BUT FIRST Friday – Your Weekly Big Brother Power Rankings: Week 8

SPOILER ALERT: Once again, the results of the HOH competition weren’t on the show, but thanks to the feeds, we know who won the second HOH of the night. So if you’d rather wait until Sunday’s episode to find out, then this post might not be for you.

Last Week’s HOH: Becky, Trecky, Trainwrecky, whatever you want to call her

Last Week’s Nominees: Steve and Shelli

Last Week’s Veto Winner: Steve

Did he use the veto?: Of course he did, and Vanessa was put up in his place

Votes for Eviction: 8-0 to evict Shelli; in the second eviction of the night, it was 6-1 to evict Jackie

New Head of Household: It was double eviction night, so Steve won HOH for a few hours. But later in the evening they had their second HOH competition, and Liz won

Any new twists?: It was finally double eviction night, so it was a big episode. The jury also officially began last night, with Shelli and Jackie as the first two members.

OUR THOUGHTS:

JAIME: It was another huge week in the Big Brother house. Last week’s HOH competition once again outran Thursday’s live show, so it took until Sunday’s episode to find out that Becky had won, also earning herself a pass that prevents her from ever being a have-not again. And she took advantage of her new power almost immediately: she grabbed James, Meg, and Jackie and outlined a plan right away. That plan? Nominate Shelli and Steve, then backdoor Vanessa.

And unlike the big plans we’ve seen laid out in the past couple weeks, Becky was smart. She told everyone to keep it quiet, and kept most of the details to herself. Anyone outside her alliance (AKA Vanessa) was told that Johnny Mac was the backdoor target.

Everything was working in her favor. Steve won the veto, in a competition recycled from last season where each player would have to zipline past a window that showed each houseguest on the cover of a comic book. They then had to put the covers in the correct order, a task complicated by the fact that there were two versions of each cover and they had to spot the subtle differences to find the correct one. Whoever got the covers in the correct order in the fastest time won veto. Steve ultimately won and took himself off the block, but Meg came in second, to everyone’s surprise (and when I say everyone’s surprise, I mostly mean my own). She still hasn’t won anything, but she’s trying. Kind of. At least a little bit.

As planned, Becky named Vanessa as a replacement nominee, and for a while, everything seemed perfect. Johnny and Becky had caught onto Vanessa’s manipulation of everything in the house, and for a few days, everyone was united in the plan to evict her. Aaaaand then, because this is Big Brother and the houseguests live to piss me off, they all flipped. Even though Vanessa spent like two full days crying about how she can’t trust anyone and how she’s the only logical person in the house and everyone else is just manipulative and doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings (yeah, okay), Shelli ultimately became the bigger target. All because she thought James had one of Clay’s shirts. Seriously, that’s the conflict that started turning everyone off the plan to evict Vanessa. Once again, Clelli is ruining everything.

In what might be the most beautifully poetic moment of the season, Shelli was evicted by a unanimous vote – just like Clay was last week. It must be fate. But don’t forget, this week was double eviction, so as soon as Shelli left (off to become the first member of the jury), the remaining houseguests were shuttled outside for the first HOH competition of the night.

Earlier that day, the houseguests were shown different short videos from throughout the season. The competition was a true/false challenge, based on those videos. It only took a few minutes to get down to Austin, Steve, and John, with Steve ultimately triumphing. He only had a few minutes to think about his nominations, and in what…probably wasn’t the best decision, to put it charitably, he nominated Meg and Jackie…Yeah, no one in the house understood why, either.

Then almost immediately, it was time for the veto. Steve, Meg, and Jackie were joined by John, James, and Vanessa. They had to tilt a platform and get three balls into three holes, and whoever did it first won. Our boy Johnny Mac won, and after a quick conversation with Steve, he decided not to use the veto. After a 6-1 vote, Jackie was evicted, joining Shelli on the jury. Also, while we’re at it, can someone get me a phone call or something with James so I can ask him why he thought voting to keep Meg would be better for his game? Really? Meg?

