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This article contains spoilers from the Big Brother 17 Live Feeds, which haven't aired during the episodes yet, including who won the Head of Household competition, who was nominated and who won the Veto, along with speculation over who might be evicted on Thursday.
Head of HouseholdJames
Won the VetoJames
No more Battle of the Block! Without that "fan-favorite" element of the game, things are a bit simpler this week.
Shelli and Clay are having a bad week. As we'll see in tonight's episode of Big Brother, Shelli did well in the Head of Household endurance competition, managing to stay on the wall long enough to secure a deal with James to keep herself and Clay safe. But as we'll also see in tonight's episode, James isn't going to honor that deal. He doesn't see the twins as a big enough threat to target just yet, and there's really no one else in the house that he wants out more than Shelli or Clay.
It's an interesting week, considering it wasn't really Shelli or Clay that orchestrated Jason's eviction. Their portion of the blame lies in their efforts to discourage Vanessa from following through with the plan to evict Austin. Vanessa was planning to go through with that, but after a conversation with Austin and a long chat with Shelli and Clay, she was convinced keeping Austin was the better move, and then it was just a matter of figuring out who the backdoor target would be.
If memory serves, Jackie was Shelli and Clay's preferred backdoor target, but Vanessa opted to go with Jason, likely deciding that putting him up would ensure an eviction and the least amount of blood on her hands. If she'd put up Jackie, she might have received game-damaging backlash for the rest of the week, having betrayed the former co-Head-of-Household. Putting up Jason was more of a neutral situation for her, and with the support of her alliance, she went through with it.
It wasn't the worst call in the world to want to keep Austin around, from Shelli and Clay's perspective. Why take out someone who isn't targeting them and lose a number and one extra shot at the next Head of Household when they could eliminate someone who would go after them? That logic made sense and it was probably the best decision they could have made at the time. What didn't make sense was Shelli and Clay either not knowing how they would need to behave after the Veto ceremony last week, or not concocting some kind of plan that would either justify whatever involvement they had in Jason's nomination, or allow them to properly play dumb without Vanessa or anyone else calling them out. The did neither. Or maybe they thought they could play dumb and no one would call them out.
Clay and Shelli acted like they had no idea Jason's nomination was coming and in Clay's case, outright lied to Meg about knowledge of it. The moment Vanessa found out, she made sure to make it known that it was a group decision and not all hers. She had no reason to take all of the blame for that. So not only were Clay and Vanessa exposed for their involvement, but they were caught in a lie, which made it look much worse.
Up until last week, Shelli and Clay had been managing to stay friendly with everyone. The target on their back as a power-duo went from virtually nonexistent to massive. People went from feeling like they were somewhat on their side, to realizing they don't know where those two stand, and they might be trying to play all sides. Meanwhile, no one seems all that threatened by Vanessa right now. She doesn't have a showmance or a twin or anything else to make her appear threatening to anyone, and she played off a lot of her decisions last week as scrambling to do her best. If her goal was to get out of the HoH room without being seen as a power player, despite winning two Head of Household competitions (same as Shelli), she seems to have succeeded. Clay and Shelli are on the block, and there hasn't been much talk from anyone about targeting Vanessa anytime soon.
Shelli and Clay could try to call Vanessa out for things and blow up the Sixth Sense alliance. It seemed like Clay was ready to do that after nominations this week, but Shelli discouraged him from causing a stir, seeming to realize that the need Vanessa and their alliance right now. But we'll have to wait and see how things go after the Veto ceremony, when the nominations are locked. Either way, one of them is staying, so the rest of the week may be better spent repairing and forging alliances for whoever's sticking around.
The Veto competition was some kind of castle/knight/Game of Thrones-themed comp that involved the Yankee Swap prize-passing thing where prizes and punishments are doled out to the eliminated player of the round, and each time someone's eliminated, they have the option to trade their prize or keep it. Of the prizes, Becky won cash, Clay won a trip to Ireland, and James won the Veto.
Meanwhile, Shelli earned the punishment of having to "battle" with a sword (poking a target, a punching bag and a pole 2400 times in 24 hours. She's been working on that all night.
Jackie earned a knight costume that's bulky and awkward. And Vanessa earned the title of Jackie's squire, along with the responsibility of buffing her armor.
Whether or not James uses the Veto remains to be seen. It's not looking good for Shelli and Clay, but they have time to turn that around. The problem is, I think too many people see this as the right time to get one of them out, and they might not get another opportunity to do this. So I'd be surprised if anyone pushes hard for another target.
If James doesn't use the Veto, it's hard to say who will go. Vanessa, Austin and the twins are all talking like they want to keep Shelli, but Clay is encouraging everyone to vote him out and save Shelli. And it seems like James wants Shelli to go, so it's hard to know what will happen or who will go. And since there's no talk of a big twist just yet, there may be no saving this showmance.
Big Brother airs Sunday night at 8:00 p.m. ET on CBS.