SPOILER ALERT: As has been the case for the last few weeks, this week’s HOH competition/juror buyback ran past the live show, so keep away if you want to wait until Sunday’s episode to find out the outcome.
Last Week’s HOH: Austin (gag)
Last Week’s Original Nominees: Steve and our boy Johnny
Veto Winner: Vanessa
Did she use the veto?: No, after giving a spectacularly petty speech meant to embarrass Steve
Votes for Eviction: 5-0 to evict John
New Head of Household: Vanessa. God help us all.
Any new twists?: John won the buyback competition, meaning that he was able to reenter the house after being evicted for about twenty minutes. And next week is another double eviction, so this could potentially be an incredibly interesting week or a painfully boring one.
JAIME: Oh, what a week. Well, just like I predicted last week, Austin and Liz spending all their time in the HOH room meant we once again had to see some gross things on the feeds. So, needless to say, I didn’t watch the feeds all that much this week.
GARRETT: Nor did I. The fact that those two think they’re loved by America would be mindboggling if it wasn’t so painfully obvious how pompous and conceited they are.
JAIME: Austin started off his week in a pretty terrible position. He had made deals with just about everyone in the house, and now that the pool of potential nominees is so much smaller, he had no idea who to put up. He was set on John, the only person he hadn’t made any kind of deal with, but he’d promised James and Meg that neither of them would go up, which meant his options were Steve or Vanessa. Lots of back and forth ensued, lots of Austin feeling bad for himself for being in this position, lots of me not caring. Ultimately, while he was fine with either John or Vanessa going home, he knew that Vanessa staying in the house would be better for his game – but he’d already promised Steve that he wouldn’t go up. But once again Vanessa managed to sway Austin, and he wound up putting Steve and John on the block.
After an appearance by Zingbot (where Liz was zinged because Austin has a girlfriend, and Austin was just called smelly, because, you know, that’s fair), it was time for the veto competition, where one-by-one, players were shown a picture with three houseguests’ features mixed up, and the player had to correctly identify who was shown. The fastest time won the veto. Julia, in her first veto competition, was the time to beat for most of the game, until Vanessa came in and finished in two fewer minutes than Julia.
With Vanessa winning the veto, Johnny decided to tell her about the five-person alliance they’d formed last week, in the hopes that it would help make Vanessa loyal to him and turn on Austwins, and eventually use the veto on him. And it kind of almost worked: Vanessa confirmed the existence of the alliance with Liz, who wrote it off as just an idea of Steve’s that she, Austin, and Julia went along with. With the blame for the alliance all on Steve, Vanessa flipped out, and had a few very mature conversations with him where she calmly listened to his explanation and ultimately understood that it was something he did to improve his standing in the house. No, I’m totally messing with you, that didn’t happen at all. It’s Vanessa, come on. She cried and screamed at Steve and mocked him.
Despite her anger at Steve, and despite her incredibly petty and immature veto speech in which she yelled at Steve for hurting her feelings (by, you know, playing the game), Vanessa decided not to use the veto.
GARRETT: The TV editing made it seem like Vanessa was either going to use the veto on John or flip on the Austwins and evict Steve, but, as with everybody else left in this game, she refused to vote against Liz and Julia.
JAIME: And on Thursday night, John was evicted by a unanimous vote – until, of course, the buyback competition, which brought Shelli, Jackie, and Becky back to compete alongside John for the right to reenter the house. The competition, which was combined with the HOH competition, had all the players holding onto a rope that swung around in a circle, occasionally hitting obstacles along the way that would quickly spin them. The last juror remaining would win the buyback, and potentially could win the HOH as well.
This was an incredibly quick competition, and by that I mean in the time it took me to come upstairs the moment the episode finished airing, open my computer, and turn on the feeds, it was pretty much over. Apparently Jackie, Shelli, and Becky (possibly along with some of the houseguests) were disqualified for crouching too low on the rope, which seems like a fault on the producers for not explaining it well enough, but what do I know. Ultimately Vanessa won the HOH, with John coming in second place and winning the buyback comp.
GARRETT: I was so mad during the episode (for those of you that follow me on Twitter, sorry for the outbursts, but such is the life) that I didn’t even watch the feeds for the rest of the night. John is back in, but only after telling Julie Chen that he wants Meg evicted over the twins. I’m more jaded with this show right than I’ve ever been, honestly. I really don’t like anybody.
JAIME: It was a really long week in the house, and unfortunately, I don’t think anyone really made any big moves. But let’s get to this week’s power rankings:
GARRETT: We should really have a running tally of the poor decisions Meg has made so far. I feel like we detail it every week in these posts, but every go round, she always finds a way to make a decision that, from the outside of the house, looks just so clearly incorrect. This week, it happened on Wednesday night, as John was making his final push to stay in the house and flip the game on the Austwins. There was a prime chance to do it, but Meg, in classic fashion, ran to Austin and tattled on the idea, making him confirm his final five with the twins and James. Now, this week, Vanessa inexplicably is refusing to target the twins, and Meg is in the crosshairs. But I’m not happy, because a Meg nomination means an eviction of whoever is sitting next to her. It may just be James this week, which would add yet another of Meg’s “peeps” to the jury.
