Big Brother really is reality TV made for fans and made by fans of the genre — and it’s also played by fans. Nowhere is that more evident than in the strong bond between Izzy Gleicher and Cirie Fields. From Day 1 of Season 25, these two houseguests have been inseparable, plotting blindsides and confiding in each other every step of the way. Now with an eviction looming and Izzy on the block, these two are realizing just how strong their bond really is — and it’s a crystal clear example of the power of reality TV. And in last night’s episode, their partnership was quietly celebrated in one of the most moving exchanges of the entire season of Big Brother, if not the entire year of reality TV.
To be honest, these two are kind of an odd couple. Cirie is a reality TV legend having competed in four seasons of Survivor. She’s called the greatest player to never win the game, which is a pretty impressive title — almost as impressive as winning a million dollars. Izzy, on the other hand, is a reality TV superfan who’s green to being a reality TV competitor. That’s how Izzy formed an initial bond with Cirie, because Izzy clocked Jared as Cirie’s son just from knowing Cirie’s business on Instagram.
So, the Cirie/Izzy scene that will warm and break your heart starts 27:18 seconds into Episode 18, if you want to watch for yourself and avoid the forthcoming SPOILERS and feelings. Izzy and Felicia, two-thirds of the strongest alliance in the house, are up for eviction and it is glaringly obvious that Head of Household Cameron will put the other third of the alliance, Cirie, up as a replacement nom should one of his noms be vetoed. Both of them are in a vulnerable position for the first time this season, and this lets Izzy — who seems like a smart, confident player — let her guard down:
“I just, like, want… to be good here. I wanna be good at this” — this being Big Brother, but I challenge any millennial to read that sentence and not nod your head in solidarity. Izzy lives with the classic combo of aspirations and imposter syndrome that so define our generation. She works hard, she’s hard on herself, and yet still feels that it’s not good enough. Even with Cirie Fields, the greatest player in Survivor history, telling her that, “I think you’re better at this than you give yourself credit for,” Izzy is struggling. She says this lack of confidence extends to her profession. By the way, Izzy is a professional flutist. Tell me which is truly harder, winning Survivor or making a living in New York City by playing the flute? Izzy, you are strong!
Then Cirie says, “Really, I think if it wasn’t for you, I’m not really sure how or where I would be.” Izzy’s instantly iconic response: “Aw c’mon. You’re Cirie Fields.” Cirie says that nothing about Izzy is fake: “You’re unapologetically you… And I want you not to lose that.” Izzy confides to Cirie that she doesn’t want to be the “short, fat, ugly” person who’s sticking their neck out, trying something new. Cirie, taken aback, says, “Damn, Izzy. That feeling you just told me about? I walked into Survivor with that feeling… and you see how it turned out. I took that feeling and took a chance, the same chance you took right now.”
The admiration flowing back and forth is too sincere to be true. And that’s why I was waiting for a cut to Cirie’s confessional where she’d probably reveal that she hates playing Izzy like this… but no. Cirie is absolutely sincere and crying in her confessional. She even calls Izzy her “person,” which is a much better use for that term than any time it’s been said on Love is Blind. Cirie says that she never expected to have a bond like this with anyone in the house — except for her son Jared, of course. But these two are connected on an almost cosmic level. There’s a real sense of… I’m not gonna say torch-passing because you know Cirie’s going to pop up on other competition shows. But there’s a real Jedi Master and Padawan vibe here, and it’s a beautiful thing to see.
It’s also potentially a heartbreaking thing to see because Izzy’s time in the house could very well be coming to an end with tonight’s live eviction. It feels like Felicia is the more obvious choice for eviction, as her alliances are starting to feel as slippery as those mic packs she keeps dropping in the toilet. But you really never know how things will go on Big Brother. I just hope that no matter Izzy’s fate this round, she gets to come back again and let her inner Cirie out to play.
Big Brother’s live eviction airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.