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Vanessa Ashley Rousso was a HouseGuest on Big Brother 17.

Vanessa is known for being the founder of The Sixth Sense alliance, manipulating people to do her bidding within the game, and playing a strategic and aggressive game. For a majority of the season, she controlled the game and was responsible for 11 of the 15 evictions her season. She made many deals and won several competitions within the house to get her to finale night.

She finished in 3rd place, becoming evicted by the sole vote of her ally, Steve Moses, who went on to win the game. According to most of the jurors, had Vanessa made it to the Final Two, she would have had the votes to win over either Steve or Liz.

Due to her competition prowess, strategic maneuvering, and constant manipulation, she is considered one of the most excellent HouseGuests in Big Brother history. She ranks up there with certain Big Brother Legends such as Will KirbyDan Gheesling, and Derrick Levasseur. She can even be considered as one of the greatest players to have never won along with Danielle Reyes and Janelle Pierzina.


Retrieved from[1]

Age: 32
Hometown: Las Vegas
Current City: Las Vegas
Occupation: Professional poker player
Three adjectives that describe you: Eclectic, maverick, and adaptable.
Favorite Activities: Making music, listening to music, DJing, going to the drive-in movie theater, working out, playing strategy games, solving riddles, traveling and exploring, people-watching, anything on the water, learning something new, training my dogs (they each know over 20 commands), hiking, fine dining, hanging out at home with my beautiful girlfriend, watching Netflix, throwing parties, imitating accents, dancing, meeting new people, road trips, camping, sky diving, photography, and more!
What do you think will be the most difficult part about living inside the Big Brother house: Not being able to communicate with my girlfriend will definitely be the toughest part of the entire experience. We are very, very close and I rely on her as a teammate in life. I know I will miss her terribly. Also, not being able to use a computer to produce music or be able to browse the net will be insanely difficult since I'm definitely spoiled by the Internet and modern technology—not to mention that making music is my go-to stress reliever! Not having access to technology will certainly be a challenge!
Which past Big Brother cast member did you like most: Dan Gheesling, by far. He is not afraid to make big moves, he has a great social game to complement his strategic prowess, and I'm inspired by the fact that he never ever gives up!
What are you afraid of: Flying insects/bats, death, being out of control, and being humiliated publicly.
Finish this sentence: My life’s motto is… From a blog I wrote in my early 20s: I find my calm not at the finish line, looking back at the distance I've traveled, but in the moment, on the run, out of breath, looking forward. I don't know where I'm going, and I guess I hope to God I never get there—I'm happy as I am: Chasing something eternal and ethereal. The world is not—will never be—enough for me and that's just the way I like it. Also, I live by a code of, "Do right, be fair, have heart."
What would you take into the house and why: First would be my iPod/headphones to listen to music because music greatly impacts my emotions and can help me keep a level head when I'm stressed. I listen to music when I play poker and it would be awesome to be able to use it similarly during Big Brother. I’d also bring hair bleach. I highlight my hair and three months is a hella long time to go without doing my roots #vanity!! Finally, my journal since I love to write. It helps me process my emotions and make decisions with a clear head.

Vanessa was born on February 5th, 1983. She is the No. 4 female poker player in the world when it comes to online and live tournaments. She's been a pro for the past 10 years and has won $4.5 Million dollars since she began. She's a tomboy who has always been extremely competitive, whether it's playing lacrosse in high school or beating men and women all over the world at the poker table. Being in a male-dominated industry, Vanessa isn't easily intimidated and is used to keeping her emotions in check, which will help her keep her eye on the prize. She's perfected the art of bluffing and knows that she can manipulate her Houseguests however she sees fit while living in the Big Brother house.

Player History - Big Brother 17

Competition History

Week 1 HOH Sat Out - Immune 1
BOTB Ineligible
POV Not Picked
Week 2 HOH Loss
BOTB Ineligible
POV Not Picked
Week 3 HOH Win
BOTB Survived
POV Loss
Luxury Loss
Week 4 HOH Previous HOH
BOTB Ineligible
Week 5 HOH Win
BOTB Survived
POV Loss
Week 6 HOH Previous HOH
POV Loss
Week 7 HOH Loss
POV Loss
HOH Loss
POV Loss
Week 8 HOH Loss
POV Not Picked
Week 9 HOH Loss
Week 10 HOH Win
POV Loss
HOH Previous HOH
POV Not Picked
Week 11 HOH Loss
POV Loss
Week 12 HOH/Luxury Win
POV Loss
HOH Previous HOH
Week 13 HOH Part 1 Win
HOH Part 2 Unable To Play
HOH Part 3 Loss

Note: 1 Vanessa volunteered to sit out of the first HOH competition as only seven spots were available.

