Big Brother 24‘s Paloma Aguilar was removed from the house Wednesday, just one day before the show’s first scheduled live eviction. The shocking news was revealed during Thursday’s episode.
Twenty-five minutes in, Aguilar’s lack of sleep took center stage, as she reported getting only 2-4 hours of sleep per night as a result of anxiety. “I physically cannot sleep in this house,” she told Matt Turner. “I really want to leave.” She told other houseguests that she was unable to eat or sleep, causing them to worry for her wellbeing. Then, she disappeared into the Diary Room, causing further concern in the house.
Later, Head of Household Daniel Durston gathered everyone to the living room for a house meeting. “Due to a personal matter, Paloma will no longer be continuing in the Big Brother game,” he read from a card. “She wanted to pass along that she loves you all and wishes you all the best.”
Although the live feeds were cut late Wednesday night, popular feed recapper hamsterwatch was first to report Aguilar’s removal at 12:30 am Thursday. “Whether medical or voluntary elimination, I don’t know and we may never know. If medical, there are privacy issues for the show to consider,” she wrote.
The feeds remained off all day Thursday and throughout the episode’s airing, but are expected to return later tonight.
Before Thursday’s episode, the BB fandom had plenty to speculate about over the previous 24 hours. Aguilar’s disappearance from the feed streams was widely commented on across social media, with reports saying she entered the Diary Room early Wednesday and was never seen in the house again. Later that day, houseguest Ameerah Jones was seen saying, “I hope Paloma stays in this game we need her,” to which Kyle Capener responded, “Oh my gosh, I know. I know they were having a conversation with her and then…” The feeds were then abruptly cut.
This isn’t the first time a houseguest has left the Big Brother house for personal or medical reasons. In Season 9, a piece of unknown personal news caused Neil Garcia to walk on Day 7. Season 8 winner “Evel Dick” Donato exited BB13 early for unknown reasons, until he disclosed years later that he found out he was living with HIV. More recently, Megan Lowder left Season 19 after struggling with anxiety and PTSD inside the house.
Aguilar’s exit is shrouded in controversy following negative comments that she and other houseguests made about fellow Black cast member Taylor Hale. Hale, a 27-year-old personal stylist from Detroit, Mich., has been ostracized by the house and was the target of multiple microaggressions, many of which were spearheaded by Aguilar in a campaign to get Hale evicted. Hale was referred to as “aggressive,” with some stating she would have a temper tantrum once she hit the nomination block. Others said they didn’t like her from the moment they saw her, and in Wednesday’s episode, she was shown loudly sobbing alone in the bathroom.
Producers confirmed to our sister site Variety that “production has had conversations with the houseguests about microaggressions and that everyone went through the sensitivity training at the beginning of the year.”
Many former houseguests have spoken out regarding Hale’s treatment including Season 23 winner Xavier Prather. “In the future, I hope it doesn’t take a ‘Cookout’ for Black houseguests (or any POC houseguest) to finally escape the feeling of being ostracized within the Big Brother house for simply existing,” he wrote. “Change is a MUST! Until then, I know my fellow Michigander will keep her head high and stand tall like the Queen that she is.”
Elsewhere in Thursday’s episode, host Julie Chen Moonves updated the house about the change in the night’s events. The original plan would not have culminated in a vote and eviction, but instead, a battle between one of the two nominees chosen by the house and one of the backstage pass holders. The loser of that head-to-head competition would have been sent packing.
However, since the twist planned to send one houseguest home tonight and since Paloma (a backstage pass holder) was one of the five people in jeopardy of being eliminated, the twist was nixed. Chen Moonves then told Brittany, Alyssa, Taylor and Terrance that they were all safe.
Part 1 of the Head of Household competition was held, serving up a backstage-themed obstacle race that was run in multiple heats. Jasmine fell after winning her race, and seemingly broke (or badly sprained?) her ankle in the process. As for who will win the comp and what Jasmine’s fate is… we’ll have to wait for Sunday to find out.
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