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Season 11: Episode 12 - Michele is the New Power Player in a Divided House
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

Russell explains that he decided to put Ronnie on the block in order to “see where everyone’s loyalties lie.” Despite his eviction nomination, Ronnie notes that he’s suffered through worse scenarios than this. Jeff is relieved that Russell kept his word, and plans on lying low this week along with Jordan. Fellow eviction nominee, Lydia, is confused; she and Russell used to be in an alliance, so she has no idea where she stands with the HoH.

After nominations, Kevin and Lydia mope in the red room. Kevin feels that Lydia is fine up against the ousted rat, Ronnie, but Lydia notes that it never feels good to be on the block. Meanwhile, Ronnie decides to turn on the waterworks in an HoH Suite conversation with Russell. Ronnie lays it on thick as he compliments Russell and throws Lydia under the bus, but Russell isn’t buying what Ronnie is selling. “He can’t even fake cry,” Russell says later. “I’m more than happy to put the tombstone on his grave.”

Chima comes to visit the HoH and it’s clear that she has a much warmer relationship with Russell than Ronnie does. Things get downright cuddly as Chima pitches Lydia for eviction. Russell shoots this down, even as Jessie and Natalie join the conversation and both push to keep Ronnie, whom Russell still considers to be “the Rat.” Russell observes that Jessie and Natalie are feeling the pressure as they become more isolated, but Russell thinks that’s their problem, not his.
 Natalie Hustles Votes for The RatNatalie realizes that Ronnie’s fate is up to Michele, who appears to be the swing vote this week. Natalie lobbies Michele over a game a pool, but Michele commits to nothing as she relishes her position of power. Jessie joins them and tries his best to sway Michele, but he gets nowhere. Later, Jessie explains that Michele is an unpredictable floater, the kind of player he doesn’t like.

Russell calls everyone inside for the Veto Competition player selection. Russell pulls Michele’s chip, which annoys Natalie. Ronnie picks Jessie’s chip, which plays into Ronnie’s best-case scenario for the Veto. Lydia picks her buddy Kevin, so she gets an ally in the competition as well.
 Vini Vidi VetoAfter putting on Roman togas, the House Guests go outside to find the backyard transformed into a Roman Forum, complete with a chariot, shields, helmets and even a real-life hunky Centurion! Ronnie sticks his head into a big box marked “Roman Underground” where he finds a cage full of rats! The players are given five minutes to look at all the items as Chima informs them that the object of the Veto Competition is to acquire three points by correctly guessing numerical answers in each round. Chima explains that, after seeing what everyone has guessed, each player will then decide to either stay in the game or fold. Players who choose to fold don’t get a point, but can play in the next round. Players who stay in the game and get the number furthest from the actual total will be eliminated. The person who guesses the number closest to the correct answer will win one point.  The first player to score three points will win the game and the Power of Veto.  

Chima announces that it’s time for the first round. How many jewels are on the emperor’s chariot? After guessing their numbers, it turns out that everyone folds except for Jessie! He automatically wins the point, but Kevin steams when he finds out that his guess of 515 was only one jewel away from the correct answer of 514.

Chima then asks them how many arrows are in the Centurion’s shield. After everyone guesses, Russell, Kevin and Jessie are the only players to stay. Russell wins a point, while Kevin is eliminated. Russell wins a second point the next round. Chima then asks how many marks are in the hunky Centurion’s belt. Once again, everyone folds, except for one player—Michele! Jessie is peeved to find out that he would have won if he had stayed in the game.

