BUT FIRST Friday – Your Weekly Big Brother Power Rankings: Way Behind on Week 11

Last Week’s HOH: Vanessa, and then Liz for the double eviction


Last Week’s Original Nominees: James and Meg


Veto Winner: James


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


Votes for Eviction: Everyone voted to evict Meg except James iin one of the most infuriating moves in the history of the game. Then, in the double eviction, Liz put up James next to John and he was booted unanimously.


New Head of Household: After the double eviction was complete, Steve won HOH for the next week.  Suck it, Austwins.


Any new twists?: After Meg’s eviction, the houseguests immediately played their first HOH comp of the night, where Liz won.  She put up James and John, and then Julia won veto.  Ultimately she chose not to use it, and James was evicted.  Annoyingly, it was a good night for Austwins.


This week: Steve is HOH, and Austin and Liz are currently on the block (which took place in Sunday’s episode).




JAIME: So that might have been one of the most infuriating weeks of the entire season, let alone the entire game.  Double evictions are supposed to be exciting, and hopefully are when the houseguests make the big moves and get out the players that normally would be difficult to evict.  So instead they evicted Meg.


GARRETT: Steve was apparently up all night trying to figure out what to do. But he decided that he couldn’t risk upsetting Vanessa and left the Austwins in the game intact. It was super dumb, and I really hope he looks back on it after the season is over and realizes as much.


JAIME: Thankfully for everyone, once he won HOH for the week, he made up for his mistake (well, at least for now.  I don’t know if fans will ever be able to forgive him for letting a solid three-person alliance make it to the final six).  


GARRETT: John is also at fault, but he gets a bit more of a pass because he was definitely willing to flip the vote if that’s what Steve decided to do.


JAIME: Definitely.  The problem was Steve was well aware that evicting Julia would be a better move.  He fully saw the benefits of that move, and didn’t do it.  I couldn’t even talk during the episode.  For a while there, it looked like the season had been handed right over to Austwins.


GARRETT: Instead, now, it’s been handed right over to Vanessa. She’s definitely the favorite to win at this point, which is crazy, because I feel like in a season with more awareness from the other players, she would have been evicted much earlier. I don’t think she’s very good – it’s just that she’s better than the people who are left.


JAIME: As always, when it came time for Steve to start figuring out his nominations, Vanessa was right in his ear.  The obvious targets have to be Austwins, but Vanessa helped Steve figure out the best way to set up the nominations, so they’re not potentially put in a situation where, after the veto, Steve would be forced to put him a member of his own alliance.  But as always, Johnny’s cautious of Vanessa, so while going after the twins is the reasonable move, and Steve’s intention, Johnny points out that it wouldn’t be a bad thing to target Austin, either, because it cuts off the possibility of Vanessa turning on them and teaming up again with Austin, since she’s worked with him for most of the game so far.


GARRETT: As it stands episode-wise, Steve took both John and Vanessa’s advice and nominated Austin and Liz. Liz freaked out at the nomination ceremony and bolted from the table, crying. It was ridiculous. In live-feed world, we know who won Veto, but we’ll leave that out of this post so that Wednesday’s episode can be enjoyed without spoilers.


JAIME: Though, I’m sure it’ll be covered in depth on Wednesday’s episode, but I don’t think it’s spoilery to announce to everyone that finally, our long national nightmare is over.  That’s right, folks: Austin and Liz have broken up.  I won’t get into the reasons why, but they’re over.  Suddenly this season seems enjoyable again.


Wait – in a twist worthy of Julie Chen herself, I have been informed that since their break-up on Saturday, Austin and Liz have been spotted making out on the feeds.  Apparently they worked things out.  This is terrible.  Never mind, I hate everything again.


GARRETT: Sorry to break the news like that. Regardless, Wednesday’s episode should be fun. I think CBS is pretty aware of our hate towards that relationship, and they’ve been showing it pretty snidely the past few weeks. Once the attractive, All-American couple Clelli was broken up, CBS must have given a long groan that Liztin is now who they’re stuck with.


JAIME: His beard, though.  I don’t even want to think about it.  Anyway, back to the events of this week.  With James and Meg out of the house, and with the final six formed, the house is split evenly, at least to us viewers: there’s Vanessa/Steve/John on one side, and Austwins on the other.  Steve’s nominations drew some pretty serious lines in the sand, and effectively ended the Scamper Squad before it really even got off the ground.

