Are showmances ruining ‘Big Brother’ Season 17?

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The showmance has long been a "Big Brother" staple, so much so that a few seasons have even been devoted to cultivating them — Season 4's main twist was "The X-Factor" with five sets of exes in the house together and Season 9 saw the players competing as couples based on their compatibility as soul mates. Usually viewers are only subjected to one showmance per summer, and luckily the pair is quickly targeted as a threat by the houseguests. Unfortunately, this year we have two showmances brewing early, both of them in the controlling alliance that's been responsible for much of the season's monotony. After reading my analysis below, hurry and make your predictions in this week's contest to win our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

Who will win 'Big Brother'? See exclusive predictions

There's no denying the fact that Shelli Poole has been controlling the game so far this season and her two Head of Household victories have secured more than her and Clay Honeycutt's safety — it's given them their own private bedroom for two of the last five weeks. While she continues to play coy with Clay's physical affections, Shelli's status as multiple HOH has given her and the Sixth Sense alliance major power week-to-week.

Without the threat of eviction, Shelli and Clay have been afforded the luxury of being open about their connection. In any other season, the house would have exploited their bond and targeted the pair. Though when Austin Matelson confided Liz Nolan's secret to Jason Roy this week and he immediately told Shelli, it became clear that more players are trying to get in bed with Clay and Shelli than are trying to get them out.

Clay and Shelli's best asset is that they're in an alliance with the other showmance of the season, one we learned this week might not actually be a showmance at all because Liz isn't as into Austin as he is into her. Nevertheless, the house has set their sights on breaking up the threeway of Austin, Liz and her twin sister Julia Nolan. The interesting part is that even Austin wants to break up the threesome, as it was revealed that he wants the house to evict Julia instead of Liz so that she'll focus on him instead of her sister. While there is enough intrigue here to make for a juicy soap opera storyline, this troubled showmance remains under the protection of the dominating Sixth Sense alliance, keeping any tragic Shakespearean sacrifices in the name of love at bay.

In theory, showmances should provide "Big Brother" viewers with the exciting trysts that only the night-vision cameras can detect, but instead they're padding players with a level of protection and a sense of authority that is leaving the game everything but exciting. Our best hope for this week is that Clay remains on the chopping block through the Veto ceremony and sits alongside supposed target Austin on Thursday so that one of the showmances is destroyed and the other can be left open for attack next week.

In our "Big Brother" predictions center, you get to answer the following questions for the rest of Week 5:

Who will win the Veto competition?

Will the Veto be used?

Which houseguest will be evicted?

Who will win 'Big Brother'?

Check out the overall Season 17 leaderboard to the right. Currently our #1 "Big Brother" predictor is Frederic Lam, but there are still many weeks left to play in our contest. Can YOU take him down and win our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate? See our contest rules.

Making your predictions is fun and easy. Just log into your Gold Derby account, or you can register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google.

After logging in, click on the "Predictions" button found at the top-right of every page. That will bring you to a list of every event currently being predicted at Gold Derby — everything from the Emmys and Television Critics Association Awards to "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Survivor."

Click on any box and then scroll down to start making your predictions. For each TV show, cast your votes on several different questions relating to the upcoming episode.

If you click on the "Big Brother" button, you'll see something like this:

To vote for who you think will be eliminated next, drag your chosen contestant over from the left to the right. For example, if you think Becky will get the boot, make sure you put her in first place.

Every time someone logs their predictions, the racetrack odds of the contestants are automatically updated. If the majority of users think Becky will go home, that means she'll have the best odds and will go to the front of the pack. Conversely, the contestants who don't receive many predictions have the worst odds and will go to the bottom of the pile.

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Remember that coming out on top doesn't just mean answering that week's questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a longshot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points, so don't take them for granted.

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it's important that you give us your predictions. You can continue to update and change your predictions throughout the week, just click "Save Predictions" when you've settled on your choice.

Get started by making your prediction as to which houseguest will be eliminated next. And be sure to sound off on the current season of "Big Brother" in Gold Derby's reality TV forum.

 

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