There's been a lot of talk of showmances on Big Brother 17. There are the obvious ones, like Clay and Shelli. There are the ones that are slowly blossoming, like Becky and John. And then there's the showmance between Austin and Liz. The only problem is that outside of Big Brother , Austin has a girlfriend. And that's causing a lot of controversy on the live feeds and inside the house, because if Austin has someone at home, why the hell is he getting so cozy with Liz?
While some are a little confused as to whether Austin has a girlfriend or not, allow me to set the record straight. In his entrance interview, Austin confirmed that he did have a girlfriend. He's also talked about her multiple times. But then there's this vagueness of what their relationship is as long as Austin is inside of the Big Brother house.
Suggesting that Austin is cheating on his girlfriend is a big statement. It's something that wouldn't be fair to say, since we don't know all of the details of their relationship. For all we know, they have an open relationship (which Austin has alluded to) while he's on Big Brother. It is almost a third of a year — if things go well — without someone by your side, so if they made arrangements to be open while he was gone, that would be understandable.
Then again, if he went into the house with a girlfriend and started flirting it up with Liz, then yes, that's pretty shady. Let's investigate if Austin's showmance with Liz is in fact cheating or not.
Exhibit A: Austin Has A Girlfriend
Right off the bat, I'd say that Austin is a taken man from this comment. (Actually, I'd say he is a taken man from the entrance interview, during which he references his girlfriend.)
Exhibit B: There's A "Real Situation" To Explain
Right after Austin said this, the feeds cut to fish, which is — for lack of a better word — fishy. What is this real situation? Well, later on in the day, Austin may have explained it.
Exhibit C: An Open Relationship
So now Austin is claiming that he is in an open relationship while he is in the house. What we don't know is if this is something he and his girlfriend talked about before he entered, or if this is something he has recently decided himself.
Exhibit D: Would The Open Relationship Even Matter?
Liz doesn't really seem to be into a showmance, even if Austin is free as a bird.
Exhibit E: The Date
So the two went out on an HOH date. Two people are allowed to eat dinner together while being friends, right? Although it looks like Austin put a lot of work into making this ~romantic~.
Can we call it cheating? Honestly, I think the only person that would be able to answer that is Austin (and maybe his girlfriend). He is truly the only one who knows where his relationship stands with his girlfriend outside of the house. So far, Austin and Liz's relationship is not physical, but some may argue that this constitutes emotional cheating. It's going to be tricky to keep track of, which is why you should check out Bustle’s very own Big Brother podcast, The Diary Room. Listen to the latest episode below, and be sure to check out future episodes on Bustle’s SoundCloud page.
Images: Sonja Flemming/CBS