Next, we learn that everyone loves Sheryl, and Sheryl loves everyone. She's like the archetypical Hot Mom.
Finally, after a ton of futzing around, Mike brings out what he calls "The Box of Fate," and Krista calls Pandora's Box; the box which the HoH will use to announce the nominations. Then, Mike takes himself too seriously for about twenty minutes. I'm going to cut to the chase, though. The Box of Fate works like this: Mike loads ten of the engraved keys from the pool into pre-cut holes in the top of the box. Those keys belong to the housemates who are safe from nomination. The keys missing from the box belong to the two unlucky schmoes who have their heads on the chopping block that week. There's a whole lot of rigmarole with the keys, and it turns out that the first Schmoes are Nicole and Sheryl. Mike gives this whole long speech about why he nominated Nicole, and basically says that he nominated Sheryl, because she's so well-liked, he knows no one will chose to evict her. He's acting like a "one-man jury," he says, and he thinks that the group can lose Nicole with the least amount of pain or trouble. Everyone gets up from the table and hugs. Sheryl tells the camera that she doesn't think anything is safe or sacred, and that she's still on her guard against eviction. Nicole tells us that she thinks she can "turn it around," and that she sees "some wars" in the future. No doubt.
Tuesday's episode begins with Nicole, who sits in the Big Blue Chair of Possibly Evicted Chicks With Tattooed Eyebrows and tells the camera that the upcoming week will be hell. "I feel like I'm going to die," she says. Sheryl says that as soon as the nominees were announced, pretty much everyone came up to her and assured her there was no way she'd be voted out of the house. This revelation is accompanied by a shot of Mike walking up to Sheryl, right in front of Nicole, patting Sheryl on the back, and saying, "There's no way." In the Big Blue Chair of Nominees Who Are Not Named Sheryl, Nicole cries some more, and sniffs that she refuses to "whore [herself]" in order to stay in the house. Her plan is to lure people over to her side, one by one.
Nicole lolls on Hardy's bed and thanks him for talking to her, because it's making her feel better. Hardy tells her there's nothing to thank him for; he's choosing to hang out with her. He advises her to act as though absolutely nothing is wrong. Nicole sniffles something to the effect that friends are really important to her, and that it's really hard for her not to have any in the house. Hardy nods sympathetically. From all accounts (including the live feeds), Hardy seems like a genuinely nice guy. Obsessed with protein bars and grams of carbs, but nice.