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Julie delivered the news many fans wanted to hear at the start of tonight's episode of Big Brother. No, I'm not talking about the twin twist, though that resolution was also welcome. I'm referring to the end of the "fan-favorite" Battle of the Block portion of the game. Not only does that mean no more awkward strategizing around the added layer of game, but without the two-Head-of-Household start of the week, Big Brother can finally do an endurance competition.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Or as Julie Chen says, but first, Jason was evicted tonight by a vote of 7 to 2. No surprise there. Despite his Diary Room vow to fight as hard as he could, Jason actually saved most of his effort to stay for last night. He needed five votes to stay. He had James, Meg and Jackie. He tried to get Shelli and Clay on board, believing they'd be his best options. It was a fruitless effort, and all went according to plan as Jason made his graceful and adorable exit from the house.
The value of the live feeds diminished drastically when Jason left the house. A Big Brother fanatic, Jason's love and knowledge of the game was just one reason he was so fun to listen to on the feeds. The fact of the matter is, he's a chatty guy and always has interesting things to say, not to mention a great sense of humor. It would've been nice for him to at least make jury, but the bonus of his early eviction (for us, anyway) means he's presumably going to return to the public. I'm hoping this at least means he'll be available to appear on podcasts and share his insights on Twitter as the rest of the season plays out. I doubt I'm alone in being eager to hear his thoughts on what's going on in the house.
The episode covered a couple of other great segments, including a package on Johnny Mac's family. It was a bit of a random segment timing-wise, considering he wasn't on the block this week. But it was funny nonetheless, as it showed off Johnny Mac's goofiness in the house, and a look at his supportive family.
We also got the highlights of Clay and Shelli awkwardly trying to avoid admitting involvement in the plan to backdoor Jason, only to have that backfire when Vanessa revealed the truth to Meg and anyone else under the impression she was acting on her own.
I don't know why Shelli and Clay didn't think about how they were going to act when the blindside happened. Either it didn't occur to them that it would be awkward, or they actually thought they'd be able to play sympathetic and sad, as if they had no idea it was going to happen. Of course, Vanessa wasn't having that, when it inevitably got back to her. And I can't say I blame her for making sure that was cleared up. After all, what would she stand to gain by taking all of the blame for this? Vanessa may be in the Sixth Sense alliance (Liz, Austin, Julia, Clay and Shelli), but she's on the outside of three different pairs within that group (Liz/Austin, Liz/Julia, Clay/Shelli). Deflecting blood and blame onto any one of those pairs would allow her to step out of the Head of Household room tonight and into the shadow of bigger targets. I'm betting she knows that.
And I'm also betting Shelli's right in thinking she and Clay will come out of this week as bigger targets than Vanessa. It didn't help them that they were involved in Jason's blindside, but they made it worse by trying to play it off like they weren't. That just made them look sneaky, whereas if they'd been better prepared for this situation, they could have either figured out a way to convince Vanessa that they needed to play dumb about the blindside for everyone's own good, or figured out a way to convince Jason, Meg, Jackie and James that they had to go along with Vanessa's plan for whatever the reason.
Finally, in absence of any big reveal related to the twin twist, as everyone knew Liz's "secret," and most (if not all) even knew Julia's name, the twin-twist reveal began with Julia waiting to learn the results of the Battle of the Block competition. I think the twins were actually supposed to switch out earlier this week, but that didn't happen, and it's possible Big Brother figured that dangling that Battle of the Block winner reveal in front of Julia was the only bit of suspense they had to work with on this twist. Of course, Julia had to have taken it as a good sign that she was dressed in athletic clothing for tonight's episode.
After learning that Liz won Battle of the Block, Julia was allowed into the house. Everyone cheered and hugged and now the twins can play separate games. This should be interesting. Possibly.
And now we get to tonight's Head of Household competition, which "resets the game." Only, not really. Wouldn't a true reset allow Vanessa to play for Head of Household? Whatever. The endurance competition put the Houseguests' backs against another wall as they stand on little ledges and try not to fall. We'll offer updates on the competition as they come in. In the meantime, this really could be a turning point for the game, if a wildcard actually wins this competition. We've seen Shelli, Clay, Austin, Liz/Julia and Vanessa controlling much of what's happened the last few weeks.
For those who want live feed spoilers, click to Page 2 to find out who's off the wall already....
The feeds came back up and everyone was still on the wall.
Steve falls first.
Austin is down.
Julia and Meg are down.
11:21 p.m. EST - Jackie fell.
Liz is also down.
Becky is done.
11:38 p.m. EST - Clay dropped.
11:57 p.m. EST - It's over. Johnny Mac dropped while Shelli was asking James for a deal. James agreed not to put up Shelli or Clay (or backdoor them). He also extended the deal with Johnny Mac.
Shelli dropped. James is Head of Household.