The next round has the players guessing how many rats are in the underworld. When Ronnie reveals his number, Russell asks if he’s including himself in the count! Again, Michele wins when everyone folds. With Russell and Michele tied with two points each, Chima asks how many feathers are in the Centurion’s helmet. Michelle and Jessie are the only players to stay. Michele guesses 68 while Jessie guesses 130. When the correct answer of 92 feathers is revealed, Michele gets her third point and the Power of Veto! Not only is she the swing vote, Michele can control the nominations. Not a bad turn of events for the quiet Michele.
 Ronnie Takes a StandRonnie wastes no time in chatting up Michele. He takes the soft approach with compliments and gentle guidance, but Michele doesn’t really commit either way. Later, when she is outside, Michele is approached by Russell, who calls her upstairs to the HoH Suite. Chima, Natalie and Jessie notice this and are not pleased. Upstairs, Russell and Michele talk about all the couples in the house—Jeff and Jordan, Kevin and Lydia, Natalie and Jessie—and wonder if they should work together. As the pair bond over a potential alliance, Jessie and Natalie come upstairs, which irritates Russell. Michele admits that they irritate her as well before ragging on Natalie’s game. Later, Russell says that he is starting to notice that Michele is an intelligent player and he has to convince her not to use the Veto.

Ronnie is not happy with the current state of things. He decides to try a new tactic with Michele.  The two sit down together in the backyard and Ronnie proceeds to warn Michele that, if he goes out this week, Jessie, Natalie and Chima will come after her. All pretense of gentility falls away as Ronnie tells her that not saving him would be a very bad move for her. “Thinking logically, you will be evicted and will not make it to the final two,” he intones. But is Michele scared of Ronnie’s threats?
 Chima and Russell’s Newfound TensionRussell comes into the kitchen to find Natalie, Kevin and Chima laughing. Russell throws out his signature word, “Schemers!” Chima notes that he loves this word, and Russell adds his other favorite word, the Jeff-inspired “technotronics.” Chima teases that now Russell and Jeff are boyfriends, while Russell retorts that Lydia and Chima are now girlfriends. Not to be outdone, Chima accuses Russell of having a “new girlfriend” in Michele. The tension between Russell and Chima is palpable. Russell thinks that Chima is a very jealous person and has mutated into “the possessive girlfriends I’ve always dreaded.” Outside, he tells Jessie that Chima is wearing on his last nerve and that he could very easily put her up if Michele uses the Veto. Jessie is not happy to hear that his solid House ally, Chima, is no longer in Russell’s favor.

In the HoH Suite, Jessie tells Natalie what Russell said about Chima and, like Jessie, Natalie is concerned. Chima comes upstairs and asks if there is a problem and Jessie tells her about Russell’s concerns. She says that the whole conversation in the kitchen was just a joke and she insists that, if he has a problem with her, Russell should tell her personally.

Later, in the pool bedroom, Ronnie and Chima commiserate. Ronnie warns that Michele and Russell together are the “one-two T.K.O.” They both grouse about how smart Russell thinks he is, while Chima adds that he’s also paranoid. As if on cue, Russell lurks outside the door, attempting to eavesdrop. Natalie comes in and tells them that Russell overheard their conversation. Ronnie says that he doesn’t care. Natalie shoots back, “no, you don’t, because you know you’re going home,” and warns Chima that she is only pulling herself down along with Ronnie. Jessie comes in and apologizes to Ronnie that they have not been able to save him, but warns Chima to keep her distance from Ronnie since she is only tainting herself. Chima says that she really wants to confront Russell about his recent behavior. In the diary room, Russell confirms what Jessie and Natalie have been warning.  “If Chima has a close relationship with Ronnie, that means she is on his side,” Russell says. “There is no point in keeping her here.”
 Veto CeremonyRonnie has no idea if Michele has a deal with Russell, which worries him. Meanwhile, Jessie says that he is 100 percent worried about Michele. Chima is concerned that she might find herself on the block after her spat with Russell. Michele calls them inside and starts with Ronnie. “I’ll give you a chance to lie first, I mean, speak,” Michele smirks.  Ronnie makes it short and sweet and says he’ll respect Michele’s decision either way. Lydia says that she’s got no problem with Michele and tells her to do whatever she wants. Michele announces that she is using the Power of Veto on…no one.

Michele knows that she is now drawing a line in the sand. Russell wonders if he can consider Michele a new ally. Lydia hopes that Ronnie doesn’t get the Mystery Power that Julie talked about in last week’s live show. Ronnie vows that he still has a few moves left in him. So, who will be evicted? Who will be the new HoH? And whom has America chosen to receive the power of “Coup d’etat?” Find out live Thursday, August 6 at 8pm ET/PT on BIG BROTHER on CBS.