After a never-say-die HoH win, Daniele looked like she was ready to fish the floaters out of this pond

By Lanford Beard
August 15, 2011 at 05:56 AM EDT
Cliff Lipson/CBS
S13 E17
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So was this week’s move by Daniele a potential game change? A way to remove the dross? Or a stupid move that ensures her demise? Her HoH win (or, rather, Jorff and Brenchel’s abject failure in the HoH challenge) certainly kept things interesting. Will her and Brenchel’s fundamentally cutthroat natures serve them well as competitors or end up destroying them from within? When you make a deal with the devil, you’re bound to get burned. The only problem is, I’m just not sure who is the devil in this scenario. At this point, pretty much everyone has blood on his or her hands.

And that’s where it really all began, right? Buh-rendon’s inglorious, though in-demand, return. Daniele immediately realized that this turn of events ensured her certain eviction if she didn’t win the HoH competition. Her fears grew palpable when Kalia announced that the competition was a numbers game. In “Count on America,” each of the remaining houseguests’ states was represented by some sort of symbol (ex. baseballs for New Jersey or pepperonis for Illinois).  The houseguests had to extrapolate, based on a smaller group of, say, olives or baseballs or Mardi Gras beads, how many were in a much larger display. When Porsche’s home state (Florida) came up, she took issue with the fact that it was represented by olives (in a martini glass to symbolize night life). One of her alternative suggestions? Alligators. Yes, Porsche, let’s get a baby pool (or, nay!, a really big aquarium) full of alligators up in here. Good call. In any case, it was pretty arbitrary at first with guesses running the gamut numerically speaking.

But then! As if God had decided to smile on Daniele, Rachel, Jordan, Brendon, and Jeff were the first to go down. Then Shelly. Rachel panicked that “Adam, of all people,” was her alliance’s last, best hope. Well, I think that answered any questions about whether he has a shot in hell of sticking around past when he’s strictly useful. Which may have been tonight.  He was eliminated next, leaving Porsche and Daniele to face off. Not sure whether she could trust the recently rejected Porsche, Daniele vowed to win the challenge. And she did.

NEXT: Porsche = idiot savant?

And what about Porsche? She proved surprisingly adept at the maths during this week’s HoH challenge, no? Now, I don’t want to be overly harsh here, but let’s just say I didn’t necessarily peg her for being anything in the neighborhood of “book smart.” This is the person who thought Michael Jackson would be coming to the BB house. And it was she who suggested that alligators would have been a better symbol of Florida in the counting game. Yes. Live alligators.

But it was Shelly who really lost the plot. And, apparently, the respect of the editors. Was it me or did they go out of their way to make her look hideous this week? One minute, she was puffing sourly on a cigarette. The next, she was chewing horsily on something or other. During all of which she just looked physically and emotionally run ragged. If Daniele was the MVP of the week — if for no other reason than sheer fortitude — then Shelly was the biggest loser. Every week has a new target for those in charge… as Porsche recently learned. Unlike America’s favorite VIP cocktail waitress, however, Shelly displayed a lack of resilience this week that was, frankly, disappointing.

Since Daniele’s realization that Shelly is a sneaky little sneaker, Shelly has been going downhill at a swift clip. After Daniele’s HoH win, Rachel immediately ran to Brendon to tattle about Shelly’s F3 deal with Jorff. That may have been the point at which her fate was sealed.  Beyond that, though, it seemed Shelly’s cognitive abilities were disintegrating by the minute. Despite recorded evidence of an attempted alliance with Brenchel, she will probably go down to her grave swearing in righteous indignation she made no such overture. (“I will never let her take my class away from me” may have been the most amazingly oblivious line of the season.) The crazies have gotten to Shelly the most of everyone, I think. Which made it all the more sad when she tried to work some damage control in Daniele’s HoH suite. Did she really try to appeal to Daniele on the basis of not feeling sufficiently “cool” around the houseguests? Did that happen? If nothing else, she earned her eviction nomination for that line alone.

NEXT: The elf stands alone.

And then there was Adam, her fellow nominee. Watching that big galoot prancing around in the love circle was a sad experience. He (and Shelly) acted like it was his some sort of guaranteed pass to the finals. Surely he wasn’t that naive? Or maybe he was. Witness his pathetic attempt at deal brokering. Don’t get me wrong. I realize these people have no choice but to march up to the HoH room and grovel. That’s the nature of the game. But Adam promising Daniele, “If I win HoH next week…” Really? There is zero precedent to make that a worthwhile deal, Man Who Wore an Elf Suit for a Week by Virtue of His Suckery at HoH Competitions. To his credit, at least Adam realized by episode’s end that he has genuinely sucked this season. Meanwhile, Shelly was stilling spouting off about being classy while shivering in a corner.

So, BB fans, was Rachel’s move to ditch Jorff kind of brilliant? Do you think Jorff has just gotten the carpet pulled out from under them? As a matter of fact, where were Jordan and Jeff in all this? For starter, they were play-acting a job interview for Jordan with Shelly. During this interview, we learned the following: Jordan is her own mentor, yet she is perplexed by the glass half full/half empty concept, does not know what the word pensive means, and is confused about the definition of “party.” Looks like somebody needs to find a new mentor!

But back to the strategy. Couldn’t Jorff have put aside Jeff’s blood feud with Kalia and brokered a similar deal to Brenchel’s life-saving (at least for now) agreement with Daniele and Kalia? Or is that kind of maneuver only something that Rachel can swing? On a semi-related note, doesn’t Rachel look positively conniving and ominous at all times? (I’m thinking specifically of the creep-show look on her face after giving Daniele a huge, fake post-HOH-win hug.) And what of Daniele’s proclamation that she is “going to make every person, even Shelly, _____ their pants”? Were you impressed by her brazenness or grossed out? How do you think/hope this week’s veto competition will play out? Who are you hoping to see go home?

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.
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