‘Nessa, girl, what are you doing?? The lady doth protest too much, methinks! Thanks to Vanessa, the last week in the Big Brother 17 house has possibly been the most manic, anxiety-inducing week in Big Brother history; and it has absolutely nothing to do with the moves that are being made and everything to do with the fast-talking poker player’s desire to control every aspect of her Head of Household, come hell or high-water!
Soon after Austin and Vanessa won co-HoH Thursday night, it became quite obvious that Vanessa had every intention of running the house for the week. She wanted to keep the target on Austin’s back as small as possible and ultimately put her alliance with him and Jul/Liz on more solid ground. All of which is completely reasonable and logical, right?
So, where could things go wrong?
The first monkey wrench in Vanessa’s plan actually originated with her co-HOH and ally, Austin. She wanted to go after James, but Austin wants Jeff out.
Vanessa’s Original Plan:
Step One – Put up three pawns plus James. (Jason, Meg, John, and James were the nominees.)
Step Two – Get the King of Throwing Battle of the Block to throw it again WITHOUT telling him that Audrey is not the target.
Step Three – Let Audrey or Austin win Power of Veto so that the nominations can remain the same.
For Vanessa’s plan to be successful, she really needed step three of her plan to happen so that she would not have to explain why she did not renominate Audrey. For Austin, he really needed John to come off the block, without actually having to take him off himself.
After the Power of Veto was played, it was obvious to Vanessa that Austin did not play to the best of his ability and just barely lost to John (who, of course, once again pulled himself off of the block on Monday). She was not pleased with this, but what was done was done; after all she admitted to Steve, in so many words, that she threw the POV in hopes that Audrey would win it. With her original plan shot to hell, she needed a new one that would NOT involve putting up Audrey. With the sway of her newly minted alliance of Clay, Shelli, Jul/Liz and Austin, she agreed that Jeff should be the target since they could make a better argument for him going on the block over Audrey or another pawn.
Dubbed as “The New Audrey,” by houseguests and feedsters alike, Jeff has had his hands in a lot of cookie jars. In a house where secrets are short lived, it was pretty well known that Austin was one of Jeff’s targets, although Jeff had decided to work with Austin a while longer before going after him. Unlike with some houseguests of the past, there was no talk of it “being too soon” to get Jeff out and Austin decided to strike first.
While Jeff entered the house as a pair, with his Amazing Race partner (also known as that girl from Amazing Race), Vanessa felt she needed a more compelling reason to make the house want Jeff out as much as her alliance wanted him out. Sure, many a HOH, over the course of 17 seasons, managed to go with the good old, “You going up is better for my game” and “You are part of a couple” excuses, but that would not work for ‘Nessa. There needed to be more to it, she needed a big enough reason to make people want Jeff out OVER Audrey. So, with her alliance on board, Vanessa set in motion a series of convoluted and entirely unnecessary events all designed to justify Jeff going on the block.
Vanessa’s New Plan:
Step One – Austin get in Jeff’s face to tell him all the ways he is a liar and not poo.
Step Two – Vanessa get in Jeff’s face to tell him all the ways he is a liar and not poo.
Step Three – Shelli and Clay get in Jeff’s face to tell him all the ways he is a liar and not poo.
Step Four – Point to Jeff and say, “See, he’s just like Audrey, HE MUST GO!!” (This was to be done in hopes that people would forget that the actual Audrey is STILL there.)
Step Five – Go to each houseguest, individually, and manically tell them at auctioneer-speed how Jeff had possibly made the dumbest and BIGGEST mistake in Big Brother history. Important: Make sure to tell the story at least three times to each person to really drive it home!
Step Six – Repeatedly reiterate repeatedly how Audrey, as someone who is transgender, cannot go up on the block by the hands of a lesbian; especially since everyone is probably “opportunistically” lying about Audrey anyway! (Do NOT bring up the lie Audrey created about Vanessa being at the head of an all girl alliance.)
Step Seven – Blame ALL of Audrey’s lies on Jeff.
In a nutshell, Vanessa wanted to orchestrate a big blowup that would mirror the blowup that occurred between Audrey and Da’Vonne in the Dentist Office/Have Not Room. (Maybe she does not remember that Da’Vonne became a bigger target after that.)
In order to pull off this totally believable caper, Vanessa needed her allies to play their parts. All they needed to do is have Austin confront Jeff about him throwing his name under the bus and have Shelli and Clay turn on him for telling the guys in his Bro Alliance (Jeff/James/Clay/Austin) that he could not fully trust Clay as long as Shelli was in the picture. (Something Clay knew already, but did not share with Shelli; guess who was not pleased with that!) For Vanessa’s part, she would play up the fact that Jeff told her he would pull her into a meeting to discuss working together, but never did. All agreeing with the plan, Operation Forced Fight was a go!
Caught off guard by the 3-sided assault, Jeff verbally fumbled his way through trying to explain himself without outing any of his deals/alliances. It was when he told Vanessa that it was she who pulled him aside, and alluded to wanting to start an alliance, that she totally lost all of her minds. She told him, in a nutshell, that he had just made the worst mistake ever and he was now going on the block instead of Audrey.
Lost in What Just Happened hell, Jeff tried to figure out how to prevent going on the block. Not understanding that Clay, Shelli and Austin were all in on it, he sought out their advice and they played along, telling him what he should do/say. Talks with Vanessa got him nowhere, as he tried to approach her apologetically, but with her being out for blood, speaking over him most of the time, it made it impossible for him to get out a coherent thought. Not that it would have mattered either way; he was going on the block no matter what!
In all of this, Vanessa over explained herself (to people outside of her alliance) so much that most of the people she needed to buy the orchestrated fight, do not. James put together the pieces relatively quickly and knew that it was a set up, but neither he nor Jeff quite realize how much Clay, Shelli and Austin played in making the blowup happen. For now, they believe that it was just Vanessa and that she was looking for a reason to blow up at Jeff so that she would have an excuse not to put Audrey on the block. They believe her primary reason is that she does not want to do that to a transgendered woman.
Vanessa’s desire to limit the fallout of her HOH reign and to avoid “blood on her hands” has most definitely painted a target where one had not really existed before.
Sidebar: Can we come up with another way to say “No blood on my hands?” May I suggest “I wish to avoid hemoglobin filled fists?” Do you think it can catch on??? Anyway…
From Vanessa’s HOH reign, Johnny Mac now knows that he was lied to and Audrey was never the target and instead, one of the guys he wanted to work with is going to go home; at least half of the house believes that Vanessa will never put Audrey on the block because she is transgendered; and many believe it was her decision to target Jeff based on a lie he told that is not as bad as the lie Audrey told about Vanessa starting an all girl’s alliance. Austin is not helping since he has been essentially telling Jeff (and everyone else) that it is all Vanessa’s decision, and to many it appears that they are boys again. Also not helping is the fact that Shelli and Clay have not done much to play up their feud with Jeff for the things that he said about Shelli.
With her allies dropping the ball on the whole “Jeff has to go because he is a horrible person who makes up horrible lies” angle of the plan, Vanessa may really need to watch her back over the next couple of weeks. In her 6 person alliance (counting JuLiz as two people), she somehow has ended her reign in the most vulnerable position.
What do you think? Do you believe that Vanessa handled her week as Head of Household well? Do you think that she has put even making jury in jeopardy? Let us know!
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