Mike has a chat with George upstairs in HoH before the competition. He asks George to consider what the house as a whole really wants. George says that they want James out. Mike says no, no -- he wants George to think bigger. Longer-term. You know...blonder. What does the house really want? He also tells George that Janelle did not keep George from going up -- Will, James, and Mike kept him from going up. George looks confused, although that could be cut in from almost anywhere. Mike says that if Howie doesn't win the veto, this would be a great opportunity to get rid of Janelle. He reminds George that there aren't that many veto competitions left that Janelle won't play in, so opportunities to throw her out are likely to be limited. He also promises George "a free pass to the back of the line" as far as being nominated, should he put up Janelle and get her out. Presumably that would be the "back of the line" after himself and Will at the very least, and probably Erika, as well, and maybe Danielle, making George more...somewhere in the middle of the line. George says that he'll think about it.
And now, it's time for the veto competition. The backyard is all decked out with gnomes in a fake forest. "There's three things I hate in life," Will says emphatically in the diary room. "Robot clowns, baby corn, and freaky little gnomes." That's really upsetting. I've never even thought to be afraid of robot clowns, but...I think I am. Essentially, this game -- even harder to explain than most -- involves being stuck to one spot and having to fashion some kind of grabbing/pulling device that will allow you to fetch a bag that's hanging on a stump a few feet away. (If this is reminding you of Friends, and of the poking device to see if Ugly Naked Guy was still alive, you aren't wrong.) You will make your device out of a bunch of props from recent competitions -- balls, flamingoes, spatulas, hula hoops, and so forth. And you have a roll of tape to put everything together. When you retrieve your bag, it will contain a key that will unlock you, and then you'll be done.
Everyone takes various things and starts to tape them together to make something useful. Howie says he was "pretty confident" he would win the veto. And the answer is no, there's no reason for you to believe Howie is any more self-aware than usual, given the quality of his work. Danielle tells us she was always bad at arts and crafts, even in "kindy-garden," so she's not so sure. Ultimately, James does a fairly ingenious thing with his golf club, hula hoop, and spatula that allows him to grab his bag with some precision. He unlocks himself and wins the veto. "Y'all go to hay-ull, bitches," he says as he finishes the task. Janelle does her best game-show-hostess routine as she hands him the veto medal. James tells us that if he vetoes himself, there's a shot at George putting up Janelle. "I have to go for it," he says.