Vanessa Rousso came into the Big Brother 17 house with total poker earnings of approximately $4 million. She had an impressive academic record and was a bit of a celebrity in her chosen industry. To the other houseguests, however, she was just a D.J. in Las Vegas.
Heading into Big Brother 17‘s sixth eviction tomorrow night, Vanessa has been working almost the entire house to make sure she gets the outcome she’s looking for. Her strategy keeps changing, she’s got alliances with almost everyone, and she’s using other houseguests to do her dirty work. But it appears to be working.
It has only been in the last few days that Vanessa has started to appear on anyone’s target list. So the question that should concern Vanessa is whether she should switch up her tactics or risk becoming the player on everyone’s radar.
Warning: Spoilers from the Big Brother 17 live feeds to follow.
After Head of Household James Huling won the power of veto, he refused to use it. The nominations stayed the same and either Shelli or Clay will be evicted on Thursday night. James wants Shelli to go. Vanessa wants Clay to go. According to an analysis by Big Brother Network on Tuesday, it’s still not clear who will go home, as the “Sixth Sense” alliance that included Shelli, Clay, Vanessa, Austin, Liz, and Julia is no longer voting as a block.
On Tuesday night James and his close allies Jackie, Meg, and Becky had a long conversation in the HOH room. They analyzed several future targets and switched back and forth between Austin and Vanessa. Austin and Vanessa eventually both joined the conversation, and Vanessa insisted she will nominate Shelli if she becomes HOH. After Vanessa left, Jackie noted that Vanessa was not willing to evict Shelli immediately, yet she insisted she would nominate her. In the words of Big Brother Network,
“Jackie is seemingly the only person in the house onto Vanessa.”
So, can Vanessa continue to play hard and avoid eviction?
Some Big Brother commentators, such as last year’s winner Derrick Levasseur, aren’t as impressed with Vanessa’s game as others. Levasseur blogged that Rousso’s game would be less impressive without Shelli, and he used Vanessa’s backtrack last week on the plan to evict Austin as an example of Shelli’s history of manipulating Vanessa. He also gave his two cents about how far Vanessa has the potential to go.
“Vanessa still has a very good chance at winning this game but if she continues to second-guess herself, justify her actions to everyone, and make deals with the entire house, she might run out of ‘reasons’ for them to keep her.”
Rousso has a fan in Levasseur’s castmate Frankie Grande, who told People that she was so far the standout player this season.
“I think Vanessa’s the only one who’s really playing the game.
“I think everyone is just kind of aimlessly throwing darts at a board and hoping that they stick.”
Big Brother 17 airs Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursdays on CBS. The next live eviction is scheduled for Thursday.
[Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images Sports]