Are James And Natalie OK?

As the competition heats up in the final weeks of Big Brother 18, it seems that tensions are rising too. An intense Head of Household competition has left one of our favorite showmances, James and Natalie, navigating some rocky romance waters. So what exactly happened that has led the lovebirds into low-key fighting territory? Well, it seems that another woman has gotten in between them but no, it's not like that. In fact, it was Nicole—a recent ally of James and Natalie's—that seems to have ruffled Natalie's feathers. During the intense Head of Household competition, Nicole and James were the last two left playing. Nicole proceeded to beg James to let her win the competition so that she could get a letter from her mom. A heartfelt plea, to be sure, but one that Natalie wasn't happy to watch transpire from the sidelines, where she couldn't influence James.

Once James had secured Nicole's word that he and Natalie would be safe from eviction, he dropped out of the competition. With Nicole suddenly holding all the power and Natalie not having much of a hand in her security, things got a bit heated between her and her boo, James. It wasn't until James went to check on her after the competition that things got very, very tense.

A quick note for James: When you ask your girlfriend if she's mad and then says, "Oh no, I'm fine," she's probably not fine. That's precisely how Natalie responded to James and he definitely didn't get the hint. It's understandable that Natalie would have been annoyed with James because she didn't get to have any control in the matter. It's also pretty understandable that James is just trying to do the best for his and Natalie's game (as he so often reminds us every episode), trying to keep them flying under the eviction radar for as long as possible. It's a classic case of miscommunication. In the real world, this would be small potatoes and definitely not worth fighting over. But in these last weeks of Big Brother 18, every alliance, new strategy and conversation is loaded; Natalie's nerves are very justified.

While the couple may not be headed for actual break-up territory, it was nerve-wracking to watch them spat like this. Maybe it's the eternal romantic in me, but I hope these two make it outside the Big Brother house. Thus, little moments of tension make for good television but bad for the fandom. I bet start sending them all my good karma right now so they can get through this rough patch quickly and make it to the final four intact.

Image: Bill Inoshita/CBS