BUT FIRST Friday – Your Weekly Big Brother Power Rankings: Week 9

SPOILER ALERT: Last night’s live HOH competition again carried on after the close of the episode, and the conclusion will be shown on Sunday’s episode. But, as with the past few weeks, we know who won, so we’ll be factoring in the results of the competition into the rankings this week.

Last Week’s HOH: Liz

Last Week’s Original Nominees: Becky and Johnny Mac

Last Week’s Veto Winner: Liz

Did she use the Veto?: No, though CBS’s editing made it seem like she was going to backdoor Vanessa

Votes for Eviction: 6-0 to evict Becky

New Head of Household: Bring out the pitchforks, folks, because Austin won

Any New Twists?: After next week’s live eviction, the evicted houseguests and the three jury members (Shelli, Jackie, and Becky) will compete to see which of them will be returning to the game. But you already knew that.

OUR THOUGHTS:

GARRETT: I’ve been watching this show for a long time, and right about now is where I start getting frustrated. Usually it’s because a player I don’t like is dominating the game, or because the majority of houseguests aren’t acting logically and start making wrong decisions. Both of those situations have started happening this season.

It started last week, when Liz took Head of Household. At the beginning of the week, it looked like there was a split between sides of the house. Liz put up John and Becky, and with Vanessa in her ear, it looked like John would be the target for the week. After the nomination ceremony, however, John took the target off his own back with a brilliant display, finally opening up to the Austwins about how he’s wanted Vanessa out since the second week of the game. Believing John wouldn’t target them, Austwins shifted their target to Becky, and told John that even though he was on the block, he’d be safe for the week. Inexplicably, Johnny then decided that the best way to earn the trust of the Austwins was to throw the Veto competition.

The Veto competition was a rock music rendition of the fan-favorite OTEV competition, and Johnny threw the competition in the first round. Becky gave it her all and badly hurt her toe in the process, but Liz took the competition, and held all the power for the week. CBS’s edit made it seem like she would backdoor Vanessa, but, wanting to keep the big target in the game, Liz kept her nominations the same.

The rest of the week unfolded without much drama, and while Becky gave it her best shot to stay, she was evicted in a unanimous vote. The HOH competition was an interesting track meet kind of thing, where the houseguests needed to run to their button when prompted. As expected Meg was eliminated first before the episode ended, and then, an hour later, Austin managed to win the competition, keeping the power within his triad and enraging the internet community.

Now, the Austwins have power for the second week in a row, and they have an alliance with everybody. Nobody seems to realize that they are a three vote block, and the contentedness of the rest of the house of keeping them in the game is maddening. Now, we have to deal with a lot of Austin airtime this week, so we hope you understand our crankiness in this week’s rankings:

Meg

8. Meg

JAIME: In true Meg style, she was the first person eliminated from the HOH competition and then proceeded to laugh about it. Listen, Meg. I get it. I’m not good at sports or doing things either. But we’re up to the final eight and she hasn’t won a single competition. She’s done absolutely nothing to justify her place in the final eight, and I can’t see that changing anytime soon. And the worst part is that I’m sure she’s going to make it much farther in the game. No one would ever vote for her to win the game, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes it to the final three or even two. But at least her continued presence in the game gives me a reason to drink.

GARRETT: Meg isn’t a mean person. She’s extremely nice, in fact. When there’s no gameplay going on, I really enjoy her presence. But week after week, one of her allies goes. And week after week, she keeps telling James that they need to keep working with the Austwins. She’s definitely getting dragged to the final four by somebody. I just hope James is right there with her in the end.

Great faceplant highlight in the OTEV competition, though. Glad she’s not concussed.

