By People Staff
Updated July 24, 2008 12:00 AM
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In the end, the coward trumped the cowboy.

Given his chosen profession, Steven should already know, “You mess with the bull, you get the horns.” The Texas cowboy chose to ignore that rodeo-inspired axiom–as a result, the gay rodeo champ was the second house guest sent packing on last night’s Big Brother.

With Tuesday’s POV winner Michelle choosing to “play it safe,” leaving Steven and Dan on the eviction chopping block, what should have been “survival of the fittest” turned into “survival of the flaccid.” Dan’s “I’m not a threat to any of you” strategy worked–with an obvious assist from Steven’s ill-fated, antagonizing exit speech.

With the dark cloud of his bromance with Brian over his head, Steven strived to stay alive by going on a Texas-sized offensive. He offered himself up to Keesha, April, Ollie and Libra, asking the group, “wouldn’t I make a better ally?” But Dan’s master plan of playing the simpleton–and turning Steven’s desperation into his weapon–was the episode’s turning point. With a resounding vote of 9-to-1, a tearful Steven was sent home. Even his strongest ally Keesha turned on him.

Steven’s “suck it, b——” may prove to be the most brilliant parting words in BB history (watch the clip), yet he couldn’t hide the fact that he was obviously relieved to leave the BB household, admitting to host Julie Chen, ” A bull only lasts eight seconds; this felt like eight years.”

Team B.A. Backbiting: Though Jessie‘s tenure as HoH was coming to a close, his alliance with Angie, Michelle and Memphis continued on. Sitting with Memphis on the patio, Angie glared over at April and Libra, saying, “It just makes my skin crawl to have to be nice to those two.” Let’s just say there is a mutual hatred society forming among the girls in the group, with Keesha, Libra and April eagerly jumping on the “I don’t like Angie” bandwagon. The alliances thus far: April in a showmance with Ollie, Michelle and Angie aligned with Team BA, and Libra leading the flip-flopping Keesha down a separate path.

Close Encounters of a Disturbed Kind?: This week’s HoH competition began with the remaining house guests being spooked by the appearance of a bug-eyed E.T. As items from the house mysteriously disappeared, April, Jessie and Renny each had a close encounter with a green-glowing visitor. April shrieked, Jessie freaked and a wig-wearing Renny attempted to play off her face-to-face with the paranormal, stating, “I’ve seen aliens on the streets of New Orleans before.” Seen it before, done it before, but Renny, you still ended up screaming and running across the room.

The HoH Competition–the Women Take All: The “Alien Abduction” HoH challenge was simply a round-robin memory game between the remaining contestants. After several grueling rounds, it was down to Keesha and her one-time ally Libra. In a turn of events that would have made the ousted Cowboy Steven smile, Keesha won this season’s first female HoH when an over-anxious Libra did herself in with a hasty hand.

But it looks like the machinations of the cunning Libra may tip the scales of the game–in her own favor, of course. Libra, it seems, knows how to play the game under the radar of both the viewers and her fellow contestants. After losing the HoH competition with a chip on her shoulder, Libra was one of the first to greet Keesha with a congratulatory hug.

She and Keesha may have butted heads, but Libra seems to understand, “You keep your friends close, you keep idiot Dan closer, but you keep your enemies the closest of all.” –Reagan Alexander