“Big Brother” recap (17.36-38): Week 12

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The “Over the Rainbow” HOH competition is still underway. Big Brother has a few secrets up its sleeve this week. Finally, Vanessa wins the competition, though lifting her coffee cup will be hard tomorrow, she says (but imagine how good that victory coffee will taste!) Now she must come up with two people to nominate for eviction. This one’s hard. She’ll have to take into consideration what every houseguest has spinning in their head: Who can’t I beat in the finale? As a head’s up, for those who don’t know: In the finale, the jury will have a chance to vote for who they feel deserves to win the entire game. Sometimes it boils down to who played the best game, not necessarily one’s physical competition skills or their social game that slays all others. Like Austin suggests, anyone can strategically place themselves in the right situation to win. If strategy is key, we’re either about to see a whole lot of strategic game play, or some impulse decisions that just might change everything.

17BigBrother14.1 The gayest Big Brother competition this backyard’s ever seen. 

SUNDAY: HOH & Nominations

“She likes girls, I’m a girl, I hope she still likes me,” Liz says in the diary room after Vanessa wins HOH. Oh, Liz. Vanessa explains that “step one” is asking everyone what deals they had and find out what doesn’t line up. She talks to Steve first, who admits he did make a deal with Liz, but that if Vanessa were in his position, she would’ve done the same. The deal was hatched right before Julia was evicted, and it ensured the twins got what they wanted—Liz staying and Julia going. Vanessa goes to Austin next and tells him she has a big bag of paranoia. Austin is like (insert eye-roll), “Here we go again.” At first Vanessa finds fault with Liz in making a deal with Steve. “My instincts are strong, and I feel like something shady is going on,” says Vanessa. She thinks a deal like that means Liz would’ve put Vanessa up on the block if she won HOH. Hearing about this double-talk, Liz takes Vanessa aside to hash it out.

Liz swears she would’ve never put up Vanessa had she won HOH, explaining that she was giving Steve what he wanted to hear. But it’s funny, because when Liz says she had no intention of keeping her promise to Steve, we know as an audience that Liz has admitted the same about Vanessa in the past, too—that she’ll nod and say, “Yes, Vanessa,” but all bets are off. In the diary room, Austin also defends himself, explaining that he’ll say anything to anyone to “stay another week in the house.” He says, that’s just what Judas does. Don’t you know Judas? The issue though, is everyone is basically running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Vanessa has made deals with everyone left, so whatever her decision, she has to utilize “information,” which she says is crucial in this game. If she finds out who possibly considered going against her, she’ll send their ass up onto the block faster than she can swap out beanies. Steve hears the three of them talking in the pantry and paces the house saying, “They’re talking in there, they’re talking in there. Don’t go in, don’t go in.” Steve is my Big Brother alter ego. I would be the person pacing, talking to myself, and otherwise going mad when I know I’m the subject of conversation. Breathe, Steve.

Vanessa and Steve talk again after she touches base with Johnny Mac. She learns that Austin said he’d keep Johnny Mac safe, but that he also told Steve the same. In her gut, Vanessa believes she’s in the house with two showmances—because Steve and Johnny Mac have always worked closely together and when they were nearly outed for making a “Final Two” deal when Shelli was in power, they distanced themselves from each other in a flash. Knowing Steve and Johnny Mac have certainly talked game privately since that time, we also know they want Austin gone so that they can better position themselves next to Vanessa. Oh, brother. Vanessa points out that Johnny Mac will be easier to beat in the finale, because he has yet to win an HOH and prove himself. Steve feels if she gets rid of Johnny Mac, it not only goes against their number advantage, but it disregards the sole purpose of Steve’s HOH last week: breaking up Austwins by taking out Julia, allowing Vanessa to get the HOH title this week to continue to dismantle it even more.

