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Big Brother recap: Veto competition and the Tyranny of Amanda

The house cowers in terror when Amanda stops pretending to care what anyone thinks. Can Helen and Elissa survive her wrath?

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Big Brother Aaryn The Demon Queen

Big Brother

TV Show
Reality TV
Julie Chen
Current Status:
In Season

Who dares challenge Amanda? In a house filled with passive two-facers — in a house where the words “I don’t want to get blood on my hands” has echoed throughout the walls for over half the summer — Amanda has but one face, and that face shows active disregard for everyone inside of the Big Brother house. She cannot win a competition, and it does not matter: Amanda is one of those magical Big Brother players who seems to win the week, no matter who wins the competitions. She lost every battle but won the war. Her hubris is sky-high right now. But again: Who dares to challenge her? If Big Brother were Game of Thrones, it’s becoming more clear that Amanda is the house’s Cersei Lannister, a devious tactician who lets everyone else do her dirty work. In this metaphor, Aaryn is Joffrey, Andy is Jaime but he’s deluded himself into thinking he’s Tyrion, and McCrae is Tyrion even though everyone thinks he’s Jaime.

And Helen, it’s becoming clear, is a Tywin Lannister who suddenly transformed into a Ned Stark. By which I mean: After a summer of brilliant gameplay, Helen walked right into a trap, saw spikes slowly descending from a ceiling, saw the bars to the tiger cage slowly opening up, and saw a sign that said “DEAR HELEN, THIS IZ A TRAP 4U, LUV AMANDA LOL” — and after all that, Helen still thought she was on top of the world. She asked her old ally Andy: “You haven’t heard of anyone wanting to send me home, have you?” Andy, flop-sweating, said, “No! Who, me?” And then Helen, her guard down, cheerfully started telling Andy all her big plans. How they were going to backdoor Spencer. How she was going to take him to the Final Two. How there would be a whole new kingdom of Helen and Andy, friends forever. Andy nodded, agreeing that that indeed sound pretty. “We’ll get rabbits, won’t we Andy?” asked Helen. “Tell me about the rabbits, Andy.”

Andy was getting nervous. If he won the Veto, it would look suspicious if he didn’t use it on Helen or Elissa…but that was exactly what his alliance wanted him to do. He openly mentioned this anxiety to Amanda, who looked at him the way a squadron of carnivorous sabre-toothed tigers with shotguns would look at the nerdy guy from The Wonder Years. The message was clear, delivered from Amanda’s brain to Andy’s with mind-bullets: “Andy, if you throw this competition, I will end you.”

The Veto competition turned out to be the annual OTEV competition — which, as we all know, is when the demented Swedish biophysicists who create the Big Brother competitions conjure up a mutant freakbeast in their laboratory and name it OTEV. This year, the Swedes created OTEV the Broken-Hearted Beaver, a sad-sack forest creature who was writing love letters to exiled Big Brother houseguests. His tears formed a waterfall. True story: They were planning on just using GinaMarie for this competition, but they forgot she was still in the game. But sure enough, there was GM, falling out of the game almost immediately because she couldn’t handle all the mud. “Mud in muh eye! Muh eyelashes comin’ off! I mean, fugeddaboutit!” said GM, who at this point is quickly transforming from a genuine human girl into a walking Pesci-in-Goodfellas impression.

You know who else is in this game? Elissa. And after over a month of more or less serving as Helen’s useless fifth limb, Elissa came firing back to life in the Veto competition. At one point, she was tumbling through the tiny pond while Helen was already halfway up the ramp…and suddenly, Elissa was all the way up the ramp ahead of Helen. In the words of Spencer, it was “a phenomenal feat of athleticism.” I watched that scene on a repeat a couple of times, and have concluded that Elissa actually used superspeed. I like to imagine that Elissa is actually a superhero, but using her superpowers requires so much exertion that she spends months ahead of time lying around doing nothing.

Mostly, I want to imagine that Elissa has been gathering her strength in her month off, because she owned the competition and handily defeated Andy. Of course, Andy wasn’t exactly trying. His complete lack of effort jolted Helen out of her reverie. “Why is he going so slow?” she wondered. After Elissa won, she thanked Andy for trying to win the veto competition for them. The right thing to say was anything at all besides a disinterested “Yeah,” which is all that Andy could manage. “He isn’t fighting for me to say,” said Helen. She couldn’t quite bring herself to believe it, but now she had doubts. Could it be that Andy going to betray her? Could it be that she was the real target? Say it ain’t so, Joe! Say it ain’t so!

NEXT: It’s so


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