10:23am PT by Brian Porreca
'Big Brother 17': Former Jurors Crown This Season's Winner, Talk Alumni Twitter Battles
It's going to be an epic battle on Big Brother's season 17 finale Wednesday night when Liz, Vanessa and Steve fight for the half-million dollar grand prize. Who decides their fate? That would be the soon-to-be nine-member jury writing the check for $500,000.
In order to assess who this season's jury might vote for, The Hollywood Reporter caught up with former jurors Britney Haynes (Seasons 12, 14), Elissa Reilly Slater (Season 15), Frank Eudy (Season 14) and Zach Rance (Season 16).
Some miss the good old days of downtime in the jury house. Some have accepted that life goes on once Big Brother is over. And others want to make sure the right winner this year is chosen. Rance says of the least deserving winner in the show's history: "Andy [Herren]. He freaking did nothing. I didn't know he was on the show until the finale."
Below is the verdict of who will win this season (if these former jurors were the ones calling the shots, again).
How do you think this season ranks in terms of entertainment value compared to past seasons?
Slater: It was so strategic. There were a lot of really intense game players this season which I like to watch. I wish they would have been a little bit more into their alliances.
Rance: The entertainment value this season was below average and I’m going to agree with Leslie Moonves and say the cast wasn’t so great. He came out and said that this was not a good cast.
Haynes: For me personally, very high. There’s been big personalities, there’s been conflict, there’s showmance. Johnny Mac is phenomenal, entertainment value just by himself.
Eudy: I've enjoyed it pretty thoroughly. Certain characters like Johnny Mac right off the bat I didn't care for the guy, just because he was so manic in his diary rooms, but then you grew to love the guy. I was rooting for him because, like me, he had been on the block a whole lot of times.
What did you think about Austin leaving his girlfriend for Liz?
Haynes: (Laughs.) He seems like one of these hokey hopeless romantic types that is really just a desperado. For some reason Liz has been willing to take him in. That guy was going to have a showmance no matter what season he was on.
Rance: Austin is pathetic. There are some people in the world that are just like love-struck puppies. He was so aggressive and all in her space. Really repulsive. If Liz and Austin were in the real world and Austin kept trying for Liz, she would eventually say, "Yo, I’m blocking your number, leave me alone, or I’m calling the cops." He’s the worst.
The houseguests are obviously watched 24/7 on the live feeds. Do you think there have been any moments in particular that they might regret?
Haynes: (Laughs.) Yes I do. Common sense was completely thrown to the waste side and we saw some pretty epic moments that will forever tarnish certain houseguests’ lives, bad. Normally the houseguests are smart enough to conceal their faces and appendages under the covers completely so you can at least leave room for a shadow of the doubt as to what was actually occurring. But this season, heck no we got like “O” faces straight on at the camera. Lifelong humiliation coming their way.
Slater: Maybe Vanessa will be embarrassed about some of the stuff, but they weren't all that controversial.
Rance: If Clay hasn’t regretted already telling everyone to vote him out, that’s the biggest regret. Who the hell would go on Big Brother, get on the block and tell everyone to vote him out? That is so disrespectful to millions of people. That is by far the biggest regret of the season.
Eudy: Most people on the show haven't really done anything too much to put their foot in their mouth.
What is being in sequester in the jury house really like?
Eudy: I'll speak from the heart. You very first get in there and they give you that one phone call. It's a monitored call, they have someone on the line with you, but as soon as my mom's voice got on the phone I broke out into tears. I'm not an emotional guy, but it's hard to take a loss and knowing she was watching me on the live feeds, it was an emotional time. It's also like you've been in prison when you get out of the house, but you're still going to prison in the jury house. It's like going from a blue-collar prison to a white-collar prison.
Rance: It’s like the world just stops spinning and you’re stuck in time.
Slater: It's almost as boring as being in the Big Brother house, but you don't feel as much like you're playing the game. Now looking back on it, I'm opening a wellness center so I'm busy 24/7 and I'm like, "Why didn't I just enjoy not doing anything."