7. Vanessa

JAIME: Thanks to Becky and John, by now, everyone in the house is onto Vanessa and her hyper-aggressive style of gameplay. Liz was in the perfect spot to get her out, but didn’t want to get blood on her hands (which, can someone please explain to Liz what it means to get blood on your hands? If you set up the eviction of someone literally everyone in the house wants evicted, there is zero blood on your hands). Now with Austin, it’s hard to predict what he might do – I think he’d be more willing than Liz, but it wouldn’t be hard for Vanessa to convince him how vital she is to his game. She’s good at playing people, and if she can adapt to being uncovered and find a way to turn that and use it to her advantage, she’ll be golden. There’s a chance she might get put up this week, but I don’t know, I have a feeling she’ll skate by yet again.

GARRETT: Vanessa’s been pretty off kilter emotionally for a couple weeks now. She seems to know she’s being ostracized in the house. And I don’t blame her for getting upset when people are calling her the second Audrey. The Big Brother house is really brutal sometimes, and I’ll give her credit for sticking through it. But I just can’t bring myself to be a fan of her when she keeps steadfastly believing her own lies. It’s those lies that have gotten her in trouble. But, as Jaime said, there seems to be a reluctance from Liz and Austin to get her out of the game. So we’ll see what happens with her this week.

John

6. John

GARRETT: I think it’s important to keep our opinions of the houseguests’ personalities and their gameplay separate, because oftentimes, the most likable person in the game can be one of the worst players. Donny wasn’t a great strategist last season, but he lit up the house with his charm and was a really enjoyable player to watch. It’s starting to appear that our dear John is in that category, because he’s made some of the most abysmal decisions I’ve seen in the game so far. Deciding to throw a competition when you’re on the block is a cardinal sin, no matter who you are. It’s inexcusable with $500,000 on the line. And deciding to join an alliance with the Austwins is an absurd notion when they’re a three vote block in an eight person household. John is still a delight in the diary room and is one of the best Big Brother personalities in a long, long time. But he lost all game sense when Clay got evicted, and if he stays any longer, it’ll be through no effort of his own.

JAIME: I’m in a pickle here. I love Johnny Mac. I have waited the entire game for Johnny Mac to start stepping up, so I could finally say that my love for him as a player was justified. But what is he doing? Sure, okay, he was on the block this week, so he needed to work with Austwins since they controlled a third of the vote. So I can understand his decision to work with them, and I think in his unedited conversation with Steve about choosing an alliance to work with, he was pretty unwilling. To be charitable, and because I’m not yet willing to give up on my dream of my hilarious children with beautiful teeth and a house bought by a reality show, I’m going to hope for the best and say that Johnny is doing whatever he needs to survive right now. But he needs to figure out a better plan, one that doesn’t see him struggling for survival every single week. Hopefully if he survives this week and someone on the other side of the house wins HOH (and by that I mean James, since we all know Meg can’t), John can finally team up with them and start bringing down Austwins.

5. Steve

JAIME: I’m starting to think that Steve may have us all fooled. His archnemesis Becky named him one of the best players in the house, and I think there’s something to be said for his lowkey approach. His brief reign as HOH proved that he doesn’t necessarily make the best decisions under fire, but then again, he knows that people think he’s weak and not really doing too great when it comes to handling himself in the game. I think he still trusts Austwins a lot more than he should, but if he stays good with them, I think he’ll skate through this week. I’m still waiting for a clear, unmistakable sign that he’s got some larger plan going on, but I don’t know. Either everyone’s giving him way too much credit or Steve might turn out to be some kind of criminal mastermind.

GARRETT: I think he definitely happened to fall into his current situation. Vanessa has guided him along in this game, and set him up in a good position when it was her controlling things in those early weeks. But I’ll give him credit for playing both sides in the double eviction and shifting the blame completely off of him. That Meg doesn’t blame him for Jackie’s eviction may turn out to be a major blessing and keep him in the house, because the Austwins don’t seem to want him out either. He wins competitions when he has to and has become more and more well liked as the game is progressing. He’s no Ian Terry, but this season, it seems like he might not need to be.

