Day 44: Bye Bye, BOB

Shelli flipping out in the hammock room with Clay and Vanessa looking on.

Shelli flipping out in the hammock room with Clay and Vanessa looking on.

We have a long awaited power shift, a long awaited change in the power structure, and for the first time since 2004, we have twins in the house at the same time.

James (and only James) won an endurance HOH contest last night after cutting a deal with Shelli (that would keep her and Clay safe) a little past two hours into the competition. The current plan as of this morning is for James to place Liz and Vanessa up, and for the backdoor plan is for Shelli to be the renom against one of those two in the vote next week. Thus, he’s planning to go back on his word as Jennifer famously did to Kaysar in BB6, but facing a 9-3 disadvantage in the house, I don’t think he has anything to lose playing against a group that has also gone back on their word by backdooring Jason.

Battle Of The Block has been discontinued for the rest of the season, which made me instantly wonder if it had only returned to keep the Nolan twins safe. The rest of the season will be played with one HOH, two nominees, and one veto, barring a twist. I love it. No more throwing comps to keep an HOH in power.

I also noted how when Julia made a bee line for Austin after the HOH comp, calling him shady. She’s definitely the smarter of the two. I just hope we don’t get the power mongers Adria and Natalie were after they both started playing in BB5, and that Julia keeps bringing sanity to her and her sister.

Nominations will be sometime today, late in afternoon BB time if they do what they have done in previous years. James is promising that “checks will be bounced,” and I hope he pulls it off.

Day 43: The Path To Five

A random quad from yesterday...

A random quad from yesterday…

It still looks like Jason will be the one going home tonight, as it didn’t seen his campaigning had made any progress overnight from what I could see. His biggest move yesterday was calling Liz a word beginning with “C” rhyming with “bunt” to Jackie, which won’t get him any more votes if that word gets into the right ears.

His strategy was to tell Shelli that Becky wanted to break up her showmance with Clay once they get to a double eviction, which had the Marietta, Georgia interior designer wanting more specifics. Even if Jason’s efforts fall short tonight, it was a good seed to plant to work on Shelli’s paranoia, which can be raised with the proper probing.

A better strategy to me would have been to “go through the middle” and try and get Liz, Austin, Steve, and John on board, telling them that should they say in their current alignment, they are nothing more but spare wheels. If he could get two of those four votes at least, adding to the three I think he’ll get from Jackie, John, and Meg, he might have a chance at staying. Instead, he chose Shelli and Clay, where he’d have to get both votes in order to stay with no margin of error.

He still has (as of this writing) twelve hours to get two votes out of six to join the three he’s already pocketed to get that five vote majority. As the feeds go on and off today for rehearsals and house maintenance, it will be interesting to see if he can pull it off.

Day 42: In The Shelliverse

America's Sweethearts...well, not really.

America’s Sweethearts…well, not really.

Time for another look at how I rank the houseguests in the game, and this week brings a new leader in the clubhouse.

Here’s how I have it, with “Flirting With Disaster” by Molly Hatchet going off in my ears as I type this. An omen?

1. SHELLI: Running the game, so she’s on top until someone knocks her off.

2. CLAY: Here at the 2 spot because he’s joined to Queen Shelli at the hip. Wouldn’t be shocked if he eventually goes rogue in a few weeks. If not, he’s got mommy issues.

3. JOHN: Positioned well right now, and has gained respect enough from the group not to be nominated this week.

4. STEVE: In a good spot, but I’d like to see him develop his own game and not be so dependent on the “Sixth Sense” who will jettison him in a few weeks.

5. BECKY: Likely stays in this eviction round against Jason, but doing the bidding of the “Sixth Sense” hinders her game, as in the case with Steve.

6. VANESSA: I thought she handled the duty of blindsiding Jason as well as it could be handled, so give her credit for that. She plays the game with a non-stop motor much like Audrey did, but can anyone else in the house truly see that at this point?

7. LIZ/JULIA: Until they play as separate entities tomorrow, I will continue to rate then separately. Liz (or Julia) needs to ask Steve or Jason what happened to those OTHER twins on BB5 who got bossy and were quickly dispensed with. Might see history repeating with these two in the house together.

8. MEG: I wish she’d quit whining about how everyone is leaving the game, because only three people are in the house in the final day. Don’t be afraid to play the game and put that brain to use.

9. JACKIE: If the “Sixth Sense” stay in power, she could be a possible target. Love the “fire in the belly” she has, though.

10. AUSTIN: He should thank his lucky stars he’s still alive. Thinking with his little head and not the big one.

11. JAMES: In the mercy seat this week, as I think his help with Liz in a competition he was given orders to throw might be the thing that does him in. For the record, I think James is innocent of the alleged crime. Liz was going to win that comp single handed, so what could he do?

12. JASON: Sorry to see you go, sir. I don’t think the vote will be one-sided, something around 6-3 against him. Getting those fourth and fifth votes to stay is going to be a monumental task unless he can cut some big deals.

More tomorrow as the game winds down to the fifth eviction and Julia formally entering the fray.

Day 41: Jason The Mastermind

Jason was the replacement nom yesterday, and is the favorite to go home Thursday.

Jason was the replacement nom yesterday, and is the favorite to go home Thursday.

Vanessa finally decided on what to do after a lengthy series of discussions. She nominated Jason, who took the demotion very well despite the fact it was a blindside. Jackie got pissed off and Meg cried on and off for several hours, but when they listened to Vanessa’s lengthy explanations, their emotions went away with the mist the poker professional sprayed at them.

