‘Big Brother’ recap: Will McCranda take control of the house?

It’s hard for me to believe, but Amanda has somehow morphed from a fun, occasionally charming presence in the house to an entirely annoying, bullying monster — and it looks like she’s calling all the shots. As one half of McCranda (a two-headed creature that occasionally bickers with itself), she has no problem pouting, coercing and letting personal vendettas rule her decision-making. I’d call this bad game play if it wasn’t proving itself so effective. 

Anyway, let’s back up. Jessie is on the block. The longer she stays in the house, the more I like her. She sees the value in making a big move this week. Too bad she doesn’t have any allies to help her. 

Someone who isn’t an ally of Jessie’s is, of course, Amanda, who is actively, angrily gunning for her. Alas, I have no idea why. Jessie has no allies to speak of, so it’s like running over a wounded raccoon twice to make sure it’s really, really dead. Why bother? Oh, yes, I forgot. Amanda is fueled by spite.

Meanwhile, Helen is wondering if Andy is loyal to her or to McCranda. Hint: if you’re wondering this, expect the worst. 

Andy, who probably shouldn’t even bother to try to win HoH competitions, busily tries to reassure Jessie. He hopes he doesn’t hold the nomination against her, but hopefully this will benefit her. What? How? He’s lying to her face, but he’s not even making sense. Still, Jessie nods sweetly. Maybe she’s so worn down at this point she’s happy with soothing babble and a pat on the head. 

Amanda solidifies her final four with McCrae, Andy and Aaryn, which is just talk and not, as I hoped, a ceremony involving cutting. While I hope Aaryn might be secretly plotting against McCranda, it turns out that she thinks her new alliance can take her further than Helen can. Unfortunately, I think Aaryn is making the right decision. 

With the business of confirming alliances put to bed, it’s time to come up with a cute name! Since Moving Company is taken, Triple As and the Mastermind is thrown out. This sounds like a doo-wop singing group or an animated series for tweens, so hopefully it will never be disused again. Amanda thinks this game is between her and her pizza boy, and you know she thinks she can beat her pizza boy — even though he’s never let her win anything. Maybe her master plan is, if she doesn’t win, she’ll marry him. I mean, gold digging could be considered a strategy, I guess. 

Helen assures Andy he’s made a safe decision, but she’s getting worried about Andy. Something doesn’t smell right to her. She doesn’t want Andy to backdoor her. Hey, Helen? Please start paying attention to what your gut is so obviously telling you. Thanks!

Helen and Elissa talk, and Helen seems to be sorting out that McCranda will come after her. But McCranda and Andy are one step ahead — they decide that McCrae and Andy need to make a fake final three alliance with Helen. Huh. This seems so dumb to me (does anyone think McCrae is going to toss over Amanda at this point in the game?), but she buys it. I would never expect Helen to be so trusting, but oh, well. 

Does anyone realize Gina Marie is still in the house? Please? Someone? Hello? Send her home so she can reunite with Nick. Oh, wait, that will never happen. Moving on!

Time to pick the players in the veto competition —  Helen, Elissa and Amanda will be joining Andy, Spencer and Jessie. Because McCrae suspects the challenge will be a counting competition, Helen suggests she could win it. And that’s when McCranda decides to take a big, really stupid risk. Everyone (except, of course, Jessie) is going to fold and let Helen win, so she can keep nominations the same. 

But what about Spencer? Oh, that’s easy! Andy and McCrae ask Spencer to throw the competition. He nods, he smiles, and he thinks, you’ve GOT to be kidding me. When you’re on the block, you don’t thrown nuthin’! 

Time for the veto competition! It is, as McCrae suspected, ithe counting competition. And it isn’t food-themed! It’s a B-horror movie theme! Counting scorpions and radioactive brains is plenty more fun than jelly beans, isn’t it? 

First round – everyone folds except Helen. Hey, Jessie, you need to reconsider. 

Second round – everyone folds except Helen. 

Third round – Spencer doesn’t fold, but stays! Amanda is furious, and Helen is eliminated! The plan is ruined! I think I can actually see Andy breaking out into a panic sweat. 

Guess what? Elissa is a math whiz! Not really! While it helps to be passable at math in this game, you also need nerves of steel and a good eye. But Elissa knows how to explain ratios, very slowly. Good for you, Elissa!

Fourth round – Andy gets a movie ticket, and Amanda is eliminated. Amanda is pissed off. She now wants to break Spencer’s neck or, you know, send him home. 

Fifth round – Elissa gets a movie ticket and Jessie is eliminated.

Final question! Whoever gets it right wins the whole kit and caboodle. Commercial break!

Elissa folds for no good reason. While she may be good at math, she is not so good at realizing this is the final round and there’s no reason to fold. Anyway, Andy wins the power of veto. So, I guess this means farewell, Jessie. Unless… 

Amanda is so mad at Spencer for betraying the alliance! You know, the alliance he isn’t really in. But Helen is hoping Andy will use the veto to take out a strong player. Spencer goes into the HoH room and gets a chilly reception from Amanda, so he starts talking. It’s sort of like Howard talking — nothing is said, but there’s human-like noise that seemingly irritates everyone. 

Andy and Amanda decide they have to keep an eye on Spencer. But does that mean they’re going to send him home? Maybe — but wait! 

Time for begging! Jessie tells Andy he’s at the bottom of the totem pole — but if he got rid of Amanda, he’d be at the top of the totem pole. She makes a good case, really. But Adam is too chicken, I’m sure. He’d rather come in fourth or fifth than make anyone mad, which guarantees he won’t win this thing. Hope the free slop has been worth it!

Helen needs to talk to McCrae in private — to talk to him about getting rid of Amanda. Oh, Helen! No!  McCrae informs Amanda they need to get rid of Helen yesterday. 

Amanda, Andy, Aaryn and McCrae pow wow in the HoH room. Amanda says it’s time to get rid of Helen. Andy doesn’t know what to do! He could backdoor Helen! It’s so tricky! 

It’s time for the veto ceremony, and that means speeches. Jessie, who knows her goose is likely cooked, keeps it short. Spencer “jokes” that Andy hasn’t done anything intelligent all week and he wouldn’t expect him to start now. Wow. Spencer knows how to charm the crowd! It’s supposed to sound funny ha-ha, but it comes across as mean, unfortunately. Spencer has been making bad decisions this week, hasn’t he? 

Andy decides NOT to use the power of veto. Interesting! There will be no backdooring of Helen, but she had better watch her back. Unfortunately, thanks to her conversation with McCrae, Helen thinks she has the green light to take out Amanda. I can only hope Helen finds herself in a position to actually do that, because this fake alliance isn’t going to help her. 

As for Amanda, she figures she can take out Helen or maybe Spencer, depending on what she feels like. Is there any chance America can get involved again? Maybe to put Amanda back on the block, just for fun? 

Do you think Amanda is playing well or is she asking for trouble? Do you think Andy made the right decisions? Do you think Spencer or Jessie is going home?