Why Didn't 'Big Brother' Enforce the Renom Rule & Keep the Zankie Showmance Alive?

The motto of every season of Big Brother is to "expect the unexpected." As much as we like to think anything goes on the CBS reality show, Big Brother does in fact have rules, and one of them recently blew up the Twitterverse. Spoilers ahead. "#RenomRule" was trending on Twitter Sunday night and Monday morning after the Big Brother live feeds revealed that the reigning HoH Frankie won this week's Power of Veto competition and planned to take Caleb off the block, replacing him with Zach. Frankie also notified Zach that he would be the replacement nominee.

There are two things wrong with that statement. One: Why must Frankie crush all of our hopes and dreams and continuously betray Zach, effectively breaking up Zankie? And two: By telling Zach he would be this week's replacement nominee, Frankie violated the Renom Rule, which supposedly states that the HoH cannot reveal to a replacement nominee that he or she is going up on the block.

Fans and even Ariana Grande herself hopped on Twitter to try to encourage the producers to enforce the Renom Rule. Many agreed with a tweet Ariana sent that claimed Frankie intentionally broke the Renom Rule in order to further his own game. However, it was apparently a futile effort as Frankie did in fact use the Power of Veto on Caleb and put Zach up in his place. So this is really happening, huh?

Still, this brief moment of controversy on Big Brother makes you wonder what this Renom Rule is all about anyway. I've watched every season of Big Brother, and this was the first time I had ever heard of the Renom Rule. The only other time producers enforced the Renom Rule was reportedly during Big Brother 12 when producers forbade Brendon from nominating Britney after he told her should would be the replacement nominee. But doesn't it seem like at least once every season the HoH notifies the replacement nominee that he or she will be going up on the block? Why have this rule if it is never enforced?

Unfortunately, the rule itself is pretty murky. There has been some confusion over what the rule actually entails. The name would suggest that it only applies to replacement nominations. However, some have speculated that it applies to nominees across the board. Earlier this season, @hamsterwatch tweeted that Amber read from the Big Brother rule book during the live feeds that the HoH cannot "confirm" or "reveal" the nominations to anyone. If that's the case, this rule would have been violated all the time on Big Brother. The houseguests have broken this rule pretty much every week this season alone, whether it was Caleb volunteering to be nominated, Devin telling all four nominees they would be put up on the block when he was HoH, or Skittles deciding this week's nominees with them present.

There is a rule book in the Big Brother house that maps out what the houseguests can and cannot do. Unfortunately, that is not publicly available, so there's no way for us to really know the nuances of the Renom Rule or why the producers would not decide to enforce it this time. Usually, the at-home audience is only privy to Big Brother rules when they are broken and when the rules jeopardize other houseguests' safety or production of the show, such as when a houseguest has to leave the house immediately if he or she assaults another houseguest, or if a houseguest refuses to wear his or her microphone, both of which have actually happened on Big Brother.

There's really no way of knowing why the producers decided not to enforce the Renom Rule this time. Maybe it's a rule that's on the books but isn't really enforced, because let's be real, this rule is never enforced. Or maybe the producers wanted to deflect some of the speculation they've received for rigging the competition in Frankie's favor by not helping him have his "Zach Attack" and Caleb, too. Or maybe this rule doesn't actually exist, and we all just told ourselves the Renom Rule was a thing so that we still had a sliver of hope that Zankie would remain alive and well in the Big Brother house.

Whatever the reason was, if the Renom Rule can't be used to save Zankie, I don't want it to be enforced, anyway.

Images: Lisette M. Azar/CBS; bricesander, chillkirby, garyglitters/Tumblr