Big Brother: Why separating ‘Clelli’ is the greatest move of the game so far

Oh it’s on! James winning HOH this week on Big Brother? means that we’re about to see the end of an era. That era being the rule of the house of “Clelli” (or, Clay and Shelli).

After this week’s eviction, we will begin to think of life as before Clelli and after Clelli. Like any good sobriquet, the sheer mention of the name instills fear and conjures up images of housemate eviction. In a game with so many lies, the one truth understood by all is: Do not cross Clelli.

Shelli on Big Brother 17

Image: CBS

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As a player, the move is genius and it must happen. Like the French Revolution, the overthrow of Clelli is inevitable, and it will change the course of #BB17 history. However, as a viewer, I say, “Dammit!” It was so fun to watch Shelli and Clay manipulate everyone in the Sixth Sense alliance into believing that their real goal was to preserve everyone, selflessly.

The showdown at The Block was more exciting than any Tom Cruise action movie when James went against his promise to Clelli. Up until this point, James had been a man of his word, a true Southern gentleman with the utmost integrity. Yet he turned on Clelli so coldly after promising to keep Shelli safe this week during the battle for HOH.

Shelli and Clay nominated Big Brother

Image: CBS

When it was revealed that Clelli would be on The Block, you knew that one of the two-headed monsters was going to rear up and revolt, and it was Shelli. She was quick to point out to the rest of the house that James was not a man of his word, and could not be trusted. But by the reaction shots of everyone in the house, her words fell on deaf ears, and they all seemed secretly happy that Clelli would be split up. The reign of terror would soon be over and the relief in the house was palpable.

Just one of Clelli leaving will weaken the other considerably, even more than one of the twins leaving, and here’s why: Right from the very beginning, when Clelli discovered their shared heart murmurs, their mutual attraction began. They didn’t consider if the other was even a good player or not, nor did they take even one second to ponder if it would be a smart move to pair up so quickly. They just did it; they are impulsive. Not a good trait for a leader.

Shelli and Clay Big Brother 17

Image: CBS

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However, on a show like Big Brother, where you have to team up against others, it’s good to have a partner in crime. That makes it easier to do mean things and to make unpopular choices, because you can always blame the other person, even if it’s just to yourself, in your mind, justifying that choice. Because now, you didn’t make it alone, we did, which excuses some terrible behavior. (I watch a lot of “couples who kill” kinds of shows and that’s what the experts say happens.) This is also not a good trait for a leader, because you don’t stand firmly behind your actions; you sheepishly point fingers, thus weakening your resolve. The other housemates can smell fear.

The Twins on BB17

Image: Tumblr

The twins don’t have this “us against them” thing going on. They disagree; Liz has lied to Julia about Austin; they are not a united front like Clelli is and I suspect that Liz will be going home before Julia because of it. You can almost picture Julia in the womb taking all the food and kicking Liz out of the good parts of the uterus.

The Clelli bully has got to be stopped, and Vanessa, calling herself a “third wheel” while going to James behind their back, is evidence that even she doesn’t trust them.

Vanessa and James Big Brother 17


When Vanessa realized that she could be a target, she was quick to save herself. Like the genius player I suspect she is, she went to James, the new king of the house, and threw herself on the mercy of the court. She convinced him that her eviction of Jason (James’ ally) was in fact the ruling of the Clelli monster. James bought her story and shared with us that Vanessa is a straight shooter who has never lied to him (as far as he knows).

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It’s clear that Clay doesn’t trust Vanessa as much as Shelli does, which means he may be the one to go home, leaving the Sixth Sense alliance with only five members.

Clay on Big Brother 17

Image: CBS

I predict that Vanessa and James will form a new alliance, hopefully one with Johnny Mac once he drops the dummy routine. I’ll even give it a mash-up name: they can call it Va-Jay-Jo. You’re welcome.

What do you think will happen? Are you eager to see either Clay or Shelli go home? Tell us in the comments below.


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