Vanessa's frantic gameplay and emotional manipulation have made her a controversial competitor this season on Big Brother, but it seems to be working going into the final episodes. After Thursday night's episode of Big Brother 17, Vanessa won Head of Household, her fourth of the season, which means she gets to decide between the two remaining duos in the house on who to split up. She will have to choose whether she wants to target Liztin, or Steve and Johnny Mac. Vanessa's manipulation during BB17 may have helped her ensure Julia's eviction last week, but will she still be able to control the house once she has blood on her hands?
Vanessa has made deals with almost everyone in the house at this point. She has deals to take her to the final two with John, Steve, and Austin. The only person she doesn't have a deal with is Liz (although evicting Liz would certainly turn Austin against her.) Vanessa, despite being HoH a staggering four times this season, has actively tried not to make any big moves or turn anyone against her. What will she do now that there is no option but to put one of her allies on the block?
It seems Vanessa has three options regarding nominations:
Option A: Nominate Liz & Austin
Vanessa's first option would be to continue the job Steve started last week and attempt to eliminate Liztin. Although the sometimes-clueless Lizten has proven to be a big threat in the house, they're also the easiest of the houseguests to manipulate at this point. If Vanessa wants to win in the final two, then she could probably get more votes than either Liz or Austin. However, it's highly unlikely that Liz or Austin would take Vanessa to final two instead of each other, unless Vanessa manages to turn them on each other again, like she did last week.
Option B: Nominate John & Steve
One of the best moves Vanessa made in the latter-half of her game was teaming up with Johnny Mac to form a strong three-person alliance with him and her long-time game partner Steve. Their teamwork allowed them to take the upper hand against the Austwins, giving them majority control over the house. It's possible, however, that Vanessa may be turning her back on this threesome to team back up with Liztin. Johnny Mac and Steve are great partners to work with, but they're both very likable and difficult to manipulate. Vanessa's manipulation-based strategy has been her saving grace her entire season, and she'll be relying on that to win her the game. Johnny Mac and Steve would both likely take Vanessa to the final two given the chance, but they would also probably win against Vanessa. She may not find another time to get these two out, and turn her back on this alliance.
Option C: Nominate One Person From Each Duo
This option makes the most sense for someone who hates getting blood on their hands as much as Vanessa does. If Vanessa's primary concern is keeping herself from becoming a target, she'll do the "fair" thing and nominate one person from both sides. This option would mean the PoV competition would be incredibly dramatic (as whoever won could possibly save their duo), but if both alliances are represented on the block, then the votes will likely come to a tie which means Vanessa gets to deal the tie-breaking vote. If there's one thing that she loves it is power, and this strategy gives her the most power in the house.
Vanessa's moves can sometimes be confusing and senseless, but she can also pull off brilliant and inspired game moves as evidenced by her mid-PoV manipulation of Julia last week. Vanessa's tenure as HoH this week will force her to decide if she wants to keep trying to play from the shadows and let other people do her dirty work, or if she is finally ready to call people out and make a big move.
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