“Big Brother” recap (17.6-17.8): Week Two

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It’s hard to believe this is actually a full second week in the Big Brother house, and already alliances that were believed to be solid have fallen apart and flipped the house. The idea of the house “flipping” is something that just might happen in this season all the time—but we want the house to do this. Why? Because it’s damn entertaining.

In this case, Audrey thought she was in total control, but by Sunday night’s episode, Audrey is named as Enemy #1, and a house meeting is called to assess her damages and allow the houseguests to compare notes. Audrey’s named Vanessa as the leader of an all-girl alliance, but will the other houseguests believe this rumor? Is it too late to save #TeamAudrey? Lest we be reminded: Always expect the unexpected in the BB house.

BATTLE OF THE BLOCK, SUNDAY

We know that what begins in chaos, typically ends in chaos. For Audrey, her strategy seems clear: Manipulate, spread rumors, wreck havoc, and deny, deny, deny. If someone asks Audrey if she started a rumor, the proper response will have to be, “You’re crazy, and you’re a pathological liar.” We’ve already seen her have it out with Jace (first houseguest evicted last week) but now Audrey is stirring the cauldron and she’s throwing Da’Vonne under the bus. She tells Vanessa that the rumor about Vanessa in an all-girl alliance came at the hands of Da’Vonne. Freaked, angered, and mostly suspicious of this Audrey-fueled rumor, Vanessa takes the info straight to Da’Vonne. You can almost feel the clouds lifting as she does, because Vanessa and Da’Vonne would work swimmingly together if they banded against Audrey.

Of course, news of this rumor is a shock to Da’Vonne, but not because she didn’t start it (she didn’t) but because she was in the room when Audrey was blabbing to a large group about Vanessa’s possible role in this alleged alliance. You can see where shit is about to hit the fan—because Da’Vonne simply won’t have her name being used in this very deliberate effort to badmouth her, and Vanessa has already cried this morning, at the thought that this very rumor could be her undoing in this house.

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Everyone stands around in the Have-Nots dentist room for this high-emotions meeting with Audrey. The question goes around the circle: Has Audrey personally manipulated you today? Da’Vonne is in shock that her name was used in the Vanessa rumor. Jason, who is pro, pro, pro-Mama Day (an endearing nickname the house gives Da’Vonne) contributes to the conversation by agreeing that Audrey has planted seeds in everyone’s minds, including his own. This moment sucks in a deep way, because we all wanted Audrey and Jason to remain buddy-buddy, and girl’s playing way too hard.

As Da’Vonne rallies the troops together, Vanessa stands by horrified by the possibility that people will actually believe she’s working with a top secret alliance, and Da’Vonne takes this as opportunity to question Clay. In the very beginning, Clay and Da’Vonne had a close relationship, but Clay quickly turned on Da’Vonne after he believed he couldn’t trust her, or that she didn’t trust him—but with Clay and Shelli’s showmance on the horizon, it’s hard to say what’s really swaying Clay’s allegiances. Mama Day asks Clay if Audrey came downstairs and made him apologize to her. Can’t he see that Audrey was controlling his every move, for the sake of monitoring damage control? He seems to take in what she’s putting down, but will it be enough to change his mind about his personal target for the week, Mama Day?

To be called out, banned and then isolated from your alliance in the BB house is almost as bad as lesbian bed death. Audrey decides to lay as low as possible—but she doesn’t have a better option, not until she formulates a way to save herself. Initially, she says she’ll just roll over and play dead. But we all know there’s plenty of fight left in her, so let’s leave that in its corner for the time being. Besides, if these BB walls could talk—they would tell you that bedroom walls are paper thin, and Audrey can overhear everything the house is saying about her. Will she use that to her advantage?

Becky thinks that Shelli’s going to stick to their plan—now more than ever. The hope is that they will be able to backdoor Audrey. So they both put up “pawns.” Becky puts up Jason and Steve, and Shelli puts up Da’Vonne and John. It’s slightly crazy that Becky doesn’t see what Shelli could potentially do here. Da’Vonne isn’t a pawn so much that she’s actually Shelli’s full-on target, and Shelli wants her OUT. Becky cheerily explains that they’ll just repeat what they did last week, to Jace. 

But BB superfans might think this optimism is weak game play. How much can Becky really rely on Shelli to keep this plan in action if Becky is dethroned as HOH? In the BOB competition, “Give Me Props,” the players (Jason and Steve, and Da’Vonne and John) compete conjoined to each other and immediately following their loss, Da’Vonne cries in the bathroom, knowing without a doubt that John threw the competition (she says she was literally dragging him along.) John thinks he’s done a good deed—he runs up to Shelli’s HOH room where she and Clay are cozying up, and he proclaims triumphantly, “I did it!” It’s true. Shelli decided to play dirty for this run as HOH and asked John to purposefully throw the comp in order to ensure Da’Vonne and he stay on the block.

POWER OF VETO, WEDNESDAY

Da’Vonne says to the camera, “I need to win this POV,” and Jason explains that if he gets a chance to play in POV, he’ll do whatever he can to make sure Mama Day is safe. It’s unclear who else is in her boat. I want to imagine Vanessa would rather Mama Day stay in the game than Audrey, and that some players in the house are still aware of a plan to backdoor Audrey. But depending on who wins POV, Shelli will have to expand her circle and explain to Becky, and others, that the plan is squashed. How will everyone take it? Shelli and Clay (also known as Barbie and Ken) go into the POV acting pretty cocky. Clay basically says in so many words that he wants to win this to show Shelli how strong and in charge he is.

In “High Maintenance,” Kathy Griffin is back to guide the houseguests through a memory competition. John immediately beats Da’Vonne right out of the gate, and she’s out of the game. In the final round, it’s John versus Clay. When John beats Clay, a whole new conversation takes place by way of Shelli and Clay (shipper name: Slay, because that’s what they think they’re doing), and Clay basically asks John to not veto himself. In the history of all BB POVs, this is a wonderfully stupid thing for John to even consider doing. And he knows it. He doesn’t take their bait and he takes himself off the block, leaving Da’Vonne and someone else Shelli will have to call up as a replacement nominee.

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The most important part of this episode is upon us: And that’s because Austin and Vanessa are a dynamic duo that is slowly creeping to the top of the heap. Austin knows that Shelli needs to nominate someone else, so he and Vanessa strut up to the HOH room (Vanessa wearing sunglasses, and acting chill—I think she has a rotating dozen or so sunglasses) and they completely (and easily) convince Shelli to not put up Liz (one of the twins) like she says she is going to, but to put up Meg. The idea is: No one will vote out “sweet Meg.” The funny thing is: No one realizes Liz is a twin and is playing the game with her sister Julia—yet. Right as the episode is ending, and night has fallen upon the scheming, whispering BB houseguests, Clay and Audrey get into a bedside argument in which Audrey tells Clay he’s being condescending. Clay rushes upstairs and wakes up Shelli to say, “Audrey is annoying me,” and Shelli considers the possibility of putting her up alongside Da’Vonne instead of Liz or Meg! But, then she puts up Meg anyway…