This week, our post is going to work a little differently.  Since we’re getting close to the end of the season, we wanted to take some time to evaluate how the season’s gone, and potentially how the next few weeks might play out, given who’s left and how they’ve played the game so far.  But first, let’s get to this week’s rankings:


6/5. Liztin

4. Steve

3. Julia

2. John

1. Vanessa


JAIME: So rather than go individually through each player this week, we’re going to look at everyone overall as we try to figure out where the rest of the season could go, and where we’d like it to go.


So first, obviously, Austwins has to go.  Numbers-wise, the rest of the house would have had a better advantage if they’d managed to get at least one of Austwins out last week, either Julia during the first eviction or someone during the second eviction.  That didn’t happen, which means that now it’s going to be war.  For some reason, Liz is really, really hurt that someone would choose to work with Vanessa and John over her, her boyfriend, and her sister.  It’s such a short-sighted move, and I genuinely don’t think Austwins has ever talked about what their alliance would do if they got to the final four or five.  It doesn’t seem like they’ve ever thought that far ahead, because if they had, then it would be understandable why they have to be targets this week.  They should have been targets a long time ago, actually, but what do I know, I’m not in the house.


GARRETT: The move to evict Meg was a decision in a long line of them this summer that should have gone another way. It’s funny – because Meg was often at the forefront of a lot of those choices. Off the top of my head, there was failing to see the Jason blindside coming, the eviction of Shelli over Vanessa, betraying Becky’s trust, and then finally, getting bit by the Austwins in the double eviction. Meg was truly one of the worst players that’s ever played the game, and that’s really saying something. It was awful to take her out over Julia, but at least now, maybe, MAYBE, Steve and John can beat the pretty large odds and get to the end.


JAIME: John and Steve are in a slightly precarious position for now because they’re obviously much bigger targets to Austwins than Vanessa.  John winning HOH this week would pretty much solidify a final three of himself, Steve, and Vanessa, but otherwise, one of them would absolutely go home.  Steve might be a bigger target coming out of this week, but John is harder to beat at comps, and with so few people left, that’s huge.  Neither of them are playing the games they need to be playing.  Sure, Steve finally made a big move and split up the house, but he could have done that last week, which would have left him in a much more comfortable position this week.  He’s not calling the shots so much as he’s taking advantage of the only option he has.  John at least is a bit more strategic, but he’s been able to hide behind Vanessa and now Steve for so long that he’s not in control of anything.  He’s a strong person to have in an alliance, but he’s never been the one to lead an alliance, and I don’t see that changing, especially if they’re able to get out a second member of Austwins next week and John just becomes even more comfortable.


GARRETT: I wouldn’t count on anyone winning anything at this point in the game. I think the only obvious thing is Vanessa sitting right in the middle – and while she’s on John and Steve’s side, she’s still had endgame deals with Austin and Julia for weeks. A Liz eviction only puts her closer to the end. It’s another reason why failing to knock out the Austwins earlier was a horrible decision – Vanessa wins the game over all of the people left in the house, no matter what. By the time Austwins are eliminated (assuming that’s the way it goes), Vanessa is left in the final three. It’s just so baffling how somebody so erratic, overemotional, and high strung can have herself in the best position to win.


JAIME: Ultimately Vanessa is undoubtedly in the best position right now.  She’s close with Steve and John, she’s close with Austwins, and once Austwins’ numbers start dwindling, I don’t know if she wouldn’t turn on Steve and John.  She’s going to do whatever she has to do to win, and the only reason she couldn’t stick with Austwins throughout the entire game was because they outnumbered her.  But now that they’ll be down to two members?  There’s no way to predict what Vanessa will do.  I doubt even Vanessa knows what she’ll do.


She’s in a position similar to Julia: Steve/John will be targeting the bigger threats of Austin and Liz.  Austwins will be targeting Steve and John, since Vanessa is working with them.  There isn’t as much attention on Vanessa and Julia, and unless Steve and John finally figure out that Vanessa will probably turn on them if she’s able to and evict her, I think Vanessa and Julia might skate through to the final three.  Definitely final four.


