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Big Brother Blog: Mark is in trouble ... Or is he?

One of the guiltiest of summer TV's guilty pleasures is the latest season of "Big Brother" on CBS. The show, in which a group of strangers live together in a home under constant surveillance and compete with each other for a chance to win $500,000, has a local twist this year: Mark Jansen of Grand Island is one of the houseguests. This blog will keep readers up to date periodically throughout the summer and track Jansen's prospects for the big payday.

The Upshot: Alex in control, Cody appeared assured to be on his way out. Alex and her alliance wanted to do it in a safe way, not giving Cody any opportunity to take himself off of the eviction block.

With the last week of the temptation competition, it was obvious to not only the viewers, but also all of the players in the house that Cody would be competing. Because of this, everyone played in the competition. Cody had to make a decision: to try to win the competition making him automatically safe for the week, or, intentionally come in last place, knowing that he would then be put on the block as a special third nominee, giving him a chance to fight for his safety in the power of veto competition.

But Cody accidentally answered a question correctly. Instead, houseguest Matt was able to “beat” Cody by securing the last place finish. Cody’s only hope was for his chip to be pulled to play in the Power of Veto competition. That didn’t happen either. Cody left the house Thursday and didn’t take a second to say goodbye to the people left in the house, which wasn’t surprising.

Thursday’s episode was a special “double eviction” night, in which a week’s worth of game play takes place in one night. After Cody’s exit, the new head of household competition started immediately. Houseguests played a version of shuffleboard, and Jason was the victor. Within minutes, he had to put two houseguests on the block, and he nominated Mark and Elena, with the intent to break apart another "showmance."

Minutes later the Power of Veto competition was played where players needed to complete three separate puzzles faster than the others. In a stroke of luck for Mark, he was able to beat out his competitors and take himself off of the block, forcing Jason to nominate someone else. As a way to show trust to his alliance, Matt volunteered to go up, knowing that the plan was to vote out Mark’s partner Elena.

With Matt only receiving one vote, from Mark, Elena was the second houseguest to leave the Big Brother house in one night. A special episode aired Friday in which big brother veteran and previous winner Derrick Levasseur paid a special visit to the houseguests to review some of the most memorable moments of the season thus far. On Sunday's episode, Christmas, still hobbled by an ankle injury suffered earlier in the summer, was crowned the new head of household for the week.

Mark Watch: Mark is in trouble. With Elena voted out of the house Thursday during double eviction, Mark has been taking the blame for her exit.

In an emotional interview in the diary room, Mark states that “Elena said she wanted space and I didn’t give it to her.” Through his tears, Mark also added “It’s me against the whole house 100 percent, but they aren’t going to get me out that easy.”

Mark is one of the strongest competitors left, winning key competitions when needed. In the final temptation competition of the summer, Mark came out on top ensuring his safety for that week. During the double eviction episode on Thursday, he found himself on the block next to his showmance partner.

With his only chance at survival, he was able to pull out a crucial win in the veto competition showing his housemates and America that he’s not only competitive in physical competitions, but mental ones as well. But the attention he is generating is a problem: The target on his back is getting bigger. And his continued “flip-flopping” in the game and sticking with the team that has power that week is catching up to him. He is at the top of the list for almost all of the players left in the game to go home next, if they can get to him.

In Sunday’s episode, a new three-week temptation was revealed to the houseguests. Mark was the first to engage in the temptation by picking an apple from the tree. Not knowing if it would be a reward or punishment, Mark found his apple to be a “save a friend,” not the kind of reward he was looking for as he knew he was the clear target in the house this week.

In a last-ditch effort before the nomination ceremony, Mark went to talk to Josh and Christmas. The motive of his conversation was for them to know he understood the position he was in but to consider breaking up the other couples left in the game. Mark asked if he takes a chance on him and keeps him safe this week, he would work with them to break up those couples.

Although Christmas appeared persuaded by the conversation, she stuck to her plan and put up two pawns: Matt and Jason on the block. She revealed to Mark what her plan was and calling him out for his poor choice in alliances early in the game. Mark’s last hope is to be chosen to compete in the veto competition this week, and win.

What's next: Mark's fate could be decided this week.

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