Power alliances are ruling the Big Brother 17 house. As compared to some past seasons, the game is no longer overrun with non-alliance Floaters. No one is playing the game on their own; they each have an ally to rely on. While some are aggressive in their moves, others who were content to sit back and watch have now opted to play to protect their own safety. It’s a war of ever-changing alliances.
After #BasicBecky walked out the door during last week’s eviction, the main alliances and partnerships have landed into three different groups. Standing at the top with the most power is the Austwins alliance (Austin, Liz and Julia) with Vanessa on the peripheral, Steve and Johnny Mac at a close second, and James and Meg holding up the outsider votes. There are many combinations of sub-alliances, safety alliances and partnerships that are mixed in between these three groups. Everyone is trying to protect their place, but which smaller alliances are real or just for show?
Now that the game is dwindling down to only a core group, it’s only a matter of time before people start turning on each other. And with a jury member set to re-enter the game at any point, planning for the future is more important than ever.
For now, let’s see what went down in the Big Brother house during Week #9:
- The Head of Household (HOH) competition, a game of running to the finish line while holding buttons, pitted houseguests in an unusual endurance challenge that tested their reflexes and speed. Step off too early or if they were the last one to reach the finish line, they would be eliminated. The weaker players (Meg and Julia) were the first to fall, but it came down to a race between the guys. In the end, Austin secured his latest victory and earned safety for the week. Naturally it meant that Liz and Julia would be sitting pretty as well!
- With main alliances and sub-alliances ruling the house, the choices for nominations were pretty slim. Austin needed to choose two people to nominate that would give him the least amount of blood, but this week was tough. The “master manipulator” Vanessa came up in discussion again as a potential nominee. Somebody had to be a pawn and if the opportunity came around, Vanessa could be an easy target to go. However, when she found out that she was potentially going up, the power player wasn’t going to sit and be another pawn.
- Dynamic nerdy duo Steve and Johnny Mac found themselves sitting on the nomination block. Austin went with the safe option and targeted the two boys instead of making a bigger move against Vanessa. She could always be a potential backdoor option while James and Meg were easy votes to keep for the future. If Austwins wanted to target Vanessa, they would just have to wait for the Power of Veto (POV).
- The Zingbot returns! The lovable and cheeky “robot” returned to the Big Brother 17 house to dish out the truth and call the houseguests out of their flaws. Zingbot made fun of Johnny Mac’s back hair, Meg’s terrible gameplay, James’ unrequited love for Meg, and the fact that Austin has a girlfriend! Though, the jokes weren’t as strong or funny as in past seasons. He missed the mark on a few choice zingers against the players. The Zingbot is losing his touch!
- In a face mash-up POV competition, the houseguests had to determine the appropriate combination of faces mixed together in newly designed pictures. Each picture would contain a few different photos and the person who completed the challenge in the shortest amount of time would win the POV. Vanessa dominated the challenge and secured herself the POV, destroying any chances of a potential backdoor against her.
- Vanessa held all the power. She could remove Johnny Mac or Steve and force Austin to put someone else on the block. Johnny Mac was her top choice to save and keep around the game, but the Austwins alliance wanted him gone. Without the support or vote from her group, she didn’t want to stand on her own. Vanessa decided not to use the POV.
- Paranoia and whispers made their way around the house. Steve and Johnny Mac knew that the votes would be a close one; Austin couldn’t vote so it would be only five votes to determine who would be evicted. Julia and Liz wanted Steve to stay while James and Meg wanted Johnny Mac–the tie breaker would be Vanessa. Both allies told Vanessa everything they knew to convince her to save them, essentially creating doubt about her confidence with the Austwins. She now knew that she couldn’t trust the group fully, but she needed to make a choice that would protect her.
- Johnny Mac was evicted by a vote of 5-0 and became the fourth member of the jury.
Notes from the jury house
- Jackie and Shelli were upset to see Becky entering the jury house. They liked her and thought the house should have targeted a bigger player instead. With three people now in jury, they knew that the competition for someone from the jury to re-enter the game would be coming up soon.
- In another endurance HOH competition, all the houseguests (including the four jury members) would have to hold on to ropes as they spun around in the air for the chance to win HOH. Last person standing would win the power and the last person from the jury still standing would re-enter the game! But those results will be revealed on the next episode of Big Brother 17.
NEXT: Which houseguests are currently on top?
With the houseguests spinning around for dear life, their future is (quite literally) up in the air. Four people are in jury, one will return, but at least seven are still fighting for the prize as of now.
The remaining players have been ranked based on their game moves, alliances, and potential to win the game:
Liz is sitting in a great place to win Big Brother 17. She’s won multiple competitions, she’s in a big powerful alliance, and nobody has made a move to try and evict her yet. Right now, her side of the house is dominating the game. However, Liz is a huge target. Similar to Johnny Mac last week, he was sitting in a good place before his own allies turned against him. It only takes one wrong week for her game to blow up and Liz needs to watch out.
Vanessa’s place in this game has fluctuated. For a while before and during Becky’s reign, Vanessa was a sure thing to be the next person evicted. However, the tides have turned and no one took the opportunity to get her out. The others have realized the value of keeping her for her vote, essentially gaining her some safety. Normally that would only provide a few bumps higher, but one important thing did happen to her: her conversation with Johnny Mac. She now knows that she’s at the bottom of her group with the Austwins alliance and if push came to shove, she won’t waste the opportunity to make a better move to last longer than her allies.
Austin earned a few points for his Big Brother resume. He won the HOH competition and he built some relationships with the James/Meg alliance by not nominating them. He’s sitting in a good position with his alliances and he’s proven that he can win competitions. It’s still too early to tell if it will set him apart from his alliance members as he does stand out as a bigger threat.
James is playing a safe game in the middle. People like him in the house, he’s funny and he’s entertaining. Most of his alliance members are currently sitting in the jury house. If he ever made it to the end, he has a good shot to win over their votes. However, James needs to make a big move and shift the power. He’s still stuck on the other side of the house.
Julia, like James, is playing the middle. However, he has done more in the game than she has. She hasn’t made any big moves on her own, she hasn’t won competitions, and she isn’t proving why she should win the game. Others have noted that she isn’t a competition threat; often comparing her with Meg. (That’s not a good thing!) Julia does have some safety with her powerful alliance and being new did help her in the first few weeks as an individual player, but that only lasts for so long. Julia needs to start winning and making side deals.
Steve nearly found himself walking out the front door. If it had not been for the Austwins alliance choosing to go with him, Johnny Mac would’ve stayed. Steve has a lot of ground to cover to make up for the week. He knows that the Austwins alliance was ready to get rid of him, so he needs to make a big move and quick.
Meg is trying to turn her game around slowly. Like, very slow! If the Zingbot is calling her out on her bad gameplay, then she needs to start paying attention.
What do you think will happen next in Big Brother 17? Share your thoughts below.
Nomination – 8/10
Power of Veto – 9/10
Eviction – 10/10