Haynes: It’s really boring, but it’s actually kind of good. You leave the house where you’re just like so wound up and it gives you time to really decompress before you leave and exit back into the real world. When I was in jury I kind of wanted to die. I missed my husband, I could not wait to get out. Now I look back on that time like, "Wow that feels amazing." Now that I’m a housewife with two kids, 2 years old and under, I seriously sit down at the end of the day, the first time I’ve sat down all day long and look back at those countless hours I spent watching Breaking Bad.
How much time is allotted for game talk about your vote?
Rance: No game talk at all. You’re not allowed to talk to anyone else. You’re vote is strictly your vote. If you talk game at all you get in trouble.
Haynes: They really try to keep you from being alone without supervision to prohibit that. Two people can’t just run off in the middle of nowhere together because they know that’s what you’re going to do. They do a pretty good job of keeping it to a minimum, but people still find ways. They really want you to figure it out for yourself and not be persuaded and if you are going to be persuaded they want the cameras there to see why you were persuaded.
Eudy: We're able to talk freely amongst ourselves. The handlers are there to make sure we're not getting out of the house and getting on the phone from my understanding. Obviously I used my time in that jury house to make sure Dan didn't win, that was my goal.
Slater: You have handlers with you and they do monitor our conversations because we're not supposed to talk about votes until they're filming it. They followed us around everywhere we went. Sometimes we would pretend like we're doing puzzles, but we would be really talking game. Every time they would come over and were like "What are you guys talking about?" We'd be like, "Oh we're just trying to figure this puzzle out." (Laughs.)
How do the jury members convince others who to vote for? Austin said it’s his mission to make sure people don’t vote for Vanessa. Does he have that power?
Eudy: I did have the power, but I don't know if he does. He's a different guy than me, he seems like a nice guy, but I'm a better talker and persuader. Not only would he have a little bit of a tough time he also has to deal with Shelli who sounds like she's rooting for Vanessa.
Rance: He has no power. The only vote you have control over is your own. It comes down to who do you want to award the money to. You're all friends and that's something people don't really understand. You end up liking each other and creating a special bond. If Frankie [Grande] was in the final two I was voting for him 100 percent because I wanted Frankie to win. It's about who you want to win.
Haynes: He may have that power, it depends on the relationships he has established with the people in the jury house. He can certainly campaign against her, but the other jurors would have to be receptive to it. Personally, I think they're smart enough to not follow the direction of a pony-beard.
Slater: You're around each other for so long you get to know people's personalities so some people know how to use their words to manipulate. The energy Austin brings into the house could make a little bit of a difference and Becky seems 100 percent mad.
It could be a bitter jury similar to past seasons with Donny Thompson voting for Cody Calafiore, Britney and Frank you voted for Ian Terry over Dan Gheesling …
Haynes: I was voting for Dan against anyone except Ian, and tried to convince everyone that he deserved it against anyone except Ian, but it was not working! He had two possible votes and that was it, the rest were dead set against giving him the money. Everyone had their reasons why he had crossed the line with them in some way. But that's part of the game too and what makes Big Brother so dynamic. You have to be able to read who is going to be able to look past your cutthroat moves and who won't. One thing that makes BB so different than other similar shows is how much time you actually spend with each other. You have to understand that when you've been with someone for 90ish days, it's really hard not to take things personally. Conversely as a viewer, it drives me insane if the person who played the best game doesn't win, so I can understand that position as well.
Slater: Donny played an emotional game. He thought if somebody wasn't nice he wouldn't vote for them. As far as Dan's season everyone figured he had already won. So why give him a second win?
Eudy: If it had been Dan and Danielle up there and I voted for Danielle to win I could see people looking, "Yeah Frank's really bitter." But when it came down to Dan and Ian I would pick Ian every time. He deserved to win. The only reason I feel like Dan should of won is because he got to end twice, but that's not enough.
