6:00pm PT by Brian Porreca
'Big Brother 19': How the Battle Back Winner Will Change the Game
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Friday's episode of CBS' Big Brother.]
The Big Brother "Battle Back" twist is ... back.
First introduced in season 18, last year the twist saw the first five evicted houseguests compete to get back in the game. In a round-by-round fight, Victor Arroyo was crowned as the champion. So, who is this summer's winner? It's Cody Nickson.
"Viewers responded well to the Battle Back last year, so we thought we would try it again this summer, but with a twist. We approach every season differently, and whether or not we want to bring back evictees," executive producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan tell The Hollywood Reporter about the redemption-fueled twist's return.
Now, with Cody back in the house and his showmance Jessica Graf holding onto the Halting Hex (where she can stop one of the next three live evictions), it's looking to be a whole new game. The brains behind Big Brother say, "They have had a roller coaster ride in the house, going from the penthouse to frog suits, slop and being torn apart on eviction night. With Jessica holding the Halting Hex and Cody back in the game, they are now on top and in a very strong position."
Currently in the game, last season's runner-up Paul Abrahamian sits in the best position and is poised to take home the $500,000 grand prize, but that all is about to change. "It will be interesting to see how they use this opportunity and if they continue to target Paul," say Grodner and Meehan. "Either way, it is certain to change the dynamic in the house." If Cody's diary room session is any indication, the Texas native is gunning for the former player.
Another way things could play out is if Paul targets Jessica and Cody. If he plans to do so, he will show his cards first without knowing that they hold the Halting Hex. Therefore, if they are up for eviction, they will use the twist to save themselves and in turn target Paul the following week. Either way, with Paul's immunity gone, his game could be over sooner than many have expected.
Prior to Cody's eviction, viewers weren't the biggest fan of him, but now that could shift as well. "Being evicted early on can humble even the cockiest players," relate Grodner and Meehan. "Cody is coming back with that perspective, just like Victor, so it will be interesting to see how it changes his gameplay."
The duo add, "Ultimately, he let the power of the first week go to his head, and the question is — has he learned enough from his mistake to not have it happen again?"
There are, however, a few other obstacles standing in Cody's way. The executive producers reveal that Paul probably isn't in the best position in the game anymore, and there are three others to watch. According to the Big Brother bosses, "There are some houseguests who are still flying under the radar and out of target range — Kevin, Jason and Matt are probably in a position to last a while. Of course, that could all change in a heartbeat, just like it did for Dominique."
And don't forget about the curse that will be unleashed on Thursday. Grodner and Meehan promise, "It is sure to shake up the game."
What do you think about Cody's return? With Paul's immunity up, will he be walking out the door next? Sound off in the comments section below and stay tuned to The Live Feed for all things Big Brother.