As I mentioned in a post earlier this week, it's rare that we have entertaining feeds in September. As the cast numbers dwindle, the suspense and drama also decreases. It all comes down to the competitions, and the subsequent nominations and evictions. Otherwise, the feeds are pretty boring, primarily featuring the remaining cast hanging out and waiting to discover their fate.
What makes this season the most successful in years is the fact that there is still activity on the feeds. Sure, there are hours and hours of nothing but the twins and Austin laying around bragging about their popularity, or Steve pacing around talking to himself. But there are still great moments that makes for compelling feeds.
This past Saturday was a perfect example. The hours after the afternoon's POV competition were captivating. There was so much going on, and it involved almost everybody in the house. There were (temporary) breakups and new alliances. There was screaming and tears. There was bragging and pleading. It was tremondous.
Also, it should be noted that there's no real frontrunner to win the season. Each and every person could be the winner, depending on the combination at the end. Sure, Vanessa is playing the hardest game, but we've seen her make some mistakes in recent days, and she no longer has people to hide behind her moves. Even the silly twins have a legitimate shot to walk away with the win. I understand that's precisely why some people don't enjoy this season, but I thrive when it's unpredictable.
Before we get to the real fun in tonight's CBS show, though, we have other house activities to cover. So let's get started where Sunday left off when Steve nominated the lovebirds, Austin and Liz, and Liz's dramatic run from the table to the bedroom in tears. Liz's tears continue in the diary room as she whines about being on the block next to her boyfriend. "It's just tearing me apart." Austin isn't so upset. In fact, he's still babbling about "heroic quests...between the girl and the glory". STFU. Steve, meanwhile, says this is the point of the game where he moves from being passive to more aggressive. Unfortunately, he's so hyper-active in the diary room that I can't transcribe what he said.
The sad music comes on as Austin consoles Liz. Julia joins them, as Austin says "it's not over yet". They have the veto coming up, after all, but Liz can't believe that it was Steve "of all people" who betrayed them. Austin reminds them that if Julia wins veto, everything changes. "It's really hard to fucking depend on her, though", replies Liz. POW! "This means war", though, as the fake tears go away.
Austin then meets with Steve, and tells him that it's tough to see her cry like that. Steve says that he hates hurting people, and that he avoids confrontation. Austin is still cocky, though, as he's goine so long without making it on the block. Steve plays along, and claims in the diary room that he's "very sneaky".
Austin goes back and climbs on Liz, who tells him to "stopppp-uh". Julia asks if he feels any animosity towards Steve, and Austin calmly says he won't until after the competition. They think he'll put up Vanessa if Julia happens to win POV. They know that if Austin or Liz wins, then Julia will go up. They hatch up a plan to throw the competition to Julia. If not, then Julia is going headstrong against Steve.
Liz is the first name pulled, and she picks Steve as her competitor. Liz wins, elminating Steve. Round two gives Julia the choice of an opponent, and she asks Vanessa for advice. "Austin", whispers Vanessa. "Trust me, trust me." John, who is sitting between there, thinks this would be awesome if she can pull this off. She does, as Julia indeed picks Austin, who now wonders if he's being set up by the whole house.
After commercials, Austin is shown asking Liz why Julia picked him. Vanessa explains in the diary room that the worst thing for HER if for Julia to win because then SHE would be put on the block. "It's the smart play", Vanessa whispers to Liz. She goes on to say that Austin winning is "the worst case scenario. So you need to maximize that not happening." Ooooh, she's damned good. Liz doesn't agree, and she's not happy how Vanessa is only looking out for herself. Hey, it's Big Brother! Of course she is.
Back on the "court", Austin asks Julia if he's being played. "I shouldn't have picked you", he replies. "I'm sorry." Julia says she trusted Vanessa's advice, but it may not have been smart. Austin adds that he wanted Julia to beat JohnnyMac first, and THEN he would have thrown it to her. He believes that Judas needs to take over. "I have to win this veto."
John is the next to make a challenge, and he chooses Liz. His strategy is to spin a bit slower, so he's not as dizzy. That's pretty smart, and works, as he quickly knocks down all four pins. Both of the twins are now out.
Vanessa now gets to challenge somebody, and she chooses Austin as it's "the only way nominations stay the same at this point". Yep, that will help defuse the paranoia, but is the right move for her. He feels betrayed, and says he's going to "destroy Vanessa". He crawls on his knees to the bowling platform, which John describes like a "caged gorilla". Pretty accurate, JohnnyMac! He quickly destroys her, as she doesn't even knock over a pin.
This means that the finals are JohnnyMac versus Austin. They shake hands, and Austin says "I got you next week. I got this." John thinks this is awesome, as this means that "Austin wants to take out one of the twins is essentially what he's saying". Sure, he'll throw it. "Take the veto, and I'll see you next week." Yep, it doesn't take long for Austin to win this round...and the POV! "Yeah! Judas is here...all of you. All of you be afraid. Austin isn't here. He's gone. Heel turn." Jesse hands Judas the power of veto. "The entire house needs to be afraid, because I feel betrayed and I'm safe."
