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'Big Brother' recap: 50% Acting, 100% Awesome

Posted on


Big Brother

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
Julie Chen
Reality TV

A bad Big Brother double eviction will allow a dominant force in the house to continue its reign. A good double eviction will ruffle a few feathers and maybe call a houseguest or two to action. But a great eviction will send everyone running for the hills, breaking some ties and shoring up others.

You can never really know how a double eviction’s effect will be felt until the episodes following, but if tonight’s episode was any indication, it helped solidify what sides of the house the remaining contestants are staying loyal to—and forced some of them to actually be part of the game for the first time.

Speaking of, welcome to the game of Big Brother, Steve! It’s nice to finally have you join the rest of us on the actual cameras. Steve is reeling after his short-lived rule as Head of Household that sent Jackie packing. He wanted to lose the competition, and he’s beating himself up for ruining his strategy of being essentially visible. But the move actually earned Steve some allies because he, well, did something.

Crying in the bedroom, Liz, Julia, and Vanessa all comfort Steve, consoling him that he shouldn’t feel nearly as bad as he does. They want to keep him safe as thanks for forcing one of their enemies out of the house with a blindside nomination, but Steve can’t stop blubbering. They decide to give him some space.

And then the real Steve comes out, the game-playing Steve. The waterworks are cut off, a hard stop on his internal sprinkler system, as he turns to the camera and declares that about half of that performance was just that—performance. He may have cackled manically while petting a hairless cat, I’m not sure—I was in too much shock to fully comprehend the scene.

So it seems Steve has found a side of the house to align with, even if he’s previously been friends with Johnny Mac and Vanessa. He smartly plays both sides of the house, explaining to Meg that he nominated Jackie because of intel from someone that he was her target. That someone was Vanessa, only sewing the seeds of mistrust further on that side of the house, and giving them a target that is decidedly not Steve.

As one player rises, however, it seems the Big Brother gods—or producers—declare that one must also fall. Tonight not only featured the ascent of Steve but the continued descent of Vanessa.

But first, an emoji-branded HoH competition must be held. Players are paired into a tournament bracket system, as each pair faces off by looking at a wall of emojis and answering a question based on the random assortment. Whoever buzzes in first moves onto the next round.

It truly comes down to the two sides of the house as Liz and Johnny Mac end up in the final round together. On one side, you have the remains of the Sixth Sense alliance (Vanessa, Austin, Liz, and Julia) with Steve, and on the other sits “Three powerhouses and Meg,” a.k.a. James, Johnny Mac, Becky… and Meg.

Unfortunately for the powerhouses, Liz answers correctly, assuming the HoH throne and putting an entire half of the house on alert. But does that mean there can’t be a little Romeo & Juliet-esque showmance brewing between the two sides?

NEXT: It’s guy love, that’s all it is. [pagebreak]

Yes, it seems a new loving couple has developed in the house, but don’t expect to be waiting for the awkward kisses Austin and Liz share. No this is a showmance of such bro-tastic levels you’d think Jace was back in the house. James and Steve appear to have developed a close bond, thanks in part, I assume, to Steve actually talking to other houseguests now. And though he may be involved with The Scamper Squad (which itself is made up of Austin’s Angels and Steve… keeping track of all the alliances requires a Carrie Mathison-level conspiracy wall), Steve breaks free from his side of the house to hang out with his new pal James.

They shower at the same time, brush their teeth together, skip around in floppy hats while holding lollipops hand-in-hand, and generally seem like the new “it” couple of Big Brother. Here’s hoping they can bond over Titanic as well as James and Austin did, since it might be a little easier for James to fit Steve on the raft than it would be to have Austin hop on board.

But the house is as much about blossoming bromances as it is about shaky alliances. As mentioned before, Vanessa’s game continues to falter this week, again at the hands of Becky. Becky reveals Vanessa’s manipulating ways to her own alliance, and if Liz’s diary room sessions are to be believed, this may put Vanessa’s place in the house at risk.

Though Vanessa is unaware of the potential backstabbing, she is doing all she can to make sure everyone in the house is on her side. She’s still concerned after her blowup with Johnny Mac, and wants to mend whatever relationship she thinks is there. Johnny Mac, on the other hand, doesn’t really care what Vanessa wants. He still views her as a trouble-starting manipulator, and barely acknowledges her attempts to talk things over with him.

It completely throws her for a loop, just as her conversation with Becky last week did. The entire house has been playing a very odd game, where secrets are rarely kept, conversations bounce from one room to the next as nearly all information is shared, and alliances and deals are struck everywhere you turn. Vanessa has grown comfortable with this type of gameplay, but Becky’s refusal to talk game while she was HoH and Johnny Mac’s denial of forgiving her behavior to form an alliance drives her crazy. She’s so convinced that this is a sign of insanity that she immediately runs to Liz’s HoH room to tell her and the gang about Johnny’s behavior. He of course follows not long after, finds her talking and calls it fishy, which she only points to as further proof that he’s behaving erratically. Sadly, she can’t realize he’s just behaving like someone who doesn’t want to play a game that involves a deal with every meal he eats.

For the time being though, Vanessa is safe. Liz nominates Johnny Mac and Becky, the showmance-that-never-was, but even she admits the actual target has yet to be determined. But in a week where even the HoH isn’t sure who she wants to go home, a backdoor is just one more hint of dissension away from reality, and Steve is actually playing, things could look quite different by the time Thursday’s eviction rolls around.