A little over two weeks into the house, and nearly everyone has begun to put on a false face for their fellow houseguests. (Except for John. Johnny Mack’s just excited to stick around!) Everyone’s smiling for the sake of the others, but just about anyone who finds power in the Big Brother house this week has an ulterior motive. We’ll see if they can actually keep those motives to themselves this time around, though, or if being unable to do nothing but talk will be their downfalls.
At the heart of it all this week is Audrey. Vanessa (who, other than setting the stage, has very little to do tonight) informs us that the house’s collective ire is reserved for Audrey. Flashback to Audrey, trying to be this year’s master manipulator, pegging plans for an all-girl alliance on Vanessa.
After blaming Vanessa, rather than laying low and letting things unfurl naturally, Audrey sticks an “I did it” sign on her back by conferring with Vanessa about the “rumors” she’s heard going around, possibly from Da’Vonne. We all know this to be untrue, of course, so Vanessa, not wanting the deck of cards—I mean people, she knows they’re people and not people-sized cards—around her to extend beyond her reach, calls a meeting with Audrey and Da’.
Hearing all of this for the first time, Da’Vonne devolves into a string of “She told you I said that she said that you said that we all said,” which eventually turns into a sensible dissection of what’s happened. She learns Audrey has been spreading lies, and decides to settle things for good, not just with the three of them, but with the house.
Da’Vonne wrangles everyone together, exposing Audrey’s poorly executed lies for exactly what they are. Audrey attempts to do damage control, but control of the situation has entirely escaped her, and as Da’Vonne put it, Audrey’s “s— has hit the fan, point blank and the period.”
With the seeds of mistrust planted, the new heads of household have an obvious target or two to choose from. Shelli and Becky both agree Audrey is trouble. They plan a redux of last week: four pawns, and a backdoor, with Audrey lulled into a false sense of security. The one wrinkle is that Shelli is less inclined to go for Audrey when Da’Vonne threatens her and her beloved Clay. So while Becky welcomes a revolving door of houseguests to her potential pawn interviews, Shelli confers with white knight Clay.
Shelli knows they need someone alongside Da’Vonne to throw the Battle of the Block and ensure she stays primed for eviction.
“But m’lady,” Clay says, galavanting in on his horse bred to look like a football. “Let me take thine blow in the battle of blocks. I shall protect you.”
Shelli nearly faints at the thought of it. Clay in trouble? She’d never allow it to happen to the guy she’s had a crush on for two weeks of confinement from the rest of humanity. Clay thinks Shelli doth protest too much, but she’s adamant about keeping him out of harm’s way. Instead, on the promise of a new (read: any) group of houseguests to work with, John becomes the pawn. Inwardly he’s a little concerned (“I don’t even play chess,” he tells us in the Diary Room), but outwardly he has no choice but to accept his role.
So it’s no real surprise when nominations roll around and Shelli nominates John and Da’Vonne. Becky puts up Steve and Jason, and everyone comes away thinking one thing when reality could prove to be quite an entirely different situation.
Audrey believes she’s safe, while a backdoor looms like a distant, barely perceptible threat. Becky is convinced she and Shelli are on the same page about evicting Audrey. And Shelli sits laughing at Becky in the Diary Room, clutching a pillow with Clay’s face on it. Or something like that.
At least Shelli is taking the necessary measures to keep her plan, and Becky’s for that matter, a secret. When Audrey comes to discuss game, and Clay and Shelli are in the bed innocently listening to music (and I’m sure planning to do nothing else at all whatsoever), Shelli shuts her down. She has no interest in talking game that night.
NEXT: How you throw a Battle of the Block…[pagebreak]
Ironically, Audrey hosts the competition that could determine her fate, as the houseguests eventually move outside for the Battle of the Block. The two teams are tasked with pointing the correct cameras to certain items on a film set. The catch is that the two teams are locked in a three-legged race, each sharing a shirt and set of pants that bind them together.
Both teams take radically different approaches. Jason and Steve activate two cameras at a time to avoid confusion, playing it slow and steady. Plus, Jason is just happy to be so close to another guy, even if Steve isn’t his type.
John and Da’Vonne, on the other hand, go for broke. Da’Vonne turns all of the cameras on at once, making the task at hand demonstrably more difficult. John doesn’t mind, mostly because Da’Vonne is sabotaging herself while John doesn’t have to lift a finger.
“I literally did nothing to throw this, which is kind of consistent with my strategy so far,” John says in the Diary Room. (ASIDE: John’s self-deprecating comment makes it seem as if he’s on an entirely different show than everyone else. While the other houseguests continue to scheme and backstab, John retains a “gee whillikers” attitude. He’s floating along, occasionally yelling too loudly in his Diary Room sessions, but other than that he feels completely removed and yet integral as a pawn to the house’s machinations these first two weeks.)
John is right on the money, as Da’Vonne’s strategy has them lagging far behind Steve and Jason. Those two have become so in sync that they’re stepping properly in tandem. It’s like they’re pilots in Pacific Rim, drifting perfectly with one another to control a Jaeger. Only, instead of a cool giant robot, they’re navigating an oversized T-shirt. Close enough.
In the end, it looks like Shelli may get her wish, as Steve and Jason take the win, leaving Da’Vonne and John up on the chopping block. Her worst case scenario is… well, the absolute worst would be a BB Takeover twist landing Clay in one of the eviction seats. But in a normal week of Big Brother if her plan to evict Da’Vonne doesn’t work out, she can always fall back on Becky’s plan to evict Audrey.
Who am I kidding, though? There’s no such thing as a “normal” week in this house.
- Steve’s spotlight this week is much more endearing than his freakouts last week. Tonight, he had to awkwardly react to the news he’ll be sharing a bed with Liz, which he calls a first. He doesn’t plan on utilizing it, as much as James may prod him to try and strike up a showmance. But more importantly, will Steve notice if Liz switches places with her twin during the week?
- The other big non-competition related discussion of the week came from Becky, who decided to discuss a horrific accident. Becky was blindsided by a train, attempting to cross the street early in the morning and poking her head out from behind a van at the exact wrong moment. Hit by a train, her skull was fractured, a lip had to be sewn back on, and she suffered a number of other injuries. The accident taught her the valuable life lesson of appreciating the people and things already in her life, though. The lesson Jackie took from the story? If Becky can survive a train collision, maybe she should align herself with this girl. Apparently Jackie has ridiculously high standards for alliances.
- Happy 15th birthday, Big Brother? While plenty happened tonight, I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention that today marks the 15th anniversary of Big Brother’s premiere in the U.S. It’s been 15 years of showmances, alliances, backdoors, and enough twists that if you look up the word on dictionary.com, a GIF of Julie Chen laughing appears. So, in addition to tonight’s developments, feel free to reminisce about your favorite (and least favorite) moments from the last 15 years.