Anyway, my issues with Meg aside, a second HOH competition was held later, after the live show had ended, and while we don’t know the details of the competition, we know that – SPOILER ALERT – Liz won. Which means we’re probably going to see a lot of Austin on the show next week. Joy.

It was an incredibly exciting week in the house, made more exciting by the fact that the house more or less split into three factions: you have Vanessa/Austin/Liz/Julia, as always, and Jackie/James/Meg. But throughout the course of the week, and especially once the decision was made to flip on Becky’s plan, Becky/Steve/John were forced to band together. And, thanks in part to the other houseguests noticing how often John gets called to the DR and deciding he must be part of another twist, Becky/Steve/John became huge targets for the other two sides of the house. So things are a little delicate right now, especially for our favorite rock star dentist. But with all that out of the way, let’s get to this week’s power rankings:

9. Meg

GARRETT: Meg is a special kind of awful Big Brother player. She doesn’t self destruct like a Willie Hantz or Chima, she doesn’t unnecessarily lie like an Audrey, and she isn’t quite being dragged to the end like a Victoria purely because she can’t win. But when you’re crying your eyes out at the end of every single week, with another of your “peeps” evicted “out of nowhere”, it might be time to do some re-evaluation. Meg has single-handedly imploded her alliance. She didn’t believe Audrey when she revealed the Sixth Sense in the FOURTH week. She sat around idly while Jason’s backdoor was being constructed. The girl makes bad decision after bad decision and just doesn’t see how she’s doing anything wrong. It’s honestly impressive at this point. But it’s unfortunate because I happen to like everybody tied to her that keeps getting picked off one by one.

JAIME: Meg does this thing now where she makes jokes about how bad she is at competitions. And how she hasn’t won anything. But she doesn’t seem to realize that there’s nothing funny about it? This is week eight of the game and she has done absolutely nothing. Sure, she came close to winning veto this week, but the thing is, she didn’t win. For a while I at least understood that her side of the house needed her as a number, but now with Jackie gone, the Jackie/James/Meg group is done. They just don’t have the numbers in the same way, especially if John and Becky remain targets. So literally Meg, we don’t need you, you’re free to go at any time. Unless you decide to start winning comps.

John

8. John

JAIME: Without question, Johnny Mac is still our favorite. And after lying low for most of the game, he finally stepped up this week. He figured out that Vanessa’s had a hand in every big decision the house has made, and he was part of the plan to backdoor her this week. He’s done trusting her, which gives him a leg up over the rest of the house, who either don’t believe that she’s been quite as manipulative as John insists she is, or just flat out doesn’t think Vanessa has any control over the game (Meg. It’s Meg who doesn’t think that. It’s always Meg). But unfortunately, he became a huge target this week, and absolutely would have been evicted if his partner Steve hadn’t won HOH. That target on his back definitely isn’t going anywhere any time soon, which sucks for everyone because if he goes home, I’m just going to complain about it for the rest of the season.

GARRETT: Johnny’s biggest hinderance was Meg and James’s inability to see that Vanessa was the head of the snake in need of eviction this week. Granted, I fault Shelli for getting too comfortable on the block and allowing Vanessa to slither her way out of the situation, but had Vanessa been evicted, John would have had a strong foursome of Steve, Becky, Shelli and himself. He just wasn’t counting on an illogical flip – one that’s happened time and time again this season – to change his standing. And yet, after the double eviction, John was in a decent spot, ready to simply take Jackie’s spot in the Goblins alliance. But with Liz winning HOH, his days look numbered, as she wants to take him out because of his status as a “wildcard”. Hopefully, Captain Veto has one more piece of magic to pull out of his bag of tricks. Otherwise, it’s likely sayonara for someone who has been one of the most genuinely likable, funny houseguests to play the game in years.