The fireworks that many (including myself) expected were nothing more than mere sparklers, and nearly burnt out ones at that. It was proof that, in my opinion, if the non-aligned house doesn’t get power and soon, they will be picked off one by one. The greatest competition the “Sixth Sense” alliance has is within themselves, as no one on that other side is stepping up to the plate at present.

This leaves either Jason or Becky as the evictee on Thursday with Julia going on to play as herself that same night. Julia’s entry into the game is a foregone conclusion, so I would not expect a great deal of flourish when it’s presented on the live show. It will then be a one week sprint to find the last non-juror evicted, and I would expect a double eviction on August 6th.

Does Jason have a chance at staying? A very small one, but probably a greater chance than the other four houseguests who have already left combined. He would have to get votes from the five-vote block Shelli controls, or somehow convince John to swerve his pal Becky. It’s a long shot, but it can be done, and this would be a perfect time for a house flip.

Tomorrow, I’ll look at the rankings for the fifth time.

Day 40: Vanessa Explains It All

The quad feed right before Shelli snapped at Clay this morning, saying she looked like "f***ing s***."

The quad feed right before Shelli snapped at Clay this morning, saying she looked like “f***ing s***.”

This might be an interesting day.

For the life of me, I have no idea who Vanessa is going to put up as the nominee once Clay uses his veto today. It looks like Jason will be the renom, and that Vanessa has a “stutter step” planned, looking at Austin while saying Jason’s name. That will likely not go over well.

You can see the stress in Vanessa’s face. The former GoDaddy spokeswoman looks more like a woman of 50 as opposed to a woman in her early 30’s. Putting anyone else up other than Austin, which was the original plan, should be the spark that aligns the “other side” of the house once it happens and if it happens. They will unite in the days ahead, vowing to bust out the poker pro if they get power next week or in the coming weeks.

Notice how Clay and Shelli are already positioning themselves by the “escape hatch” now, sensing Vanessa is about to self destruct. They even had a bit of a tiff this morning, with Shelli flipping out over her appearance and Clay not doing what she wanted. I’d really be surprised if the two are still an item by the end of the season.

I’m expecting fireworks today, but usually when they are expected, they sometimes don’t happen. If it is Jason against Becky in the eviction round, Jason likely goes with five votes against him from Vanessa’s alliance. plus John would vote to keep Becky giving them a safety margin at six. It also seals Vanessa’s fate, making her the next target.

Day 39: The Never Ending Story

Steve tries to talk sense to Vanessa while Shelli holds court in the hammock room.

Steve tries to talk sense to Vanessa while Shelli holds court in the hammock room with Austin.

Clay won the Power of Veto yesterday afternoon, and assures his safety for next week. With him likely using the veto on himself, a struggle began to find the replacement nominee, with Austin still looking like the apparent top choice after hours of illogical thinking and HOH Vanessa’s thinking out loud.

The game has really been a cut throat affair this season, with one group of the house more willing to attack their own alliance members than they are the other side. It’s like watching a nest of zombies consuming whatever brains are out there floating in the heads of their next victims. It doesn’t really strike me that Vanessa or Shelli are thinking about long term consequences of what they do, just the short term satisfaction of what they do in the name of the house.

Alternative actions were thrown out in abundance when Liz and Austin were interrogated by the two ladies last night, with Becky, Jackie, Jason and James thrown out as countermeasures to putting Austin up. (It didn’t seem to enter into the equation that James cannot go home this week after winning Battle of the Block.) Steve, for one, reminded Vanessa of a similar situation last year when Zach was poised to go home. It was Caleb who reminded Derrick that it was futile to get rid of Zach just yet, as he was a number for their group and would be loyal just by keeping him, despite his in-house behavior at that time. As a result, Jocosta wound up going home in the first part of a double eviction that week.

No activities are scheduled for today other than the usual trip to the house photo booth, which gets the minds of the houseguests off of the game for a bit. Last week, I said Sunday would be a quiet day, and with Audrey squabbling with Clay and what that turned into, it was anything but. Today, I’m expecting a lot of conversations with Vanessa and Shelli being the centerpieces. I wouldn’t be shocked that as the hours pass by Vanessa finds a new target, realizing how screwed she thinks she is with no cover to protect her next week.

Day 38: Fear And Loathing

The "quad feed" after the BOTB competition. Joy on one side, fear on the other.

The “quad feed” after the BOTB competition. Joy on one side, fear on the other.

We now know that Julia will be entering the house, as she and James won Battle Of The Block last night. That will make her an unprecedented 17th member of the house on Thursday and the 212th houseguest in show history.

The result did not go to the plan of the HOH candidates, Vanessa and Jackie. Vanessa picked Becky and Clay, thinking the contest would be something physical perhaps. But one can never make such assumptions in BB Land, and the game turned about to be some sort of spelling competition based on last year’s cast. Clay, being a former defensive back at Texas A&M who played with the much talked about Johnny Manziel, seemed to struggle if what’s being said in the house is accurate.

As has been the case in her first HOH reign, Vanessa bitched and moaned about having to get blood on her hands. The current plan appears to be that Austin will still be the replacement nominee come Monday, unless he wins the veto. Should that happen, it gets much more dicey, with Steve the apparent pick, though that would likely change. Austin has no idea the plans being laid about around him and was celebrating Liz’s win most of the night.

Today should be the POV competition, and then plans will be launched into action to find the 5th houseguest to leave this coming Thursday. A lot of game left to be played between then and now.