Who is on top  in our Big Brother rankings this week and who is most likely going home in Thursday night’s eviction? One major alliance continues to dominate the house for week after week, and they’ll be taking out another one of the opposition this week.

James, Meg and Steve talk game (CBS)

Can anything shake the death grip that the Austwins and Vanessa seem to have over the house? Well, that could finally happen this week depending on who it is that comes back as the returning Jury member. If it’s Johnny Mac, we could likely end up with a repeat of this week all over again. But if it’s Jackie, Shelli, or Becky — and one of them or James or Meg wins HoH — interesting things could happen.

1. Austin Matelson – Austin continues to play the best game in the house and he has not been nominated through eight weeks. While I still think the best move was to throw HOH, he still is in a good position moving forward. He has two shields in Vanessa and Liz, who could be looked at as bigger contenders than him. James and Meg are still with him so far moving forward, but the returning juror could really mess with his game.

2. Meg Maley – Meg is simply looked at as the weakest player in the house and I cannot see her leaving for weeks. I know everyone wants to claim it’s just a summer camp for Meg, but sometimes just laying back and waiting for the right time to make a move is the best gameplay. Meg’s playing the game of survival, whether intentional or not, and she is surviving week after week.

3. Julia Nolan – As I said last week, Julia and Meg are so similar in the game. Neither has won anything, but Julia is protected by a large alliance so she is highly ranked. If it comes down to it – Austin or Liz would be evicted before her as they are challenge threats, and the same goes for Vanessa who is another shield for Julia.  Julia is pretty much in my opinion a huge goat at this point to take to the end and win against.

4. Liz Nolan – I think Liz is actually playing a pretty good game despite having a twin and being in a showmance. Everyone keeps wondering, why aren’t they being targeted? I don’t know why, but these houseguests are insane to leave them in the house! Liz is a good player and a threat in competitions, which means she has a good chance of winning HOH to keep her twin and showmance safe.

5. James Huling – James is still in a lot of danger because so many are not going to want to take him to the end because he is a threat to win. James really needs an HOH win soon to go after Vanessa or Austwins because at this point it will be Meg and James vs the house, which is a losing situation for the both of them. His game benefits the most if Becky, Jackie or John returns to the game.

6. Vanessa Russo – Vanessa is still at the bottom because she is only surviving at this point because the other houseguests do not like her. She is a giant meat shield to be discarded as soon as it is most advantageous. She could be in major trouble if Jackie walks through that door or if her side does not win HOH. Vanessa is extremely emotional and that’s not good late game wise. But she has survived when she needed to so that still makes her a threat, but not enough to remove that target.

7. Steve Moses – Steve fought all week to stay off the block and it didn’t happen. He was adamant about not going up next to John, but it looks like he protected the wrong people in the game. He went all out in the double eviction and saved Austwins + Vanessa who thought about voting him out this week. But it looks like he is going to survive for at least another week or two, depending on who the returning Jury member is. Moving forward the biggest question for his game is: “Who can he trust?”

8. Johnny Mac – John has come close to winning HOH twice, but he has yet to deliver, and that is a large reason he is going home. His luck of surviving has run out, but who knows if he could return. John won early POVs, but I feel his brain has left the game. He has no one he completely trusts in the game and that can kind of make you feel a void for playing.

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