This article contains Big Brother spoilers from the live feeds. And tonight's episode, which revealed the results of the Veto competition and ceremony! This rant is actually part rant, part live-feed update, as a lot of what I have to say pertains to things that happened on the feeds today.
If tonight's episode of Big Brother has proven one thing, it's that Elissa could have been this season's fiercest competitor. Physically, she's in excellent shape. Turn on the feeds and watch her do Yoga for evidence of that. And she's proven to have a particularly good read on all of the houseguests. She gets people. She can spot a liar or a phony a mile away, and she recognizes bad character. These are aspects about her that aren't just likable, they make me want her to be a better player. If she has one major flaw in this game, it's that she doesn't seem at all interested in playing it. If she cared as much about Big Brother with the same ferocious passion we saw from her during tonight's Veto competition, she'd be a beast at this game. I'd even go as far as to say that she'd be strong enough to rival her sister or the likes of someone like Janelle Pierzina, another Big Brother contestant that dominated in competitions and was also beautiful enough to inspire janellous tendencies from her competitors. We'd call it Jeallisa syndrome. See, there's even a great name for it. But her indifference toward Big Brother keeps me from celebrating her awesomeness.
Elissa may have sunk Helen's battleship today, whether she meant to or not. Ok, maybe Helen's battleship was sunk the moment she didn't win the Veto. What Amanda wants, Amanda gets, and this week, Amanda wanted Helen out. Let's just get some backstory out of the way before we get to Elissa's clunky social game and how she managed to halt every bit of spinning Helen did this afternoon. As you may or may not have seen during tonight's episode, Elissa won the Veto and Spencer was put up. We saw Aaryn express frustration during tonight's episode that Amanda's running the house, and yet she continues to do what Amanda wants. Granted, there are arguments to be made for Aaryn benefitting strongly from Amanda's support. The Amanda train's been riding toward the end since the beginning, better to be on it than standing on the tracks in front of it, right? And I could go into more speculation about Aaryn seeking Amanda's approval, but that's just a vague theory based on the tears we saw tonight, and it's mostly off topic. The point is, Amanda's word matters, so it's no surprise that Helen's campaigning against Amanda, despite the fact that it's technically Spencer she's up against.
Amanda knows Helen's kicked her name around in an effort to sway people back over to her side. We always knew it would come down to Helen and Amanda, and while I would have preferred these two women go full-on head to head on the block, this is close enough. Helen's trying to get Aaryn's support, because she needs 3 votes to stay. And Aaryn's support means GinaMarie's support, and maybe Andy's. At this point, Helen's gotten a pretty good idea that Andy's loyalty has been compromised. So Helen's been working Aaryn, and Elissa went to Aaryn this afternoon to do her part. The problem is, Elissa doesn't have it in her to be fake it. She's the most awkward liar/pretender ever and when she tries to make nice, sooner or later, the truth just starts spilling out.
Aaryn started talking game with Elissa, and the conversation seemed pretty calm. Big Brother cut the feeds during part of the chat, right around when Elissa started to say something along the lines of "I'm Rachel's sister, did you really think I was going to leave?," I think in reference to them trying to get her out during the early part of the season. As I said, the feeds cut there, so we didn't see what else was said, but Aaryn later relayed this conversation to others, basically saying that Elissa said she should be paid to be on the show, that production would keep her here, and alluding to Elissa feeling above the rest of the houseguests. As in, she's not one of them. Granted, we're going on my paraphrasing Aaryn's paraphrasing (possibly exaggerating) Elissa's words because BB cut the feeds on us. Not a coincidence, I'm sure. But it gets better, or worse. Personally, I found all of this hugely entertaining.
At some point, Helen joined Elissa and they started talking about wanting to work together and getting Spencer out. Helen eventually started crying, as Helen often does. I don't think Helen's tears are fake. I think she's genuinely emotional about this game. I also don't think her positive support of people and constant cheerleading is fake either. But I do think Helen knows how to spin her emotions to her benefit, when necessary. When she gets emotional and starts crying, she makes sure to say things that need to be said emotionally. And that's what it seemed like we were seeing today. Yesterday, Amanda called Helen out about campaigning against her and Helen seemed to agree to back down on that. But she eventually went back on that today. At first, it was more Elissa talking about Amanda's lies and manipulation, but eventually Helen was chiming in and encouraging it.
