Steve becomes the most popular kid at the 'Big Brother' dance.

By Jonathon Dornbush
September 07, 2015 at 02:33 AM EDT

Big Brother

S17 E33
  • TV Show

Last week’s double eviction spurred talk of every Big Brother blood-related cliche in the book. The houseguests bathed in blood, yet the blood only ended up in copious amounts on their hands, and their bloodlust, if Johnny Mac is any indication, has grown stronger as the group is whittled down to its final six.

Within the six remaining houseguests, there’s a clear division of where loyalties lie — Austin and the twins on one side, Steve and Johnny Mac on the other, with Vanessa running back and forth so much her tears must be from exhaustion, not emotion.

James and Meg have left a house entangled in alliances, agreements, and enough promises that no one can survive another week without betraying someone else and getting some of that apparently desired blood on their hands. (Would Hannibal Lecter, barred from his whole killing and eating shtick, just dominate a Big Brother house with its love of blood metaphors?)

The only question is, who’s going to be the one making waves as the game enters its final weeks? The answer is, naturally, Steve.

Yes, Steve comes out of the Head of Household competition sitting pretty, the task of assembling puzzles and quickly identifying names from a list of baseball cards right up his alley.

The challenge couldn’t have gone better from Vanessa’s point of view. The final round came down to Steve and Johnny Mac, the two members of her newest and seemingly most important alliance. You wouldn’t know she was happy in the moment of course, because Vanessa’s no normal player. Oh no, she’s had years to practice her poker face, which probably would have come in handy the last 637 times she blew up on another houseguest.

The Austwins naturally held out hope that Steve would succeed so John could go home. Julia in particular wants John gone. They sent him packing once, but like a zombie he rose from the dead. But zombies are perhaps as gross to Julia as Austin’s facial hair, so she wants the once-evicted dentist permanently out of the game. At least with the Scamper Squad’s Steve in power, that still seems like a possibility to Julia, but she’s in for a rude awakening.

Steve’s decision for nominations becomes the fated question of the hour. Is he ready to make some waves in the house, or will he stick to the alliance that’s kept him in play but at or near the bottom of a lengthy pecking order? The twins assume the latter, hoping to use a puppet HoH to orchestrate their plans, but Vanessa snaps them back to the reality of the situation. John and Steve are tight, tight enough to deserve their own wacky sitcom spin-off where they both work out of and live in John’s dentistry office.

A conversation with Austin prior to Steve entering his HoH room offers another warning sign for the trio. Steve makes it clear he doesn’t feel safe with his spot in the five-person alliance, and has to do what’s best for his game, not for a group that will likely kick him out in a week or two. Austin tries to appeal to Steve, but his promises mean little after he directly promised Steve that he and Johnny Mac would not be nominated together… right before Steve and Johnny Mac were nominated together.

NEXT: Everybody wants Steve… to not nominate them.

“There were like, a million people talking, though, bro,” Austin pleads. “Like, this chick I’m really into, it looked like there were two of her, couldn’t really see beyond all my luscious locks, but c’mon bro, don’t de-bro a fellow bro!”

Steve smartly doesn’t make any promises he’s not willing to keep in the moment, particularly as Austin plainly puts it that he can’t risk a hair on the head of his beloved Liz. Julia? Sure, kick her out the door, but a man’s gotta have a code, and that means protecting the twin he loves even if the twin who hates him has to be sacrificed.

But Liz and Julia don’t take kindly to Austin relaying the news to them and the potential for either of them to be nominated. They suspect Austin may be keeping some portion of his conversation with Steve private, only reinforcing Liz’s bond with her sister rather than the ponytail beard attached to the face of the guy she occasionally makes out with to pass the time.

Honestly, the worst nature of Liz and Julia was on display in this episode. As Steve enjoys the spoils of his HoH victory, Liz and Julia hang onto his every move like Pain and Panic to Hades, two perpetual “Yes” women celebrating him for simply breathing. They want to ensure their safety, and they’re not above “lady charming” as Johnny Mac so accurately puts it.

It’s not just the way in which they try to butter up Steve so he won’t nominate them, it’s in the way they treat him later on in a way they think is friendly but their tone so clearly belies how little they think of him. They ask Steve about whether he’s loved a girl and whether he’s told that girl, except his mommy, of course. It sounds like the pretty girl at school asking the sad nerdy kid, sitting alone at a lunch table, about whether he likes her so she can publicly humiliate him in front of everyone.

Even if they’re all friends, and friends who would have no idea how, if asked, to explain the difference between Sigmund Freud, Sigfried and Roy, and Penn and Teller, there are so many nicer, more considerate ways to go about asking the friend who controls your fate for the week something like that.

Not that the twins are the only guilty culprits in trying to sway Steve’s behavior. Vanessa comes to him with a predictably over-thought but probably correct idea about who to nominate and who to leave open to playing the veto. And Johnny Mac counters her input with the possibility of her clearing the way for Austin and Vanessa to become a power duo once the twins are broken up and evicted.

But Vanessa’s logic is too good for him to pass up. He warns Austin, his longtime friend in the game, of what’s to come, but on eviction night, he nominates the sole remaining showmance, Austin and Liz. The tears start flowing, but not from the usual culprits. Instead, they stem from Liz, who leaves the nomination ceremony before it’s even over to process her fate. Left behind is an empty seat. No, Big Brother is not leaving a spot open for Elijah at the table, but there will most certainly be an open spot come Thursday and it looks like the twins’ time as an item in the house may be numbered.

Episode Recaps

Big Brother

Julie Chen hosts as the houseguests battle it out.

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