Vanessa Is Outsmarting Everyone On 'BB17'

by Laura Rosenfeld

Before Sunday night's episode of Big Brother 17 , I knew Vanessa was smart. However, after just witnessing what went down in this episode, I am now in awe of Vanessa. Sure, Vanessa selling Clay and Shelli out to Head of Household James wasn't a nice thing to do, but it was a brilliant move that shows the poker player has really gone all in on this game and is working it from every angle she can find.

You may be thinking to yourself, "Hold up. Isn't Vanessa in an alliance with Clay and Shelli?" And to that I say you are correct, but after what Big Brother 17's strongest showmance put her through when she was HoH last week, they may not be in an alliance together for long.

As you may recall, Vanessa had planned on backdooring Austin, but then Clay and Shelli convinced her to put up Jason instead because Austin is a number for their alliance. Vanessa then followed along with this plan, blindsiding nearly everyone who isn't a part of the Sixth Sense and making enemies out of them to boot. When the other houseguests asked what was up with all of that, Clay and Shelli completely denied any involvement in the plan, leaving Vanessa alone to fend for herself.

Vanessa definitely wasn't happy that all of that went down, but this week's HoH competition really showed her the level of support she can expect from Clelli. Shelli made James promise that he wouldn't nominate or backdoor either herself or Clay with no mention of Vanessa's name at all. This made it clear to Vanessa that she had been third-wheeling it this entire time. Um, yeah. Did I mention Clay and Shelli are in a showmance?

I actually don't blame Shelli for making the deal that she did. When you're trying to convince the soon-to-be-HoH to not put you in danger for the week, it's a little hard to demand that he keep half the house safe for the week. It's also been clear for a long time that Clay and Shelli are working together, but the strength of the Sixth Sense alliance isn't 100 percent apparent yet, so some distance between Clelli and Vanessa could actually work in all of their favor.

But it never feels good to be left out, so knowing that she was public enemy No.1 after being responsible for Jason's eviction last week, Vanessa had to do some major damage control. If Clelli wants to distance itself away from her, she was going to distance herself from Clelli.

Vanessa told James that she only put up Jason because it was what the whole house wanted her to do. When James asked Vanessa how she would feel if he put Clay and Shelli up on the block, she was basically like, "You've got to do what you've got to do." In order to secure her safety for the week — and maybe even beyond — Vanessa promised James that if she's HoH before the final seven, she wouldn't put him or another houseguest of his choice up on the block. It was an offer James couldn't refuse, and he didn't, citing Vanessa' reputation as a "straight shooter" and someone who he doesn't think has been dishonest with him yet.

Oh, how soon James has already forgotten about how you went back on your word about the Dark Moon alliance last week, Vanessa. But it doesn't matter because you're safe, and Clay and Shelli are up on the block. Good work, girl.

Images: Sonja Flemming/CBS; librathompson, bigbrothertwinning/Tumblr