JAIME: Oh, Meg. For some inexplicable reason, Meg thinks she has a lot of control in the house. She doesn’t seem to realize that there are only eight people left, and when she’s only strong with one other person, that means she could very easily go at any time. She’s still done absolutely nothing, and oh my god when is anyone going to realize that Austin, Liz, and Julia are three votes who absolutely are not going to turn on each other. Every week that goes by, the worse Meg looks. She hasn’t won a single competition, and adds no value to the house whatsoever other than adding a number. And the worst part is I don’t think she’s going anywhere – John might be targeting her, but that’s it. Everyone knows they can always beat her in a comp and that she can go whenever they want her to go, so they’re free to keep her as long as they want. She’s done absolutely nothing to earn her place in the game and I am so, so tired of seeing her joking about how useless she is at comps.
JAIME: As sad that I was that John was evicted, I don’t know if him winning the buyback comp was the best possible outcome. I’m glad there’s still someone in the house that I actually care about, but there’s a huge chance that this week will just be a repeat of last week. I don’t know if I see John surviving the double eviction, and I think that another juror (especially Jackie or Becky) would have had a greater chance of actually shaking things up in the house. I don’t know. I’m torn, because Johnny is hands down my favorite houseguest, but game-wise, he’s got to step it up and realize that all the people he’s chosen to work with are absolutely out to get him.
GARRETT: John had chance after chance to play this game, and as funny as he is, it really pissed me off to see him say that he wanted Meg evicted over Austwins. I want to root for him, but part of me knows there’s no chance of him winning the big prize anyway after having been evicted already. I just think bringing back a houseguest that was fairly eliminated from the competition is cheap and tacky, and interrupts the flow of the game. I loved when Kaysar came back into the game way back in Season 6, but looking back on it, just because I loved him doesn’t mean it was right, and I’m glad he got a second comeuppance that same week. So now, rooting for John to win anything other than America’s Favorite Player just feels dirty. As for his game, it looks like he may be aligning with his once-enemy Vanessa, and should be alright for the first eviction. But if power flips back to the twins, he’s a goner. And if it happens, I won’t be that upset.
JAIME: Considering that Vanessa blew up at him last week, I think it’s safe to say that he’s probably going to be her biggest target. He’s in a slightly better spot than John because I think Vanessa is really the only one with a huge vendetta against him; still, I don’t know how likely it is that he’ll survive the double eviction. We’ve been saying for weeks that these players need to break up the Austwins block, but if James and Meg still insist on playing nice with them, Steve and John are the first to go. So hopefully they step it up so I can continue supporting them.
GARRETT: I would probably like Steve, but he lets people get in his head so much that he physically can’t speak when he’s confronted about something (like Vanessa yelling at him in Wednesday’s episode). You can be a huge fan and know exactly what the right move to make is, but when you get so intimidated to the point of hyperventilation, your presence is pointless. Steve lost this game when he evicted Jackie in the first double eviction. He had the big move in front of him and didn’t take it.
GARRETT: As has been the case throughout the entire game, James is putting his fate in serious jeopardy through his alliance with Meg. Meg refuses to use any logic, and gets James questioning himself whenever it seems like he might be about to make the right decision. This week, both of them tried to volunteer to go up as a pawn. It’s baffling. $500,000 on the line and the man wants to risk himself for eviction. As with John, another truly likable guy, but he’s got a hollow head when it comes to playing big Brother. Unless the course of action is so obvious it’s punching him in the face (like putting Clay and Shelli on the block), you just can’t count on him to actually make a big move – something he incorrectly says he’s capable of.
JAIME: This is why I was hoping Jackie would win the buyback comp. With Jackie by his side, James had a chance of actually getting some control back, and more importantly, gaining some perspective. He absolutely does not have the numbers to win this game, or really control anything. Whatever game moves he makes, even if they’re smart, are absolutely pointless as long as he doesn’t see the dangers of keeping Austwins.
JAIME: Julia is kind of pointless. She’s sort of the Meg of Austwins: she hasn’t won anything, and she’s not really more than just a number. But unlike Meg, Julia has strong people behind her, and given her connections to Liz and Austin, she’s not going anywhere. As long as everyone keeps falling all over themselves to work with Austwins, they’re going to stay in control of the house, and Julia is going to walk right to the final three. How thrilling.
GARRETT: She also just made a final two with Vanessa (in the event that Liz gets evicted), so that’s another eye roll from me. Julia is a huge disappointment that we should have seen coming. I like her better than Liz, but if you’re in a competition over who’s hated less, nobody is a winner. It means something that we write less on Julia every week than anybody else.