7. James

JAIME: After a killer run as HOH, James was in a great spot this week. Becky was eager to carry through on his plan, and was even able to build on it to justify putting up Shelli, and keep the whole thing a secret from Vanessa. But he was one of the first people to flip on the plan to evict Vanessa, and that could be his downfall. If they wanted to bring down that alliance, Vanessa absolutely should have gone home over Shelli. The longer Vanessa stays in the house, the more opportunities she has to confuse people, and the way things have gone, when people get confused, they vote out people on James’ side of the house. I think John is a bigger target this week, but James might be right behind him, and it’s really no one’s fault but his own.

GARRETT: James’s biggest issue is his short-sightedness. Shelli was going to come after him for sending home Clay, that much is true. But nobody else would have. The Austwins would have gunned for Johnny Mac. Keeping Vanessa in the game to get out the one person coming for James, even when that one person’s closest ally was just sent out the door, was a really, really poor decision on his part that ended with another one of his allies gone an hour later. I like James a lot and I think he brings a lot of character to the house, but he and Meg just can’t make any good decisions. It’s a miracle he’s made it this far, and if he lasts any longer, I’m no longer counting on him to make the right call.

Becky

6. Becky

GARRETT: Becky tried her damndest to get Meg and James to see the light and evict Vanessa. She did everything she could, and it looked like she had it in the bag. Unfortunately, her plan fell through and she remains in the minority group. She’s Vanessa’s target for sure, but if Johnny doesn’t win the Veto, she should be alright for another week, and that week may be enough to shake up the house once more. She’s basic and talks in circles a bit, but she sees the balance of power more than any other player in there. If Johnny goes, I’m all aboard the Becky train, pun fully intended.

JAIME: Okay it’s probably time for me to state for the record that I fully enjoy any reference of any kind to the fact that Becky got hit by a train. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe. But at least I didn’t create a comic book cover where she’s a superhero who can hit harder than a train.

GARRETT: My pun was funny though.

JAIME: The Big Brother producers will always be worse than me, and I take comfort in that. Anyway. Becky is basic, but she was one of the smartest players this week. She knew exactly what she wanted to do as HOH, and moreover, she knew exactly how to play Vanessa. Her insistence that she could handle Vanessa because she has experience dealing with customers on Black Friday might be one of the most iconic lines ever on this show. She has Vanessa completely figured out, and considering that she’s one of two people in the house who’s onto Vanessa’s game, that’s huge. With Shelli gone, I think Becky’s ties to that side of the house are officially cut, so there’s nothing holding her back from joining up with James, Meg, and John and charging full steam ahead (pun fully intended).

5. Steve

JAIME: Steve…didn’t exactly handle his short reign as HOH well. No one understood why he nominated Meg and Jackie – it turns out that Vanessa had planted the idea with him that Jackie had said Steve was her biggest target, so thanks to that misinformation, Steve blew up the alliance that probably would have been his best chance in the game. But after the eviction, James, Meg, and Becky talked it out with him, and they understand why he made the choices he did. Plus he got in with Austin and the twins, so while I don’t think he’s totally safe for now, he’s at least in a good enough spot to not have to worry about the next week or two.

GARRETT: Steve is just an easily manipulatable person. He doesn’t have any social game, so he relies on other people to put things together for him. He and Johnny had a conversation in the bathroom where John convinced him that Vanessa needed to be taken out, and Steve needed John to repeat things three and four times in order to understand the point. And while Steve finally got the point at the end of the conversation, he still doesn’t understand that sometimes, the people piecing things together for him are really just playing him like a fiddle. For someone with so much Big Brother knowledge, the guy just can’t get off the ground and play the game. Vanessa jumped all over that opportunity with him early on. I give her credit for doing so, but I shake my head at Steve more often than I thought I would when the game started.

4. Vanessa

JAIME: I am so, so tired of Vanessa’s gameplay. She strikes up deals with anyone she can get in a room long enough to get the question out, then when someone turns on her (which happens a lot, given that by now most people are just accepting deals to shut her up, not out of actual loyalty), she cries and cries about how she’s so alone in this game, and then criticizes everyone else’s gameplay. Still, I have to credit her with how much control she’s had throughout this entire game, and with a member of her alliance as HOH this week, she doesn’t have anything to worry about. She’ll be up in the HOH room all week long, pulling everyone’s strings and probably striking up a few more deals.