GARRETT: I think it’s just been a common symptom of these players this year. All of them have had “final five” in their heads for so long instead of trying to position themselves for a win. The perception levels have been painfully low this season – even from Vanessa, who we’ve seen come up with audacious theory after audacious theory throughout this entire game. She’s got herself in the best spot, but it’s still pretty funny that she thought Johnny Mac and Clay were gay lovers. I mean, come on.


JAIME: Let’s not forget that her first thought was that they were cousins.  And if not cousins, then they were in a relationship.  Because clearly it was one of those two options.


GARRETT: And Da’Vonne “as clear as day” never had that stupid phone call power. Whatever. At least the Big Brother takeover nonsense was taken out of the equation early.


JAIME: I do wonder how the game would have gone if there had been more takeovers.  Since clearly the vast majority of the houseguests were incapable of saving their own game or even creating a strategy based on their own merit.


GARRETT: I’m glad they didn’t happen for the sake of the integrity of the game, but these houseguests have really been frustrating. The #BB17 hashtag during the double eviction episode was a warzone. And I was thinking about quitting the season, to be honest.


JAIME: After that double eviction, I was waiting to see how the second HOH comp went, but I was close, too.  I could not watch them hand the entire season to Austwins.  Obviously you can’t control this game, and you can’t control who makes it to the end.  But this season had so many strong and/or interesting players evicted early, and to have a final six made up of three people who have never had to fight even a little bit to stay in the game…I couldn’t imagine the thought of one of them winning.  It took until day 80 for Austin to even get nominated the first time.  John’s been nominated something like five or six times and Austin didn’t get nominated until day 80.  What kind of gameplay is happening in this house?


GARRETT: It would have been awesome to see Audrey cool her jets and make it further than she did. She was wildly entertaining and her game was built for late stage Big Brother. It just sucks that she stepped on the gas before the light turned green. She was aggravating and that hibernation in the diary room was a bit scary, but she was great entertainment. I hope they bring her back for All-Stars and she starts the game off a little better.


JAIME: I think that’s one of the biggest problems I have with the season overall.  They were all so gung ho about pointing out strong players at first, but most of the time, they were labeling people strong players before they’d even really done anything.  Remember early on when everyone kept talking about being intimidated by Steve because of how smart he was?  Because he knows the word “trombonists”?  They were playing the game based on unfounded fear, before they really felt out any of the other houseguests, and in doing so, they let Austwins and Meg make it way too far.  They were all eager and willing to get out the “huge threats” like Jason, and were so focused on it that they lost perspective and any long-term view of the game.  In a way, that might all be Vanessa’s fault – she orchestrated almost every single eviction, and has a knack for getting people to come around ot her way of thinking.  I’m going to make a bold statement and say that all of the upsetting, boring, or frustrating parts of the season were Vanessa’s fault.


GARRETT: You’re not wrong, especially when a lot of the frustration occurred because the other houseguests have been so hogtied by Vanessa’s opinion. She’s ruthlessly intimidating, and it’s hard for a socially awkward kid like Steve to stand up to someone like that. It sucks that the only people that really saw through it – Becky and Audrey – were quickly sent right on their way.


JAIME: It’s really frustrating as a fan of the game to see how Vanessa has managed to work everyone in the house.  We’ve talked about her game and all its flaws a lot, so I won’t get into all of that again, but it’s really annoying to see that the best game in the house has so many issues.  It’s easy to see how she’s made it this far in the game, and she does deserve to win and is probably best positioned for a win, but it’s frustrating.  You can’t root for her in the same way you could root for Evel Dick or Janelle because there’s no self-awareness.  Even in the DR, she doesn’t admit that she’s doing what she can to stay afloat each week, or that she knows certain players respond well when she’s emotional.  To the viewers, it just looks like a mess.  But because she’s so good at getting people to agree with her, she’s gotten out anyone who ever stood up to her, and in doing so, got rid of people who potentially could have played a game worthy of winning half a million dollars.
GARRETT: Let’s at least hope that now that the target is on Austwins, we’ll get a bit more drama. Wednesday’s episode should be a good one.


So what did everyone think of this week’s events?  Were you all as mad about the double eviction as we were?  Let us know your thoughts, and check back Friday for another edition of But First Friday!



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