Have/Have-Not History

Week 1 Have-Not
Week 2 Have
Week 3 Have
Week 4 Have
Week 5 Have
Week 6 Have
Week 7 Have
Week 8 Have-Not
Week 9 Have
Week 10 Have
Week 11 Have/Have-Not Phase Over
Week 12
Week 13

Voting History

Week Position Voted for With Majority?
1 Immune Jace Agolli Yes
2 Da'Vonne Rogers Yes
4 POV Holder Audrey Middleton Yes
6 Clay Honeycutt Yes
7 Post-POV Nominee
Jackie Ibarra Yes
8 Becky Burgess Yes
9 POV Holder John McGuire Yes
10 HOH
James Huling Yes
11 Julia Nolan Yes
12 HOH Austin Matelson Yes (Tiebreaker)
Used POV on Self John McGuire Sole Vote
13 Nominated
Finale Jury Member Liz Nolan No

HOH History

Original Nominees Post-Veto Nominees Intended Target
Week 3
Jeff Weldon
Week 5
Jason Roy
Week 10
Meg Maley
Week 12
Austin Matelson

Post Big Brother

  • Soon after the BB17 finale, Vanessa's girlfriend Melissa "Mel" Ouellet proposed to her and they became engaged.[2][3] They got married at some point before August 2019 but it is unclear when.
  • Vanessa appeared on Big Brother 18 to discuss the gameplay of her sister, Tiffany Rousso and fellow BB17 houseguests, Da'Vonne Rogers and James Huling.
  • Vanessa passed the Florida Bar Exam in September 2018.[4]
  • In August 2019, Vanessa announced that Mel was 12 weeks pregnant via IVF with their first child, a baby boy.[5] She later announced in October 2019 that she herself was pregnant with twin boys, bringing the total Rousso-Ouellet children due in 2020 count to 3.[6][7]
    • Mel gave birth to their first son, Lucas Valentino Rousso, on February 15, 2020.[8]
    • Vanessa prematurely, but safely, gave birth to their twin sons, Lorenzo Mark Rousso and London James Rousso, on March 4, 2020.[9]


  • Vanessa is the second Big Brother contestant to be a judge on a TV show, Bank of Hollywood, the first being Frankie Grande who is currently judging America's Best Dance Crew.
    • Unlike Frankie, Vanessa became a TV judge before appearing on Big Brother.
  • Vanessa is the first female in Big Brother 17 to win the Power of Veto.
  • Vanessa is the first HouseGuest in Big Brother 17 to win both a HoH and a PoV.
  • Every time Vanessa won a PoV Competition, she would always win the next HOH Competition (except the finale night).
  • She, Steve Moses and Liz Nolan, have spent the second most amount of consecutive days in the Big Brother house, with 98 days.
  • Vanessa's HOH reign in Week 3 is the first time a female HOH evicted a male houseguest since Aaryn Gries' evicted Judd Daugherty in Big Brother 15, over 25 evictions ago.
    • Vanessa is also the first HouseGuest in Big Brother 17 to win PoV and not be a nominee.
  • Vanessa is the only HouseGuest in Big Brother 17 to have used the Veto on someone else (Jason Roy).
  • Vanessa is the only female to win PoV multiple times in Big Brother 17. She won the second most PoV's in that season with 3, behind John McGuire who has 4.
  • Vanessa won the most competitions in Big Brother 17 with seven wins. She won 4 HoHs and 3 PoVs.
    • Counting Battle of the Block competitions Steve Moses also won 7 competitions in BB17 (1 BoB, 2 PoVs, and 4 HoHs), however, BoB wins are widely not regarded as competition wins.
  • Vanessa ties with Daniele Donato for the second most competitions won in a season in Big Brother history with 7 (4 HoHs and 3 PoVs), with the two of them being bested by Janelle Pierzina who has 9.
  • She is the second woman in the history of Big Brother to win at least 3 HOHs and 3 POVs in one season following Janelle Pierzina.
  • Vanessa holds the record for the most competitions won in a single season by an LGBTQ+ houseguest in Big Brother history. She won a total of 7 competitions.
    • Jason Roy holds the record with 8, but his wins were spread over two seasons.
  • Vanessa was the second houseguest in her season to win and remain HOH twice, following Shelli.
  • She is (partially) responsible for every eviction except for Jace's and Jackie's eviction.
  • Vanessa holds the record for nominating the most amount of houseguests during her HOH reigns. She nominated ten different houseguests in a single season.
    • Vanessa nominated every single male houseguest in BB17 during her reigns as HOH, except for Jace Agolli.
    • Besides Jace, the other HouseGuests she didn't nominate were Da'Vonne, Shelli, Jackie, Audrey & Liz .
  • Vanessa is the sixth woman to ever win 3 HoH's in one season following Nakomis Dedmon, Janelle Pierzina, Rachel Reilly, Aaryn Gries and Nicole Franzel respectively. They were followed by Liz Nolan, Alex Ow, and Angela Rummans.
  • In all of her HOH reigns, all of her original targets were not evicted.
    • Her original targets were always James (weeks 3 &10), Austin (during week 5) or John.
    • Her new targets Jeff, Jason, Meg, and Austin (during week 12) respectively were evicted though.
  • Vanessa's sister Tiffany was a houseguest on Big Brother 18.
  • Vanessa is one of six females to win at least 3 PoV's in a single season, along with Daniele Donato, Janelle Pierzina, Michele Noonan, Britney Haynes and Kaycee Clark.
  • Had Vanessa made it to the final 2, she would have beaten both Steve Moses and Liz Nolan according to the jurors.


Big Brother 17 (US) Houseguests
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