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Season 11: Episode 3 - The Athletes Continue to Dominate the House

The Athletes Continue to Dominate the House: Jeff feels isolated as the Veto is used to save a nominee
In the aftermath of Head of Household Jessie’s nominations for eviction, Chima recaps the secret plan hatched between The Athletes and The Brains. Chima reveals that she volunteered herself for nomination, but she now hopes it doesn’t come back to bite her. Laura feels like she dodged a bullet because, while the house is divided, she feels like there is no one to watch her back. As it turns out, Laura is not the only one feeling isolated. Even though he is a member of The Athletes Clique, Jeff reveals that he also had no idea who Jessie was nominating and realizes now that he is on his own as well. Russell is happy that the nominations have come and gone. “Reality has finally set in,” he says, noting that his fellow House Guests have snapped out of the mentality that this will be a fun summer “at band camp.”

Braden comforts eviction nominee, Lydia, as she heads back to her bedroom. She tries to hold back tears as Jordan makes every attempt to lift her spirits. Lydia confides that this nomination makes her feel like people are judging her from her appearance. “Maybe it’s an easy target to pin me,” she says between sobs. Poor Lydia!

Maybe Lydia shouldn’t be crying. Chima quickly notices that Jordan, Kevin, Braden and Jeff are all by Lydia’s side, while no one has come to console her! She tells her clique-mates, Ronnie and Michele, that this is not a good sign. Ronnie wonders aloud if Jeff will vote against his clique’s wishes and choose instead to cast a vote against Chima. Chima thinks he’ll do whatever he wants. Ronnie proudly reveals to Chima that she need not worry because he’s a national champion of persuasive speaking! Chima tells Ronnie that his skills better work this week.

Don’t vote me out because I’m beautiful
Sometimes being gorgeous and being safe in the house is just not enough. Laura tells Russell and Casey that she thought she was going on the block and now feels isolated because she’s so pretty. Casey is amused by Laura’s complaints. “It’s hard being beautiful sometimes,” Casey says, but notes that Laura was the one who brought attention to herself by getting implants.

While Casey laughs, Russell sees an opportunity. He goes up to the HoH Suite and tells Jessie that they have probably lost Jeff as a pliant clique-mate but that they have a chance to get Laura’s loyalty. Russell thinks they can win her over. They quickly call Laura up to the HoH Suite and tell her that they will have her back if she works with them. Laura tells The Athletes that she is on board but admits later that she “has to tell them what they want to hear” if she wants to stay in the house.

The enigma that is Braden
“If we are all from planet Earth, Braden is from planet Klaatu,” Ronnie observes. Braden’s wacky antics, odd sayings and Zoolander-like facial expressions make him a house favorite, which worries an always calculating Russell. “Someone like that is more of a threat to someone like me,” he says.

Pop Goes the Veto!
Jessie comes out of the Diary Room and announces it is time for the season’s first Veto Competition. He explains that six House Guests will play: the HoH, the two nominees and three players picked by random draw. Lydia says that the last thing she wants is for any of The Athletes to play. Jessie picks first and draws Russell’s name. Chima picks the House Guest’s choice tile and chooses Natalie, which Michele thinks is “totally nuts,” because Chima passed over the chance to use one of her own fellow clique-mates. Lydia draws Jeff’s name, which means that her worst nightmare has come true with all of The Athletes playing in the competition.

The House Guests go outside to find a huge acne-pocked face covering the back yard. Everyone is disgusted by the dozens of oozy, festering pimples staring up at them. “Oh my God, this is my high school picture,” Chima jokes. Competition host, Casey, explains that the Veto Competition players have ten minutes to pop the zits and pull out tiles emblazoned with letters. The goal is to spell the longest word possible. Whoever spells the longest word correctly wins the Power of Veto!

As a freelance writer, Chima feels that this competition is right up her alley while Russell thinks that Jeff or Lydia winning is his worst-case scenario. The speculation stops once the disgusting pimple popping begins. The players are covered with smelly pimple goo as they pull tiles. Self-described terrible speller, Jeff, just wants to get out of the competition without embarrassing himself.

Once everyone has collected tiles and buzzed in, Casey begins the tally. Jessie reveals his word; he tried to spell “continuously” but is missing the letter “u.” He is disqualified. Natalie reveals the word “last,” which annoys Ronnie because it is so short. Chima tries for “superficiality” but has some missing tiles. She’s out. Russell reveals ‘shotgun,” which puts him in the lead. Jeff reveals what looks like a misspelled version of the non-word “technotronics.” This confirms for Russell that Jeff is a moron. “When was the last time you heard of one technotronic, let alone two,” Russell asks. Lydia reveals her word—she was shooting for “civilization” but is also missing letters. With the winning seven-letter word, “shotgun,” Russell wins the Power of Veto!

The Athletes Rupture
Russell, Jessie, Natalie and Laura decide that Jeff threw the competition. His lack of loyalty and his growing relationship with Jordan concerns Russell, who decides to go after Jeff to weaken him in front of the House. While they are working out, Russell starts wailing on Jeff for his bad game play and being an idiot. Jeff yells back as things get more heated. Jeff can’t believe he is being targeted and attacked. After Russell leaves the back yard   Natalie starts in on Jeff, who says that they wear the same uniform but are not all on The Athletes team. Natalie says that Jeff isolates himself and chooses not to make the hard decisions regarding who should be nominated, leaving that for the rest of The Athletes. Natalie tells him that it’s a good thing he was in The Athletes clique because, otherwise, he’d be gone. “Everyone on my team can **** off,” Jeff screams, “Why don’t you spell that word?”

Lydia gets to work
Lydia decides to do whatever it takes to get Russell to use the Veto on her. In a living room conversation, Lydia gets Russell to admit that it was Jessie and Natalie’s decision to nominate her. Lydia makes a beeline for the HoH Suite, where she confronts Natalie and Jessie about her nomination. The trio works out their issues and Lydia says her piece, apologizing for disrespecting them. At the same time, Lydia suggests that Jeff and Braden may be working together. She says later that she makes no apologies for suggesting Braden for nomination, since that’s the game. After Lydia leaves, Jessie tells Russell that he thinks replacing Lydia with Braden on the block might be a good thing.

Russell tells his secret alliance partner, Ronnie that they are thinking of shaking up the nominations. Ronnie says that’s fine with him, but almost immediately tells Jeff and Jordan about the changes that are happening. They quickly tell Braden that he is a target. An observant Russell smells a rat, and confronts Ronnie â€" demanding to know whether or not he spilled the beans. Ronnie denies everything, but Russell tells Jessie that he thinks Ronnie is playing everyone. The pair wonders if Ronnie should go on the block because he is “overplaying his hand and putting himself in the line of fire.”

Veto Ceremony time!
Russell calls the House Guests in for the Veto Ceremony. Lydia hopes her conversation with The Athletes will make a difference while Braden and Ronnie wonder if they might be going up on the block. Once everyone is settled, Russell asks why he should use the PoV on either of the nominees. Lydia and Chima quickly make their cases before Russell announces that he has decided to use the PoV on Lydia. Jessie gets up and reveals his replacement nominee—Braden! Lydia feels that this proves that she truly can handle the game. Braden thinks that he was misrepresented and vows not to give up. Jeff feels that Russell and Jessie are the bullies of the house and need to be confronted. So, who will be the first evicted House Guest? And who will be the new HoH? Find out live Thursday, July 16 at 8pm ET/PT on BIG BROTHER!