BB17 Episode 40 – September 23, 2015
Another Big Brother summer is over, and much like last season’s results, I’m pretty happy with how it all played out. Steve was a good winner and did a fantastic job in the second half of the season building his resume up while doing a solid job of explaining and justifying why he was under the radar for that first half. He made a wise choice in cutting Vanessa off at third place although I certainly didn’t call that outcome in my previous predictions. I predicted that Steve’s best shot at winning was against Vanessa and it remains to be seen if that would have occurred. In a Steve v. Liz matchup, I called it for Liz. Little did I know how terrible Liz would be in Jury – if she had managed to string some strong arguments together defending her record, I think she could have made the vote a bit tighter. As it was, I’m surprised she got as many votes as she did. But it was clear Liz didn’t care about winning – she was stunned to even be winning $50k.
Anyway, let’s break down the path to Steve’s Tiger Pelt victory – it was pretty awesome.
HoH Part 1, Continued
This looked fucking brutal. They all managed to hang on for over 3 hours, finally having to move down from the disc seat and sit directly on the apple. Steve ended up first out after fatiguing, and that’s when Vanessa went into psychological warfare mode on Liz, proclaiming she had endless hours left in her and that Liz should save her energy to win Part 2 as Liz has no chance. Liz buys it, and gets a bit of reassurance from Vanessa about going to Final 2 while Steve is preoccupied with popcorn, and drops off. Vanessa gets her golden ticket to Part 3! I gotta tip my hat to Vanessa yet again – she is brilliant with aggressive mind tricks and conversations to get her way. Luckily for her Liz and Julia were never hard targets to break.
The Jumbo Crossword Puzzle Wall – HoH, Part 2
I really liked this challenge. There was a bit of smarts required and a lot of endurance needed in order to climb the wall and place your letter tiles in the right position. The way the challenge was edited made it seem like you could knock this out fairly quickly, so when they revealed the time for Steve, I thought he was fucked. But then Liz was slower (but not by that much, honestly) and it was like, damn, that took a long time!
Johnny Mac’s Revenge – HoH, Part 3
In what is always the last challenge in the 3-part HoH, the remaining 2 have to determine how a statement is going to end for each evicted houseguest from two different options. Based on how well you know the houseguest, you should be able to determine it although sometimes they’re written in a way that both options seem correct.
Quibble Time: Shelli’s, James’ and John’s responses were bullshit. A lot of them honestly were, but they just made very little sense with thinking about these personas we know. Honestly, I think just guessing randomly would have been better than trying to accurately figure out what was said. In the end, Vanessa and Steve were tied at 4 and the very last round was John. As you can see above, this was definitely going to be the last round as Steve and Vanessa answered differently. Vanessa’s choice was what I would have answered but Steve was right and with that, he won HoH!
But First, Our Jury Considers
Dr Will returned to guide the nearly entire jury through discussions about who should win. He first introduced John to the group as the 8th juror before commencing the talk. Based on the conversations, although Austin was still upset with Vanessa, it did seem everyone respected the game. Becky brought up the very valid point that Vanessa still wildly overplayed when she didn’t need to, swearing on the gay community and her mother on things when it wasn’t necessary. Most were also very impressed by Liz’s game, which I think is fair, and also means Liz reeeeeaaally dropped the ball in that final jury session as I think a stronger performance there could have earned her the win. Props were also given to Steve (Shelli seemed to be a defender of all the remaining 3 which was nice) although John was not having any of that. He hated his game!
Steve Gets His Tiger Skin
When the topic came up with the Jury about if Steve or Liz could take out Vanessa and if that would change their mind about things, everyone agreed. John mentioned that would be someone’s tiger skin wall hanging, and sure enough….
In that last shot, you can see Vanessa’s face as Steve begins his speech by declaring how strong a contestant Vanessa has been and likely played the best female game of any season (hard to argue with that, although she didn’t win, so maybe a bit of quibbling). You can see that all her gameplay and machinations are coming to an end and that end is 3rd place. She’s not thrilled.
