I've been thinking a lot about why Amanda has morphed from one of the hamsters I enjoyed the most on "Big Brother" to a villain I am eager to see bounced out on her butt -- and that's on a season that's been peppered with racists, homophobes and the barely literate.
I think Amanda has worn out my initial good will in part because she seems to think she is the only one who deserves to win the game, and any challenge to her house domination isn't just gameplay, but a personal affront. This week, when she isn't crying, she's (to use her words) "pissed, crazy and confused." As previous winner Dan pointed out recently, this isn't the attitude of a winner. It's the attitude of an entitled brat who isn't as smart or as clever as she believes herself to be.
We kick things off, of course, with Amanda crying. She was BLINDSIDED! That never happens in this game! Oh, wait, it happens all the time, usually more than once a season. For some reason, Amanda believed that McCranda would be the first showmance to make it to the end intact, which suggests to me that Amanda is woefully naive, ridiculously optimistic, or thinks bullying really works as a life strategy.
After Amanda gets over the crying (for a while), she moves on to spewing hate and vengeance. Gina Marie isn't smart enough to come up with her own idea, so she must have been taking orders from Elissa. Gina Marie politely denies this, and then Amanda moves on to her next theory -- that Gina Marie is working with Spencer, Judd and Elissa. Closer, Amanda, but not quite!
She stomps off to confront Spencer, who lies through his beard. Then, Amanda demands that Spencer, Judd and Andy all tromp up to the HoH room to confront Gina Marie. Because that's ALWAYS good for everyone's game, isn't it? Oddly enough, Amanda ends up going alone.
Amanda proceeds to yell at Gina Marie for being stupid. Elissa sent home Nick and Aaryn, dummy! We were never coming after you! Don't you value my loving attention? Gina Marie makes the perfectly valid point that Aaryn did Amanda's bidding and then was cast aside, and she owes Elissa one. But that makes no sense, Gina Marie! You aren't following orders! I only would have sent you home fifth, maybe!
Finally, Judd and Andy decide to step in so Amanda doesn't actually rip into Gina Marie with her teeth, though I think Gina Marie doesn't need defending. If anyone was going to take down McCranda, Gina Marie is tough enough to take whatever Amanda wants to spit out.
Amanda isn't done, though. She tells Gina Marie that her devious plot will plant a BIG target on her back! Um, really? From one person, I guess. But no, Amanda assures her that EVERYONE will target her. And if Andy or Spencer win the veto, they'll save McCranda!
Judd, who has had enough of this crazypants horsecrap, finally asks, "So, you all run the game? Should we all pack our bags?" Amanda yells and Judd walks away and, really, she has no good answer for what is completely obvious -- that she'll be gunning for Judd right after she gets Elissa out of the house. Oh, wait, she's going home, right? RIGHT?
When no one is appropriately sympathetic or cowed, Amanda goes back to crying. "I don't even want to be in the house anymore!" she whines. Waaaah! I can't be with these people! Oh, please leave! Please?
"Love you, too," Judd says drily. Oh, well said, Judd. Well said.
Amanda stomps around. Amanda sulks in the Have Not room, then vomits her angst onto McCrae. "I don't want to be here anymore! I had no idea! How could she not put Elissa up? Is that not insane? Spencer's lying! Don't take him far, he's lying, he's part of this! And so is Judd! She wouldn't put us up unless she had the votes." Amanda isn't wrong, but really, I wish she'd stop spinning.
Still, "Big Brother" is going to try to turn this ridiculous, dysfunctional showmance into friggin' "Romeo and Juliette." McCrae knows it's the end. He's so quietly sad! What he doesn't know is that he's in a messed up relationship with a bully. I don't remember that from Shakespeare, oddly enough.
But wait! There's more maudlin, teenage love story crap! "What McCrae and I have is completely real. He's a 24-year-old pizza boy from Minnesota. And I love him." Barf. It's okay; she's ready to go. You're not DYING, Amanda.
