Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


'Big Brother' recap: No Country for Old Jeff

Vanessa takes Jeff’s spark and turns it into an explosion

Posted on


Big Brother

TV Show
Reality TV
Julie Chen
Current Status:
In Season

Liz and Dick. Brad and Angelina. Lily and James and also Snape sort of. Such romances make history, and Big Brother 17 can proudly add one more pair to the sanctified list of legendary courtships: John and the Power of Veto. In the golden pendant, the Simple Dentist has finally found companionship, understanding and, in truth, himself. O, sweet birth o’ r’mance! O, mystic twining o’ kindr’d sp’r’ts ‘r’!

Even if it’s a piece of metal, at least something finally understands John, who surprised us all this week with his hidden talents of perception and his use of inside voice.

With Jason and Meg off the block, John and James both believe that they’re safe: John knows he was always just a pawn, while James (who reasons that the BoB challenge was “made for a girl” who has a “keen eye” to “recognize patterns” and “not show too much ankle whilst at the town square”) believes that everyone will backdoor Audrey.

In reality, Vanessa and Austin will not be adhering to that plan. They mull their options between keeping the nominations the same and sending James home, or, if given the opportunity, putting up Jeff, who’s ostensibly a bigger target in both game potential and pectoral mass (and who, I would wager, also has the biggest collection of V-necks from Target).

Curious Audrey comes upstairs under the ruse of a lotion hunt (this week’s hair gel) to make sure she’s not being backdoored. Both Vanessa and The Man in the Big Yellow Beard promise her she has “nothing to worry about,” and in fact, she doesn’t—they’ll keep her close and “deal with her later,” says Austin (because Vanessa can’t say “deal” because she’s a poooker plaaaayer).

When Jeff goes up to the HoH room to check his standing, he says a few things that rub Austin the wrong way. He points out that Liz’s “ass looks fatter” and declares, “I love Clay, but Shelli’s f—ing him up.” This is the equivalent of texting smack about your aunt to your uncle. It throws Austin into a tizzy and convinces him further that Jeff has to go.

In the actual veto competition, Vanessa, John, and James go up against Shelli, Austin, and—surprise!—Audrey, who is still technically thought of as Public Enemy #2 (guys, El Chapo escaped). It’s the dice game, one of my favorite challenges. Audrey quickly eliminates Vanessa, John eliminates Audrey, Austin beats James and Shelli, and it’s down to a John vs. Austin showdown. In the moment, Austin allows himself to lose to John (who still could have won anyway, because he had to take a “perceptual ability test” in dental school and is Perseus slaying Medusa and has powers of perception that we as simple dental assistants will never understand).

Throwing the competition is a somewhat smart move by Austin—let the alliance’s plan continue, but with slightly less blood on his hands—but it only works if Vanessa believes he lost, and she’s convinced he threw it. Vanessa is pissed. She’s FURIOUS. She’s now forced to actually be HoH! Austin sheepishly admits bits and pieces of guilt without fully confessing that, yes, he did let John win. Eventually, they make up, but their brief little intellectual smackdown is refreshing if only because neither is a fool.

Speaking of, James is now convinced that Audrey’s loss was his gain. “I knew once Audrey was knocked out, I wasn’t worried about it. I thought, let’s just have fun,” he recalls of the veto competition. It’s so outrageous of a statement that even Percept-i-John points out the flaw: “The point when you start feeling too safe, you’re probably going home. You might want to start giving it a little bit more of an effort,” he says in the diary room, to applause and laughter from around the country. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” he continues. “Soylent Green is people,” he opines.

NEXT: The first and hopefully last time we ever hear the name Gronk again