Vanessa played a magnificent game, managing to be a huge, out-in-the-open target, yet always managing to escape when she needed to and always having a Plan B alliance to fall back on. It was finally her time when there was no other target or alliance to fall back on and she didn’t win the final HoH. Even worse for her, Steve won, and that was the least desirable outcome as unlike Liz, Steve was in full game-playing mode. It’s debatable if Steve could have still won even if Vanessa was in the Final 2, but I think Steve recognized the opportunity for what it was: Liz seemed to have given up and was ready for 3rd place and it must have been obvious to Steve that she’d be horrible in front of a jury. It became an easy move to make and ensured a much easier path to victory than trying to battle Vanessa in the final 2 in front of the jury. Vanessa may be disappointed, but she has her $4.5MM to cry into.
Facing the Jurors
Vanessa’s reveal as the 9th juror was met with some happy faces from the first 8, and Vanessa still looked as disappointed as she was a few minutes earlier. But it was time for business, but of course that got botched when apparently the sound got fucked – we could hear Steve at home, but they couldn’t in the studio. Someone’s getting fired in that control room!
Oh Liz. I get it, public speaking, especially when getting questioned by somewhat hostile people, is hard. I’m terrified by it. But when $500k is on the line, you damn well better believe that if I’m in the Final 3, I’m going to be ready when giving answers. I’d think about what likely has pissed people off and what I’ll need to answer for, while also clearly accounting for my successes in the game to that point. What I wouldn’t do? Ramble on about being a twin, making an alliance with Austin, and being cool with people. What??? WHAT WHAT WHAT? Austin’s face above says it all when he realizes that Liz is blowing this HARD. As I mentioned above, she had to have been stoked just to be getting $50k for sure, so she didn’t really care. Plus, from later interviews, Liz had absolutely no clue she’d actually get to the Final 2 as she expected to be evicted 3rd, so she had nothing ready. I can’t believe that. Always be ready. You’re at the freakin’ end of the game!!! Expect the unexpected! It’s $500k!!!!
In this corner, Steve was fucking nailing every question with a great, aggressive answer. He refused to let any criticism go unanswered, whether it was defending his first-half gameplay as completely intentional or saying that Liz didn’t have to play the entire game as for the first 40 days, she only played half of the time. Personally, I’d have fought against that if I were Liz as it was even harder to be out of the loop and then get back in the house and pretend you were there still. But yeah, Liz wasn’t playing the game anymore by this point. SMH.
But First, Let’s Chat With the Rest of the Cast
CBS knows how to draw out a show and so before revealing the winner, it was now time to bring the remaining cast in and talk about the summer.
I loved seeing Davonne again and her observation about Judas being a total non-entity was awesome, as it did end up just being Austin in a Hat. Jason also had some good airtime pointing out that Vanessa’s game was amazing but she had to stop crying about things and just declare she wanted to bathe in everyone’s blood. Own it, girl! Of course, we also got plenty of more time with Audrey, who at least seems to have decompressed. Good for her! Clay, for his part, sat there and looked hot. It’s a tough life.
And Now, Our Winner
The votes were read, and while Liz got 3 votes (2 obvious ones from Julia & Austin, a 3rd from Vanessa who was presumably bitter or who had no intentions of ever voting for Steve), Steve ended up the deserving winner of Big Brother 17. A very well-deserved win even if I had initial skepticism when Steve mentioned his gameplan halfway through the season of deciding to start playing. My eyeroll was vivid, but I was wrong, wasn’t I?
Hells yeah! James was amazing this season and I can’t imagine it being half as fun without James’ antics and awesome actions while HoH. Congrats on your $25k! Plus, thank you for scaring Julia on a regular basis – I still can’t stop laughing at the closet prank and the sheets prank on her. So damn good.
BB17 Final Status & Standings:
Part 1 HoH Winner: Vanessa
Part 2 HoH Winner: Steve
Part 3 HoH Winner/HoH: Steve
Final 2: Liz & Steve
Voted for Liz: Vanessa, Austin, Julia
Voted for Steve: John, James, Meg, Becky, Jackie, Shelli
And that’s a wrap, fellow BB fans. I loved this season. There were some pretty entertaining players to watch and pretty much all of them had to work hard to make it further. Derrick’s win from last season was superb, but he was so much better than the others that he almost never had much to overcome. It seemed a bit more evenly matched this time around. Congratulations to Steve and I’m sure he’ll wisely use the money! Till next summer!