Absolute power corrupts absolutely, as Amanda descends into a paranoid rampage. Is the showmance over?

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August 08, 2013 at 03:33 AM EDT

I think it’s important to remember that Amanda is not a villain. In fact, there was a time not too long ago when she looked an awful lot like a hero. In the long-ago epoch of the Moving Company and the Aaryn Brigade, it felt a little bit like the house was a terrifying cartoon-dystopian portrait of the American social system circa like 1954, with a gang of ridiculously attractive racist misogynist cyborg-people dominating the HoH thronebed while the unmutual normals struggled in the shadows. At that moment, Amanda was her best self. She was not really in the sniper scope of the hottie coalition, but she wanted them gone, and she happily took a chance to tell Aaryn, to her face, that she should maybe stop making all those horrifying comments, and also maybe consider not riding around the house on a broomstick while devouring little puppies and bathing in the blood of vestal virgins.

But you either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a paranoiac self-parody of yourself. Somewhere along the way, Amanda decided that she was the goddess of the Big Brother house. She was too victorious, too early. Her enemies? Eliminated. With her noble pizzaboy McCrae at her side, she got happy and careless. You could argue that she was a little too beloved, and it tortured her to think that anyone didn’t love her. So last week, when she was once again put up on the block as the MVP nomination, she spiraled. Who could put a hero like her up on the block? It had to be Elissa. “I’ve been getting all the mean people out,” she said. “What am I doing that people wouldn’t like?” In a quote that I have to believe will come to dominate our memory of her, she said: “I don’t think America would put me up.” (America did.)

You could already see the cracks forming. Jessie floated into the HoH room and sat down next to McCrae. The black cloud of jealousy descended over Amanda. (ASIDE: Amanda was in bed with Aaryn, and if you played everything Aaryn said in the scene backwards, you could actually hear her sing a prayer to Allfather Satan to the tune of “Enter Sandman.” END OF ASIDE.) Amanda asked McCrae to join her on the bed. “Come to me, manmeat,” she said lovingly, “Cradle me in your skinny arms that smell like pepperoni.” McCrae demurred. Amanda ran out, upset. They got in an argument. She told McCrae that he embarrassed her.

It’s hard to know why Amanda reacted this way to Jessie. She has become, by most measures, this season’s least effective player, making vague tenuous stabs at serious moves — but all of those moves fade into vapor, fogging her eyeglasses. She was refuted by the popular girls, and she has been refuted by the Amanda coalition; Howard was more or less the only person in the house who treated her like a human being, and he’s long gone. I know a lot of people who think Jessie is the second coming of Porsche, a player who spent the summer of 2011 watching paint dry and being named Porsche. But Porsche was a vapid bore who strolled around with that sad confidence of a Big Brother player who clearly thinks the viewers love her much more than they do. Whereas Jessie is a desperate little unemployed bikini-modeling teddy bear of anxiety. She just wants to be loved. She just wants to be respected. Y’see guys…

Put that on a T-shirt. #Jessie2013

NEXT: Lovers quarrel

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Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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