Rance: Donny had a vendetta against Derrick. Donny is not fond of Derrick and he did not want him to win. I don't know if anyone is going to be bitter. They could be towards Vanessa, but I don't think Steve or Liz deserve to win it. Actually I wouldn't mind if Liz wins. It'd be even funnier if she wins and then dumps Austin. I'm really hoping that would happen. How great would that be?
And then calls you?
Rance: (Laughs.) She does live in Florida. That's funny.
Big Brother is one big dysfunctional family and there have been some fights on social media. What did you think of Janelle and Jun’s recent debacle on Twitter as well as Andy versus Derrick and Zach?
Haynes: Oh definitely dysfunctional! The Twitter fights are extremely entertaining! I could have been involved in several by now, but I don't even like to draw attention to the people who try to start them, which is exactly what they want. Why give them even one more follower? Let them stick at their paltry 23K.
Rance: If someone wants to try me I have no problem coming back at them. A lot of these BB people take Twitter so seriously. It's something I don't take seriously at all. I'm not one of those people who's starting Big Brother reality recaps. Nothing I do involves Big Brother. I live stream on YouNow everyday and I never even talk about Big Brother, I just entertain. I've definitely moved on with my life 100 percent.
Eudy: The only reason I got social media is to meet chicks. When I do pull up Twitter I always see that Andy Herren kid posting things. I love Big Brother, I'm a big fan, but at the same time I'm intelligent enough to realize it's just a reality show. I know that when you get off of it you're still that nobody that you were before. We're all just reality TV show flunkies and some hold onto it really tight and whatever little voice they got they still want to try to use it. I realized it a long time ago that nobody really cares.
Slater: I like to keep my social media cleaner. I'm not a confrontational person, however I love Janelle. She's super feisty and spicy. If somebody upsets them and they want to address it publicly then more power to them. There are times where you feel like, "I just want to blow up their spot to everyone and just let everyone know what a jerk someone is." But sometimes silence is the biggest boom in your face like, "I don't need to answer you."
Out of the three, who has your vote to win the game? Who would you definitely not vote for?
Rance: Vanessa has my vote and I would definitely not vote for Steve. Even though I honestly hate Vanessa, she cries, but I'm going to vote for her because I think she deserves to win. Steve is just boring and wasn't there. He won a couple of competitions but his HoH's ended up sucking for him. I don't think he brought any entertainment to the show.
Haynes: I would definitely vote for Vanessa, but I think that Steve stands a good chance as well. I wouldn't vote for Liz against either of them, but I would say she could make a decent argument for why she deserves it also.
Eudy: I would honestly vote for Liz. Nobody would have picked her from the beginning. Me, like a lot of people watching, have gotten annoyed with Vanessa as a person in general. I didn't like how she tried to intimidate some people and then would get intimidated by other people and get her feelings hurt. She would intimidate Steve because she knew he was a nervous wreck. I hate the way she talked to Steve.
Slater: Vanessa hands down. I would not vote for Steve. Him and Johnny Mac should have joined forces with James.
Who do you think will actually win?
Rance: If I had to guess, I think Liz is going to win. She has two votes already and that's huge. No one's going to vote for Steve. If you vote for him you have no credibility.
Slater: I think it's going to be a toss-up. If the jury's bitter whoever is sitting beside Vanessa is going to win, but she's smart enough and would never take Liz to the final two. Having two jury votes secured 100 percent is a lot.
Haynes: I think Vanessa will win. I don't see this jury being that bitter, despite Austin's best attempts.
Eudy: As much as I want it to be Liz I think Steve will win. If he gets the chance to sit up at the chair on finale night he'll speak circles around both of those girls.
There you have it. If this was your jury this season then by a vote of 3 to 1 Vanessa is winning the game.
Who has your vote to win the game? Will it be a bitter jury? Do you want to see any of these jury members play the game again? Chat about it in the comments below and stay tuned to The Live Feed for all things Big Brother.
The Big Brother season finale airs at Wednesday 9:30pm on CBS.