Andy handily won the Power of Veto competition, which imagined all the former houseguests as horrific David Cronenberg man-fly hybrids. After it was over, Andy and Spencer lay in the HoH throne room, pondering their next step. GinaMarie had always been honest with everyone, whether she liked them or hated them. She played a "clean game," whatever that means -- in sharp contrast to Andy, who betrayed everyone on his long road to the finish line. Spencer told Andy flat-out that he probably couldn't beat GM in a Final Two vote.
I'm not so sure that's true; Judd and Aaryn and Elissa are solid for GinaMarie, but Candice and Jessie don't like her and both Helen and Amanda respect Andy's game more than GM's. But it would certainly be close. "She's such a sweetheart," said Andy, "And she was the only one who had the nuts to put up Amanda and McCrae."
If Andy's smart, he'll want Spencer next to him in the Final Two. Spencer, for his part, has to know that he's racing for second place at this point. In fact, he might have run the numbers and decided that was the smart play. Spencer has been a magnificent non-entity in the longest season of Big Brother ever, but it seems like a foregone conclusion that he will walk out of the house next week $50,000 richer, which isn't too shabby for a summer vacation. I'm not sure that any player will ever try to emulate Spencer, and I'm reasonably certain that Spencer himself is a bit embarrassed by his record-setting nomination record. But there is some weird honor in being the pawn who endures. Yes, I'm grasping at straws. This has been a weird season.
McCrae tried to make a similar plea to Andy. And in fairness, it almost worked. McCrae told Andy that GinaMarie had the popular vote inside of Jury Purgatory. And he reframed the Spencer debate in an intriguing way: Spencer is the one player with no blood on his hands. I'm not sure people would actually vote for Spencer for that reason -- most people seem to think he's a strange, sketchy human being. But it was a compelling point.
It wasn't compelling enough, though. At the live eviction, Andy opted out of using the Veto, and sole voter GinaMarie apologetically sent McCrae packing. She spoke kind words to him, though, saying "We love you" a couple of times. Afterwards, we found out why: Julie Chen played some footage from right before the live show, which showed the Exterminators revealing themselves to McCrae. McCrae had a smile on his face when he heard. When Julie asked him why, he looked a bit shell-shocked, and couldn't quite explain it. Maybe, as a fan of the game, he recognized an impressive power-play. Maybe he was ready to just be a fan of the game again, and not be a player. McCrae had a strange run through a strange season; he essentially ruled the house for about six weeks there, but it's clear that everyone assumes he was floating along behind a major power player.
About that: McCrae's exit led to one of the all-time MVP Hall of Fame moments for Julie Chen:
Julie: "At times, you seemed deeply in love with Amanda. At times, you seemed deeply afraid of Amanda. What are your feelings for Amanda?"
BEAUTIFUL. It was funny, it was incisive, it was exactly the question we've all been wondering; in her excellent mom-robot-from-Neptune diction, it sounded a little bit like Julie Chen was really asking that question to all of humanity, as if she was struggling to understand this thing we call "romance." And McCrae had a thoughtful response:
McCrae: "Ummm...Well, Amanda's really smart...and they say opposites attract...inside the house, everything's weird and different, but the same...things are more moderner than before...bigger, and yet smaller...SAN DIMAS HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RULES!"
Still, it was possible to parse McCrae's gibberish and figure out a basic truth: Regrets, He's Had A Few. When Julie asked him how he would have changed his game, he said, "I wish I had distanced myself from Amanda more." That reads harsh, but you could argue that he wasn't throwing his girlfriend under the bus; rather, he was just reconsidering spending roughly 95% of the day in her arms. And it is true that, when Amanda left, his game collapsed. Maybe McCrae will get another chance at the big prize -- if anyone from this bizarre season ever returns as an All-Star, it'll probably be McCrae and Amanda as a duo. Even if you think he's a dunce cap and she's burning tornado-cane of evil, you have to admire how completely they/she ruled the house for over a month there.
But now they're both gone. Inside the Big Brother house, Andy and GinaMarie and Spencer are making Exterminator hand-signs and cheering their good luck and great strategy. I'd say right now it's an even split between Andy and GinaMarie taking home the big prize -- with a slight tip to Andy, just because if Spencer wins Head of Household by some miracle I bet he'd bring Andy with him over GM. What do you think, fellow viewers? Who's your pick to win the season? Is Spencer a guaranteed runner-up? And who is your favorite player from the season? I'm leaning towards Jessie. Just kidding. HELEN 4 LIFE.
Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich