Curtain Closed, No Encore

From the beginning of this season, one alliance in the House has managed to fairly easily control the game – even when not technically in power. The Level 6 Alliance has had its run of the game, managing to surprise the other side of the House – currently known as The Hive – with eviction after eviction of allies. This past week, the power of L6 proved to be at its peak when enemy Haleigh won HoH and, in a feat of game play mastery, got Haleigh’s ally Rockstar evicted.

It has been a remarkable run of power – but as has been with many a great season, the pendulum had to swing the other way at some point.

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Reaping The Whirlwind

In all truth, she should have seen it coming.

Bayleigh’s eviction on Thursday night capped off a week that saw house meetings, an explosive fight, rage and feelings of being persecuted – when in fact, much of the blame for Bayleigh’s eviction could only be placed at her own feet. While the ramifications of the week that was have yet to play out, we have seen a definite end to a major story of the season. However, the end of Bayleigh’s season also comes with a subtle shift in perception about this cast, and the Level 6 Alliance members find themselves in a position to lose dearly if they fail to take heed of the lessons of the past week.

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Bad Decisions And Worse Aim

Some of the great Heads of Household have commonalities to their HoH reign – listening to their allies, making strategic moves, anticipating how their actions would have consequences later on in the game. The poorest of HoH performances tend to have the same thing in common – hubris and overinflated ego. This season has seen fair-to-good HoH reigns, but the most recent reign of Bayleigh managed to set a low mark for performance in the HoH room – a remarkable feat, given the reign of Kaitlyn before her.

When contrasted to the play of her unknown enemy Tyler, it puts a stark contrast in game play and skill – and sets the tone for the major divide defining this season’s house.

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The Revival Of A Certain Fondness

This season has, to date, entertained heavily. With a quarter of the cast gone, Big Brother 20 has become a quick fan favorite while avoiding the pitfalls that have hurt recent seasons of play. There have been lessons that Production seems to have taken to heart, lessons that – in a lesser season – have not always been considered.

With this has come a new fondness of the show and feeds, one that can be lost quite easily if Production falls upon mistakes made in the past.

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Blindsided and Backdoored

The Backdoor eviction is a tradition that dates back to Big Brother 5, when Jennifer “Nakomis” Dedmon came up with what was then terms the “Five Finger Plan” to eliminate Scott, an ally of her nemesis Jase. It has become rarer since due to changes in Veto Competitor picking, but when performed legitimately it is one of the more exciting moves in Big Brother. Often times, the evicted person had some idea of their particular weakness in the game but felt they were safe, only to fall due to betrayal of some sort.

In the case of Chris AKA Swaggy C, the blindside came from his own misreading of a game he had shown love towards but for which he had ignored or misread every basic tenet of successful game play.

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Out Of The Gates

Big Brother’s first weeks can be a bit of a crap shoot when it comes to repercussions that reverberate through the game. Some seasons (Big Brother 5, as an example) have minimal repercussions that can be seen as game-changing. The eviction of Mike “The Don” did little to make major changes to the rest of the season. Other seasons have had major events occur in Week 1 that define the rest of the game – witness Paul’s return in Big Brother 19 as an example.

Big Brother 20, for its status as a rare modern “all newbie” cast, has had no less than three major events that should lead to lasting effects through the game.

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Big Brother 20 Preview: Everything Old Is New Again

For 18 years and 19 (More like 21, but who’s counting) seasons, we have been addicted to Big Brother. CBS’ stalwart summer show has continued on and outlasted the imitators and pale attempts to latch onto the reality tv wave of the early 2000s, and has maintained a spot as a ratings power during the summer. With no end in sight and the series still performing strong, we anticipate as return of the show.

It couldn’t have come soon enough.

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Flipping The Script: Closing Time, 2017 Edition

 

In retrospect, perhaps it should have been expected – a young upstart, brash but dedicated, upends the established and expected champion to take the crown. We’ve seen it countless times in movies, sports and entertainment that at this point it has become cliché. This time, though, it wasn’t supposed to happen. The cards had been played to perfection if you asked the people holding the hands. There was no way the young upstart would win.

And yet, nearly a month after the finale of Big Brother 19 we can look back and say that Josh’s defeat of Paul in the finale was not only one of the great endings to this show but was also one that we should have seen coming for weeks. Continue reading “Flipping The Script: Closing Time, 2017 Edition”

There Are No Winners

For several years now, I have written an analytical review article discussing the week that was in Big Brother. This season has found difficulty in analyzing a season with such poor game play, and when looking for points to analyze in terms of positive game play I have found myself lacking in inspiration. This is not the entire house, mind you – one player has mastered the game to the point that he is most likely to win unless something massive changes in the game. Paul’s game play has been exemplary in terms of controlling the game, charismatic leadership of his alliance and chess moves designed to weaken and eliminate his opponents.

It is an impressive effort that has been put forward – but one that removes the ability to see the best moves of anyone else playing the game. Continue reading “There Are No Winners”

The Power of Cluelessness – A Story In Three Parts

For as long as the show has aired, Big Brother fans have thrived on the trope of “the clueless Houseguest.” Some of our favorite moments of the show have been the Houseguest caught unawares, not realizing what was going on until the moment was too late. In the last three weeks of Big Brother 19, the season has had example after example of clueless play and strategy based upon a lack of information.

It’s fun enough when it results in an eviction; it’s even better when it defines an HoH week. Continue reading “The Power of Cluelessness – A Story In Three Parts”