the two of you might start dating?" Julie pressed, to which Derek X quickly shot back with the very tagline of the Big Brother franchise: "Expect the unexpected."
Derek X is now off to join Britini, sequestered in the jury house, and will be part of the group who decide the eventual season 23 winner when it gets down to the final two.
Meanwhile, after the eviction, the rest of the remaining houseguests went head-to-head in a new Head of Household comp. The challenge was essentially a memory test based of clips they previously had to watch from past moments from this season. It didn't take many questions for the field to get whittled down, and Tiffany emerged as the week's new Head of Household.
It will be interesting to see how Tiffany wields this newfound power, and what rifts it may drive in the already increasingly divided Cookout alliance.
Big Brother airs Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. For more, watch below.