‘Big Brother 17’: Julie Chen Says ‘The Women Are Running The House’

After the sixth eviction on Big Brother 17, host Julie Chen spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the splitting up of the season’s main showmance, Clay Honeycutt and Shelli Poole. The lovebirds were separated when Clay was sent home after a unanimous vote.

That consensus puzzled even seasoned Big Brother watcher and Entertainment Weekly writer Darren Franich. Franich wrote that he hoped Sunday’s episode would show the events leading up to the live eviction show and perhaps enlighten viewers as to what turned the tide so quickly against Clay.

Chen has an explanation of her own: Vanessa Rousso. The longtime Big Brother host said Shelli was simply better for Vanessa’s game than Clay.

“The tide was turned away from Shelli because this year the women are running the house, i.e. Shelli and Vanessa. Vanessa knew she had a better shot at bonding and working loyally with Shelli if Clay was gone. If Clay stayed, it could have led to a bromance with Austin and Clay could have been a wedge between Vanessa and Austin.”

Although Head of Household James had his sights on Shelli, he couldn’t vote this week, and the house guests ultimately didn’t follow his lead.

Of course, as Chen admits, Clay sacrificed himself for Shelli and asked everyone to keep her.

In his post-eviction interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Honeycutt said that Shelli needs Vanessa right now and that the two of them are a “deadly duo.” Speaking to Big Brother Network, Clay went further when he predicted who would win the game.

“I know you’re going to think I’m biased, but I’m going to say Shelli. I think she has one of the better shots to win this game. She’s [an] extremely intelligent player. She knows this game inside and out. She’s extremely competitive. She’s won two HoHs, could have won a third HoH. I think she has a good chance.

“I think her working with Vanessa betters her chance because she’s very smart as well and she’s going to win comps. Those two aligning with the twins and Austin give them numbers. Those five right there are deadly.”

Things move quickly in the Big Brother house, so a new Head of Household has already been crowned, nominations made, and a target identified. Spoilers reveal what that means for Clay’s former allies.

Big Brother 17 airs Sundays and Wednesdays, with Thursday live shows hosted by Julie Chen on CBS.

[Photo by Mike Windle / Getty Images Entertainment]