Big Brother housemate Marco broke down in tears as the announcement that he and fellow allies Nadia and Michelle had been nominated for eviction sank in.
The trio, who form part of the so-called harem faction in the house, now face a public vote and possible eviction from the reality show on Friday.
Marco and Nadia spent hours after the announcement whispering on the sofa about who they thought might have nominated them, using secret codenames for housemates.
Nadia named “Gasman, Slick, Barney” adding that she thought (falsely) that Michelle might have nominated her.
Marco named “Gasman, Slick, Princess, Popstar and Barney” and said: “Makes me wonder, am I really irritating?”
Later, student Marco cried as the thought of being up for nomination became too much after a chat in the diary room with Big Brother.
Nadia and Michelle rushed to comfort him.
“Oh my sweetheart you’re going to be fine,” reassured Nadia, while Michelle repeated the words substituting “sweetheart” with her catchword “chicken“.
He told them he did not want to leave but did not want the others to go either.
“The only people I can talk to in this house are in a similar position,” he said.
Michelle told him: “You’ve made three fantastic friends … friends for evermore,” and called for a group hug.
Michelle, who has now been nominated twice, appeared to have got over her earlier outburst at the housemates when she screamed: “What’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong?
“The only week I haven’t been up is the week I couldn’t be f****** nominated!”
Marco and Nadia both attracted five votes from their fellow housemates, but Michelle was secretly nominated with a double kiss by new arrival Becki Seddiki.
Becki, who entered the house on Sunday, was exempt from this week’s nominations, but was called to the Diary Room and told that she would be given a chance to secretly nominate a housemate by kissing the person she wants evicted on both cheeks.
She exclaimed “Oh my God, oh my God”, then left the Diary Room, wandered around after rolling a cigarette and eventually kissed a dozing Michelle on both cheeks before walking away, grimacing.
Bookmakers Ladbrokes have made transsexual Nadia the 1/3 odds-on favourite to be evicted, followed by Geordie wannabe glamour model Michelle at 4/1, with Marco at 5/1.
Ladbrokes spokesman Warren Lush said: “Nadia is going to find it very hard to survive. Marco is safe in our eyes as the group he leads are the strongest unit in the camp. A bit more screeching over the next few days will cement his place in the house.
“If the bookmakers are right, Michelle will survive the kiss of death and live to chase her chicken for at least another week.”
In the first four weeks of the show, three female contestants were shown the door but only one was voted out.
Feisty Kitten was the first to be booted out for breaking Big Brother rules three times, while loudmouth Emma was forced to leave after her alcohol-fuelled bust-up with Victor.
On Friday, South African blonde Vanessa became the first housemate to be evicted by public vote.