GARRETT: Vanessa is a manipulator. That’s what she does, and she’s very good at it. All the talk about how she hates liars and demands integrity only feeds into that reputation that she’s created for herself. My problem with her is that she goes into the diary room and convinces herself that she really is a straight shooter playing without an alliance, which she isn’t. I’ll give her credit for getting out of a major jam, but I wonder just how much the Big Brother house has gotten to her when she’s pulling a George Costanza and believing her own lies.

3. Julia

JAIME: Julia literally has nothing to worry about this week with her twin sister as HOH – if anything, she might be in a slightly better position after the week is over, because while Liz has to deal with any potential consequences of her decisions as HOH, Julia won’t be held accountable for anything. She’s still a target, of course, given that she’s part of the strongest partnership in the house, but for some reason, no one seems to be thinking of the twins as a major threat to get out (yes, Steve, I’m talking to you). Maybe things will be different next week, but right now, she’s in a great spot.

GARRETT: Julia has been such a disappointment for me entertainment wise. It was fun to see her kindle relationships with people while playing half of Liz’s game, but now, she just talks a lot of crap and hangs out with Vanessa. She bores me and I want her to lose. But that would be something that would make me happy, and that never happens in Big Brother.

Liz

2. Liz

JAIME: Okay, admittedly, I’m not thinking too highly of Liz right now since apparently she does actually like Austin. I have a lot I could say about that, but I’ll keep it to myself. If there was a perfect time to win an HOH, then this was the perfect time for Liz. Especially now that the house is moving toward three different factions, it was only a matter of time before people turned on Liz: after all, she’s part of two major partnerships in the house. Whatever decisions she makes, whoever she puts up, whoever she votes to evict, she’s got two people behind her who are going to make the exact same calls. But no one in the house seems to realize that, so I guess for a while I’ll just be yelling at the other houseguests while I watch at home. But right now, with Jackie’s eviction, that side of the house is weakened, and Liz is perfectly poised to strike. If she plays it right, she could resolidify her alliance and help them gain back control for more than a week at a time.

GARRETT: Liz should be the biggest target in the house because she’s the glue holding a three person alliance together. Nobody has come to the realization that Julia is a free agent if Liz is gone because of her disdain for Austin. Right now, that secret is Liz’s key to the half million dollars. Even with this HOH, she hasn’t angered anybody and likely won’t if she gets John out. Seeing her win was the last thing I wanted, but it is what it is. I hope her and Austin have a solid two week relationship once they get out of the house.

1. Austin

JAIME: Believe me, I couldn’t be more unhappy about this. But unfortunately, with the drama surrounding Vanessa this week and any potential lingering anger about Steve’s reign as HOH, Austin’s not on anyone’s radar this week. And with Liz as HOH? He’s definitely safe for another week, at the very least. Plus if anyone’s going to go after their side of the house, the twins are going to be a bigger target. Oh, and apparently Liz has started to have actual feelings for him, so that’s apparently a thing that’s going to continue, and I’ll just be watching along at home, trying not to vomit everywhere.

GARRETT: Austin also remains the only player left in the game to have not been nominated a single time. That’s not a small feat, especially because he looked like a dead man walking in week four. But the Dr. Will Veto Speech tactic, in which Austin pleaded for safety for two weeks so that he could simply make it to jury, may have been his finest hour. Since that 24 hour period, Austin has not been anybody’s target and is protected within a monster of a three person alliance that holds power this week. With only eight people in the house after this week, his alliance’s three votes become the majority in the house. That is huge, and I can’t believe he and the twins aren’t the target when they’re such an obvious majority.

That’s it for week eight of Big Brother! Check back next week, where I’ll post a running tally of all the times I gagged while watching Austin interact with Liz!

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