Regardless of this discussion, Vanessa goes back to Austin to make a deal. Austin is down, because Austin will make any and all deals this week. You’d be a fool to say no to anyone, to show your annoyances, to voice your grievances—anyone could cut you from this tiny ass string that you’re left hanging from. The deal is: Vote how Vanessa wants him to vote this week, if you win Veto, don’t use it, and win HOH next week. Austin swears on everything he loves, shakes on it, and then there’s a super cute flashback to Day Two when they made a “Final Two” deal. But, in the words of Boyz II Men, have we come to the end of the road?

The doorbell rings and it’s Frankie Grande! The pink haired brother to Ariana Grande and former Big Brother contestant is here to surprise Liz with her luxury prize she won during the HOH competition. He’s taking her and another houseguest of her choice to the sold out Ariana Grande show at the Staples Center. She chooses Vanessa, which is no biggie for Austin, who basically points to Vanessa for Liz to pick her. Girl’s trip! They are made up in disguises to blend in with the crowd (since BB is still filming, duh) and Vanessa dons a purple wig and calls herself “Roxy” while Liz gets a short mom bob and changes her name to “Dakota.” When they get back from their whirlwind getaway concert, the boys are bumming around the house eating cereal and picking their hair. Judas digs Dakota—of course.

At the nomination ceremony, Vanessa puts up Steve and Johnny Mac. It’ll be up to them to take themselves off the block and win that Veto. But if they do, Vanessa will have to put up either Austin or Liz.

 

TUESDAY: Power of Veto & Surprise Eviction

Julie Chen is suddenly asking the BB houseguests to come into the living room. OH SHIT. Everyone shuffles in, completely shocked to see Chen onscreen a day early. She announces that it’s a surprise eviction episode. Steve looks like he’s about to faint. In order to catch up to speed, we have to see what went down right after the nomination ceremony. Vanessa tells Steve: “You are my friend.” But in the diary room he voices that he doesn’t understand why she’s crying her eyes out as she tells him that, when he’s the one up on the block. “I trust you, I trust you,” Steve tells her. Johnny Mac offers to throw Veto if Austin and Liz want to break their deal with Vanessa. Austin is totally dumbfounded and takes that new info to Vanessa, which is pure gold at this stage in the game. Back at present, among a live studio audience, Julie Chen announces hat it’s time for the Veto competition. It’s a plug-in for the new CBS series, Life In Pieces. It’s also a puzzle competition, and pretty much everyone left in the game is good at this kind of thing, so it’s anyone’s bet. In the end, Johnny Mac ends up winning—which is Vanessa’s worst-case scenario by a landslide, and maybe he knows it. Austin is pissed that he didn’t throw it if he said he was going to, and now everyone is like, “GREAT,” because someone is literally going to jury in fifteen minutes and it’s definitely no longer target number one: Johnny Mac.

17BigBrother14.2If Vanessa wins, she better toss that green beanie in the air a la Mary Tyler Moore. You’re gonna make it after all.

Since Johnny Mac won, it’s up to Vanessa to choose a replacement, so she puts Austin up and apologizes profusely. Liz’s face turns ghost white. When the two guys are given their chance to say their peace, Steve gives a heartfelt speech about being a superfan and Austin says he’s watched Steve become a man. Vanessa must cast the deal-breaking vote because Liz has voted for Steve to go, and Johnny Mac has voted for Austin to go, telling Julie he’s making things “interesting.” Hearing she must choose between Steve and Austin, we can nearly see Vanessa’s heart drop. In a brief but painful moment, she tells Austin that she chooses to evict him. Liz’s face is blown now. “You don’t have the votes to win,” Austin says in defeat to Vanessa. Austin is in his jammies, barefoot, because this entire surprise episode has been a blindside. He gets up and kisses Liz and tells Vanessa he knew it—that it was too good to be true, and he does one of those pissed off, shocked, slow walks out the front door—the one silver lining, being that it isn’t the back door, and that he’s able to go to jury. Shoeless Judas is about to go to jury.

Like any eviction episode, a new HOH must be crowned now, and Steve wins it, ensuring his spot in the Final Three. He says he doesn’t trust Vanessa after all, and will fight to save himself now, so, is Steve going to put up Vanessa on the block?

 

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