Liz is pissed. "He makes it seem like he's this completely different person. You don't react like that when your girl is on the block, and now you're just rubbing it in my face." Liz still gives him a hug, but Vanessa knows she has some serious work to do. Before that, though, Jesse rips up his pink shirt and flexes.
When we return from adverts, they're all walking in the house and Judas is still celebrating. "Everybody who was in the plan to take me out", he says in the diary room, "is going to have to live in fear. I'm going to find out exactly why Julia did what she did."
Austin then enters, and asks Julia the same question. Julia responds that it was all due to Vanessa, and Austin explodes that "she just played you". He tells them that he felt it was a big setup to take him out, and they head out of the room.
Julia heads into the bathroom and tells Vanessa that she feels that she was just played. Vanessa puts on her best teary face, and says she would never do that. Liz joins the conversation and explains exactly what Austin just told them about how she should have challenged John. Vanessa then throws out a bombshell. "It's not in Austin's incentive to play the game with both of you. You realies that?" She says he had no plans to throw it all along, and as a "game playing expert" she was just helping. Wow, this is unbelievable. She goes on by saying she was doing nothing but being their friend. "I swear on Mel's life I wasn't playing you. I was looking out for you." Then the tears come, as Vanessa says she's so hurt by these accusations. She's got a ton of information, and she's now going to spill all of it.
When the show returns, Austin is in the have-not room with Liz. She's laying on the floor, and she asks if he's "hiding stuff from me". Austin asks if that question came from Vanessa, and Liz says that Vanessa claims to have info. Austin now firmly believes that this was a setup to take him out this week. He asks Liz if she knew about this beforehand. Liz denies it, and asks again if there's something going on that she doesn't know. Austin says he's done nothing but try to protect three people throughout the whole game. He does admit, however, that when questioned he has had to "play ball" and claim he would take one of them out if necessary. "Julia just sealed her own fate." Liz says she needs to think, and gets up to leave. "Honestly, I'm over this. I'm just going to leave this game with intergrity." She starts bawling, and Austin follows her out.
Liz heads to the bathroom, and says she has "no idea what to think about (Austin)". Vanessa carries on her various themes, and Vanessa asks if she thought he'd use the veto on her. "Maybe...I learned a lot today. I learned that he's pretty selfish, and he's no Clay. He is not the knight in shining armour." She "literally" never wants to talk to him again.
Meanwhile, John fills Steve in on what's going on, including what happened during the POV. Steve is happy with the results, but is becoming "nervous about what she is capable of".
Back downstairs, Liz states that Austin never had any intention of saving her. Standing a few feet away, Austin hears this and starts arguing with Vanessa. He says that he either had to play, or "walk out of the game like Clay...but nobody respects that". Ooops, the wrong thing to say! He asks to talk to Vanessa alone, and confronts her about what she's been telling the twins. She claims that she has defended him, even though he's a "piece of shit right now". Vanessa points out that if he did indeed throw it to Julia, then the noms would have been her and Austin. "So now you think I'm against you", asks Austin. "That's a huge attack on me", replies Vanessa, "and I had to use every ounce of strength that I had to not vomit on a plate all the information I have on you". Wow, she is good! How can one be a victim, martyr, and hero at the same time? Austin says he has to play nice with her, though, and says that while he wants to protect Liz, "I can't lay over and die". He can't be that knight in shining armour.
The rehash of the POV carries on, but Liz tells him to leave because he's so "full of shit". He ruined his life for her, after all, and broke up with a girl for her. Yep, this wasn't a good move on his part. He says he's never lied to her, and he "loves her with all my heart". He finally, leaves the room, as she says "get the fuck out of here".
Standing in the kitchen, Julia walks by Austin and asks if he's going to wear the veto all day. "I always promised I'd do that so everybody would know who won." (Note: this sounds worse than it really is. He actually meant so feed watchers knew who won.) Julia heads into the bedroom and tells Liz what she said. Of course, this meant he was rubbing it in. She then grabs all of Austin's clothes and tosses them across the room. "I'm Judas", she laughs as she puts on his hat. "I hate him. It's disgusting. He's ugly." Liz slightly disagrees, of course.
A few more commercials later, and Julia nad Liz are sharing a bed. She decides to go talk to Austin. She still loves him, of course, so we get the pretty music as they make up. "I'm sorry for being a bitch to you" she says. "Thee last thing I want is for this game to tear us apart." Sorry, kids, but the fun is over. The worst couple ever is back together, and back to finger banging.
As the camera fades above the kissing pair, we move to the POV meeting. Austin says that "while my heart tells me to use this veto to save Liz, my head is telling me that if I do that I might not be here to fight for her anymore". Yep, he uses the veto on himself. Steve then stands, and after saying he "hates being the bad guy here", puts up Julia.
We end with the twins talking about how bad it is to be up next to each other, Steve saying he would have rather have Austin go but is still happy, and Austin over-stating his heroic move. That's it. The show is over.
But what a great show. It took me a full 90 minutes to watch it, even though so much of it were the exact same clips we used this past Saturday. What did you think? What amazes you more - that Vanessa can talk her way out of situations or that these bozos fall for it?