4. James

GARRETT: James is making a run at America’s Favorite Player, and has gotten a perfect edit on CBS. He’s lively, fun, and refuses to let the house get boring, which is good for the houseguests’ morale and keeps things interesting on the feeds. He’s on a clear side, but because of his personality, he doesn’t seem to be a target at the moment. He has a chance to sneak by until a late stage and can get on a competition winning streak if he has to. Hopefully, after a jury member comes back, James can grab power again and break up the triad, but I wouldn’t quite count on it with Meg in his ear.

JAIME: The only thing working against James right now is that he doesn’t have a stronger partner. He’s only going to be able to do so much when the person supporting his every move is Meg, and I don’t think it’s really occurred to him how much he needs John and Steve to eventually break up the Austwins block. Based on numbers alone, James isn’t exactly in a great spot, but if he’s smart enough to realize that he’s in the minority of the house and can do something to turn things in his favor, then he’ll be around for a while.

Julia

3. Julia

JAIME: Once again, Julia and Liz are going to be totally safe for another week. There are so many reasons why I want Liz and/or Austin evicted, but one of them is because I feel like Julia would absolutely work with the other side of the house. It would force her to actually play the game, which isn’t something her alliance has really had to do so far. She also might be in the best position out of the three of them, because I think breaking up Austin/Liz might be the bigger priority than breaking up the twins. She’s going to be here for a while, and I’m just waiting for her to do something soon to justify her safety in the game.

GARRETT: Julia has still never played in a Veto competition. That has to be some kind of record. I think our only hope for her this week is her getting mad at Austin for giving Liz a hickey, and making the move to the other side of the house next week.

But that won’t happen. (Sigh)

2. Liz

GARRETT: She got through a week in power without pissing anyone off, and now that Austin’s in control, she won’t be blamed when the next houseguest gets evicted. She might be in the best position in the house, because she’s got two votes to keep her no matter what. But I don’t like her one bit, and her cattiness is beyond on my nerves. She’s never been in a position of danger yet, and I hope somebody wakes up and puts her there at some point. But it won’t happen this week.

JAIME: I still don’t understand how Austwins aren’t the biggest targets to everyone in the house. When you look at it logically, Liz is the center. She needs to be the second target on everyone’s list, behind Vanessa. And yet for some reason, she’s totally escaped notice. If the other houseguests don’t wake up, she, her sister, and Austin are going to make it to the final four, if not the final three, and they haven’t even really done anything to justify their place there. It’ll entirely be the other houseguests’ fault for not breaking up the most solid block in the house.

1. Austin

JAIME: Throughout the week, I’m sure many of you often heard a strange noise, something like a cat dying or dishes being thrown against walls. Those noises were me crying out for help every time they showed Austin kissing Liz. His winning HOH means it’s going to continue to happen, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Unfortunately, he’s solid in the game right now: with Becky gone and Steve and John still more or less working with both sides, Austin’s got the most powerful alliance in the house. He, Julia, and Liz are going to continue to work as one unit until someone finally has the sense to break them up, but the other houseguests are running out of time. I don’t think Austin’s going anywhere for a while, which means we’re going to see more of what he and Liz get up to in the HOH bed, which means I’ll probably be drinking a lot this week to forget.

GARRETT: It’s absolutely crazy that Austin has still never been nominated for eviction. Not one time. He’s actually well liked by a lot of them in there, even though he’s a cocky asshole. Another week of him in the HOH room calling the shots is going to be unbearable, so my feeds watching this week will be minimal. I want him gone, but I have to give the guy credit for his gameplay. He really just might win the whole thing, and if he does, he’ll be one of the least liked winners in the history of the show. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that and the rest of the houseguests come to their senses. You never know. Maybe someone will finally see that he doesn’t wash his hands after using the bathroom.

That’s it for week 9! What gross things will Liz and Austin get up to in the HOH this time? Who will return from the jury house to reenter the game and hopefully help take over the game? Check back next Friday to find out!

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