GARRETT: I just really don’t like Liz. I think she’s annoying and petty and a truly mean human being. She sits back and talks more trash than anybody this side of Maggie from Season 6. She takes everything personally while accusing everybody else of taking things personally. She’s rude and has a horrible attitude and only got on the show because her and Julia met Porsche from S13 on a yacht. I usually love to hate people in Big Brother. Austin, I hate, but I love to hate him because he’s so ridiculous and I know that the long wait will be worth it when he’s finally evicted. But Liz just makes me irrationally angry. There’s nothing about her I enjoy and she makes the show worse. I have nothing to say about her gameplay, other than the fact that again, after two months of this, I still don’t understand how people won’t target her.
JAIME: I cannot for the life of me figure out why no one has ever targeted her. She’s the center of a three-person alliance, and we’re at the point in the game where three votes are the majority in an eviction. How does nobody see that? How is no one threatened by that? Like Julia, she gets to just sit back and watch as she advances further and further in the game. I could understand if they were actively working to protect their alliance and make themselves be seen as helpful rather than harmful, but seriously? They’re not doing anything to make themselves seem like less of a threat, and yet nobody is threatened by them. It’s not even fun anymore to watch these houseguests misread this situation. It started getting sad a long time ago. Austwins don’t deserve to win the game, but right now, none of the other houseguests do either if they can’t even acknowledge the largest threat in the game, and won’t lift a finger to do something about the huge obstacle between them and $500,000. Austwins are going to be the final three and everyone else is going to be evicted and be surprised at how they managed to get fooled so badly, and they won’t have anyone to blame but themselves.
JAIME: First of all, it anyone hasn’t read Austin’s HOH blog, please do yourself a favor and read it. A true intellectual, Austin is clearly leaps and bounds above the other players, and it’s no wonder that he’s playing a vastly superior game. No, that’s not true at all. Austin sucks. He spent his week as HOH making deals with both sides of the house, and burying himself in deals and promises that he refused to even think about breaking. But he’s absolutely untouchable right now: he’s got Liz and Julia behind him, and usually Vanessa. I think it’s incredibly likely that he and/or Liz will win another HOH this season, and at this point, if someone from their alliance doesn’t go home during the double eviction, then they won’t be going home at all. Austin, Liz, and Julia are in total control of the votes now, and for everyone’s eagerness to join up with them, no one realizes that they have no chance of beating them. Once we get down to five or six people, there is absolutely no way to evict one of Austwins, unless the HOH isn’t one of them and puts up two of them against each other. The worst thing about Austin, really, is how obvious his power in the house is, and how everybody refuses to act on it. Austin’s continued presence is making me hate everyone else and hate this season. Please do better, houseguests.
GARRETT: I want the professor that accepted Austin’s graduate thesis fired. The HOH blog and that absurd nominations speech only further show just how far Austin’s head is up his own ass. He’s a petulant child who whines when he doesn’t get his way – but he gets his way a lot more than not. I’ll give him credit for his only good game move (and maybe this season’s best, which is so unbelievably sad) in avoiding the block all the way back in week 4. And as I said above, I still love to hate Austin, just because he’s so cartoonishly ridiculous. But that will change when it really becomes apparent that he’s in no danger of going home.
JAIME: It’s been ten weeks, and I am officially annoyed by absolutely everything about Vanessa’s gameplay. She lies to everyone but cries and gets personally offended when anyone lies to her; she controls everything but then can’t understand why anyone might ever potentially consider the possibility of evicting her. She thinks she’s the only person who understands how to play this game, and yet she jumps down everyone’s throats the second they do anything even remotely connected to playing out a strategy. So no, I’m not a Vanessa fan. But unfortunately, she’s playing the best game in the house. How sad is that? With Austwins by her side, right now, she’s pretty much untouchable. They’re going to continue to dominate and picking everyone else off, and there’s nothing we can do about it. Joy. I’m sure she’s going to cry a lot more, too, so everyone get pumped.
GARRETT: They had her chance to get rid of her and blew it. You don’t get many chances to take out a player like Vanessa – who, as insane as she can be, is incredibly intimidating and smart with her words. I don’t think there’s a player in history quite like Vanessa, who acts so volatile and won’t admit to her own lies in the diary room. I just don’t get how she doesn’t see how off her rocker she is. I just want one quote from her admitting to it. Just one. And all will be forgiven. But she’ll get no respect from me until she does that, even if she does walk away with the grand prize. She’s number one this week because of her HOH and puppeteering of the people she intimidates, but in a season filled with so many bad players, it’s really not that much of an accomplishment.
We can’t lie, you guys. Things are pretty disappointing in the Big Brother house. But who knows, maybe things will take a turn over the next week and liven up with the live eviction. Check back then to see our thoughts on how things are unfolding in the house!