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posted Sunday, 13 September 2015

After initially settling on Julia to stay as Vanessa wanted, the twins finally wised up and realized it's better for them if Liz stays. So they submitted that decision to the rest of the HGs who, for some completely unknown reason, honored the request and booted Julia. I actually kind of get why Steve and Vanessa went a long with it; having already taken a shot at the alliance by evicting one of the AusTwins, they had to keep the other two somewhat happy by at least keeping the one they requested. That left John with no real choice.

During the show they all got messages from home and Johnny Mac's family calling him a rockstar sent Vanessa spiraling down her conspiracy theory rabbit-hole that Steve's alliance with John was stronger than she thought. Of course, what she's missing is that the comment was about him not the game. But regardless, after Vanessa egg-twiddled her way to HOH, JMac was target number 1.

So John and Steve hit the block, with the plan being to send John out. But that got all foiled when Johnny Mac won POV. Now it's super-scheme time as everyone tries to figure out what's best for them. Vanessa sat down with bags of M&Ms and Skittles and mapped out different scenarios for next week based on HOH and POV wins. It seemed clear that she quickly decided that the worst person to lose was Liz, so Austin would have to be the re-nom.

Vanessa's goal for the week was to break up one of the pairs. Between JMac and Steve, she'd rather keep Steve. Between Austin and Liz, she'd rather keep Liz. So, her choice between Steve and and Austin would be for Austin to go. But, of course, it's not entirely up to her. Liz will vote to evict Steve, and the assumption was the John would vote to evict Austin. But JMac's been telling all of them (except Steve) that he's a free agent. And they all seem to believe him.

So the question is, what will he really do? At this point in the game, it's all about getting to the finals. And whether he realizes it or not (though I think he does) the only way John is getting there, is to take himself. The argument that Liz and Austin will always choose each other doesn't matter as much to him, because Steve and Vanessa are just as strong. No matter what they're telling him, they'd each take each other over him. Vanessa is actually John's biggest threat at this point, so he needs to figure out his best shot at getting her out next week. He may well think that if he aligns with Liz and Austin and boots Steve, Liztin will choose him over Vanessa if they have the option next week. Of course, that's probably wrong.

In many ways it would be the best move for Johnny Mac to force Vanessa to make the tie-breaking vote. It makes her directly responsible for sending someone out, plus it shows her cards as far as to whom she's really loyal. If she kicks Austin, she's betrayed Liz, and shown that she's closer to Steve than she's been admitting. If she kicks Steve, she's shown that she's closer to Austin than she's been admitting.

At the end of the day John's got to win at least 3 more comps to get to the end - the next HOH or POV, then part 1 or 2 of the final HOH, plus part 3. So, the question for him is can he more easily beat Austin or Steve? I honestly think next week is a toss up. Depending on the comps, either Steve or Austin could be an equal challenge to him. But assuming whoever stays this week *does* make F3, Steve would be easier for John to beat.

So in my opinion it's better for John to vote out Austin this week. But whether he will actually do it is anyone's guess. We know a lot of things he doesn't and he may not want to risk splitting the vote if he's not sure Vanessa will keep Steve. The ironic thing is that I do think Vanessa wants to keep Steve, but she's trying not to make this too obvious to John. On top of that, Steve can't campaign worth shit. He seems to honestly believe that any inclination John is showing towards voting out Steve is just misdirection meant to fool the others into thinking their bond isn't so strong. But while Steve hasn't been paying attention, it's quite possible that their bond has completely broken down.

On the other hand, the very fact that keeping Steve is what Vanessa wants, could be proof that it's the wrong thing for John to do. Steve is absolutely 100% loyal to Vanessa and would always choose her over anyone else, even if it's to his own detriment. Though Austin is also quite loyal to her, he's also got loyalty for Liz. There's a slight chance that he would work things in a way with Johnny Mac that would allow for John to be the one boot out either Liz or Vanessa just to avoid putting Austin in the position to have to do it.

We are very likely about to go into an extended feed blackout until after the show airs on Tuesday. With the way things stand now we will most likely have no idea until the show airs what actually happens.

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