Alas, there's a veto competition to suffer through. And before that, Amanda has to put up with Elissa's Joker face walking around the house! Yes, this would be another reason why I don't like Amanda. I am almost entirely positive she was a mean girl in high school, aren't you? She vents all of this to Andy, who feels he needs to tell Amanda whatever she wants to hear. The problem with that, of course, is that Elissa eavesdrops on the conversation. Spencer catches her and walks in on Amanda and Andy's conversation, but Elissa now suspects Andy is playing both sides of the house. Welcome to "Big Brother," Elissa!
Meanwhile, Amanda vacillates between teary and angry, apparently stuck on two of the more annoying steps on the Kubler-Ross scale. America's gonna love that I bleeping tortured Elissa last week, she hoots. Really, Amanda? News to you -- no, we didn't. You lost your cool (to whatever degree you had it), and resorted to playground tactics. That wasn't gameplay. It was just childish and ridiculous.
Time to pick the players in the veto competition! Gina Marie and McCranda are joined by Elissa, and a houseguest choice, which goes to Amanda … and she chooses Spencer. Andy is so glad he's dodging a bullet yet again! Except not, because he'll be playing, too.
Judd and Spencer can take off their chicken outfits, by the way. Which is probably a relief for everyone.
Afterward, Amanda tries to reassure Andy that she didn't pick him because she knew he'd have a harder time choosing between her or McCrae to pull off the block. Oh, Amanda.
It's time for the veto competition! Put on your tutus and head to the backyard! It's Bowlerina, a blend of ballet and bowling. There's spinning and there's bowling, apparently an attempt to make the hamsters vomit if they do it right. Each hamster has to compete against another hamster, so this should be fun. Or miserable. Or both.
Amanda is up first, and she challenges Elissa. Of course she does!
Elissa looks like a complete idiot in this challenge. Amanda beats her easily. But then, she throws up. Yup, she did it right!
Andy is up next, and he follows Gina Marie's instruction to pick Amanda. And then very obviously throws the match. I can't decide whether Andy is playing the game well or if he's going to go down in flames for trying to make nice with everyone in the house.
Okay, Gina Marie! She wants to go up against… Amanda. Ha! Gina Marie does a lot of pirouettes, so this should be cake, right? Oh, no. Amanda is going to win this. And yes, Amanda wins. The more she does this, the more practice she gets. Remember how this happened with Rachel, too? Oh, hamsters, if you don't recall history you are doomed to repeat it!
McCrae chooses Spencer, then takes him down. That means the final challenge is… McCrae versus Amanda. Please, oh please, do not let Amanda win another challenge. Although I will say, it's now pretty obvious that her strategy all season was to lose every challenge until she needed to win, which was actually a good game move.
Poor McCrae feels like he's putting down Old Yeller (his words, not mine), but he wins the game, throws up, and generally looks miserable. Amanda cries. And cries, and cries, and cries.
Amanda may be ready to go home, but that doesn't mean she isn't going to try to control the game even now. She wants Gina Marie to put up Elissa, as she clearly thinks she can manipulate her housemates into sending Elissa home. Funny, but I think the other hamsters do not hate Elissa half as much as Amanda does.
But Gina Marie doesn't want to put up Elissa, as she did her a solid when she needed it, so she decides to put up… one of her boys. Spencer is scared. What if something crazy happens? I don't blame Spencer for worrying. Pawns always go home!
Amanda thinks Gina Marie has way too much power for way too small of a mind. She also thinks Gina Marie has a personal vendetta against McCranda because she's jealous. Of McCranda? Really? Again with the mean girl stuff!
Time for the veto meeting. McCrae invites Amanda to explain why he should use the veto on her. She cries. If she had to lose to one person, she's glad that person was McCrae. So she would never ask or expect him to use the veto on her. So, McCrae uses the veto on himself. They look at one another tearfully, as if they're Bonnie and Clyde gunning the getaway car.
Gina Marie puts up Spencer as a replacement nominee, just as he feared. So, we head into Thursday with Spencer (who just can't seem to get voted off and is the record holder for the most times on the block in a single season -- though that may not last) and Amanda, the real target, in the crosshairs. I would love to think Amanda is going home, but I don't know. Spencer is smart to think everything could change in an instant. It usually does.
Plus, this week is a double eviction episode. Expect whiplash!
Do you think Amanda will get the boot? Do you think alliances will change again? Do you think McCrae was smart to save himself?