Helen seemed to be making some headway with Aaryn. As we saw in tonight's episode, Aaryn's already wary of Amanda's influence, and Helen was saying everything that needed to be said to get Aaryn rattled and make her feel like she's been used and manipulated. They talked about getting Andy to make him see it too. And then Elissa stated that she and Helen aren't working as a duo and if Helen leaves it's one more strong player out of the house… huh? She said this with Helen in the room, sitting right next to her, but the way she put it, it was like something she'd secretly admit to Aaryn. And then she rambled about them all wasting their time going on and on about this and that they need to get Andy. When she eventually got up to leave, she added something like "You guys are like… I have never met people… This is just beyond…" Like she was disgusted with everyone, including the people in that room. Then she left, and Aaryn went from upset about Amanda to confused and insulted because she was pretty certain Elissa was including her in her disgusted "You guys are like…" slight.
Elissa later explained to Helen that the comment about not working with Helen was to try to convince Aaryn that she (Elissa) and Helen aren't a team or a "power duo." But why did she think Aaryn would believe that, considering they've been working together since Week 1? And what good is it, saying something like that while Helen's in the room?! It just made her look mean, like she doesn't care if her friend goes. While Elissa was out of the room, Aaryn told Helen that Elissa made her feel "this big" (small) and that what she just said is just one of the recent comments Elissa has made that made her feel small. Aaryn said it makes her not want to work with Elissa. Helen admitted she has no idea why Elissa said that stuff. And I'm thinking, because Elissa has been saying stuff like that all season, hasn't she? Because she acts like she can't stand most of the houseguests. And that's ok. Many of the houseguests have given her plenty of reason not to like them, so I don't blame her for being put off by certain people in the house. But tolerating people - even if some of those people have demonstrated serious intolerance - is part of this game. If Elissa wanted to play this game honest and openly against people she didn't like, she should've been winning more competitions. See Janelle: She rarely faked it with people. If she didn't like someone, she was open about it, and then she pissed them off by winning everything. Of course, Janelle never won a season, but she was still always amazing to watch. She dominated.
Let's get back on track, because there's more to this mess from today's feeds. Aaryn went downstairs all upset and rattled and maybe talked about it to Andy because he came upstairs to talk to Elissa and Helen. For some reason, Helen and Elissa both said if Andy votes Helen out, he's their target. It was an aggressive strategy and one that might have worked on another type of player. Or maybe Helen and Elissa just don't have the manipulative skills to throw around such threats effectively, but the words put Andy off the whole thing, and anything Helen might have said to win him over went down the drain. Andy pointed out that they're threatening him, and say what you want about Amanda and McCrae, but they never threatened him or tried to turn him against his own allies. While Helen immediately tried to backtrack and apologize, Elissa's response was, "It's not threatening, it's Big Brother," as though the definition of the word "threat" changes when it's applied to a Big Brother move. But the damage was done.
Helen did some apologizing and continued to talk to Andy, getting the conversation back on track and maybe even smoothing the "threat" situation over a bit. And then Amanda showed up, while Elissa was literally mid-sentence talking about her. So that was awkward. And the topic of threats came up. Elissa continued to deny what she did was a threat… Watch a snippet here:
So there's that. Any time Helen seemed to be making any progress, Elissa undid it. Because she won't fake it and be nice. And because, as good as she is at reading people, she seems to have no ability to work with them if she doesn't want to, even if it's costing her friend and probably herself the game. She doesn't seem to care, though, and that's probably the biggest issue I have with her.
Andy later told someone that Elissa's comments made him want to evict Helen more, if only to weaken Elissa.
On a related note, Elissa has claimed that she's allergic to slop. In all fairness, maybe she is (and if she is, I take back what I'm about to say). But in all reality, come on… No one likes slop. No one wants to eat it. That's the whole point. Also, Amanda started to say something today about Elissa getting a down comforter to sleep with, even though she's a Have Not. It seems that's a luxury the other Have Nots have not gotten. But the feeds cut when Amanda started to talk about that, so I don't know the full story.
Between all of the above, added to her comments about walking if she goes to Jury, it's more and more disheartening, watching her play. It seems like she can't make herself care, even when she tries, which is a shame. As I said, seeing her dominate in the Veto competition tonight, diving through the mud and going for the win every round makes me feel like we've been missing out on another side of Elissa all season. She's demonstrated her strength, both physically and in her ability to read people. It just doesn't seem like she cares enough to put forth her best effort.
My hope is that if and when Helen goes (and assuming Helen doesn't come back), Elissa will rise up in her absence and find it in herself to want to play the game and take down Amanda. I'm holding out hope, as it could really liven up the last month of this season to see those two go toe-to-toe. But the pessimist in me fears she'll either self-evict, self-destruct or walk when she goes to Jury.