‘Big Brother 17’: Will Austin Matelson’s Anti-Vanessa Rousso Campaign Sway The Jury?
When Austin Matelson was evicted from the Big Brother 17 house, he didn’t go quietly. He’d just been blindsided by his once-ally Vanessa Rousso, who’d decided to work with John McGuire — at least temporarily — to finally break up the “Liztin” showmance. Once Matelson arrived at the jury house, he made it clear he was on a revenge quest against Vanessa.
Shortly after the eviction, Big Brother host Julie Chen told Entertainment Weekly that Austin’s eviction was notable because of the wrestler’s sheer incredulity as to what had just happened.
“I’ve never seen someone almost refuse to leave the house like Austin did. He sat there in utter disbelief and almost seemed like he was not going to leave. He was trying to get Vanessa to undo her vote. That being said, he pulled it together and was a good interview — honest and calm. Gotta give him credit for that. He was poised.”
In an end-of-season interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Big Brother 17 producers Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan said Vanessa will have a lot of explaining to do to all of the jurors, assuming she makes it to the final two, which is not guaranteed. Therefore, the pre-vote speeches will be important this year.
Grodner said, “This is going to be big. We already know that Austin is a bitter juror,” while Meehan chimed in, “He’s anti-Vanessa.” Grodner said the other jurors seemed willing to listen to arguments.
That the jurors overall seem reasonable is contradicted by Dr. Will Kirby, Season 2 winner and host of this year’s jury roundtable. In an interview with TV Insider, Kirby described the voters as “extremely pissed off,” saying he had to prevent them from talking over each other.
It was recently reported, and picked up by the Inquisitr, that Big Brother jury members are forbidden from debating the final three until they are in front of the cameras. Therefore, even if Austin wanted to taint the jury against Vanessa, in theory he would have had little opportunity to do so inside the jury house.
As for Matelson’s influence during the roundtable, Kirby said it was limited. Although Austin was passionate in his anti-Vanessa sentiment, he seemed to hold little sway over the opinions of the other former contestants.
“Here’s the thing. When you say ‘cutthroat’ or ‘vicious’ that, in my mind, implies you’re logical. I think Vanessa evicted him, and he’s obviously super hurt by that. So he’s hellbent on turning the jury against her. The problem is, the jury doesn’t really like him, so that could easily backfire. If someone you don’t like gives you advice, why would you follow it? He somehow thinks that he’s this phenomenal public speaker and he’s this motivator, and he’s convinced himself that he’s going to convince the jury to vote which way he wants. But the jury was kind of rolling eyes at him when he was explaining what they should do.”
Big Brother 17 fans will see how it all plays out this Wednesday night, September 23, getting underway at 9:30 p.m. on CBS.