As Expected

Austin has had one of my favorite trajectories in the history of the Big Brother house. Although a superfan since season one, he thought his hulking figure would make him a target. So he initially wanted to use this platform to advance his career as a wrestler. That’s what he said, anyway. It could’ve been strategy, but I believed him.

“I’ve made decisions in here that affect my life. I need to be in jury. I need to fuckin’ let this happen with Liz. Please. . . . I don’t care anymore. This is beyond the game to me.”—Austin

But then butterflies danced, flowers bloomed, and sparks flew: He fell for Liz. At that point, everything took a backseat to True Love. His one and only goal was to make it to jury with Liz. When Vanessa threatened that in week five, Austin was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “I will stand in front of the train next week. Put me up. Take me out,” he told Vanessa, pleading with her to just keep him safe for one week.[1] “Please. I’m dead.”

That train (look out, Becky!) never came for Austin. Clelli took the brunt of that one due to their own indiscretions. Austin made jury. Then he survived a couple more weeks. And then, next you thing you know, there he is in the final six with Liz and Julia. He hadn’t even been nominated yet.

It was around this time that he shifted into yet another gear. Realizing that it was too deep into the game to protect the twins, he redoubled his focus on his individual game. It was like he suddenly understood that he had a shot at winning this game.

How did all of this happen?

Let’s brass tacks this, shall we? Austin had the best social game of the season. This was particularly salient during mid-game when he had substantive bonds with everyone in the house: Liz, Julia, Vanessa, Steve, Meg, and James. This is no easy task, y'all. It takes a different set of social skills to relate to Steve than Meg and James, Liz and Julia than Vanessa. He even reconnected with Johnny Mac, his evictee, reminiscing about wrestling and old video games.

Austin was the glue of the house. He brought people together. You practically could not make a move in the house if you didn’t involve him. While James and Meg spearheaded the movement to keep Vanessa over Shelli, they needed Austin to broker the deal. And they needed him to activate his three-headed voting bloc.

The twins were obviously instrumental here. Although not typically the case in Big Brother, I think Austin’s attachment to Liz actually improved his game. At first, he was a little too reckless and freewheeling. But once he stopped playing for himself and started playing for three people, his game became a lot leaner and more focused. In a weird way, it was sort of a helpful handicap. Except of course this “handicap” was three strong in every competition and vote.      

We’ll be the first to admit that his early game was problematic. But Austin learned from his errors. For one, he learned how to deal with Vanessa: After Vanessa outright screwed him in the Bowlerina Veto[2], Austin had the good sense to realize that what was done was done and immediately rectify the situation with her. “I pushed it too far. I’m sorry,” he told Vanessa, generously taking the blame for the imbroglio.

He continued to build upon that goodwill this week, seizing every opportunity to talk one-on-one with Vanessa. And would you believe it, he once again kept himself and Liz off the block!

But alas, the one guy that couldn’t win Veto—won Veto. And I honestly don't know what's going to happen tonight. I just hope Austin stays. I need him to stay. The live feeds would not be the same without him.



Now That’s What I Call Out of Context Quotes Volume 5

Liz: “My mom used to call me Freak of Nature.”

Vanessa: “Have you ever done an expected value equation?”

Jace: “Everyone was afraid when Y2K was happening—this is worse.” 

Becky: “I’m the hottest train wreck you’ve ever seen.”

Julia: “Let there be blood!”

Jace: "I feel like I’ve been used like a dirty whore." 

Steve: “What does it mean to get one’s life?”

James: “I feel like Miley Cyrus on a wrecking ball.”

Johnny Mac: “Liz, has anyone ever told you you look more like Julia than anyone else in this house?”

Austin: “There’s a difference between being honest and being rude, said Tyra Banks one time.”

Jace: “First thing I see in the bathroom is the bathtub. I automatically think to boogie with some babes in there.”


[1] At this point, Austin didn’t realize that Julia entering the game meant that he would need to last an additional week to make jury. 

[2] Fair play from Vanessa. It was either him or her.